The bottom line for the Gospel: 10 things I see in John 3:16

seaport during daytime

Photo by Pok Rie on

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

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Mark 6: Touching the robe of Jesus to ‘be whole’

crossnoteWhat 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.

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Breaking the silence and finding my voice again

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.

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Your epic life story deserves an epic lead: Lessons from Lou Gehrig

Epic Leads.001.jpeg“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.
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Baseball dreams cut short: The mysterious life of Chino Smith

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).

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Are we getting even or getting in the way? Revenge and God’s justice

angry handsDo you want to get “even”?

I think it’s a natural feeling that we experience every time we are hurt.  Let’s face it, we can be hurt in so many different ways.  Our hurts can be physical, emotional or spiritual.  And when we are hurt, it’s easy to think, “I’m going to make you pay. I’m going to get you back.  I’m going to even the score.”

Do you want to get even?

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So, you’ve been given a lifeline. Now, what do you do with it?

Hand in the water

Life changes when you’ve been rescued from the pit of your own making.

One of my favorite movie scenes comes in “Unbreakable.”

It’s the moment in which the unlikely “superhero” David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) comes in contact with his kryptonite.  Dunn has great strength and a way of sensing danger.  In a battle with a “villain,” Dunn falls onto the cover of the pool.

The scene builds to almost panic mode as Dunn and the pool cover begin to slip below the water.  He starts to move his arms and legs and tries to stay afloat, but you can almost feel the desperation.

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