HB London This is from H.B. London, who was Dr. James Dobson’s pastor.  This is good stuff!  It’s a little dated since he wrote it before the NBA finals of 2009 were over, but his point is still valid.

Okay, here goes. I am going to make a couple of uneducated guesses on who will emerge as the NBA Champion, and what NHL team will lift high the Lord Stanley Cup. But, first, I want to talk about excellence.

When you think of the Lakers, you immediately think of Kobe Bryant. When you think of the Orlando Magic, there is Dwight Howard. When you look at the roster of the Penguins from Pittsburgh, two names come up — Crosby and Malkin. Detroit will send Datsyuk and Hossa to the ice. Each has excellence associated with his name. Why? Because they are naturally gifted.

These athletes have been playing their respective sports for most of their lives. They are born winners (they cannot tolerate losses). They expect a lot of themselves. They work harder at improving their skills than most. They bear the name of their franchise (they put bodies in the seats). They are admired and supported by their teammates. They have had longevity with the same team and they are motivated as much by the challenge as they are by the money (well, maybe?). They make winners out of their teammates.

As I look at successful pastors I meet along the way, I am not so much impressed by the size of their congregations as I am with the commitment they make to excellence as they seek to fulfill the great commission and to make winners of those they lead. They study, love, set examples and value their assignments. That is why one has said, there are no insignificant assignments and no insignificant leaders. Wait a minute! I think I said that you are a winner!!

So, now to my predictions! I believe Orlando will win one more basketball game (perhaps the one on Thursday night), but the Lakers will win the series in six games.

In what is one of the most exciting NHL championships in years, I predict the Pittsburg Penguins will upset the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night and win the best-of-seven series four games to three games. As hockey analyst Jacques Demers said, “Whoever lifts the cup will have paid a big, big price.”

That’s the answer. The difference between winners and also-rans depends on those who are willing to pay a big, big price — just like you!

“If you falter in times of trouble (challenge), how small is your strength (determination)” (Prov. 24:10).