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Where Should You Post Your Status?

Where should you post your status? Are you in a bar? Would it be awkward to explain to your boss? to your parents? Are you addicted to likes? Is it boring? Have fun following the arrows to the right place to post your status! A shout out to Professor Andres Silva for the following chart on posting our status to the right social network. Ingenious and hilarious!

Where should you post your status?

Are you posting in the right network?

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George Washington On Politics and Virtue and Handguns

A happy and blessed 4th of July to you and America on its 233rd birthday.

On this fourth day of posting quotes it is only fitting to give George Washington the seat of honor. When Henry Lee delivered his funeral oration in 1799, he said of him, he was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Yesterday we highlighted Lincoln, who held the union of a young nation together – at the cost of a Civil War – through force of will. Washington was the one who through force of will, personality, diplomacy, and talent kept the union from disintegrating before it started. After winning the Revolutionary War, Washington headed straight for his plantation in Mount Vernon to retire from public life. When King George III heard this, he said that if he would actually do that he was the greatest man who ever lived. And it seems to be the case that Washington really wasn’t interested in holding power, despite winning the presidency two terms.

His quotes, as well as those of Adams, Jefferson, and Lincoln from previous days, underscore the degree to which our nation was built on the premise that Freedom required good citizens – and that good citizens were those who practiced virtue and lived with integrity. A nice reminder for our day on this 4th. Enjoy!

While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to him only in this case they are answerable.

It is with pleasure I receive reproof, when reproof is due, because no person can be readier to accuse me, than I am to acknowledge an error, when I am guilty of one; nor more desirous of atoning for a crime, when I am sensible of having committed it.

I shall make it the most agreeable part of my duty to study merit, and Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.

A people… who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.

Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.

Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.

Kisses from Katie – A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

The story of Katie Davis in Uganda.

The amazing story of an adoptive mother of 14 girls.

We moved to Brentwood, Tennessee, in January 2006. My youngest daughter, Caroline, was a junior in high school. You can imagine how nervous we were as parents on how the move would go for an almost-senior (and for the two other kids still in the house). Within days Caroline met two Katies who welcomed her to Ravenwood High School and made her feel as if she had grown up in their circle of friends. I’m still sighing with relief.

One of the wonderful Katies – Katie Davis – took a different path after graduation to say the least. She is now the unmarried mother of 14 young girls.

Is that even possible? Is this one of those stories about youth gone bad?

I need to give a warning to any potential readers at this point. Do not pick up Kisses from Katie if you live a comfortable life and don’t want anything or anyone messing up your comfort zone.

Katie’s story is a story of youth gone good. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking – and in reading it you will never be satisfied with a status quo lifestyle again. If you have never felt a gentle nudge from God that you have something beyond yourself to accomplish in this world – or if you have suppressed and ignored the nudge – this book serves as a loud, clanging, blaring wakeup call to hear and embrace your call.

“Kids” can be idealists – and when Caroline told me Katie was going to do a yearlong mission project before attending college, I thought that sounded great – that it would be good for her. Little did I know … I did know Katie’s parents were quite nervous when she said the project would be serving in an orphanage in Uganda. After surveying the situation in Africa carefully, her dad reluctantly gave his permission for her to go – with the condition that she promise to come back in one year, enroll in college, and move on with her life. She was true to her word – but even as she attended classes the fall of her return, she was miserable, thinking only of her “girls” back in Uganda.

Katie – high school homecoming queen and student body president and honor student and girlfriend to a handsome, committed, spiritual, star athlete – had every reason to “come home.” But her heart was back in Uganda with the motherless children she had fallen in love with. Is it any wonder that the name she has been given by the people of her village is “Mommy.” Katie’s ongoing adventures in Uganda are  amazing and fit the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. In her case, it is not just stranger, but more incredible.

My family has been blessed by the Katie who befriended the “new kid” at school. We’ve been privileged to meet two of her daughters, Patricia and Grace. Most of all we have been inspired to step out of our comfort zone and to look around to see what God is doing in the world that we need to take part in.

I can’t recommend Kisses from Katie highly enough for the spiritual blessings you will experience reading this story of relentless love and redemption.

When Football Isn’t About Football

Just like thousands of other venues in America on a Friday night, September 5 was a great setting for high school football at Raptor Stadium in Brentwood, Tennessee. Our team had just come off a huge win the week before, knocking off powerhouse Brentwood Academy, which was ranked #10 in the country by USA Today at game time. We were the first team in Williamson County to do so in 31 years. Ever. My son, Bo, caught the winning score with 12 seconds to go. He had 12 tackles, an acrobatic interception, and a couple of huge receptions. Football recruiting letters had been flowing in all year, but that next week they had overflowed the mailbox with requests for BA game film.

You could just feel it in the air. The Raptors were poised to post another upset against undefeated Franklin High and reassert our status as one of the top teams in the state.

When football isn't just about football

Bo had the biggest game of his career against BA, but one week later …

We tailgated with our RHS Quarterback Club friends. We got to our seats early and watched he band march in. Right before the National Anthem, Bo strode to the middle of the field with three teammates for the coin flip. The game got underway. We groaned when Franklin took an early lead on a long touchdown run but we weren’t worried. No big biggie. The Raptor team and coaches had sky-high confidence and so did the fans.

It was our second drive. A simple bubble screen. QB Alex Williams pivoted and threw a pass to Bo who set up just a few yards behind the line of scrimmage out wide. He went up in the air to snag the catch and the instant he landed, the cornerback who had read the play instantly and was running full speed hit him. Now this is my ninth year to watch Bo play football – might have missed one game in all those years but not more than one – and I know this about him. Bo isn’t into personal drama out in public … and he’s never stayed down after a play in football. But he stayed down.

I do like a bit of drama but I knew he would hate it if we made a scene and rushed down to the sideline so Amy and I just stayed in our seats. I knew he was hurt but didn’t want to speculate how bad. When they stood him up about a minute later and helped him to the sideline and he could put zero weight on his right leg I still kept saying to myself it was all going to be okay and he’d be back in the game soon. When the trainer got word up to me that I needed to get my butt down there, I finally started the internal negotiation process that the injury might be real bad. I reached him on the sideline where the team doctor and trainer let me know that Bo might have a torn ACL and MCL. Pretty horrific news for an athlete with the desire to play college football or continue his track career. They got him on the cart as an ambulance was backed up to the front gate. The raucous stadium got eerily quiet. I gave Bo’s hand a quick squeeze and he held on. That’s when I knew he was really hurt. Holding hands with his dad in front of a couple thousand friends isn’t his style.

He and I cried our guts out on an ambulance ride to Williamson County Medical Center. The staff from the front desk to nurses and doctors were wonderful. We were still operating under the assumption that his knee was torn up and the first relatively good news was that the MRI technician was still in the hospital and we could get the damage assessed that night rather than having to wait until Monday. It was two hours after the accident that we began to move him from his bed in the ER to another that would take him back to the MRI room for tests. Halfway from one bed to another his upper leg went a couple different directions at once and started spasming. He had been in a bit of a stupor but he was suddenly wide awake and in intense pain – no pain killers had been administered yet. Morgan, his girlfriend, had left the game and was holding his hand when this happened and he gave her a hard enough squeeze that between that and the sight of his leg moving in ways a leg should not move she about passed out. The nurse looked at the doctor right then and said quite definitively that Bo hadn’t torn his ACL but had a broken femur. Staff rushed a portable X-Ray machine into the room and within 15 minutes she was proven right. We’ve adopted her as part of Raptor Nation for that and all the other kindnesses she showed.

When football isn't about football.

A couple days and nights together in Williamson County Medical Center.

You know it’s a rough night when a broken leg is good news but it was a rough night and so the news was good. A clean break. A rod would be inserted the next morning. Full recovery – stronger than ever – the prognosis.

Ravenwood students and players had begun gathering in the waiting room and with a mercifully slow night in the ER they were allowed to come back and be with Bo. I think we had at least fifty or sixty kids gathered around him at one point. Steven, one of his best friends, just couldn’t bear to be close. He hung back with head and eyes downcast. But Ricky, ever emotional, started sobbing. He was joined by Will, a 270-pound right tackle. Will and Ryan never stopped crying. I had but couldn’t not start back up. Then it was mom and grandparents and the cheerleaders. Then it was the coaching staff. We started and stopped crying too many times to count over the next three or four hours. Franklin’s coach stayed in touch with Coach Rector to let him know his boys felt terrible for Bo and had gathered to pray for him after the game. My blackberry never stopped vibrating with texts and calls flying in from all over the country as word got out.

The Saturday surgery went smoothly and was deemed a success. Ravenwood High School set up residence at WCMC. At one point we learned he had been admitted as “anonymous” so we went down to let them know that it was okay to identify him by name and allow people to come up and see him. “Don’t worry, every body’s found him” was the reply. Bo didn’t go to school the next week. His hospital room and then our living room, his new convalescent center, looked like Christmas in September with a slew of presents and cards. College coaches called to let him know he was still being recruited. Neighbors, teachers, friends, Young Life leaders … all came by to wish him well and many to say a prayer with him.

When football isn't about football.

Another visitor to the hospital!

Last night was four weeks from the accident. He drove to school for the first time earlier that day. He got rid of his crutches completely two days earlier. He’s doing his therapy and lifting upper body weights five days a week. Subsequent X-Rays show the unmistakable image of a knee-to-hip rod, but you have to look hard to find the line where the complete break occurred.

I already knew that high school football wasn’t really about football. At least not just about football. But if I’ve ever forgotten that while caught up in the spirit of competition, I’ll not forget it again.

Student council isn’t about running schools but teaching leadership. Scouting isn’t about camp outs but learning responsibility. And football isn’t about touchdowns and tackles but discipline, teamwork, loyalty, overcoming adversity, and being there to cry with a friend who is down.

I’d still rather Bo be playing on the field his senior season but I’m grateful to watch him on the sidelines with his teammates, as big a part of his team as ever. Because football isn’t just about football.