The Preparation For Leadership

Introduction

Generally, people ascribe the success or failure of a leader to their qualification or fitness to lead. For this reason when leaders are sought in the secular world, the qualifications of the individuals are usually given primary considerations. On the contrary, a close examination of the call of great leaders God used in the Bible reveals that God was not primarily concerned about qualifications. Eims Leroy, observed that Leaders like Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah openly confessed their inadequacy to perform the task God called them to do.1 If God was looking for qualified men then he would not have called them.

Does it then mean that preparations are not necessary for Leadership? According to Gottfried Osei-Mensah, there are prerequisites for spiritual leadership.2 This statement implies that some form of preparation is necessary. In addition, it is clear from scripture that every leader that God used had certain qualities or abilities that were necessary in performing their task. This observation however poses a question: Were those leaders prepared for their calling or did they just happen to have the qualities God required? With God, things do not happen by chance, therefore the thesis of this article is, those whom God used in the Bible as leaders were always prepared for their task.

To clarify this thesis statement selected leaders in the Bible are examined. The goal is, first to prove that the leaders were prepared for leadership and second, to determine the nature of the preparation and its importance to the leaders’ call.

The following three categories of leaders have been selected for this study:

a) Those whose call and commission came as a surprise to them

b) Those who were mentored by their predecessor

c) Those who assumed leadership as a result of a crisis.

Under each leader the presentation will also be divided into three sections:

a) His life history before his call to leadership;

b) His leadership role and achievements;

c) Summary of the specific ways he was prepared for leadership. Finally an

evaluation would be made and conclusions drawn.

A. LEADERS WHOSE CALL AND COMMISSION CAME AS A SURPRISE

Among the leaders whose call and commission came as a surprise were Moses and Paul. These were leaders who had personal encounter with God whilst they were pursuing their own goals in life. These leaders would now be discussed individually to determine how each of them was prepared for leadership.

Moses

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible, in Exodus Chapter 2-5, discusses the life of Moses from the time of his birth to that of his call. According to this section, Moses was born in Egypt by Hebrew parents. But because of an edict by Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew baby boys, his mother was unable to raise him up from childhood to adulthood. However, by what can be termed divine providence, Howard F. Vos stated that Moses probably spent the first two or three ‘years of his life with his own mother.3 The remaining period of his first forty years was spent in the palace as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Commenting on the years Moses spent in Pharaoh’s palace, John C. Maxwell observed that he received the best of what Egypt offered both physically as well as intellectually. Maxwell cited Acts 7:22 which states that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds.4

In spite of the fact that he was raised up in Pharaoh’s palace Moses acknowledged his Hebrew identity. He had to flee Egypt because he killed an Egyptian to protect an oppressed Hebrew. The next forty years of his life he spent in Midian tending the flock of Jethro. It was in Midian, at about 80 years of age that God made the surprised call to him.

b) His leadership role and achievements

In this section the goal is just to make a brief reflection of Moses’ main task and achievements. According to John D. Hannah, in his commentary on Exodus, God commissioned Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. He showed how that call and commission came as a complete surprise to Moses.5 Although God also promised to take the Israelites to a good and spacious land, that commission, according to Hannah, was not given to Moses. To support his point, he made reference to Stephen’s statement about Moses’ mission in Acts 7:35-36, implying that there was no indication that Moses was supposed to take the Israelites to the promise land.6 Moses indeed accomplished the task God gave him in spite of all his objections about his inability when God called him. This was because he accepted in faith God’s assuring words that he would be with him to accomplish that mission and also because of his ambition to deliver the Israelites from slavery. Commenting on the aspect of his ambition, Ted Engstrom pointed out that «he never lost sight of his ambition and calling in life which made it possible».7 Throughout his mission these words of assurance had been a motivation for him.

In addition, Maxwell rightly observed, over the course of the years in the desert, Moses’ leadership improved. He cited Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, as one person who helped to make that difference in his life.

Moses also accomplished something else that was not explicitly stated in scripture. D.A. Hubbard, in his article on the Pentateuch said that both Judaism and Christianity accepted without question the biblical tradition that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.8 These writings had been great materials not just for spiritual purpose but also for academic purpose.

Paul

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to Act 21:39;22:3, Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. He was of pure Jewish descent and of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5). He was a Hebrew and a Pharisee. He spoke Greek and was familiar with Aramaic (Acts 22:2). Paul, learned tent making because it was customary that all Jewish boys learn a trade.

In his book, ‘Paul the Leader’, Oswald J. Sanders made this observation about Paul: «all the formative years were calculated, to prepare him to be an eminent Pharisee and Rabbi like his great mentor Gamaliel».9 Paul studied under Gamaliel, a distinguished teacher of the law and of the school of Hillel. Sanders also observe that the school of Hillel embraced a broader and more liberal view in education than that of Shammai – the other distinguished school.10 In addition, Sanders stated that unlike the school of Shammai, the school of Hillel was interested in Greek literature. In that school, Paul learned to use works of Gentile authors. He surpassed his fellow-students in both academic achievements and in zeal for both God and the tradition of his fathers. He was almost a member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme legal and civil court.11

b) His leadership role and achievements

Oswald Sanders, noted that Paul became a great spiritual leader when his heart and mind were captured by Jesus.12 Such statements could not have been made if Paul had not made great achievements in the role God gave him to perform. Another writer, Ted E. Engstrom gave the background to Paul’s success: «a Jew living in a Greek city, and with a Roman citizenship. Both by birth and training Paul possessed the tenacity of the Jews, the culture of the Greeks and the practicality of the Romans, and these qualities enabled him to adapt to the people among whom he was to move»13. According to Acts Chapter 9, when Paul encountered the Lord Jesus he was commissioned to take the gospel message to the gentiles. Records of Paul’s accomplishments of his commission can be found in Acts Chapters 13-28. These included missionary journeys to gentile territories, Church planting, training or teaching ministries among the gentiles and successful debates with secular philosophers.

In addition Paul also wrote thirteen of the New Testament Epistles. In these epistles he dealt with important theological concepts like justification, sanctification and the resurrection of Christ. Various portions of defense of the Christian faith against secular philosophies are also included in these epistles. According to 2Tim. 4:7, Paul was sure he accomplished God’s mission for his life when he stated that he has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.

B. LEADERS WHO WERE MENTORED BY THEIR PREDECESSOR

The second categories of leaders to be examined are those who were mentored by their predecessor. Among such leaders are Joshua, who succeeded Moses and Samuel, who succeeded Eli. These two leaders will be examined individually in this section.

Joshua

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible gave a brief family background of Joshua in Exodus 33:11; Num. 1:10. He was the son of Nun, the son of Elishama, head of the tribe of Ephraim. Apart from this background, there is no other information about him before he met Moses. The scriptures gave much focus to Joshua’s mentoring relationship with Moses. This close working relationship between them can be traced in scripture.

According to exodus 24:13, when Moses went up Sinai to receive the two tablets for the first time Joshua accompanied him part of the way and was the first to meet him on his return (32:17). Also when the Israelites sinned by worshiping the golden calf, Moses moved the tabernacle outside the camp and left the congregation in charge of Joshua. In addition, Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. It was only after about forty years of mentoring by Moses in the desert that God directed Moses to give Joshua leadership authority over the people.

In his book, ‘Leadership Images from the New Testament’, David Bennett mentioned four steps in developing a leader from the example of Jesus. These are:

a) To develop leaders who have learned to follow

b) To train within the context of personal apprenticeship.

c) To make commitment to the community as well as training for a task.

d) To stress on the spiritual aspects of leadership.14

These four steps can be found in the almost forty years mentoring relationship between Moses and Joshua. As Engstrom rightly puts it «Moses had the right attitude, when he knew it was time to train someone else for leadership. He was fearful of being a paternal leader and pleaded with God to give the Israelite a successor».15 This might have been one of the reasons why he devoted himself to mentor Joshua.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Joshua’s role was made clear to him when he was commissioned as the leader of Israel. His call and commission was mediated through Moses. In Numbers 27:12-22 the Lord reminded Moses that he would not enter the promise Land and that Joshua would replace him. Moses obeyed the Lord’s instructions and commissioned Joshua before the whole Israelite assembly. This commission kept Joshua in focus throughout his mission and he kept his faith in the one who called him. As Donald K. Campbell rightly observed, Joshua interceded for the nation when the Israelites sinned and were defeated.16 God’s mandate was that Joshua would lead the Israelites to the Promise Land and he depended on him to accomplish that mandate. Commenting on the charge given to Joshua to be strong and courageous in Josh. 1:6, Campbell also said it was an affirmation that God would not let Joshua down.17 However this may also be seen as an indication that prior to the time he became Israel’s leader he had potentials, which he needed to build up in leadership.

Details of how Joshua accomplished his mission have been recorded in the book of Joshua. The conquest of Canaan was however not an easy one but Joshua’s training as a military leader and his dependence upon God gave him added advantage. He made mistakes but he learned from his mistakes.

Samuel

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to John C. Maxwell, Samuel was special from the time he was born because he was an answer to prayer. He further commented that, as young child, Samuel was placed in the care of Eli the High priest and Judge of Israel.18 This revealed that the mentoring relationship between Eli and Samuel started quite early in Samuel’s life. Like Joshua, Samuel stayed in the same place with his mentor. In addition, at a very early age, God began to speak directly to him and that motivated him to reverence and serve God faithfully. The role played by Hannah in initiating this mentoring relationship should not be overlooked. McChesney and Unger said that it was a vow that Hannah made to dedicate Samuel to the Lord as a Nazarite.19

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

To better understand and appreciate Samuel’s achievements, one should first examine the religious, political and social situations prior to his assumption to leadership. Eugene H, Merrill rightly observed that «the 300 or so years of the history of Israel under the Judges were marked by political, moral, and spiritual anarchy and deterioration». It was in this background, where all seemed to have failed that Samuel was groomed and also took up leadership.20

With reference to his achievements, «Samuel’s level of influence with the people continued to increase throughout his lifetime. As a prophet, he was respected because he spoke from God. But in time Samuel also became Israel’s Judge, a position similar to that of a king. He was the nation’s civil and military leader. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life».21 Indeed, only leaders with certain qualities can achieve what Samuel achieved. It was that kind of excellent leadership that God was looking for in order to address the deteriorating situation in Israel. Israel enjoyed a time of peace during Samuel’s reign.

C. LEADERS WHO ASSUME LEADERSHIP AS A RESULT OF A CRISIS

During the period between the death of Joshua and the start of Samuel’s leadership, many people ruled Israel as Judges. All of them came to leadership as a result of a crisis need. Gideon and Samson were two of the Judges who ruled Israel at that time. They will be examined in this section, as representatives of the Judges, to determine whether they were prepared for their leadership roles.

Gideon

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges chapter 6-8 the Bible gave a brief historic account of Gideon’s family background. He was the son of Joash the Abiezrite. He was also of the tribe of Manasseh. One may want to suggest that Gideon had no quality or potential for leadership before he became a leader. This assumption is proved wrong in the light of the angel’s greetings to Gideon – «mighty man of valor» (Judg. 6:12). As Joyce Peel rightly said, «the angel calls out his hidden qualities which we see developing in the rest of the story».22

It can be seen that Gideon already had faith in God from a question he asked the angel – where are all the wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, «Did not the lord bring us up out of Egypt?» His parents have made him realize that in the past they have depended on God for survival. However, Gideon wanted an assurance that it was the God of his fathers talking to him, so he asked God to give him a sign (:17). Joyce Peel’s comment on Gideon’s request is that «it isn’t for the sort of sign an unbeliever asks to evade a challenge but for a sign to confirm to a believer who is ready to obey».23 Gideon was convinced that God was speaking to him and based on that fact he responded to the call to meet the Midianite crisis.

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

Gideon was called to perform a specific role and that was to deliver Israel from the Midianites. He had a clear vision in mind as to what he had to do. He also believed that he could accomplish his goal because he had the assurance of God. In addition he had inner qualities, which gave him enough courage to move into action, even though he started at night. Gideon delivered the Israelites from the Midianites’ oppression but he first brought them back to faith in God. However, immediately after his death the people turned back to their foreign gods.

Samson

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges Chapter 13-16 the Bible gave an account of Samson’s life. Samson was the son of Manoah of Zorah and of the tribe of Dan. His birth was foretold to his parents by an angel. They were also told that he would be a Nazarite to God from the womb Iudg. 13:2-5,24). The Bible also says in Judg 3:24-25 that God blessed him and that the spirit of God began to stir him up while he was in Mahaneh Dan. From this account it can be observed that Samson was a man of unusual strength. In Hebrews 11:32 he was recognized as of the great men of faith. During Samson’s time the philistines were suppressing the Israelites.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Samson’s call and commission was mediated through his parents. According to Judges 13:5 he was to start the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the philistines. As John Mazwell rightly points out, «despite his good start, Samson got himself into trouble many times, and in the end he finished poorly: he was weak, blind and enslaved by the enemy from whom he was supposed to deliver his people.»24 Samson had the opportunity of becoming a great leader but his despicable character destroyed his leadership.

Conclusion

Three categories of leaders have been examined in this chapter to prove that the people that God called to leadership in the Bible were always prepared for their tasks. The first category of leaders were those whose call came as a surprise to them. The second were those who were mentored by their predecessor and the third, were those who responded to a crisis. It was proved that all of these leaders had some form of preparation necessary for their particular calling. These preparations may come from God, their parents, religious background, formal education or a mentor. Therefore one could conclude that God does not call any person to leadership who had not been prepared. God’s call or one preparation does not guarantee success because the preparation for effective leadership does not end with one’s call.

END NOTES

1 Eims Leroy, Be The Leader You Were Meant To Be Illinois: Victor Books, 1982), pp 8-13

2 Gottfied Osei-Mensah, Wanted: Servant Leadership (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990), pp 24-32

3 Howard F. Vos. Moses: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 886.

4 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In a Leader’s Day: Revitalizing Your Spirit and Empowering your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 300.

5 John D. Hannah, Exodus: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishers, 1985), p 112.

6 Ibid, P 121.

7 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), P 29.

8 D.A. Hubbard, Pentateuch: The New Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 903.

9 Oswald J. Sanders, Paul the Leader: A Vision for Christian Leadership Today (Eastboume: Kingsway Publication Ltd., 1982), pp 16/17.

10 Ibid, p 17

11 Ibid, p 19

12 Oswald J. Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p 40.

13 Ted E. Engstrom, The Making of Christian Leader: How To Develop Management and Human Relations Skills (Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 20.

14 David W. Bennett, Leadership Images From The New Testament: A Practical Guide (Carlisle: OM Publishers, 1998), pp 33/4

15 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skill (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 30

16 Donald K. Campbell, Joshua: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1984), p 326.

17 Ibid, P 328.

18 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982), p 67.

19 E. McChesney and Merrill F. Unger, Samuel: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), P 1121.

20 Eugene H. Merrill, Samuel: The Bible Knowledge commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985), P 431.

21 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minute in a Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your spirit and Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p

22 Joyce Peel, A Journey through The Old Testament: The story of God’s relationship with man. woman and the world (Oxford: The Reading Fellowship, 1993), p 60

23 Ibid, p 60

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Super Bowl LI – Best Ever!

The New England Patriots, behind on the scoreboard most of the game, playing lethargically and not in their usual rhythmic style, overcame a big third quarter deficit to come back and tie the game in the last minute at 28-28 forcing the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

Tom Brady, seemingly out-of-sync for most of the first three quarters, showed why he is referred to as the greatest quarterback in National Football League history–emphasized after the game by none other than Terry Bradshaw. He is the only quarterback to win five Super Bowls, breaking the tie of four each with Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s. He has also won four Super Bowl MVP awards, most for any player.

Never had a team come back from more than ten points down in the greatest game of them all. New England entered the fourth quarter down 28-3, a deficit deemed impossible to overcome, unless you are Tom Brady and the New England Patriots–calm, confident, methodical.

Tom Brady was drafted in 2000 in the sixth round, 199 overall, from Michigan. Robert K. Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, now says it is the best thing the team has ever done. Guess so with five NFL Championships–Super Bowl wins–in the Coach Bill Belichick / Tom Brady era.

The Patriot’s capitalized on several Atlanta penalties and misplays scoring twenty-five unanswered points in the fourth quarter tying the game.

New England won the coin toss–heads–and chose to receive. One had to wonder, with the momentum the Patriots had built in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, if Atlanta would even touch the football in Overtime. They did not! New England marched down the field 75 yards on eight plays, scoring on James White’s 2-yard touchdown run. Game over.

New England’s experience in such games as this proved too much for a feisty Atlanta, who, for three quarters, gave New England all they could handle, but in the final analysis did not have the experience to win it. The Patriots held the ball for 40 of 60 minutes, ran more than 90 offensive plays, and exhausted the Falcons defense to the point that the 4th quarter was all New England–typical Coach Belichick.

The stunned Atlanta Falcons stood in shock when the final score flashed on the boards–34-28!

After the game, Brady was asked how he did it, how he was able to bring the Patriots back after the big deficit. «We all brought each other back,» said Brady, Super Bowl M.V.P. for a record fourth time. «We never felt out of it.»

Postscript: N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, booed heartily by the fans, shook hands with Brady on the sidelines after the game. Ironic considering the «Deflategate» fiasco resulting in his suspending Brady for the first four games of the 2016 season.

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What Is League of Legends?

League of Legends is a popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that has recently exploded into the online gaming scene. The game is published by Riot Games and was first released in 2009 for Mac and PC, the Mac client was later closed down.

The game offers the standard 5v5 game mode available in other MOBA games which pits two teams against each other on a map (called Summoner’s Rift) with the main goal being to destroy the enemies base (Nexus).

League of Legends added a 3v3 option to the MOBA genre and introduced the Dominion gameplay mode. In Dominion players are required to capture and hold five objective points to reduce the enemies Nexus health. This game mode is aimed at creating a faster paced gameplay mode.

Influence Points

Influence Points are the main currency in League of Legends which are given to players for playing games. The amount earned varies based on several factors including the game result, summoner level and the number of bots in the game.

Influence Points (also known as IP) are used to purchase in-game items such as champions and runes.

Riot Points

Riot Points are the other currency available and are available via PayPal, credit/debit card or prepaid Riot Point Game Cards.

Riot Points can unlock rune pages, champions and various boosts (experience and influence points). However, Riot Points cannot be spent on runes. Riot Points can be earned for free through various activities (such as referring friends to League of Legends).

Runes

Runes add a level of customisation to League of Legends. Players can increase a variety of stats such as health, damage, mana regeneration, movement speed and many other stats. This allows players to play the same champion but play them in a different way based on rune and mastery choices.

Champions

Players can choose from over 92 playable champions (and this number continues to grow every week).

Champions must be unlocked with Riot Points or Influence Points before they can be played. However, there are a number of free champions available to play each week to give summoners the option to trial champions before purchasing them. There are many champion types available including assassins, bruisers, supports, casters, junglers and tanks.

Ranked Matches

These games are just like standard games except that players are given a ranking based on the result of the game, this is known as the ELO ranking system which is also used in chess. This system has created what is known as ‘ELO Hell’, a place in the ELO system that is filled with poor players and intentional griefers, this section in the ELO system is hard to escape due to the team nature of the MOBA genre.

Conclusions

The game systems behind League of Legends are the reason for its success among the MOBA game genre. The game continues to take the genre by storm with its 5 million dollar prize pool for the 2012 game circuit. Check out their official website for full details: League of Legends Official Site.

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Advantages of RGP Contact Lenses

Just because RGP (rigid gas permeable, oftentimes referred to just as GPs) contact lenses have been around a long time and have been seemingly displaced in popularity by soft contacts, they are still an important player in correcting eye disorders.

Rigid Gas Permeable lenses came along as a better alternative to PMMA, or hard, contacts. Hard contacts did not allow oxygen to pass through to the eye, setting up a situation wherein prolonged wear caused complications such as swelling, cloudiness to the cornea, blurred vision, and infection. The materials in RGP contacts are more oxygen friendly and the firm construction of the lens conducts a flow of tears across the cornea during blinking; this provides adequate and much-needed moisture to the eyes.

Gas permeable lenses hold their own alongside soft contacts for a variety of reasons. They can be fitted in a more custom-made manner to the eye and retain their shape better during the blinking process, which keeps crisp vision from fluctuating. The rigidity also assists astigmatism patients in maintaining a rounded cornea that will let light hit the center of the retina, producing desired clarity of vision. In this vein, GPs become the only resort for those with irregular or severely scarred corneas. They are also a top choice when post-LASIK wear becomes necessary to correct remaining aberrations following surgery.

While it is true that on average it takes two to three weeks to become comfortable with GPs (soft lenses tend to provide more immediate comfort), once a satisfactory fit is reached, the quality of vision attained makes the adjustment period well worth it.

The care regimen* for GPs is easier because of their resistance to proteins and other deposits; they hold up over time to repeated cleaning. Needless to say, a longer-lasting lens can be less expensive due to fewer replacements.

Gas permeable lenses can be made with various designs and materials, freeing the fitter to fashion a contact to meet precise needs. Recent advances in technology have allowed a hybrid lens to be developed that combines the best features of soft contacts with those of GPs. The result is a lens with a rigid gas permeable center married to a soft outer skirting-giving the wearer sharp vision and comfort.

So, despite the vogue for soft contacts, GPs should not be discounted when selecting a suitable lens. They have a proven track record that makes them far from obsolete.

*Always follow your eye doctor’s instructions for proper wear and cleaning of contact lenses. They will also assist in choosing the best lens and answer any questions concerning GPs, soft contacts, and other lenses available to you.

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Recent Information on Daily Disposable Lenses

Did you know that fitting practices are changing as contact lens materials and manufacturing methods change? Actually, this has been happening since 1971 but at a faster pace since the advent of the first disposable contact lenses launched by Johnson & Johnson back in 1990. Since then manufacturers have been improving lens materials to make them more comfortable for all-day wear, more resistant to surface deposits, significantly more oxygen transmissible, easier and more stable to mould at high volumes, and cost efficient for both the manufacturer and wearer.

Eye doctors have always been concerned with wearer compliance. Are there any clinical signs of frequent prolonged wear? Will the wearer keep their lens case clean? Will they rinse their lenses before storing them in fresh multipurpose solution so that surface debris may be washed off prior to storage? Will the wearer replace their lenses for a fresh pair at the interval recommended by the eye doctor? All of these are relevant questions that contact lens fitters will ask anywhere in the world. Daily disposable lenses resolve many of these issues, most especially when speaking of younger lens wearers. In fact, recent third party market data shared by Alcon®, a leader in contact lens manufacturing, supports the fact that eye doctors are recommending daily disposables more.

Since 2008 the daily disposable lens growth in the market by dollar was almost five times as fast as all other lens modalities (types of fits). Monthly disposables experienced modest growth in comparison but two week disposables declined during the same period. This data speaks to the fact that eye doctors appear to have accepted the tremendous compliance benefits that daily disposables deliver to wearers. It also speaks to the growing number of younger wearers coming into the market and how daily disposable lenses help them maintain excellent eye health by eliminating some of the handling and storage factors previously considered problematic for them. Monthly disposable lenses continue to enjoy a strong presence in the market. New lens materials have continued to support this lens modality with very oxygen transmissible materials that are extremely comfortable and easy to maintain.

Only your eye doctor can select the right contact lens and modality for you. Ask him/her about recent products and how they may be good for you. Contact Lenses are considered medical devices for which a prescription is required. Please refer to your eye care provider for more information.

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Sweetheart Written by Chelsea Cain

Gretchen Lowell is a real conniver that can get in someone’s mind and stay there, as she has with Detective Archie Sheridan. Susan Ward, a reporter with the Oregon Herald, also seems to have allowed Gretchen to get in her mind too. Archie’s reliance on drugs to keep his physical pain away was getting worse. The farther the case went the worse his addiction was, even though he tried to hide it but those close to him knew and worked hard with him to get Gretchen out of his mind and life. This Archie couldn’t do. Mass murderer Gretchen was so beautiful that Archie dreamed that he was making love to Gretchen while physically doing this with his ex-wife who he still dearly loved deep inside.

Gretchen Lowell worked her way into the prison infirmary by either attacking a guard or being attacked by the same or both! She was good-so good. Archie and his partner, Henry, went to investigate the prison attack by first visiting Gretchen, as she lay bound up in shackles and appearing very beat up. Of course she would not tell Archie exactly how she got in this condition. He had to guess as Gretchen sweet-talked him. Shortly afterward, a guard was found dead and Gretchen had escaped, sore and beat as she was, that did not deter her escape from prison. Now that Gretchen Lowell was on the loose, Archie knew she would resume her killing and he could do nothing to stop her nor could he visit her as he did when she was in prison where she used each of Archie’s weekly visits as a bribe to disclose another of her many victims from years past.

The sudden death of a reporter and a politician in a car that went over a bridge appeared to be a suicide. This brought the authorities and news media out of their «Gretchen Lowell» shell and realize there was other crime occurring. Susan had previously uncovered a political bombshell about this politician and thought that the reporter might have been working on the same story. The reporter, Parker, was a tutor and close friend of Susan’s. Susan had tried extremely hard to get the newspaper to print the corrupt politicians story but no one would commit, not wanting to hurt the guy.

Meanwhile more bodies were being found, some old and some newer but most smelled of Gretchen Lowell all over the way they had been killed and where found. The authorities did all they could to protect Archie and his family knowing that they were in extreme danger with Gretchen Lowell on the loose. All the protection in the world could not stop her from contacting Archie and sweet-talking him once again. Susan Ward was constantly on this case and she and her mother were also in danger as Gretchen knew her and felt Archie could be near Susan.

Chelsea Cain, you have spun a follow-up story to Heartsick that is every bit as suspenseful or possibly more intriguing. The ending of this book makes me wishing I had a follow up book following Archie in his adventures. I truly hope you are working on this Chelsea. I would suggest that the reader start with Heartsick and then read Sweetheart. Both stories are fast moving and full of suspense and adventure that are nothing short of sensational.

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Around the English Premier League – Round 26

The Citizens keep holding on the leadership, but not yet safe from the imminent danger that represents Manchester United; while Arsenal recovers very well from the Champions League's 4-0 defeat.
By Camilla Mancini

For this round all the changes of the standings where left for the lower half clubs, for the top 10 remain in the same positions. The most relevant change is from the relegation zone, from which the Wolves managed to escape one more time and to replace them in the 18th spot left Blackburn. The Rovers had no chance on Saturday against a Manchester City, which made its rival forget how they defeated United in the last visit they made to the city of Manchester. Instead the Citizens took control from the very beginning of the meeting and with the help of its three top scorers blasted whatever hopes the Rovers had. The Red Devils played until the next day and knowing that they had to achieve the triumph to not open up more the gap in between them and City, scored a last-minute goal.

So Manchester City hosted Blackburn and as mentioned before, left them goalless almost repeating the result from their 1st leg fixture, when the Sky Blues smashed the Rovers with a 4-0 that also included a goal from Balotelli. On Saturday it was Mario Balotelli the first one to get in the score sheet at 30 '; for the rest of first half although City controlled the ball couldn't convert another. Seven minutes after the restart Sergio Agüero score the second and within ten minutes from the end Edin Dzeko grabbed a pass from Kolarov and headed into Paul Robinson's goal. Including the three goals from Saturday, Roberto Mancini's leading strikers have given the squad 39 goals in the Premier season, in fact is the only club that has more than one player with 10 or more goals. The victory has left City with 63pts, still followed by United with 2 points less.

Meanwhile Tottenham continues with 53pts and now has the Gunners 3 points closer, with 46pts thanks to the surprising defeat at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal welcomed the Spurs to their London derby with its heavy artillery preparing to riddle them. Although the visitors started very well grabbing a double lead within the first 34 minutes, with an early goal from Louis Saha and a penalty charged by Emmanuel Adebayor, the Gunners just raised in power and started the bombardment.

Five minutes before the break the first goal was headed by Bacary Sagna -his first goal in 10 matches- and just 3 minutes later the 28-year-old captain, Robin Van Persie, even-up the scoreboard with an outstanding strike. At the return from the interval the midfielder Tomas Rosicky scored his first goal of the season; and just like that Arsenal was leading the game. Around ten minutes passed with both clubs looking for their next goal, but the openings were just for the Gunners, specifically just for Theo Walcott, who scored twice. At 65 'Walcott scored the fourth mark with help of his captain and the fifth after just 3 minutes with assistance from Alex Song. As if it wouldn't have been enough the beat-up the Spurs got, they also got Scott Parker sent-off by the referee when he received a second yellow card at the 87 '. The other matches from round 26: Wigan 0-0 Aston Villa; West Brom 4-0 Sunderland; QPR 0-1 Fulham; Newcastle 2-2 Wolves; Chelsea 3-0 Bolton; Norwich 1-2 Man. United; Stoke 2-0 Swansea.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by Camilla Mancini

Duck Tours Offer a Quacky View of South Beach

It seems like every time I sit down at one of the restaurants or cafes on Ocean Drive a big silly looking boat on wheels drives by with tourists hanging over the rails yelling at pedestrians and ‘quacking’. I always dismissed it as a silly tourist gimmick until a friend told me equally silly named «Duck Tour» was pretty interesting. One afternoon I decided to take the tour for myself, the price tag of $32 seemed a little steep at first, but I paid my fare and hoped for the best from this ‘land and water’ adventure.

The tour departs four times a day, so I decided to catch the final, 5pm tour. As I waited in line I chatted with some of the other riders, they came from all over the world to visit Miami and were excited about the infamous Duck Tour. Once we were on board we received a set of rules, a few lines to yell including ‘quack, quack, quack’ and were instructed to ‘jump over the side’ in the event the boat was to sink. Needless to say, I still had my doubts at this point.

As we turned the corner from Lincoln Ave onto Washington Ave. the guide pointed out several local attractions including Espanola Way, Club Mansion, and B.E.D. He spoke about the history of the area and explained why the buildings were referred to as ‘Art Deco’ — due to the mixed style of architecture including cubism, nauticalism, and futurism. My interest was peaking.

As we crossed the McArthur Causeway over the bay, he pointed out celebrity homes on Star Island and Palm Island and entertained us with trivia questions and corny jokes. We were encouraged to yell out and interact with the guide and our fellow riders. I admit I was starting to have fun.

As we pulled up to the dock our ‘vehicle’ instantly became a boat as we «splashed down» into the bay. This is when the real lesson began. The tour guide was very educated on the history of the bay and the beach. Despite living in Miami for several years he shared facts with us that even I was unaware of. I did not know that the massive Biscayne Bay, which averages 8-12 feet deep in most areas, was once a three-inch deep swamp that spanned from Downtown Miami to what is now Washington Ave. The City of Miami Beach and South Beach, was once called ‘Ocean Beach’ and the area only included Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Ave. All of the streets after Washington Ave, including Alton Rd. and Bay Rd where several South Beach luxury condo buildings now sit, were made by sand dredging the swamp to make more land.

As he quoted the history of all of the islands and bridges of Biscayne Bay he also pointed out celebrity homes of famous gangster Al Capone, Leicester Hemingway (brother of Ernest Hemingway), Latin singer Paulina Rubio, and Rosie O’Donnell. When we passed the homes everyone outside stopped to wave, the riders (the real tourists) were very excited and all seemed to be having a great time. He even helped my job a little by pointing out real estate that is currently for sale.

When the tour returned to land we cruised to Ocean Drive where I, like the people I always shake my head at, quacked at the people seated at restaurants and cafés, sang loudly, and screamed at couples walking by asking them to kiss. Some cooperated, some didn’t, but ALL laughed and waved as we passed by.

When the hurricane of 1926 wiped out everything on South Beach but coral houses, J.N. Lumus sold all of the land on the ocean from 5th St to 15th Street to the City of Miami for $40,000 under the condition that it never be developed and forever be a park. I always wondered why the ocean front real estate started at 1st street in the SoFi neighborhood, ended at 5th and picked back up on 15th. We should all be forever grateful to Mr. Lumus because without this condition South Beach would not be what it is today.

By the end of the 90-minute tour I had learned so much about the city I live in, met some cool people, and had a great time. I would absolutely take the tour again, there is never a dull moment and I highly recommend it to tourists and locals alike. To make the deal even sweeter, the Duck Tour ticket serves at a coupon to several local restaurants and attractions so I definitely got a bang for my buck.

Puedes comprar todas las camisetas oficiales de fútbol en futbolmania, la tienda de las mejores Camisetas de fútbol – Devolución gratis. by Josh D Stein

Staycation Guide: 5 Places In The UK That Will Make You Feel You Are Abroad

Staycations are again on the rise more, and more Brits are deciding to stay home for their holidays. But where in the UK should you go if you have never had a staycation before or fancy trying something new? Here is my staycation guide is here to help.

The UK is a dynamic place full of history, natural beauty, dramatic coastlines and historical cities. Every corner has such an individual identity that no two places are alike. Some UK destinations might even give you a little taste of Europe! Here is how:

Love The Algarve? Try Devon

Branded "the English Riviera", Devon is fantastic for families and beach holidays. It is also home to five areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, UNESCO Sites and Natural Parks.

For a cultural city break, try Plymouth or Exeter, both rich in Roman history. It it's the relaxed coastal life you want, try South Devon. For surfing, go for North Devon and Exmoor. And for the true Riviera experience, try Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham. There are also many smaller towns and villages worth exploring if you fancy going for a drive.

Love Tuscany? Try Lancashire, Yorkshire And Cumbria

North West England and the region of Tuscany in Italy share two things in common: beautiful green panoramic views and maxing food.

Famous for its artisan food, locally sourced produce and niche eateries, the counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria, will entice any foodie traveler with their food festivals and farm shops galore. To work up an appetite, you can visit the castles, museums, theaters or seafront towns or you can go hiking and take in scenery so beautiful that Queen Elizabeth is reported to have said she would like to retire here.

For more active travelers, highlights are the Yorkshire Dales, the Pennines and the Lake District, where you can try all sorts of sports from golfing to sailing and paragliding. For those wanting a peaceful hideaway, try smaller market towns such as Kirby Lansdale, Hebden Bridge or Clitheroe. And if it's a sea you seek, try Whitby, Scarborough or Lytham St Annes.

Love Switzerland? Try Scotland

If you a partial to mountain ranges, lakes and a pair of skis, then Scotland is the perfect staycation for you. With beautiful scenery, imposing castles and interesting cities thrown in for good measure, both Switzerland and Scotland will give you jaw-dropping views. Switzerland has some of the most famous ski resorts in the world, Scotland has the best ski resorts in the UK. The Swiss have the alphorn and Schnapps; the Scots have the bagpipe and their world-famous Scotch whiskey. Hell, the Scottish accent might even make you feel you're abroad!

Jokes aside, Scotland is indeed a beautiful country, with intriguing and grand history, beautiful landscape and stunning natural reserves. Even Her Majesty has a residence here, Balmoral Castle. For a city break, both Glasgow and Edinburgh are famous for their nightlife and culture. And if you like to drive, we would highly recommend the drive from Glasgow to Dundee. The views are to die for.

Love Rome? Try York

The Italian city of Rome is one of the most famous destinations in Europe, known worldwide for its rich history and vibrant culture. In the UK we have our little version thanks to the Romans themselves.

Although York existed as a settlement before the Roman invasion, it was during that period that it was declared a city of importance. Constantine the Great was proclaimed a Roman Emperor here. Even going out for a pint will yield a history lesson in pubs that used to be churches or monasteries. In recent years, York has become famous for its retail and nightlife as well as its history, and although it's much smaller than Rome, you will have plenty to do and see.

Love Berlin? Try Liverpool

Berlin and Liverpool share many commonalities. Both have witnessed their fair share of political and social change, but are today UNESCO Heritage Sites and European Capitals of Culture.

In the UK, Liverpool is the city with the most galleries and national museums outside of London. The birthplace of the Beatles, it also boasts a very strong art scene. On a more outrageous note, it has been said that the Liverpudlian velvet tracksuit is as infamous as the German beach thong! Liverpool is a vibrant and dynamic city, ideal for any art, fashion or music lover.

ENVÍO y DEVOLUCIÓN GRATIS – Gran colección de Camisetas de fútbol oficiales – Descubre camisetas de equipos y selecciones europeas en camisetafutboles.com. by Hammad H Sheikh

5 Greatest Football Players of All Time

Football is the game of passion, dedication and skill. It takes years of practice and perseverance to master the game and there are many who have done it. To name a few of them is very difficult for anyone as each player is different from others. What is more, there is no universal yardstick to choose the greatest players in the world of football. Choice differs from one person to other as well. However, here are five names that will hopefully make the list of every football fanatic and critic.

Pele: The Brazilian star was one of the strong reasons for his country’s World Cup victories back in those days. He was only 17 years old when he helped Brazil win their first World Cup in 1958. He was also a part of the World Cup winning Brazilian side in 1962 and 1970. He is the all-time top scorer for Brazil and has scored 1281 goals in all competitions. He used to play for Brazilian club Santos.

Diego Maradona: The Argentine rose to fame in an era when brutally injuring an opponent player was not an unpardonable sin. The reason why Maradona is considered one of the best players in the world is he successfully overcame all these obstacles with his skills. He came to prominence in World Cup 1986 and guided his country to victory. His second goal against England in the quarter-final is considered the best goal of the century. However, his first goal in the same match also made him infamous in the eyes of some football critics and people of England.

Lionel Messi: Today, almost everyone in this world knows his name and convinced of his capability on the field. He is one of the key members of both Argentina national team and Spanish club Barcelona. The striker has created history for both his country and club. He controls the ball like a magician and can change the style of his natural play if situation demands. Though he hasn’t bagged any crucial victory for Argentina, he is considered one of the most treasured players in his team.

Cristiano Ronaldo: He is one of those players who have grown over years. Whenever he was criticized for his performance, he has silenced the critics with his commendable skill. He has left no stone unturned to prove it times and again why he is called one of the best players in the world. The winning member of Euro 2016 and the UEFA Champions League 2016, is one of those important players in the star-studded Real Madrid. The Portugal national team captain has helped his club reach its new heights. The striker is also famous for his regular involvement into charity work.

Ronaldinho: The skill and talent of this payer are unparalleled and there is only a few to who can match that. Once a part of the Barcelona and Real Madrid squad, he has helped both of these teams claim success. The Brazilian’s double delights against England in the 2002 World Cup quarter final still enjoy rave reviews from the football pundits.

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