Friday, October 30, 2009

Duke Basketball Is Losing It's Edge?

Call me a purist, but I am just not used to seeing an elite program like Duke do things like this. Granted, this is very entertaining and funny, especially Wojo. You have to wonder though, do things like this make Duke lose the edge and mysterious allure that always makes them so intimidating and scary to teams they are facing. We'll see...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This week has been one of the most confusing weeks I have had in some time. Stemming from nothing more significant than the 7-9 year old soccer team I coach, my heart has been severely convicted this week. I suppose some back story would be appropriate.

You see, I have coached my oldest two sons soccer team for the past three years. In those three years, our teams have somewhat dominated the competition we played. I take zero credit for this fact but rather afford it to having a core of four kids who have been superior atheletes to the others their age. For this reason or maybe other reasons, many parents requested this year to have their kids on our team ( an honor) and we ended up with a team of 18 kids. Well, with that many kids it is impossible to dole out equal playing time (a duty that I think is most important) and keep your best players on the field consistently. Needless to say, our ability to win has suffered greatly this year. Therefore, my goal this season has become teaching these kids leadership and sportsmanship as well as more soccer fundamentals.

All was going well until a recent match against team in a nearby town. Quickly after the match started it became obvious to me that the refs, both teenage kids, were not aware of the rules in their entirety. I on the other hand am very much aware as I sat on the rules committee this year. Those are hours of my life I wish I had back.

As the game progressed I kept reminding the ref on my side of the field that the rules were in place to keep these kids from being hurt and that should he continue to not enforce the proper rules, someone would get hurt. Then it happened. This boy said to me that I was wrong about one of the rules when I knew I was completely correct. He proceeded to tell me the rules I was telling him, the rules I helped write, were not the ones he had received.

Deep breath Dave. I asked the kid for a moment as I pulled the PDF of the rules up on my iPhone. As I boiled on the inside all I could think was this kid is calling me a liar to my face. This kid is saying in front of my team that I am trying to cheat. He was saying to these kids who I have been stressing honest, fair play to for months that I don't practice what I preach. I cannot stand for someone to tell me I am wrong when I KNOW I am right. The fact that it was a boy, a young and unlearned boy doing this only made matters worse.

Yet, goodness prevailed from inside me. I showed the young man the proper rule and requested that he apologize to the team and myself. He obliged. We can play ball now right. All of a sudden I saw something from the corner of my eye darting toward me. A woman, dressed in green and with gleaming eyed was sprinting toward me. I stepped backward and suddenly this mad woman was in my face chopping her hands together inches from my mouth saying that I, the person who was in the right, was somehow wrong for calling the referee on his failure. Turns out, this lady was not only an official for the town we were in, but also the referees mother.

I continued to retreat from the lady explaining to her that the boy had apologized and he will tell her he was in the wrong. Finally I simply turned my back to her and she left. I was so angry that I could not tell you what happened the rest of the game other than, as I predicted, one of our players was badly hurt with no whistle or penalty being called.

I am not writing this to show an example of being a Christian or to discuss rules. I am writing this because after this episode and for days after, until I asked my church members to pray for me, I was overcome with a feeling of guilt and pain that I have not experienced in some time. So, I am writing this for advise or thoughts. What should I have done differently? Why did I feel painful guilt? How should I have handled this differently? Your thoughts will be appreciated.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, October 19, 2009

Christian Churches in Africa Denounce Children as "Witches"

I was shocked as I read this story this morning. Saddened by what harm can be done by those who use the gospel of Jesus Christ for their own gain. I ask that you please read the story that I will link below and comment on your feelings here. Also, as you read, notice the section that discusses how many of these churches in question advertise a preaching of the prosperity gospel. Is there any doubt that this story is a fruit of this false prosperity gospel?

Click here to read the story from The Oklahoman.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pilgrim's Map of the Day

What is interesting to me today:

  • Although I don't know if I really agree with all of the ideas posted in this article, I must admit that reading this article about why white America chose Obama I was forced to think about some things that I don't think about too often.

  • I couldn't pass up posting this funny picture from the Boise State vs. Tulsa game last night:

  • First off, Ken Silva is the man. Please take the time to read his post over on Apprising Ministries in which through the life of Daniel he easily and simply shows us how to avoid falling victim to the counter Christian movement taking place in the church.
  • Doug Eaton uses the wonderful tool of irony to point out 10 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED THE POST MODERN ZONE (this is really good stuff).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Christians Don't Get to Trademark Everything

NOTE: At the end of this posting there will be a link to the presentation discussed

It was a real honor to be asked to present a Continuing Education Lecture at this year's Alabama Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (AADAA) Fall Retreat. Being asked by my peers and superiors to present in order to help others seeking to better themselves in our field meant two things. First it meant that someone must find me competent enough to share my feeble knowledge base with others, a very unexpected and appreciated compliment. Secondly though, and more frightening, it meant that someone other than myself would be selecting the topic on which I should present. Time would eventually tell that the topic I was to present on was the Biblical foundation in which the original 12 steps (Alcoholics Anonymous) was founded and how to present this to clients as therapists. YIKES!!!!

As I researched this topic and prepared my presentation the one thought that kept nagging me was that there would be, as in any secular field, both atheists and agnostics present during my presentation. Would they attack me despite facts? Will the evidence I present be sufficient to silence or convince them? Will I throw up on them? Where is my passport so I can just blow this off and leave the country?

As I researched and thought though, something became quite obvious to me. Were the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (more specifically, the Oxford Group from which A.A. became what it did) Christian and raised with a Christian upbringing - YES! Was the Alcoholics Anonymous big book that was originally published and sparked 60+ years of successful recovery from alcoholism a Christian publication or even rooted in Christian teachings - NO!!! While it is undeniable that Bill W., the foremost leader of the A.A. movement, was raised a Christian and that his explanation of clarity revolved around a Christian moment, the truth is that the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are a work based program, the complete opposite of Biblical Christianity. I suddenly felt a little jipped as I have always kinda believed it was and had read things such as the Recovery Bible and sat through sermons in church that claim such. There are parallels that can be drawn but to state that the Alcoholics Anonymous book is a Christian publication is a farce. I will stop short of pointing out how this is the major issue in the American Christian church today but will say that there is an epidemic of people taking certain ideas, usually their own, and drawing false parallels by taking scripture out of context.

The focus of my presentation then became to get across the point that the founders and authors of the original A.A. program were mostly Christian but that also meant they have Old Testament training as well. As treatment providers in a secular world with secular bosses and ethical standards we must adhere to, there is a way to use Biblical analogies and stories and yet not unethically impose Christian beliefs on our clients. This should be important not only to us as employees of a company, but also due to Biblical instruction to Christians on how to properly honor our employers. Therefore, my mission became to equip those in my audience with Old Testament stories from which 12-step parallels could be drawn and with which one could safely say that it was possible that Bill W. and the 12-step founders knew the stories as many were raised in Christian homes and went to Sunday school in which so many learn such stories. For some reason though, they chose to leave their Christian beliefs out of the original A.A. publication and we have no right to change it.

The importance of being culturally diverse as a treatment provider is often understated but as I aimed to point out, the world's two largest religions, Christian and Muslim, as well as Jews and some historically minded atheists can all agree that the stories of the Old Testament are accurate historical accounts. Just as the story of Solomon is important to a Christian, so it is to a Jew. Just as the story of King David is meaningful to a Christian, so it is to a Muslim. Furthermore, due to historical evidence, atheists cannot deny the fact that these biblical characters, Moses, Abraham, David, or Solomon were real and that their writings are indeed what they are held to be, historical documents. A majority of the separation occurs where the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins. Therefore, as the treatment provider when you begin discussing the New Testament you alienate all other religions and leave yourself open to accusation of imposing your religion. Now, living in the southeast of the United States, a majority of one's clients will have been raised as Christian and will report in psychosocial evaluations that they adhere to Christian beliefs. However, as professionals we need to have as many tools at our disposal to handle any situation and to not neglect the spiritual side of our clients, regardless of their religion. By understanding the Old Testament parallels, we therefore can relate how these Old Testament characters belief and interaction(s) with God helped them through struggles similar to those faced by the addict today.

Sounds simple enough right? The long and the short of it is that the very atheists and agnostics that I was so concerned about were not problematic at all during my presentation. In fact, not a negative word or comment came from any of them. To both my surprise and disappointment, the majority of opposition I faced in my presentation came from people, two in particular, with Christian beliefs. If you view the presentation (available at the bottom of this posting), you will see that I point out that at step three of the original A.A. 12-steps that all similarity between Christianity and the 12-steps stop due to the fact that from this point forward, the success of the program all becomes about what you, the human, does. This is not Christianity. Christianity is about what has already been done and how the recognition and belief that this prior act will be enough to save you. The 12-step program, while stressing a need for the assistance of A God, not THE God, also is work based and your success as a person in recovery hinges greatly on your acts. That is not Christianity and one could talk for hours about how the separation occurs at the Christian belief that there is one true God.

I will spare the details of their arguments but in the end they simply missed the point. Their arguments were based around the fact that they had witnessed people who work the 12-steps be led straight to the foot of the cross. When faced with how to relate that to the Jew who the cross means nothing to though, there was no response and when shown how offensive such spiritual guidance would be to the Jew or Muslim their response was anger and disdain. Further, when discussing faith based operations that have taken the original 12-step program and manipulated it to have a Christian message it is important to point out that by doing so they are ignoring the request of the original authors to not change or manipulate the message within the original text. I guess though when people have no problem ignoring not adding to the scripture they have no problem doing that with other, less sanctified books as well. Just as we see more of man's philosophy creeping into Christianity today, so we see the same in A.A. Could this explain the declining success rates in both?

In conclusion, at the beginning of my presentation I requested that each person attending the lecture give a 15-30 second synopsis of why they chose to take this course. 72% of the respondents stated that they chose to take it because they really did not know much about A.A. and it's workings. My response after all had finished was to point out that the number one after care program that we as therapists refer our clients to is A.A. or N.A. Yet, in a room full of our peers we will publicly admit that we really know hardly anything about what we are referring these individuals to. This should be troubling to us to say the least and speaks to a level of irresponsibility. Just as I, the Christian, have no authority to speak about something I do not know about or cannot say for certain, it is unethical as a treatment provider to refer someone to care that we really know nothing about. This seems to be a growing trend in both areas and the results are obvious in both areas.

To view the presentation discussed follow the links below. It is divided into two separate parts due to file size constraints in Google docs. Please take the time to review this and leave comments that you may think would improve this presentation.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Al Mohler - Why Moralism is Not the Gospel

Take time to read the post that is linked below. Too busy to read it, click the link and click listen at the top of the posting. Al Mohler hits this right on the head and this needs to be spread QUICKLY. The church is losing to morality. Please read this, here's a quick quote:

"We sin against Christ and we misrepresent the Gospel when we suggest to sinners that what God demands of them is moral improvement in accordance with the Law. Moralism makes sense to sinners, for it is but an expansion of what we have been taught from our earliest days. But moralism is not the Gospel, and it will not save. The only gospel that saves is the Gospel of Christ. As Paul reminded the Galatians, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." [Gal. 4:4-5]

Here's the link: Al Mohler - Why Moralism is Not the Gospel - And Why so Many Christian Think it Is.

Lynn High School vs. Hackleburg High School Post-Game Referee Attack

If you are not from this part of the world, this probably will not matter to you. There are quite a few from this area though who do read this and I thought you might enjoy the footage of what sparked the "riot" following the 10/02/09 Hackleburg High School football game. This video is great and filled with music and keys to watch. Why would someone attack a referee with a stadium seat????