Friday, February 12, 2016

Sportmanship, the Bible and Current Events

This past Sunday, the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24 to 10 in football's "Super Bowl". One of the prime follow-up topics of the sports news was losing quarterback Cam Newton's sullen reaction in a press conference shortly after the game.

Later in defending his actions, the Panthers quarterback said, “You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser." For some this seems to be the philosophical statement of the year. He followed this saying "It's not a popularity contest. I'm here to win football games."

Yes, the concept of football is to win the game. There's no trophy for losing. (Paul acknowledges this in 1 Corinthians 9:24) Those who lose will not be happy with the outcome. But there is a difference between not wanting to or liking to lose and acting like a spoiled brat after losing.

Newton said, "You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser." He could have just as truthfully said, "You show me a bad loser and I’m going to show you a loser" or "You show me a loser and I’m going to show you a loser." A loser is a loser is a loser, regardless of how he acts. Most of the season Newton and the Panthers have been winners. They won more than any other team. But in the big game on Sunday February 7, 2016 they were losers. Beaten badly by the Broncos. Fact. Actions, good or bad, won't change that.

Other comments by Newton challenge the concept of being gracious and magnanimous in losing. "The truth of the matter is, who are you to say your way is right? That's what I don't understand. We've got all these people condemning, and saying he shouldn't have done this, that and the third. What makes your way right?"

Yes, what does make "your way" (being a good loser) right? Well, if you're a Christian, here are some good starters (if you're not, I don't know what to tell you).

1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things...
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

By the way, winners ought to be gracious and magnanimous as well! (E.g. Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth...)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Genealogy, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources.

"Genealogy, begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, continues as an avocation and in the last stages, is an incurable disease." -- Author unknown 

"If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything." -- William Lyon Phelps

"None but those who are partakers of a heavenly birth feel heavenly realities to be their choice element, holy things their sweetest meditation, and the solemn worship of God their supreme delight. Look at this mark as a touchstone of divine life; for to be spiritually-minded a man must be spiritual, and to be spiritual he must have received the Spirit and been made a partaker of that 'kingdom of God which is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost' (Rom. 14:17)." -- J. C. Philpot 

"The materialistic and atheistic scientists of the age conceive of nature's laws without a lawgiver; of a creature without a creator; and stop with the effect, without rising to the cause, which alone affords a rational explanation of the effect." -- Philip Schaff

"A man who confesses his sins to in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the reality of God in the presence of another person." -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Life Together

"Acquaintance with scripture and the leadership of the Holy Spirit are the only things that any pastor or church needs." -- Bart Barber

"People who claim to hunger for truth often don't like the taste once it is served." -- copied

"Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you." -- Mike Murdock

"True religion, rightly received, never made any man uncivil. Courtesy and Christianity agree well together." -- Matthew Henry

"A Christian, living under the Lordship of Christ, should examine every activity, every hobby, every action he takes and see if it glorifies God and serves the purposes of the kingdom." -- Dave Miller

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Morning-Star arose

Luke 2:29-32

1. Upon a world of guilt and night 
The Morning-Star arose. 
Enough! mine eyes have seen its light: 
Now welcome death's repose." 

2. Prophetic joy those words inspired, 
When, in the Virgin's Son, 
Simeon beheld the long-desired, 
And bless'd God's Holy One. 

3. “Now lettest Thou Thy servant, Lord! 
In peace his soul resign. 
These eyes, according to Thy word, 
See Judah's Day-Star shine. 

4. "The Light of Life, whose healing ray 
Shall sin's deep shades dispel; 
To Gentile lands salvation's day; 
Thy glory, Israel!" 

5. Faith still beholds her risen Lord, 
Though hid from mortal sight. 
Shine forth, O Saviour! in Thy word, 
And fill the world with light. 

-- from The Choir and the Oratory; Or Praise and Prayer, by Josiah Conder, London: Jackson and Walford, 1837

The God of Earth and Outer Space and NASA

NASA Illegally Censors ‘Jesus’ from Employee Emails; Liberty Institute Issues Demand Letter

Monday, February 08, 2016

All the news isn't bad

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Journalistic purposes, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Friday, February 05, 2016

A tale of two sisters

  • Luke 10:38-42
  • John 11:1-46; 12:1-8
Martha and Mary were sisters (John 11:1,5). They lived in Bethany in a house that is described as Martha’s (Luke 10:38). They seem to have lived together, with their brother Lazarus. Like most sisters, they had there similarities and their differences. We might guess that Martha was the older sibling, but that is nowhere stated in the Bible (though she seems to be given the distinction of head of the household).

Martha and Mary were similar (John 11:3,21,32) -- certainly not unusual for two who share the same parents and grow up in the same household. Martha and Mary had the same belief in Jesus. Together they sent for him when Lazarus was sick, recognizing his power over disease. Independently they made exactly the same expression of faith in that power, “If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” No doubt they were lifted with similar joy when their death was given back to life.

Martha and Mary were different. Though sisters who shared the same parents and grew up in the same household, they possessed their individual differences. Martha seems to be practical, a woman of action. When disciples arrived in her household she made sure they were fed (Luke 10:40; John 12:1ff.). When she heard Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him (John 11:20). When Jesus commanded the stone be rolled away from Lazarus’s tomb, she gave the practical observation on the normal status of a four-day old dead body (John 11:39). Mary seems to be contemplative, a woman of thought. When Jesus was in the home, she sat at his feet rather that perform the usual domestic duties (Luke 10:39). When she heard Jesus was coming, she stayed at the house (John 11:20). She washed Jesus’s feet with expensive ointment (John 12:1-8).

Jesus loved Martha and Mary (John 11:5). Just as they were, with and in spite of their similarities and differences -- Jesus loved the sisters Martha and Mary. Too often some people think that others should be more like they are -- dress like they do, talk life they do, react like they do. Or, conversely, that some people think they need to be less like themselves and more like someone else. But, as the children’s song says, Jesus loves me, this I know (Not just the me that shall be, but the me that is). God’s love is wonderful. God’s love is unconditional.

This is not to suggest that we have no improvements that could be made. We could all sin less, work harder, think higher and love longer. But there is room in God’s eternal love, to save a sin-sick soul. Room for us to come “just as we are,” and room for God to love us just like we are. Jesus loved BOTH Martha and Mary (and Lazarus, too!). That’s an encouraging proposition.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Paradise and Calvary

We think that Paradise and Calvary, 
Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place; 
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me; 
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face, 
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.

- John Donne, from An Hymn to God, My God, in My Sickness