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first annual blog-party

JR and I have begun what may be an on going techie/creative evening of blogging, and working on our sites. Here’s photo from the night.
Img 0650

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from the bolg blog

I wanted to thank Ryan for the nice thoughts. I’ve learned a lot from working with him and am really looking forward to the possibility of him being my PhD mentor. The thought of studying with someone I know, and someone who I share many ideas and passions with is a very exciting prospect. Plus this would mean more peet’s coffee!!!

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saturday evening raviolis

tonight emily and I made homeade ravioli from a jamie oliver recipe, it was fantastic.

here’s the recipe from his book “The Naked Chef Takes Off” (Jamie Oliver)

8oz potatoes peeled
1 1/2 asparagus, bases trimmed and stalks peeled
1 clove garlic – chop it
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 handful of fresh mint, leaves picked from the stems
1 fresh pasta recipe (we used his and it was great)
2 very large pats of butter
2 heaped tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 handful of grated parmesan cheese

cook potatoes in salted boiling water, until tender, then drain. Remove the tips of the asparagus and set to one side. finely slice the stalks and fry with the garlic in a little olive oil until tender, placing a lid on the pan. Remove from the heat, add the potatoes and mash together. Season carefully and add half the chopped mint to taste. Fill your ravioli with a heaped teaspoon of filling and cook in salted boiling water with the asparagus tips for 3-4 min. drain and toss the ravioli and asparagus tips with the butter, mascarpone, parmesan and the rest of the mint.

We made the homemade noodles before hand, slavishly rolled them out (that was harder than I thought it would be) and then once we had the filling, and boiled them they were great.

We served them with a lovely tossed salad. It was a nice evening of cooking in the kitchen with Emily.


Or visit m Flickr photos to see pictures from tonight

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george marsden at fuller

We went to see George Marsden speak tonight on “Fundamentalism and Contemporary Culture” at Fuller Wednesday night. George Marsden, teaches church history at Notre Dame and has made a name for himself by writing book on fundamentalism and its affects on the church in America.

One of the main points of the talk was that early fundamentalist groups were not politically active, in fact was much more of a sectarian group. That relied very heavily on the spiritualization of the Gospel and its ethical mandates. Marsden’s point was that between the 1920’s and 1970’s the was not headed toward the politically conservative spotlight. In fact a very interesting point made by Marsden and buttressed by a conversation with history professor James Whisenant, is that fundamentalism is primarily a southern movement. The odd part about this is that up until the early 1970’s the south was primarily democratic. It was Lincoln and the Republican north that fought so hard for the abolition.

Another point that may follow this one, was brought up by professor Sherwood Lingenfelter, when he pointed out that it also tends to be a class issue. Generalizations never fit everyone, but stereotypically those who fit into militant fundamentalism are white and middle to upper class.

William Pannell, homiletics professor at Fuller brought up what I thought was the most intriguing point of the evening when he said, “Wouldn’t you say that much of what fundamentalists have done is in counter-response to the African American church?” Marsden, agreed to this as a possibility but its one he hasn’t yet teased out all the way. So Marsden coined the phrase “Great Reversal” in his book Fundamentalism and the American Culture, when he talks about the great changes that took place in the church during and directly after the Civil War. I might want to add that there was a “Great Reversal” in the 20th Century too, that took place after the Civil Rights Movement. Political parities swapped – the south became primarily conservative and Republican (including all those places where Southerns have moved too in the north) and the more “Urban” centers of the world have become democratic.

What stands to be discovered is whether the Civil Rights movement alone generated enough crisis to cause the Fundamentalist groups to come out of their shells and rally behind the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat ‘I speak for God’ Roberston, founding the Moral Majority as a largely influential voiting block? If not what are the other factors that may explain such a great reversal both politically and theologically in the US?

Pictures supplied by JR Rozko.

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the media, culture and the past year #1

Well I must say I’ve been happy to see all the commenting and interest into the things that have been written about as of late, and I encourage the discussions and comments to continue until things are seen more clearly. I make myself available as a resource for questions but I am now putting the responsibility on the locals who are concerned to continue to press the matter with the XFBA.
Media and Other Thoughts on Music, TV, Movies and Books

Lately my wife and I have been finding our time when we are not working and doing the normal routines of life that we are watching and listening to a lot of media. For the first couple years of our marriage it was a rare thing to catch the two of us watching TV. We’ve never paid for cable, and probably never will, but even back then we didn’t have much interest in what was going on in TV-Land. Since we’ve moved to california things have changed (now what role California’s media saturated culture is involved in all of this I am not yet sure but I suspect its more than we realize). In any case we’ve gotten at least more interested in TV shows.

A Bit About Media
In“The (Magic) Kingdom of God: Christianity and Global Culture Industries” Michael Budde he talks about the “old art of TV bashing” and quite frankly his tv-bashing is pretty good – because what he points out is the impossibility to cultivate kingdom practices within a community of faith when so much time is spent in front of the television. One of his main arguments is that if there was more time spent practicing the ways of Jesus there would be less time being influenced by the TV. I can’t agree more with his thesis or his conclusions. Much of the bad theology, hypocritical actions and ignorance within the church is due to our own lack of creating and cultivating good disciples. This takes time and TV (among other things) takes time away. This means we would have to stop doing or at least be much more stingy about the way we spend our time if we are to “cultivate” our faith better.

The trouble is, is that this view on its own is some what dissatisfactory to me. I have always tried to stay out of both the left and right categories of life, theology and politics. I don’t want to be on the side that withdraws completely from culture, the media, and those things that are not exclusively Christian produced (in fact I rarely find Christian productions done all that well). Nor do I wish to go the other way and accept everything uncritically. The majority of Christianity could be put into the exclusive or inclusive camps. This is true even within our own Quaker tradition. Where we tend to fall on the too conservative or the too liberal side of things. So I write this post as one coming from neither position – I am neither wholly accepting nor wholly bashing the things of the media. In fact in a coming post I’ll explain what I’ve liked lately when it comes to music, movies, books, and television.

For me this is an exercise in theological reflection, as well as a way to look back over the year and consider what things have influenced my thought, transformed it, or even sidetracked it.

The media is not neutral. I know many people believe that we can “turn off” our minds when we turn on the IPod, TV, or open a book, and there are those who argue that these things have little to no effect over us. But everything that is written, every story told, every song sung, every pixel captured, and every movie filmed, has ideas, influences and reasons for which it has been made. Take this ol’ blog as a perfect example. This is media. And it is formed by every interaction I have with those around, with the culture, with the Scriptures, and with the Spirit. I write as one who has had particular life experiences, with particular ideas, and interpretation of events. My ideas are subjective, they are true in so far as they are how I have experienced them, but they may not be “wholly true.” In fact I believe in very little objective truth, God’s own truth is the exception (but our interpretation of this truth is and always will be subjective). One of the main purposes of media is to create a desire or need – so that people keep coming back.

This is why churches and every Christian must be careful with the intake of what kinds of things we allow to influence us. Many of us have been formed not only in the consumerist culture of American but also in the “consumerist” culture of our churches – we’ve learned how to consume spiritual life in the same way that we consume any other product that is sold to us.

In “Emerging Churches Ryan Bolger states, “When churches decide to make entertainment their main focus, they create a continued expectation and desire for more. Marketing is not neutral; it fosters human desire as must as it satiates (137).”

“Consumer churches present a relationship with Jesus as the answer to widespread feelings of angst. Thus, Jesus is turned into a product that satisfies needs. The problem is that Jesus won’t satisfy individual needs, for the gospel is primarily about God’s agenda, not ours. For true satisfaction to take place, needs must be reformed and transformed to correspond with the gospel (138).”

“Consumer churches promote self-interested exchange and thus violate an inherent part of the gospel, that of the gift. They want satisfied customers who will return the next week (139).”

Though Bolger’s work is aimed at the practices of Emerging Churches what he says here is important in discussing the impact that the consumer market has on us.

Some Queries that arise from what has been said for reflection:

A. What do we desire – and what encourages those desires? Of those desires which are caused by “needs” created by the TV, movies, advertisements and which are created by a desire for the Kingdom of God?
B. How would my own faith look differently given less time consuming and more time in discipleship? How can faith be fostered apart from the crutch of media? Can faith be fostered through reflection on music, movies, TV, etc? If so what ways can we foster it?

C. What ways do we become more Christ-like in the way we consume? In the way we understand needs? In the way we start and end with God’s agenda and not our own? How do we use this to understand and filter what we consume?

D. How do I reject consumerism and instead become a giver instead of a taker? How do we subvert the lie that we never have enough?

From a Jewish Sedar “Dayenu”

Dayenu! That Would Have Been Enough – Passover with Aish:
“Dayenu” — Therefore, how much more so do we owe abundant thanks to God for all the manifold good He bestows upon us. He brought us out of Egypt, He executed justice upon the Egyptians and their gods. He slew their first born. He gave to us their wealth. He split the sea for us, led us through it on dry land and drowned our oppressors in it. He provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years and fed us the Manna. He gave us Shabbat, led us to Mount Sinai and gave us the Torah. He brought us into the Land of Israel and built for us the Temple to atone for all our mistakes. (Passover Haggadah)

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out in the open

Well I have felt a little reluctant to say much more, the comments are coming pretty quickly, many hits are happening on my blog, and so its kind of doing its own thing, but then there is more that has come to light concerning this whole matter involving the XFBA and XFMP. First off it was good to have Jevon Blake and Mr. Alexander “the brother. This is great, its the first time we’ve had them comment so its good to know they’re reading. Unfortunately, very little is actually being responded to. Though Blake has offered to personally return the money to those who have had a hard time getting a hold of them (he even gave them his cell phone number — 330.313.7259 and 330.209.9373), it was also nice that Mr. Alexander said something about the non-banquet, though there was nothing said about why the media wasn’t there for the “media launch party.”

A number of random thoughts still on the table:

Answers to questions we continue to bring up should not involve the same old rhetoric (that most in support of this league seem to use), “believe it will work,” “have faith in unseen things,” “satan is attacking.” I am pretty sure I’m not satan, at least my Liscense doesn’t indicate that I am, and my faith community would probably argue that I am an alright guy who seeks to follow Jesus.

This being said, there is a fundamental issue that arises when Christian leadership defaults to this kind of talk when posed with questions about his/her actions. None of us are above reproach, and if we, as Christian leaders, are questioned we should never say that those questions are “a lack of faith” or “from satan.” If we do this we shut down those who have come to us as listeners (a major role for anyone in Christian leadership is listening humbling). If we are a community of Jesus followers, than we have to answer openly to one another. Jesus and the Apostles never approached questions this way. In Fact in Acts 17:11 the Beroeans are commended for looking into the things Paul was telling them to find out if it was true. Blindly believing is something Jesus (and Paul) never expected from anyone, anytime he gave a message, or asked people to follow him, it was based on the assumption that the things he said, the things he did, and the miracles he performed were all true and trustworthy. People believed because of all these things, not just because he told them to believe.

There has been too much secrecy surrounding this whole thing. Players that have contacted me are afraid to have their names known because they fear they may lose their chance to play. Leaders putting fear into people like this is not Jesus-like at all. Even in the non-christian buisness world, people are allowed to air their opinions without the fear of losing one’s job – much less a Christian one. This is why blogs, editorial pages, and other user created sources of information have done so well as of late and this is why groups have staff meetings. Remember these players are staff, and without them their is no league. People want to be heard, and deserve to be heard as God’s created beings and this should be without fear.

There still has been no reply or even comment on my letter I sent to the main XFBA email. This only shows secrecy is still a top priority for the leaders. Secrecy alone does not mean anything is afoul, but it raises many questions and puts to burden of proff on those holding the secrets. An interesting article about Creflo Dollar’s own secrecy concerning his finances has a similar tone to the one we’re facing. We are still waiting on some more straight forward answers. Please read Chase’s comment for more thoughts on this.

“Faith alone” is no buisness principle, or at least not for the successful ones. This is something that everyone needs to be aware of. As Alexander said, “Even if this was a scam, which it isn’t, God being as awesome as he is, will make it work out in your favor because you believe.” This is not Christian buisness, just because it uses Christian vocabulary. God doesn’t honor people who are dishonest, in fact God is always on the side of the oppressed which means he is always against the one oppressing (scammers oppress). Now I am not trying to go back to the beginning and call this whole thing a scam, I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that this kind of theology undergirding this buisness is a scam. Its not true. It uses Christian Rhetoric to get people to think its doing something good because they have “faith.” Let’s face it, many evil doers have had “faith” in the past. For instance many slaveholders said and believed that they had faith, did that nullify all the of evils that they committed against their fellow brothers and sisters? NO. God is for the oppressed. God is a God of justice and he will not honor an organization that counters his own ideals.

As far as the salvation of players go, this has a potential to be wonderful so long as those players are pointed in the direction of a community of faith that disciples and forms people into Christ-followers. I praise God that people can find God through various works of humanity. On the other hand, the salvation of souls does not mean that everything else that is done from that organization or person is okay. Shall we be reminded of Jimmy Bakker or Jimmy Swaggert, many people were saved by their ministries, but the law did not change and they were convicted of major crimes. Some of their followers stayed as Christians but many fell away because of the crimes of those men. This is because our salvation and the salvation of others is so closely tied to the way we actually live out our lives. Jesus never expected any of his followers to do something he had not done himself, he physically showed them how to love the poor, powerless and the widows. His life, as he lived it out on a daily basis was the salvation of humankind because it directed people to the reality of God’s power and kingdom at hand. His resurrection sealed this deal. If Jesus would have come and been a slouch his whole time on earth, and then died only to be raised a slouch, then our faith would be vastly different than the one given to us in our Bible. Because he was not this way must live like the Jesus of the Bible and no other version.

Jesus may forgive us for our wrong doings, but the law may not.
From “O Brother Where Art Thou”

Ulysses Everett McGill: That’s not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi’s a little more hard-nosed.

And about what Renee said, Salvation is good even if there are never any paychecks? I’d run that one past the players and see how that goes over. Salvation doesn’t put food on the tables and diapers on the young ones. The Lord seems more concerned about this than you do becasue he told us to pray “give us our daily bread” and the league being in a prime position to offer the answer to this prayer will be held accountable to God to do so.

Its good that its been pointed out to us a number of times that Mr. Heard is not God, this has been a big question up in the air for all of us. –We are trying to dig up credibility here, comments like this really don’t do much for that.

There are some issues that have arisen out of this whole money order deal. Assuming that what we’ve heard is really true, then the league plans on paying with money orders? How is this not a huge red flag for everyone? First: Banks only allow money orders to be made in small amounts (usually under $2500 per visit), because it would be really easy to committ fraud otherwise. The bank is to contact the IRS for anything that seems questionable on this issue. This small amount in no way would account for the salaries they promise the players. Secondly, the players are signed up as “independant contractors” so that the leauge doesn’t have to pay taxes on the, the players pay there own. There’s nothing wrong with this, taxes on a $60,000 salary is around $15,000 so that’s a lot to save for but not uncalled for. The trouble is, that the XFBA is the only source of income for these “independant contractors” according to the law, an independant contractor must have multiple sources of income or else he or she is not independent but employeed. This will not create trouble for the players but is bound to get the IRS on the backs of the XFBA real fast.

Plenty of people build buisness, good ones in fact, without faith rhetoric. As a rule of thumb as soon as faith becomes the major reason to invest or be invovled in a company I’d check out. I’ve never heard Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or The Trump tell their investors to have “faith.” And there are many good Christian organizations that show their faith by how well they do buisness and treat others. These are the kinds of buisnesses that stay on the up and up.

Finally for a company to say “have faith” that this is going to work out, is misuse of the Scriptures. Any time Jesus or the bible ever talks of having “faith” its always directed directly at Jesus or God – not anyone else, not another ministry, not a buisness, not even a miracle! We are only ever asked to believe in the trustworthiness and love of God and his son, nothing else.

I say all this because we want those of you involved to think critically and wisely about how much more effort you put forth in this. Not one promise has been fulfilled yet by the league, and when questioned they make no good answer. Use wisdom and love as guiding principles – if things seem like they are motivated out of love and are wise – and they seem to be right on with Jesus’ ethics then stick in there. I’d just like to see people not lose jobs, families, health, and even their faith (or idea of Christians) if this thing blows. Also know that if it doesn’t work out, they will say its because we didn’t have enough faith. Don’t buy that as an excuse to let them out of their responsibility both to the Lord and to the Law. Its time for them to come out in the open.

Here is more info concerning xzuberant on my blog:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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encouraging comments about the league

Here is new, and much more encouraging information, creating more accuracy with statements said here on this site and in other places as well as easing my mind a little.

These are all quoted directly from sources that have contacted me directly (nothing’s been changed):

To summarize, to this point, my view and the view of most of the players involved is not that the league is fraudulent, but just greatly unorganized. The people we are dealing with are (admittedly) not basketball savy and this is evident in how things have been run to this point. In the process of getting the league off of the ground, mistakes are being made and corrected, unfortunately at the expense of the players. This is typical of a venture of this caliber, however, there does appear to be some unprofessional, unchristian attitudes and egos involved. It is for this reason, I am communicating with you under condition of anonymity (currently using an out-of-state relative’s name and email). I do not wish to be penalized based on any comments I make, regardless of how accurate.

-Going back to the banquet, the option was to sign the contract and get paid on the 30th OR to take the contract home look it over, sign it, and begin being paid at a later (undisclosed) date.

-The original contract was scrapped. New contracts are to be made with new stipulations. Any player wishing not to go forward will be refunded their original $150 registration fee.

-Players must go to Columbus, OH on the 28th to compete in a performance AND character evaluation, from which they will be put into 1 of 3 pay scales: $1400, $1000, $700. Prerequisites include: a resume detailing prior basketball experience, 3 letters of reference, and a handwritten letter expressing the desire to participate in the league. Afterward, new and final contracts will be signed.

-Pay for coaches & administrators will begin on Jan. 30th. Pay for players will begin on Feb. 17th, pending successful drug tests and evaluations on Jan. 28th.

-Tithes must be made, but can be to any ministry you choose. We already completed forms for these paycheck deductions detailing the ministry of our choice, during the orientation.

-All Ohio teams must “tryout”. No spot is guarenteed for Cleveland teams (and possibly other OH teams). It is unclear whether the tryouts are specifically for evaluation purposes or some other form of punishment issued in response to the massive skeptism and accusations.

Lastly, the impression I received, is that due to the complaints of a few (almost exclusively family and associates who were displeased with what happened at the banquet), Mr. Heard has made a decision to make things alot more strict and “more like how most professional leagues are run” to spite accusers that the league is a scam and a fraud. Most, if not all, of his frustrations are aimed at those in the Ohio region, however, the entire league has suffered as a result. Especially, those who have already quit their jobs or even relocated, in anticipation of a Jan. 30th. Paycheck. Mr. Heard subsequently held a meeting outlining all of the above mentioned changed as well as the specific business plan and funding for the league. Everything looks to be legit, and Mr. Heard stands to make alot of money from the success of the league. So once, again it looks like things are just being conducted at a very ameteur level right now, and due to the power that Mr. Heard has over everything, the players would be greatly benefited by a player’s union.

Here is more info from the same source who thankfully is critically thinking about this league:

-I’m sure the players will receive copies of the new contracts. It would take a really naive person, to walk away for a second time without a copy of the new contracts signed by Mr. Heard (ha ha). I know I won’t.

-Last time, the majority of players received “mock” copies of the contract weeks in advance, only to have it amended during orientation, the day before the signing. Mr. Heard, read the changes allowed, but of course we would have preferred to have read it ourselves before the Media Launch Party.

-The church I was supposed to go to? To my knowledge no player has ever been required to attend any church service. Only weekly bible study in the form of video tapes issued by Mr. Heard (yet to be distributed).

-The deduction forms were only for the league to know where to send %10 of our check. The information we filled out included no personal info (ie bank account, routing numbers, etc.), just the name and address of the ministry we want to send our tithes too. Once this begins, my plan is to follow up with my church and make certain weekly contributions are being made on my behalf from the XFBA.

-FYI, player/coach/TA payment is to be in the form of money orders. Weekly. On Fridays. No direct deposit or anything like that.

-No media has ever been present. To my knowledge, no media is aware at this point.

Finally there is a good comment from “Coach White” in St. Louis (I know he is in St. Louise because IP addresses never lie).

These comments are what we’ve been looking for all along, helpful thoughts from people thinking critically about the situation. What we hope, ultimately, is that this league is honest, fair and truthfull about all its practices. If this is so, then we will gladly support this league. It seems like many of the things being put into action, are heading this way, some questions and concerns remain, but I am feeling more at ease. Continue to comment questions and concerns. And I’d like to hear from people in other states that are invovled in the league. We hope to create a ring of accountability for this group, that’s something that is useful for any buisness that hopes to succeed.

Other information here on my blog about xzuberant:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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theological reflections on xzuberant faith

here is a letter I have written and emailed (xfmpstreetball@yahoo.com as well as xfmag@yahoo.com) to the leaders of the XFBA.

Michael Heard, Gregory Railey and Jevon Blake,
In this whole expose of trying to discover what is true and false about this basketball league I began re-thinking this whole thing from top to bottom, so a bit of theology is due. Due to these reflections we have posed 6 challenges to you, if you are able to exemplify that these are and will be your own actions, we will leave you alone.

When I began digging into this basketball league, I only did so because things sounded fishy. In fact I hoped to find that my feelings were ungrounded and ill conceived, but in fact the more my friends and I have dug into this the more we’ve felt uneasy about this whole league.

A good starting point for discussion quite frankly is what underlies Christian practice? The first and primary ethic that should characterize Christian groups, leagues, business, bands, movie stars, theologians, whatever – is Love. But not the kind of spineless and heartless love that much of the liberal church is characterized by. Neither is it the kind of fanatic and judgmental “love” that characterizes the conservatives. Rather true love – tells the truth even in the face of danger and fear of rejection. Because there is no reason to fear with love – it casts it all out. The only things we fear are those things left in secret, those things that we cannot trust. Christian community is then characterized by trusting one another, even when we know we really can’t be trusted at all. We trust – because we love, and we love because God loved and loves us.

This is then what real exuberant faith is, it is zealous faith lived out in honesty, love and truth. The kind of faith that Jesus had was exuberant, it was full of life, and hope, full of the love and openness of God.

The irony is that the xzuberant basketball league seems to be characterized by the opposite. The team leaders don’t trust their players instead they have to follow every command and change to policy with something like “if you don’t do it your off the team forever, you lose your chance.” This is not trust.

Love is not characteristic of a basketball league that forces its players to go to church, and at that a specific church, and at that tithe to that specific church. And if they don’t go the players “lose their chance.”

And what of not making sure every player has a copy of the contract he signed? In fact the contracts have supposedly been thrown out because the leaders never signed them (before throwing them out, why don’t you just have them signed?). This is not a characteristic of love or trust.

Jesus’ community is formed by love and trust. Trust comes by telling the truth. This is really important to the way Christians always do business (not just if you’re trying to scam people). Ananias and Saphira learned this lesson the hard way – they lied to the Holy Spirit and died because of it. This is how categorically significant truth-telling is to those who call themselves – Christ-followers.

And so if the XFBA is a group of people trying to pull the blindfolds over people’s eyes OR if they are just really naive business people who don’t know how to do what they’ve set out to do – then either way the Gospel calls them to tell the truth. And so do we.

What we’ve been doing on this blog over the past week is calling for the truth to be told and for the light of God’s truth to be shed upon your group.

So here are our challenges:

1. If you have nothing to hide from the media, or from the web then we challenge you to contact the Canton Repository, Alliance Review, or Action news 19 and let the truth be known (they are all already aware of what is going on…). If there is nothing to hide, then even what has been said on this blog will not stop a legitimate business, and this is exactly what we are calling for – legitimate Christian business practices to be shown.

2. Give every player a copy of the contract before they sign it.

3. Stay in Canton, because fleeing to Atlanta only makes it look a lot worse. And there is no reason to leave because of allegations about Mr. Alexander, and because of a little bad press, Walmart gets that kind of stuff all the time and they don’t seem to ever go away.

4. Actually pay these men, who have quit their jobs to join this league under the promises you’ve made to them.

5. Do not force anyone to go to Mr. Heard’s church, nor to pay tithe to him or his ministry.

6. No more lying. No more lying about media being places when its not, no lying about what the salary is or will be, and because there is no lying, the refund of the registration fee’s must be reimbursed per your own words.

Jesus was always up front about everything he was doing, so much so that people didn’t understand what he was talking about many times. He never forced people to follow him, or support his ministry, in fact there is no record of him ever asking for anyone’s support at all. He looked out for those in need, and went the extra mile to preach that all are deserving of justice, and love. All people deserve the respect to be told the truth.

So if the XFBA is willing to agree to do these things, we are willing to move on and leave you alone. We call you to God’s truth – move out into the light.

Other Information written about this here on my blog:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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Update #4

From a close source:

1) They never physically were allowed to hold a contract. One day it was read to them, then at the “signing” they were read something from the contract, then each team went up and signed the contracts (with no time to read them). There was no extra page for them to tear off and retain a copy of what they signed.

2) Antonio Alexander (not sure of the spelling) was to be the team administrator. I met this man, who told me he was professional model. Young guy, under 25. Just got here from Atlanta. He did say he needed to go to New York on a shopping trip for clothes.

According to a close source, after the signing party, Michael W. Heard, Jr., received a number of emails saying Mr. Alexander either was, or appeared to be a homosexual. Turns out, Mr. Alexander is Mr. Heard’s brother. Mr. Alexander returned to Atlanta. [In Alexander’s defense this is not true, as far as anyone knows and was an attack on him personally].

Supposedely Mr. Heard became upset with these alleged claims [as anyone would be], and now the Canton teams are required to drive to either St. Louis or Atlanta (they don’t know which) on Jan. 22 to “tryout” for the league. This is at their own expense.

If you don’t go, you’re off the team. they are not sure if this means they won’t get paid $2800 each on Jan. 30th, but if they don’t go they’re not in the league and definitely won’t get paid.

3) They are supposed to be mailed a copy of their contract, and they are to send in some forms to get their medical benefits. Signing was Jan. 7th, as of Jan. 13th C.C. had not received his contract in the mail.

4) All four Canton teams are required to show up this coming Sunday, Jan. 15th, at Michael Heard’s new church. This is mandatory attendance and you’re out of the league if you don’t show up. Also – the team members have yet to be given the address or location of the church, according to the source. This was in fact a change from what they were originally told.

Lastly this is my own thought:
5) There is supposedly a clause in the contract that allows the leaders of the league to change anything at anytime without consultation. This is how they have switched the standards of whose in the league, because all of these men have already signed contracts under good faith that this meant there were in the league. Now they have to pay to go to another state to tryout?

Other Information about this written on this blog:

Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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Update on Scam #3

This is from a friend looking into the situation.

“I called Creflo Dollar’s organization. They have never heard of any of these guys, their league, their church – they have had no contact with them and know nothing about them.

I also contacted Canton Better Business Bureau and they’ve had no reports of any kind on them.”

The Creflo Dollar organization is the one they are in covenant with.

Other info on this subject written on this blog:

Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
Update 4
Update 5
Update 6
Update 7
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