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May 2011 be your greatest year of Success! Visit us online at www.richiehughes.org (link below)

Superbowl ad is banned b/c “Christian”?

We can't afford to give up on our girls!

It appears that an advertisement on Television’s biggest day has been denied due to it’s “Christian content.” Watch ad: http://bit.ly/i8GEId

Obviously, the eyeblack scriptures ad, made famous by Tim Tebow, is too offensive to the multiplied millions that will watch Sunday’s game. I guess the network prefers less offensive ads like every Beer manufacturer in the world or the insinuated girl on girl activities of Go Daddy?? Some may give up and think we contiune to go to “hell in a handbasket.” Last week, a high ranking church official explained to me why my daughters (9 and 11 years) “have no chance.” Even with this decision about television ads, I respectfully disagree sir.

Isaiah 59:21 “My spirit and My words that I give you will NEVER leave YOU, YOUR Children or YOUR Grandchildren, NOW and FOREVER! ……………..Enough said! This generation is blessed and will know the KING! We MUST keep fighting and telling the story. WILL YOU TELL SOMEBODY THE STORY TODAY??

3 reasons we must go to Chickfila Today!!

I plan to make some kind of purchase from Chickfila multiple days this week. After coming under attack for its support of a pro marriage / pro family group, the NY Times reports that gay and lesbian groups are rallying a petition with over 25,000 signees to boycott Chickfila.

The group sites Chickfila as “Christian” and “Homophobic.” Since when does the word Christian classify someone as Homophobic? Today, I will sign up to follow @Chickfila on Twitter and @dancathy, the company CEO as a sign of my support for their stand on family. 3 reasons we should all make purchases at Chickfila this week:

1. The silent majority – For too long Christians have stood by quietly when a few others make big noise. Counteract that petition of 25k names with record sales this week at their stores nationwide.

2. For future attacks – If this protest hurts sales and draws negative media attention, it just encourages anti Christian groups to pursue other businesses that support Christian values. (Again, let’s have record sales)

3. Chickfila is Dang good!!!! The product is superior to anything else on the market. Thank God for quality from a Christian business. Many of you ended your 21 day fast yesterday. It’s time for a combo #1 with a Strawberry shake!

Additionally, I know the economic impact of closing on Sunday for Chickfila is tremendous, yet they have not waivered on that policy. 

Today: Eat more Chicken!

MUST do’s and don’ts for Funeral Etiquette

After spending the weekend  at a viewing and the funeral that followed, I observed so many things that we, as ministers and friends need to keep in mind during these challenging times.

I lost my brother at 28 and my sister at 32 years of age The losses occurred 4 years apart. This past weekend reminded me of so many do’s and don’ts. When dealing with a death we need to understand the following:

1. Everyone handles grief differently. What we may think appropriate, may be inappropriate for those suffering the loss. Everything from the length of time spent, to the length of time on the phone, to discussing the future without them is sensitive during this time.

2. Even if it is a relief, there is still grief. Cancer, Alzheimers and other terminal illnesses may prompt us to feel that the suffering is finally a relief for all, BUT there is still a period of grief.

3. Listen, Listen, Listen!!!! When I was greiving over the loss of my siblings, I could not believe how many people would share their story or their previous losses. I felt like I had to be the one sympathizing! Never miss a good chance to be quiet. Just be there for your friend or family member.

4. Do not play 20 questions. Allow the person to speak on their terms about the subject they choose. Do not allow yourself or others to bombard those grieving with too many questions.

5. The next 4-6 weeks. With so many people wanting to pay their respects, it is more critical to be there after the adrenaline rush that enables those suffering to get through the actual funeral process. Americans forget in 2 weeks. True love and service should be displayed in the following weeks and months after the crowds, flowers and cards are long gone.

My grief process consisted of the need to quietly meditate on the Lord, His goodness, my siblings seeing HIS face and our memories together here on earth. I DID NOT really want to talk or answer questions. Others may want to talk and unload and that is totally appropriate for them.

Finally, the thing that I really dispised the most was listening to others tell me how they “could relate” due to a loss they had suffered at some point. To me, that is the cardinal sin of funeral etiquette. No one should ever pretend to “relate” to those grieving.  Simply allow some space. Resist the temptation to tell your story, simply live theirs.

If we really want to help, pray and serve the family. Be what they ASK, not what you THINK they need. Remember, it is a physically and emotionally draining experience. Pray without ceasing. God is the strength and the Holy Spirit the comforter.

Distractions!! Can we avoid them?

Distractions! They take us away from what we are supposed to be doing. Distractions cost us time and create consequential results. Productivity suffers and negativity can develop all by virtue of a distraction. Often, my mind races as I study or have devotions. These thoughts can destroy the creativity or my ability to absorb what I am committed to doing. It seems the phone always rings or someone knocks on the door? One day a bird flew straight into my window and dropped dead on the ground- Major distraction!

We have all used the phrase, “Stay the course” at some point in our lives. We know and believe the strategy, yet too many times we get “off course.” Today, Let’s all commit to productivity and creativity by blocking out distractions and saying no to the visual and verbal items that present themselves to us, eating away our time.  What strategies do you use to avoid distractions? I would love to hear about them……

Each generation moves further away from God?

If we are honest, we all worry to some extent about our children and Grandchildren. My girls are only 9 and 11, but it’s been said that “each generation moves further away from God.” That worries ME!!!

Pictured above is a group from one of our recent NFL football camps. They are very racially diverse and come from all different socio-economical backgrounds, BUT most all of them tend to do exactly what we EXPECT from them. (what we model for them)

God’s word has not changed and HIS promises are still “Yes and Amen.” When I worry about my girls understanding the most important things in life, (eternity) I am reminded of this: “My Spirit and My Words that I give you will never leave YOU, or your CHILDREN, or your GRANDCHILDREN. (Is. 59:21)

Statistically speaking, WE (parents) are still the number 1 influence on children over friends, media, etc. Too many parents have not placed enough emphasis on their role, thus allowing the other influences mentioned to trump their role as primary influencers.

Let’s step up today and take the lead in making sure our children do NOT move further away from God, but closer to HIM! My girls may be young, but they are old enough to “get it.” We do church, devotions, prayer and Bible Reading as a family. I am “required” to pass this faith onto the next generation. How about you?

Let me hear your thoughts/ comment….

Wii missed it on MJ Experience: Technically

We got our daughter the MJ Experience for 2 reasons:

1. She wanted it and asked for it as a Christmas present.

2. My wife and I reaalllyy wanted it too.

We have had the Wii console for 3 or 4 years now and have loved the interactive aspects of the games we have. The kids love “Rock Band” and we all love the Bowling, Tennis, Golf, etc. We have been impressed with the Wii Fit program and assumed that the MJ experience would be the best game ever. Here’s why I believe Wii missed it:

1. The entire game is scored on the movements of one hand. The player holds the remote in one hand and that particular movement is the only thing judged.

2. Why did Wii not create a floor mat with sensors ala Wii Fit that measured the footwork of the player.

3. MJ was known for his incredible footwork above anything else. (ex. moonwalk) There is absolutely no measurement for footwork.

4. It’s very difficult to accurately score groups (more than one player) simply because of the movement that “should” take place and the remote/ sensor placed near the Television. Spacing is tough.

MJ is the greatest entertainer of my lifetime, so great that my kids are huge fans even though they are very young and MJ is rarely on the radio anymore. I hate that Wii did not invest more into his greatest traits and create a better “Experience.”

Suggestion: Someone needs to create the “Usher Experience.” Usher is the new MJ. He is still popular with the younger generation and has proven to be an incredible singer/ dancer/ entertainer, etc. You listening X Box?

White as snow?

Ok, I admit I am truly resisting the temptation to draw comparisons from the biggest snow I have witnessed in my lifetime to Jesus’ forgiveness. So, I think I’ll just go this route: Today is truly a WOW! 8 inches of pure powder, kids home and I took the day off. We have played in the snow and tubed down a great hill. Even Steph got in on the action and I must say, she is the ultimate snow bunny! Lunch at home preparing for the BCS game tonight by a warm fire. Go Auburn.

How could any of us complain? I recently read somewhere that “100% of Christians who complain should STOP IT.” While I quote that, I am convicted by my own gripes and negative thinking. Every now and then, things will NOT always go our way. WE are simply so blessed, we have been spoiled. Today, I simply say thank you to one who created this most incredible scenery, to the one who has blessed/ spoiled us, to the one who shows up everytime I seek HIM. I say thank you Lord that Life here is almost perfect, but life there (Heaven) will be truly perfect! Thank you Jesus for this opportunity today!