Category : Sports

South Carolina Men’s Basketball beats Florida to make the first Final Four in Team History

Posted in * South Carolina, Men, Sports, Young Adults

(NYT) South Carolina pulls off arguably the biggest win in program history, shocking No. 2 Duke

Duke, universally admired and despised, found itself engulfed by Carolinas — North and South — at the sold-out Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., on Sunday. Cheers and jeers cascaded down on the Blue Devils as they fell to South Carolina, 88-81, in a rare upset in this N.C.A.A. tournament.

The Blue Devils, the second seed in the East Region, had a 30-23 lead at halftime after the seventh-seeded Gamecocks missed 20 of their last 22 field goal attempts before the break. But as cold as it was in the first half, South Carolina was just as hot in the second.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Sports

Barcelona completes one of the greatest comebacks of all-time in Champions League stunner

There is no other way to describe this remarkable match, that may well be one of the greatest ever seen in the Champions League, and certainly saw the greatest comeback in the Champions League as Barcelona recovered from a 4-0 first-leg deficit to pull off a divine 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain to go through to the quarter-finals.

No side had ever come from four down in the first leg before, no-one can ever have witnessed a match like this before.

To top it off, delivery came in stoppage time, from homegrown Sergi Roberto. It can’t be forgotten that it also saw one of the greatest collapses the game has ever seen, such was the PSG’s regular moments of chaos contrasted with some of the supreme quality on display.

Read it all.

Posted in France, Men, Spain, Sports

(Wa Post) Tony Reali–Acts of Faith Perspective I’ve worn ash on my head on ESPN for 16 years. This year was different.

I guess I’m giving up silence for Lent this year.

That’s an odd thing to say when you make a living yapping about sports on ESPN. And odder when the show I host, “Around the Horn,” makes a game out of LOUD NOISES. (That is to say, loud, perspicacious noises from the most insightful sportswriters in America!) I press a mute button to shut them down if (when!) our sports debate careens out of bounds (Fake News!). Silence is how I penalize. Silence works. But is silence good?

I’ve been on national television for 16 years and for all 16 I wore an ash on Ash Wednesday. I am grateful to ESPN and fortunate to work in an environment that allows me to be myself. But it’s shocking to me that I’m one of the few faces you see on TV wearing an ash. I did an interview where the reporter told me if you put “The Guy Who Wears Ashes on TV” into Google, I’m the first name that comes up. That’s surprising.

Read it all.

Posted in Lent, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports

(NBC) Three sisters run homelessness to track-and-field success

The Sheppard sisters are running sensations, but it’s what the three young girls are running from that makes them extraordinary.

Tai, 12, Rainn, 11, and Brooke, 9, run hurdles, distance, and high jump, respectively.

When the girls’ half-brother was fatally shot, their family fell on hard times and was evicted from their home. They have lived in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn, New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood since September of 2015.

Read it all (video highly recommended).

Posted in Children, Marriage & Family, Sports

More for Eric Liddell's Feast Day–The Second Life of the Man Who Wouldn’t Run on Sunday

Liddell lived life to the hilt, but not in the modern “I am tenaciously dedicated to my own hedonic brand” kind of way. Liddell’s vision of an all-out life was to assess his options, count the cost, and then take the most risky step in the name of Jesus Christ. The calculation was a simple one: “Each one comes to the cross-roads at some period of his life,” Hamilton quotes Liddell as preaching, “and must make his decision for or against his Master.” This Christocentric logic made great sense to Liddell, even if it made little sense to the world. Liddell faced fierce skepticism for his attempts to live out his faith, whether in his famous decision not to run on Sundays or his withdrawal from competition in order to answer the missionary call.

This example can help inform contemporary engagement for believers. Much effort is made today by younger evangelicals to get the cultural backflip just right, to strenuously befriend unbelievers while never offending them with over-stressed Christianity. Liddell’s was a more straightforward approach. Drafting off of the Sermon on the Mount, his favorite section of Scripture, he stood for his convictions without flinching while loving his neighbor without hesitating. The resulting model of Christian witness is as simple as it is inspiring.

Liddell was not a perfect man, of course. Hamilton covers his lengthy separation from his family with a clear eye. Married in 1934 to the untiring Florence, Liddell fathered three children. He loved his wife and kids, but as Hamilton notes, his first priority was the work of missions. This meant lengthy periods of separation as Liddell worked in Siaochang and later Tientsin. The work was always grueling, and China in the 1930s and 1940s was a very fearsome place indeed. Liddell was often robbed, frequently hungry and dirty, and regularly accosted by officials seeking to impede his work.

Read it all from Christianity Today.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Church History, England / UK, Missions, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Sports

Meir Soloveichik for Eric Liddell's Feast Day–Finding God in the Olympic Footrace

While Americans rightly exult in the achievements of U.S. medalists, “Chariots of Fire” also serves as a reminder that athletics and even patriotism only mean so much. When Liddell is informed that a qualifying heat takes place on Sunday, his Sabbath, he chooses not to compete in that race. The camera cuts from athletes at the Olympics to Liddell reading a passage in Isaiah: “Behold the nations are as a drop in the bucket . . . but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings, as eagles. They shall run, and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” David Puttnam, a “Chariots of Fire” producer, wrote me that the verses were “specifically selected by the actor, the late Ian Charleson, who gave himself the task of reading the entire Bible whilst preparing for the film.”

The Isaiah passage is liturgically important for Jews: Parts of it are declaimed in synagogue on the Sabbath when we read God’s command to Abraham to leave the center of civilization and found a family, and a faith, in a new land. Isaiah reminds Jews that Abraham’s children have encountered much worse than what Harold Abrahams experienced. While most nations now rest on the ash heap of history, the biblical Abraham’s odyssey continues. The countries competing in today’s Olympics come and go, while those who “wait upon the Lord” endure.

“Chariots of Fire” also offers a message for people of faith who have grown troubled by the secularization of society and the realization that they are often scorned by elites. Like Liddell, we may be forced to choose religious principle over social success. Hopefully, however, we will be able to use our gifts to sanctify this world. As Liddell’s father told his son in the film: “Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back in wonder.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Sports, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Congratulations to the New England Patriot, Super Bowl 51 Winners

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

Congratulations to Cameroon, Winners of AFCON 2017

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Cameroon, Men, Sports

A CT Profile of James Brown–The Word of God Undergirds Everything I Do

How did you get into ministry?

Clarence Givens, our founding bishop and pastor at Rhema Christian Center Church, was quite a persuasive man. He asked my wife and me to become the youth directors. I thought, You have to be kidding me! I’m going to go into his office with my wife and let him know I can’t do that. I’ve got too much on my plate right now. And that’s exactly what I told Dorothy, my wife.

Now it makes me laugh because when we got into his office, I said, “Look, Bishop, you’ve got all of these responsibilities for me, and you know how busy I am. What is it exactly that you want me to do with the youth director position? I’m prepared to take it on.” And my wife started laughing, as if to say, “You get all bold talking about what you’re going to do, but when you sit in front of him, that all goes out the window.”

So in 2002, my wife and I became youth directors. And I was ordained in 2009.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Media, Parish Ministry, Sports, Theology, Youth Ministry

Congratulations to Roger Federer 2017 Australian Open Champion

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Europe, Men, Sports, Switzerland

Its a Dream Final Between Nadal and Federer in the Australian Open

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

Congratulations to Roger Federer for making it to the Australian Open Men's Finals

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Europe, Men, Sports, Switzerland

(Reuters) Real Madrid logo won't feature traditional Christian cross in Middle East clothing deal

Marka MARKA.DU, a retailing group in the United Arab Emirates, has been granted exclusive rights to “manufacture, distribute and sell Real Madrid products” in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

But Marka Vice Chairman Khaled al-Mheiri told Reuters by phone Real Madrid has two versions of the crest for the Middle East market and that Marka would use the one without the Christian cross due to cultural sensitivities.

“We have to be sensitive towards other parts of the Gulf that are quite sensitive to products that hold the cross,” said al-Mheiri, who owns a Real Madrid cafe in Dubai.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Spain, Sports, Theology, UAE (United Arab Emirates)

In an Australian Open of fairytales, Mirjana Lucic-Baronis comeback is the greatest of them all

Some of the bigger names have also warmed the hearts, with Venus Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all rolling back the years to delight fans who feared their best days were behind them.

But perhaps the greatest tale of all has been the remarkable renaissance of Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who has battled her way to the Australian Open semi-final at the age of 34, 19 years after her previous match win at the tournament, and 18 years since her only other grand slam semi.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Croatia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Sports, Theology, Women