Category Archives: Teaching

That is life’s trophy

Professional tennis star-a nun. What? Sounds like two different stories doesn’t it? In this case, it’s the same life story. Andrea Jaeger first picked up a tennis racket at the age of eight. By 14, she was a tennis pro. Soon she was challenging tennis greats like Chris Evert and Tracy Austin; she was ranked number two in the world. Then came a serious shoulder injury that required seven surgeries and she was forced to retire. She took her prize money, she moved to Colorado, and started a charitable foundation that helps sick, abused, and at-risk children. So she became an Episcopal nun, and she was actually burying her life in a ministry to needy children. According to USA Today, after her injury she was told, “Your life’s over. You’ve failed. You’ll never amount to anything.” Oh, were they wrong. The article on her new life concluded this way: “Her name will never be etched on Grand Slam hardware, but she can live with that. ‘It’s like I have kids’ names in my heart,’ and she says, ‘That is life’s trophy.'”( Read more )

The Bible welcomes you to question/test it, but not the book of Islam 

Listen to a radio commentary on faith.

Bible based faith, and Shack

Listen to sermon by Dr. Michael Youssef….

The Shack Uncovered

A coach says what is important to him 

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. ) 

The Power of love, and words:

My wife was just a little girl when she first met Bob Henley. He was one of those older men you look up at and look up to at church. She had a visit to her childhood church some years ago, and she asked about Mr. Henley. They said, “He’s 92 years old – and that he would be there the next week.” My wife made it a point to attend church there the following week and to reconnect with this memory from her past. As they were talking, Mr. Henley said, “You probably don’t remember this (and she didn’t), but one day after church you came up to me and you grabbed this finger. You were only about this high (about the altitude of a 4-year old). But you grabbed my finger and you said, ‘Mr. Henley, I love you.'” Now why would he remember that little¬ childlike expression into the 9th decade of his life? He said, “You don’t know this, but I was raised an orphan. That morning was the first time in my life anyone ever said ‘I love you’ to me.'” Wow!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Leaving Love Behind.”
All those years without anyone ever telling him they loved him. And the power of someone finally letting him know he was loved.
We’re surrounded by people who don’t know they’re loved…or who have not been told nearly enough. It’s a lonely world of self-focused people. Consequently, you can almost assume that some of the people you know are love-starved. And a lot of the mistakes they are making is because they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. Can you see that need behind their deeds?
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Ephesians 5:1. It becomes a summons to action for us in our love-starved world. Here’s what it says, “Be imitators· of God, therefore, as dearly loved children…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Did you get that…”live a life of love”? Here that love is illustrated with the love of Jesus for us; love that is willing to “give yourself up”…to sacrifice; to go out of your way to put someone else first.
I wonder how much of an answer you are to the deep love deficit that people around you are feeling. It isn’t enough that you love them. You have to let them know you love them. A lot of children aren’t feeling secure in their parents’ love, not because mom and dad don’t love them, but because they don’t express their love in ways that the child can feel.
Like that man at Karen’s church, people need to be told they’re loved. They need someone who makes them feel important by just patiently listening to them. You say “I love you” when you show up at the funeral, at the hospital, when you celebrate their special moments with them. You say, “I love you” when you drop what you’re doing to be with that person. You say “I love you” when you hang in there with them when they’re aggravating, frustrating, obnoxious, unlovable. When they’re the least lovable, they need your love the most.
For some of us, this expressive love doesn’t come naturally because we were raised in an undemonstrative family…we’ve been conditioned to not let our feelings show. But that emotional paralysis cripples you and it deprives the people around you of knowing how you care for them. God’s in the business of liberating people emotionally who say, “Lord please unleash Your love… Your love through me.”
It’s important to look around the circle of people in your life and ask, “Does he…does she feel loved by me?” We’re called by God to live a life of love. For, as my wife was reminded by a man in his 90s, your simple, honest expression of love may be one of the first that person has had in a long time, and it is something they will never forget.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation for Our Times( The Descendants of Dred Scott Show the Way )

( Listen to the Breakpoint commentary here, or read it below. )
On the 160th anniversary of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions, something beautiful and miraculous happened.

Last week, March 6th, marked the 160th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. Dred Scott v. Sanford, along with Plessy v. Ferguson (which enshrined the principle of “separate but equal”) and Roe v. Wade, form a kind of unholy trinity of Supreme Court rulings which legally declared entire classes of people non-persons.
Yet this infamous decision recently became the occasion for a remarkable act of grace.
First some historical background: For the decades preceding the 1857 decision, the country was torn over the issue of slavery. While actual abolitionists did form a small majority in the North (and ideas of racial equality were rare even among abolitionists), northern whites did not want to compete against slave labor in the territories west of the Mississippi river.
That brings me to Dred Scott the man. In 1830, his second master took him from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, where slavery was illegal. In 1836, both returned to Missouri. After several attempts to buy his and his family’s freedom, Scott sued his master’s estate, claiming that under what was known as the “Somerset Rule,” which could be summed up as “once free, always free,” his late master had, in effect, set him free by moving him to a free state.
And that brings me to Dred Scott the decision. Chief Justice Taney could have decided Scott’s case on narrow terms. But he had something far more ambitious in mind: He wanted to settle the slavery issue once and for all.
The least infamous part of his opinion ruled that Congress could not ban slavery in the territories, thus making the Civil War all but inevitable.
The most infamous part concerned the status of African Americans. He ruled that Blacks, enslaved or free, could not be citizens of the United States. He justified this by writing that, historically-speaking, Blacks had been “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
Like I said, infamous.
All of this makes what happened last week on the 160th anniversary of the decision so remarkable. Standing before the Maryland State House, Charlie Taney, a descendant of Roger Taney, apologized on his family’s behalf, to Scott’s descendants and African Americans in general for the “terrible injustice of the Dred Scott decision.”
Then Scott’s great-great granddaughter, Lynne Jackson, accepted the apology on behalf of “all African Americans who have the love of God in their heart so that healing can begin.”
I’m guessing I know where Ms. Jackson spends her Sunday mornings.
Some people will no doubt dismiss this as a kind of theater. After all, Charlie Taney isn’t responsible for what his ancestor wrote. But that misses the point.
What’s going on here is the acknowledgment of an historical wrong followed by an act of grace which holds out the possibility of a new beginning–in other words, what the New Testament calls “reconciliation.”
Reconciliation comes from a Greek word whose principle meaning is “exchange.” In fact, it was principally used in reference to money-changing, where the parties exchanged coins of equal worth.
In this case something far more valuable than money is being exchanged: the acknowledgement of past wrongs for a restoration of relationships and the possibility of, to use another biblical term, shalom: peace, wholeness, and contentment.
Despite Justice Taney’s best efforts, Dred Scott died a free man. His first master’s family bought him back from the estate with the express purpose of freeing him. Many thanks to Mr. Scott’s and Justice Taney’s descendants for showing us the path to reconciliation in these divisive times.

Casting Popcorn on President Trump, and others ( Our Hyper-Judgmental Culture )

Eric Metaxas :

When it comes to not judging others, we moderns are so far advanced over our forebears. Umm. Not quite.
 
While much of the country has experienced an abnormally mild winter, I have it on good authority that Hell has frozen over. Really.
I know this because we at the Colson Center recently found ourselves in complete agreement with Frank Bruni, a liberal—to put it mildly—columnist for the New York Times.
What occasioned this rare celestial alignment was Bruni’s column deriding a Washington Post article on, of all things, what President Trump had for dinner at a Washington restaurant. The Post’s food critic sneeringly described Trump’s steak order as “well done and with ketchup, as if the entrée would be accompanied with a sippy cup.”
A President may rightly be criticized for his policies. But for his dinner? C’mon folks. Besides, as Bruni retorted to those who would join the sneering, “Let he who is without a bag of microwave popcorn in his cupboard cast the first stone.”
These days, it’s not just the eating habits of politicians that are under attack, but also the eating habits of other, ordinary people.
For example, as Bruni memorably put it, “a mother giving her 5-year-old a sugary Sprite might as well be handing him a loaded gun. The looks she gets from the parents around her are that aghast and alarmed.”
As I said, we at the Colson Center completely agree with Bruni in this case. In fact, we would add that Bruni is even more correct than he lets on. Our “brutality” when it comes to other people’s food and drink habits is just one aspect of the extremely judgmental age in which we live.
That’s right: I said judgmental. For all our talk about being “nonjudgmental” and “tolerant,” modern Americans are nothing of the sort. We are simply judgmental and intolerant about different things.
To cite an example related to Bruni’s column, take the issue of weight. We can’t criticize, in even the most abstract terms, anyone’s sexual conduct. But we’re free to engage in what is known as “fat shaming,” even when there is no “fat” to “shame.” Thus, after her halftime Super Bowl performance, social media was abuzz with people commenting about Lady Gaga’s weight.
It’s not a coincidence that the “brutality” directed towards other people’s food choices and waistlines has a strong class component to it. As Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, famously put it, “you can never be too rich or too thin.”
As Bruni writes, “The more economically privileged the circles, the more people assert their identities through the supposed erudition, acuity and morality of their food choices . . . What a person genuinely, viscerally enjoys, regardless of its cultural bona fides, carries little weight. Food is the new fashion: our outward advertisement of who we are.”
Stated differently, what we eat has become a signal of our virtue. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that eating organic is the new justice and eating locally-sourced is the new temperance, at least in some exclusive zip codes.
By implications, that means that those who do not consume in this way are vicious, in the original Latin sense of the word, “corrupt,” and “depraved.”
Of course, these ideas of vice and virtue are literally superficial. As Jesus—remember Him?—said, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles him.”
And in so many other instances, our post-Christian era has stood the truth about goodness and beauty, virtue and vice on its head. All that’s left is to argue about the condiments.

“Jesus fix Kim.”

Our son was only two years old when Kim, the neighbor girl across the street, broke her leg. On a scale of world disasters, Kim’s leg wouldn’t move the needle, but on the scale of a 2-year-old, oh, that’s serious. Our 5-year-old daughter brought the bad news, so we all stopped right there and we prayed for our friend Kim. We were done, but our son wasn’t. All day over and over again he’d go, “Pray for Kim.” So, they prayed for Kim. That went on thirty or forty times. It might be the most prayed for broken leg in the history of the neighborhood. Well we got word a couple days later that Kim was doing really well, and we told our son. He pulled his Mom over to a picture of Jesus we had on our kitchen wall, and he pointed to the picture and he just said, “Jesus fix Kim.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “A Parent’s Greatest Gift.”
I’ve got to tell you, that was an exciting moment for my wife and me. Look, important enough for us to remember all these years. Why? Because we knew our son was beginning to see that what we have isn’t just a religion, that it’s a He! A real relationship with a real Person who makes a real difference!
In our word for today from the Word of God, God is coaching parents who are trying to raise their children in a culture where they are surrounded by immoral lifestyles, materialism, and a lot of temptation. This doesn’t sound familiar at all does it? Okay, what should a parent do?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
First, God says give your kids a relationship, not just a religion, a love relationship with the Lord. Maybe our children get the impression sometimes that what we’re about is keeping rules, going to meetings, believing beliefs, instead of seeing a Mom or Dad who are just deeply in love with Jesus. If your son or daughter remembers anything from your spiritual life, I hope it will be this, “It’s all about Jesus.” That’s what we wanted our little son to realize, that we have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful Savior, a Person who touches everything in our lives.
Secondly, God’s telling parents here to show them this relationship in everyday life. It’s great to have Bible study times with our family. Family devotions, done with some variety and creativity and participation, are important. But even more important is a Jesus they hear you talk about “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, (probably drive in this case), when you lie down and when you get up.”
Our God-relationship is most powerfully communicated as our kids see us involving Him in the everyday life stuff, like a neighbor’s broken leg, or a math test, or a financial need, or bringing a family conflict to the Lord, praying about trips and friends and romances and teachers and hurting people your family knows.
This is the Jesus who goes with us to McDonald’s, to ball games, to the beach, to dark places, to hospital rooms, to school buses, to work. That’s spiritual reality, not just religion! And to live in a morally dangerous world, our children need a Jesus who is so real to them they know He is with them even when no one else can see them. He goes with them where no parent can go.
I can’t imagine raising kids in a world like this without Jesus – without a Savior. Because I know that I am inadequate. I know my own needs I can’t take care of. I know the baggage, all of which Jesus has come in and helped me unpack that baggage and not pass it on to another generation, and give me His love, and His power and His wisdom.
If you don’t know Jesus personally, if you’re a Mom or Dad, would you today reach out to Him and say, “Jesus, a religion is not enough for me. I want to know you personally. I’m opening my life to you.” You want to know more about that, go to our website ANewStory.com.
We cherished that moment when our little guy recognized Jesus, not just as a picture on the wall, but a real Savior who cares about our everyday stuff. That’s when that song “Jesus loves me, this I know” becomes more than a song; it’s how we live at our house!

Do you believe in God just like the devil 

Listening to this radio program was homework for one of my Bible college classes. I hope it will bless you, and perhaps even challenge you.

Believing Like Demons )