Thursday, April 22, 2010

Got Weeds?

Spring is in the air folks and with that, it's also in my head as if a half pound of pollen has impacted my sinuses. I feel like I snorted a sack of flour. Nevertheless the world is in bloom and it's time to get in the yard and tend our gardens, lawns and landscapes. It's this time of year every year that I engage in and endless battle with weeds and crab grass. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an expert on gardening or prevention where weeds and crab grasses are concerned. In fact, every year I fight this battle only to be beaten down by the mutant plants that nothing seems to kill. Still, every year I wage war and some years I fight harder than others. There is certainly one constant. The weeds are not going away.

I have used many weapons in my war on weeds. I have used prevention which you put out before weeds germinate. ( when I say weeds I include crab grass in that category as it's been the most difficult to get rid of.) Still with prevention the weeds come back. I have used the traditional poisons such as "Round Up", or "Weed Be Gone". These are the easiest to use and are somewhat effective but when summer comes around it is overwhelming. Lastly, I used hand to hand combat as I simply pull the weeds by hand plucking them from my life. It's an endless battle that I always give into. It requires every day plucking out the new growth and it will keep popping up in every part of your garden, yard and landscaping. When you clear one area it pops up somewhere else. You have to just keep on fighting it out of your yard. You can be successful with these methods as I've seen it happen on other peoples property. Maybe I just don't quite know how to make that happen but I sure would like to have a nice lawn like that. Maybe I simply don't work at it hard enough

For a moment, lets say that your life, your soul and your salvation is representational for your yard, your garden and your landscaping. Along with that, Satan is the dirty weed that keeps pooping up in our garden or in this case our lives. We have the tools to to pluck him out by the root, although he will continue to try to pop up elsewhere in our "garden" if you will.

The Holy Spirit is our best "Round Up" for Satan. Galatians 5:16-18 says:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 
This gives us power over the weed. Although we have power over the weed, it will continue to try to pop up in all areas of our garden. We must be prepared to pluck out the the evil root as soon as we see it sprout. We have the best protection available as we engage in hands on combat with the "weed". .Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
We've now established we have the tools and protection  to wage war on the weeds in our garden. What about prevention Are there preventive measures. Certainly there are. For one, prayer. Pray on all things for the weed can't stand prayer. In addition, Ephesians 5:15-20 states:
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Preventative measures indeed!

So in life we are born in spring and throughout our lives we wage war and are fitted with the gifts of our Lord and Savior with everything we need to get the weeds out of our garden. The weeds will always be there and therefore we should always be ready to tend our garden. When winter comes, our garden certainly needs to be, not necessarily spotless or without scars but it better be cleaned with the Blood of Christ and the gifts our Lord has provided. Summer is upon us folks and for some, Fall with Winter quickly approaching. How's your Garden looking today?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Unspecified violation of team rules" - Well said coach!

There's a lot of Rumbling in the state of Georgia as to why Coach Mark Richt dismissed troubled quarterback Zach Mettenberger form the team this past Sunday. Some folks suggest Richt might be hiding something or that he's making an example out of Mett to show his tough stance on disciplinary issues. I think Richt can be tough on these kids when he has to. I don't think it comes easy though.

Richt is very paternal towards his boys and though they may let him down, I have no doubt he loves each and every one of them. This trait is one of the strengths of Georgia's recruiting process. The recruit and the parent feel that the athlete is in good hands. I certainly would rather my son going to work for a leader with good Christian values such as Richt. Especially one that knows a thing or two about winning.

Back to Mettenberger. I assure you the silence and the vague description as to why he was dismissed is for the benefit, protection, and respect of the young man. I'm sure Mettenberger has a lawyer who is working diligently to put together a defense. Slinging crap across the media Spurrier style certainly isn't going to do anything to help the integrity or the future of this young man.

So what exactly did Mettenberger do? 
There is nothing to gain for the program or the athlete to go into any further detail other than "it was a violation of team rules". That's enough. However, for those of us that are simply curious or plain nosey, we may never really know. We know he was on Spring Break and was in Valdosta to see the spring game for VSU where some of his friends played ball. While there he went out doing what college kids do. But not what Division 1 starting quarterbacks do (or should do). I can tell you this. Mett according to record was charged with underage possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possession of false identification. Two fake ID's?? Seriously??

Although it was long ago, (1989-1991) I did go to college in Valdosta and while there, I lived in the very same small town of Remerton. I lived a mere par four from where the incident took place. Remerton is a SMALL town consumed on all 4 sides by the city of Valdosta. It's about the size of 2-3 normal city blocks at best. It is nothing but a bunch of old mill houses and apartments now used as rental housing primarily occupied by college students.The outer perimeter on the main road leading to the campus is Baytree steet and there you will find several bars and popular hangouts for the college kids. The only thing that has changed since I was there is that there are more bars to choose from. As small as Remerton is, it does have it's own police force. When I was there it consisted of one full-time squad car and it's officers were not unlike Barney Fife. Things may have changed since then but somehow I doubt it. When I lived there I was hell on wheels, wild as a bobcat, and full of piss and vinegar. The most trouble I ever got into was trying to outrun Barney one evening after running a stop sign. They shook their finger at me and gave me a ticket for running a stop sign after I assured them I had no idea they were in pursuit. Stop signs are what they were notorious for. They certainly were not known for pestering drunk college kids. That would be like herding alley cats. My point is to get in trouble here you pretty much had it coming.

If you're in a three way competition to be the starting quarterback for a Division 1 program rule number one is you keep your nose clean. Discipline has to start with your leaders. When the news broke about Mett in trouble down south, his leadership credibility was shattered. As tragic as that is its the cold truth.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Mett end up quarterbacking at a university in another division. Particularly and ironically enough, I'll predict Valdosta State University. He already has buddies in the program and they would be crazy not to go after him. So, Maybe we can see a re-birth in Mettenberger. Maybe he can rise from the pile of ashes he left in little Remerton Georgia.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who was I ?? Who are you?

I got a call from an old friend a couple of weeks ago that I don't talk to often. I haven't seen him in 10 years and he only lives about 43 or so miles away. I love the guy and miss him very much in so many ways. One might ask why haven't I seen him in 10 years? Why don't we hang out?

The answer is simple. My friend is a RAGING alcoholic in denial at its best. He's a poster child I tell you. He's smart as a whip and charming as the devil when he's not drinking. He's highly educated from a VERY reputable university yet he lives within a career that requires no education and certainly isn't what I would consider a stable, dependable income during these times. I may seem very judgmental here but I know an alcoholic when I see one. My mother and sister both are successful recovering alcoholics. I see what a difference sobriety has made in their lives.

You might ask If I'm against drinking. The answer is no, not at all. Although I don't generally drink, I'm not going to say I won't ever have an occasional drink. It could happen. What I am against is the Jekyll and Hyde effect alcohol has on my good friend. I simply do not like him when he's drinking. During the last year or so of our "hanging out", he was usually drinking, thus, I usually didn't care much for him. If it continued I was going to react in a way that would destroy our friendship. His behavior was also putting a strain on my marriage to a degree.

So I isolated myself and my family from my buddy. I quit calling him. I quit taking his calls. I knew the best thing I could do was to let him go and find a way to hit rock bottom. That hasn't happened yet.  Nevertheless I got a call from him and we spoke and he tended to talk to me as if I were still the same party animal I was when we met some 16 or so years ago. I finally got a chance to tell him what was going on in my life. I told him about my growing relationship with Christ and the awesome church I go to. He said he was very happy to know I was going to church because he always thought I was an atheist. This hit me like a brick and I chuckled a bit. I had been saved several years before I ever met my friend but obviously I was so lost from my relationship with Christ that one of my best friends never even knew I believed in God. So I have to ask "Who was I"? Answer: I was a lost Christian that never knew how to have a relationship with Christ and never knew how to live for Christ. At least I thought I was a Christian. I was saved, I was Baptized. I was NOT living a life in Christ. Was I a Christian blinded by sin?  Today, I think everyone knows who I am.. I am Vic Webb and I serve my Father in Heaven. I certainly can't be mistaken for an atheist.

Now I ask you. Who are you. What do your closest friends know about your faith. What do you know about theirs?  If you're blinded by sin or not a Christian at all, what are you going to do about it?

My friend got a text from me inviting him to church. He did say he would come visit if I invited him to church. So far he hasn't come. Maybe he doesn't text. I'm going to finish up here and give him a call. He needs to see who I am. He needs to see Christ in me. I can only pray that he likes what he sees.