We’ve all heard humorous distortions of the Golden Rule. We’ve seen bumper stickers that say “He who has the gold makes the rules.” We’ve heard people say, “Do unto others before they do unto you.” Those twists on Jesus’ eternal words are funny because, generally speaking, we’ve experienced or, in some cases, acted on those realities.
I like what I see in Scripture as God’s even higher calling. What the Bible lays out, from start to finish, is the mission from our God to “do unto others as I have done unto you.”
God says forgive others as I have forgiven you.
Christ says love one another as I have loved you.
Paul says accept one another as Christ has accepted you.
This guiding principle — this foundational truth — shapes us and forms who we are and what we do as God’s children and followers of his Son. It’s so much bigger. And broader. And deeper. Richer. Universal. Eternal.
It takes a rich understanding and appreciation for what our God has done for you. It takes an awareness of who you are next to the holy and righteous Creator of Heaven and Earth. It takes a gratitude for his mercy to do unto others as God has done unto you.
May we be a people who do everything we can for one another and others because God in Christ Jesus has done everything for us.
The great state of Texas has outlawed the use of cell phones in active school zones. Effective yesterday — this is so unbelievable to me! — drivers cannot talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving through a school zone. Thankfully, the law is only being enforced in zones where new “No cell phones” signs are in place. And currently none of the school zones in North Richland Hills are affected. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
I’m not a conspiracist by nature. Myles Brand, then President of the NCAA, once told me in between press conferences at a TCU event to be a critic, not a cynic. But I wonder why cell phones are being outlawed in our cars and not the other things that have been documented and proven to cause more accidents?
According to a National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration study that was released this past July, driver inattention is the leading cause of all traffic accidents. But you may be surprised at where cell phones fall on the list of those driver inattention issues. Would you believe it’s sixth?
Drivers talking on cell phones is causing fewer accidents than drivers 1) drinking and/or spilling drinks; 2) changing radio stations or CDs or adjusting the climate controls; 3) reading; 4) eating; or 5) shaving or applying makeup. Cell phones are number six on the list of things that cause accidents. Yet our cell phones are being outlawed.
There’s not even enough research yet to guess where GPS systems and screens are going to eventually factor in to these causes. Fiddling with those things is at least as distracting as anything else.
According to this same report, 80% of all accidents involve driver inattention, 50% involve alcohol, 30% involve speeding, and 70% involve driver aggression. So, you can see, we have more causes than we have accidents.
I don’t see how outlawing cell phones — or trying to force us to purchase and use hands-free devices (not on your life!) — solves the problems. The same logic would require that the government first outlaw food and drink, radios and CD players, talking to passengers, and reading while driving. But who says logic is being used at all?
Eleven more days until the Cowboys regular season begins against the Bucs in Tampa Bay. And we’re counting down the days by recognizing the second-best players in team history according to jersey number.
In Dallas, the number eleven belongs to backup quarterbacks.
Don Heinrich in 1960. Buddy Humphrey in 1961. TCU’s Sonny Gibbs wore #11 as a Cowboy in ’63. Bob Beldon, Danny White, Wade Wilson, Mike Quinn, and Drew Bledsoe all wore #11 in Dallas. Only two non-quarterbacks have ever donned the double-ones: current wide receiver Roy Williams and the second-best #11 in Cowboys history, kicker/punter Danny Villanueva.
Villanueva was acquired from the Rams in the Tommy McDonald trade before the 1965 season. For three years he handled both the punting and the kicking chores for a team that was making the transition from expansion franchise loser to America’s Team. His best year was in 1966 when he finished second in the NFL in scoring with 107 points. He made 56 of 56 extra points that season. And he was in the top ten in the league that year in total field goals made, field goal percentage, punting yards, and yards per punt. It was the Cowboys’ first ever winning season.
Villanueva tells a great story about what he feels like was his finest moment as a Dallas Cowboy. They were playing the Redskins at old RFK when Washington, nursing a 30-28 lead late, nailed a punt inside the Cowboys five. Don Meredith miraculously drove Dallas down the field with passes to Pete Gent and Pettis Norman and Danny Reeves. And with eleven seconds remaining, Meredith was tackled out of bounds, a late-hit penalty was assesed, and Villanueva was set up for a 30-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
It was only 30-yards. But Villanueva says it looked and felt like 80. Reeves bobbled the snap and so Villanueva had to wait on it. There was no timing or rhythm on the kick at all. It was awful. But it sailed over the cross bar, giving Dallas the dramatic 31-30 victory. Pete Richert, the former Dodgers and Washington Senators pitcher, had been sitting in the end zone with his son and actually caught the ball as it went into the stands. He gave it to Villanueva in the locker room. And it’s the only game ball this #11 ever kept.
The win launched the Cowboys on a season-ending run that saw them take five of their final six games, finish the season at 10-3-1, and make it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. It started that historic and still unequaled feat of 20 consecutive winning seasons.
When asked years later what he would have done had he missed the field goal, Villanueva replied, “We were already in Washington, so I would have just taken a taxi to the Mexican Embassy and asked for immediate asylum.”