Thursday, November 08, 2012

RIP Darrell K Royal

As a youngster growing up in the state of Texas, the University of Texas Longhorns were the standard of excellence when it came to college football.  Sure, the Aggies, Red Raiders, and the heinous Sooners from across the Red River to the north could field a pretty decent team, but the Longhorns were the iconic college team in a state renowned for its football.  I made the decision to attend UT-Austin, not based on the prowess of the Longhorns, but on an anticipated career as a lawyer and on the reputation of the UT Law School at that time as one of the finest in the nation.  Being able to attend all of the Longhorn's home games was just icing on the cake.

The years that I attended (1971-1975) were marked by some outstanding teams with some exceptional running backs.  Roosevelt Leaks wracked up some impressive numbers from 1972-1974 in UT's famed Wishbone offense, made famous by Coach Darrell K Royal.  Leaks was followed by a true legend--the Tyler Rose, a.k.a Earl Campbell.  Campbell was simply phenomenal in his ability to elude tacklers, to outrun them with surprising speed for a bigger than average-sized running back, and also for his strength that enabled him to simply run through and over would-be tacklers.  He would win the Heisman Trophy in 1977.

What prompts this nostalgic football reminiscing today is the news of the death of the legendary UT football coach, Darrell K Royal yesterday (Nov. 7th) at the age of 88.  He had been suffering from Alzheimer's for a number of years.  Royal was one of the outstanding men in his profession, respected and admired by his teams and fellow coaches alike.  Sports staff writer Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman has penned a wonderful tribute to Coach Royal.  Coach Royal was a class act.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Great Post-Election Article

One of the MK's we knew from our time of serving in Argentina posted a link on Facebook to an outstanding article from a Denver pastor.  I've strictly avoided posting anything of a partisan political nature on my blog or Facebook page, and this piece reflects that same commitment.  It's well worth the read.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Not Where I Belong

I was reading a daily devotional this morning in which the author was writing about lament, describing it as the only appropriate response at times to so many of the harsh realities in this world--death, poverty, hunger, homelessness, injustice, etc.  In the midst of the devotional, one line jumped out at me: "The cry of pain is our deepest acknowledgment that we are not home."

That thought in turn triggered a mental association with the song by Building 429 entitled "Where I Belong."  I had a chance to hear them perform that song this past summer after a Kansas City Royals game.  I had heard it frequently before on the local Christian radio station and have always enjoyed both the music and the text.

The chorus goes, "All I know is I'm not home yet, this is not where I belong.  Take this world and give me Jesus; this is not where I belong."

The song echoes a sentiment that has been repeatedly expressed down through the centuries.  It's a central message in the book of Hebrews where the writer says of Abraham that he lived as an alien in the land of promise, dwelling in tents as he looked for the city whose architect and builder is God.  Of the others listed in the Hall of Fame (chapter 11), the writer of Hebrews adds, "And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

The biblical longing for an eternal home where our true citizenship lies was the central theme of so many of the Negro spirituals, giving witness again to the fact that suffering and hardship remind us that we are not made for this world and that the God of justice and mercy will one day right all wrongs and settle all accounts.

On this day of national elections in the U.S., it's good to remember that our ultimate allegiance is not to be pledged to an American flag, but to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is preparing a place for us to spend eternity with Him.