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Sports Spectrum Blog

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Time for Kickoff

The NFL schedule makers, with their computers and algorithms, got it exactly right. Tomorrow night, the 2014 National Football League season kicks off with a huge battle between two of the NFL’s most attractive teams—the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. It will be a battle between two top-notch coaches (Pete…

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Labor Day

On this holiday where we celebrate work, most of us get to celebrate with a day of rest. Of course, that isn’t true of most professional athletes. When they are in their seasons, there is still work to be done. In fact, in past years Labor Day was a day when many Major League teams would…

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Not About the Losses

For many athletes, or competitors of any kind, nothing is worse than losing. In fact, this can be the driving force in many athletes’ pursuits. As former professional tennis player Jimmy Connors said, “I hate to lose more than I love to win.” When it comes to losing, no one ever did it better than…

Decision Time

With Sunday night’s preseason NFL game between Cincinnati and Arizona in the books, it is time for NFL coaches to start making some decisions. Yes, there is one more weekend of the exhibition season, but few if any starters will see action in the last round of games. This weekend’s contests are about securing one…

Highs and Lows

Coming into last Wednesday night’s start against the Boston Red Sox, LA Angels’ starting pitcher Garret Richards had enjoyed his best season as a big leaguer. He boasted a 13-4 record, the clear leader of a strong pitching staff for the first-place Halos. He was averaging 9 strikeouts per 9 innings, as opposed to only…

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Not About the Wins

When a football fan hears the name “Dan Marino,” a number of things immediately come to mind. I first encountered that name as a fan of West Virginia University football when Marino played quarterback for the dreaded Pitt Panthers. When Marino entered the NFL, however, he became the centerpiece of a Miami Dolphins offense that…

Off and Running

While NFL fans are mired in the middle of the preseason schedule and college football fans are still waiting to see their teams take the field, supporters of English football were able to enjoy the launch of the 2014–2015 Barclays Premier League season this past weekend. After an exciting World Cup kept world football on…

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Aftermath of Tragedy

Yesterday, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series was in Michigan for the Pure Michigan 400—and for the second consecutive week, one of NASCAR’s biggest stars was not driving. Tony Stewart is still dealing with the aftereffects of the fatal accident that took the life of driver Kevin Ward, Jr. a week ago in upstate New York. While…

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Not About the Game

On October 6, 2001, legendary Hall of Fame and Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. gave his farewell-to-baseball speech. His words were very intriguing: As a kid, I had this dream. And I had the parents that helped me shape that dream. Then I became part of an organization—­the Baltimore Orioles—­to help me grow that…

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Old Faces, New Places

One of the oddities of NFL training camps is seeing longtime veterans in different uniforms. This has occurred once again this summer with, among others, longtime Jet Darrelle Revis surprisingly wearing the uniform of the once-hated Patriots and D’Qwell Jackson, a Browns linebacker for eight seasons, wearing the blue and white of the Indianapolis Colts. These…

A Matter of Love

Some time ago I wrote an article for Our Daily Bread in which I mentioned seeing a young woman wearing a t-shirt which read, “Love is for losers.” I wrote about what a sad worldview that is and about how vital love is. It was a pretty decent article, I thought. Imagine my surprise, however,…

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Not About the Fame

Living life in the public eye is a major part of being a modern professional athlete or sports personality—and it isn’t easy. The life of the individual is constantly on display, being scrutinized and analyzed and criticized, which makes it very challenging. Some professional athletes try very hard to keep their personal and private lives…

Wisdom That Matters

In NASCAR garage areas, it is not uncommon to hear comments like, “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying” and “It’s our job to cheat and it’s their (NASCAR’s) job to catch us.” This weekend, as NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series heads to the road course at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, we will…

Mysterious Days

With the smell of summer sweat and the sound of popping pads, National Football League training camps are now in full swing. For football fans, it is a great time of the year filled with anticipation and excitement—but it is also filled with mystery. Patriots fans wonder if Tom Brady will be the Tom Brady…

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Not About The Money

The film “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius,” follows the life and career of golfer Bobby Jones. In it, there is a critical scene where Jones is confronted by a professional golfer. In the 1920s, Jones dominated the golfing world, even though he was an amateur, and the professional challenged him about when he might grab…

Related Topics

> Featured

> Biblical Studies

Growing our relationship with God while we work

Today we continue looking at how we can honor God while on the job.

Who our real boss is

Imagine you’re at work, and just a few steps from you, or in that office upstairs, was the Lord Jesus Himself! How would you work differently? Today our special guest Scott Rae reminds us that the Lord Jesus is on the job with us!

Work as God originally created it

A lot of people live for the weekend, dragging in to work on Monday and counting down to Friday. But God wants us to have a different attitude about our work week.

> Christian Beliefs

Have Faith, Not Fear!

When I was going through a difficult situation in my life—my family was facing challenging financial circumstances, my parents were separating, and my secondary school final exams were drawing near—I found myself in a state of despair, not knowing where to turn to.

The Babel Project

Two workmen were asked what they were building together. One said he was building a garage. The other replied that he was building a cathedral. A day later there was only one man laying bricks. When asked where the second was, the first replied, “Oh, he got fired. He insisted on building a cathedral instead of a garage.”

Something similar happened on the ancient worksite of Babel. A group of people decided they would build a city and a tower that would reach to the heavens and unite their world (Gen. 11:4). But God didn’t want them working on a grand,…

Don’t take Small Improvements for Granted

We often yearn for big changes in our lives, but often, it’s only possible to accomplish these by making one small improvement at a time. For example, a musician masters his instrument by practising every day, making small improvements to his technique.

> Christian Living

finding our identity

If you imagine that enemies captured you and forced you to change your diet, your college major, and your name, which one would hurt the most? Daniel accepted his new name, Belteshazzar, even though it invoked a pagan god. He accepted his new education “in the language and literature of Babylon,” even though it meant he had to study pagan creation myths (Daniel 1:4).

Life is like a Jenga Set

Life is like a Jenga set. There is a fixed number of time blocks to each day. 24 hours to be exact, 1440 minutes in detail. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Not Paying Attention

In 2009 at The Barclays, the first playoff event in the PGA Tour FedEx Cup series, something fascinating happened. On the second hole, Jim Furyk and his caddie, Fluff Cowan, realized that they had one club too many in the bag. During his warm-ups, Furyk had experimented with several wedges—and never retired one of them. […]

> Christian Ministry & the Church

first love

Growing communities, rooted in God’s love and story, reaching out and restoring lives.

Reflecting God’s Glory

The 12th-century Chinese artist Li Tang painted landscapes animated with people, birds, and water buffalo. Because of his genius with fine line sketches on silk, Li Tang is considered a master of Chinese landscape art. For centuries, artists from around the world have depicted what they see in God’s art gallery of creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). The Bible tells us that our creativity as human beings comes from being made in the image of the Master Creator (Gen. 1:27).

God chose artists who worked with wood, gold, silver, bronze,…

two things we need

Fire requires oxygen and fuel in tandem to keep burning—something that’s important to know in my part of the world when winter snowstorms come calling! If you don’t have enough oxygen flowing to the logs you’ve set ablaze, the fire will die down. And if you run out of wood, you’ll soon be trying to warm your hands over cooling ashes!

> Christianity & Culture

The Search for Meaning: Science & God

Using debate-tested conclusions and simple illustrations, Science & God examines the tension between science and religion to clarify the issues.

The Search for Meaning: What Matters

This documentary puts worldviews under the microscope and walks you through four predictable stages of life to help you sort out and process your quest for meaning.

5 Ways to Live for Yourself

What’s all this about “denying yourself” and “living for others”? Look, I know we can’t decide when we were born and when we will die, but come on, I have every right to decide how I should live. This life belongs to me.

> Devotionals

one amazing Savior

Margaret Felten is one amazing mom. When I was a child, she offered hugs and kisses when I skinned a knee or was feeling sad and confused. Later, she showed me what sacrifice and godly wisdom is all about—modeling a Christlike path for me to follow. In my adult years, she stood with my wife, Lynn, and me, praying for us as we faced life’s battles. When I fought a life-threatening illness she refused to miss a single treatment—sitting with Lynn and me in the hospital room, lighting it up with her tender smile and loving ways. Now, in her…

People Power

A man was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, when he slipped and his leg got caught in the gap between the train carriage and the station platform. Dozens of passengers quickly came to his rescue. They used their sheer might to tilt the train away from the platform, and the trapped man was freed! The train service’s spokesman, David Hynes, said in an interview, “Everyone sort of pitched in. It was people power that saved someone from possibly quite serious injury.”

In Ephesians 4, we read that people power is God’s plan for building up His family. He has given…

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Pouring Out the Water of Satisfaction

What has been like “water from the well of Bethlehem” to you recently— love, friendship, or maybe some spiritual blessing ( 2 Samuel 23:16 )? Have you taken whatever it may be, even at the risk of damaging your own soul, simply to satisfy yourself? If you have, then you cannot pour it out “to the Lord.” You can never set apart for God something that you desire for yourself to achieve your own satisfaction.

> Ethical Issues

I’ve Come to Help

Reporter Jacob Riis’s vivid descriptions of poverty in 19th-century New York City horrified a generally complacent public. His book How the Other Half Lives combined his writing with his own photographs to paint a picture so vivid that the public could not escape the certainty of poverty’s desperate existence. The third of fifteen children himself, Riis wrote so effectively because he had lived in that world of terrible despair.

                 Shortly after the release of his book, he received a card from a young man just beginning his political career. The note read simply, “I have read your book, and I…

Speak Up

When I hear stories about young people who have been bullied, I notice there are always at least two levels of hurt. The first and most obvious comes from the mean-spirited nature of those actually doing the bullying. That’s terrible on its own. But there’s another, deeper hurt that may end up being even more damaging than the first: The silence of everyone else.

It hurts the one being bullied because they’re stunned that no one will help. That often makes bullies more brazen, leading them to intensify their meanness. Worse, it heightens the embarrassment, false shame, and loneliness of the…

A Letter from the Battlefield

For more than two decades, Andrew Carroll has been urging people not to throw away the letters written by family members or friends during a time of war. Carroll, director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in California, considers them an irreplaceable link to tie families together and open a door of understanding. “Younger generations are reading these letters,” Carroll says, “and asking questions and saying, ‘Now I understand what you endured, what you sacrificed.’ ”

When the apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome and knew his life would soon end, he wrote a letter to a…

> Evangelism & Missions

A thought-provoking conversation on evangelism

This week we’ve been talking about how to share the gospel in a pluralistic culture. It’s the same challenge that the apostle Paul faced in his day.

An Unfinished Story: Telling My Friend About Jesus

Everyone has their story of what it’s like to share Jesus with their friends or family members. Some stories have a happy ending, where the person eventually comes to know and love Jesus. Some don’t have such a happy ending, where the person passes away before accepting Jesus into his or her life.

Blessing our enemies by finding common ground

When the nation of Israel was exiled to Babylon, Jeremiah gave the Jewish leaders unexpected direction. He said, “Seek the peace of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace you will have peace.” Listen in as we continue our series on Acts 17.

> Life Struggles

The Tyranny of the Perfect

Dr. Brian Goldman obsessively tried to be perfect in treating his patients. But on a nationally broadcast show he admitted to mistakes he had made. He revealed that he had treated a woman in the emergency room and then made the decision to discharge her. Later that day a nurse asked him, “Do you remember that patient you sent home? Well, she’s back.” The patient had been readmitted to the hospital and then died. This devastated him. He tried even harder to be perfect, only to learn the obvious: Perfection is impossible.

As Christians, we may harbor unrealistic expectations of perfection…

Age Is Not a Factor

After owning and working at his dental lab for 50 years, Dave Bowman planned to retire and take it easy. Diabetes and heart surgery confirmed his decision. But when he heard about a group of young refugees from Sudan who needed help, he made a life-changing decision. He agreed to sponsor five of them.

As Dave learned more about these young Sudanese men, he discovered that they had never been to a doctor or a dentist. Then one day in church someone mentioned the verse, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). He couldn’t get the…

true beauty

Beauty isn’t skin deep—not for the believer or for those who don’t know Jesus. A movement to see beauty in women of all shapes and sizes and the call to reject the false standards of entertainment and advertising continues to grow. From marketing campaigns using larger-sized models to local groups teaching young girls to be confident without wearing makeup, the message is clear: You are beautiful and you are powerful . . . simply by being you.

> Marriage & Family

It’s What We Do

My father was critically injured when he took a bullet in the leg as a second lieutenant leading his men on Hill 609 in North Africa during World War II. Dad was never again 100 percent physically. I was born several years after this, and when I was young I didn’t even know he had been wounded. I found out later when someone told me. Although he felt constant pain in his leg, my dad never complained about it, and he never used it as an excuse for not providing for our family.

My parents loved the Savior and raised us…

A Letter From My Father

On one of my free days, I decided to clear some of the drawers in my room. As I was sorting through some old letters in one of my drawers, I stumbled on a letter I had not seen in a long while and had clean forgotten about.

Finding marital reconciliation at the cross of Christ–Gerrie and Clyde’s Story

When Gerrie eloped with Clyde, it seemed nothing in the world could break them apart. But when the demands of life pressed in, they began to drift away from their commitment. Learn how this struggling couple found peace and reconciliation for their marriage at the cross of Christ.

> Relationships

dangerous friends

One of our sons has endured bullies on his elementary school bus. Two weeks ago, he walked into the kitchen after school and with a quivering lip said, “I don’t want to ride the bus anymore.” It’s been hard for him to learn how to protect himself while also staying open to forgiveness (if the bullies show repentance) and the possibility of extending friendship to them.

Sportsmanship

In the 2003 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong was leading by 16 seconds over his arch-rival Jan Ullrich. Ullrich had been trying to win the TDF for years, but had always been beaten by Armstrong. As they were racing, however, Armstrong’s handlebars were caught in the strap of a spectator’s handbag—wrecking him. But, instead of […]

Are there Real Friendships in this World?

Whom will you call a friend? Is it just someone you can have a meal and watch movies with? Or is it someone you can chat and gossip with? What kind of person is he or she? We often describe a true friend as someone who will stick with us through thick and thin, who values us, and who won’t hurt or betray us.

> Spiritual Growth

disappointment & growth

Roger Bannister was considered the favorite for the 1500m race at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. He planned to retire if he won gold, but an unusual schedule at the Games affected his chances and he came in fourth. Instead of quitting, however, his disappointment spurred him on to continue competing. Two years later he went on to change sporting history. On the 6th of May in 1954 at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, England, Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes.

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Destined To Be Holy

We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease.

why disobey?

Why should I obey this commandment from God? I pondered. Is it because the consequences of disobeying Him would be bad? Hmm, but is that all? Ah, I see it now—my thinking was turned around. I should have asked, “Why would I disobey?”

> When Life Hurts

When Things Don’t Go Well

The first words that many people like to quote when misfortune hits are: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). But that’s hard to believe in hard times. I once sat with a man who had lost his third son in a row, and I listened as he lamented, “How can this tragedy work for my good?” I had no answer but to sit silently and mourn with him. Several months later, he was thankful as he said, “My sorrow is…

Life in the Face of Death: Honest Conversations with Ed Dobson and Mart DeHaan, Part 3: Be There

Having been diagnosed with ALS and given only two to five years to live, former pastor Ed Dobson was suddenly challenged to face the reality of death. Watch his story of an uncommon journey toward a new quality of life and purpose. “Be There.” Many of us wonder what to say when someone’s life falls […]

cross-shaped service

I was sorry to hear what you’d been through when we last spoke,” my friend Adrian said as we walked. “How are you and Merryn doing now?” “On the whole,” I said, “we’re doing better. I guess we’re trying to focus on the up-side of our situation and the opportunities it brings.”