Gymnastic gold medalist Gabby Douglas’s mom influenced her and her siblings to read the Bible and be courageous in their faith. On the way to the Olympics, she carried that faith. She shared about the impact faith has in her life. While confronting obstacles in life, she is inspired by the Bible.
Despite her famous gold medal, Olympic Allyson Felix, gives credit and all glory to God and depends on her faith in all she does. As a young woman, she accepted Christ into her life. While on the professional sports platform, she promotes the Gospel. She is blessed while using God’s gift of running speed.
Hall fame NFL cornerback Deion Sanders proclaimed he had nothing until he found God. Sanders said that the $10,000 bed, 15,000 square-foot home, and women didn’t satisfy him. Only the Lord can satisfy him. Today, he mentors youth programs, as well as the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Green Bay Packer legend Reggie White was called “The Minister of Defense” because of his devout Christian faith. He was an ordained Evangelical minister. In the 1990s, a wave of arsons at African-American churches, including a church where he served was buried in 1996, affected White profoundly. White say, “My grandmother – she never forced us to go to church or anything, but it was just her commitment of going to church that got me interested. A lot of times she would walk. The church was a few miles away.”
Well-known Milwaukee Bucks forward, Terry Cummings. in the 1980s became an ordained minister. He won the 1983 NBA rookie of year. Cummings said, “Just beating them up for the fun of it – I tried all the drugs, too, everything. But when I was 16 one night I had a dream. I saw the Lord coming back to get his chosen, but I was unprepared.” That night he was sleeping in the basement of his grandmother's home in Hammond, Indiana. “In the dream, I remember crying out, ‘Come now and take me,’ but the Lord ignored me. And when I woke up from the dream, I decided to go about the process of giving my total being to the Lord from then on. That was the first day I received the call of the ministry.” Thankfully, he serves the Lord!
The prayer huddle began after a Monday Night game on December 3, 1990, between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. At that time, it was not easy to be an openly Christian in the NFL. A group of players from the 49ers players decided to reveal their faith and even have Bible study. They determined that Christ was the most important thing in their lives. The Giants prayed with every team for the rest of season, including at the Super Bowl where they beat the Buffalo Bills.
However, there have been complaints against the prayer circles. In 2015 high school football coach Joe Kennedy knelt for prayer on the field after a game. The school board fired him, saying that Kennedy’s praying activities violated the separation of church and state. Coach Kennedy sued the school board for violating his free speech rights.
~~ Pastor Andy
“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NCV)
Recently our friends in prison studied Jeremiah 29. They saw how the story applies especially to them. This chapter is a letter the prophet Jeremiah wrote to Jews in exile in Babylon.
“What does exile mean?” one of the men asked.
His friend explained, “Exile means people are removed from their homes and forced to live a long time separated from friends and family. Like us!”
Through the prophet, God told the people of Israel to settle down where they were forced to live in exile. God wanted them to pray for the peace and success of their slave masters.
“What are slave masters?” asked the same fellow.
Again his friend explained, “Slave masters are the C.O.s (correctional officers; prison guards). If the COs have problems at home, guess who suffers? We do! But if things go well for them, things will go well for us. So let’s bless them, encourage them, and pray for them.”
The next three verses in Jeremiah 29 also give our friends in prison great hope. “You will search for Me. And when you search for Me with all your heart, you will find Me! I will let you find me,” says the Lord. “And I will bring you back from your captivity. I forced you to leave this place, but I will gather you from all the nations, from the places I have sent you as captives,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
Everyone in prison looks forward to the day when they can go home. But they do not know when that will happen. Some suspect that they may never be able to go home. But they still hope, pray, and entrust their lives to their loving Heavenly Father.
as if you were in prison with them.
A couple things... First, this year (2024) Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are on the same day. Valentine’s Day is always on February 14. But the date of Ash Wednesday changes every year. Why does that happen?
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent – six weeks before our annual celebration of the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Easter, like Passover, follows the Jewish lunar calendar, which is based on the cycles of moon, not the sun. (Our English word “month” come from the word “moon.”) So every year the dates for Passover and Easter fall on a different date during spring. As the date of Easter changes from year to year, the date of Ash Wednesday changes with it. And it happens, merely by coincidence, that in 2024 Ash Wednesday is on February 14 – Valentine’s Day.
Ash Wednesday is a serious day for self-examination and repentance. Valentine’s Day is a happy day on which sweethearts express their affection for each other.
Saint Valentine, for whom this date is named, was a Chrisian minister who lived in last part of the 3rd Century AD. The only other thing we know for certain about Valentine was that Roman authorities arrested Valentine and killed him for his faith and ministry. So the church today honors him as a martyr for Christ – not as an author of love notes.
Over the centuries legends arose about the way he disobeyed a government by performing marriages ceremonies, and about a note he wrote on February 14, the day of his execution. The note was to his prison guard’s Christian daughter, which he signed “Love, Valentine.”
Whether these stories are true or not, legends about Saint Valentine stay alive through the annual celebration of the day named in his honor, as a day for romantic lovers.
While the themes of Lent and Valentine’s Day (as we celebrate it today) are very different, there is a common connection in the expression of God’s love for us that we see in the story of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
If you ask couples who are “in love” to give you a definition of the word “love,” they will tell you about their warm wonderful feelings for each other.
For married couples, those warm fuzzy feelings of being in love are important. Husbands and wives must daily nurture those feelings if their marriages are to thrive. But feelings can’t be the foundation of their relationship. Feelings come and go. Any marriage which has feelings as its foundation is destined to fail.
This feeling of being in love, the Greeks called that EROS. But the love that God wants to instill in us, the love that He wants to be the foundation, the motivation, the guide and strength of our marriages, He calls that AGAPE love.
What does AGAPE mean? We find a simple clear definition in Romans 5:8. But God demonstrates his own AGAPE love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It wasn’t nails that held Jesus to the cross. It was love.
You can be sure that Jesus hanging there on the cross didn’t experience a warm wonderful feeling. Rather it was love, commitment, a desire, to seek your best, no matter the cost to Him.
by Alice L. Hagemeyer
I checked the dictionary.
In our case, we will define pioneers who are Deaf or hearing with “ASL hearts”. They know about the value of Deaf culture, from heritage to language to mental health. They developed to be the first to use or apply a new method, area of knowledge, or activity.
Movers and shakers are the Deaf of many things American. They are willing to make big changes to get things done on behalf of both communities: the Deaf and the Library.
Incidentally, this year 2024 the public will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Clerc-Gallaudet Week, December 3-10, 2024.
Some of you may remember its old name – Deaf Awareness Week, December 1-7, 1974. The purpose then was to educate the public about the Deaf and the Deaf about the Library in the D.C. area. Mary Jane Rhodes (Hearing mother of a Deaf Child), Rita Corey, Frederick C. Schreiber, Dr. Robert Davila, and Louis Schwarz (Deaf Pioneers) were present, also a few Deaf library workers and representatives from Gallaudet University and the University of Maryland.
If your membership organization is interested in promoting public awareness of Deaf culture of its many things American, in your local community or the state, please consider forming a section called “Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA) E.g., Friends of Maryland Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA-MD). Discuss this with your president.
Alice L. Hagemeyer, editor