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Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
I was preaching recently in a Campmeeting in central Mississippi. One of the most faithful people in attendance was also one of the most outstanding high school basketball coaches in the State of Mississippi.  His name is Billy Rhodes. He recently started his 45th year of coaching!
I asked Coach Rhodes how many games he had won. He didn’t know. A couple of years ago his team went 35-1 and won the State Championship. He probably won 20+ games a year for most of his career. I asked him about his success as a coach and he said, “Success is not what happens during the game as much as the preparation that the coaches and team have made before the game.”
Coach Rhodes gave me a cap. I love what is printed on the front of it. It says, “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”
In life many times we think we want to accomplish something, but we do not want to prepare properly for it. We think it just might happen – it usually doesn’t. Results are directly related to preparation. Poor preparation almost guarantees disappointment. Proper preparation prevents a poor performance!
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” My wife Lynn has a motto for her business, “Excellence is never an accident.” 
There is a beautiful story about a farmer who was interviewing a prospect to hire. He asked the young man what his best asset was. The young man said, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but he hired the young man.
A few weeks later a heavy wind and rain storm came up during the night. The farmer quickly got his light and went out to the big barn to see if all was in order. He was pleased to find that the barn doors and shutters were tightly closed and barred, the cows were bedded down in clean straw, the straw pile had been secured with a canvas firmly tied down over the top, the windmill was shut off and the lever down.
The farmer then looked in the bunk house and saw that the young man was sound asleep. He then realized what the young man meant when he said his best asset was “I can sleep when the wind blows.” 
 Marcus Mariota has won 23 games at Oregon in two years as quarterback. He is one of the leading contenders for this year’s Heisman Trophy. He is described as “the best prepared football player in the country.” When he arrived at Oregon as a freshman, he already knew the entire Oregon playbook! His performance mirrors his preparation. 
I remember some classes in high school and college where the teacher would surprise us with a “pop test.” You never knew when the test would be given. If you were not prepared you were extremely anxious and fearful. I learned that if I was prepared, I made a good grade and enjoyed the class.
One of the questions posed in the day of Jesus was, “When will the Kingdom of God be established?” There is a lot of talk today about when Jesus will come again. Many people make a lot of money by writing books suggesting a date for His return.
Jesus said it wasn’t important to know the date – just be ready. (Luke 12:40) Be prepared. I don’t know when He is coming again, but I do know that today we are one day closer to it than we were yesterday!
A good boy scout says, “Be prepared.” The Good Book says, “Be ready.” A good coach says, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.”
The preparation period is now!
John Ed Mathison
. Be Good. Hope to see you soon.

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A faithful helper. The prophet Jeremiah had the difficult job of proclaiming God's messages to the Israelistes. This required him to endure physical abuse, verbal attacks, imprisonment, and isolation. Although Jeremiah struggled with deep discouragement, he had a Helper through all of his trouble. God promised him, "I am with you.....to deliver you." God did not desert Jeremiah, and He will not desert us. We have His continual aid through the power of the Spirit who lives inside every believer. The Helper gives us hope, steers us toward spiritual truth, and pours out God's love in our hearts. We trust that God faithfully helps us as we endure hardship. We can say with Jeremiah, "The Lord is with us as a mighty, awesome One. Be Good.


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