Sports

Christian Athleticism & The Olympics

An Edited Repost from August 1, 2012

If you are like most American’s r2016_1ight now, you’re probably a little sleep deprived from watching the Olympic coverage! With so many televised options, you can literally watch Olympic coverage 24-hours a day! It’s amazing to see these athletes, some of whom are just teenagers, perform at the highest level of competition! When I was 17, I sure wasn’t preparing to fly to Rio! I was just hoping that I didn’t blow the engine in my 1967 Volkswagen Bug!

What I’m struck by is the sheer amount of perseverance and dedication these Olympic athletes possess. Countless hours of practice, a myriad of sacrifices and an incredible amount of strength & grit got them to the Rio games. While they make it look easy, they put in years of hard work, for a single event that will, at best, last for only a few minutes!

The games teach us the value of self-control, discipline, training and adherence to principle. And these athletes make us shake our heads in disbelief at the strength, skill and determination of which human beings are capable.

In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul writes, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (NLT). In considering this verse, I believe that the Apostle Paul knew and understood something that many of us contemporary Christians miss: Success in the Christian life requires training, conditioning and focused effort. There is a spiritual athleticism required. Learning to trust God and live the Christian life requires training, just like gymnastics and swimming.

Watching the Olympics has once again inspired me to give my all for Jesus! After all, lazy Christians, like lazy athletes, don’t win. What’s more, they don’t even have much fun!

Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII

Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logoWith the Seahawks blow out in SuperBowl XLVIII, one would hope that the commercials would bring some fun and entertainment to televisions biggest sports event. However, I have to admit that this years line of commercials left me highly disappointed and wanting more. Like last year, I avoided watching the Super Bowl commercial previews, except for two, so I had a spirit of anticipation going into the game, but just wasn’t wowed. However, the commercials that did get me, where the ones that celebrated America’s patriotic spirit and the people who make this nation great, much like last years line up of favorites. And I was super grateful that most of the commercials were family friendly.

So without further ado, here’s my line up of favorites:

Best Overall: Budweiser Puppy Love

Funniest: Radio Shack

Most Inspirational: Duracell

Honorable Mention: Chevy

What was your favorite?

In Memoriam: Billy Hardwick

1452215_10152408124337222_1751868859_nThis past Saturday, my Uncle Bill, a PBA Hall of Famer and two-time PBA Player of the Year died of a heart attack at the age of 72.

In what is described by the PBA, as one of the greatest turnarounds in professional bowling history, my uncle, Billy Hardwick went from a rookie PBA Tour season in 1962 failing to cash in a single event, to winning four titles and becoming Player of the Year the very next season. His first major title came in the 1963 PBA National, which was followed by a PBA Tournament of Champions win in 1965 and the Bowling Proprietors Association of America All-Star (now U.S. Open) title in 1969. He won a then-record seven PBA Tour titles in 1969 to earn his second Player of the Year crown. Over his professional bowling career, he had 18 PBA Tour titles, three of which were majors that earned him PBA’s Triple Crown. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1977.

While our family didn’t often see my uncle, due to his travels and our families geographical distance, he still made his way into our living room each week as we watched him bowl on national television. Rated #12 in the Top 50 PBA Bowlers of all time, he bowled with an elite group of bowlers such as Earl Anthony, Dick Weber and Nelson Burton Jr..

Yet despite the fame, my uncle’s life wasn’t an easy one. He had early onset rheumatoid arthritis that caused him to leave the PBA Tour at an early age. In addition, he lost two children, who both died as infants. However, in the last couple of years of his life, he seemed to find contentment and make peace with his past.

My Uncle Bill will be missed. Our family loved him. And he made us proud. Today my thoughts and prayers go out to my dad, my aunts and my cousins. I pray that the God of all comfort would bring us all peace, as we remember and give thanks for Billy Hardwick.

An Enduring Faith

I just had to share this post, from my good friend Charles. He has given me permission to repost this inspiring story of faith, hope and love…

549869_10200807855348065_337195721_nOn March 17th 2013, my wife Sandra completed her 7th LA Marathon. This year she had the honor of being chosen by the ALS Organization Orange County Chapter to represent them. Sandra was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in October 2010. It’s fatal with no cure. Most people die within 3-5 years of diagnosis.

Just six weeks prior she was hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia, and her ALS condition had progressed to a point where she had to ultimately get a PEG feeding tube put into her stomach for her survival. She was down to 90 lbs and was extremely weak. Her body and neck severely atrophied. In complete faith and reliance on the Lord, we and countless others (friends, family, church, caregivers and many others) prayed for her to be able to physically withstand the race. God answered. She had a smile on the entire race and amazingly endured the whole event. Absolutely amazing.

Yesterday, God taught me and Sandra a little something about faith and hope. When we step off the “cliff of fear and doubt” in complete faith that the Lord will catch us…He does. There is hope in the Lord Jesus Christ Almighty. There is nothing He can’t do. Nothing. All glory to Him.

Sandra crossed the finish line yesterday in the supportive arms of the Lord. He was cradling her the whole time; it was clear as day. Thank you Lord Jesus for being in mine and Sandra’s lives.

To God be the glory!

Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLVII

NFL_SB47_Primary_National_Feb_Year_RGBSince last year’s Super Bowl commercials were a little anti-climatic for me, I purposed this year not to watch any commercials in advance of the game. And that made a world of difference in my overall SuperBowl experience!  However, in hosting a Super Bowl party this year, I didn’t catch every commercial, and I have to admit that I wasn’t impressed with many of the commercials I saw in the first half of the game. But in the second half, the commercials came alive or maybe it’s the fact that the 49ers finally came alive, that changed my interest in the game and the commercials.

What was interesting to watch this year, was a lot of advertisers decided to tug on our heart-strings with ads that celebrated the America’s patriotic spirit and the people who make this nation great. Personally, I was encouraged by this sense of pride and patriotism that I saw reflected in these ads. However, on the flip side, I was disgusted by advertisers like GoDaddy and Carl’s Jr, who continue to demean men and women as sex objects in their ads. Yet overall, I was happy with the sense of family values reflected in this year’s line up.

So in review of this year’s Super Bowl ads, here are my picks for the best of Super Bowl XLVII:

Best Overall: Dodge Ram Commercial

Funniest: Tide Commercial

Most Entertaining: Pistachio Commercial

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