For much of the past month, the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia was my standing evening entertainment. Every night seemed to bring new feelings of excitement, joy, and pathos as great victories and near-victories, desperate losses, and human drama combined in a blur of athletic amazement. There were so many events, most in sports I have little familiarity with, that I sometimes felt swept away in the swirl. And as an organizational thinker, I believe there are some strong lessons we can derive from the games themselves.
One Olympic event this year really stood out for me. American skier Ted Ligety captured the gold medal in Men's Giant Slalom skiing. On balance, I really appreciate the Giant Slalom as an Olympic event. To me, it is the perfect combination of speed, power, grace, and precision; all in under 2 minutes flying down a mountain.
Of course, besides the Giant Slalom, there are many other types of alpine skiing events – Downhill and Slalom included. In Downhill, you have just immense speed because skiers are basically falling down the mountain straight-lined. That reality is powerful, raw, and breathtaking. On the other hand, there is the Slalom event. The Slalom is full of turns - much slower - but with the requirement for constant adjustments and precision. Both Downhill and Slalom are tremendous events. The Slalom has speeds of about 25 to 35 miles an hour, constantly turning, at the Olympic level. The Downhill sometimes hits speeds of over 90 miles an hour down the mountain! more >>
Ken Ham of the Creation Museum has taken to Facebook to address criticism over Answers in Genesis' multimillion dollar project to build a life-sized replica of Noah's ark, explaining why the money isn't going to feed hungry people instead.
"I haven't yet seen any articles/blogs/posts directed at Paramount about the $300 million dollars (over 4 times more than the Ark project), they spent on a fictional movie only for entertainment – why aren't they being told by the same people they should be spending this money on feeding the hungry," Ham wrote in a post on Monday, referring to the upcoming Bible-inspired movie "Noah," which is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
The Creation Museum and AiG CEO and president has criticized the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film for portraying an unbiblical account of Noah. Sources like Slash Film have said that the movie's budget is closer to $150 million. more >>
A North Carolina congregation has permanently installed the controversial "Homeless Jesus" sculpture that had been previous rejected by other churches in the United States and Canada.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church of Davidson received the sculpture as a donation and installed "Homeless Jesus" on their property last week.
The Rev. David E. Buck, rector at St. Alban's Episcopal, told The Christian Post that the donated sculpture came "in honor of a former deceased member, Kate MacIntyre, who had been the Davidson Town Public Arts director." more >>
A Baltimore pastor is helping city leaders find qualified candidates within his congregation to fill 1,700 jobs available at a casino, despite the possible implications that can arise from Christians working in the gambling industry.
Pastor Alvin C. Hathaway of Union Baptist Church says helping his members have access to employment has been one of his ministry's top priorities, since the average income for a family of four is $13,000 in the Upton neighborhood where his church is located.
"You can be in something but not be of it," said Hathaway to The Christian Post. "People of faith could work in that industry and not be tainted or polluted. There is a moral issue associated with gambling but there is also a social need within Baltimore." more >>
A United Methodist charity is looking to provide 700,000 malaria nets to a province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by mid-March.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is looking to collect and distribute the large number of nets on behalf of residents of Maniema Province. An estimated 3,000 volunteers will be headed to the eastern Congo province next month, reported Julia Kayser Frisbie of UMCOR.
"While one volunteer hangs a net over the sleeping area in each home, the other speaks with the family," wrote Frisbie. "Their key messages: Mosquitoes bearing malaria parasites transmit the disease through their bites." more >>
Madison, Wis., is the land of great promise, at least according to pastor Alex Gee, who moved with his family to the capital city in the early 1970s when his mother applied and was "admitted virtually on the spot" to the University of Madison. Gee was 6 years old when he made his home in the "Berkeley of the Midwest," and has since raised his family there, and pastors a church and leads the nonprofit organization, Nehemiah.
And yet, as an African American male, Gee is reluctant to admit that Madison has fulfilled its great promise. His professional accolades did not keep police from stopping him outside of his car in his church parking lot several years ago, or allow him to vouch for himself to authorities by pointing out that the name on his license matched the one on the church sign. (Without ever presenting his ID to the authorities, his white associate pastor accomplished that for him.)
His daughter's high academic performance did not translate into a guidance counselor offering her accurate information about applying for the National Honor Society or recommending colleges appropriate for her GPA. more >>