Category Archives: Heroes

A surprise calling to the mission field

Kenya (MNN) — Being content is a virtue, but not when we’re living a life that is less than what God has planned for us. This story, brought to us by missionaries with World Gospel Mission, is about answering God’s call to minister, even when it’s a surprise. Even when it means giving up what is comfortable.

Angela Many and her husband, Heath, were living a life that, at a glance, could be described as ideal. They met and got married in medical school — Heath is a general surgeon and Angela an OBGYN.

Angela Many shares their story of how God called them from a life of normalcy into something much more profound.
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Star player says yes to God and rejects the world, along with rainbow flag

The pressure on Christians to wave the rainbow flag may be new, but the issue is as old as the church.

Imagine for the moment that you’re a world-class soccer star. You’ve worked for this all your life. Day after day and year after year you get up early, run, work on drills to hone your God-given talent. You’ve sacrificed many other things to rank among the best in the world. And now you may have to choose between your career or your faith. Why? Because you refuse to sell out to the crowd.

This is not make-believe. This is the plight of Jaelene Hinkle, a Christian athlete with the U.S. national soccer team. Jaelene, you see, has suddenly been thrust into a harsh spotlight—not for anything she’s done on the pitch, as they say, but for her decision not to play in games in which her team must wear rainbow jerseys in support of “LGBT Pride” month in June.

Now, Jaelene is not trying to make waves but simply says she’s bowing out for “personal reasons.”

But her views on the matter are pretty clear. When the Supreme Court legalized what is called “same-sex marriage” in 2015, Jaelene stated on Instagram, “I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true …. This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will.”

After calling on Christians to become more loving, she added, “The rainbow was a [covenant] made between God and all his creation that never again would the world be flooded as it was when He destroyed the world during Noah’s time. It’s a constant reminder that no matter how corrupt this world becomes, He will never leave us or forsake us.”

Good, strong words! The rainbow, in case you haven’t noticed, has been appropriated by the LGBT rights crowd.

The response to Jaelene’s latest stand has been mostly vitriol. One of the few printable reactions in opposition was, “It’s so nice when the trash takes itself out.”

To this point however, Jaelene’s decision hasn’t cost her a spot on the national team. And one fair-minded gay sports blog said, “Hinkle has a right to her personal beliefs and if that means skipping a chance to play, that is also her right.”

It’s been clear for a while now that sport, like many other realms in our culture, is under siege from the forces of political correctness, sexual license, and marriage redefinition. A few years ago, the NFL threatened to take the Super Bowl away from the state of Arizona because of a religious freedom bill that the LGBT activists opposed—so Arizona’s governor vetoed the bill. North Carolina was threatened by the NCAA with economic blackmail over its so-called “bathroom bill”—and changed the law. And now the Seattle WNBA team is donating a portion of ticket sales to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I wonder what any Christians on the team think of this.

But it isn’t just about sports. The pressure to conform is being ratcheted up everywhere—in business, politics, even religion. On a recent episode of “The Point,” my colleague John Stonestreet bemoaned that the LGBT “rainbows” have even turned up everywhere—even on bags of French fries! And I can sympathize.

Yet all this isn’t really a surprise, is it? Christians have always faced a choice between following God or the world, Christ or Caesar. In the early church, Christians such as Polycarp, who was bishop of the church in Smyrna, also had to choose. Polycarp, who was an old man, simply had to say “Caesar is lord” and offer a pinch of incense before Caesar’s image—or face torture and death. He refused to give in, saying, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”

The pressure to go along with the world on human sexuality is probably only going to intensify. For the sake of God’s honor, the truth of His Word, and our neighbors’ flourishing, we simply cannot wave the rainbow flag. Thank God, Jaelene Hinkle hasn’t.

Deism and America’s Founders

Read some commentaries on the men who were used to put America together,here or listen to the audit of them.

When Faith Wears Pinstripes

( Billy’s thoughts – Below is the Breakpoint radio commentary for today. )

How about some good news today? Like a story about a humble, likeable and rising baseball star.

 

As a lifelong New York Mets fan, it kind of pains me to say this, but the athlete who has taken the Big Apple by storm is wearing black pinstripes, not blue ones.

His name is Aaron Judge, and almost every piece you read about him not only tells readers about how extraordinary Judge is on the field, but also how extraordinary he is off the field.

You can probably guess where this story is heading, but first let me tell you about Aaron Judge the player.

Judge is a big deal. I mean that literally. At 6’7” and 280 pounds, he may be the largest man to ever play in the big leagues. As ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian told his ESPN colleague Tony Kornheiser, Judge fills the entire door opening when he passes through it.

Of course, none of this would matter if Judge weren’t good at baseball, and one-third of the way through his rookie season, he has been good, historically-good. In May, he became the first player to hit 13 home runs in his first twenty-five games.

As of this recording, he leads the American League in home runs, is third in runs batted in, and is second in slugging percentage. When you combine his offense with his fielding, he’s been, by most estimates, the second-most valuable player in the American League.

This kind of production on the field is part of the reason Judge and the Yankees are the talk of the town while my Mets are making headlines for having their mascot, Mr. Met, make an obscene gesture at the fans.

The other part is Judge’s character. It’s difficult to read a profile of the Yankees outfielder without coming across words like “humble” and “unselfish.” Former big leaguer and now baseball analyst Eduardo Perez told MLB Radio that he was impressed by Judge’s humility and kindness.

His manager, Joe Girardi, paid him the ultimate compliment when he said “He is a little bit like [Yankee legend Derek] Jeter for me . . . He has a smile all the time. He loves to play the game. You always think he is going to do the right thing on the field and off the field.”

Words like “humble,” “unselfish,” and “do the right thing” raise the specter of what my friend Terry Mattingly calls a “religion ghost.” They should prompt the question “why is Judge humble and unselfish?”

For the answer, look no further than Judge’s Twitter feed. The first words you read are “Christian. Faith, Family, then Baseball.” Scroll down a few tweets and you will read, “Happy Easter to Everyone. He is Risen!”

The nexus between Judge’s faith and family is apparent when you read what he has to say about his parents. He says “I’m blessed.” “My parents are amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons . . . I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.’’

“What they’ve done” began with adopting him when he was two days old. “I feel they kind of picked me . . . I feel that God was the one that matched us together.’’

Crushing baseballs, Christian faith, and adoption—not all the news is bad. There are things in our culture that are worth celebrating. You just have to know where to look, and, in my case, overlook the color of the pinstripes.

Who MEMORIAL Day is for, and who the holiday is not for

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Honoring officer who was shot down just for doing his duty

Read about an officer who was killed by a man he was taking to jail.

Here is the story.

An Unlikely View…a Different Review on Beauty and the Beast

This movie was not created to be a catalyst for the gospel. It was not designed with an agenda to lead people to the cross or challenge them in their walk with the Lord…and yet that is exactly what our family took away. Was there sin in the movie – yes. There was a hateful man that treated women and men like the dirt beneath his feet, who lied, who abused, who lifted himself above everyone else. There was the inclusion of magic, of prejudice, the belittling of women, the hint of homosexuality, the abuse of the elderly, the worship of idols to name just a few. Not a one of these sins greater than the next; not a one less ungodly than the the other. None of them so blatant – all just a piece of the tapestry of the film. As a mama, I had a choice. I could have pointed out all of these things to my children before going into the theater.I could have painted a picture of hating all of these things and they would have watched the movie through that lens – absolutely. Instead, I asked them to view with God in mind. They did observe those same things, these sinful moments, but with the perspective of God in mind they viewed them with a broken heart, from a place of understanding our need for Jesus in this world. My little girl hopeful that she too would come to a place where she trusted the hope that is in Jesus – that she doesn’t have to be a ‘beast ‘ forever. My oldest challenged in his faith, strengthened in his walk. Their mama moved beyond what she can adequately express.

( Billy’s thoughts – Read the rest of this thought provoking post. )

A coach says what is important to him 

Danger keeps Omaha , Nebraska doctor from treating patients in South Sudan. Instead, he’ll treat them in Uganda

Today, Joseph Dumba, an Omaha family practitioner with an incredible back story, will begin his annual medical mission trip to Africa — his 11th.
But instead of going to his native South Sudan, where he has established a clinic that is funded in part by Omahans, Dr. Dumba will be in neighboring Uganda.
This year, it is simply too dangerous and difficult to go to South Sudan, where famine has added to the misery of civil war. Plus, many of the South Sudanese people who need Dr. Dumba’s care aren’t there anyway.
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Some words from the man Saint Patrick,thanks to Cal Thomas:

“God, my God, omnipotent King, I humbly adore thee. Thou art King of kings, Lord of lords. Thou art the Judge of every age. Thou art the Redeemer of souls. Thou art the Liberator of those who believe. Thou art the Hope of those who toil. Thou art the Comforter of those in sorrow. Thou art the Way to those who wander. Thou art Master to the nations. Thou art the Creator of all creatures. Thou art the Lover of all good.”
  ON A DAY WHEN PEOPLE ARE DRINKING GREEN BEER AND THE CHICAGO RIVER IS TURNED GREEN, THE WORDS OF THE REAL PATRICK ARE WORTH CONSIDERING.

( Read the rest of this Cal Thomas  commentary or listen to the audio of it. )