I will leave this open through Monday to talk about anything relating to the Super Bowl. The game, teams, players, commercials, half-time show, anything. I know some people don't watch the Super Bowl and some only watch it for the commercials. I also have a poll questing asking who will win.
One of the sites that I visit and have a link to is Spartan Nation. This is a site that covers Michigan State sports along with other sports teams in Michigan. A week or so ago I was happy to read an article that shared my view on women's sports. What was even better is that it was written by a woman. This particular article applied to the college level, but I think it also applies to the WNBA as well. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
"Amidst its glow of feminism, however, lies a bitter truth: women’s college sports are not as profitable as men’s. Volleyball, for example, is one of the more popular women’s sports. Like true Spartans, the fans are rowdy and spirited, but they number about the same a high school volleyball game. Men’s basketball fans are paying up to $400 a seat, while that same seat can be occupied for $13 at a women’s game. When it comes to making money, the two just don’t compare. Most women don’t support women’s sports... most women prefer watching men’s sports. A defined audience is missing for women’s sports, and it is reflected in ticket sales."
"Women’s basketball has managed to find a niche audience and become the most successful of the women’s programs. Even with that relative success, they have lost millions.It’s a popular event for families because good seats can be purchased for an affordable price... The publicity MSU gains from women’s basketball makes up for mediocre ticket sales in the opinion of the administration. Not all women’s sports, however, have enjoyed this success."
"everything comes down to money... If MSU is going to operate like a business, it needs to stick to simple business practices.Equal rights also means equal accountability and if men’s sports are on the chopping block for not being economically viable then certainly women’s (protected by title nine) must also be in a “real and equal” world."
I would add that Tennessee's women's basketball coach Pat Summit (how many people know who she is?) is about to achieve 1,000 wins. This is quite an achievement, but the sad fact of reality is, nobody cares.
The same can be said about the WNBA. Just last December WNBA team the Houston Comets folded. This was an original team that had won 4 league championships. Now the current news is that the roster number will drop from 13 to 11. I don't know anyone who can name 11 players in the WNBA. When the Detroit Pistons won the NBA championship in 2004 the WNBA team the Detroit Shock also won their championship. They brought the two trophies to our state capitol. You could see fingerprints on the NBA trophy from people touching it and they had to clean it about every few minutes. The WNBA trophy was spotless and I never saw them clean it once.
Tanisha Cross said she was headed to Wal-Mart in Lithonia, Georgia with her mother when she noticed a DeKalb County police officer being attacked by a suspect. “I just told my mom pull over, … let’s try to help,” said Cross. The 20-year-old mother, who received the stun gun as a Christmas gift from her husband, said she kept it in a diaper bag.
Cross said while others gathered to watch, she sprung into action. "I went straight for my kid’s diaper bag and I got it and asked it if he [officer] wanted me to do it and he said, 'Yea,'" said Cross. The officer had a hard time defending himself because the attacker had taken the officer's radio and managed to rub pepper spray in the officer's face and eyes. Cross doesn’t consider herself a hero. "I’m just a bystander trying to help do the right thing," said Cross.
From Tom Landry to Roger Staubach, Shawn Alexander, Tony Dungy and last year's Super Bowl hero, David Tyree, a passion for Jesus Christ has been seen by millions of Super Bowl viewers. "You have the eyes and the ears of the world during the Super Bowl, so it’s natural players will want to talk about their faith in Jesus," said Miami Dolphins Chaplain Corwin Anthony, who oversees the Athletes in Action pro ministries program that provides chaplains to 12 NFL teams. "When you have the name of Jesus in you, you just have to get it out," as New York Giants receiver Tyree put it before last year’s miracle catch in the Giants’ upset win over the New England Patriots.
Even the NFL itself, which takes a decidedly neutral stance toward matters of faith, acknowledges a Christian presence in the league. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a question-and-answer interview with Baptist Press published Jan. 23, called faith a private matter for players and coaches, but acknowledged that faith is “an important aspect of their lives.” Christians in the NFL “are always pressured to compromise their faith, but they see the examples put before them as inspiration to share what is important." Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, for example, will be among the most interviewed players, having pulled his career from the NFL scrap heap a decade after leading the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title.
While Warner’s witness for his faith is no secret to anyone who has watched his career, Arizona chaplain Chad Johnson said the veteran player is grateful for another chance to share. "Kurt isn't a get-in-your-face type of guy," Davis said. "But he is a sincere witness."
As a side note, Christian influences also extends into the college ranks, players like Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy who have spoken of their faith to national media audiences.
I was just made aware of a recent poll done by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the USA Today published a story on it about a month ago. The results will be shocking to any Bible believing Christian. The question was not some deep, theological question. The question was as simply asking how many ways are there to heaven? The result "an overall majority (54%) of people who identified with a religion and who said they attend church weekly also said many religions can lead to eternal life. This majority included 37% of white evangelicals, 75% of mainline Protestants and 85% of non-Hispanic white Catholics."
In addition, "Pew's new survey also found that many Christians (29%) say they are saved by their good actions; 30% say salvation is through belief in Jesus, God or a higher power alone, which is the core teaching of evangelical Protestantism; and 10% say salvation is found through a combination of behavior and belief, a view closer to Catholic teachings."
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, calls the findings "a theological crisis for American evangelicals. They represent at best a misunderstanding of the Gospel and at worst a repudiation of the Gospel." Mohler sees behind the statistics the impact of pluralism and secularism in U.S. society and the challenge of facing family and friends with "an uncomfortable truth... We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It's extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, 'You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus,' "
In my opinion this is clear repudiation. How can someone misunderstand John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." I think Mohler is spot on. It is a combination of pluralism, secularism, postmodernism and political correctness that is distorting the gospel.
There has been a lot of speculation on what changes an Obama administration will make. Some think that he will fix everything, no more war, restore the economy, anything that is troubling our nation. Others think it is the end of the world. I wouldn't go that far and for the sake of our country I am not going to lower myself to the likes of liberals and hope he fails. However there will be changes and while there are many big changes being rumored such as closing GITMO, I will focus on some social issues that may not get center stage, but have a big effect.
First, will Obama overturn a policy that bans homosexuals from serving in the military? A better question may be not "will" but rather "when". When Obama's press secretary was asked "Is the new administration going to get rid of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy?" his press secretary responded "Yes." While Obama could get rid of "don't ask, don't tell" the actual law that prohibits homosexuals from serving in the military can only be changed by Congress. This may be difficult because when the law was passed in 1993, it was passed with bi-partisan support, veto-proof majorities -- and the law has been upheld by the courts several times.
The second issue is funding abstinence-education. Funding for abstinence-education runs out on June 1st and is unlikely to be kept. Many believe that Obama will support abstinence-plus programs. A study by The Heritage Foundation found that on average, abstinence-plus curricula devote only 4.7% of their page content to the topic of abstinence. The main focus is on so-called "safe" sex. They also say that it sends a confusing message to teenagers who are bombarded with sexually provocative messages in the media. While some will argue that the main responsibility is with the parents, the problem is when the school contradicts the home.
* UPDATE *
Here is his LGBT agenda
I am so disappointed that I am speechless. This may be the shortest post. Regardless of my dislike for Obama, I would not support ESPN televising any presidential inauguration. The article mentions that they are trying to take a sports angle and will likely interview sports figures at the inauguration. The article made an interesting point that ESPN didn't cover the inaugurations of Reagan who was a sportscaster or George W. Bush who owned a baseball team. My last television oasis away from Obama hysteria is now gone.
The photo here is from the cover of Time Magazine. While I have not read the article, the picture was fitting for this post even though I think the picture along with the article is Anti-Semitic. The picture says "Why Israel Can't Win" and I would change it to "When Israel Will Win."
There has been much debate about what is going on with in Gaza. I have been avoiding the subject because Layne at Prominent Thought has done a good job at keeping posts current in regards to the matter. One of the major questions being asked is whether or not Israel has the right to retake Gaza. I find the answer to that question in Genesis 15:18-21, where God promised the land to Abraham. In Deuteronomy 1:6-8 when God promised Moses and lastly in Joshua 1:2-4 where God continued to tell Joshua. We know that we cannot question God's right because Psalms 24:1 tells us He owns the whole earth.
Now the question turns to when will Israel be fully restored. The prophet's answer is when Christ returns for His millennial reign.
Jeremiah 16:14-18 "Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the LORD, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes. And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”
In addition to restoring Israel, God is going to make a new covenant with them. It will not be like the Mosaic Covenant because His people broke it and received a series of punishments. God's new covenant will give Israel the ability to obey.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Ezekial 36:24-32 indicates that this change will happen from bestowal of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the new covenant also mentions God forgiving their sin. God is not overlooking their sin, but rather God provided a substitute in Christ, Isaiah 53:4-5.
You could see this coming a mile away. The fury that the pro-gay left had towards Obama when he announced Rick Warren would give the inaugural invocation put enough pressure on Obama to appease them. Of course sources close to Obama refute the thought that this choice was in response to Warren. An Obama source said: “Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism — but it’s just not so.”
Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who was elected the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003, will deliver the invocation for Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “The president-elect has respect for the Rt. Rev. Robinson, who offered his advice and counsel over the past couple of years,” an inaugural official said. “It also has the benefit of further reinforcing our commitment to an open and inclusive inaugural.”
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay civil rights organization, said in a statement that the choice was "encouraging."
“Bishop Robinson models what prayer should be — spiritual reflection put into action for justice," Solmonese said. "It is encouraging that the president-elect has chosen this spiritual hero, and that should remain our focus today."
I have recently seen discussions and have been asked questions about baptism. All of this has led me to look at scripture and try to answer questions regarding baptism. Questions concerning infant baptism, sprinkling verses immersion, and its correlation with salvation.
First I think it is important to distinguish the two types of baptism. There is water baptism and spiritual baptism. If water baptism is mistaken for spiritual baptism it is easily interpreted that baptism is necessary for salvation. A verse that depicts spiritual baptism is 1 Corinthians 12:13
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all made to drink into one Spirit."
Paul was not referring to water baptism here. He was referring to spiritual baptism which is experienced by all who believe at the moment of salvation.
Romans 8:9 "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."
An additional verse in Matthew where John the Baptist describes the difference:
Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
Therefore when Romans 6:3-4 says "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." This surely describes the symbolism that takes place during water baptism (death, burial and resurrection).
Baptism is not necessary for salvation. A clear indication of this is the thief on the cross. Luke 23"42-43 "Then he said to Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.' And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'" The thief was never baptized.
The main verse I have seen those who believe baptism is necessary for salvation use Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Take note that the latter part of this verse list unbelief as condemnation not the lack of baptism. The belief that baptism in necessary for salvation conflicts with the rest of the Bible (Romans 3:21-28; Ephesians 2:8-10).
As I previously stated, believers are spiritually baptized upon salvation, so who participates in water baptism? The Bible indicates that believers are baptized.
Acts 2:41 "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them."
Acts 8:36-37 "Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, 'See here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?' Then Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'"
As you may have notice, water baptism is something that takes place soon after conversion.
Acts 16:31-33 "So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized."
So this leads to why we should be baptized. Is it because of tradition or church policy? Absolutely NOT! Baptism is a divine command from Jesus.
Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
Something that is also discussed is how we are suppose to be baptized. There are many different methods that are practiced today: pouring, sprinkling and others. The word baptism comes from baptizo which means to plunge, submerge, or immerse. Going back to Philip and the eunuch scripture says "Philip and the eunuch went down into the water" Acts 8:38. In John 3:23 John was baptizing "because there was much water there." This goes back to the symbolism that takes place: Lowered = falling as in death, Immersed = as in burial, and Standing = as in the resurrection.
Christians are to be baptized because it is the command of Christ; only those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and have experienced the new birth are to be baptized. Baptism is the first public step commanded that the believer is to accomplish soon after their salvation. Baptism is thus a an act of obedience to Christ and also an outward demonstration of identifying with Jesus Christ and His death at the cross, His burial, and His resurrection.
As we all know divorces can get very nasty. Such is the case with Dr. Richard Batista, a surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center. The Long Island surgeon embroiled in a nearly four-year divorce proceeding wants his estranged wife to return the kidney he donated to her, although he says he'll settle for $1.5 million in compensation.
He said he gave his kidney to Dawnell Batista, now 44, in June 2001. She filed for divorce in July 2005, although he claims she began having an extramarital affair 18 months to two years after receiving the kidney transplant. He claimed he has been prevented from seeing their children, ages, 8, 11 and 14, for months at a time.
Batista, 49, said he has no regrets about donating the kidney, only about the failed marriage. The couple was married in 1990 and lived in a million-dollar home in Massapequa. They met while he was working at a hospital and she was training to be a nurse.
He still recalls the day after the surgery took place.
"There is no greater feeling on this planet. As God is my witness, I felt as if I could put my arm around Jesus Christ. It was an unbelievable; I was walking on a cloud... To this day I would still do it again."
"I've been in this business over 40 years and I've never heard of that," said Seymour J. Reisman, a Long Island divorce lawyer. "It's not marital property, not a marital asset you can put a price tag on."
Manhattan attorney Susan Moss said, "The good doctor is out of luck and out a kidney. This is similar to cases where a husband wants to be repaid for the cost of breast implants and the such. Our judges are not willing to value such assets, so to speak."
First and foremost let me state that I do not agree with any new revelation. However, I do post on current events within the Christian realm. This particular post has to do with Pat Robertson making his annual prediction for the year. He claims his predictions come directly from God.
For 2008, he predicted a much more violent world, a U.S. recession and oil hitting $150 a barrel. Robertson's global forecast for the coming year was equally grim, predicting violent threats, poverty and misery. Russia, he said, "will be the most dangerous."
Robertson said "The Lord said the economy of your nation will recover" during a prayer session which he broadcast on the 700 Club. He also said "I'm flying in the face of all of the experts or most of the experts who say, 'Oh no, no, no, it's going to get worse,' but I don't think so." He explains this will be done by bigger government "The people will welcome socialism in order to relieve their pain."
In regards to Islam, he thinks that it will weaken. "The violence and the bloodshed has turned away many against this religion of hate and the Lord said expand your outreach to Muslims. They are ready to listen."
Israel "is entering a period of extreme crisis." He added, "A strong government that deals forcefully with the Palestinians will bring international condemnation and sanctions, but the Lord will uphold his people despite world opinion."
What do you make of "new revelation" (i.e. visions, dreams)?
What is your opinion of Pat Robertson?