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TRUTH TO LIVE BY…


“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called-one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given…v11 for some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. v15 …speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does it’s work.”  Eph 4:1-16.

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GOODNESS: What is it?

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness 2 Peter 1:5

What does Peter mean by goodness? The Greek word was common in secular language and meant “excellence”, to do something to a very high standard. Like performing in elite sport with excellency. Peter also uses the word in verse 3 saying that God has “called us by his own glory and goodness”. Michael Green suggests that “Christians must work out the salvation that God works in them”. Our lives must reflect the character of Jesus.

Goodness is Christlikeness. It is “what would Jesus do” not just on a wristband but worked out in the cauldron of competitive sport. It is competing for all you are worth but not taking an unfair advantage. It is practical, not theoretical.

There is a lovely story of the Nigerian tennis player, Nduka Odizor, discovering that his opponent in a grass-court tournament had no grass-court shoes. Ozidor lent his opponent his spare shoes and lost the match! That was sheer Christian goodness.

Remember the exchange in CS Lewis’ The lion, the witch and the wardrobe: “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Our God isn’t always “safe” but he is good. So should we be. Think of a way you can exhibit God’s goodness in your sporting life this week. STUART WEIR

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A LETTER FROM COACH PAT SUMMIT

THIS LETTER IS TO GOOD NOT TO PASS ONTO MY FRIENDS. READ AND SEE THE HEART OF THIS LEGENDARY COACH.

This is the impact Pat had on the life of a young woman: a letter saved for 34 years. Long, long after playing days are over, taken from a drawer and reread whenever there is trouble. It’s impossible to peruse it without finally understanding Pat, the soul-stretching generosity at the heart of her, and the degree to which she tried to live out her values. It’s dated Nov. 22, 1982:

Shelia, This is your first game. I hope you win for your sake, not mine. Because winning’s nice. It’s a good feeling. Like the whole world is yours. But it passes, this feeling. And what lasts is what you’ve learned. And what you’ve learned about is — life. That’s what sport is all about — life!

The whole thing is played out in an afternoon. The happiness of life, the miseries, the joys, the heartbreaks. There’s no telling what will turn up. There’s no telling how you’ll do. You might be a hero. Or you might be absolutely nothing.

There’s just no telling. Too much depends on chance, on how the ball bounces.

I’m not talking about the game. I’m talking about life. But it’s life that the game is all about. Just as I said, every game is life, and life is a game. A serious one. Dead serious. But here’s what you do with serious things. You do your best. You take what comes.

You take what comes and you run with it. Winning is fun . . . Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.

The game is never over. No matter what the scoreboard reads, or what the referee says, it doesn’t end when you come off the court.

The secret of the game is in doing your best. To persist and endure, “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

I’m proud to be your Coach,
Pat Head Summitt

baseball · Bible · Leadership · motivation · religion

Swearing wrong??

What does the Bible say about swearing?

Is it sin?

Is there a difference between swearing and cursing? 

Do you ever swear?

Well, I hope I have your attention! This is something I’ve always wondered about. 🙂


Here is another question: Do you believe those who are not followers of Jesus should be held to the same standard  as those who do profess to follow Jesus?


These questions won’t be answered in this week’s blog but are designed to stimulate discussion. Please feel free to share your thoughts!

We all know people who swear. In fact, in the new audio version of our book,Sandusky Bay, you will hear me swear!   Why? Because the main character is a man that swears and he is typical of many men like him.

Sandusky Bay follows the lives of 3 men who are searching for meaning. If you are offended by the occasional hell or damn,don’t listen to the first chapter! If you are ready to investigate a journey toward manhood, you might be interested in reading or listening to the book. Sandusky Bay is the first in a 3 book series written by Jerry Price and myself.

We’ve been told many men do not like to read. With that in mind,the first in the series, Sandusky Bay, is out in paperback, kindle and audio book form. So if you do not like to read, you can listen. 🙂

The second book in the series, ELLISON BAY, is currently in final edit and scheduled to be available in paperback and e-book this spring.  The third book is currently in the writing stage.

IF interested in any of the materials that Jerry Price and I have put together, please go to our webpage:WWW.2BREALMEN.COM(some items are free and some are available for purchase)

We hope you will be blessed and challenged by our work. Jerry and I are both available for speaking as our schedules permit. There is a request form on our website.

 

 

 

 

Bible · Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · religion

CONFESSION

My good buddy and co author friend Jerry Price shares a confession that will most likely get you thinking deeper!


The movie SILENCE tells the story of two Jesuit missionaries facing the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor, at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

Adam Driver plays Francisco Garrpe and Andrew Garfield plays Rodrigues along with Liam Neeson, who’s character is Cristovao Ferreira, their mentor.

In their ultimate test of faith, they were required by the Inquisitor to step on an image of Christ or go through horrible torture and even death.

The focus seemed to be on Driver’s character as a priest who, toward the end of the movie, did step on the image to save people’s lives that suffered before his eyes.

In his doubt of God’s silence, Garrpe hears a voice supposedly of Jesus but sounding to me like Ferreira reasoning with him to step on the image and deny the savior. Bizarre.

The reasoning seemed logical to imply the cross represents humanity trampling on Jesus and the voice understood if Garrpe would do so.

But, I thought, “Jesus came to die for our sins, to redeem and restore humanity. Not just so humanity could step on him, even though this moment in Silence showed how it still does.”

Why am I bringing this up?

Ah, the games that can go on in a believer’s mind to save anyone from suffering for their faith, only to find they’ve betrayed the savior.

Yet, the Apostle Paul wrote to Roman Christians about the subject and told them they might have to suffer or die for their belief in Jesus. This was close to his heart, while under house arrest for his faith. But there was hope, because Jesus is alive and returning with and for his body of believers scattered throughout the world.

To me, the only character in the movie that seem to have integrity was Rodrigues, who swam out to save the lives of people being drowned and he himself murdered before Francisco Garrpe.

Eventually and sadly, Garrpe recants his faith to trample on the image of Christ.

Question

Didn’t the Apostle Peter find himself trapped by a maiden at the trial of Jesus to betray him? Isn’t there a potential betrayer in every believer where we could prostitute ourselves for what seems to be a right, logical and spiritual purpose?

Maybe that was the significance of the movie but again there were people of faith dying who wouldn’t do that, even though Rodrigues did.

Confession

As an eighteen-year-old student at the Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, I stayed back in the dorm during a vacation break to work.

I was in my room when I got a knock on the door.

“Jerry, you’re the son of a prison evangelist. You know how to deal with guys in the street. We have a guy down in the lounge we think you can talk too. Would you come?” the student asked.

Like a well meaning but arrogant Rodrigues, I went to see the fellow.

After fifteen minutes, this man off the street looked at me and said, “Nobody loves me!”

“I do,” I stated.

The man said, “If you do, you would take that bible and throw it down on the floor.”

So I did that.

The man looked up at me with an ever so small grin and said, “If that’s the kind of love you have, I don’t want it.”

Caught in my betrayal of Jesus, I was crushed. I had been conned! I was Rodrigues!

I look back on that moment with shame.

God has forgiven me, and like he did for Peter, gave me a ministry over time. Maybe that’s one reason why I am in a position years later to address what Twisted Thinking is and how it hurts others.

I was angry after the movie because of the harm of such thinking; that it’s understandable to trample on the image of Christ just because I care about others who are suffering or dying for their faith, or wondering if anyone really loves them. What a trap!

I am so glad Jesus didn’t give in to any of Satan’s temptations. Aren’t you?

“If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Ps 130:3,4,5 NIV

Jesus never fails.

Jesus · Leadership · motivation · purpose · religion

PERSONAL DEVOTIONS

When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you and pray to your Father who sees everything and will reward you. Matthew 6:6

At our church we recently had a sermon on staying close to God. 

I want to share with you some of the content. Making a habit of meeting with God’s people every Sunday is really important. But for many of us work requires us to travel to training camps, competition etc. It is therefore important that we develop the discipline of spending time with God wherever we are.

SHUT THE DOOR

This means finding a place and time to be alone with our Father, without disturbance or distraction.

ENJOY THE REWARD

The passage talks of the Father rewarding us as we spend time with him. Here are some of the rewards: To know that we are loved 
The assurance that enables us to call God Father
Laying down our burdens, receiving his peace (Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7)
Receiving guidance, wisdom, courage, correction
Becoming more like Jesus, more loving.

When I am at home I have a set time and aset place for praying and reading the Bible. When one is travelling, possibly sharing a room, it becomes more difficult. It is therefore more important that we develop the habit. Make sure to give a priority to spending time with God in 2017.

With thanks to Graham Sinden