Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Your Typical Teenaged Driver

Click to view clip of this pretty amazing crash at Sundays NASCAR DOVER 400.

What's really amazing:

First, Joey Logano walked away from this crash unhurt. So much for those people who say they long for the good old days, before all this fancy technology. No injuries, no fire, we've come a long way from the days of exploding Pintos!(You younger folks won't get that last reference!)

Second, Logano is only nineteen! I didn't know they let kids drive these things! And you parents of teenagers worry about your teenagers speeding!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coping with September 11th The Best Way - LOVE PEOPLE!


It is difficult to imagine the pain of those who lost loved ones in the horror of September 11, 2001. I am sure, however, that on this day, especially, there is the recurring pain of grief over lost parents, or spouse, or children, or friends in the destruction of the World Trade Centers, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania (which saved many more lives which could have been lost if it had not been for the courage and sacrifice of regular, ordinary people who became extraordinary in their last minutes of life!).

That spirit of sacrifice and courage was also displayed in the heroic, selfless
decisions made by so many police and fireman (and others) who did not flee the World Trade Centers, but willingly went "up" in the towers, as people came "down," to save whoever they could. Their bravery and sacrifice remind us all about how we can best remember this day in history. Yes, memorials need to be built and visited, but is that the best way to remember those who died that day as the result of human hatred?

No! The best way to remember them is to never take life for granted, and to do whatever we can to love others in the Biblical way, with actions that help, and not hurt. I am amazed at how easily we overlook the power of kindness in day-to-day life to transform others for good. As anyone wh
o knows me has heard me say countless times, quoting a seminary professor I had, "Love is acting in the best interest of another PERIOD." This is driven home by one of my favorite Bible passages: 1 John 3:16-18: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

Yes, we have to be strong against terrorism, to protect our great land, but to defeat it, we must defeat our own selfishness, too, and not allow those who hate to get us to focus on hate, too. Support our military in our fight against global terrorism, but wherever you are, I pray that you will allow the grace of God to empower you to sacrifice for a greater good; for the welfare of someone else. Christ is our ultimate example, those brave men and women who died on 9/11 trying to save others are our examples, too. Over 3,000 people died that day; 3,000 people who did not get to live these last eight years. What have you done with your last eight years? Have you made the world a better place? Your neighborhood? Your community? Have you loved the people (friends and strangers) who have crossed your path? Your opportunity to love others could be cut short on ANY day at ANY hour, so I hope you are looking for ways to impact someone else for good. One of my favorite remembrances of 9/11 was not known by the world at large till some time later, but in the midst of that dark, dark week following the attacks, something amazing was happening way up north in Gander, Newfoundland. Here is the video: (Oh, that we would learn the lesson of love from these ordinary people acting in an extraordinary way!)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Hope Labor Day Was Good For You...

I hope you all had a great Labor Day. I found this picture on the internet of some sailors being "refreshed" during their off duty hours. I hope that you are grateful for the "labor" our military puts forth to protect us and the labor God enables you to do.

I also hope that you are taking time to "refresh," not just by jumping into some water, but by drawing close to the Father who brings the ultimate refreshment...a relationship with Himself through Christ!

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
Jeremiah 31:25

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Prayer Request for Joel and Patty Jones

My church family has joined me over the past three weeks in praying for one of my very best friends and his wife, Joel and Patty Jones. Patty was diagnosed three weeks ago with lung cancer and begins chemo next week. Joel and Patty (and their three sons, Matthew, Robert, and Benjamin) are among the finest people I've ever met, and I, like anyone who has friends or family with cancer, wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

Joel and Patty have a strong, consistent faith in the Lord, and have served Him faithfully ever since I've known them, and are trusting Him now. This does not, however, make the journey easy. I'm just glad they're not on the journey alone as Our Father walks with us through life, even when we don't understand the mysteries that can scare us so much, and gives us each other to walk with, too.

I have no doubts He is walking with Joel and Patty. Here are some prayer requests Joel has shared with friends this weekend. Please join me as we lift them up in prayer. Joel's note:

Although anxious about what is to come, Patty is ready to begin the treatment phase. Although we hate this disease, and the fear and anxiety that we have experienced over the past 3 weeks, we know that we are blessed to be loved by a Heavenly Father and by His children. We have seen His grace. We are learning. We hate it, but we are learning.
If you will continue to pray for us, we will appreciate it. We ask specifically that you please:
  • Pray that the treatment plan we have is the correct one.
  • Pray that we will be attentive to signs of trouble that need immediate medical attention.
  • Pray that our sons will not falter in their actions or their faith
  • Pray that Patty's Mom and sister will remain strong
  • Pray that Patty and I will find much enjoyment - that food will taste good and jokes will be funny and music will sound beautiful. We've heard that is supposed to happen and we want it.
In Him,

Still Impressed and Thankful for Dabo Swinney

Well, Clemson's first game of the season is tonight, and I hope they win BIG. Then I hope they win big all season long, and not primarily because I'm a Clemson grad, but because I want Dabo Swinney to remain head coach at Clemson for a long, long time. One of the major highlights of the year was to meet him back in February when he so graciously agreed to meet with me so I could record a short retirement tribute for a friend and fellow minister.

I was SO impressed with him, and with his faith, and his love for his team. I got to pray with him concerning the "ministry" he has been given in impacting his team, his community and his fans for the glory of Christ. Talking with him, you get the idea that his faith is not some separate, "private" part of his life, but something integrated into his life in a seamless way (the way Christ wants, by the know, loving God "with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."(Matt. 22:37)

Here is a sample of Dabo's view of his "platform" that goes far beyond merely winning football games:

So I'm hoping for a great start tonight at Clemson's season opener. Whether or not we have a winning season (though I'm counting on it), I know God is going to use Dabo and wife, Kathleen, to do some amazing things in the years ahead, and I thank God I got to meet him. Go TIGERS!

Friday, September 04, 2009

A Birthday Present for Kittie Trail

What better birthday present to give to a mom than a video of her three boys doing a birthday break dance for their mom...


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