A Quiet Testimony

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Character, Heroes, Legacy | 0 comments

My first memory of a championship football was listening to the radio, as a 10 year-old in December of 1963, cheering on the Chicago Bears as they beat Y.A Tittle and the New York Giants. One of the stars on the Giants was Hall of Fame wide receiver/running back, Frank Gifford, who later went on to star on the legendary Monday Night Football announcing crew of 1971-1985 along with Howard Cossell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. Gifford brought a foundation of believability and steadiness to that entertaining team. What Gifford is less known for is that he was a man of solid faith; just less prone to drawing public attention to that fact than others might. The comments on this clip from his widow, Kathie Lee Gifford, on the Today Show demonstrate how important his spiritual values were to Frank. All of Kathie Lee’s comments are poignant and worth watching, but the heart of her comments, and of Frank’s faith, are mentioned at the 3:00 mark. Her testimony of Frank’s depth and impact reminds me of the great advice attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use...

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A Transcendent Moment

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Take a look at this brief, but stirring clip. Know what it makes me think of? A topic I’ve written on before, including here. It’s Transcendence; in this case: God-given gift, spontaneous community, spiritual connection.

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On Ministering to a Church Without Walls

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Please listen to this interview with the good people at Unlocking the Bible. Click here to listen (Posted by Scott while Craig is away)    

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Remembering What We’ve Never Known

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in God, Transcendence, Transformation | 4 comments

“I desire something I vaguely recall; I long for something in my future that somehow I remember.”— Cindy Crosby Have you ever found yourself longing for something undefinable? Some spiritual or emotional experience you sense is out there, but you can’t necessarily describe? I have; and I think almost all of us do. To me it’s Transcendence. In her fascinating book on the spiritual dimensions of creation and nature, By Willoway Brook, author Cindy Crosby describes her insights gleaned from countless hikes in a nature preserve, called the Morton Arboretum, near her home in the western suburbs of Chicago. (Coincidentally, it’s the same place I proposed to my then-girlfriend and my now-wife back in 1975.) While watching and researching Monarch butterflies she discovered that every fall millions of Monarchs leave their natural habitat in the eastern parts of North America, pass through the Midwest, and arrive “home”— a remote fifty acres at 10,000 feet altitude in a mountain range in Mexico. None of them have ever been there before, but something in their DNA compels them to return “home.” Crosby points out that Monarchs aren’t the only species that demonstrates the same familiarity with, or memory of, a place they have never been to: Gray whales migrate 7,000 miles up the Pacific coast from Baja California to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Eels descend east coast streams they’ve never been in to spawn and then die Chinook salmon climb from the Pacific a thousand miles up the Snake River to breed Each September some 70,000 Bar-tailed godwits fly 7,700 miles, non-stop over 6-8 days, from Alaska to New Zealand, then return the following March. We humans have our own “migrations” to experience something out of the ordinary: Each summer nearly 1,000 athletes compete in a 26 mile marathon up to the summit of 14,110 foot Pikes Peak in Colorado, and then back down. This August and September over 65,000 people will attend the Burning Man event in northern Nevada to experience “community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.” (Wikipedia) Every able-bodied Muslim has a religious duty of pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. This year more than 2 million will make this Hajj. An estimated 3 million Christian men attended the Promise Keepers’ Stand in the Gap event in Washington, DC in 1997. 3 men have attended all 48 Super Bowls since the first championship in 1967. Somewhere deep inside, we humans have a longing for the spectacular, the spiritual, the ecstatic, the breath-taking, or the transformational. Like the extraordinary migrations of some of the animal kingdom, our pilgrimages reveal a pull to return to a familiar place we’ve never been to before. They reveal a longing for a new place that feels like home. Do you experience that? I’ll bet you do. It’s what we are looking for on a hike through a forest of redwood trees. It’s the joy we experience at the sound of an orchestra majestically playing a moving piece of music in perfect unison. It’s the reason tears stream down our cheeks when we watch a son, daughter or friend participate in a sporting accomplishment that we know took enormous discipline and courage. It’s why dozens of anonymous beach hikers stand in silence as the sun slowly sets on a gulf coast Florida beach, then spontaneously cheer together when it disappears from view. It’s why we stand in awe in a community of fellow faith travelers in worship of God. It’s why G.K. Chesterton was enormously insightful in writing, “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking...

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Unlimited? The Challenge of Human Freedom

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Character, Community, Culture | 0 comments

As we Americans celebrate Independence Day, I urge us to be aware of both the responsibilities we carry, as well as the rights we enjoy, with our freedom. It seems that we often resist the inconvenient demands of the former while insisting on unbridled opportunities for the latter. Too often I see us practicing the personal slogans of “Don’t fence me in,” “To each his own,” “You do your thing, I’ll do mine,” “If it feels good do it,” “My way or the highway,” while giving little consideration to the consequences on the larger community. I’m deeply grateful for personal freedom; I bristle at self-absorbed entitlement. Here is a clip, “Unlimited? The Challenge of Human Freedom,” featuring comments by Os Guinness and Ravi Zacharias on this topic, given at a conference sponsored by RZIM. Their comments are both enlightening and motivational. (Interestingly, the moderator, Stuart McAllister, who refers to his years living in Vienna, Austria, was a Bible-smuggling compatriot of mine back in the the 70’s.) Guinness’ comments in particular are extremely insightful; they run from 9:00-33:00 minutes on the clip. He does an outstanding job of revealing the foundational connections between Freedom-Virtue-Faith on which our liberty is founded. For those of us who celebrate independence this weekend, may we grasp and live out the bond that links our freedom to our character. Happy 4th of...

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