You can find a poll for just about everything today.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a debate about “real” or “fake” news. It’s about the number of polls we find.
Some of those polls point out that we have a loss of “faith.” It’s not exactly what you think it might be (though there are polls about views on being spiritual but not religious). In these “faith’ polls, people are indicating that they are losing faith in leaders, role models, the media, institutions, the government, the financial system and so much more.
But, the truth is that what these polls are saying is nothing new. It’s been going on for years, decades, even centuries.
It’s one of the most quoted verses of all time. It’s the one that people still hold up on signs at sporting events. That verse is John 3:16.
I was thinking about that verse this weekend and it’s been a long time since I learned it. The version that I memorized comes from the King James Bible and it reads this way:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
There are so many other Bible translations and versions that give essentially the same words, but I’m going to share 10 things with you that I have been thinking about when it comes to that verse: Continue reading
What does it really take to be healed?
A group of students in my campus ministry wanted to attend a church’s rather elaborate production of the story of Jesus’ life.
This huge production used stages on opposite ends of a building with a catwalk between them. The audience sat on opposite sides of the catwalk and watched as the cast traced the life of Jesus from birth to death to resurrection.
During one of the scenes when Jesus was in his public ministry with the disciples, the person playing Jesus was walking across the catwalk from one side of the room to the other.
This past Sunday, I had an interesting experience as I was hiking in the woods near my home.
It was not a particularly easy walk. I pushed through more briars and spider webs than I care to count. I carefully made my way down a steep, overgrown hill to get to the bank of a small stream.
My trek took me to the “v” where this stream connected with another. For a number of reasons, I found myself wanting to pray. I kneeled down with my knees against the soft, wet sand, closed my eyes and started my prayer.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet, today, I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Those who were there when these words were uttered said you could’ve heard a pin drop at Yankee Stadium. The fans in attendance were focusing their attention on the player known as the “Iron Horse.”
It was July 4, 1939, and Lou Gehrig was beginning one of the most memorable sports speeches in history.
Gehrig had earned his nickname after playing 2,130 consecutive games at first base for the Yankees. The streak started in 1925 and lasted until May 2, 1939, when Gehrig removed himself from the lineup.
After testing at the Mayo Clinic, Gehrig received a diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) on June 13, his 39th birthday. Within two years of his diagnosis, Gehrig would die from complications of the disease. We now know ALS as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In addition to writing about issues of faith, I also enjoy researching and writing about baseball players — especially players from my home state of South Carolina. What follows is a story on the life of Chino Smith, a Negro League player from the late 1920s and early 1930s who has ties to the Palmetto State.
Charlie “Chino” Smith
Chino Smith is considered by some to be one of the greatest hitters ever in baseball. He was listed in Sports Illustrated‘s “Top 50 Athletes from South Carolina.” Yet, his legacy remains a mystery to many.
The mystery begins with the basics. Smith’s birthdate is disupted as being sometime between 1901 and 1903. In addition, his hometown has been disputed as well. One source places his birthplace in Hamlet, N.C. Many others place it in Greenwood, S.C.
No matter the year or the birthplace, Smith had developed a reputation as a great hitter in the Negro Leagues by the time his life was cut short in 1932 (placing his age at his death somewhere between 28 and 30).