Posted 7/7/14 at 10:50 AM | Eddie Williams
Many of you have given up on your New years resolution by now… New years resolution, you say? Isn’t it July? Yes, it is and mine is still going strong. Most of you (like me most years) have forgotten what your resolution even was.
This year I decided to read 30 books cover to cover. Now, before you gasp, i’m a big reader, but I have a tendency to jump around in my books without focus (which isn’t all that bad), but I was looking for a challenge to really absorb my reading. A buddy of mine partnered with me for accountability, and at the time of this blog, i’ve completed 19 of my 30 already, with many others nearing completion.
We decided to use Goodreads to track our reading thanks to their newer yearly reading challenge capability. You can set how many books you want to read, and as you mark them as complete, you will see a running percentage total toward your goal, as well as an estimate of how on track you are to reaching that goal. For instance, as of now i’m at 63% of my reading goal, and i am 4 books ahead of my 30 book pace for 2014. Pretty awesome. FULL POST
Posted 7/2/14 at 1:41 PM | Eddie Williams
I had been in a massive funk the past several months. I started a new job (two actually). Add a pregnant wife, a reckless, growing toddler and regular speaking engagements to that mix and you have a recipe for burnout. I had all the telltale symptoms: irritability, heart burn, bags under my eyes constantly, horrible allergies, and just about anything else you can imagine. I felt like nothing could bring any kind of relief for me. I tried sporadic bouts of eating well or supplementing but to no avail. I felt helpless and horribly stressed out. Perhaps the worst part is i’m one of those guys who push through obvious signs of stress and burnout in the name of ‘toughness.’ Little did I know the damage I was doing to myself, both mentally and physically.
It all came to a head one Monday morning. I preached sunday night at my church but had an otherwise relaxed weekend. I spent time with my family and rested fairly well. I woke up to head to the office like I do every morning but something was even more unusual: I was more exhausted then I had ever been. I could hardly open my eyes. I sucked down some coffee. I, being caffeine sensitive, only need a half of a cup to get going, but weirdly the coffee seemed to have zero effect. it was almost if I had drank water. I got to the office at 7:15am or so. I sat at my desk for about an hour trying to check emails. The haze was to dense for me to focus. I grabbed some more coffee. By then my heart was racing, but I felt like I could fall asleep standing up! Then I did something I had never done before: I went back out to my car and slept for and hour. Mind you, it was only 9am! FULL POST
Posted 6/2/14 at 2:40 PM | Eddie Williams
I’m trying but I can’t….
I can’t do it…..
I would but I just can’t….
Fewer words are more debilitating to growth than this dreaded word, “can’t”. It has the power to stop effort in it’s tracks. it has the capacity to alter our course for the day or make us quit a really important task. I’ve seen seemingly capable people fail or quit something based on this very word. Why does this simple word hold such great power?
A better question is: What are you telling yourself? This might be the key to your performance. What other people are saying about you hurts. What other people tell you effects you. But we generally believe 100% of what we tell ourselves. Despite your many past mistakes you always believe yourself. We tend to trust ourselves more than anyone else, even when we know we could be wrong.The brain may be the most powerful tool on the planet. it has the power to crush moods and abilities. It has the power to heal sicknesses physiologically. Your brain has the ability to send yourself into an anxiety attack about some phantom impending danger that isn’t real. Why? because your morale, emotions and performance follow what your brain tells your body. FULL POST
Posted 5/30/14 at 5:23 PM | Eddie Williams
I am very thankful for Kevin Deyoung’s work on biblical inerrancy. This book is like a ladle full of cold water on a scorching hot day. So much is said in passing about how the bible can’t fully true, or that it is an old book so “surely we can’t take it all as 100% true today”. The liberal “scholars” have taken apart the scripture in their networks, both online and at conferences. The bible’s inerrancy is something of the past to them. Many discredit Paul’s writings because of what they feel the context may have been in his day. Of course they feel as if liberal scholarship and it’s current context holds the perfect time period and the perfect scholars to tell us that Paul is wrong in some areas and right in others. Others have begun pitting Paul’s words against Jesus’ words, as if they are in some sort of disagreement with one another. Even more remarkable are those that say Jesus was held captive by his cultural circumstance, so he couldn’t speak on issues we face to today and was ignorant on such matters FULL POST
Posted 5/8/14 at 1:28 PM | Eddie Williams
Financial guru Dave Ramsey has done it again. He is a new York Times Best seller again, this time with his daughter, Rachel Cruze. And this one is as well deserved as his Total Money Makeover success. I’m a young Dad with a 16 month old daughter (and another on the way), but according to Ramsey it’s never too early to start preparing to pass down financial success to your kids. This book put finances in perspective. I remember growing up and watching my mother spin her hamster wheel, living paycheck to paycheck. It was hard on our family being in the money crunch, never being able to get ahead, and living as a slave to bills and credit. Thanks to the author my family has financial freedom and now my little ones can have it too. i can build a legacy and create something new for the Williams family name.
In the book, Rachel Cruze takes the perspective of the child. What would it be like to live with Dave Ramsey in his Gazelle intense days? Well Rachel knows. She tells story after story of financial crack downs. She used to think the word budget was a “curse” word, later to find it was the key to her financial freedom as an adult. I won’t give too many details away, but her parents offered to matched whatever the kids could save on their own for a car once they became teenagers. Rachel saw that they were serious about the match with her older sister earning a nice car a few years ahead of her and decided to outdo her! Great story. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/14 at 3:10 PM | Eddie Williams
I don’t know how they did it. The Clippers had suited up and played a basketball game after finding out that their owner Donald Sterling holds deep animosity towards blacks.
Sterling ranted for nearly 9 minutes to his girlfriend about how she shouldn’t publicly associate with blacks and that she shouldn’t bring them to his games. What he said was horrific and detestable, and is not worth repeating here. But this isn’t what I want this blog to be about. I want to zero in on the players for a second.
Let’s be honest, nearly all the Clippers players are at least part African-American, with only a few exceptions. So I can’t but help wonder if they feel a bit like a hired hand and nothing more. We are only 50 some-odd years out of the civil rights movement, and Donald Sterling was obviously around then, yet still feels antagonism to the black culture. Sterling has brought his pre-civil rights attitude into an organization that literally makes it’s money off of African-American players and coaches. Not to mention the millions of African-American fans that support the Clippers franchise. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/14 at 10:50 AM | Eddie Williams
Last May I was asked to interview for a feature they did on ESPN. I was all in until I heard that the feature was about the prospect of athletes coming out of the closet. These are tricky waters to navigate to a person who is both an athlete and a Pastor. On one hand ESPN would like you to be on one of their top shows, on another, they are asking you to speak on a volatile topic for believers.
After some prayer I decided to do it. I knew there would be backlash but I felt that the upside was far greater for Jesus than any negative effect on me. And sure enough, that was the case. The interviewer and producer were extremely kind and they had mercy in the editing room as well. They didn’t edit out Jesus and his message of both Holiness and Love shined through. So when I was asked to be on the show this time, it only took me a short time of prayer before I was ready to say yes. Of course the topic was on a similar subject. In fact, this time I would be doing a panel with others who had the opposite views I did on the issue of homosexuality.
I think it’s interesting that ESPN has an infatuation with stories on gay athletes. I’m not so sure the interest ends there. Our entire culture is interested in homosexuality. This is ESPN’s attempt to touch on a subject that is rooted in the hearts of all of us: sexuality. Something deeper in all of us is intrigued by sexuality. It gets ratings, and we are no doubt in the middle of a culture shift where homosexuality has become widely accepted (among many other sexual sins: divorce, cohabitation, fornication, pornography etc.) Different manifestations of sexuality in today’s world are no longer being challenged, in fact they are encouraged. Gone are the days where we give counsel to a young couple to marry before living and sleeping together. Gone are the days when Divorce wasn’t the first thing a married couple thinks of when trouble happens. And gone are the days where we viewed what the Bible says about sexuality as RIGHT. Human reason has become the highest authority of everything, including sexuality. The bible is no longer the highest authority for many. Emotions, inclinations and reason have become how our society judges moral justice or injustice. I think ESPN’s interest in this subject is warranted because it’s all anyone is talking about right now. FULL POST
Posted 4/21/14 at 7:30 PM | Eddie Williams
Eddie Williams(Twitter: @realewilliams) is a Christian, a husband and a father, and public speaker, he also leads a ministry as a pastor, called REACH, a young adults ministry at his home church. The 5 year NFL veteran (Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks) speaks weekly at the ministry and has spoken across the U.S. at high schools, colleges, conferences and ministries about a vairety of topics, including leadership, health and faith. Eddie has been a part of numerous programs for youth, including NFL Play60. He has also given back to the community at organizations like the Cleveland Foodbank, Feed My Starving Children and Veterans hospitals. He has also been featured on SiriusXM radio and ESPN Outside the Lines. For more on Eddie, visit: Eddiejwilliams.me
Posted 4/16/14 at 12:18 PM | Eddie Williams
Christopher Hudson does a good job of putting together a book that we can go back and forth to about the questions of Hell and Heaven.
The first thing that stands out is how accessible the book is. Anyone can pick it up and dive in to find an answer to a questions. in fact, at the back of each section there is a list of verses that refer to heaven and Hell in scripture. This makes it easy for the layperson and the non-believer to root themselves in the text.
If what I wrote above is what Hudson intended for the book, then he hit his target. My only gripe about the book is how many other works there are about it. Books on Heaven and Hell are a dime a dozen. There are many different comprehensive works on the subject, and many far more shallow works. I just fail to see how this book ads anything to what’s already out there.
Again, I think using this as a reference book to address new believers is helpful, but I couldn’t see using this as your only go to source on the subject. FULL POST
Posted 4/8/14 at 1:43 PM | Eddie Williams
Last post we touched on the impact and importance of prayer. This week, I want to give you 6 principles that can help you grow in your prayer life:
1. Pray before decisions
Before beginning His ministry Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days. He knew what ministry had in store for Him and a solid connection to the father was crucial to his spiritual life[i]. Jesus prayed before nearly all big decisions, including before selecting the twelve men that would become His disciples[ii]. Do we pray before all decisions? The typical young leader response is yes. But do we pray hard? Or do we pray briefly and then make a decision and hope that God blesses it?
2. Pray for yourself
Many think prayer is something you do for other people when they are struggling. As a young leader, praying for yourself will be crucial to your longevity in ministry. Asking God to keep you healthy, keep your family happy and help you work hard are all prayers God desires to answer. Being in touch with the Father about your own well-being is one of the biggest and best investments you can make. FULL POST