Monday, January 26, 2009

And the final score is...100-0!!!???

Sometimes, losses in sports can be very embarrassing.

The story found here chronicles a time when a win is even more embarrassing.

Up 59-0 at halftime, the girls' high school basketball team from Covanent Christan Academy in Texas continued to pour it on in the 2nd half, pressing and scoring en route to a 100-0 win over Dallas Academy.

I've had a while to think about this. My first take was, as college football coach Steve Spurrier once said, "I didn't know it was my job to stop us. I though that was the other team's job." But as a Christian, I am called to think differently. I am called to think as Christ thinks, and not as the world does.

The more I thought about this, the more it bothered me.

The school that won this game is a Christian school. They are supposed to be representing Christ, teaching their kids and the world around them how glorious Christ is and how awesome it is to follow Him. Jesus was compassionate, loving (to the point of death on a cross to pay for your sins and mine), and he wept for those who were being taken advantage of. He angrily turned tables upside down inside a temple of worship because people were being taken advantage of by money-hungry "evangelists". He said to do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

John Curtis (River Ridge, LA) is a Christian school also. A couple years ago, in the state championship game, they were up 42-6 in the fourth quarter (this was when Joe McNight of USC was there). They did an onsides kick in the 4th quarter with a 42-6 lead.

In the same Superdome classic, Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport, LA) was throwing deep bombs up late in the game, again up by a wide margin.

Contrast that with Kurt Warner, who will attempt to win his 2nd Super Bowl championship this Sunday. Many are offended at each post-game interview, when he first gives credit and thanks to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While he plays hard, he plays with good sportsmanship and more appropriately represents what it means to be a Christian in sports. Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are other good examples who, in Dungy's words, are "Christian men, proving that it can be done the right way."

The point is that Christians are (to some extent, understandably) expected to demonstrate an even higher level of sportsmanship and character than those who are not. This coach, by his actions, gives people another reason to hate and despise Jesus because that's who he and his school claim to represent.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

15 words for 2009

I'd been thinking for a while of starting a blog, and this blog post was the catalyst to stop thinking about doing it perfectly and to simply start writing..

As 2008 draws to a close, many of my zero or so readers are contemplating New Year's resolutions that will be broken by the time I finally finish this post on January 2. For the past week or so. I've thought and prayed about what things needed to recieve my focus in 2009 and, more importantly, how i could actually make sure that my focus did, in fact, change. Thus, 15 words was born. Without further adieu, here are the 15 words (followed by a brief description without which none of the 15 words will make any sense).

Be a blessing
Do it now
Share the Gospel
Read and pray
Sock it away

1. Be a blessing. I make everyone around me miserable when i grumble and complain instead of appreciating God's goodness. My life is too good to selfishly drag everyone's mood down. It's time to seek ways of blessing and serving those around me, starting with my family,

2. Do it now. Procrastination makes everything hard. It's time for a new attitude.

3. Share the Gospel. The #1 reason I exist is to share the good news that God offers complete forgiveness of sins and everlasting life to all of us through Jesus' death on the cross on our behalf. Yet very little of my 2008 was spent seeking the Lord for and seizing opportunities to share this good news.

4. Read and pray. If Jesus withdrew from all He had to do to be alone with the Father to pray and have His strength renewed, what makes me think I can be strong enough to meet the challenges i face without this as a priority? My marriage is alive and well when i pray with my wife, and my son needs to have a dad who's constantly in touch with the Father and a man who is in God's word daily.

5. Sock it away. I want a little, at least, of every paycheck in savings. The first goal is a one-moth buffer. My family used to have this peace of mind and, Lord-willing, we will have it again soon.

There you have it. Follow my progress and hopefully you'll be encouraged to press on, keep on and never give up. Let's make 2009 one to remember. No regrets and no excuses.