It might feel like old news to you, but it was just over two weeks ago that the body of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was laid to rest.
The other day I was watching live coverage of the US Open. The cameras showed empty practice courts, as gusts of wind swept across them on a crisp September morning in Queens, New York.
"WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??" exclaimed legendary English commentator Ray Hudson. Messi had just gone on a physics defying zigzag past four of Athletic Bilbao's defenders to curve the ball on the bottom left corner of the goal.
That week represented one of the darkest series of events I remember in my lifetime. First on Tuesday, police in Baton Rouge, LA, shot Alton Sterling to death. Two days later, Philando Castile was shot by a police officer after being pulled over for a busted headlight in Minnesota.
LeBron James is the king of Cleveland again. In a city with three major sports teams — the NBA's Cavaliers, the NFL's Browns, and the MLB's Indians — James brought home the first championship title in 52 years (the last time was the Brown's in 1964).
If you Google "the Greatest of all time," only one name will appear: Muhammed Ali. But why? I want to propose to you that what made Ali so great is something you yourself can do.
There's something very real about sports. Though most athletic achievements can be attributed to hard work, discipline, and preparation, some things still happen by accident. Huge underdogs can win it all, and even the most dependable star can have a bad day.
Imagine losing a million dollars every 15 minutes. This is what happened to Laremy Tunsil when 13 minutes before the start of the 2016 NFL draft, a video of him smoking a bong went viral.
There's a heavy-duty lesson for us how the 12 spies reacted to the Promised Land. Remember, these 12 men traveled throughout the same land. They saw the same things. But they came to two very different conclusions.
Years ago, when I was a youth pastor in San Diego, my wife and I visited the juvenile detention center weekly. One day I got a call about a young man who needed someone to talk to. The teenager had a history of abuse by his dad, and the social worker asked if I would come and encourage him.
Some people approach church in the same way they seek out new mobile phone carrier or cable provider. "Well, I'm just not getting what I need anymore. I think it's time to move on." If you approach church with a consumer mentality, you are selling yourself short. When the knowledge you hear in church remains between your ears and the worship becomes little more than a spectator sport, you are missing the point.
Maybe you've experienced road rage where you live. Here in Southern California, nearly everyone has encountered something like it. What do you do when a complete stranger "flips out" on you? Do you meet them at their level? What does it take for you to lose your cool?
Has anyone ever questioned your integrity? Integrity means being the same on the inside as on the outside. Our daily life – our attitude, behavior and thoughts – should match our prayer life. Next time you pray, listen to yourself and compare it to your conversations with others or to the self-talk in your head.
Clearly, Ruth did something right. She lived her life in service of others. Her biggest investment wasn't career or property or possessions – it was people. People are her living legacy.
Soon it will be the third Sunday in June. In the narrative of your life, is Father's Day something you celebrate…or is it more like, "Happy I Survived My Father Day," or maybe the day you sit and wonder, "Where in the world is my Father Today?"
David has been using since he was eleven. Different substances, same result. Now forty years old, he's still battling unseen demons, replaying the brutality of his lost childhood, waiting for a day when the pain will stop.
You've probably heard this from your mother – or maybe your grandmother: "It is better to give than to receive." But did you ever truly adopt that philosophy? Is your life defined by your "gives" or your "gets"?
Is it just me, or do you agree that something valuable has been lost now that a huge portion of human communication is so impersonal? Are we forgetting how to relate to one another the old-school way: face to face and person to person?
I know a guy named David who has a mega complex family. In fact, it is so complex he feels the need to draw you a picture – a literal family tree – to show you his lineage.
Yes, it's an occupational hazard – an accepted risk – that officers must tolerate as part of their work. But just think about the level of faith that's required to step out of your house every day and face the possibility of death at the hands of a stranger. The ability to cope and even thrive in a world of complete uncertainty is a gift and a calling.
You don't have your own parachute to get you through life. Jesus is your parachute. Not only that. He's the pilot and the plane and the wind under the plane and the Creator of the sky and the earth and everything in between.
You probably don't have to think very hard to conjure up an image of someone in your life who can be classified as a hater.
Don't think, though, that Lady Gaga, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, was singing from a biblical worldview. "Born This Way" is an anthem for the philosophy that dominates today's culture: Tolerance. There is no right or wrong. Anything goes — so go with it.
It's that season. Super Political Action Committees are funneling lottery-sized sums of cash into political ads. Pundits on television are popping veins in heated "discussions" that wind up right back where they started. All joking aside, I can't deny how critical it has become in this day and age to be politically aware. Let me be clear, I didn't say politically correct.
These days almost every phone has Caller ID on it. You also might identify your caller with a ringtone or a tune or a photo. Whatever the cool feature you use, Caller ID helps you decide whether or not to answer the call.