The Abuse of Women and Our Response (Part One)

Women are abused every day, perhaps no less so than a few decades ago when the problem was not as open for the public to see as it has been in the early 21st century. This abuse might be even less understood by the general public than it was  a decade ago, at least based on some data I’ve studied. Reports of such abuse are as common now as ever but the response to them has not improved nearly as much as we should desire. Many abusive situations are settled in ways that leave me uneasy, to put it mildly. Let me cite one story to underscore how my sense of outrage about this issue was spiked just a few weeks ago.

UnknownExhibit A – The recent ruling of the National Football League (NFL) in the case of Ray Rice. Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, received a suspension of only two games for a domestic violence incident in February. This particular incident left Rice’s fiancé Janay Palmer (who is now his wife) lying unconscious

True Friendships (3)

The goal of life for every Christian should be the kingdom of God. The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God. Tragically, we have settled for what Dallas Willard calls “the gospel of sin management,” a gospel which is something far less than the gospel of the kingdom.

UnknownVery early in the church’s history a group of men and women, fearing the devastation to the soul brought about by the breakdown of spiritual culture inside the church, went to live in the desert in order to learn how to practice the Christian life with greater clarity. Robert Wilken (photo), the famous church historian and patristic scholar, has written, “In their writings the phrase used most often to depict what one strives for in life’s daily struggles was ‘purity of heart.’ Without purity of heart, all yearning for holiness and all desire for God come to naught, for hour by hour, even minute by minute, we are bent and shaped by distractions and wayward thoughts, many good and legitimate, that drive our minds and take our

By |January 16th, 2014|Categories: Forgiveness, Liturgy, Patristics, Sports|

Steve Alford Clamps Down on Social Media

images Steve Alford learned to play and coach collegiate basketball from the legendary Bobby Knight. Alford was a star in the heyday of Indiana University basketball at a time when Knight was at the top of his game. Alford learned a great deal from Knight. A recent Alford decision shows this influence in a profound way.

I actually saw Steve Alford coach at the NCAA Division III level in his first gig. He coached a small school in Indiana that knocked Wheaton College out of the tournament on our home court in a season (in the early-1990s) when Wheaton made the NCAA tournament for the first time in many years. My nephew was a star on that team. (Wheaton has since been to many NCAA tournaments and several years ago lost a heart-breaker to Washington University, St. Louis, on the Wheaton court. Washington U. won the tournament. That Wheaton team, led by the best Wheaton player ever, Kent Raymond, could have been the best team in the nation! It

By |August 13th, 2011|Categories: Social Networking, Sports|

Encouragement: The Key to Freedom and Hope

I believe you cannot encourage a person too much. You might mislead them by false words of so-called encouragement but you cannot over encourage a person with honest and loving words. I thought about this last week when my 13-year old granddaughter was playing in a soccer tournament that included three games on a windy, cold Saturday (May 28). Her team has been pretty successful over the years but recently has met with some discouragement and a few defeats.

As I watched these 13-14 year old girls play hard I also watched them fail to move the ball down the field and get shots on their opponent’s goal. Finally, late in the second half trailing 2-0, a hard, strong, straight kick was made on the opponent’s goal but it sailed quite high. The coach gave what we call a “Bronx Cheer.” It was insincere and even cynical. She was frustrated and took it out on her team. I was embarrassed and annoyed. I knew right there and then that this was not a good coach and thus I understood why this talented team was underperforming.

I played several

By |June 7th, 2011|Categories: Leadership, Personal, Sports|

A Fool for Christ

Manute Bol Some of you may have noticed that the former NBA player Manute Bol died, at the age of 47, a few weeks ago. The sports world paid little attention. Bol was not known for stardom but for being a physical freak. He stood 7 feet, seven inches tall and weighed 225. He was both the tallest and thinnest player in the NBA. He averaged only 2.6 points per game over the course of his career, though he did excel at shot blocking given his towering presence.

Bol earned $6 million playing basketball. When his fortune was used up the Sudanese native became a humorous spectacle in order to raise more money. He was hired to be a horse jockey, a hockey player and a celebrity boxer.

Wall Street Journal writer Jon A Shields, assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, noted that “Bol agreed to be a clown. But he was not


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