Merry Christmas!

I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas week.

There will be one last blog next week as I see what is next in my life. I will be retiring from UPI after 38 years and look forward to what God might have next for me.

Stay tuned…I just may show up again in blogsville 🙂

Thanks for YEARS of reading and feedback!!

Life Giver?

This week I ask us all to ask ourselves this question…Are we life givers or life takers?

The challenge:

When you first meet someone ask them how they are doing.

Then ask them what is new in their lives.

Finally try to drop the word I from the conversation…make it a you or a we.

Of these 3 areas are foreign to you…you may just be a life taker!

GRACE!


Hayden Carlo, 25, was pulled over by Plano police because he had an expired registration. He said he told the police officer that he was struggling financially. He said he had to choose between updating his registration and feeding his kids.
Carlo recalled their conversation. He flatly said he doesn’t have an excuse for the expired registration except he can’t afford a new one.
“I don’t have the money,” he told the officer. “It was either feed my kids or get this registration done.”
The police officer then handed the driver a citation, but when Carlo unfolded the paper, he saw a crisp $100 bill.
He said he “broke down” in his car. “What else can you do?” he asked.
Grace is my most beloved word in the world. As I study Jesus’ life, the notion of grace keeps hitting me in the face. All his stories made the wrong person the hero: the prodigal son not the responsible older brother, Lazarus not the rich man, the Good Samaritan not the Jewish rabbi. And I began to see grace as one of the great, often untapped, powers of the universe that God has asked us to set loose.
The French philosopher Simone Weil wrote a book called Gravity and Grace which describes two different ways of approach. The world runs by rules like gravity. As Isaac Newton studied the universe, he came up with fixed rules like “Every action deserves an equal and opposite reaction.” Athletics runs that way, as does the economy and politics. Stop making your car or house payments, and the bank repossesses them. Bomb my country and we will bomb you back. Against that pattern comes a strikingly different pattern. From God we deserve anger and we get love; we deserve punishment and we get forgiveness.
Grace is unfair. We deserve God’s wrath and get God’s love, deserve punishment and get forgiveness. We don’t get what we deserve. Paul put it ironically, “The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life.” We work hard for wages, which vanish at death; we do nothing to deserve grace, and get life eternal. It’s unfair that a human rights abuser like Saul gets forgiven, or a murderer/adulterer like King David, or a thief hanging on a cross who has a conversion just before death. Yes, it’s unfair—gloriously unfair I would say. Coach Campman

Someone cares

Educated, Uneducated. God loves you.

Common laborer, CEO. God loves you.

First Grade Student, College Professor. God loves you.

Success, Failure. God loves you.

Coach, Umpire. God loves you.

“God doesn’t love us because of who we are. God loves us because of who He is.”

“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 1:6)

Keith Madison

Are sports wrong?

There are two common wrong attitudes to sport – some dismiss sports as merely a game, while others worship sports as nearly a God. When viewed through the lens of Scripture, however, we will see that sport is more than a game, less than a God, and when transformed by the gospel can be received as a gift.

As people we were created to play. Play does not have a secondary purpose. It is simply creatively delighting in and enjoying God’s good creation for its own sake.

Like a father who builds a sandbox for his children, God is honoured and takes joy when his sons and daughters delight in his workmanship. John Calvin called the world “the theatre of God’s glory” but it is also the playground of God’s goodness.

Sports and competition are gifts of God in creation to be richly enjoyed with thanksgiving.

Why do people play sports? On the one hand, men and women play sports because they are created to play and want to use their gifts to glorify God. On the other hand, people often play sports as a way to justify themselves, to prove themselves to the world.

When sinners understand that they are justified by the blood of Christ, this frees them from having to justify themselves through their accomplishments. Sports then become a gift; they no longer bear the pressure of being the way that we prove ourselves to the world.

Stuart Weir