Monday, January 26, 2015

A Tale of Two Quarterbacks

When I heard about “inflategate,” I figured it would be no big deal. I’m not a New England Patriots fan, but deliberately underinflating footballs seemed like part of some sort of loony conspiracy theory.

But apparently it might be a real thing.

I saw excerpts of Coach Bill Belichick’s press conference, as he basically “deferred to" (i.e. threw under the bus) his prize quarterback, Tom Brady. As I understand it, Belichick would know nothing about breaking any rules. (Unless, of course, you count presiding over the 2007 illegal sideline videotaping of your opponent’s defensive signals, for which you got fined $500,000. But I digress.)

So then Tom “Possibly the Greatest Quarterback of All Time” Brady faced the press, and reminded me a little of Richard Nixon famously protesting, “I am not a crook.” (I freely admit that  Brady is ‘way handsomer.)

I have no idea if Mr. Brady cheated or not. But for people like me who love football, the whole episode makes you want to take a shower. Or stop watching football.

Come on, Sports Millionaires. You've got fame, fortune, and the adulation of millions of people. Maybe you could use your influence and money for something other than trying to increase your influence and money.

While I was fighting a gag reflex over “inflategate,” I remembered seeing the story of another quarterback. Tim Tebow just opened a pediatric hospital in the Philippines. He’s out of football (not good enough, right?) but he seems to be using his fame and fortune in a different way, toward a different end.

I think I know which of these two quarterbacks will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. And I also believe I know which of them is more likely to hear, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Story of a Baby

Colorado State Children's Home, 1950's
Today is my birthday, and it is also Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. So I thought I’d tell the story of a baby. Me.

My birth-parents were not married (at least to one another), so my mother’s pregnancy was anything but a happy event. They conceived me in Ohio, but she traveled all the way to Denver to deliver me. I spent my first weeks of life at the Colorado State Children’s Home.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Blessings of Alphabet Praying

This post is a very simple idea for prayer. But the simple stuff - disciplines of prayer and Bible reading and service and praise - is what gives us focus and balance and enables us to keep walking with Jesus.

“Alphabet praying” just means using the alphabet to prompt prayer for people whose names start with specific letters of the alphabet.

It works great while you’re exercising or stuck in traffic or sitting in a waiting room. Any time you have 15 or 20 minutes of “down time,” consider alphabet praying.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Did the Raindrop Fall From His Hand?

Is it harder to believe that God sends a raindrop than to trust natural processes God set up millions of years ago? Does it seem superstitious and “backward” to imagine that Almighty God crafts the clouds, kindles the lightning, and blows the wind?

I’m been thinking a lot about this because Dionne and I have started reading John M. Frame’s Systematic Theology. When Frame discusses miracles, he prefers not to call them an interruption of divine law or natural process but “extraordinary manifestations of God’s lordship.” (p. 131)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Life Cut Short?

When they woke up on Saturday, December 20, neither Officer Rafael Ramos nor Officer Wenjian Liu knew it was their last morning on earth. They were murdered as they sat in their squad car. Their killer had been targeting cops.

Evidently Officer Ramos was a believer in Christ. World Magazine has a great story (click here)  about his funeral and the church where he and his family worshiped for the last 14 years.  Ramos, who just turned 40, was due to graduate from the NYPD’s chaplain training program the day after he was killed. He left behind a wife and two sons.

The senseless murder of a young, godly man reminds us that evil is real and that our world is in its grip. It lives within each of us sinners, and flares like a malarial fever in some, erupting in rage and violence.

We might be tempted to conclude that this dark world is irredeemably out of control, and that the enemy of our soul won yet another ugly victory in cutting short the life of a man like Rafael Ramos.