Some favorite action shots from the previous week.
What President Reagan said to school-children following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident:
And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.
You can read the whole thing here or watch below. It is under 5 minutes.
Doubtless, many persecuted Christians in Syria and around the world are so persecuted that they are despairing of life itself.
The Apostle Paul could relate. In 2 Cor 1, Paul bares his heart by sharing that in Asia he and his coworkers thought they had reached the end:
For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. (2 Cor 1:8-9).
Still, Paul knew there was a purpose for his suffering.
But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Cor 1:9-10).
If Paul knew that his only hope was through Christ, he also understood that God works through the instrumentality of prayer. God’s faithfulness in seeing his people through difficulties is in and through God’s people praying. So Paul adds:
You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11.
Surely, if Syrian Christians had our email addresses, and they didn’t think that we would mark them as spam, they would echo the Apostle Paul’s words to us today, “You must help us by prayer . . .”
In the face of a loaded gun, Antoinette Tuff illustrated Christ’s teaching that Christians are to be those who preserve and illuminate a dark world. In the below interview she shares how her faith saw her through her encounter with a man preparing to murder. Thankfully, God used her sweet, gracious way to defuse the situation.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16, ESV)
Thom Rainer interacts with the reality that church attendance in America is declining. He suggests several ways to respond including making membership meaningful.
Unfortunately, in many churches membership has become less and less meaningful. Until we get our churches back to the committed membership the Apostle Paul mandates in 1 Corinthians 12, we will continue to see declining attendance. But when membership becomes truly meaningful, our churches will become an unstoppable force for the Kingdom and glory of God.
Read the whole thing here.
Growing up, I knew exactly one Mormon family. The father was the town veterinary and he was a good man. When my dog broke her leg, he put a cast on it. Later, he amputated another dog’s leg. He always seemed to care. Of course, we had livestock (as did almost all farmers in SE Iowa then) so he was frequently at our farm. He treated my 4H calf and didn’t charge me anything. It was a particularly stupid creature which performed terribly at the fair. However, my grandpa rigged the bidding so I got a good price for it, but that’s another story. The point is that our Mormon vet was nice to me.
I didn’t know much about what the local Mormons believed. They didn’t drink ice tea or coffee which was very strange. We knew polygamy was in their past and that they had a lot of other beliefs not shared by the wider community. People in Keosauqua viewed not drinking coffee as being just about as weird as the polygamy thing. We didn’t live far from Nauvoo, IL which was a center for the Mormon church. They had a good restaurant there which featured blue cheese. I wasn’t sure if there was any connection between Mormons and blue cheese, nor am I to this day. Blue cheese wasn’t as mainstream then as it is now.
I saw our Mormon veterinary get kicked by a cow. If you’ve never been kicked by a cow, you’ve never been kicked. The Christians I knew growing up, believed that the tongue should be tamed. However, it was understood that absolution was given (in a Protestant sort of way) to farmers who got kicked by livestock. There was a string of words largely approved for such occasions. The fact that our Mormon veterinary was so controlled in his response to getting blasted by the hoof of a cow was nearly as remarkable as him not drinking coffee at the sale barn.
All of which is to say, Mormons were an oddity in Keosauqua, aliens, sojourners: good neighbors, but weird.
Denny Burke concluded his post from today, A revolution in the American South on gay marriage, with this thought:
Christians in the South are witnessing the disolution of the old way–one in which many Christian values were reinforced by the wider culture. That day–that South–has gone with the wind. That means that Christians who have grown accustomed to ease in Baylon will once again have to learn what it means to be sojourners. And that may not be an altogether bad thing.
I wonder if, in the coming years, Christians in rural America will be seen like we saw Mormons in the 1960′s and 70′s in my hometown. In any case, we should watch what we say when we get kicked.
Read Denny Burke’s post here.
Comparably, Carl Trueman adds:
Surely it is time to become realistic. It is time to drop the cultural elitism that poses as significant Christian transformation of culture but only really panders to nothing more than middle class tastes and hobbies. It is time to look again at the New Testament’s teaching on the church as a sojourning people where here we have no lasting home. The psalms of lament teach us that it is only when we have realistic horizons of expectation will we be able to stand firm against what is coming. If we do not understand that now, we are going to be sorely disappointed in the near future.
Read the whole thing here.
C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory and Other Sermons:
Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Take pictures that will be priceless 20 years from now.
By all means, take action shots. Get your cameras ready for big plays.
But even as you are snapping action shots, be looking for sideline pictures of teammates and family members which will soon mean more than a picture of a touchdown. There will come a day very soon when pictures with grandparents, parents, or teammates will be favorites.
Below are some pictures I think young people will treasure in the years to come.