All the talk of concussions sometimes makes me wonder if football will slowly disappear over the next hundred years. Today, as we think about where we are with the game of football, I think there is no way the game will ever disappear from the sports scene in America. The game just seems so popular at all levels of play.
Recently, my family traveled to Scotland to visit family members living in Edinburgh. Since we had never been to Scotland, they took us to all the historical sites in the Edinburgh area. While we were at the Scotland Historical Museum one of the displays just caught me by surprise.
The display was of a baptismal font with a description of what it was and what it was used for. I turned to one of my family members, who lives in Scotland, and said, “Why would they need a baptismal font and a description of what it is and where it was used, in a museum?”
His answer shocked me! He said, “When the government last surveyed the people of Scotland, only about 50% of the people claimed to be Christians and only 8% say they go to church each week.” He also said, “When the churches of Scotland actually count heads of those in the pews, on Sundays, they find only 4% of the people really go to church each week. So that is why they need a baptismal font in a museum, because most people in Scotland are not being baptized and have no idea what baptism is and for sure what it means.” Let me put that percentage into perspective for you. A small community in Kansas, that has 5,000 people in the county, would only have 200 people at church on a Sunday morning.
The rest of our time in Edinburgh, as we walked around or rode the bus, I paid attention to the churches we saw. The city is filled with large stone structured churches with steeples as tall as or taller than the ‘Cathedral on the Plains’ in Victoria, Kansas. But many of these magnificent structures are no longer churches. The buildings are used for community centers, coffee shops and other retail stores.
As I would see these big beautiful old church buildings being used for other purposes, this question kept popping into my head………….Are the churches of Kansas going to become community centers and retail stores someday? Will we start having baptismal fonts in our museums, because no one is being baptized and nobody knows what they are?
Could the active churches and the great game of football disappear from the Kansas landscape? After seeing what is happening in Scotland, the answer is unfortunately yes, that it could happen.
After 12 years as principal of Clintondale High School, Greg Green had a bad feeling: He knew his school was failing its students.
Especially the at-risk ones. Only 63% of the kids at Clintondale went on to college, and 35% didn’t even make it though high school. It was rated as one of the worst schools in Michigan.
He and his staff had tried everything they could with the school’s limited resources. Nothing worked.
But he had an out-of-the-box idea.
Green is also a coach. To get the most out of the time he had with his players, he’d been making them videos to watch at home so they could see what they were doing wrong and how they could improve.
What if academic classes operated the same way, with kids prepping in advance by watching videos online at home or in the school library, and then doing their work in school, during the day, with teachers on hand to assist?
Could that actually work?
By 2011, Clintondale had flipped all of its classes, the first U.S. school to do so.
Clintondale’s failure rate dropped from 35% to 10%. College enrollment went up from 63% to 80% in two years!
Article by Scot McKnight
Has your hometown young man or woman grown up to be a star athlete in college or the professional sports or some other national exposure? Do you find yourself looking back in time, saying, “I remember him when he was a kid and never imagined this would happen?”
You are amazed at what he or she has done, because you can see them as a young person growing up with all the struggles of youth in your hometown.
The people of Nazareth overlooked Jesus also. “What do you mean the carpenter’s son is doing all these miracles?” The people of Nazareth took him for granted. They thought they knew him.
How about you? Do you take Jesus for granted also? That story about the Nazarene’s taking him for granted in the Bible was meant to be there for us to learn from. All of us, at some point of time, can’t see the greatness in the young people in our midst and can’t see the mystery and greatness in Jesus the Christ.
Mark 6:1-6 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.
Another humble chaplain attached to the Marine Corp and his short story.
Do you remember the scene, in the movie Friday Night Lights, where the camera was in a car slowly driving around the town of Odessa? The car was showing home made signs in the windows of businesses. The signs said, ‘Closed early for the football game’ or ‘Gone to the game’ or something similar to that.
Friday night high school football games are still a big thing in the cities and towns of not only Kansas, but the entire Midwest. I don’t know if that is everywhere across our nation or not, but I know it is here. It is a testament of how much we love the game and we want to support the kids of our communities.
What about Sunday mornings? Is going to church in your community still an important thing to do? What if everyone who claims to be a Christian in Kansas went to church on Sunday morning?
Now some people can’t make it Sunday mornings due to sickness of family members or necessary work, but the rest of us could go.
Most of us, as Christians, would have difficulty getting up in the pulpit on Sunday morning and giving our testimony. Most of us would also have trouble going door to door in our communities to tell people about Jesus and the Gospel. But one thing we could do, we could and should go to church on Sunday morning. What a testimony that would be, if all those who call themselves Christians, went to church?
The churches would be filled up in our communities. Actually, would there be enough room to hold all the people in the churches if everyone showed up?
Give your testimony next Sunday morning by going to a local church and worshiping God for an hour or so!
From the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft is the following quote, “Perhaps the popular conception of saints is ‘nice,’ but real saints are not nice. They are warriors. They really bother people, so deeply that they are often martyred. If they don’t bother anybody, they are not saints. That is what Jesus said: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). You don’t take nice people and nail them to a cross.”
Have you ever seen the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ In the movie Luke (Paul Newman) is put in a fight ring with Dragline (George Kennedy.) Luke refuses to give up. When I read the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft I thought of the movie ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ As Christians we should never give up the fight and tolerate sin and believe in the false peace that the world would give us.
There has been lots of speculation over the years about the movie having religious symbolism with Luke being Jesus. Let me encourage you to watch the movie and read the book from above.
A man’s man on prayer, Harold Burke-Sivers on video.
God can do great things through nobody’s.
As a man of faith you will be attacked.
All of us have been given talents and you will stand before God someday to answer for the gift you have been given.
Research your own Bible App, but maybe it is time for you to read the Bible everyday on your phone, tablet or computer. I am not promoting any one over another one just encouraging you to get to reading today.