“A true friend always lets you in and never lets you down.”
– Dr. Tim Keller
“Make each day a masterpiece.”
That bit of advice comes from Coach John Wooden, a legendary college basketball coach who was respected by millions of people. He died in 2010 at the age of 99.
He led the UCLA Bruins basketball team to 10 NCAA national championships in just 12 years, including an 88-game winning streak. He was the first person to be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, both as a player and a coach.
It’s hard to see around an elephant.
They get in the way when you’re trying to connect with people. They keep you from seeing or hearing each other very well. That’s true literally and figuratively.
When there’s an elephant in the room, relationship is hindered because there’s a problem hiding in plain sight that no one is willing to acknowledge, let alone talk about.
It happens in marriages. It happens in families. It happens in business.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we want to share with you a powerful message about building racial harmony in our communities by my dear friend and brother in Christ, Carey Casey.
Carey lived through the real-life story captured in the movie Remember the Titans starring Denzel Washington as an African-American high school football coach who must overcome significant challenges after he’s hired to coach the school’s first racially integrated team. The Titans overcame tremendous adversity, worked through their racial differences, and won the state championship.
The quote has been attributed to several people:
Reverend John Watson.
As it turns out, Ian MacLaren is actually the pen name for the aforementioned Reverend John Watson, a Scottish author and theologian who lived the majority of his life during the second-half of the nineteenth century. He passed away in 1907 at the age of 57.
Ten years earlier, in 1897, the Reverend Watson was invited by the popular religious newspaper, the British Weekly, to submit a Christmas message.
Anyone who looked at Michael Kent a few years ago would have been forgiven for thinking he was beyond hope.
He was in jail, and his body bore various tattoos that gave witness to his Neo-Nazi beliefs, including a large swastika on his chest. He was also part of a violent skinhead group.
There’s no way that guy’s ever going to change, right?
Well, not so fast.
Turns out the Michael Kent of today is very different – and it’s all thanks to his friendship with an African-American woman, Tiffany Whittier.
Every February the nation observes Black History Month and recognizes the many contributions of African Americans to the United States and the world. Here at Focus on the Family, it’s no different. We recognize the special commemoration during our monthly chapel service with our staff and through other special educational and celebratory activities over the course of the four-week period.
While reflecting on the celebration, I was reminded about something that happened last August on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating.
In recent generations, some in the Christian community have seen homosexuality as a bigger sin than every other and homosexuals themselves as virtually beyond redemption.
It seems to me that we too often use the sword of the Spirit to attack other human beings rather than reach out to them.
There is no sin we can name that is bigger than one drop of Christ’s blood. Salvation in Christ is available to everyone.
When was the last time you shared your faith with someone?
I ask, not to shame those of us who haven’t talked to anyone about Christ in quite a while, but to draw us back to the journey.
We hesitate to talk to people about the Lord for any number of reasons. Maybe certain aspects of witnessing don’t fit our personality temperament. Or we don’t know what to say. Or we don’t feel we’re a good enough person to adequately represent Christianity.
A couple of weeks ago, I started my blog by saying, “Motherhood feels like the loneliest job on the planet for many women – especially for young moms who live far away from close family. They go through their days as a one-woman army, balancing work, children, and a never-ending list of responsibilities around the home.”
Moms need friendship, but many struggle to find it. Judging by a lot of moms I know, I’d guess one reason is that they struggle to find the personal time and space that would allow them to build relationships.