There aren’t too many occasions when a headline catches me off-guard but this is one of them. Are you ready? Here it is.
Nearly 30 Percent of Americans Believe God Has a Say in Sports
You can read the article here if you’re interested but let me just comment by saying:
God Doesn’t Care!
Just to be clear, “nearly 3-in-10 (27 percent) Americans believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins sports events…”
It is a popular trend to fashion God in our own image but this takes it to a whole new level. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m more surprised or saddened that so many people actually believe this.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that God is pleased with athletes who conduct themselves in a way that brings Him honor. Maybe He even enjoys a good, close game now and then. But to think that God cares enough about a sporting event to actually help determine the outcome? Give me a break.
Enjoy your sports. Honor God in how you participate or spectate. But don’t confuse sporting events for the issues that really weigh heavy on God’s heart.
- Orphans and widows.
- Broken marriages and families.
- Lost souls.
These are the issues that matter to God and deserve our attention.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.
The hype surrounding Super Bowl LXVI has been relentless!
Previews… interviews… reviews… Taking it all in would be tantamount to enduring the most grueling of tortures!
- Who had the harder time getting here?
- Which defense is toughest?
- Which offence is the most potent?
- Who will be the MVP?
- Who will win?
And everyone has an opinion!
But one thing is for sure. No matter how good a player is, no matter how vital his role, they didn’t get there alone! Regardless of who wins (won, depending on when you read this), it took a team to get there and win the big one.
God has a super-bowl-sized adventure out there for each of us. But none of us will get there alone. We were wired for relationships and we need each other. Only when we give ourselves to sharing the journey will we fully embrace all that God has in store for us.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4:16
Who are you sharing the journey with and how are you involved with the church family?
Worldwide it generates an estimated $32 billion a year! In the U.S. alone it produces an estimated $9.5 billion annually!
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. It robs people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels organized crime.
The U.S. State Department estimates that about 12.3 million adults and children are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Domestic sex traffickers particularly target vulnerable young girls, such as runaway, homeless, and foster care children.
In the United States, the average age of entry into prostitution is 13.
So, what does this have to do with the Super Bowl?
Large sporting events like the Super Bowl are prime targets for sex traffickers because of the high demand generated by thousands of men pouring into an area for a weekend of fun. The 2010 Super Bowl saw an estimated 10,000 sex workers brought into Miami. Despite efforts to crack down on sex trafficking at the 2011 Super Bowl in Dallas, there was still a tremendous number of women and children sexually exploited.
In the past, attempted crackdowns by law enforcement have missed the mark by treating prostitutes as criminals to be locked up rather than victims to be rescued, but new efforts are gaining traction: a new bill just got passed here in Indiana to toughen the state’s sex-trafficking law before the Super Bowl.
What can we do?
1. Learn more about it and get involved.
2. Join a local anti-trafficking group
3. Support organizations fighting trafficking
4. Share this information with everyone you know!
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
~ William Wilberforce
* Adapted from a blog article by Justin Holcomb
Last Sunday was a great day for NFL football lovers. Four very talented teams battled it out for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
I love close games that are won because someone made the better play. Sunday’s games were close, but unfortunately both ended with players muffing what should have been a “sure thing.”
Billy Cundiff of the Baltimore Ravens missed an easy field goal that cost the Ravens a chance to tie the game. Kyle Williams of the 49ers became the goat by fumbling…twice…once in overtime allowing the Giants to win the game.
I felt bad for Billy and Kyle! As you can imagine, their miscues got LOTS of air time and chatter on TV and social networks.
When you’re the chump their isn’t much that you can do. You can’t change it or take it back. You’re blunder becomes part of history and you’re stuck with it. You’re stuck with the fact that millions of people just watched you choke.
These NFL players may not be able to do much but their teammates sure can!
This was demonstrated most clearly by the San Francisco 49ers who came to the strong defense of Kyle Williams.
Tight End Delanie Walker said, “We all lost this game…We play as a team — it’s 45 of us out there. It’s not Kyle’s fault, so don’t go over there and act like it is. Cause it’s not.”
Josh Morgan, another 49ers receiver stood at Williams empty locker and told reporters:
“I’m talking for Kyle,” Morgan said. “You have any questions, ask me. He’s not talking today. I got it.”
They had Kyle’s back. When it would have been easy to throw the chump to the wolves, their teammates stood their ground in support…and acted like true champions.
That’s what grace looks like, and it ought to be most visible in the church!