Lebron James finally learned to win ugly

This message goes out as an open letter to young ultra-talented athletes everywhere: to Andrew Luck (QB Colts), RG3 (QB Redskins), Andy Dalton (QB/Bengals), Anthony Davis (power forward/Hornets), Bryce Harper (outfielder/Nationals), Matt Moore (pitcher/Tampa Rays), and especially to the quarterback of my favorite team, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers.  The message is this – “Championships are won by those who learn to win ugly.  The commitment to ‘win pretty’ must die.

The latest testament to this time tested adage is none other than Lebron James of the Miami Heat.  Over the years, all the talking heads in the media have made much about Lebron James.  They have lauded his talent, his style, his swagger, his personality, his speed, his power, his transition game, his ability to hit threes, his ability to pass, and his ability to throw down glorious dunks.  Lebron James’ game was pretty.  Smooth.  Gracious.  Big smiles. Big endorsements.  And big money.  Yet, in the big moments, over and over again, Lebron James failed to deliver.  As a result, those same talking heads turned on him with all kinds of harsh critiques.  “Lebron was selfish,” they would say.  “Lebron was scared of losing, scared of winning, tight under pressure, unsure, nervous, distrustful of his teammates, an attention hog.”  I have heard it all.  And it all was bunk.

There was only one thing wrong with Lebron James’ game.  Lebron was too pretty.  Continue reading

Shame & the Divine Scapegoat – a sermon by Tim Melton

Leviticus 16 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, April 17, 2011, At Surfside PCA Church, Myrtle Beach, SC

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In this sermon I talk about the incredible power of Shame.  I talk at length about the story of Bill Buckner, former first baseman for the Boston Red Sox.  At the greatest moment of his career, when everything was on the line, Bill Buckner failed to do what he had done a million times before – field a slow roller to first base.  We are all Bill Buckners.  Not only do we fail in our obvious weaknesses, but we also are headed for failure, even in our greatest areas of strength.  This is why people need the saving power of Jesus Christ.  Not only does He save us from our sins and our obvious weaknesses, but He also rescues us from our supposed strengths.  Not only does the cross cover our guilt, but it also dramatically and powerfully covers our shame.  Glory to Christ!