Have You Heard About The Other ‘Miracle On Ice’ From The 1980 Winter Olympics?

It’s a stirring moment that invariably brings a smile and a tingle whenever we see the replay of those epic last 10 seconds of the USA Olympic Hockey Team’s victory over the Soviet Union, punctuated so perfectly by Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?”

Even for those who aren’t particularly enamored of Canada’s national sport, ice hockey can be a fascinating game to watch. My son has played hockey since high school and to this day he plays in a men’s league in Richmond as a 40-year-old who can still skate circles around younger guys.

Mark Johnson was one of the stars of that 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medal hockey team, going on to an 11-year career in the NHL that included being named to the all-star lineup at one point.

Johnson loves to talk about the miracle of 1980, but he delights even more so to talk about the other miracle that followed. I guarantee you this video will thrill you and maybe even change the course of your life:


By the way, the victory over the Soviets, who had won the Olympic gold medal four consecutive times, was not the medal winner for Mark Johnson and his teammates. They had to then play Finland, which was no slouch of a team, either, for the gold medal and won it, 4-2.



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Actor Ben Affleck Found ‘The Way Back’ and It’s Not Just a Movie

Are You Breathing God’s Air While Denying He Even Exists?

Actor John Rhys-Davies on the Debt ‘We Owe Christianity’


 

Actor Ben Afleck Found ‘The Way Back’ And It’s Not Just A Movie

Ben Afleck has seen and done it all on the silver screen. “Batman.” “The Accountant.” “Pearl Harbor.” “The Sum of All Fears.” “Armageddon.” And don’t forget “Good Will Hunting.”

Ben Afleck in “The Way Back.” Screenshot from the YouTube trailer.

He’s also spent a lot of time on the front pages of the tabloids. Lots of women. Lots of booze. Lots of ups and downs and sideways. Lots of pain for Ben, for Jennifer, their kids, lots of folks.

You may also have heard Afleck has a new movie out, “The Way Back.” It’s about a guy struggling with alcohol. He was a great basketball player as a kid. Now he finds himself asked to come back and coach. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it is a highly autobiographical work of art.

But here’s what you may not know: Afleck has found faith: Continue reading “Actor Ben Afleck Found ‘The Way Back’ And It’s Not Just A Movie”

‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?

Scotland’s Eric Liddell is best-known these days, where he is known at all, as one of the heroes of the 1981 classic movie, “Chariots of Fire,” thanks to his winning gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Screen shot from “Chariots of Fire’ clip on youtube.com.

What is less well-known is that Liddell was a deeply committed, born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. He came from a missionary family and died of a brain tumor while in Japanese internment in China a few months before the end of World War II.

“Chariots” remains to this day my favorite movie of all time for one scene in particular in which Liddell explains to his critical sister that he will return to the mission work in China, but first he must honor God by competing in the Olympics. Thus his wonderful declaration that “God made me for a purpose. God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Continue reading “‘God Made Me Fast And When I Run, I Feel His Pleasure’ Do You?”

How To Know That The Life And Miracles Of Jesus Aren’t Just A Legend

If you’ve ever been involved in a debate on campus or in a typical Washington discussion group about religion, odds are good you’ve heard somebody claim the following:

“You can’t trust the Bible because Jesus was a man who was a great teacher but still no more than a man, and besides, in the decades after his death, his followers  invented Christianity by embellishing his words and actions to turn him into this mythical God-man figure.”

It may sound sophisticated and smart, but the reality, as NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in the following video, is the Gospels are solid and credible testimony that you could stake your life on in court:


 

New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs

Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.

Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman (Screen shot from Facebook).

That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:

“A truism of the American religious landscape is that Americans are becoming more religiously unaffiliated and that this tendency is especially pronounced among the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996). Continue reading “New Data Shows The ‘Nones’ Have Peaked, May Even Be Dropping Among Gen Zs”

PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing

This year marked the fifth in the past six that I have joined a devoted and talented team of nearly two dozen men and women who are present and former members of Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) in Sykesville, Md., on a week-long mission to Puebla, Mexico.

Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

At the outset, let me be clear that my saying this is not “virtue signaling” on my part. That God led me for the first time to go on this mission trip in 2015 was in itself a miracle and concrete evidence of how radically He has transformed a previously selfish, booze-addicted and politics-obsessed egotist with a new heart and desire to love and serve Him, my family, fellow believers, and my neighbors. I get zero credit here, it’s all to His credit and glory.

Led by Senior Pastor Mark Massey beginning in 2001, the FBC mission team has worked with the extraordinary pastors, members and friends of Hananeel Baptist Church in Puebla in building a facility that began as a small garage and is now a beautiful sanctuary, classroom building and courtyard. Continue reading “PUEBLA 2020: A Well-Spent Week Comes To A Close With A Blessing”

PUEBLA 2020: Monday Is Mexico’s Constitution Day And WorkDay One At Hananeel

Fireworks are heard pretty much all day and late into the night on Constitution Day in Puebla, Mexico, to commemorate the 1917 Constitution that was adopted on February 5, 1917. The holiday is celebrated the first Monday in February.

Welders connecting josts and putlins on the Hananeel Baptist Church’s sanctuary building roof.

For the Friendship mission crew, Monday is also the first workday and it is inevitably a little disorganized.

But it’s a great day as old friendships are renewed, work plans are agreed upon, and crews organized.

This year, our main construction task is to erect a roof on the third floor of the main sanctuary building. So much of the work is done manually in order to keep costs down, which makes it harder but it also makes for wonderful, long-lasting fellowship.

The welding crew today is connecting the josts and purlins to create the skeleton for the roof, then we will be hefting the actual metal roofing sections up to the third floor to then be attached and sealed. We’ve had very few injuries over the years, but all prayers are appreciated, as a bunch of us will be working up high on scaffolds during the week.

Our main evangelism tasks include daily trips to the market to buy fruits and bakery goods for the morning break, plus a medical clinic for pregnant mothers, soccer clinics led by Pastor Nevil Johnson and, my personal favorite, talking to passersby about the Lord. I say my favorite because I am convinced the typical Mexican is among the friendliest people on Earth.

In one especially striking encounter earlier today, an older man who was clearing a lot of vegetation and assorted junk, by hand, from a nearby lot came over to us and explained “I have to do this kind of work because I didn’t go to school.”

Hananeel Baptist Church’s congregation worshiping.

When he was shown the red and green cards that appear to be different sizes, he asked a great question when shown the appearance of one being bigger than the other was an optical illusion.

His question (in Spanish) was this: “How can I see the Lord when I can’t see the difference between the red card and the green card?” I explained that Jesus is no optical illusion because He opens our eyes to see ourselves as we truly are and our need for His saving grace (See John 3:16-20).

A little while later, we saw the man sharing the optical illusion cards with some of his co-workers!

More to come.