Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Do You Do that Makes God Smile ?

In the film Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner Eric Liddel says, "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel God's pleasure." Later he says, "To give up running would be to hold Him in contempt."

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?

I believe Eric had been studying to be a missionary and a family member had been trying to get him to give up his Olympic aspirations.

This made me think "What do I do that makes God smile? What is my purpose at this time in my life... that if I was doing exactly that... would make God smile?

Is it putting tid bits like this on my blog when my wife thinks I should be crossing items off the long "to do" list she has for me? Certainly, God expects more from me over my lifetime than a few paragraphs on my little blog. But, for this very moment, I think it makes God smile. I hope so anyway.

Another quote from The Purpose Driven Life: "Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God's pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise. You can wash dishes, repair a machine, sell a product, write a computer program, grow a crop, and raise a family for the glory of God."

God, I pray that You will reveal to me exactly where I need to be to be in the center of Your will for me right now. Show me what to do to make You smile. In Jesus' name... Amen

Saturday, January 28, 2006

False Humility and False Love

This is just too good not to share. In a few short sentences, it encapsulates why we as Christians need to plant seeds in the lives of those around us, water seeds that others have planted, and let the Holy Spirit work in the lives of the people that cross our path. We aren't responsible for the results because of their free choice but we are responsible for being a messenger.

"When men's eternal souls are at stake, the church cannot be passive and indifferent. Nor can it hide behind false humility that fears being judgmental or behind false love that fears offending. Christ was supremely humble, yet He never called evil anything but what it was. Christ was supremely loving, yet He never withheld a warning that might save His hearers from hell. And He had nothing but intense anger for those who by their false teachings led men away from God and directly toward hell."

John MacArthur, 1 & 2 Peter: Courage in Times of Trouble

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Resentment, the Cocaine of Emotions

I call resentment the cocaine of the emotions. It calls our blood to pump, our energy level to rise. Also like cocaine, resentment requires increasingly larger and more frequent dosages. There is a dangerous point at which our anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force. You know you can be addicted to resentment. The person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive. It has been said that hatred is that rabid dog that turns on its owner, resentment is that raging fire that consumes the arsonist, bitterness is the trap that snares the hunter. But you know what? Mercy is the choice that sets them all free. Resentment has no place in your heart. Stop taking it such large doses. And let the addiction cease.

Max Lucado

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Church is like Broccoli ? Or a Hot Fudge Sundae?

The joy that ought to come from serving others in Christ's name is missing because so much of what we do for the church is done out of a spirit of obligation. And that is because, as first-halfers, we have not yet discovered who we are, what we really enjoy doing, and how even the most undesirable task can be a freeing, exhilarating experience if it arises out of our core being. For most people, church work is not a hot fudge sundae, but like the broccoli and spinach your mother made you eat as a child.

Bob Buford, Halftime

Some context: In the book Halftime, Bob Buford compares the Christian life to a football game. He says many Christian men, when they reach their mid forties, begin to ask themselves "I know I am successful... but is what I'm doing eternally significant?" He calls the years before this time of introspection the "first half" and men in this early period of life "first-halfers." Men starting to question their contribution at mid-life are "half-timers". The book encourages men to find a way to use the skills they've developed in the business world or their occupation to serve God in their "second half."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Accountability Goes in Both Directions

Sunday night my pastor gave an interesting illustration which really made me think about my own attitudes towards true Christian accountability... accountability in both directions.

He first went over the story of how Nathan confronted David about his sin of putting Uriah at the worst part of the battle and withdraw from him so Uriah would be killed and David could take Bathsheba for his own wife. See II Samuel 11 and II Samuel 12

My pastor emphasized:
  • Nathan had an existing relationship with David

  • Nathan was the right man because God called him

  • Nathan acted on God’s timing

  • Nathan went alone

  • Nathan spoke tactfully (note story about the poor man’s lamb taken by the rich man in II Samuel 12:1-4)

  • Nathan spoke the truth courageously to King David who could have him killed.

  • David accepted the rebuke and repented

He went on to tell an illustration that cut me to the bone.
It seems he had an acquaintance who had a son who went to one of the military academies that had an honor code not to “lie, cheat, steel, or tolerate anyone among us who does.” The son came home on break on one occasion and told his father how he kept his head down to his desk during tests with his arm wrapped around his paper. The young man’s father inquired why he was so worried that someone would cheat off his paper. To his surprise the son said he wasn’t worried about someone looking on his paper, he kept his head down like that because he did not want to see any of his classmates cheating because then he would have to turn them in the school administration. In other words, he didn’t want to know. He didn’t want to get involved.
My how this attitude contrasts with the story of Nathan who was willing to risk his own life to lovingly confront David in his sin as God commanded him to! I must confess that I might have reacted the same way in his situation.

Our pastor challenged us whether we are both willing to accept the rebuke of other believers when we’re wrong and willing to lovingly confront sin in others. Culturally, there is a lot of pressure to be like that military academy student and not want to know and not want to be involved. But.. there does seem to be a strong scriptural basis for being willing to step up lovingly and prayerfully to confront a sinning believer one on one. My pastor said "We all have a whistle and sometimes we need to blow it!"

God, I pray that You use the Holy Spirit to shape and mold me into the man You need me to be. Help me be willing to be accountable for my sinful behavior. Give me the strength I need to resist the temptations which surround me. Help me also to be ready to accept Your prompting to lovingly confront my fellow believer in a way that would lead to repentence and a renewed commitment to follow Your ways. Help me be someone who encourages others.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

How do you pray for forgiveness?

Pretty early in life, I was taught to pray something like this:
"Father, forgive me of my sins."
As I got a little older, the Lord's prayer had more of an influence on my prayer life and this part of my prayers turned into:
"Father, forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who sin against me."
As I matured in my faith, I began to realize there were “sins of ommission” which were just as offensive to God as the “sins of commission.” Therefore, I found myself praying along the lines of:
"Father, forgive me of my sins as I forgive others... both those sins where I have done something wrong... and those times where You wanted me to do something and I did not."
Lately, however, I have thought a lot about Christ's one-time payment for all our sins. Surely Christ was aware that He was substituting Himself for me even though I wasn’t even born yet. That means He was offering himself as a living sacrifice for sins not committed yet. It seems that the forgiveness is on-going and once we are saved we should be thanking God for forgiveness that He has already granted. As a result, I wonder if a believer should pray something more like this:
"Father, thank You for forgiving me of my many sins as I forgive others... both those sins where I have done wrong and those when I failed to act on faith when You needed me to do something. I thank You also for continuing to forgive me both now and in the future for sins I will certainly commit in my future weakness and lack of faith.”

Maybe I'm crazy. Opinions are appreciated and encouraged.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Safest Road to Hell

The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Increasing Time Spent Thinking About God

One of the best things I have ever done for my Christian walk has been to take advantage of Christian audio books while commuting to and from work. This is an easy way to add an hour a day to the time I commune with God, think about God and His will for my life, and reflect on my relationship with Him.

My church has a decent sized library of audio books to loan to members but I listened to almost everyone. Some of the one I like the best I have listened to several times. My local public library also has a good assortment, though I often have to get titles sent from other branches.

I have created my own CD of bite-sized devotionals, prayers, and sermons which are perfect for your commute to work. See "Christian Commuter #1 - Maximizing Time with God" on the Caleb's Publishing eBay Store.

There is a free audio sample in MP3 format you can download to check it out.

Copyright © 2005 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 20, 2006

Discerning God's Will and Pleasing God

THE FACT THAT I THINK that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Where the Fruit Is

Seen on a sign out in front of a church in Madison, Tennessee:

"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, that's where the fruit is."

John 15:4-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4"(A)Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

5"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he (B)bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Jesus without the Benefit of ....

Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mahomet, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and schools combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke words of life such as never were spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of any orator or poet; without writing a single line, He has set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art and sweet songs of praise, than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. Born in a manger, and crucified as a malefactor, He now controls the destinies of the civilized world, and rules a spiritual empire which embraces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe. There never was in this world a life so unpretending, modest, and lowly in its outward form and condition, and yet producing such extraordinary effects upon all ages, nations, and classes of men. The annals of history produce no other example of such complete and astonishing success in spite of the absence of those material, social, literary, and artistic powers and influences which are indispensable to success for a mere man.

Philip Schaff

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Notre Dame Cathedral, Strasbourg, France

Posted by Picasa

Discernment ->Joy

DISCERNING AND ACTING on God's will does not mean you'll never have difficult days or feel lousy sometimes. But choosing to live in alignment with God makes you more joyful, compassionate, and peaceful, even on bad days.

Debra K. Farrington,
Hearing with the Heart : A Gentle Guide to Discerning God's Will for Your Life

God's Promise to Abraham

This was part of my Bible reading this morning, Romans 4:12-18 and it meant a lot to me. I have a parallel edition of the NASB with The Message and this really jumped out at me. We all need a good reminder, the bold-faced text is my emphasis today.

The Message (MSG)

View commentary related to this passage

12And it means further that Abraham is father of all people who embrace what God does for them while they are still on the "outs" with God, as yet unidentified as God's, in an "uncircumcised" condition. It is precisely these people in this condition who are called "set right by God and with God"! Abraham is also, of course, father of those who have undergone the religious rite of circumcision not just because of the ritual but because they were willing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action for them, the way Abraham lived long before he was marked by circumcision.

13That famous promise God gave Abraham--that he and his children would possess the earth--was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. 14If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal. 15A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise--and God's promise at that--you can't break it.

16This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father--that's reading the story backwards. He is our faith father.

17We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn't that what we've always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, "I set you up as father of many peoples"? Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. 18When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, "You're going to have a big family, Abraham!"

Friday, January 13, 2006


Christlikeness is not produced by immitation by by inhabitation.

Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Indifference, the Bigger Problem

I love this quote on indifference.

Indifference Is the Problem

The opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy; it is indifference. And the opposite of life is not death; it is indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.

Elie Wiesel

Wisdom of Jabez

I think there is a lot of wisdom in the prayer given by Jabez in I Chronicles.

"God’s bounty is limited only by us, not by His resources, power, or willingness to give. Jabez was blessed simply because he refused to let any obstacle, person, or pinion loom larger than God’s nature. And God’s nature is to bless."

Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain."

10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

St. Bartholomä

St. Bartholomä on the greenish waters of the Königssee near Berchestgaden in Bavaria, Germany. Picture taken in August 1988. Posted by Picasa

God's Math

We keep an equation in our heart that adds up something like this:

My abilities + experience + training

+ my personality and appearance + my past

+ the expectations of others = my assigned territory.

God’s math would look more like this:

My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanding territory.

Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Prayer to Start Each Day

I start my day with words like “Lord, today is Your day. Today is going to include temptation, and I know my tendency is to act in the flesh. I don’t want to do that. I want to walk in the light... in Your will. I want to act in Your Spirit. I want to respond as You would have me respond. So I place myself on Your altar, and I ask You to assist me as I accept Your power to hold me in Your will. Help me to live like that moment by moment, all through this day.

Charles R. Swindoll, The Mystery of God's Will

Monday, January 09, 2006

Are You Safer With the 11 Homeless Men?

I had a whirlwind experience the week before last in which I think God was trying to tell me something and prod me in the direction of ministry towards the homeless.

I am an adult Sunday School teacher at my church, rotating every third week. My spot in the rotation happened to fall on Sunday, January 1, 2006. About five days ahead of time, I decided that I had better get serious about preparing what I was going to say. I dug out the “Exploring the Bible” material we are using from Lifeway and began reading the teacher’s material. This week’s lesson was based on Romans 12:1-8. I was struck by the first verse:

Romans 12:1 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
A Living Sacrifice
1 Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you (A) to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, (B) holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. [a]

I found myself trying to think of what it meant to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” I came up with several angles to discuss including
  • taking care of your body for it is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
  • providing acts of service to serve God, and
  • being physically present where and when God needs you to be.

After making a first pass through the material, I decided to take a diversion and go check my email. I didn’t have any personal email messages, but I did have an email newsletter from “Christianity Today Daily Newsletter-HTML” that caught my attention. The subject line read “Philip Yancey: What the Homeless Taught Me About Prayer – CTDirect”. Philip Yancey is the author of one of my favorite books, What’s So Amazing About Grace. Also, several members of my Sunday School class are active in the “Room at the Inn” program at my church in which we let homeless men sleep on our gym floor one night a week during the cold winter months. So... I decided to open the email and take a look.

There were several wonderful quotes in the article which lept out at me as being perfect examples of “providing acts of service” and “being physically present where and where God needs you to be.” Perhaps the most important one was this. Quoting a man named John who had 25 years of experience ministering to the homeless.

John said, "the best ministry I can offer is a long-term relationship. I hope that over the years and decades street people learn to trust me as someone who can handle their secrets. I hope that trust will gradually spill over to God. I tell people who encounter the homeless that eye contact and a listening ear may be more important than food or money or Bible verses. They need to connect in some small way with another human being, someone who sees them as a person of worth."

The article also quoted the experience of Mike Yankoski, a college student who took 5 months off from school to live on the street with the homeless and write the book Under the Overpass. According to Mike, a quarter of the homeless people he knows have an active Christian faith.

The article ended with a wonder short poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Make it so the poor are no longerdespised and thrown away.
Look at them standing about—like wildflowers, which have nowhere else to grow.
At this point I was excited that I had something new and not in the Lifeway book to interject into our Sunday School Class discussion on Sunday. I was to get more than I bargained for.

When Sunday, January 1st arrived and I got up to give my lesson on Romans 12:1-8 and facilitate discussion, I read a good portion of the Philip Yancey article. The article had the desired affect and really got some good discussion going. It just so happened that the leader of our “Room at the Inn” ministry was sitting on the back row. She spoke up and asked “Do you know the new thing we’re starting a new thing at “Room at the Inn” tonight? (emphasis on tonight) In fact, I didn’t know anything about it.

She went on to explain that our church had been selected to get the same group of 11 men for 6 weeks in a row who were part of a program called “Odyssey.” This program provides on-going mentoring, training, moral support, etc. to the homeless men and tries to get them off the street into regular jobs and housing. The work with them to get them off their addictions, how to behave in job interviews, skills like getting up everyday on time to get to work, encouragement to stick to jobs they do get (and not quit after two weeks), etc.

This was sounding more and more like “being physically present where and when God needs you to be” and I made a comment, only half joking, that “I guess I was supposed to get that email this week when I did.”

We went on then to talk about some of the other verses in Romans 12:1-8 that talked about “not being conformed to the world” but instead being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We talked also about how we as Christians should “not to think of himself more highly than he should think.” Both of these points seemed made to order for the homeless ministry. The homeless no doubt need to “renew their mind” by focusing on God and God’s plan for their lives and we in the church should not look down upon our Christian brothers on the street and judge them.

I read from the Lifeway material a quote that “The safest, most wonderful place in the world is in the will of God.” I turned to them and asked them. “What do you think of that? Is that really true?” There was a lot of head nodding. I then asked “Where are you safer? In the room with those 11 homeless men at Room in the Inn tonight? Or... at home tonight watching football?” I saw several sets of eyes in the class get bigger and we got into a good discussion of what it meant to be “safer” and how God’s view and a worldly view could be quite different.

After the lesson was over and we dismissed with prayer, the leader of our “Room at the Inn” ministry came up and asked me if I would be willing to come back tonight and give a shortened version of the lesson which included our discussion of our bodies as a sacrifice, the renewing of our mind, and not to think to highly of ourselves. I remembered my joke earlier, “I guess I was supposed to get that email this week when I did.” I decided that for whatever reason, God must have wanted me to be with the homeless men that night.

I returned to church that night about 6 PM. The men and the volunteers formed a circle on the gym floor, we said grace, and had dinner. When the men were about finished eating, I got up to give my “shortened version” of the lesson. This group of men had been together for a while in the Odyssey program. As a result, they were not shy at all about talking about their struggles and the influence of God in their lives. As many of them had started their downward spiral due to “running around with the wrong crowd” they had a lot to say about being “transformed vs. conformed” in particular.

Since we as a church were to get the same group of men back for the next several weeks, we went around the dinner table to give our names and to introduce ourselves. I was taken aback at how these men were almost eager to tell their story of their fall. Several made a point to take the blame for their situation on themselves for the poor choices they had made earlier in life. Most also expressed a level of belief in God. Many quoted scripture by memory. I silently accepted Mike Yankoski’s assessment that at least one fourth of the homeless have an active Christian faith as likely to be true and even more so for this Odyssey group in front of me.

Several of the homeless men’s comments resonated with me in particular.
  • Several admitted to being alcoholics, with one saying he had been sober for 3 years now. The other homeless men seemed genuinely happy for him in this accomplishment.
  • Several talked about drugs, especially cocaine.
  • Some had been in jail.
  • Several had good jobs and plenty of money before their fall.
  • One didn’t know where one of his children was.
  • There were bouts of depression.
  • Several with multiple divorces.
  • A couple who went into a downward spiral after a breakup with a wife or girlfriend they really loved.
  • There were several health problems.
  • Many cited coming from Christian homes.
  • One talked about his sour attitude when faced with the prospects of switching from a huge amount of money selling drugs to making only $7 / hour in an honest job. (He talked of being in possession of drugs worth $165,000 on the street.)
  • Some were veterans.
  • A general inability to “stick to things”... for example, getting a job only to quit shortly later.
  • The all seemed to realize they had squandered opportunities in life.

Each of the volunteers from our church also talked about ourselves. All of them but myself had been working with the homeless for a while and made a point to emphasize that while they may not have “done drugs” or “been in prison” we had our own sins and faults and needed God’s grace too.

A week later, I remembered that comment about “I guess I was supposed to get that email” and my question to my Sunday School class about “Where are you safer? In that room of 11 homeless men?” Some might wonder if I guilted myself into this. Or... was the Holy Spirit really prompting me to get more involved with these men and to be “physically present” and lend an ear “where and when” God needs me to be? I decided to err on the side of action and came back for a second week.

Most of the same men were back this time. After dinner, some volunteers went off into a quiet room to talk to any of the men who wanted to talk and get prayer requests. Not as many as I would have hoped came by. Some of them got distracted by taking a smoking break and shooting some basketball in the church gym. We did get a few who had a lot to say. We got the following prayer requests:
  • Strength (to persevere).
  • Submission (willingness to submit) to God.
  • That the men would stick to the Odyssey program and finish what they started.
  • To be able to go back to school and learn a trade.
  • To be able to “stay the course”.
  • To overcome selfishness in their life.
  • Avoid binge drinking.
  • Avoid binge spending of all their money.
  • To be able to stick with a job.
  • To better understand themselves.
  • A tranquil mind.
  • Eliminate worry about the future.
  • One wanted to be able to return to Florida where he was from.
  • Healing from depression and self pity.
  • Avoid being financially irresponsible.

I hope you will join me in praying for this group of men trying to put their lives back together and get off the streets.

God, I pray that if it is Your will, You will bless these homeless men. Put a barrier around them to protect them from the Devil’s temptation. Put good influences around them to encourage them when they are tempted to go back to the life they want to leave. Use this group of homeless men who are sticking together in a mighty way make a positive difference in their lives. Heal them physically. Heal their broken relationships. Give them wisdom in the handling of their personal decisions and finances. Give them a peace that as they seek Your will they should not worry about the future. Give them the strength to endure trials and grow in the process. Grow their faith and help them to put Your will first in their lives and learn to submit to You. Above all, lead any of them who have not yet accepted Your Son Jesus as their Savior to seek You. Draw them all close to You. I pray also for all the volunteers who are ministering to them. Give us all the strength and wisdom and patience to help them. Use us to be a blessing to them. This we ask in Your name. Amen.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Limited Time? Better to Read the Bible or Pray?

If my time is limited, is it better to pray or to read the Bible?

I ran across the quote below a while back. I think it makes absolute sense. Unfortunately, I am the one doing the talking and not enough listening. I know that I don't spend as much time in the Bible as I should and I'm trying to do better. See my New Year's Resolutions. I need to get better on the Old Testament in particular so I've started with Proberbs.

We should not have to choose between time in the Bible and time in prayer but if
we had to choose, it would be more important that God speak to the individual
than that a person speak to God.

“Preacher” E. F. Hallock

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I cannot say....

I cannot say “our” if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment.

I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child.

I cannot say “who art in heaven” if I am laying up no treasure there.

I cannot say “hallowed be Thy name” if I am not striving for holiness.

I cannot say “Thy kingdom come” if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day.

I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I am disobedient to His Word.

I cannot say “on earth as it is in heaven” if I will not serve Him here and now.

I cannot say “give us... our daily bread” if I am dishonest or an “under-the-counter” shopper.

I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path.

I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

I cannot say “Thine is the kingdom” if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject.

I cannot attribute to Him “the power” if I fear what men may do.

I cannot ascribe to Him “the glory” if I am seeking honor only for myself.

I cannot say “forever” if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by the things of time.

An unknown author.. quoted by John MacArthur, Jr. in Alone with God

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Salute to Politically Incorrect Coaches

I stayed up late watching the Penn State vs. Florida State Orange Bowl football game last night. There was a camera shot of the Florida State sidelines late in the game which really struck me. For maybe two seconds, they showed the young Florida State quarterback with what I assumed was a coach leaning over as if speaking into his ear so only he would hear. I would not normally have thought anything about it. However, the TV announcer commented that it was the team chaplain that was talking to him. I thought “Wow! They have a chaplain!” I had no idea coaches were able to get away with such a thing at government supported schools anymore. My first reaction was that this must be unusual. However, I just went out to Google and did a search on the exact phrase “football team chaplain” along with the word “college” and got 244 hits! I saw mentions of Auburn, Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Clemson, Marshal, Rutgers, Georgia, Nebraska, and Texas A&M to name a few. I say we salute all the coaches who are unafraid to be politically incorrect!