Accidental Perfection? Nope.

 

downloadHey TD,

I walked out of the hospital this morning saying to Sandra, “God is just absolutely amazing.”  I mean, how many of you would be perfectly content and happy if you had a 99% success rate in everything you do; if everything you tried was 99% successful?  I would be absolutely ecstatic and would take that deal in a heartbeat … well, at first blush at least.  99% on tests, 99% winning percentage in sports, 99% going right in my relationships, 99% accuracy in the things that I do.

Being at the hospital so much this week, seeing lives lying on beds looking their worst, feeling miserable, with many there because perhaps 1% of their bodies aren’t functioning right reminded me of the precision with which God operates.  I thought about how exact our bodies regulate our body temperature day in and day out. 98.6 degrees. One degree off and our bodies our out of whack; we have a difficult time functioning.  Two or three degrees off and we’re laid up in bed.

It’s incredible to me – with all the hundreds of variables within our bodies going on all the time – that our bodies are so fine-tuned and self-regulated that they maintain that precise 98.6 degree temperature for nearly every moment of every day of the entire year … every year!  So so many things could alter that equilibrium at any time.  Yet, for nearly all of us, that equilibrium remains constant 99.9 percent of the time. Just stop and consider that for a second.  Amazing.

Thank the Lord for the sustained, precise, calibrated excellence that is you!

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together – Col. 1:17
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The Eulogy Heard ‘Round the World/You Can’t Choose Family

Hey TD,

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard of what I’m calling the “Eulogy Heard ‘Round the World.”  Of course, I’m speaking of the powerful eulogy that NBA coach, Monty Williams, gave last week at the memorial service of his wife, Ingrid (age 44), whose car was struck head on by an oncoming car that swerved over the center divider at a speed of 92 mph (in a 40 mph zone).  She left behind her husband and 5 children, ages 5 – 17.

If you haven’t seen the eulogy, you NEED to do so here.  It is an amazing testimony of God’s power and sustenance in the midst of tragedy and loss:

I cannot even fathom being in his position; and I would need all the grace God has to keep me standing.  Williams’ focus, perspective, and purpose move and motivate me to be a better Christian man.

NBA superstar, Anthony Davis, who was a former player of Williams’, had been largely silent … until today, when he posted a short first-person essay about Coach Williams, You Can’t Choose Family.  It motivates me to be a better Christian coach:

You Can’t Choose Family by Anthony Davis

You can’t choose family. Those are the people that God puts around you, to help you and to guide you. That’s why family means everything to me; family can’t be replaced. And so I’m heartbroken right now because Monty and Ingrid Williams are like a second family to me.

New Orleans is a long way from Chicago. As a 19 year old just coming into the league — living away from home in a new city, taking on the challenge of being a pro — being that far away from my support system was hard. My parents, my sisters, they would come to visit me as much as they could, of course. But even then, the team was on the road so much, different cities all the time, different people all the time, everybody wanting a little piece of you, trying to tell you about some deal they had for you. It could be really difficult.

That’s why I was blessed, really blessed, to have Monty Williams as my coach. The type of person he is, he cared about me and every member of our team more as human beings than as basketball players. And Ingrid was the same way. They opened their hearts to me. They really became like another set of parents. Anything I needed, if I needed to talk, whatever, they were there. I can’t tell you what that meant to me.

I keep thinking about how, before every home game, as soon as Monty came out on the floor, he would look up in the stands to where Ingrid and the kids were sitting and finding them there, he’d smile and wave to them. Before every single game. My prayers and my heart are with the Williams family. Because they are like my second family.

– Arthur

An Art Lesson (and more) … with Joni!!

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Hey TD!

Yesterday, Sandra, Jenny, and I had the privilege of attending Joni and Friends’ 35th Anniversary at the International Disability Center (IDC).  It was a very special time engaging and celebrating God’s amazing work with our dear friends at JAF.  (Here’s a link to the Ventura County Star newspaper story.)

But there was another reason that this was a special occasion.  Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of Joni’s diving accident at Chesapeake Bay.  In speaking with JAF President, Doug Mazza, he told us that when he prayed privately with Joni for the event yesterday morning, in her prayer she prayed something like, “There were three other places I could’ve gone that day, but I went to the beach.  Thank you, Lord, that you had me choose the beach.”  Through the years, she has run through the “what if” scenarios in her mind.  But she has arrived at the realization in her heart and soul that the beach was the best scenario, not only because of the priceless relationship she now shares with Jesus, but because of how He has used her life to be a springboard of hope in Him for hundreds of thousands of families affected by disability.

In the spirit of our “Offerings” showcase tomorrow night at TD, I’d like to share with you some exclusive video from the event that you won’t find anywhere, where Joni gives us spiritual nourishment through an art lesson.  Enjoy these short videos; and as you do, would you join me in resolving to let God be God in our lives?  He really does know what He’s doing. – Arthur

Joni’s Art Introduction on the 47th Anniversary of Her Accident:

Joni on Painting Light and Being Light:

Joni and the Knife of God’s Word: