“Home Run” (movie review)

Home RunHome Run opens in theaters on April 19, 2013, but Betsy and I were privileged to see an advanced screening of this movie.

I’ll be honest with you: Going into the theater I was a bit skeptical. From what I had been told, and the little blurbs I had read and watched, it seemed like it was going to be a bit over-the-top Christianese. I am happy to tell you I was totally wrong!

Home Run follows a baseball player who has been suspended from his team because of his alcohol problem. One of the conditions of his return to the diamond is his attendance at some sort of 12-step program. Cory chose a Celebrate Recovery program.

I loved seeing the stark contrast between the messages of hope Cory was hearing in his Celebrate Recovery meetings, with the lack of success he was having outside of the meetings. Cory attempts to use his own willpower to overcome his addiction, and the emotional scars that led to it, but is unsuccessful at almost every attempt. In his Celebrate Recovery meetings he is hearing how people who surrendered to the love of Jesus (not just “a higher power”) were finding a freedom they had never known before.

I also like how the movie didn’t lead to an all-too-typical Hollywood fairy tale, they-all-lived-happily-ever-after ending. Instead we see Cory on the road to recovery, but with many relationships and situations still to be reconciled.

The movie is rated PG-13 for the subject matter of alcoholism (and the other addictions discussed in the C.R. meetings), and for a rather intense scene with Cory’s drunk, emotionally-abusive father. So I wouldn’t recommend this to families with younger children, but anyone else who is struggling with an addiction, or who knows someone who is, should see Home Run when it opens on April 19.

10 Quotes From “You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader”

You Don't Need A Title To Be A LeaderMark Sanborn has given us a wonderful book to help people be more well-rounded in their leadership, whether they have a title or not. You can read my full book review by clicking here. These are some of the quotes from this book that caught my eye.

“Leaders, untitled or otherwise, realize the extraordinary impact they can have on others and the world around them. They consciously choose to exercise their abilities, skills, and knowledge to help make a difference.”

“The reality is that we all work ‘backstage’ in our lives at times. Real leaders bring the same commitment to excellence to whatever they do, whether on the stage or behind it.”

“I began to see what happened to me as an opportunity rather than an obligation. And it made all the difference. Now when the phone rings, I respond to each call as an opportunity to serve, earn, learn, influence, network, encourage, or teach. The difference isn’t in the caller or the purpose for the call; the difference is in my response. …Genuine, authentic leadership infuses meaning into your life, because you know that your efforts count and that you are serving the needs of others as well as your own.”

“I think of the ‘self-mastery index’ as the ratio between promises made and promises kept—both to oneself and to others. If your mouth keeps making promises that you can’t keep, there is a great deal of room for improvement. Integrity, after all, is measured by the distance between your lips and your life. If you want to be a leader in your own life and in the lives of others, you’ve got to follow through on your own promises, whether you have a title or not.”

“You don’t necessarily have to be smarter or better educated to succeed. Your power lies in your ability to focus on doing what is important. If you focus on the right things, and work at them often, you will achieve exceptional results.”

“People do things for their own reasons, not for yours. To be an effective leader, you need to know how to motivate others.”

“One of the greatest compliments you can be paid as a leader is to have someone say that you helped them be better than they thought they could be.”

“People remember stories. Stories are the coat pegs of the mind. They are where people hang their ideas. Once they have a memorable story to help them remember, they can recall whatever important moral or point you have to make. …Telling an entertaining story is important, but being the story is better.”

“When something doesn’t happen, there is always an explanation. But never accept an explanation as an excuse. …Instead, use explanations to figure out what happened, then look for the lesson that will prevent that something from happening again.”

“Everyone makes a difference. The choice we all have is whether we want to make positive difference or a negative one.”

Catch ‘Em Doing Right

Ken Blanchard was right: we spend way too much time trying to catch someone doing something wrong (or worry that they’re going to do something wrong), and not enough time trying to catch them doing something right.

Good job…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things…. (Philippians 4:8)

…love rejoices in the truth…. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

I should be praying for and looking for praiseworthy things. Why? People generally live up to someone’s expectations (they live down to their expectations too)—especially someone who has demonstrated they care about them.

Listen to John’s right-catching statement:

It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 3-4)

“The truth” is sometimes taught in a Christian home or in a church, or maybe it’s caught there. The child or the churchgoer has heard the truth, but then do we honestly believe the truth—along with God’s Spirit reminding them of that truth—somehow becomes ineffectual?

We often act like that. We’re more willing to believe the negative reports than the positive reports. Perhaps, like John, I need to be more ready to catch others doing right. Perhaps I need to be more ready to rejoice in the success stories. Perhaps I need to pray for greater discernment to see the positive changes the truth is making in those I love.

If we pray, God will help us catch others doing right.

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