Rugby World Cup

Good morning! I am currently up watching the Rugby World Cup Finals between England and South Africa. I have never played rugby, but I have become a huge fan the last few years. I have so much respect for rugby players. Of course I was rooting for Team USA, but they went out early. So I will be rooting for South Africa in the Finals. If you have never checked out rugby, I would encourage you to watch the World Rugby Finals. ~OC

My Hero, The Hope Dealer

Last night, Laura and I had the honor of attending the first Inner City Innovators Gala to celebrate the young men who this amazing organization helps. It was also a time to celebrate one of my heroes Mr. Ricky Aiken. Let me tell you about my hero.

I met Ricky when he was about 14 or 15 years old. I was volunteering with a great organization Urban Youth Impact at the time. Ricky and I just hit it off. I think it was our mutual love for books and sports. You know God is real when he brings a Boston Celtics fan and a LA Lakers fan together. As happens in life, we lost contact for a brief period. When Ricky turned 18 we reconnected around his birthday. My wife had heard about Ricky and wanted to celebrate his birthday. Oh, did we celebrate. My wife had a blast taking Ricky shopping. I think Ricky might have been a little overwhelmed by Laura’s enthusiasm, but he indulged her. That day Ricky became Laura’s son. It is a relationship that has continued to grow throughout the years. Laura still loves celebrating Ricky’s birthday.

Back in 2015, one of Ricky’s friends was shot and killed. For Ricky that was the last straw. He could no longer sit around and watch his community be destroyed by gun violence. That is when Inner City Innovators was born. Ricky has become a leader in his community. A leader in his city. And I believe in time, a national leader. This from a young man labeled emotionally disabled by the educational system. How I wish the person who made that incorrect diagnosis could see Ricky now. To see the Man he has become. The Leader he has become. The Hope Dealer he has become.

I could go on and on about my godson and the man he has become. Laura and I are so proud of him. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we see all that Ricky has accomplished in life. We are thankful God has blessed us with a front row sit. I pray that one day, Ricky will write a book and share his amazing story with the world. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to check out Inner City Innovators at http://www.innercityinnovators.org.

Big Money! Don’t Apologize.

Free agency started in the NBA yesterday. Some huge contracts were signed and more to come. I have already seen some negative post about athletes making so much money. I am sure there will be more negative post and articles. Would I love for our teachers, nurses, first responders and those in the military sign those huge contacts instead of athletes? I would love that. Sadly, that will not happen anytime soon. In America we love our sports. I am definitely guilty of being a huge fan. That is why I will never criticize an athlete for making millions of dollars. We the fans created the market. So we have to live with seeing athletes continuing to sign big money deals. I always find it interesting that we celebrate the business owner who does well financially and call it free enterprise. The American Dream! But when it comes to athletes, we complain they are overpaid. Which I believe most of them are, but once again we the fans created the market. If we truly wanted to see our teachers, nurses, first responders and military personnel given million dollar contracts we would demand it. But we don’t. Instead of complaining about the huge contracts athletes are signing, start demanding that we pay our teachers, nurses, first responders and military personnel what they truly deserve. As voters, we have the power to effect change. For me, I will continue to support an athletes right to sign those huge contracts. One day, I hope to celebrate our teachers, nurses, first responders and military personnel signing those huge contracts. ~OC

Some of My Favorites

Some of my favorites:

Team:

Cincinnati Reds

Boston Celtics

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Florida Gators

Players:

Baseball: Johnny Bench

Basketball: Larry Bird

Football: Lee Roy Selmon & Derrick Brooks

Florida Gators: Al Horford, Danny Wuerffel & Tim Tebow

Coach: Tony Dungy

Movies:

Hoosiers

Selma

Brian’s Song (The Original)

12 Years a Slave

Woodlawn

Remember the Titans

Doc Hollywood

Facing the Giants

13th

America History

Any Jimmy Stewart Film

Music:

Kirk Franklin

U2

Michael Jackson

Prince

TobyMac

DC Talk

Bruce Springsteen

George Michael

Bee Gees

4Him

Queen

Elton John

Alisa Turner

Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Anthony Evans

Run-DMC

Lecrae

FC Worship

Lionel Richie

The Commodores

Stevie Wonder

Rod Stewart

Kenny Chesney

Truth

Michael English

Proverb

Kim Walker-Smith

Harry Connick Jr.

Michael Neale

Tenth Avenue North

Jeremy Camp

Journey

Earth, Wind & Fire

Hall & Oates

Def Leppard

Hillsong United

Jackson 5

Luther Vandross

Whitney Houston

Adele

Books:

Bible

America Story by Bob Dotson

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

Moment Make by Carlos Whittaker

Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson

Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson

Unscripted by Ernie Johnson, Jr.

Living Out Loud by Craig Sager

I’ll Push You by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray

Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad

Love Does by Bob Goff

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Radical by David Platt

Transformed by Remi Adeleke

Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Drop the Stones by Carlos A. Rodríguez

Brave Surrender by Kim Walker-Smith

Comeback by Dave Dravecky

When You Can’t Comeback by Dave & Jan Dravecky

Quite Strength by Tony Dungy

Separate Peace by John Knowles

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Believe by Eric LeGrand

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

God & Football by Chad Gibbs

The Pact:Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt

Vulnerable by Raleigh Sadler

This Life I Live by Rory Feek

42 Faith by Ed Henry

The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores

Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes

Long Run by Matt Long

Forty Thousand To One by Ben Petrick

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

When The Game Was Ours by Jackie MacMullan

Catch You Later by Johnny Bench

Love Thy Rival by Chad Gibbs

This is just a short list of my favorites. I could go on for days. ~OC

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑