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Here is a great article on the injured college Quarterback for Texas, Colt McCoy. With all the hype and TV coverage, sometimes we have to be reminded these are just young men in college who still need their dads for the tough times.
So Colt gripped the ball, stared at his dad and thought, “It’s just a simple throw.” He threw. The ball went soft and wide. Everyone grimaced. “Give it to me again,” Colt demanded. Brad got the ball and gave it back to his son. The next throw was the same, bouncing harmlessly away. “Give it to me again,” Colt said, again. Brad did.
It was the same. It was over. Colt couldn’t throw it 7 yards to his own father. “My arm was dead,” he said. The dad hugged his son. The son broke down and cried.
As a church body we watched a documentary on the life of Eric Liddell during our New Year’s Eve Service. We watched an additional 30 minute film on his life and commitment to Christ with the Teens during youth group Sunday night. His life and commitment to Christ continue to convict today. Much of this is due to the fact that his stand to not run on the Sabbath in the 1924 Olympics was not a singular conviction but rather simply obedience and commitment to follow Christ and His law of love in all of his life.
Today we rarely hear of Christian athletes with such conviction, but Scotland has given us another modern day example in rugby player Euan Murray. Here is his explanation for not playing for Scotland on the Lord’s Day.
Euan said: “It’s basically all or nothing, following Jesus. I don’t believe in pick ‘n’ mix Christianity. I believe the bible is the word of God, so who am I to ignore something from it?
“I might as well tear out that page then keep tearing out pages as and when it suits me. If I started out like that there would soon be nothing left.”
Euan’s recent decision to keep Sunday as a day of worship means he will miss Scotland’s opening Six Nations game against France on February 7 and, potentially, some key matches with his club, Northampton.
Despite his religious stand, Euan has played for Scotland before on a Sunday – in the 2008 Six Nations against France.
But he said turning out on the Sabbath grew increasingly painful.
Euan, who has 28 caps, said: “I was going against my conscience and it became impossible to enjoy.
“I realised it’s quite simple, really.
“Jesus said, ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’ and there are 10 commandments – not nine.”
It is understood a clause in Euan’s new club contract, stating he does not have to play on Sundays, is unique in top-flight rugby
He added: “I’ve talked about the ‘call to excellence’ I perceive in the bible, being the best you can be and I try to present myself as a living sacrifice to the Lord.
“I want to excel in rugby because that’s where I’ve been given the opportunity to serve my God – but it has to fit with the way I want to live my life.
“The most important thing in my life will always be serving Christ.
“I want to live my life believing and doing the things he wants and the Sabbath day is a full day.
“It’s not a case of a couple of hours in church then playing rugby or going down the pub, it’s the full day.”
March Madness is finally here! The Brackets are out. Butler is a 9 seed! IU is resting comfortably in Bloomington. Purdue probably has the best chance to advance.
If you are connected to Edgewood and want to take part in the Reformed Round Ball Bracket Challenge hosted by Yahoo give me an email and an invite will be promptly sent out. If you have received an invite and haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for?
I have to admit, letter writing is a practice that I am not great at but am trying to get better at. This story on ESPN discusses how Peyton Manning writes letters to former players, because he knows how much letters mean to him and he knows how much the respect of others means to him. I am often encouraged by the character of Manning, and that is why he is another athlete I don’t mind on my son’s wall.
Having strong role models in life can be very helpful. My dad often set people in front of me to help push me, motivate me, and be a role model to me. I appreciate at that now more than I did then. I can remember the newspaper cut outs of Steve Alford and his shooting form. There was even a photo of a guy guarding Alford in high school focused only on his stomach that was to be my model for defense. To my regret I never really panned out as an Indiana high school basketball player, but the fundamentals are there. I can remember the recording the Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters. I believe that is what started my love for golf. I also have a book by RC Sproul, “Holiness”, with an article about Danny Wuerffel and his faith and his love for faithful teachers of God’s Word.
The athletics never really worked out too well for me, but the love of them stuck. However, more importantly the love of Christ and the other examples Dad set before me like Jim Elliot, CH Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, RC Sproul, John MacArther, Sinclair Ferguson, Eric Alexander, Alistair Begg, and many others have stuck and many now surround me on my bookshelf and MP-3 player as I type.
In light of the BCS Championship tonight, it appears there is another role model that may be helpful to set before young people today, Tim Tebow! Regardless of how you feel about the Florida Gators, I think he has followed well in the footsteps of his role model, Danny Wuerffel, and continues to be bold in his testimony of his love for Christ and sharing Christ with others.
Here is an ESPN article on him (ht:tc) In a day where sports are full of those who want to proclaim they are not role models and others who simply want to be gangsta role models, take the opportunity to set someone out there for young people who realizes there is something bigger than self and something bigger than sports . Let them see someone who motivates the soul as well as their athletic desires.
Well last year Ben Hoak had to make good on this standing bet, now it is my turn to return the shameful favor. Due to IU’s loss Saturday I must post a picture of Kentucky on my blog. I believe the picture below should suffice and tells the story well:
Art Monk was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame this past weekend. Heather and I caught the last few minutes of his acceptance speech and were very impressed. Being known as a quiet man, he had one of the most outspoken testimonies I have heard from a professional athlete. His son’s introduction solidified all that he proclaimed.
Dad’s greatness never came from his ability to play football, but it came because he wanted to be used by God for his glory, above all.
He realized and held onto the gifts and talents that God blessed him with. And the bible says to build your foundation on a rock. Solid rock. For when the storm comes, you will not shake or you will not be moved for your foundation is well built.
Dad built his foundation on the strongest rock of all and that was Jesus Christ.
Go and read the transcript linked above. I think you will find it a real encouragement.
I told a friend Sunday to look it up on Youtube or the NFL network. I mentioned that he so intertwined Scripture and references to God that I did not think it was possible to edit God out of his speech. I was wrong.
There is a right and wrong way to use words. The New Testament spends many verses discussing this principle. Sinclair Ferguson is preaching at Desiring God’s National Conference this year on this subject. This brief video, giving a taste of what is to come, is very challenging in itself. If you have never heard of Sinclair Ferguson, get to know him, listen to him, read him. There are many men that impact my life and ministry. Outside of my father there are three men alive today that stand out clearly, Eric Alexander, Peter Jeffery, and Sinclair Ferguson. I could list others that shape my pastoral ministry, but these men shape my theological and teaching ministry. There is a depth, soberness, and sincerity about their preaching that I long for in my own.
I promise not to turn this blog into a sports blog, I will stick to theology and Christian living and a few family tidbits. However, the Rick Greenspan news story caused too much disturbance to simply let it go. Several months back we, IU Fans, watched a coach leave a program he did considerable damage to in his few years there. He resigned and was given $750,000 to buy out his contract. In what other line of work can one nearly run a business into the ground (they are awaiting sanctions, have self imposed sanctions, and do not have a single player left on the roster that Sampson recruited less than 5 months after his leaving) and walk away with as much money as many people will expect to make in a lifetime! Well, we now have to watch $441,000 more be given to the Athletic Director who took “a risk that should not have been taken” and hired Sampson. Again, a very nice severance package for a guy who has has “failed” in his job. Oh yeah, he got the rights to any book he may want to write too. Now there is a book not even Purdue fans will want to read. Did I mention we dished out $66,000 to buyout the assistant coach who helped Sampson break the rules while Greenspan was not watching? Doesn’t it seem like it is better to be really bad at a job and be employed by IU than to be really good at a job in the real world?