The Saints

I know, I know. A Super Bowl game is not going to erase all of Hurricane Katrina. It doesn’t make “everything” better. But to listen to folks from the Gulf Coast talk, it’s the best thing that’s happened there in a long time. I’m so glad the Saints won, and (with all respect to the Colts) I think a whole lot of America was rooting with/for them.

Lest we forget, not everybody stayed in New Orleans after Katrina. Not only people, but even the basketball team left. Lots of folks thought the Saints should pull out and leave.

I love the story about how, when Shawn Peyton recruited Drew Brees, he drove him into the 9th Ward. To hear some tell it, it might have been an accident.

But the legend is now that Brees fell in love with the city, and the idea that it needed some hope to help bring it back. He was in the midst of rehabbing a bum shoulder and it wasn’t a certainty that he could come back.

As he said on Sunday:

“Here we were as a team, trying to rebuild, just like the city was trying to rebuild….I’m coming off that shoulder injury trying to rebuild my shoulder and my career. It’s kinda like, ‘hey, let’s do this together. By leaning on each other, we can give each other strength and hope for something great in the end….I just saw the potential that New Orleans had, really because of the people. People are so passionate‚Ķ. They have so much invested, that they’re not going to give it up.”

This quote is from a pretty nice story by George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel, called “New Orleans QB Drew Brees: How a city in ruins healed a broken man”

It’s a nice read, and my Daily Grat is for the Saints, for Drew Brees, and for whatever healing this win can bring.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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