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Showing posts from 2021

On Athletes, Anxiety, And What We Are Doing To Our Children

Almost every athlete who has played at any competitive level has experienced what is often called "the yips" (apologies to Ted Lasso). These days, we call the yips a "mental health" issue, and while Simone Biles is the most current and high-profile example, what I have to say isn't really about her. In fairness to Simone, gymnastics is a unique sport. A soccer player or golfer with high levels of anxiety (or other mental health struggles) might play poorly, make a bad pass, or miss a putt. A gymnast could seriously injure himself if he's not in a state of mental clarity. A four-foot putt is very different than a backflip on the balance beam. My question, rather than being about the 2021 Olympic gymnastics competition, is much broader. What has happened over the last five years (or more) to create this environment in which so many world-class athletes are so drastically underperforming? On a wider scale, what is happening to our children? Why is anxiety at an

Be a STONE, not a Brick (Sermon Leftovers from Genesis 11)

Genesis 11:3 says that the people of Babel built with bricks instead of stones. While this is not the main point (or perhaps even an important point), the contrast between bricks and stones is interesting. Bricks are man-made, while stones were made by God. Every one of us has a God-given purpose in life. When we pursue that purpose, we discover life as it was meant to be. When we choose to chase after our own purposes and desires, we eventually discover that they leave us empty and unfulfilled. Bricks are not unique. Every brick looks exactly the same because they are mass-produced. Stones are all unique, no two stones are ever the same. God did not create you so that you could look like everyone else. His desire for you is not that you be "one of the crowd" or that you be a nameless face in the crowd. Don't compromise so that you will fit in. Be the person God created you to be, even if (especially if) that makes you stand out. Bricks are replaceable. If a brick is dama

10 Sermon Leftovers from Genesis 6. No Nephilim Though.

On Sunday, I preached from Genesis 6. Although this passage is famous because of its reference to the NEPHILIM, I am not mentioning them here. They aren't really the point, so I won't really use up the bandwidth. Some Christian beliefs do not make sense to the world. The resurrection is our central truth. Everything that looks good is not good for you. You do not need to take everything you want. Satan's plan is always to counterfeit and corrupt God's good creation. God's people are to live in the world but look different from the world so that they can influence the world for good. God's people are to influence the world, but not to partner with the world. Everyone wants to live in a world where evil is judged justly. God's judgment of evil is also usually the preservation of His plan and protection for His  people. If the focus of your life is the evil of the world, you will either wallow in despair or well up with pride. If the focus of your life is the g