Links & Quotes

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Today is pi day (3.1415), and Seth Godin has a great look at this day in his post Magical and Irrational.

Sadly, religious persecution is alive and well … IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?!? This Navy chaplain has been removed from his unit for―gasp!―preaching from the Bible!

Some very good pro-life news. Scientists have called on their peers to agree not to modify human embryos — even for research. Just because scientists can do something doesn’t mean it should be done.

“Cancer research disagrees with the assumptions of beneficial mutations, millions of years, and junk DNA.” Read more in Cancer Research Inadvertently Refutes Evolution.

“Yes, I know one doesn’t even want to be cured of one’s pride because it gives pleasure. But the pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch one does want to scratch: but it is much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch. As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither, but have everything else (God, our fellow-humans, animals, the garden and the sky) instead.” ―C.S. Lewis

Who Needs Sex? An insightful post from Pastor Dave Barringer.

Jim Cymbala asks, “Does anyone really think that America today is lacking preachers, books, Bible translations, and neat doctrinal statements? What we really lack is the passion to call upon the Lord until He opens the heavens and shows Himself powerful.” Read more in Prayer Revival.

“Let me say that for comfort, there is no thought more full of sweetness than that of an eternal God engaged in Christ Jesus to His people; to love, and bless, and save them all. One Who has made them the distinguished objects of His discriminating regard from all eternity, it is the eternal God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Setting The Example For Us

FundraiserWhen Paul was writing to his young protege Timothy he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I was so proud of a couple of young people who did this for us at Calvary Assembly of God yesterday!

Savannah has been raising money for childhood cancer research. She shared with us how this is the least-funded form of cancer research, and that every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. “That is unacceptable,” Savannah said. So in an amazing example-setting move for all of us, Savannah and two of her coworkers worked to bring in over $3000 in donations for childhood cancer research, and they shaved their heads as a sign of solidarity with the children undergoing cancer treatments. By the way, you can still donate to this noble cause by clicking here.

Then Josh brought us a challenging message entitled Are You Growing? Taking his text from 1 Corinthians 3:6, Josh reminded us that God makes things grow, but we can put ourselves in a place for Him to do that. Just as with a plant, our spiritual growth requires:

  • Sunshine—basking in God’s presence.
  • Water—soaking up God’s Word.
  • Nutrients—surrounding ourselves with the people and things that encourage growth.
  • Time—the dedication and investment in God’s process.

I am so proud of Josh and Savannah for setting an example for us to follow!

Putting Your Money Where Your Hair Is

SavannahEveryone is probably familiar with the phrase, “Putting your money where your mouth is.” Quite simply we mean, “I believe what I’m saying strongly enough that I would back it up with my money.”

A young lady at Calvary Assembly of God, Savannah Tolar, is taking this one step further. She’s not only putting her money on the line to back up what she says, but she’s putting her hair on the line too!

Savannah, like many people, has been impacted by cancer in her immediate family. As a mother of a beautiful baby boy, she has also been troubled by the lack of funding for childhood cancer research. Savannah wants this lack of funding changed so that a cure for this dreaded disease can be found as soon as possible.

In fact, she believes this so strongly that she is willing to put her beautiful hair on the line. As you probably know, many children undergoing intensive cancer treatments end up losing their hair as a side effect of their chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Savannah is standing in solidarity with those brave kids by allowing her head to be shaved.

Although Savannah has set a goal to raise $3000 for childhood cancer research, I believe we can help her go way beyond this. Please click here to go to Savannah’s page, read her story, and then make a generous donation. On November 26, Savannah will be shaving her head as she stands with those kids who are fighting back against cancer.

Let’s all get behind this!

Way to go, Savannah … I am so proud of you!

UPDATE: To see how Savannah did in her fundraising please click here.

9 Quotes From “Sidelined”

SidelinedSidelined was a book I could hardly put down: such a compelling story of love, and family, and overcoming adversity! You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes I highlighted in this book, unless otherwise noted all of the quotes are from Coach Pagano.

“We can! We will! We must! By any means necessary—we have no choice—we will win.”

“We were determined to create a culture where guys couldn’t wait to come to work. We wanted people who would be excited about getting up in the morning and being here. … We wanted a workplace where people are honest and forthright with each other. We wanted open communication to be practiced daily. We wanted every person in the building to be treated with the dignity that every human being deserves. Sure, we’re tough guys, and we like to joke and trash talk sometimes as part of our fun. But there has to be a limit to that kind of behavior, and we wanted everyone to respect each other more than anything else. A joke’s only funny if we all share in it together at no person’s expense. And when we make mistakes or do something wrong, we don’t deny it. We want a place that if we are going to eat crow, we are going to eat it while it’s hot!”

“…My condition will not determine my position. I understand the condition, but choose to focus on my position. That is to stay positive and serve….” (part of a letter to his team before the Green Bay Packers game)

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” —William Barclay

“You brought the spiritual plane. That’s why your leadership goes beyond coaching. You set an example as a spiritual leader, and that’s what inspires people.” —Kevin Elko

“Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.” —Eddie Robinson

“People sometimes ask me what we look for in a player—how we know he’ll be a good fit for our program. It’s a hard question to answer because there are so many variables. … We also go beyond all the facts and stats and determine if these are what we like to call ‘horseshoe guys.’ The horseshoe emblem of the Colts shows seven nails or studs. Each one represents a quality we want in a player/leader for our team—smart, tough, dynamic, physical, character, integrity, and respect. … Players who want to be a part of something bigger. Something great.”

“Part of the reason I couldn’t remain disappointed after our lost to the Ravens [in the playoffs] was that I knew we had built our foundation on solid rock. We had established something that wasn’t going to dry up and blow away in a matter of weeks or months. Our team was committed to building a program for sustained success. We called it ‘building the monster.’ We wanted to take our building blocks of athleticism, talent, and skill and bring them to life with our commitment, character, and determination.”

“Cancer can take away a lot—your hair, your appetite, your energy, and, yes, sometimes your very life. But cancer cannot take away the love that passes between you and the special people in your life. It can’t take away the support and encouragement, the creativity and beauty, the connections and relationships to others who are fighting alongside you. No matter how hard it tries, cancer can never contain the human spirit or diminish the power of faith.”

Sidelined (book review)

SidelinedEvery once in awhile I come across a book that is hard to put down. Sidelined by Chuck Pagano, the head coach of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, is just such a book.

Before I lose anyone who says, “Football? Not interested,” let me assure you that this is not a football book. This is a great story of near-tragedy and triumph that happens to have a football coach as its main character. This is a book about family, and faith, and teamwork, and pulling together, and overcoming. It’s a love story with a happy ending. It’s a great book!

In a nutshell, Chuck Pagano is hired as the head coach of the Colts, the first time in his career he has gotten a shot at being a head coach. Just a couple of games into his very first season, he is diagnosed with leukemia and sees his coaching responsibilities immediately halted. He enters into a life-and-death struggle with cancer, and ultimately beats it. But the real triumph of the story is the way his diagnosis pulled together a whole city, and even other NFL cities, to raise awareness of this dreaded disease.

Sidelined doesn’t really have an ending, because Coach Pagano’s career is still ongoing, and so is the fight against leukemia. After reading this book, I’m not only cheering for Coach, but I’m also cheering on those in the fight of their lives against cancer as well as those searching for a cure for this disease.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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Here are the links to some interesting reading I found today.

“A poll of hundred college students about their Facebook habits revealed that those who posted numerous status updates each day actually experienced positive mood swings that a control group did not experience. Those who posted more frequently felt less lonely and more connected to friends. The reason? While sitting behind a computer screen may seem isolating, updating your status keeps friends on the brain when you can’t see them in person. Researchers actually call it ‘social snacking.’” Read more of Tim Elmore’s post How Facebook Affects Your Mental Health.

Interesting: How Many Bible Passages Speak To Homosexuality?

[VIDEO] I liked this part of Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech.

How scientists can see cancer cells in action.

Appalling! Planned Parenthood helps an accused serial rapist cover up his crimes!!

“The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of his mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house then in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” —John Calvin, commenting on Exodus 21:22-23

[VIDEO] John Maxwell and Nick Vujicic remind you that you are unique.

Still Smiling

Thank you to so many who responded to PROJECT:Smile! The hundreds and hundreds of cards and gifts were so appreciated by the Hagerman family.

Bethany went home to be with Jesus yesterday morning. No more medicine, no more needles, no more pain, no more cancer. She is laughing and completely healed in the arms of Christ.

The family still needs our prayers and our support. So let’s keep PROJECT:Smile! going for awhile longer. Michael and Amy have been through a long ordeal, and I’m sure sisters Audrey and Katy will be missing their little sister as well.

Here is the funeral information —

Visitation – Friday, March 12, 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00

Sytsema Funeral Home

6291 S. Harvey St.

Norton Shores, MI  49444

Funeral – Saturday, March 13, 2:00 with 1:00 visitation at church

Central Assembly of God

896 Home St.

Muskegon, MI  49444

 

As you might imagine, the financial burden of Bethany’s long illness is heavy. I know the family can use help with the funeral expenses. Please write a check to “Mike and Amy Hagerman” and mail it to:

Hagermans c/o Jones
1632 W. Norton Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49441

You can also send money via PayPal by using email address mahagerman@yahoo.com.

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