John Embry's Out on a Limb: A Party for Prostitutes?
For this week's installment of Out on a Limb, we travel to Louisville for a softball convention, reflect on the Chamber of Commerce's first luncheon of 2012, ponder the meaning of "A Party for Prostitutes," and get an Independence Day update — not a good one. So, let's get started!
A Party for Prostitutes: MCC Senior Pastor Josh Scott preached a sermon this morning (Sunday) that everyone should hear. In this final installment in a series about the beauty of the Christ's bride — the Church, Josh emphatically made the point that the Christian church is at its best when it preaches the universal message of love rather than condemnation. Christ came for the sick, not the healthy. He came for the sinner, not for the saint; for the broken, not for the whole.
Josh showed a short video clip from sociologist/minister Tony Campolo who spoke about an incident in his life where he actually threw a party for prostitutes. Taken in context, Campolo's point was that the message of Christ is inclusion, not seclusion. That is a message that needs to be preached — one based on love, not centered on fire and brimstone, hell and damnation. That is a message that was preached earlier today at MCC. Contact the church at 526-5026 for an inexpensive audio version of Josh's sermon. It's worth your time.
SoftballCON 2012: On Friday and Saturday, I attended SoftballCON 2012 in Louisville with Assistant Coach Katie Kirby, along with wife Beth and daughter Isabella Faye. It was a good two-day event that featured multiple guest speakers, most notably Jessica Mendoza, KSHAA folks, members of the Kentucky Softball Coaches' Association, and several sporting goods vendors.
Come February 15, I will start my 11th year coaching high school softball but I'll be the first to admit that there's a lot I don't know. More specifically, there are others in the business that know more and I can definitely benefit from listening to them talk about what has worked for them and what hasn't. I paid close attention to those who spoke about the importance of team chemistry and the impact it has on any team's success. The importance of teamwork can't be overstated. Talent can take you a long way; hard work can take you even farther; but working and functioning together as a team can take you to places that you didn't think possible. Tips I like my teams to follow? Avoid gossip like the plague, don't feed in with negativity, never talk critically about a teammate, airing a team's dirty laundry on Facebook or Twitter is never acceptable, and always make sure your individual actions contribute to the overall betterment of the team. If they don't, then you shouldn't be doing it!
Chamber of Commerce: The Morgantown-Butler County Chamber of Commerce is one of those local organizations that is easy to criticize. That thought crossed my mind this week as the Chamber hosted its first luncheon of 2012. With its sponsorship of the Catfish Festival, Harvest on the Square, and the annual Christmas Parade, the Chamber is an easy target. It has multiple opportunities to make people mad. What about all that money you take in from the Catfish Festival? Why don't you organize Harvest on the Square differently? The Christmas Parade should always be at night! The Christmas Parade should always be in the day! Heck, I've even weighed in on that one.
But, it's important to remember that the Chamber is essentially composed of one paid employee, an unpaid board of directors and officers, and a ton of community volunteers. It does good work and Beech Tree Media is proud to be a part of it. Perfect work? No, but show me an organization that is perfect. They will be hard to find.
I will offer one other suggestion — get rid of the mayor and judge-executive and quit taking their money. Oops … let me state that differently. Linda Keown and David Fields are fine people … I just don't think those positions should be members of the Chamber's board of directors. I voted against adding them to the Chamber board several years ago when I was a board member because I thought it was a bad idea. I still do. The primary purpose of the Chamber is to represent its business membership and the broader community. Most of the time that requires working closely with government leaders. But, sometimes that may mean opposing their policies. How can you do that when you're taking their money? Now that's a good question.
UPDATE: - Independence Day from Fat: On this, the second week of my quest for independence from fat, I suffered a setback. On Wednesday, I had lost another pound, down to 238 from my original weight of 241. By Sunday morning, and two days of a softball convention later, I weighed in this morning at 241 again. So, I've gone two weeks and have lost no weight. I will not make excuses. I got off my routine the last couple of days — too much food and drink coupled with no exercise. The result: weight gain. It's my fault … and now I must regroup. I have 31 days to lose 12 pounds if I am to meet my first weight-loss goal, which is to weigh 229 by March 1. I've made it harder for myself but I'm still determined to reach my goal. Pray for me.
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John Embry is the author of Out on a Limb. He is the co-founder and vice-president of Beech Tree Media (www.beechtreenews.com and Beech Tree 1570 AM WLBQ). John teaches American History (8th Grade) at Butler County Middle School and is the head softball coach at BCHS and BCMS. He is married to Beth and they have one daughter, four-year-old Isabella Faye. They live in Aberdeen - site of the original "beech tree." He can be reached at [email protected].