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Friday, February 26, 2010

Canada's Women's Hockey Team

Although I wasn’t born in Canada, I grew up there. Every school day my classmates and I sang “O Canada” with a great deal of pride. At the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal ceremony Canada’s female heroines and the Canadian spectators sang the national anthem proudly and loudly. I understood the pride and joy of the moment. The team of fantastic female hockey players had sent waves of both emotions across Canada, from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island.

My emotions turned upside down when I learned this morning that the gold medalists returned to the ice about 30 minutes after the ceremony for a beer, champagne, and cigar party. Their behavior saddened and disappointed me. I would have felt the same way if male hockey players had behaved like that. Thousands of Canadian youngsters love hockey, and they had found in the Canadian women’s hockey team heroes to emulate. On a personal note, my Canadian brother’s 13-year-old granddaughter plays on a hockey team. I regret that her role models projected a poor image.

Some may call me a prude, but I think how champion athletes behave influences the behavior of their young, impressionable fans. Jesus warned us not to influence the children to do wrong (Matthew 18:6).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Think and Thank

If we want to know God’s will, we must know His Word. In the Bible God tells us clearly what our attitudes, motives, and actions should be. In other words, we can learn from Scripture how to think right and behave right. But how well do we conform our lives to the teachings of Scripture?

For example, Psalm 100:4 instructs us to be thankful to the Lord. That’s clear enough, isn’t it? But how thankful are we? Most Christians in the Western World have full closets and full stomachs, but our mouths are often filled with complaints—about the government, the economy, our jobs, our finances, our neighbors, our relatives, our health issues, the utility bills, and the high cost of filling the gas tank. We often are so busy complaining that we leave little or no time for thanksgiving. But we should spend so much time thanking God for His blessings that we leave no time for complaining.

I know, Thanksgiving is nine months away, but why not make today a thanksgiving day? You don’t have to run out and buy a turkey and pumpkin pie; simply think about how good God is and how abundantly He has blessed you.

Our word “thankful” derives from an Anglo-Saxon word for “thinkful.” Let’s think about God’s goodness and be thankful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hockey:Canada's National Sport

What a hockey game last night! The rivalry between the USA and CANADA was intense, and the hockey was fast paced and hard hitting. I must confess I cheered for the losing team. Although I have been a US citizen since 1966, I grew up in Canada (born in Scotland) and strapped on hockey skates at a young age. It was what every Canadian boy did. After all, hockey was and still is Canada’s national sport.

Televised hockey in the USA used to be rare, but it is frequent now. Hockey teams are not limited to the NHL; you can find them in America’s high schools, community leagues, and colleges. Canada’s passion for hockey has spread to the USA and to many other nations. Canadians have surely done a good job of persuading many nations to adopt the sport.

Before ascending to heaven Jesus instructed His followers to disciple all nations. The mission was to begin in Jerusalem, spread to Judea, penetrate Samaria, and reach to the far corners of the globe (Acts 1:8). How passionate are you and I about this mission. Can we share the gospel as successfully as Canada has shared hockey?