Archive for March, 2012

Just be the church

March 29, 2012

Baptist Press ran an excellent story on March 28 entitled “Athiest shocked when church helps with bills.”

In a nutshell, a Baptist church in Athens, Texas, is doing what it should be doing — showing the love of Christ to those who do not know Him. The church has befriended an avowed atheist who once sued a Texas county for placing a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn.

He later dropped the lawsuit because of health issues that required his time, attention and resources.

A member of Sand Springs Baptist Church in Athens learned of the man’s plight, brought it to the attention of her pastor, and the church sprang into action. As a result, the church has begun forming relationships with the man and his wife, who live in San Antonio, as they helped them with some bills.

Some quotes from this atheist are haunting.

“No Christian at all that we’ve ever met in our lives had ever been nice to us. No Christian has ever done anything for us.”

The couple is planning to make Athens their home with the help of Sand Springs Church and others.

The man has not changed his beliefs, but he has told members of the church he would visit.

That’s a huge step, one he would never have dreamed of had a Texas church not reached out to him in spite of his known convictions.

What a great example of a church “being the church.” All our churches would do well to follow suit.

March Madness

March 19, 2012

March Madness is upon us. It’s a fun time of the year for those who love college basketball. For the first time in many years I did not get around to officially picking my selections. Good thing. No doubt I would have been like many of those who did, lamenting all the upsets, especially on Friday of last week.

As a referee at the high school level, I ponder what it would be like to be an NCAA official refereeing in the tournament. There is a lot of pressure. Every close call is scrutinized and played over and over again, particularly if it was the wrong call.

At this stage in my life, I don’t need the glory/fame of refereeing college basketball nor do I need the pressure associated with refereeing on the “big stage.”

I have found my niche in March Madness, refereeing Special Olympics. Each year the Special Olympics state tournament is held at David Lipscomb University in Nashville.

What a joy and privilege it is to watch those special athletes perform. Talk about playing for the fun of it. Those players don’t pay attention to the score. They even clap for someone on the other team who makes a good play.

And even the fans and coaches (for the most part) don’t get upset if the guys in the stripes miss a call every now and then.

My reward for officiating those games? The privilege of having those athletes come to you after the game with a big smile on their face, win or lose, and hear them say, “Good game ref!”

What a blessing and privilege.