Cumberland Times-News

David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith

August 14, 2008

Don't just go to church, be the church

We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

I suppose that's why I wonder about the decision made several years ago to eliminate baseball and softball from the 2012 Olympic games. Now, it seems to me that when someone mentions summer sports, those two just leap off the page.

Now, it's not my intention to belittle any sport, but to single out baseball while keeping synchronized diving just seems wrong. And as much as I love badminton, it still doesn't seem like a sport to keep instead of baseball.

I suppose our vastly varying interests are what make our world so unique and the thrill of winning any sport so powerful. But no matter what the game, the words of Olympian Jesse Owens still ring true, "If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard."

I think the same attitude applies for church-going. If all we want to do is sneak in the back door, say a silent prayer, and leave without interacting with anyone, perhaps we could stay home and do that in the back yard.

God designed his church to be a place of renewal, worship and encouragement. It is our chance to make a difference in other's lives and become closer to God ourselves. A good church helps us be who God wants us to be. So if those aren't the reasons we attend, what's the point? Don't just go to church this weekend, be the church.

As for Olympic baseball and badminton, I'm for keeping both and maybe adding a "Rockem', Sockem', Robots" competition.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.

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David Sandvick - Life Lessons on Faith
  • Don't just go to church, be the church We are in the middle of the summer Olympics and one can't help but root for the U.S. of A. (that is if you're from here, of course). I've watched some rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, and basketball and find it an extraordinary opportunity to see such gifted athletes gathered together in one place competing at such a high level in the most popular sports in the world.

    August 14, 2008

  • Make right choice with church On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

    August 7, 2008

  • Join with God in his church July is a month that many people head to the beach or to a park to enjoy a summer vacation. As I think about my own recent vacation, I am reminded of a practical joke I played on my wife.

    July 24, 2008

  • Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

    July 17, 2008

  • Bible School puts back what is easily lost Have you ever noticed how many food products are "enriched" with vitamins and minerals? Actually, the term might be "re"-enriched because much of the nutritional value of foods such as bread is depleted when it is processed to give it longer shelf life. Vitamins and nutrients that are lost in this manufacturing processing are restored.

    July 3, 2008

  • Listen to God's still voice: 'You can do it' It was the same day that I rappelled off the tower that I climbed up its rock wall side. I had come to the conclusion that a near-50- year-old man need not prove himself anymore, when a voice in my head said, "Do it anyway!"

    June 26, 2008

  • You should be real sure about going to heaven I recently returned from east Tennessee after speaking for a week at a youth camp. While there, I tried to get to know the young people and participate in many of the activities with them. Tubing on the lake, swimming, rappelling, rock wall climbing, and riding go-carts all combined to make it a truly exhausting work week.

    June 19, 2008

  • God looking for children love him Sunday is Father's Day and the television is filled with advertisements for potential gifts that seem to follow two lines of thinking. One line of gifts I've particularly noticed are handyman type gifts.

    June 12, 2008

  • Christians also have a natural enemy - Satan My garden plantings are growing like weeds. Oh, wait a minute, that one was a weed. A closer inspection reveals that something is gnawing on my plants. The leaves are missing on some of the vegetation and I suspect a wabbit! I asked my wife if rabbits had any natural enemies. She said, "Elmer Fudd." She's no help at all.

    June 5, 2008

  • Ready soil of heart to hear word of God I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

    May 29, 2008

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