Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top of the List

Jeremy Lin’s name appears at the top of the list of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012. Who would have imagined an Asian-American, basketball-loving kid would spark Linsanity and influence the world? When a billion Chinese stop what they are doing to tune in to a Knicks game to watch Lin play, then we get a glimpse of his reach around the world. 

Would Jeremy have predicted this as a child or as a high school basketball star that no college team recruited? How about as a benchwarmer or a player dropped from two other NBA teams? 

God had a bigger plan for Lin, much larger than any of us could have fathomed. Linsanity lit up New York and the world for several weeks. Though Lin is currently recovering from knee surgery, his influence continues.

Lin’s faith kept him going when it would have been easier to give up and move on. God had a plan for him. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
 
Proverbs 22:29 also comes to mind, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men." The plan for our lives is not the same as Lin’s, but he could not have anticipated the amazing future God had for him. We may not influence the whole world, but we can excel in our work and take part in God’s plan for us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More to Life than Linning

Jeremy Lin’s 7-game Linning streak came to an end Friday night with an unexpected loss to New Orleans. We knew it had to happen. Kind of reminds me of the Packer’s perfect season ending with a surprising loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Lin and the Knicks came back on Sunday night with a Lin against the world champion Mavericks. The Lin-sanity continues!

We had a Lin-sane basketball weekend also, with three games each for our 11-year-old “Lil Lin” and teenage “Jeremy.” Our 14-year-old’s friends now call him “Jeremy Lin” while our 11-year-old point guard played like Lin, with 30 points for the weekend including four 3-point shots. That takes “Lil Lin” to 7 of 14 3-pointers for the season.

Inspired by the real-life Lin and a teammate’s dad encouraging him to shoot more 3s, our “Lil Lin” lit up the net with 14 points on Friday night, 12 on Saturday, and a tired 4 on Sunday. The smallest player on his team, he often protected the ball against two to three defenders at a time and rarely turned it over.

Our teenage “Jeremy” played tough in three games on Saturday, resulting in three wins for their tournament team. Playing post against guys taller and bigger than he, our “Jeremy” muscled his way in there to box out, rebound, and make some shots. During a break between games, our teen bought a Knicks shirt at the Eastbay store in Wausau. It didn’t have “Lin” written on the back, but he wanted it anyway. Lin is now the favorite player for both our boys.

“Lil Lin’s” team had a win, loss, and win to end their regular season on a high note of 9 Lins to 6 losses. It could not have been higher, as our 11-year-old was baptized on Sunday upon his profession of faith, and then we raced the 30-minute drive to make his game at 1:15. It was good to see his teammates and fans welcome him to the game, which we were expecting to miss. He arrived two minutes before the game began, and we ended up with a Lin by 1. To Lin-finity and beyond!

Of course we realize that life is more than sports and Linning, which Lin seems to get. Whatever we are called to do or wherever we are placed, the end of man is to do all to the glory of God. Whether it’s sports, work, or ministry that we are called to do, that avenue can be used to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

1 Corinthians 10:31:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lin-sanity has Lin-vaded Our Home!

Seven Lins in a row! That’s Lin-credible! We are going Lin-sane!!

As I scribbled some notes for this blog post while waiting for our son’s dentist appointment this morning, I realized that Lin-sanity has indeed Lin-vaded our home. We now call our older son “Jeremy” and our younger one “Lil Lin.” And don’t forget about Coach Lin and Mama Lin to finish the family. The Asians are coming out in droves to see Lin play, chanting S.A.T. at his games (that’s sooooooooooo Asian), reading every Lin article online, and watching Lin highlights over and over on espn.com.

This Taiwanese-American, Harvard graduate has inspired a new generation of Asian basketball players, all two of them. I realize I’m exaggerating, though it can seem that way in Wisconsin where our boys play.

I listen to comments from the crowd when our 70-pound, sixth-grader brings the ball down, “Oh he’s so little, but he really knows how to handle the ball. He’s really fun to watch.” When our “Lil Lin” scores, the crowd seems so surprised. He’s made 3 of 7 3-point shots this season and, when confronted with three 200-pound defenders (no joke) blocking his way at half court, “Lil Lin” finds a way to dribble or pass around them.

Our eighth-grader has a passion for basketball, which he brings to his tournament team. Lin is a good role model of a smart, Christian athlete who puts team ahead of self and works hard to improve his game. The other day our sixth-grader told me he had a new favorite NBA player, Lin, to replace his former favorite Yao. Perhaps people will stop calling our tall teenager Yao now. We’d be fine hearing “Jeremy” instead.

The significance of Lin is showing that Asian-Americans can succeed in something other than medicine, engineering, and accounting. He’s the native son who we claim as our own and hope our kids aspire to be: Harvard-educated and competitive in the National Basketball Association. He seems to handle the attention with humility and ease, staying true to his faith, and not taking success for granted.

For our Asian family whose boys are heavily involved with sports, it’s important to find an Asian-American who excels in this area in addition to academics. When we spot another Asian on the court, our boys usually end up guarding them and chasing the American dream, which is what Linning is all about.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

14 More Tips for Successful Family Trips

My last article has been published over at Heart of the Matter today. After three and a half years of writing monthly for this parenting website, I've simply run out of things to say. I've enjoyed the opportunity to contribute and share my thoughts on a variety of topics. I'll miss it going forward and hope to update my personal blogs once in a while. For now, you can find me on Facebook, which I check regularly. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fathers

In addition to Thanksgiving, November is the month of my father's birth, so I decided to write a blog post about Fathers at Heart of the Matter this month. We met for lunch on Saturday with my parents, brother, and his wife to celebrate another year of life. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!