Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coach Guthridge Cooks Out

 Coach Guthridge Cooks Out

     One of the most anticipated events for student managers working at Dean Smith's Carolina Basketball School in the 1970s and 80s was the “managers only” steak dinner on the last day of camp, which always fell on a Friday.

     In appreciation for our work at camp, Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge graciously treated the managers to a steak dinner at one of Chapel Hill’s finest restaurants at the time, Slug’s at the Pines.

     As soon as Coach Guthridge checked out the last camper and Greg “Chi Chi” Miles handed out the last blue and white camp basketball, we made plans to tie up loose ends around Granville Towers, get a quick shower, and head out for a thick, juicy steak with all the trimmings.

     During the summer of 1986, the last day of camp happened to fall on Friday, July 4. Unfortunately, this meant that none of the area’s nicest steakhouses would be open for business. Never one to be daunted by a challenge, Coach Guthridge came up with the ultimate “Plan B” – he would purchase and grill steaks for each of the managers at his home in Chapel Hill.

     Are you kidding me?! One of the most respected basketball coaches in the land cooking up steaks for his student managers after he’d spent the last three weeks overseeing a myriad of details at one of the most high-profile basketball camps in the country. Unheard of!

     Coach Guthridge and his wife, Leesie, made us all feel right at home, and every detail of the steak dinner was perfect. Coach Guthridge proved to be quite a grill master and his willingness to serve each of the student managers with a heartfelt appreciation for the work we’d done spoke volumes about the kind of person he was. It was a meal I’ll never forget prepared by a man whose imprint I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.

- Lindsay Reed, Class of 1981

Monday, November 30, 2009

An Unreasonable Faith

Some folks think the notion of a superintelligent, Creator God is essentially and irredeemably irrational.

Because they see no proof for God’s existence, this group believes that science has consistently proven there is no God. They contend that people who believe in God are superstitious, obscurantist, naïve, and in denial about the advances of science. At the very least, atheists see faith in God as infantile – a childish notion that should have disappeared as soon as a person was capable of evidence-based thinking.

Just because something is shrouded in mystery doesn’t mean it’s stupid to believe it. In fact, it’s natural and rational to believe something based on a preponderance of evidence. This natural faith is the result of a simple curiosity that examines the evidence and makes hypotheses about possibilities. This is the same sort of faith that makes a scientist explore the mysteries found in the world of nature.

The order and complexity of the universe reasonably points to a creator or a transcendent being. But since no one caught the Creator in the act of creating, the skeptic can propose the notion that the whole concept of God is a hoax, and that would be fair as far as the rules of skepticism are concerned. Even though some people claim they know God, such claims don’t prove he exists. However, to suggest (as writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens do) that openness to the reality of God is evidence that one is deranged, deluded, and deceived is unfair by anyone’s rules. Belief in God’s existence is not irrational.

Let me point out that simple belief in God does not constitute a faith that has strong conviction. It isn’t settled. Such belief is restless and longs for more information and validation. This general belief isn’t the deep faith that Scripture identifies as being “sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Belief in the notion of God is only the first step down the trail to having a transformational, personal encounter with God. This type of faith is perfectly reasonable.

However, when it comes to the deeper faith described in Scripture, the critics are right. It isn’t rational at all. At some point, faith calls for a leap past logic and reasoning. Many things have been proven through the scientific method, which rigorously studies the evidence and refuses to allow hypotheses to become beliefs until something is unquestionably demonstrated. In contrast, even though there are clues that point to the existence of God, those God clues will never prove God’s existence.

As we suggested in Chapter 1, a person investigating a belief in God will bump into one clue after another, until somewhere along the way a choice emerges. This is faith of another ilk. This kind radically leaps over the lack of empirical proof and believes what one cannot possibly prove. This is unreasonable faith, and we should call it that because it violates the rules of reason. Its roots are metaphysical; it is the stuff of the supernatural. Unreasonable faith isn’t just the result of human effort; it is the coworking of an open heart and a sprinkling of divine grace.

- Ed Gungor, What Bothers Me Most about Christianity: Honest Reflections from an Open-Minded Christ Follower, pp. 23-27.

Live free! Live in Daddy's affectionate love!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What Bothers Me Most about Christianity

I came across an intriguing book on this morning, What Bothers Me Most about Christianity: Honest Reflections from an Open-Minded Christ Follower by Ed Gungor. Here's a particularly thought-provoking excerpt:

We may not like it, but the nature of faith makes it an untidy enterprise. It demands persistence in the face of uncertainty. Real faith has doubt in the mix, as the coin has two sides.

This makes many Christ followers nervous. They view qualms and questions as evidence of a lack of faith and insist, “Jesus is the answer!” But what if Jesus isn't the answer? What if he is the question? What if we aren't supposed to have all the answers? Could it be that in the discomfort of unanswered questions we are forced to face our own pride and admit we only “know in part”? Is it possible that questions cause us to face the choice to believe or not to believe?

There is a great story in the life of Jesus where he asked a man if he had faith. The man responded, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Notice that it is possible to believe and still be wrestling with “unbelief.” Just because you have misgivings does not mean you do not have faith. The guy in the Jesus story asked that his doubt be “overcome” so that it would not be the prevailing force in his life.

I believe God wants people of faith to question, to be bothered, to seek for tenable answers, to consider the “What if it's true?” juxtaposed against the “What if it's not true?” Faith is not the result of quelling doubt but the result of a choice after one has earnestly sought to understand. It is a venture of human consideration and divine illumination. It's hard, sometimes painful, often disorienting, and always messy - certainly not a cheery, no-conflict, refreshingly bubbly, perpetually happy place. Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist.

If this is a true description of faith, then faith is more like an intense mud-wrestling contest than anything else. Our role is to stay in the ring, even though we don't see God all that clearly and even though it would be easier to quit than to stay in the fray. When we hang in there, fighting through uncertainty and doubt, we are living by faith.

When I look at the Bible and Christian faith, I am left with some formidable, disturbing questions. And I don't have the answers. I may never have them this side of eternity. I hate that, but it is what it is. In spite of what bothers me about faith, I choose to be a God follower, and because I am, he meets me where I am, despite my questions. And that is worth it all!

I read a quote from notable scholar and author Dallas Willard that captures the why behind my decision to forever follow Jesus: “The issue is, what do we want? The Bible says that if you seek God with all your heart, then you will surely find him. Surely find him. It's the person who wants to know God that God reveals himself to. And if a person doesn't want to know God - well, God has created the world and the human mind in such a way that he doesn't have to.”

I have found him. And I don't want out.

- Ed Gungor, What Bothers Me Most about Christianity: Honest Reflections from an Open-Minded Christ Follower, pp. 217-219.

Live free! Live in Daddy's affectionate love!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

joyful uncertainty

The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.

Jesus said, ". . . believe also in Me" (John 14:1), not, "Believe certain things about Me". Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in – but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

- Oswald Chambers, "The Graciousness of Uncertainty", My Utmost for His Highest, April 29th

Live free! Live in Daddy's affectionate love!

Monday, April 27, 2009

top priority

“I want to propose to you that freedom is a top priority in Heaven, because it is what makes relationships possible. Heaven’s culture of relationships is vastly different than most everything we see on earth because God, the Father, is less interested in compliance and much more interested in love. This is the reason that He is trying to prepare us to live absolutely free lives in an environment of unlimited options more than trying to keep us from sin. This is the heart of Loving Our Kids on Purpose, and so I would like to show you how to love your own kids with this goal in mind.”

- Danny Silk, Loving Our Kids on Purpose, p. 36

I just received this book from and I can't wait to dig in. It came highly recommended by Wayne Jacobsen.

Live free! Live in Daddy's affectionate love!