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8 Jan 2010

Why Have We Stop Taking Personal Responsibility?

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

I have been very troubled by two very recent scandals that have rocked the sports world. One was by the world’s greatest golfer  Tiger Woods and the multiple affairs he carried on during his marriage. The other is basketball star Gilbert Arenas, who brought four unloaded weapons into his team locker (which is banned by the NBA) and used them for a practical joke.
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> As someone who works within the athletic world it always bothers me when athletes put themselves in bad situations that cause them to make bad decisions.  Athletes sometimes fail to realize that they are Heroes to many people in our country and like it or not they set an example for kids. Good or bad. Yet, I still have a heart for those athletes who make mistakes, but accept responsibility for their actions, apologize and try and better themselves. The thing that I struggle to have patience with is when athletes make stupid decisions and take no personal responsibility for it.
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> We see in the case of Gilbert Arenas, a man who made bad choices but when it came to owning up to it he wouldn’t take full personal responsibility. Gilbert Arenas broke NBA rules by bringing loaded weapons into the locker, yet he says he did nothing wrong and would apologize if he did do something wrong.  Hey, last time I checked when you break rules set by the organization you work for, that’s wrong! He also blamed the media for his problems. I am sorry, but did the media bring four guns into the locker room? Did the media have you lay them out in front of your teammate that you owed money too? Did the media make up the rules and laws for the NBA and as well for the District of Columbia? Since this incident broke out, Gilbert Arenas has done nothing but make a big joke of the whole matter and he topped it off a  couple nights ago while in a team pre-game he used his index fingers as fake guns making light of the whole situation.

It’s a sad commentary on sports when it’s stars make mistakes and aren’t willing to take personal responsibility for them. Yet I think it’s just not limited to sports, but our country. We have lost the ability to say ‘I am sorry’ and ‘I was wrong’ with no strings attached. Many leaders may apologize but it will be followed by a long explanation (normally longer than the apology) about how it’s someones fault, you don’t understand, the devil, or the “big bad wolf” called the media. Bottom line is that if you’re a leader at any capacity I want to encourage you if you make a mistake just take responsibility for it and move on. We need to set a better example for those coming up behind us and we need to be people who own up for our mistakes.

Mr. Arenas was suspended indefinitely without pay because of his “fake gun” incident. What’s interesting is that he came out after they suspended him and gave what I believe as a sincere apology. I wish he would have done that from the jump and it would have never gotten to this point. Mr. Arenas will loose millions of dollars because of a bad decision, but also because of his lack of personal responsibility. I pray that we can learn from his costly mistake and I pray that we would all begin to take responsibility for our mistakes.life_g_arenas01_600

2 Jan 2010

It Is Well With My Soul

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

Going into a New Year I normally write out a few goals that I want to see accomplished in the upcoming year, but this year I feel God has given me one goal. It is to simply enjoy life and have fun. I have come to the realization that lately I have rarely been having fun and enjoying life. I have spent most of my time worrying about the next move or things I can’t control.

With this new goal in hand, I was ready to go into the New Year with a new focus. Then around 9:30am on new years eve I got a call that no son ever wants to get. My dad called informing me that my mom was in critical condition after suffering a brain aneurysm early that morning.

Here I go ready to enjoy the new year and I get this news. I can’t lie. My first thoughts were .. Great I decided to enjoy life and have fun and look what happens. I have a goal not to freak out about things this year but my mom who is hundreds of miles away lays unconscious with a dim outlook. I began to wonder why would this happen on this day when I have made a declaration to really enjoy life this upcoming year?

What I realized is that as we make declarations and stances there will be things that come to keep us from living out what God has spoken to us. I don’t know how or why this happened to my mom, but what I can say is that God has given me a great sense of joy in this tough time.

I don’t know what will happen with my mom. I am believing God to completely heal her, yet regardless of the outcome what I have set my heart to do is to worship Jesus and find joy in him.  As the old hymn says ” It is well with my soul”.

28 Oct 2009

The Enemy Within

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

Excited about tonight and the continuation of our series called Uncut at 925. We are taking the next few weeks to explore the book of James and see this raw guide to Christian living. Tonight we will be looking at James 1:12-18 and discussing where temptation ultimately comes from and where it leads; looking at the source of sin and the course of uncuttitle1:14 it says but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. James very clearly states that the source of temptation is not the devil, God, or society but it’s within us. We are born with a sin nature according to scripture (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:23). I see this everyday with my two children.  My wife and I do not teach our kids to be disobedient, they naturally go that route. As adults, and like my children, we naturally go the route of disobedience as well.

The great thing is that through Jesus we can become a new creation (2 Corin 5:17-21) because of his finish work on the cross. One my favorite scriptures is  2 Corinthians 5:21 “ God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. We can overcome the enemy within because of Jesus being our atoning sacrifice. Are you defeating the enemy within?


21 Oct 2009

UnCut

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

I am excited about the start of our new series tonight at 925. It’s called Uncut: A raw guide to christian living. We will be studying the book of James. Check out the graphic below. Come check us out tonight at 9pm at Tully Gym in the basement. Big Up’s to Chris Tavalare for the great design.

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11 Sep 2009

Blown Away

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning I couldn’t sleep, so at 4:20 I decided to get up and get in the word. I am currently reading through the book of John and this morning reading John 13 something unique stood out to me for the first time. I have read the story about Jesus washing his disciples feet many times through out my walk with God. For some reason I have never realize that Judas was there when Jesus washed his disciples feet. Washing the feet of people during that time was reserve to non-jewish slaves. It was especially not meant for the Savior of the world. Jesus not only served the committed disciples, but he showed loved and served someone who would betray him. It blows my mind how Jesus could do this. I struggle at times serving my wife, kids, and close friends, let alone those who have betrayed or hurt me in the past.

I started asking how could Jesus serve and love someone who would betray him. I believe the answer if found in the next chapter in John 14:6 ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Jesus was able to serve Judas because he was secure and confident in his calling. I have realized that people whom I have been around that are great servant leaders are the ones who are secure in who God has called them to be. When your secure you don’t look to things to validate your calling, you look to God for validation. This allows you to do things that others would see as beneath them because you aren’t looking for things to validate who you are. I really struggle at times looking to other things like ministry and business growth, accolades, and many other things to affirm me as a Christ follower, husband, and leader. The truth is that to be a great servant leader like Jesus we must be secure in who God has made us to be.

I would love to hear your thoughts

26 Aug 2009

Thoughts on Plaxico Burress and troubled athletes

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

I was very troubled and saddened by the recent conviction and jail term given to former New York Giant Plaxico Burress. As someone who ministers full-time to the athletic culture, it always breaks my heart to see young men make decisions that destroy their lives. It also breaks my heart when I hear the lack of compassion that people have on athletes. Yes, there are athletes who are spoiled and have an “entitlement” attitude, that doesn’t mean they all do. The truth is, our hearts should break because many of these athletes decisions affect families, friends, and fans in incredible ways. As I listen to the media outlets these past couple weeks it amazes me the attitude that people have towards athletes when they make mistakes. Instead of us believing that men like Michael Vick are going to make the most out of their second chance, it seems that we are hoping he fails. We forget that at some point in our lives people have given us a second chance and have had compassion on us. If you read this blog and your Christian then you should know better than anyone about having a second chance. Jesus gave you the ultimate second chance.

I want to challenge all of you the next time you read a story about an athlete getting in trouble, not to get critical, but to actually take a moment and pray for them and their families. They are human beings just like me and you, who are in need of grace and mercy.

23 Jul 2009

Confession of a Recovering Coward (Part 2)

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

As a recovering coward I realized that “Courage Changes Culture”. Throughout the history of the world it’s only been people who had courage to step out and do something that others thought to be impossible, that have changed the course of history. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill: History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it”. People like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther, Rosa Parks, Dr. King, St. Patrick, and many others knew that one brave act of courage could change culture forever.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Joshua. It’s about a young leader who was called to help lead millions of people into there destiny. He was following arguably one of the greatest leaders to walk the planet in a man by the name of Moses. Following Moses would be like trying to follow Michael Jordan as the two guard for the Chicago Bulls. Joshua had a huge assignment before him and there were many things God could have said to him, but He emphasized one thing in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.

God knew that in order for Joshua to change culture, he was going to have be courageous. The question I want to ask us is simply this: Are we living a life that changes culture? If not, what do must we do to change? .

22 Jul 2009

Confession of a Recovering Coward (Part 1)

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

I realized that as I have gotten older, I have become more and more of a coward. I find myself not willing take risks or believe for big things because I am afraid of the outcome, what it may cost, or the disappointment if I fail. I have easily justified it as being “responsible”, but when you cut through my crap I have been a straight coward.

A few months ago when I had this revelation of what I had become it really was hard, because ultimately I stopped trusting God and started playing it safe. I was trying to protect and not loose what He had blessed me with. The reality that hit me was that cowards have never changed the world, but bold courageous heroes have. I prayed and asked God to help me not to be a coward anymore. My name is Adrian Crawford and I am a recovering coward. Over the next few posts I will talk about what God has been teaching me through this process.

5 Jun 2009

Leadership Lesson from the NBA Playoffs

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

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Watching the NBA Playoffs has been very exciting this year. Beside the awful officiating, it has been one of the best playoffs in recent history.  As I am watching the contact that guys like Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant are taking, it reminds me of growing up and learning how to take a “hard foul”.

In middle school we would play lunch time basketball and to this day it counts as some of the most competitive games I have ever experienced. I remember that when we would get to game point, we had a rule of ‘no easy baskets’. That meant that, even if you had to ‘kill’ someone, you did not let them score. I remember going to the basket and what happened to me, it should have been a federal crime. I remember that at first I used to shy away from the contact because of the pain I was going to feel and I would never make a game point basket.  Something interesting happened one day and I decided that on game point I wasn’t going to shy away from the pain anymore. I decided I was going  to embrace it and go towards the contact.. Something amazing happened: I got fouled really hard, but it didn’t stop me, and I scored the game winner!

I never realized the lesson I learned on a playground during lunch would help me in life. It started dawning on me recently that I was shying away from the “hard fouls” of life. I was running from tough situations instead of embracing them and going after them like I did on the middle school basketball court. As leaders we must realize that God wants us to not shy away from hard times, but to embrace and attack them. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be painful, but the truth is we are going to experience the pain any way, so we might as well go towards it. I believe even in the midst of tough times we can live how Paul tells us to, in hard times: 2 Timothy 2:3 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus”.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

19 May 2009

Random Thoughts from Jamaica

Author: Train | Filed under: Uncategorized

My wife and I were in Kingston, Jamaica for the last few days for a wedding. It was my first time there and it was great! Late on Sunday night I was having my “Encounter Time” with God ( I call it encounter time because that is what I want to do every time I spend time with Him). I was reading in Deuteronomy and in the first 8 chapters, one word that I kept reading was ‘remember’.

As we all know, God did some tremendous miracles during the time of Moses’s leadership with the Israelites. In case you don’t know or recall them all, here are a few ‘minor’ miracles:
• Rescued them from a dictator by sending plagues the world has never seen before: Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Livestock, and much more.

• Parting the Red Sea so that upwards of a million people could cross it. Also killing the most powerful army on the planet at the time.
• Feeding and hydrating millions of people in a wilderness and desert for 40 years. His only means were the sky and a rock.

God wanted them to remember, because He knew that human nature is to forget the great things God has done for us when we are going through tough times. He was getting ready to take them into their promised land and He knew they would have some tough moments ahead of them, so He wanted them to remember how good He was even though their current circumstances didn’t look like it.
Before we enter our Promised Land we will most likely have a time where our circumstances look bleak. In those moments we must “remember” when and how God has already shown up in our lives. It may be that He performed a super-natural miracle, answered a prayer, or set you free from entanglement. It’s these bleak moments that test and grow our faith to make it as Peter wrote “pure as gold”. In order to occupy the “Promised Land” God is giving you, one thing you must do is “remember” what He has done for you in the past. The biggest thing we must constantly remember as members of the New Covenant, is the death and resurrection of Jesus. That one act shows us how much God loves us and is for us.