Sweetness and Light

As you all know, I’m a sports fan and I love good sports writing.  David and I were pleased to be present at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony when Peter Gammons, longtime Red Sox writer, was honored.  Rick Reilly is also a favorite of us both.

One of my favorite sportswriters is Frank Deford, who is an NPR contributor.  His opinion pieces each week are called “Sweetness and Light,” and one recent story had me all choked up.  I know you’ll enjoy it, too.

Source

Yes, he was a captain, but it was, you see, the first start of his college career. Cory had played a few minutes on the varsity as a freshman, never even scoring. But then, after that season, although he was only 18 years old, he suffered a major stroke. He was unable to walk for two weeks. His whole left side was paralyzed. He lost his memory, had seizures.

Read or listen to the whole thing at When There’s More to Winning Than Winning.

Christ and the Church

Some news was made about three months ago when Pat Robertson suggested a man divorce his wife with Alzheimer’s disease and remarry.  Here is one of my favorite responses to that suggestion:  Christ, the Church, and Pat Robertson.

As an alternative, today I share with you this precious video of Robert Mounce and his wife.  Mounce is president emeritus of Whitworth College, and his son is the primary resource for many Greek students (including my husband, and I hope someday our sons).

Lament

Prayer of Lament
Lord as we gather, celebrating your glory and goodness,
we acknowledge the shadow of today’s anniversary.
Together, we remember September 11th, 2001.
We mourn for the lives lost in New York City,
Washington D.C., and on Flight 93.
We lament death’s reign, the visible and invisible forces of evil,
the principalities and powers of this dark world,
and the evil that lurks in the hearts of all men… including our own.
With the Psalmist, we cry:
“How long, Oh Lord?
How long will your enemies scoff?
How long will you withhold your justice
from a world that’ is desperate to see it?”
We lament a world at war, and we ask you for peace
  • In Afghanistan
  • in Iraq
  • in Libya
  • in Israel and Palestine
  • in Egypt and Syria,
  • and all of the nations of the earth that long for freedom from oppression.
We ask for protection over our loved ones and families who serve overseas,
We pray for the fatherless and the widow,
for the poor and oppressed.
We lift up our global leaders
that by your grace they might lead with wisdom and justice
and work for peace.
And we acknowledge that all such hopes and longings point us to one who will soon return and bring an everlasting peace and justice.

Together we proclaim:
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD! – (Psalm 146:2-10)

Amen, Come Lord Jesus.

Goodnight Irene

Hurricane update from Charlotte:  it’s sunny and a little breezy here, and all we expect to get from Hurricane Irene — besides an assault of news coverage from crazy reporters standing in the water on Nags Head — is more humidity…because we need more of that.

Winning at Home

As I type this, I’m watching the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals.  I am not a hockey fan, but there’s a Boston team on the verge of a championship, so I’ll pay attention.  Besides, I know some Bruins players besides Bobby Orr.  Like Adam Oates.   And Ray Bourque.  And Cam Neely.  And probably no one who currently plays for the team.

They’re playing the final game in Vancouver.  As the Bruins have a 3-0 lead with eight minutes to go, I suspect they may win this thing…in Vancouver.  The wrong city.  They should win at home.

Earlier this week, we saw the Dallas Mavericks clinch the NBA title in Miami.  It’s so awkward watching the celebration when that happens.  The home crowd doesn’t know what to do.  Do they exit quickly to avoid the winning team’s jubilation?  Stand in stunned silence?  Applaud politely for the victors?

Each time the Red Sox won the World Series in the last decade, they were away.  The first time, in 2004, I didn’t mind so much.  In fact I didn’t care at all — I was just so deliriously happy that they finally got the monkey off their back.

The second series win, in 2007, came late on a Sunday night if I remember correctly.  I watched the final out and saw the team rush the field again.  I was happy, yes.  But after a few moments I wistfully said, “I just wish they could clinch at Fenway….”  So many dedicated fans…so much history…it seems tragic that they couldn’t just once have it happen in front of their home crowd.  (But hey, there’s always this year, she said cautiously.)

Unfortunately, at the time I was sitting with a Cubs fan and a Twins fan, so you can imagine how much sympathy I was offered at that moment.  Two sets of eyes looked upon me with daggers of contempt.

Two plus minutes to go and another goal.  I’ll call it here and say congratulations, Bruins.  Fellow New Englanders, it’s a great time to be a fan.

Why My Kids Will Never Play Football

…as long as I have anything to say about it:

Concussions and Head Injuries in Football

(be sure to check the links in the sidebar)

I’ve been concerned about this issue for going on two years now, and finally, last night at halftime on NBC, Bob Costas said something about it.  I’m sure it was a league-approved message, but it felt like FINALLY it was becoming a mainstream concern.  Honestly the whole thing makes it much harder for me to watch and enjoy football.

More reading:

Penn player who killed self had brain disease
NFL:  Dodging the Concussion Discussion

You can call me a spoilsport, but with the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs and the innovations in pads and helmets making them lighter — thus allowing players to move faster — it seems like an increase in these incidents is approaching.

Thoughts?

Muddy Waters

This past Saturday, as I was working on a valance for the schoolroom window, I turned on the livestream for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally in Washington DC. Why? A few reasons, I guess. Number one, plain old curiosity. Number two, I am still trying to understand his appeal as nearly everyone around me adores him. But for all my trying, I don’t get it.

As I listened on Saturday, I became more confused. The message seemed muddled. Was this a political rally? Was it a religious rally? What was the point? I couldn’t figure it out. Add to that the fact that Albert Pujols received an award for honesty and integrity — I can’t shake the suspicion that he’s on PEDs — and you’ve got enough reasons for me to get good and frustrated. I finally turned it off after forty minutes.

That was why, on Sunday, when the article below hit my Google reader, I was overjoyed. Sobered, yes. But I FINALLY felt like somebody SAID IT!  I was so shaken that I linked to it on facebook, my only comments being:  “WOW.  Yes.”

Please, if you haven’t already, prayerfully read Dr. Moore’s take on the current climate of Evangelical Christianity in America.

God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck

It’s taken us a long time to get here, in this plummet from Francis Schaeffer to Glenn Beck. In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined “revival” and “turning America back to God” that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.