The Legacy Of Amos Alonzo Stagg

This is an excerpt from Mark Batterson’s powerful book Chase The Lion

chase-the-lion“When I hear the word legacy, I think of Amos Alonzo Stagg. You can’t walk very far on the University of Chicago campus without bumping into his legacy. As the coach of the original Monsters of the Midway, Coach Stagg led the university to two national titles in 1905 and 1913.

“His football legacy includes the huddle, the Statue of Liberty play, the onside kick, the T-formation, the end-around, and the forward pass. In other words, he practically invented the game of football as we know it. But that isn’t his most enduring or most endearing legacy.

“When Coach Stagg accepted the invitation to coach, he gave the university president a speech of sorts: ‘After much thought and prayer, I decided that my life can best be used for my Master’s service in the position you have offered.’ Amos Alonzo Stagg coached until the age of ninety-eight. But he did more than coaches players; he discipled them. He was a priest-coach. After one of his most successful seasons, a well-intentioned reporter congratulated Stagg on a job well done. Coach Stagg courteously cut him short. ‘I won’t know how good a job I did for twenty years,’ Coach Stagg said. ‘That’s when I’ll see how my boys turned out.’”

Useful Maxims (book review)

Useful MaximsKing Solomon had his maxims—Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Benjamin Franklin had his maxims—A stitch in time saves nine. And now Brian Ridolfi gives us a book of fresh Useful Maxims.

Maxims are short, catchy, and very memorable; a brief, succinct statement that captures profound wisdom in a way that’s easy to recall at the appropriate time. Parents, teachers, pastors, and coaches have all sought ways to get their message across to their young charges, and have those messages come back to the forefront of their mind at crucial moments. This is where an appropriate maxim can be so helpful.

Useful Maxims is organized in broad chapter headings, and then the individual maxims are grouped together in various sub-headings throughout each chapter. Most of them are short—He who exalts himself halts himself—but occasionally Brian shares a short parable along with its memorable meaning.

If you are involved with instructing others, and want to find a way to have your point “stick” in their memory, Useful Maxims will become an invaluable, go-to tool for your lesson plans.

Links & Quotes

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“You have heard many men’s dying words, and these are mine: A life spent in communion with God is the pleasantest life in the world.” —Matthew Henry, to a friend when near his death

“By the serpent’s seed, we are to understand the devil and all his children, who are permitted by God to tempt and sift His children. But, blessed be God, he can reach no further than our heel.” —George Whitefield

Anyone working with youth should keep close tabs on what Dr. Tim Elmore has to say, as he is very tuned-in to the youth culture. Parents / coaches / teachers / youth pastors, check out 7 Shifts As Generation Y Becomes Generation Z.

3 reasons why heterosexual married sex is better is a good read. But I would add a fourth reason: Because this is the way God intended it to be, so it carries His blessing!

Pastor and church leaders, here is a helpful article from Richard Hammer, lead counsel for the Assemblies of God, following the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision on the issue of homosexual “marriage.”

Trip Lee talks about help for people battling a struggle with pornography. Trip discusses this in more depth in his outstanding book Rise. Check this out—

Links & Quotes

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“I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who confess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel, and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace. … The judgment of God must begin with us.” —Dwight L. Moody

Dr. George Delgado has pioneered a treatment to reverse medically-induced abortions, and save babies’ lives. I am grateful for doctors who honor their Hippocratic Oath.

The Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Rev. Charles Blake, has a strong, loving statement on the recent Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual “marriage.” I especially like this reminder: “We understand even better now why the Bible calls Christians ‘strangers and pilgrims’ in the world (1 Peter 2:11). It is clearer now why Jesus instructed us to be in the world but ‘not of the world’ (John 17:15-16). In fact, today’s Supreme Court decision is just another legal law that makes the holiness message even stranger to our society. While the moral landscape of our society has definitely shifted, we know that the Bible is yet right and God still reigns.”

No surprise here: Fatherhood & Marriage Bring Out The Best In Men. Among other things: “The contribution of fathers to child-rearing is unique and irreplaceable.” … “Children are not the only ones who benefit; fatherhood and marriage bring out the best in men, too. Recent studies show fatherhood facilitates biological changes that are linked to reductions in risky behavior for men and reduced anger and increased empathy.”

Dr. Tim Elmore discusses why young athletes lack grit and how to build it. I highly recommend Dr. Elmore’s books Generation iY and 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid.

Links & Quotes

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“One profound biblical insight we need to know is that our heart exploits our mind to justify what the heart wants. That is, our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right.” —John Piper

“‘No hope’ is a cry which no human tongue should utter, which no human heart should heed. May God grant us grace whenever we get an opportunity to go and tell all we meet with that are bowed down, ‘There is lifting up.’ And tell them where it is likewise. Tell them it is only at the Cross. Tell them it is through the precious blood. Tell them it is to be had for nothing, through simply trusting Christ. Tell them it is of free grace, that no merits of theirs are wanted, that no good things are they to bring, but that they may come just as they are, and find lifting up in Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We must not be naïve about the power of reason. Reason can only do so much. No one can be reasoned into believing the Gospel. That requires a work of the Spirit of God, a work of faith. Reason can clear the way for faith, but it cannot engender it. Only God can do that. … So, even as we reason with our unbelieving friends, we must remember that only if God the Spirit works with our words—and if our words are faithful to the Word of God—will are friends come to faith in Jesus Christ. Reason is a tool, but the Holy Spirit is the power for faith and eternal life.” —T.M. Moore

“The best reason to brand someone with a pejorative label is to push them away, to forestall useful conversation, to turn them into the other. Much more useful: Identify the behavior that’s counter-productive. When we talk about the behavior, we have a chance to make change happen. What would happen if the behavior stopped? When we call someone misogynist or racist or sexist or a capitalist, a socialist or an abstract expressionist, what are we hoping for? Every one of us is on the ‘ist’ spectrum, so the label becomes meaningless. Meaningless labels are noise, noise that lasts. If that person stopped acting like a _____ist, what would change? Because if there’s nothing we want to change, the labeling is useless. And if there’s a change that needs to be made, let’s talk about what it is.” —Seth Godin

Does anyone else find this statement ironic? “Christ, what does this mean?” says Greger Larson, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Oxford, UK. Let me contrast two words: Christ (as in Jesus, the Son of God) and evolutionary (as in, don’t believe in God). Even the supposed God-deniers cannot help but evoke His name!

For anyone who works with students, Tim Elmore shares three balancing acts we all need to keep in mind.

Nancy Pearcey has an eye-opening post about the transgender fascination in our culture. In part, she writes: “The worldview implicit in the transgender movement is that our physical bodies have no particular value—that our biology is irrelevant to who we are as persons…. It is a worldview that drives a wedge between one’s body and one’s sense of self, which exerts a self-alienating, fragmenting effect on the human personality….” Please read Transgender Politics Vs. The Facts Of Life.

Links & Quotes

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“The thing required is not to add to the good actions we have already done, but only to do that out of love to God which men of reputation and virtuous lives due from a principle of honor and regard of themselves. …  Let us do all the same honest and virtuous actions, but let us do them for the sake of Him Who made us and to Whom we owe our all.” —Françoise Fenelon

“If, when no one is watching us, we are building ourselves up in the Word of God, then, when a crisis comes, we shall stand; but if we are not building on the Word of God, when a crisis comes we shall go down, no matter what our wills are like.” —Oswald Chambers

“So the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want Him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course?” —John Piper

For all of my pastor friends who have kids, this post from Pastor Dave Barringer is an important read.

Dr. Tim Elmore uses John Wooden as a great example to ask the question: Are You A Coach Or A Teacher?

Have you heard that there are fewer Christians in America? Check out John Stonestreet’s analysis of the latest reports.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell talks about the consistency and perseverance of the professional—

Links & Quotes

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“We know that God’s being is perfect, His essence infinite, His dominion absolute, His power unlimited, and His glory transcendent.” —Charles Spurgeon

“A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished from its edges.” —Benjamin Franklin

“We will do most good for this world by keeping a steadfast freedom from its beguiling attractions. We will serve our city best by getting our values from the ‘city which is to come’ (Hebrews 13:14). We will do our city most good by calling as many of its citizens as we can to be citizens of the ‘Jerusalem above’ (Galatians 4:26). Let’s live so that the natives will want to meet our King.” —John Piper

Anyone who works with kids (parents, teachers, coaches) should check out Mark Merrill’s list of 9 things not to say to children.

Matt Chandler says, “sex can be about the Gospel, if we’re mindful enough to make it so.” Read more of his post The ‘Good News’ About Sex.

Eric Metaxas shares an alarming statistic: An astonishing 70,000 children are kidnapped by gangs every year in China! Check out the worldview that contributes to this.

Some amazing pro-life news: doctors have discovered how to counteract the effects of RU-486 (the abortion-inducing drug) and save the lives of unborn babies!

[VIDEO] John Piper’s Look At The Book series is a great in-depth Bible study. Here is part 1 in this series about anxiety—

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