Niece Headed to Mission Field, Support Needed

Prayer, Encouragement, Support. This is what my 15 year old niece, Maci, needs now that she has made the courageous commitment to join the iGo mission team this summer in an effort to reach out to the lost farming communities of France.

We all could not be more proud.

Feeling a strong call to take this step of faith, Maci will join a group of other students from around the country and head to Europe in an effort to minister to people that rarely hear the modern Gospel. She is nervously excited about what lays ahead – lots of work, little rest but many new friends and the experience of seeing God in action in another land.

Pray for her trip today and consider helping support her financially. iGo strongly urges students raise their own funds and discourages parents from providing big financial support, so it is all on the rest of her family and friends.

Maci needs our help! Will you please consider supporting her in prayer and in giving?

Send Donations to:

Walnut Ridge Baptist Church
Attn: Wayneen Cassidy c/o Maci Jensen
1201 South SH 360
Mansfield, TX 76063

You will be helping her learn more about God’s work while she shares God’s love to those in France!

For more visit: http://www.igoglobal.org/

Thanks everyone!

Quinn Fund Helps Families Adopt Children in 2009 & 2010

We recently learned that the adoption fund we set up in our son’s name helped three kids in 2009 and two more in 2010 find forever families!

Thanks to each of you that have made a special effort to donate what you can to this fund named after Quinn. Every dollar helps a kid like him bless a family like ours!

Dillon International (our adoption agency) handles the fund and because of the economy funds are needed more now than ever before. Please click the link below to donate today! Just choose “Quinn Fund” from the list.

http://www.dillonadopt.org/

I promise fewer things make God smile bigger than helping an orphan!

Thanks everyone!

Disney World Is Magic

Every family should have the Disney World experience.

Two of my greatest memories in life center around visits to the world of Disney in the heart of Florida. Mom and dad sacrificed their time and money to take my sister and me twice during the 80s. Those two trips were some of the greatest times we ever had together.

Nothing compare to seeing Mickey and the gang and watching the Disney World come to life around you. I can recall those times like they were yesterday and I am so thankful mom and dad created that memory for us.

Eight years ago Julie and I made our own Disney World memories during our honeymoon stay. She too had gone with her family as a kid. It was so exciting to re-live the childhood memories as newlyweds and see sites we hadn’t seen in 20+ years. Even in our 30s we still got as excited as kids when we ran across Mickey, Goofy or one of the others. We had our images engraved in stone at Epcot for us to come back and see later. We had no idea one day soon we would do just that, with three kids in tow.

In just a few days, our kids are going to get the experiene of lifetime and so will we as we take our turn in passing down the Disney World visit tradition. The kids are freaking out about seeing Elmo, Cinderella, SnowWhite, Mickey, Donald, Kermit, Woody, Buzz Light Year, and so many others I cannot even remember.

Years later I hope Chloe, Sidney and Quinn have those moments of thinking about this trip. The fun times with mom and dad and each other all while hanging with the Disney gang.

Oh boy, it’s gonna be fun!

Letter from the NFL

With one of the most exciting regular seasons now completed and the playoffs about to begin, let me first thank you and all NFL fans for your incredible support. Many fans have been asking me where we stand on signing a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union. Let me update you and be clear at the outset:

I know we can and will reach an agreement.

My goal as Commissioner now is to help our teams and players find a solution that is fair to everyone and ensures that football becomes more popular, accessible, and fun. We want the next decade to be the best yet for our fans, and I’m ready to work day and night to make that happen.

We’ve come a long way. Compare where we are today with 10 years ago. From player accountability to player safety, more and better television coverage, upgrading the in-stadium experience, innovations like the RedZone channel, the Draft in prime time and playing the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl, we are focused on doing what’s best for the players, teams, and fans. My priority is and always will be the game and the fans who love our game.

The NFL is great because fans care deeply about it. Economic conditions, however, have changed dramatically inside and outside the NFL since 2006 when we negotiated the last CBA. A 10 percent unemployment rate hurts us all. Fans have limited budgets and rightly want the most for their money. I get it.

Yes, NFL players deserve to be paid well. Unfortunately, economic realities are forcing everyone to make tough choices and the NFL is no different.

These are not easy negotiations, but the outcome can be positive. If both sides give a little, everyone, including fans, will get a lot and the game will improve through innovation.

Even in difficult economic times, a new CBA presents us with the opportunity to secure the future of our game. You may ask how will the NFL look under this vision?

A significant change would be to resolve fan complaints about preseason by modifying our 20-game format. Fans tell us they don’t like the quality of the preseason games, and we’re listening. An enhanced season of 18 regular season and two preseason games would not add a single game for the players collectively, but would give fans more meaningful, high-quality football.

Our emphasis on player health and safety is absolutely essential to the future of our game. We are strictly enforcing rules that protect players from unnecessarily dangerous play, especially involving hits to the head. We are changing the “play through it” culture to a “player-first” culture to ensure that if a player has a head injury, he doesn’t play again until his health is certain. We are also addressing the potential wear-and-tear on players in the way they train in-season and off-season.

It’s not just the health of players that concerns us. We must ensure the health of the league. That includes a new system that properly compensates proven veterans and retired players by shifting some of the outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated published a list of the 50 highest-paid American athletes that included five 2009 NFL rookies. Every other athlete on the list was a proven veteran. In 2009, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field.

Don’t get me wrong: top draft choices will continue to be highly paid. All we’re asking for is a return to common sense in paying our rookies. Other leagues have done this and we can too.

These improvements and more will lead to better football, plain and simple. A forward looking CBA that is fair to players and clubs will lead to a great future for the NFL and our fans.

My job is to represent the game – the fans, teams, players, coaches and business partners. Protecting the integrity of the game and ensuring it thrives is a responsibility I take very seriously.

This is about more than a labor agreement. It’s about the future of the NFL. We have to improve and will be relentless in our quest. The commitment to our fans is to make the NFL experience even better in the years ahead. With a responsible CBA, we will fulfill that vision.

Happy New Year and enjoy the playoffs.

– Roger Goodell

New Opportunities, Not New Resolutions

Sure I’ve done the New Year’s Resolutions thing too and like most of us failed at keeping most of them. But now I look at things differently as I ponder the new year in front of me.

It’s about seizing opportunities. Opportunities to pay off some debts, spend more time with friends and family, serve and give more, build a business, save more money, lose some weight, get closer to God or enjoy the journey more.

I am excited about 2011 like no year in a very long time. In front of Julie and me are opportunities like those above. We intend to pay off more debts like we did in 2010, travel a little more, give and serve even more and of course we both have full intentions to get healthier…yes even me! I even plan to finally publish my first real book sometime this spring. Just in the process of editing it now…

We start the year off with a bang later this month by taking the family to Disney World (that was our big Christmas present) and then we get focused on all of those “opportunities” mentioned rounding it off with a fun trip to Galveston once again this summer.

Mostly, I am excited about what God is doing with my comany, Equal Health, and watching Him rebuild it has been amazing. We are well on the way to rebuilding our residual income base thanks to some new health plans we now offer. It’s going to be an exciting year. The more we can earn the more we can give!

Take some time to consider the opportunites in front of you during the next 365 days. God will put them in front of you, that I can promise!