Thinking Out Loud

July 23, 2016

Weekend Link List

  • A 40 year flashback to a 3-part series Sports Illustrated on religion in sports.
  • A must-listen podcast for anyone in business or management: The value of giving value, aka Donald Miller goes to Chick-fil-A.
  • CT visits The Ark Encounter. I loved this quote:

Ark Encounter Review at CT

Flocks by Night

  • There are five ways you can respond to terrorists attacks, and none of them involve hashtags.
  • Reaching the online world: InterVarsity launches Ministry in Digital Spaces.
  • Video of the Week(end): They make choir arrangements of modern worship songs. I already knew that. Just never pictured it included newer bands like Rend Collective:

March 5, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Random screenshot from this week's Phil Vischer Podcast because, honestly, we didn't have a picture this week. Left to right: Phil, Christian Taylor and Skye Jethani

Random screenshot from this week’s Phil Vischer Podcast even though there’s no reference to it in the link list, because, honestly, we didn’t have a picture this week. Left to right: Phil, Christian Taylor and Skye Jethani (Click image to watch)

Each installment of the link list takes on a different flavor, and this one is no exception. No, that’s not right, it is an exception, that’s what makes it different. (Maybe I should have gone with the “no two snowflakes are the same” intro.) 

Clicking anything below will take to PARSE, who own the link list, then click the items there you wish to view.

Like I said, no time for picture shopping this week, so Mrs. W. suggested we mine the vault for classics:

Purpose Driven Parodies

February 2, 2014

My Thoughts on the Superbowl

Filed under: sports — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:32 pm

This Touchdown's For You Lord

Basically, Thinking Out Loud has been silent today because I have a hard time coming up with a blog post knowing that my 72% U.S. readership is totally preoccupied with something else. I also have a hard time understanding how American football got to be so popular when you compare it to European soccer. (Or better yet Australian Rules Football — there’s a game that rocks!) I also have a hard time processing how it’s gotten to the point where U.S. churches completely rearrange the Sunday worship schedule in order to accommodate a game it is simply assumed everyone is watching.

Many of my Canadian friends are also tuned in to the Superbowl, and it would be complete naive of me to assume that none of my Christian friends might have a small wager riding on the outcome. Personally, I think the ending will look like this: One team will win, there will be several confetti cannons, and reporters will shove microphones in the faces of players on the winning team. In the interim, there will be several entertaining commercials, most of which will be posted to YouTube by the time the game’s over.

Yes, we do sports in Canada, but it’s different somehow. It doesn’t consume us the same way it does people south of the 49th Parallel. Very few people are interviewed on television and say, “I’m from Hamilton, Go Tiger Cats!” Sometimes you have hard time herding enough students together to attend a high school basketball or football game. Even our beloved hockey doesn’t get the worship and adoration that Americans — even American Christians — have for football. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me;” is often being interpreted in the sense of, “Well it doesn’t say you’re not supposed to have other Gods, they just aren’t supposed to be a bigger deal than The Man Himself.” Yes, I’ve heard that more frequently lately.

Of course, if there’s a cliffhanger in the fourth quarter, I might just grab some Pringles and Dr. Pepper and sit down for a few minutes, but I need to remember that “a minute in football is as a thousand years.”

Monday we can all get back to life as normal, until the next distraction.

>>>Praying about the game’s outcome? First read When God Is On Your Side
>>>Related: Tony Evans, 7 min. video uses football as an analogy to worship

February 19, 2012

Person of the Week (2) – Jeremy Lin

Filed under: current events, sports — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:12 am

The words “overnight sensation” rarely apply, since they don’t reflect the years of practice and training; but Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise to super-stardom in the National Basketball Association is truly an inspiration to players of all sports who wish they could get off the bench and into the game.

Not lost in this story is Lin’s identification as a Christian.  His Wikipedia writeup states:

Lin is an evangelical Christian who was a leader in Harvard’s Asian American Christian Fellowship during his time there. Lin would one day like to be a pastor who can head up non-profit organizations, either home or abroad.  He has also talked of working in inner-city communities to help with underprivileged children. 

The Christian Post gets into more detail:

Jeremy Lin, while enrolled at Harvard University and playing for its basketball team, was co-leader of a Bible study group.

Lin was involved in a Bible study group run by the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, according to a 2010 interview with the online publication

“I became a co-leader my junior year and I’m co-leading again this year. The group is a mix of believers and seekers,” said Lin to

“Our fellowship has about 80 people and our purpose is to know God and make him known. We’re trying to do that in a way that is relevant for everyone on our campus.”

The blog Think Christian picks up more of the story:

Like any good point guard, Lin knows the art of the pass – distributing the praise to his teammates and to God.

“I’m just thankful to God for everything,” Lin said in a recent post-game interview. “Like the Bible says, ‘God works in all things for the good of those who love him.'”

Lin’s passing reference to Romans 8:28 was caught by his longtime pastor, Stephen Chen of Redeemer Bible Fellowship, a ministry within the Chinese Church in Christ in Mountain View, Calif. Chen describes the church as full of first- and second-generation immigrants, like Lin and his parents, who are “conservative in nature” and evangelical in faith.

“Very early in his life he decided to pay heed to the call of Christ to take up the cross daily and follow after Him,” Chen said.

Lin credits his parents with teaching him to play “godly basketball,” which measures success by sportsmanship, not stats. That means putting teammates first and showing respect to opponents and referees.

As his star rose, first at Harvard and then with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Lin shared his faith testimony with youth groups and churches near his California home. In a 2011 appearance at River of Life Christian Church in Santa Clara, he quoted from the works of John Piper, a prominent neo-Calvinist pastor in Minneapolis, and spoke of trusting in “God’s sovereign plan.”

Lin already uses his social media platforms to spread the Word. His Twitter account’s description is, “to know Him is to want to know Him more.” His account’s avatar depicts Jesus telling a young man, “No, I’m not just talking about Twitter. I literally want you to follow me.”

As a professional sports player who is upfront about his faith, many have pointed to the similarity between Lin in basketball and Tim Tebow in football. Jim Denison at the blog Faith Village notes:

He is the son of godly parents who insisted that he attend worship each Sunday morning, even after late games on Saturday night…  His Facebook page quotes Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Does our culture need more Tim Tebows and Jeremy Lins? You and I may not make sports headlines today, but our character is on display within our own circles of influence. Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). Now that he is in heaven, we are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), called to reflect his light to our dark and fallen culture.

Have you prayed today about your influence?

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