3 Lessons Andy Reid Taught Us After His Super Bowl Win

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes

Whether you are a sports fan or not, this year’s Super Bowl offered us practical advice and hope. Here are three lessons you take away from the big game to help give your hope!

Patience pays off

Aristotle Patience Meme

It took Coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs 21 years to finally win the big game. Over two decades! He previously coached the Philadelphia Eagles where he has sustained excellence in the mid-2000s. His teams advanced to the NFC Championship (the game preceding the Super Bowl) in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Only on the fourth try did he actually make an appeared in the Super Bowl before losing to the New England Patriots.

I always have been a Reid fan. His steady and consistent work ethic always could be seem in his players.

Heart over Talent

Teamwork meme

According to best-selling author and optimist Simon Sinek, “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team.” All the best talent in the world means nothing if egos cannot be set aside for a greater mission. Look at the hype of the uber-talented Cleveland Browns coming into the 2019 season.

Yes, this time Reid had the best quarterback in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. But the word I heard most in the post-game interviews was heart. Heart. Passion. Drive. Perseverance. Call it what you want. It is a quality that puts yourself second and others first.

In his March 12, 2016 Jubilee audience, Pope Francis spoke of the meaning of true leadership. He declared,

“Love and charity, are service, helping others, serving others. There are many people who spend their lives in this way, in the service of others. … When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love! And with the washing of the feet the Lord teaches us to be servants, and above all, servants as He was a servant to us, for every one of us.”

Love the people you work with

Importance of work

Andy Reid exemplified love to the entire Kansas City organization. Not just in the Super Bowl win, but throughout his tenure. Sometimes people get cynical when it comes connections are made to sport figures and faith. Kobe Bryant’s death is a prime example. People aren’t perfect. Even larger than life stars. They suffer similar faults you and I do. Pride. Envy. Sloth. Lust. Anger. Greed. Gluttony.

The care and diligence he had for his players was evident. Tangible with his interactions. Hugs and handshakes galore. Credit deflected back onto his coaches and players.

In this case  of Andy Reid he put himself last. He served his assistant coaches, players, and fans. When the media asked players what the first thought ran through their minds when the clock reached 00:00, they all exclaimed, “Andy Reid!”

Andy Reid Super bowl meme

Questions for Reflection

What lessons did you take from the Super Bowl?

How does patience play a role in your success?

Let me know in the comments below.


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Finding Little Joys Amid Autism’s Challenges

Joy of autism

🔷Our world does not readily accept differences. I want to be a help change that.

🧡 I want to bring tangibility and reality as to how autism looks in my son.

🔷According to C.S. Lewis, “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

🧡 My faith has been lacking lately. This resulted in me so I was missing the miniature and miraculous letters forming a story before my own eyes.

🔷Ordinary developmental milestones I see as miracles for my three year old. We did not know if he would ever be able to talk.

🧡Recently, he said his full name for the first time ever!


Me: “Yes, Josiah that is your name on the wall. What letter is that [pointing to the ‘J’]?”

Josiah: “J, O, S, I, A, H!”

Me: “And what is your name?”

Josiah: “Jo-sia-ah, Fa-ee-in [Fabian], Sha-qin [Chicoine]!”


✨Miracles happen all the time we just need to slow down.

✨Have you ever experienced an ordinary miracle? If so, share your experience(s) I the comments.


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Muffingate 2020—New Miscreant or Adorable Accomplice?

🌐 January is the best time for starting a healthy lifestyle. Exercise more. Eat less.

🌐 It gets challenging if you are surrounded by the leftover sweets from Christmastime. Chocolate. Flavored popcorn. Biscotti. Peppermint. Muffins.

Muffins? That doesn’t sound like a holiday treat.

You’re right. It’s not! But I had to see if you were paying attention. Muffins cause mayhem.

This is a continuation of the story dubbed “Muffingate”—a level 7 shenanigan event!

🚨 🚨 🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨🚨🚨

📍The trial for the accused Muffin Miscreant was set for this month. The evidence against the spry one-year old Avila Catherine Geraldine is overwhelming.

Until now.

📍There is a new development in this shenanigan-laden event.

📍The Chicoineville police department suspect “ACGC” has an accomplice. While she was under house arrest, another muffin incident happened.

📍Video recordings show that the suspect never left her cell (crib) when the mayhem happened.

📍Is this a new miscreant or an orchestrated operation? Investigations will be taking place the rest of the month.

📍 Stay with PRNT TV 📺 to receive full coverage on this new scandal “sweeping” across this small town.

📍Text “antics” to 55555 to get text updates and exclusive interviews with the sheriff, eyewitnesses, and first-responders.

📍This has been I.M. Shocked with PRNT News reporting. Thank you for watching (reading)!

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3 Ways Fiction Will Help You Escape the Strangeness of Reality


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 20th, 2017.


Mark Twain once wrote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” While I do not fully understand the meaning of the great American author’s words, I find myself drawn to the concept that reality is odd, weird, peculiar, and problematic.

Seeming senseless suffering occurs daily throughout the globe: wars, famine, and violation of human rights. I do not want this post to turn into a philosophical treatise on the problem of evil. Please refer to the writings of St. Augustine or The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis for a clear and authoritative outline of the issue.

To be clear, although I experienced a push from reality toward despair when things get overwhelmed, it is interesting that fiction pulls me away from this strangeness and helps center myself.

truth stranger than fiction.jpg

 Over the past year, I have delved into the DC Comics Universe- the realm of Superman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. I am most recently reading a voluminous story arc from the New 52 series on Superman.

Here are three ways that reading fiction will help provide stability in your life when reality is too strange.

Larger than Life, Yet Relatable Characters

Stories portray transformation and inner conflicts within characters. Superhero comics contain traditional character developments. They also add layers to the story through its main actors possessing enhanced powers. Instead of alienating the reader, I find I am drawn into a comic book through the device of the dual identity of a superhero—their superhero title and their secret identity.

life is locomotion the flash

 I will use Barry Allen/The Flash as an example because I loving running. The main power of this character revolves around speed and endurance.

Most versions have Barry’s desire to help others stemming from the death of his mother at a young age. Later endowed with super-speed and Speed-Force powers from a lightning in a laboratory, Barry soon dons the mantle of The Flash!

Despite his ability to nearly travel at the speed of light, Barry oftentimes has to slow down to solve both personal and professional problems. By reading these comics this superhero appeals to me because I sometimes tend to be impatient and act rashly at times.

Alleviation through Art

I am a visual learner. Illustrations bring me closer to the events of the comic book story. When I am reviewing books to check out from the library, one of the things I look for in a good comic is appealing artwork.

The Blackest Night Green Lantern story-line contained popping colors and heroes decked in hues highlighting their unique power rings. I felt like I dove into a verbal kaleidoscope in that crossover event. I cannot quite put my finger on it but something about the artwork of the New 52 DC Series soothes my anxiety. Without alleviation through art, I would return  an unread story back to the library as opposed to diving further into the comic book universe.

keep-calm-cause-there-s-no-place-like-home-1

 In a galaxy far, far away…there is no place like home

Along with the character development of DC’s superheroes [and even non-powered support characters] and the beautiful art, I have come to greatly enjoy the move to solar system based settings. Although strangeness abounds in the various planetary systems and alternative timelines, I get a sense of excitement and wonder instead of fear from my mind travels to exotic scenes!

The freshness is anchored by the stability of the characters in the DC universe. Despite reading a revisionist version of Superman, Batman, or other heroes, a certain familiarity and tradition still remains front and center.

Traveling on these journeys provide small interludes of rest from the weariness of reality. For instance, the phones were going of the hook at my job today. I encountered strange and perplexing questions I never dealt with before. During my break time, I become an observer of Superman’s battle against his archenemy—Brainiac. I returned to the real world energized to complete my day’s remaining work.

outer space wizard of oz.jpg

 Is Truth Stranger than Fiction?

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus Christ a question that in an old as time but still fresh and relevant today, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Truth, reality, actuality is a perplexing thing to grasp. Humanity is not called to fully understand the mysteries of the universe yet creation is laden with hints at what the purpose of the real world is all about.

Fiction can help you find purpose in this life. Through fiction you gain a renewed and broader perspective when returning to the “real world”. I will leave you to ponder the wisdom of J.R.R. Tolkien legendary creator of Middle Earth and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Referring to fantasy as a natural human activity he states,

I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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A Snow Story to Keep Spirits High

Grey skies. Blustery winds blow over the landscape. There is no one else in sight.

Friends? Brothers? Fellow soldiers in this fight?

All gone home 🏡.

Only you. And the enemy.

A cold 🥶 formidable. One whose tenacious tactics demoralize the ordinary.

But you are not an ordinary fighter. You are extraordinary 💪.

You are motivated by honor and duty. Duty to the city and fellow citizens.

You will not rest until the battle is won.

Progress is slow going. But inch by inch you gain traction.

Has it been 10 minutes or 10 hours? Certainly not 10 days you hope!

Victory is on the horizon. You are almost done. One last effort. There!

You’re done.

Sweat mixed with ice to form a salty slush on your face. 😓 You’re exhausted, but proud.

The driveway has been shoveled.

What did you think I was talking about?!

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How to Pack Power into Your Writing with this Tip

Writing tip

💡Writing tip #8—Use short paragraphs, sentences, and words to pack punch to your copy.

Writing is analogous to the flow of a football game.

Think of the headline as the kickoff. It gets your the attention of your audience.

The first sentence leads to the second.

Keep your sentences short to keep your readers’ attention.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you need to have a longer sentence—especially when you want to provide facts or evidence for a claim.

Use those short punchy sentences to your advantage.

🏈 Short punchy sentences are like tossing the touchdown. Immediate impact.

🏈 Longer sentences are similar to that sustained drive when a team goes the length of a field to score.

🏈 Both are required to keep the attention of your reader. Change the sentence length. Keep the pace moving for your readers.

Short. Short. Long.

Thoughts?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


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 3 Reasons Christians need to be Bridge-builders

I love random facts! I find they are great conversation starters and help me to trigger and bridge past and seemingly unconnected memories together. Speaking of the subject of bridges, I recently learned that the world’s longest bridge is over 102 miles! Carrying trains this incredible engineering feat connects the cities of Nanjing and Shanghai.

largest bridge

Aside from being massive architectural projects and accomplishments, the daily function of a bridge is a little more mundane—it serves as a connection between two points that otherwise could not meet or communicate. All Catholics, and Christians in general, are called to act a bridge between God and humanity. Examining Scripture, Tradition, and evidence from a strictly logical standpoint, I put forth three reasons why all Christians need to be bridge-builders

For the Bible tells Me So

You do not have to look far in the New Testament before you discover examples of Jesus promoting unity and building relationships with traditional 1st century outsider groups. In John 4, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at the ancient water-cooler, the well of Jacob. He reached out to a Samaritan who Jews ostracized during ancient times. Despite this, Jesus provides her an offer of everlasting water.

She readily exclaims, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water” (John 4:15).

The Gospel of St. Luke abounds with examples of Jesus ministering to outcasts and “building bridges” to all of humanity. I will list just a few: shepherds being invited to witness the birth of Christ (Luke 2:15-20), call of Levi the tax collector (Luke 5:27-32), forgiving the sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50, and sending out of the seventy-two disciples to minister to others (Luke 10: 1-10).

Finally, I want to share the instance in the Acts of the Apostles where possible discord over whether followers of Christ needed to be circumcised in the custom of Judaism. In Acts 15 the Council of Jerusalem took place and God provided unity in this affair by bestowing authority to Peter through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Follow Francis

Continuing on the theme of unity promoted by papal authority, Pope Francis on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall told Christians to, “Build bridges of understanding and dialogue.”

In the pope is a visible sign of the unity of the Catholic Church. Catholics look to the pope with honor and as a leader of the faith not because he tells us but because Jesus gave us the gift of the papacy.

pope francis 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Francis, the late Pope John Paul II promoted ecumenism [fancy word for promoting unity J) The Polish pontiff tells us in his encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint [On Commitment to Ecumenism],

Together with all Christ’s disciples, the Catholic Church bases upon God’s plan her ecumenical commitment to gather all Christians
into unity. Indeed, “the Church is not a reality closed in on herself. Rather, she is permanently open to missionary and ecumenical endeavor, for she is sent to the world to announce and witness, to make present and spread the mystery of communion which is essential to her, and to gather all people and all things into Christ, so as to be for all an ‘inseparable sacrament of unity’…The unity of all divided humanity is the will of God (nos. 5-6).  

Brains, brains, brains

I was binge watching an episode of The Walk Dead [YES I DID JUST TRANSITION FROM THE POPE TO ZOMBIES!!] a couple summers ago and took an important lesson from the show. In dire situations humans will work together to survive despite coming from various backgrounds.

Police officers, farmers, and pizza delivery boys were able to unite for a common objective [avoid being turned into a zombie]. I came away from the show thinking: should all people, in particular Christians unite?

Be a Bridge-Builder

From a strictly logical standpoint people tend to be happier when working together as a team. This is true for me. At work I am more fulfilled when I work to serve the rest of my co-workers and assist throughout the day as opposed to having a self-serving mentality. Moreover, the old adage “two heads are better than one” is true when it comes to uniting and forging improved relationships.

zombies.jpg

Please do not interpret my urging for all Christians to be bridge-makers as a full on endorsement of compromising your Christians values completely. There are some non-negotiables I hold as a Catholic-Christian. I will not sell out my faith and I believe in the value of life at all stages.

That being said, when it comes to me interacting people with completely different world outlooks from myself I need to exercise patience, clarity in my thoughts, and charity in my dialogue to help others see the value in my positions. I also need to be humble enough to see things from others’ perspectives as well.

Bridge-building is not an easy process—it is long and toilsome. With the gift of understanding and patience from the Holy Spirit such dialogue is possible!

Thank you for sharing!