What I Learned From Andy Dalton, Quarterback for Cincinnati Bengals
“Andy Dalton’s character and the way he handled adversity deserves to be mentioned. His actions are rare today, especially in sports.
We all go through setbacks or even feel like we have been benched. Sometimes we are not treated fairly, but how do we respond?
As we all know we are at the end of the football season, with the Super Bowl just ahead of us. While I do not care for sports at all, this has been an interesting year for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals had a very bad year. With a new coach, Zac Taylor, and with no wins to their credit, it looked like they were headed to their 12th loss, which would had been referred to as the “dirty dozen.”
However, they managed to pull off a win by beating the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 1 with an amazing score of 22 to 6. To get to their first win, there were some bumps for the nine-year quarterback Andy Dalton.
Normally I would not be writing about football but Andy Dalton’s character and the way he handled adversity deserves to be mentioned. His actions are rare today and especially in sports.
After a record of 0-8 at the beginning of the season, Dalton was told he would be benched on his birthday. “Happy Birthday Andy, but you have been benched, go eat your cake on your bench,” as I have been kidding with people around me. Of course, it was not a laughing matter for Dalton and I am sure it was humiliating. What was inspiring for me was to watch his amazing example throughout this ordeal.
Dalton did not get mad and quit, instead he got out there, encouraged and worked with the quarterback and his teammates for the next three games. As reported by WCPO Cincinnati, Dalton said he “wanted to be bitter when Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor benched me during week 9 so the coach could see if rookie Ryan Finley could reinvigorate the offense. It took me a day or two before I realized that was not going to get me anywhere.”
Of course, Dalton had no idea whether he would return to play the lead quarterback for the Bengals. However, he still pushed on and set an outstanding example not only for his team but also for all us to watch. In the face of all the adversity, Dalton kept his faith, his trust in God, and maintained a positive attitude! Even Dalton’s coach, Zac Taylor, who benched the quarterback, noticed Dalton’s attitude.
“Just his veteran leadership, his presence, his character, he stands for all the things you want in a player. And, so for him, when he’s the backup quarterback, he’s thinking ‘I didn’t get to finish with a win.’ You felt terrible for that part of it. So, for him to come back and lead us the way he led us and get this win is just… you know, it says a lot about his character and the adversity he’s overcome,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He just kept being the leader through it all.”
“I didn’t know why it was happening, but I knew God has a plan for me,” Dalton said. “He has a plan for my family and my life, and I had to trust and believe in that. This is just part of my story and part of something I’m going to be able to relate to people on a different level now than I probably could not have before. Initially it was tough, but I wasn’t going to let the circumstance really get to me.
“At the end of the day, that’s not who I want people to see me to be, and that’s not my character,” he added. “That’s not what God has called me to be.” Dalton relied on his faith to get him through those rough few weeks before he was brought back as quarterback.
We all go through setbacks or even feel like we have been benched like Dalton. Sometimes we are not treated fairly, but how do we respond? Do we continue to trust God knowing that He is in charge of our life no matter what direction or situation we may find ourselves? Dalton had no idea he would ever be playing again for the Bengals. However, when he did come back, he came back with a major win for his team.
Dalton’s faith in God even through adversity reminded me of my favorite scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (New International Version).
While Andy Dalton did not know what his future was when he was benched, he knew that God was in charge of his life. In addition, while going through his trial, he went on to help and encourage his teammates.
Let us all learn from Andy Dalton’s amazing example. To persevere when we have setbacks that we do not understand. To set a positive example for those around us to learn from. To know that God is indeed in charge of our life for our good and for the good of others around us.
Of course, our future is far greater than being a starting quarterback on a football team; as our goal is to be in God’s great Kingdom.
In the meantime, we will have to go through highs and lows before we get there. How will we respond when we are hit with the lows? Always know that God will see you through it. And people are watching to see how we respond.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/what-i-learned-from-andy-dalton-quarterback-for-cincinnati-bengals
The Bee’s Knees and Cat’s Pajamas
“The cat’s pajamas, the bullfrog’s beard, the elephant’s adenoids, they all pale in comparison to the bee’s knees.
As bees are responsible for at least 70% of the world’s agriculture by way of pollination, a world without bees would largely mean a world where many humans go hungry. It would mean a world where plants are not able to reproduce, and where the animals that eat them would die out in just a few years.
Domestic and imported fruits and vegetables dependent on pollination include
- sunflowers for oil
- citrus fruit
According to Sustain, the Alliance for Better Food and Farming, “for crops such as blueberries and almonds, the honey bee plays an essential role in pollination of commercial crops, with around 80% of the US crop said to be dependent on honey bees. Honey bees can also pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are fed to cattle, so there are implications for the meat and dairy industry too. And that is not to mention the huge range of manufactured food products made from all these ingredients.”
Even as a hypothetical, a planet without bees is a frightening concept, but the fact is, we may be approaching that stage faster than many realize. While dangerous neocontid-based pesticides have increased in use over the last few decades, and agricultural claims around the world expand into lands ripped from nature by clear-cutting and deforestation, the world has meanwhile lost almost 90% of its bees.
As Albert Einstein once said, “If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live.” To that extent, humans better get their five years plans in order, or find a way to save the bees.
As Greenpeace maintains, the latter shouldn’t be considered out of reach. There is still time to save the bees from extinction, despite their dwindling trajectory. The conservation group suggests banning the seven most dangerous pesticides (including nicotine-based substances), preserving wild habitats where bees live, and advocating for ecologically-minded agricultural practices.
The most prolific methods of farming today are also the most detrimental to our environment, Greenpeace reports. Mono-crop planting reduces ecosystem diversity, and in turn, decreases insect populations. Ecological farming involves planting a variety of crops that are complementary to the environment, fertilizing with natural composting systems, rather than harsh chemicals, and leaving out the dangerous pesticides altogether. The yields from such methods may be less than current industrial-scale operations provide, but the long term risks are greatly reduced.
As pollution and the potential for soil loss from wind and water erosion decrease, and pollinating insects find work to be done on farms once more, the bees will have a good reason to return.
Learn more about the implications of a planet without bees in the video below.”
_________Think Before You Act
A run-in with a rattlesnake brought an important lesson about how our brains work.
Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/NsZadMVjqWk
[Gary Petty] “A number of years ago, when my son was a teenager, we were hiking in the Chisos Mountains in Texas, and we had hiked up about 7,000 feet. We’re coming down, we’re both tired, and we’re walking along, both of us have our heads down as we’re walking down this very steep trail, and I suddenly heard a noise. And I stopped. And he ran right into the back of me, because he was looking down also, and he said, “What’s wrong?” And there was a split second, I’m trying to think what’s wrong, and then I realized what it was. And I looked down, and there was about a four-foot rattlesnake rattling and coiled, and I was about to step on it.
Now, what’s interesting there is how the brain works. I actually went afterwards and read a book on how does the brain work, because I didn’t think, “Oh, a rattlesnake.” All I did was feel fear. I heard the rattle, I knew that’s not right, and I felt fear. I then thought, “A rattlesnake.” Now, think about what would have happened if my brain worked the other way. What if the cognitive part stepped in first? And I woulda heard a rattle and said, “Ha, that sounds like a rattlesnake. I wonder if it’s a western rattlesnake or an eastern rattlesnake.” I would have stepped on the rattlesnake. But the fear stopped me. And then the reasoning part of my brain kicked in. It’s amazing because that means we’re designed to survive. You know, when you’re in a car and you’re driving and a guy starts to swerve over, you don’t say, “Hey, look, that guy is swerving into me.” You react, usually out of fear, and then you say, “Wow, he almost swerved into me.” Now, between those two things that happen in your brain, it’s just a millisecond, but it’s very important which happens first. The emotion causes you to react, and then the reasoning tells you what to do.
Here’s the problem. Every time you’re in a confrontation with someone or in conflict or in argument, what’s the first thing that happens? Anger. Feeling the need to defend yourself. Maybe just being resentful. Think of all the things that happen the moment we’re in conflict. What do we do? We have the feeling first, and then what happens is reason kicks in. How many times have you’ve been screaming in your head, “Don’t say that,” but you say it anyway? Because you know, the reasoning part of your brain is saying, “This is wrong. Don’t do this.”
This is one of the most difficult things we all have as human beings, is that little, little split amount of time between emotion and reason. So what we have to learn to do when we’re interacting with each other is, when we have an emotion, a strong negative emotion with somebody, before we say anything, make yourself stop. Now, I’ve met people who do this, and it’s sort of interesting. Because someone will say something, you know it was hurtful, you know it made them angry or it just made them feel bad, and yet, there’s a few seconds where they sort of look down, and you could see they’re thinking. And then they’ll look up and they’ll answer. Now, their answers still may be, “You know, that was wrong. That hurt my feelings,” but there’s a certain edge off of it. And the reason why is they let that little bit of time stretch out. And in stretching it out, they let the reason catch up, and now, they have more control of what they’re actually saying and doing.
This is one of the most important things we need to learn to do. And in that little time, in between the emotion and what happens, the reason kicks in, the biggest thing that could help us is to know the Scripture. Daily reading that Bible so that what happens in between the emotion and the reason and the response is a scriptural answer, a prompt from God that comes into your mind and says, “This is what you should do,” or “Don’t do this,” or “Here’s how you handle this. This is what Jesus would have done.” It’s there. If we’re not in that Bible every day, well, we’re just being driven by that emotion or what’ll happen is we’ll let a little time happen, but we’ll start to use our own reasoning to defend ourselves. We’ll self-deceive ourselves. What we have to do is have the Bible there, have that knowledge, that wisdom from God there, there in our minds so that it pops in and becomes the prompt.
So next time you’re about to get into an argument or someone has really hurt you, and you know, you’re gonna respond with crying or whatever, before you respond, take a few seconds. It’s like they tell children all the time, you know. Put your hands together, take a couple of big breaths. Well, do that mentally. Calm yourself down. And in that time period, let the Bible, let God tell you what to reason and reason out your response. You’re gonna find you’ll have a whole lot less negative conflict. And even if the other person doesn’t do that, you’re gonna have better control of yourself and be happier yourself.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/think-before-you-act
Because I have moved, I had to get a new health insurance that is good in Grimes County. A while ago they sent a nurse to check my blood pressure etc, but they really wanted my doctor to see me. So on Wednesday I was examined and blood tests were ordered. So in between walking the dog for sometimes up to 45 minutes before she will pee, and all the other things that one has to do, I went to the “vampire” and let her (pun intended) take some of my blood.
As I had been so busy with the dog, and other things, I didn’t have time to cook anything for the church potluck, so I bought some different flavored Mexican concha at our local Brookshire Bros. grocery store. Conchas Mexicanas! https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/concha-recipe . As I have mentioned before, our congregation has two simultaneous services, one in English and one in Spanish, but we all eat together in the dining hall. I cut them up into thin slices and arranged them in a round container, and they were quickly eaten up.
The sermon was about “Resolutions”, and given by an elder, as the pastor wasn’t there for the Sabbath on Saturday.