Five Great Reads on Theo Epstein

If you haven't heard, the Cubs just won the World Series. No really, they did. The pathway from a team mired in mediocrity to a first-class operation began with the brilliant hire, by new owner Tom Ricketts, of Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations. When Ricketts made this move in 2011, I knew the Cubs were finally serious about building a wining club. I've been indulging, lately, in profiles of Theo. Here are a few of my favorites: The Curious Have Won - a terrific Ringer piece by Rany Jazayerli on the vindication of the gradual move in baseball toward a data-driven approach. Theo's Curse Breakers - the Five-Thirty-Eight Treatment. Really the combination of Five-Thirty-Eight and Theo Epstein is like the nerd/analytics/data perfect storm Theo Epstein is the Man Behind the Cub Season - the Wright Thompson treatment. I love reading Wright Thompson and here he really gets inside Theo's world. A terrific...

Continue Reading

20 Things I’ve Learned in the 20 Years Since Graduation

In June of 1996, I walked down the aisle, with thirteen others, at Quentin Road Christian School in Lake Zurich, Illinois and received my high school diploma. I distinctly remember the mixture of anticipation and hope I felt that day. Twenty years later, I look back with amazement. First, it’s hard to believe it has been twenty years. I don’t feel that old. Second, I’m stunned by the grace of God displayed in knitting the strands of my life together. Third, there are so many things I’ve learned in twenty years that I wish I could tell 18-year-old me. Here are 20 things I’ve learned since that day, in no particular order: School is just the beginning of learning. Much of what we learn in elementary, middle and high-school is quickly forgotten (until we need it again to help our kids with their homework!). Of course, the basics of math, reading,...

Continue Reading

Is Speaking Your Mind a Christian Virtue? Ten Thoughts from Scripture

We live in an age where “speaking your mind” is considered a virtue and a hailed as a sign of good leadership. But is this trait something the Bible commends? Should Christians be known for “speaking their mind?” There are several truths about our speech we should consider from Scripture: The Bible commends honest speech. Proverbs 6:17 names a “lying tongue” as one of the things God hates. The prophet Zechariah instructed God’s people: “These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another. Paul commands the new covenant people of Ephesus, “Let everyone of you speak truth to his neighbor.” (Ephesians 4:25). Lying is a sin, the product of a fallen nature. Lying is the work of the enemy (John 8:44). So truthful speech is the sign of a redeemed heart. The Bible commends truthful speech for rebuke. Faithful, the Proverbs says, are the wounds of a friend...

Continue Reading

When you stop saying “Thank You”

Many years ago, a writing mentor counseled me with words I'll never forget: "Dan, no matter how far you get in your career, always say 'Thank you' every time someone offers you an opportunity to write." I've never forgotten that advice. Maybe its because my mother taught me--no she actually insisted (you know how mothers can insist with some power)--that I always say thank you. It became a habit of mine, whether through notes or verbal expression or, now, through texts or emails. It's a simple thing, really, to say "Thank you." I've noticed, however, that ingratitude is often the first sign of a troubled heart. When I stop saying "thank you" I know that sin has overcome me. And it seems this is what Paul is getting at in Romans. He says: For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile...

Continue Reading