ABOUT THIS ISSUE
A SECOND LOOK AT UNFAIRNESS PORTS PAGES are filled every day with news ofhow athletes have fared. We who are sports fans anticipate hearing about the athletes' lives and the success and failure of those who compete. In the process, we read about those whose lives have been changed by seemingly unfair circumstances: outside forces that changed a game or influenced an outcome beyond what it should have. All athletes have to overcome some kind of unfairness in their competition; such is the nature of competition. All athletes will meet with unfair circumstances but not all will react to these problems in the same way. Some people meet with unfair circumstances, yet overcome the problem to come out stronger. Others allow anger, bitterness and frustration to influence their lives negatively, forever looking back on that point in time when they were dealt a difficult hand. This is where many have found help from God. From an eternal perspective, God tells us to live our lives victoriously, without bitterness or revenge, not dwelling on the past, but looking forward to the future. It's not that we won't have problems - it's learning how to deal with them that counts. In this issue of Second Look we'll be looking at some of those very people whose lives have been changed by seemingly unfair circumstances and who have responded with courage and conviction. You'll enjoy reading about Bob Wieland and his response to incurring a physical disability, Todd Worrell and his cool reactions with an important World Series game on the line, plus former NBA player Butch Carter and nationally ranked track athlete Mike Barnett. Don't forget to look for the television show Second Look, which is scheduled for a spring release. John MacArthur and I will be looking at issues that are found in the world of sports that touch all our lives and at the people who have learned the real message of winning because of their trust in Jesus Christ.
Kyle Rote, Jr., is a former professional soccer player for the Dallas Tornadoes and a three-time winner of television 's Superstars competition. An author, television sports commentator and motivational speaker, Kyle and his wife, Mary Lynne, live in Memphis, Tenn., with their three children. Kyle and John MacArthur co-host Second Look, a new TV program which "looks at life" through the eyes of sport and is presented by Radio Bible Class.
SECOND LOOK MAGAZINE A RADIO B IBLE CLASS PUBLICATION
PUBLISHER Martin R. DeHaan II EXECUTIVE EDITOR Ralph Drollinger EDITOR Timothy J. Koziol MANAGING EDITOR Karen R. Drollinger ART DIRECTOR Steve Gier EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Ann Manley Work
4 Knuckling Down to Business Bob Wieland brings a new meaning to going coast-to-coast. By Karen Rudolph Drollinger
BUSINESS MANAGER Bi llie Logue
Making His Point Stick Mike Barnett aims for the '88 Olympics. By John Carvalho
TYPESETTER Type Desig ns
Baseline to Bottom Line
COLOR SEPARATION Complimentary Color
Butch Carter proves his real 'net worth. ' By AI Janssen
PRESS PREPARATION Litho Prep, Inc.
PRINTING Press of Ohio
Rookie to the Rescue
COVER PHOTO Philip DeJong
Cardinals' reliever Todd Worrell is 'head of the class.' By Bill Horlacher
18 When Life is Not Fair Circumstances are sometimes out of our control. By John MacArthur, Jr. D
. 10 Training T ips Athletic advice from the pros Copyright 1987 Rad io Bible Class, Grand Rapids, MI. 49555-0001. Volume 1, Number 1. Printed in U.S.A.
11 TheQu i:ii! Biz Sports Trivia Quiz
SPECIAL CREDITS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY COVER, PHI LIP DEJONG; PP. 4, 5, 6, 7, PHILIP DEJONG; PP. 8, 9, PHILIP DEJONG; P. 10, (LOWER LEFT) SCOTT CUNNINGHAM/FOCUS WEST, (TOP) RICK STEWART/ FOCUS WEST; P. 12, JERRY WACHTER/ FOCUS ON SPORTS; P. 14, 15, 16, STEVEN GOLDSTEIN; P. 24, DIANE JOHNSON/ FOCUS WEST.
17 For Athletes Insights from Wes Neal
. SECOND LOOK 4
F YOU TELL athlete Bob Wieland to knuckle down and get down to business, he'll take you literally. No competitor, no athlete, no other person knuckled down to accomplish what Bob Wieland did in 1986, or 1985, '84 and '83 for that matter. On the basketball playground, going coast-to-coast means traveling the length of the floor with a rebound and depositing it in your basket. But on other hardtops, Bob Wieland brought a new meaning to going coast-to coast. Bob Wieland traversed America. Well, so did the pioneers. And without air conditioning. Without Howard Johnson, Marie Callender or Ronald McDonald to acrompany them. Without Air Cal, Air Jordans, Air Force One or Air Anything. Bob Wieland, a 41-year-old Vietnam veteran, walked across America. Bob Wieland, a double
amputee, walked across America on his hands. His story has been called the most incredible sports accomplishment of 1986 by one Los Angeles sportscaster. Top off the year with a "short" 26-plus mile stroll in the New York City Marathon in November, and we're talking candidate for a star in Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Really. For a nation in need of heroes and inspiration, it was a fulfillment of the American dream to conquer new challenges and to do things no man has done before. The thrill of victory with no "defeet"! For the ruggedly-built athlete, it was an accomplishment worthy of a nation's attention and accolades, from the White House to Our House. "The first step was the most difficult," said Wieland, recalling in a recent interview that at the time he didn't know what lay ahead. "I had prepared for the project for 18 months. But the first step also is the most rewarding because you're one step closer to your
Bob Wieland brought a new meaning to going coast-to-coast
BY KAREN RUDOLPH DROLLINGER SECOND LOOK
goal." That preparation included extensive weight training and walking over 1200 training miles on his hands. For scoffers and doubters, and Missourians, too, try duplicating Wieland's feat by getting down on the floor, sitting Indian style and walking across the room. When you've caught your breath come back to finish reading this story. Then walk like that for years, in good weather and bad, across mountains and deserts, often-times alone, in order to accomplish your dream. Wieland reflectively paused while talking to a reporter as memories merged with emotions. The former combat medic recounted stories of refugees and children. With compassion for their unfortunate circumstances tugging at his heart, he explained his purpose for the historic odyssey. "I wanted to heighten awareness to physical hunger and then to spiritual hunger," said Wieland. Wieland's journey, inspired by Canadian cancer victim Terry Fox who crossed Canada on one leg, raised over $300,000 for charities. Bob Wieland toiled in relative anonymity, clinging to a dream so simple but profound that it didn't include earning trophies, championship rings or play-off money. His adversaries included agony, loneliness and hostile weather conditions - with doubt, discouragement and despair sitting on the bench in reserve. Like others in competition, his companions would be blood, sweat, toil and tears. Wieland presents a very clear picture of who he is: the old 110 Instamatic - no need for fancy gadgets and flash attachments. Simplicity not complexity. Dinner at the diner and not breakfast at Tiffany's. Salad with baked chicken and hold the dijon. Just straight honest talk, with a dash of earnestness in a concoction of dedication and determination. A confident, caring, courageous and positive man who has no legs. "I was an athlete doing relatively well before the accident, and I'm still an athlete doing relatively well," said Wieland, who lives in Pasadena, Calif., with Jackey, his wife of nine years, and four dogs. "I'm a regular guy with a special Father. I do have challenges but not depression and discouragement. They're not from God. They are spiritual problems. Philippians 1:6 says God will perfect us in Christ Jesus, so I go forth with His confidence. I'm just a simple guy with a childlike faith that God will do what He says He will do. "I do the best I can to apply the Word of God because I know it works," he continued. "If people get into depression and discouragement, they are reflecting on circumstances. I'm not interested in those things myself because Jesus says to cast all your cares upon Him." With bright eyes, the muscular 41-year-old man with a short brown crew cut describes a scene in his back yard that portrays his acceptance of his physical challenges. "I didn't know I was disabled until my neighbor mentioned it," he said with a wink. "I was mowing my back yard. I'd push the wheelchair then push the lawnmower with the other hand. "My neighbor yelled over the back fence, 'Hey,
Bob. You shouldn't be cutting the grass. You're handicapped!' "So I yelled back at him, 'You better not tell that to my wife. If I don't get the grass cut, I'm in big trouble!"'
'I was an
athlete doing relatively well before the accident, and I'm still an athlete doing relatively well.'
lELAND STARTED FROM Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California on September 8, 1982, and headed toward Washington, D.C., confident that he would get there even if he didn't know when. The journey would take 4.9 million grueling steps as Wieland would plant his hands on thickly padded gloves and propel himself forward at the rate of three feet per swing. To protect what remained of his legs he wore a leather strap across the lower part of his body. Three years, eight months and six days later, on May 14, 1986, Wieland reached his destination: The Wall - as the Vietnam Memorial is commonly called - Wall22 West, Line 27 and the name of one Jerome Lubeno, an Army buddy that Wieland, a medical corpsman, was trying to reach in June of 1969 when he stepped on the enemy's hidden 82 millimeter mortar. Instead of reaching his buddy, Wieland found himself carried to a waiting helicopter and tagged DOA with multiple injuries. A tracheotomy was performed so that he could breathe, and his entire blood supply was replenished through transfusions. Though his legs were gone, decimated by a bomb intended to blow up tanks and armored vehicles, the essence of Bob Wieland remained, his heart and his spirit, and it was that spirit that chose to trust God despite the unfairness of the circumstances. For him, it was the bottom of the ninth, two strikes and no balls, with not just a game, but his life on the line. Massive blood transfusions and bouts with malaria complicated matters, and recovery time was estimated at over one year. Yet the unfairness of the situation seemingly never crossed his mind. "I was so happy to be physically alive," recalled . Wieland enthusiastically. "How many people think it's cool to be dead? I'm into a long and abundant life. I called myself'AOA' - Alive on Arrival!" Wieland recounted that he thought he wouldn't make it out of Vietnam at all, and according to columnist Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times, he was only half right, for only the top part of him got out of there. From a strapping six feet tall and 205 pounds, the 23-year-old former professional baseball prospect had shrunk to three feet tall and 87 pounds. Wieland said that his faith in God protected him from possible bitter memories that he would never walk again, run again or stand tall. "God knows what He is doing, and He had a better plan for my life. "When I regained consciousness, I said, 'Praise the Lord. I'm still here," said Wieland, disenchanted with one national weekly publication that recently had quoted him as saying,""---路 I even had my hair." "I wouldn't have said that, and my friends all called and asked if I had been misquoted. I wrote the magazine a letter to set the record straight."
During rehabilitation his first attempts at weight lifting might have produced discouragement by the sheer lack of strength. Zippo. Take two aspirin and call back tomorrow. "I was shocked, surprised and even amazed that I couldn't lift five pounds," said Wieland. Grandmas, even great-grandmas, have been known to do more. "But I came back to try again." And again. And again. And again. But weakness clothed itself in the uniform of strength as daily workouts paid off. With painstaking precision, he kept a training notebook to record his progress, and to this day can look back on any particular workout and check his improvement. From that meager five pounds, he eventually recorded a personal best of 507 pounds in the bench press (when he weighed 221 pounds - and that's with no legs). For comparisons, try lifting "The Fridge," with his wife riding piggyback. In 1977, eight years after the accident, Wieland broke the world bantam weight record by lifting 303 pounds in the bench press, 13 pounds over the existing standard. The record was disallowed by an Amateur Athletic Union technicality - the competitor must wear shoes. "Hey, I'm not even wearing feet," protested Wieland at the time, but the decision stood. Today the unflappable Wieland tests out at 9.9 percent body fat, perhaps behind the incredible Herschel Walker (at 1.2 percent) but extraordinary when compared with the average American's 20 percent body fat. His daily routine includes weight lifting, plus bouncing on a mini-trampoline for conditioning or walking from one to 10 miles.
When you fill your heart with confidence, how can unfairness touch you?
ETERMINATION SPEWED FORTH in the words of the surprisingly soft-spoken Californian. He explained how a big part of his life is preparation and foundation, qualities that haven't changed since he put his pedal to the metal in jungles half a world away. From a high school all-conference athlete in Greenfield, Wis., in football and baseball to the streets of the Big Apple and the honor of being the last to finish the 1986 New York City Marathon, Wieland takes his life in stride, or perhaps more appropriately, "in swing." "I was totally independent in six weeks," said Wieland. "Once I left the hospital I never went back." Wieland tried crutches, artificial legs and walking aids and devices, but they didn't work for him. The only thing that would work was hard work to rehabilitate and overcome his losses. Wieland wants to be known as an athlete, and if endorsement contracts are any indication, he is well on his way toward that. His personal services contracts for Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, General Foods, Universal Weights and World Vision would draw respect from even full-bodied professional athletes.
Handicapped Boy Crawling Across America. "They missed the essence of the story," he said. "I don't want to be a handicapped athlete. I just want to be an athlete. Just you against me competing to the best of our abilities." Indeed, in weight lifting, the only concession to his needs would be a specially constructed wider bench with straps at the end to hold his legs down while his upper body worked. The newspaper article was unfortunate, but a chance meeting with a former Army buddy during the venture dramatized a reminder that God is in control of even the smallest details of our lives. Sensing in his spirit that he needed to change his route off Interstate 44 between Joplin and Springfield near the Missouri Ozarks, Wieland walked one February day near the tiny town of Miller, Mo. A Vietnam vet named Dennis Cooper stopped to talk with him, departed, and then surprisingly reappeared 15 minutes later with a scrapbook. As Wieland peered inside'he recognized familiar faces of soldiers in his unit. The stranger asked him if he had been a medic in the war, and when Wieland nodded, "Yes," Cooper excitedly replied, "I carried you to the helicopter the day you got hit. You're still alive? I didn't know if you were alive or dead." The men embraced, and Cooper invited him to speak at a Saturday morning breakfast meeting and set up a mini-reunion with a few other platoon-mates. So why would God want a guy without any legs to walk across America? Wieland has a ready answer. "To encourage those with legs to take the first step in faith to please God. Obedience - that's the only way we can please Him. "I want to be an inspiration and encouragement to all America and around the world. I've certainly had challenges, but John 15:11 says that I will abide in God's love if I keep His commandments. I go forth with His confidence." When you fill your heart with that confidence, how can unfairness touch you? .So what's unfairness to Wieland? Who knows? It's certainly not in his dictionary oflife. Instead he would say, "Through faith in God, determination and dedication, there is nothing within the will of God a person can't achieve." Wieland can stand by that. â€˘
Bob Wieland is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and also works with former pro football coach George Allen in developing the U.S. Fitness Center in Orange County, Calif. He has been named the Outstanding Disabled American Veteran by two states: Wisconsin and California. On Sunday, March I, Wieland finished the Los Angeles Marathon not long after winner Art Boileau and received the most enthusiastic applause ofthe day. He had started on Wednesday.
HE 2800-MILE JOURNEY was not without incident, both refreshing and agonizing. Wieland candidly related how one New Mexico newspaper blared the headline, SECOND LOOK 7
N 1983, a little-known javelin thrower .from a small Christian college shocked the track world when his performances landed in the U.S. top three. For Mike Barnett, the future looked bright. From there, however, the road became rough. Mike missed qualifying for the 1984 Olympics. Two sub-par years lost him the corporate sponsorship that had allowed Mike to train full-time. Now, Mike supports himself and his wife, Julie, by working as a wallpaper hanger. The Olympic dream persists, but now Mike competes against athletes who have the luxury of training eight hours a day, six days a week - thanks to either corporate sponsorship or government support. How can an athlete stay motivated and compete when his opponents have such an advantage? Mike talked with Second Look magazine about his situation.
BY JOHN CARVALHO Barnett: In 1983, I just went out and threw the javelin, and everything went fine. But I lost it in 1984. I started trying too hard instead of letting it happen. I would watch tapes of my performances, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Track meets are so tough mentally. If you don't hit the first throw, you really feel the pressure on the second throw, because if you blow the second throw, then you're not going to do a good third throw. There's a lot of pressure. In 1983, they would say Mike Barnett went into meets with the confidence that he was going to win. But then I started going into meets thinking I was going to throw horribly. In one 1985 meet, I only threw the javelin 218 feet. That was 17 feet shorter than I'd thrown in my first meet ever. If my wife hadn't been there, I probably would have broken my javelin in two in front of everybody.
Second Look: You went into the 1984 Olympic Trials as one of the top javelin throwers, but you didn't qualify for the U.S. team. What happened?
Second Look: You used to have a contract with a SECOND LOOK
shoe company, which gave you the chance to train full-time. What happened to it? Barnett: That deal ended in 1985. But I can't blame them. They have to go with guys who are throwing well. I had declined in my performance for two years. l (
Second Look: How do you support yourself now? Barnett: I'm working as a wallpaper hanger. Sometimes I drive as much as a four-hour round trip and work a 10-hour day. It just depends on where the work is. When I get home, I have weights set up in the basement, so I can work out there. But it's tough. Second Look: Did you think about quitting? Barnett: Last year, when I was throwing bad, I would think, Do I really want to continue? But I'm too competitive to quit. Most javelin throwers reach their prime in their early 30s. That keeps me going. I'm only 25. I know I'm not even close to reaching my potential.
'Track meets are so tough mentally. There is a lot of pressure.'
the Lord wanted me to respond to those difficult times so I would be stronger and more mature. In a way, it's upsetting. But when I get my world ranking back up, and I can get back the sponsorship to train full-time, I'll feel like I've earned it, and I'll appreciate it more. Now, I'll always remember the hard times and what the Lord taught me through them.
Second Look: Based on your experiences, what advice would you give someone who is trying to succeed in the midst of unfair circumstances? Barnett: Don't give up. God definitely has a plan. I know I'm going through tough times, but it's not in my hands. Why fight it? Why not just let God run my life? Second Look: Can you foresee a time when the Olympics will be open to all athletes, with no distinction between amateur and professional? Barnett: Definitely. I believe that, by the 1990s, professional athletes will be allowed to compete in the Olympics. I also believe you'll have professional track by then. That may hurt the sport. If track were professional, the people who are making the most money now would make even more, while the people who are making a little money now would be shut out. As it stands now, most U.S. athletes have to give up before they reach their potential. With pro track, even more would.
Second Look: How does it feel to compete against opponents who have financial support, whether from their governments or from private corporations? Barnett: I'll be honest; I'm envious! But I realize that there were people who were envious of me when I was in that situation. It's frustrating when you read about other javelin throwers' schedules: Monday-Saturday, go to the track and return home at 5 p.m. I go home after work and have to squeeze it all into an hour-and-a-half.
Second Look: Where are you right now in your preparation for the 1988 Olympics? Barnett: I'm planning to move closer to Azusa Pacific University, where I train. We're living in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., right now, which is too far away. I realize that this season is as important as next season. The last three years have been tough, but I think I'm more mature now. I know what I have to do. I'm also trying to raise financial support for myself through individual sponsors so I won't have to work as much and can give myself more time to train. Competitively, things went better last year. I had the fourth-best throw in the U.S., and I took third in the Pepsi meet in Oregon. I still put a lot of pressure on myself, but it was a learning year. I learned to keep the pressure from getting to me.
Second Look: Did you find yourself getting bitter or resentful? Barnett: It's easy to do, and [it's easy to] blame God, as I found out the past couple of years. I knew the guys who were on top and what their lifestyles were like. I couldn't understand why God would allow them to win. I was almost ready to put God on the back burner - "If You're going to treat me like this, then I'm going to treat You like this." But then I realized
Second Look: How do you feel, attitude-wise? Barnett: I've matured. I learned to get my head back in gear. Physically, I know I can compete with the best. Mentally, I'm just Jetting it happen, instead of fighting it. I'm more relaxed. I've quit harping on my past. My training's been going a Jot better as a result. Now, I'm learning about what I'm doing right, rather than wondering about what I'm doing wrong. I'm trying to trust the Lord with the circumstances. I finally started praying about my practices before I worked out, "Teach me something through this, Lord." â€˘ SECOND LOOK 9
ASKETBALL IS A great sport that's played worldwide, but sometimes with only five players on the floor for your team, it's hard to work your way into the lineup. However, to become a contributor for your team, fivetime National Basketball Association all-star Bobby Jones has a secret he's willing to share: Play defense. "A good way to increase playing time is through your defense," said Jones, formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers, who retired just this year. "Try to play as much as you can against people who are better. Then try to remember things they have done before, and make them do things they are uncomfortable doing." Selected 10 times to the NBA's all-defensive team, Jones certainly knows what he's talking about. Tough individual defense and outstanding teamwork highlighted his career. Jones frequently was assigned to guard the opponent's best scorer. As a high school athlete, Jones participated in tennis to improve his quickness and lateral movement, and high jumped while on the track team to build his legs. He emphasized that in his training he always tried to do things quickly and added that, after lifting weights, he would play or run so that he wouldn't bulk up and slow down his movements. "Try to have an awareness of what's going on all over the court, and not with just your man," Jones added. "Try to anticipate where the ball is going, and don't be afraid to Defensive skills can enhance your game, says the 76'ers Bobby Jones.
TRAINING IPS Tips from Bobby Jones on basketball and from Scott McGregor on staying in shape. help someone else. It's not just what's best for you but what's best for the whole team. It doesn't help much if you keep your man from scoring but then don't help out, and the other team scores a layup." â€˘
SHAPING UP YOUR SEASON
ALTIMORE Orioles' star pitcher Scott McGregor's numbe( one priority in the off-season is staying tuned up, he says.
"Don't let yourself get out of shape," said McGregor. "You do yourself a disservice. Discipline yourself during the offseason. An athlete should never be out of shape." McGregor advises young athletes to develop good work habits in the way they develop good study habits. "During the off-season, you have to build your strength back up. Any work done during the season is just maintaining. With all the running and throwing during the season you tear yourself down," McGregor said. "I get a good rest for a month or so, then I begin throwing again about January 1." Baltimore players are tested at the beginning and the end of the season on, a Cybex machine to compare fitness levels. In addition, McGregor works on a Nautilus program and suggests playing racquetball "to improve your quickness around the mound." An important area of offseason conditioning is strengthening the shoulder's rotator cuff, a frequently injured joint for pitchers. "I go into the weight room with my little 5-pound weights strapped on my wrist," he joked, "and there are all these big guys lifting heavy weights." McGregor then goes through a series of arm raises lying down and standing up, with palms turned in or up, which are designed to isolate the rotator
SECOND LOOK 10
Scott McGregor encourages athletes to keep themselves lri condition.
cuff. McGregor advises using weights to build up pitchers' back muscles as well as the biceps and triceps in order to prevent injuries. "But you don't want to be bulky as a pitcher and not too strong, because you'll tire in the late innings," he added. Although he played football and basketball in high school, he says baseball is a good sport because there are more options to fit into a team and fewer limitations, such as a necessary size or strength. An added bonus is greater longevity to careers in baseball. "There are lots of opportunities for players of all sizes," said McGregor. â€˘
- Karen Rudolph Drollinger
Who is the Chicago Cubs Hall of Farner who played in 2,528 games (all with the Cubs) and hit 512 home runs but never played in a World Series?
Jackie Smith caught 480 passes during his brilliant 16year career. Unfortunately, he will be best remembered for dropping a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XIII as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. What NFL team did Jackie play for most of his career?
Bud Grant guided the Minnesota Vikings to four Super Bowls but each time his team lost. Critics have knocked this outstanding coach for not being able to win the "Big One." With which NFL team did Grant play? A. B. C. D.
What former Laker played for 14 seasons without winning a championship, only to see the Lakers win the NBA crown the season he retired?
Philadelphia Eagles Cleveland Browns Cleveland Rams New York Giants
Bud Grant also played in the NBA. With which team did Grant play two seasons of pro basketball? A. New York Knicks B. Boston Celtics C. Minnesota Lakers D. Cincinnati Royals
Who was the Oakland A's infielder who was "fired" for making two errors in one game during the 1973 World Series?
BY RICK YORK during a qualifying race. Which race was he running? A. 800 meters B. 1500 meters C. 5000 meters D. 10,000 meters
Who was baseball's first black manager?
What year did baseball fans have to wait out a lengthy player strike? A. 1980 B. 1981 c. 1982 D. 1983
What National League team had the best record overall but missed the playoffs during the strike-shortened season?
In 1972, Jim Ryun missed a chance to win an Olympic gold medal when he tripped
In what year did Reggie Jackson sit out the entire World Series because of an injury? A. 1972 B. 1973 c. 1974 D. 1977
The u:s. men's basketball team lost to the Soviets in the 1972 Olympic finals because of a very controversial decision by the officials. What future NBA star had seemingly won the game with two freethrows? A. Doug Collins B. Elvin Hayes C. Lew Alcindor I;>. Bobby Jones
Which of these future NBA stars was not a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic team? A. Bobby Jones B. Doug Collins C. Tom McMillen D. Paul Westphal
What New England Pa-
triot receiver was paralyzed when hit by Oakland's Jack Tatum?
Who will always be known for giving up the pennant-winning home run to Bobby Thompson in the 1951 National League play-offs?
The Ne~ York Yankees lost the 1964 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Who was the Yankees' manager who was fired the day after the fall classic ended? A. Casey Stengel B. Billy Martin C. Ralph Houk D. Yogi Berra
Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax lost the final game of his career when his teammates made six errors against the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of the 1966 World Series. Which Dodger outfielder made three errors in that game?
SECOND LOOK 1l
Who was the Ram coach who was fired after only two preseason games in 1978? A. Ray Malavasi B. Chuck Knox C. George Allen D. Tommy Prothro
In 1972 the Baltimore Orioles traded their second baseman to the Atlanta Braves for a power-hitting catcher named Earl Williams. The second baseman hit 43 home runs in his first season in the National League. Who was the second baseman?
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Butch Carter proves his real 'net worth.'
F ONLY HE'D DISCOVERED the problem If only he'd checked with the second bank. If only he'd not loaned the money .. . Butch Carter had many reasons to regret an event five years earlier. But instead, on this rainy night in Portland, Ore., he was choosing to anticipate the future with joy. The 6'5" guard for the New York Knicks sat in the airport coffee shop waiting for a flight to Seattle and chatting with a reporter. Earlier in the evening the Trail Blazers had easily defeated his Knicks. It would be Carter's last visit to Portland as a pro basketball player. He'd already decided that after the 1985-86 season he would change careers, entering business full-time. This was Butch's sixth season in the National Basketball Association. Always an outstanding offensive player, he'd played with the Lakers, Pacers and Knicks, and three times had scored more than 40 points in a pro game. At the University of Indiana, he'd hit the winning basket in the waning seconds to give the Hoosiers the NIT title in 1979. He'd scored the decisive points in overtime to beat Ohio State for the Big Ten title in 1980. He'd also written his name into the NBA record book for the most points scored in an overtime period - 14 against Boston - when he was an Indiana Pacer. Butch was justifiably proud of his basketball accomplishments. But he was prouder of a littleknown event that proved he could overcome difficulties; no matter how tough, no matter how unfair. For perspective he related a sobering statistic he'd learned from the NBA Players Association: "Five years after they're done playing, 80 percent of all NBA players are broke." He paused to let that thought sink in. "That's a staggering number. And the reason for it is that we get so caught up in our athletic ability that we don't realize that if we don't soone~.
BY AL JANSSEN SECOND LOOK
On the court and off, Butch Carter follows through.
have some type of education or business to sustain our cash flow, we end up spending our savings." But Butch was in an even worse situation. He faced the prospect of being broke before his career was over. And it wasn't his fault! Here's the story, as Butch explained it. He grew up in Middletown, Ohio, and his father had left home when he was 12. As the oldest of seven children, Butch then had to assume responsibility for helping his mother. That's a major reason he wants to change careers. "It's not worth the money for me to run around the country playing basketball and be away from my sons (Brandon, 3, and Blake, a newborn). I would like to think my life would have been a lot better if I'd had a father around to give me some guidance." Actually, his father did come around after Butch started earning accolades for his exceptional football and basketball skills. And when Butch signed his first NBA contract as a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dad asked Butch to cosign a bank loan that would help him establish a small business. Application was made at two banks, and when one bank gave approval, Butch signed the note. He also made a down payment on a dream home before leaving for training camp. Until he reached the pros, Butch by necessity was highly disciplined. That changed in L.A. Away from the regimen of home and school, Butch began to experience an emotional roller coaster. When he got playing time and performed well, he felt great. When he sat on the bench or performed poorly, he felt depressed. One grandmother was not impressed that Butch was a pro basketball player. "Everyone here is thrilled about you and how you play," she told him one day on the phone. "The only thing that would thrill me is if you would come to Christ." That made Butch think. This woman was one person he knew cared about him, and the only thing that concerned her was his relationship with God. Butch understood what she meant, for he'd attended church, Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings at Indiana and Laker team chapel services. He learned that Christ would enter a person's life - if that person were willing - so Butch accepted Christ in February 1981. Immediately, Butch Carter's priorities changed and his emotions stabilized. "Instead of my priorities being basketball, they were now in going to heaven." But his faith got an immediate test. People had known that he had a financial problem, but he admitted that he had never revealed what he was about to say to a reporter. "I went home during the all-star break soon after that," Butch explained. "I discovered there was a lien against my house. It turned out that my dad was not repaying the loan." The news got worse. Butch's signature had been forged on another bank note as well. He was now liable for a whopping debt, and the interest rate at that time was 22 percent. Butch confronted his father, who promised to catch up on his payments, but by summer it was obvious that wasn't going to happen. In fact, Butch faced the prospect of losing his home if he didn't SECOND LOOK
make the Lakers team that fall. Butch approached the banks to see if they would allow him to reschedule the payments, but instead they wanted to foreclose on his house. But even that wouldn't begin to pay off the enormous debt. Only one option remained - bankruptcy. There are basically two forms of bankruptcy, and Butch is quick to say that he chose "Chapter 13," which didn't forgive his debts. "You have to pay the money back," he explained. "But it keeps the creditors from hassling you. I started making payments of $1,000 a month to a trustee." It wasn't much, but it was a start. During this time Butch married. The newlyweds had to place their faith in God, that somehow He would guide them through the financial mess. "There was no question that my faith told me I should pay the money back, and that, somehow, it would work out for the best." The couple agreed to live on a very tight budget. They moved into a small apartment and rented out their dream house, applying the rent money to the debt. Butch and his wife began spending more time in Bible study and therein learned some principles of money management. Things like tithing - giving at least 10 percent of their income to the church, missionary work and other charities. They learned to budget and have patience. It took nearly four years to pay the money back. With a smile, Butch said that just three months ago he'd made the final payment. "When we made that last payment, it was like seeing a sunrise after you've been trapped in a cave for a month." And his integrity had paid off as he started a new business. "My banker loves to hear from me," he said. "Right now, our account is bulging. He knows what I've gone through, and it's been a testimony to him that I paid it all back." It was almost time to board the plane. Butch paused to reflect on the lessons he'd learned through his trial. "You know, my father showed me what happens when you take the quick and easy way out. It doesn't get you anywhere. I've learned that you only get out of life what you put into it." He admitted it was hard to forgive his father. He's still working through that process. But he also agreed he's a stronger man today because he insisted on keeping his word. He's matured as a result and is respected in his hometown. Someday his children will benefit, too, for they will see a father who persevered through tough times. "I've learned that we can always pray," he said as we parted. "Remember, our faith in Christ is the only thing that's going to last forever." In light of all that, prolonging an NBA career really wasn't that important. â€˘
(Author's note: Butch Carter was released by the Knicks shortly after our interview. According to his plan, he returned home and plunged enthusiastically into his business career.) Article taken from FAST BREAK, copyright 1986 by AI Janssen. Published by Here's Life Publishers. Used by permission.
St. Louis Cardinals' reliever Todd Worrell overcame a 1985 World Series controversy to win Rookie-of the- Year honors in 1986.
H, YES, the October classic. Chill in autumn air, Reggie's flair. Leaves in red and gold, Red Sox fold. Nothing can quite match the World Series for making memories - memories of triumph and defeat. The series is more classic than the original Coke. And for young relief pitcher Todd Worrell, the sixth game of the '85 Series looked like it would become a classic victory. Here was Worrell, a veteran of only 17 regular season games in the big leagues, starring in the Series. He'd recorded a save in Game 1 (a 3-1 win for St. Louis over the Kansas City Royals). He'd struck out all six hitters he'd faced in Game 5 (a 6-1loss for the Cards). And now he was walking to the mound for the ninth inning of Game 6 with St. Louis ahead, 1-0, and holding a 3-2 edge in games. Just three outs would give the Cardinals a World Series title. It seemed like a piece of cake for a 6'5"', 200-pound guy with a 98 m.p.h. fast ball. Todd looked impressive as he worked pinch hitter Jorge Orta to a no-ball, two-strike count and caused Orta to hit a weak grounder toward first baseman Jack Clark. Then disaster struck. As Worrell raced to first base he took the throw from Clark in time for
BY BILL HORLACHER SECOND LOOK 14
put pressure on myself to impress people.'
the out. But Worrell and baseball fans across the nation heard umpire Don Denkinger call Orta safe. Denkinger blew the call! TV replay after TV replay confirmed it - Denkinger missed a ninthinning call in the World Series. Todd first pointed angrily at the bag, showing where he had tagged it with his foot, but he Q!Jickly controlled his temper. Other Cardinals couldn't, though, including Manager Whitey Herzog. The Cardinals' skipper, according to Sports Illustrated, "roared from the dugout, spewing expletives that would continue for the better part of two days." The bad call and the loss of poise by the Cardinals swung the Series to the Royals. K.C. took advantage of a single, a bunt, a passed ball and a bloop hit to defeat Worrell in Game 6. Then, in Game 7, an 11-0 defeat, the Cardinals lost their concentration and the 1985 Series. Pitcher John Tudor became so angry that he sliced open his hand on a metal dugout fan. Herzog and pitcher Joaquin Andujar got so enraged that they were ejected from the game - the first manager in nine years to be ejected during the World Series; the first player in 15 years to get the heave-ho. Worrell was extremely disappointed, but he stayed calm. "You hate to have a World Series hinge on one controversial play," he said, "but I think God used that situat!on not only in my life, but in thousands of others' lives, to show that there are more important things than the World Series. People have wanted to know why I didn't lose control. That (the bad call) was just one of those things that happen in the game of baseball. None of us is perfect, and I know Don Denkinger wasn't trying to mess up that call." Thus, the fact remains that baseball - even the World Series with its select group of umpires- isn't always fair because the umpires are human. It's wise to realize that potential unfair or incorrect decisions are a part of the game. Worrell doesn't criticize his teammates who lost their tempers - he knows how easy that is to do. But such situations help him appreciate the value of discipline in his youth.
"I guess it goes back to the way my parents brought me up," he said, and then described his younger days as a Pony League shortstop in California. Todd was fielding ground balls in practice one afternoon when a ball hit a clump of grass and took a bad bounce to the side. He slapped the ball with his hand but was unable to handle it. His coach yelled, "Hey, always get your body in front of the ball." Worrell got mad. "You come out here and field the ball!" he shouted. He kicked the dirt, fuming. Standing nearby was Todd's father, who didn't like what he heard. Later at home they had what Todd calls "a little attitude readj ustment time." That meant discipline, and Todd got the message that authority was to be respected - coaches, teachers and, yes, umpires. Todd's mental toughness improved over the years, but it was his physical strength that prepared him to star in the major leagues. His bri~f '85 success was followed by lots more in 1986. Still considered a rookie because he'd played so little in '85, Todd smashed the old record for saves by a first-year player (record was 23; he had 36). He was named 1986 National League Rookie of the Year, receiving a near-unanimous 23 of 24 first-place votes. But while it's been physical strength that has brought success to Worrell, he said his spiritual background and his family upbringing have allowed him to handle it. Todd trusted Christ to be his Savior at the age of9 after watching a Billy Graham telecast. His parentsnurtured that commitment by taking Todd to church, teaching him from the Bible and demonstrating Christian Jove within the family. Today Todd has a mature faith that can help him relate to the pressures of baseball. Yes, even the pressures of relief pitching or an unfair call that brings defeat in the World Series. "I want Jesus Christ to be my life," he said. "I don't want baseball to be my life and God just to be a part of it. That's one of the reasons why I can go . out on the mound in pressure situations ... I don't feel that my life is based on what I do in this game. Whether I win or lose, I play my game for God. I don't put pressure on myself to impress people." Worrell, a graduate of Biola University (a Christian school in La Mirada, Calif.), has lots of opportunities to tell the public about his faith. His success has put him in the limelight - and so has his role in that controversial play from the '85 Series. People who can remember the '85 Series always remember that play. "God's given me a lot of opportunities because of that one situation at first base to be a positive witness for Him," said Todd. What does he tell them? "Jesus Christ is in my life, and He makes a difference in my life. It's not success in baseball that makes my life happy, but my relationship with Him." â€˘
Bill Horlacher is the former editor of Athletes in Action magazine and is co-author of Grand Slam!, a book about Christian athletes in major league baseball. It will be released soon by Here's Life Publishers. SECOND LOOK 16
Losses inflicted by an unfair situation may be hard to take. What positive things can we learn?
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF UNFAIRNESS BYWESNEAL Wes Neal is a respected writer who analyzes sports and applies biblical principles. Cu"ently living in Branson, Mo., Wes is the author of the Handbook on Athletic Perfection. Wes will be a regular contributor for Second Look
magazine and in this issue looks at how unfairness can become a friend to us in competition.
Shortly after the 1976 Olympic Games, thousands of American athletes went into training to earn a spot on the 1980 team. Gallons of sweat dropped to the ground as they worked on th eir speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, jumping, etc. Then, in 1980, when their dream of participating was about to come true, it happened! News flashed across millions of TV screens that the United States would not go to the Moscow Olympics in protest of Russia's invasion of Afghanistan. "Unfair! Unfair!" came the cries from would-be Olympians. Yet, what happened to them happens all the time. Perhaps to a lesser degree, but it happens. Bad calls, tough breaks, freak accidents, cheating by opponents ... it happens!
ELL, HAVE YOU
ever considered how an unfair incident in competition can actually work to your
match with the score tied in the third and deciding set. You smash what should be a winner down the sideline only to have an official mistakenly call it out. What's your response, or perhaps should I ask, what's your reaction? If you react like one pro tennis player did, you would see the official as your enemy and, because of your anger, would be distracted totally from your game plan. But a bad call can be your friend if you let it. The apostle Paul, a great sports enthusiast,
advantage? Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But it can. It ail depends on the mental approach to how you see it .. . as an enemy or as a friend. Let me explain. Most athletes have a problem dealing with unfairness because they are results-oriented. They have only one thing in mind .. . usually to beat their opponent. When something gets in their way, especially something unfair, the athlete can easily lose concentration. For example, it's a tennis
tells his Christian audience how to do this in Romans 8:28-29. Paul writes that God wants to make his children more like J esus Christ and "conformed to the likeness of His Son." We're told in every circumstance He causes "all things to work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." The result is that trusting God during times of unfairness makes us more mature in our faith. The phrase "all things" in Romans 8:28 is pretty inclusive, isn't it? It even includes unfair calls and bad breaks! When you have that cheated feeling in the pit of your stomach and you want to shout, "Unfair! Unfair!," remember a couple of things. First, God has allowed the unfairness to happen for a reason. Accept it as a friend that will help you become more like Jesus. Second, revise your strategy if necessary and use the situation as an opportunity to keep giving your best effort. Remember, athletic improvement comes only when you give your best mental and physical effort. You don't improve when you don't give! Unfair calls and bad breaks will come. That's all part of competition. But don't lose heart and treat adversity as the enemy. Instead, welcome the bad breaks and unfairness as friends. God will use them to develop all of your abilities and form you into a more â€˘ Christ-like person!
Circumstances keep us from getting our due. A bad call by the referee robs our team of victory. A less deserving fellow worker gets the promotion we should have had. Good people die young. Life just doesn't seem fair. How does that reflect the character of a loving God?
BY JOHN MACARTHUR, JR. SECOND LOOK 18
''It's not fair!"
OW MANY TIMES have you said that? Perhaps you've even turned your frustrations toward God, feeling that if He were really fair, He would make life a little better for you. It's true that life is not always fair. Anyone who has ever been involved in sports, gone to school or watched the evening news knows all too well that life can be grossly and even brutally unfair. Why should life be that way? What's the meaning? And what about God? If life is unfair, and God controls life, shouldn't there be fairness? If God is God, doesn't He have the power to enforce fairness for all oflife? IfHe hates evil and if He is aU-powerful, why doesn't He just wipe out unfairness?
000 IS MORE THAN FAIR â€˘ HE'S JUST YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED to know that the Bible deals with hard questions like those. The book of Job was written to probe the question of why people who are seemingly in the right suffer wrong (see sidebar). The Bible reveals that God is more than fair - He is just. Is there a difference? What is fair is not necessarily right or good. Men can be fair, but only God can be perfectly just- and what seems fair to men may in fact be unjust and evil to God. The Bible doesn't comment on human fairness, only perfect justice. For example, revenge may be fair, but it is not right. God's standard of justice is higher than the human concept of fairness. While we think in the more limited terms of fairness - meaning fairness is what's fair to me - God exhibits his fairness in terms of justice. His justice is correct in everything, and He is never unjust. He shows no favoritism} His judgments are always correct. 2 And all that He does is perfect in every way.3 Why do unfair things happen, then, if God is always correct and in control? Why would Bob Wieland Jose both legs in a controversial war, ending his baseball career? Why do tragedy and death and sickness come on people who appear not to deserve it? Why do good people suffer? It may seem harsh, but God in His perfect way allows the consequences of sin to work themselves out. We all suffer. Unfairness, sickness, death, disaster - all are the results of human sin. That is not to say that every tragedy an individual experiences is directly tied to his own sin. Sometimes we suffer from the sins of others, such as when a drunk driver kills a helpless child. And sometimes, like in a viral epidemic or an earthquake, we suffer from illnesses or tragedies that are unrelated to any specific sin - they are just the natural outworking of the effects of sin in the world.4 We receive the effects of sin. And since none of us is without sin,s we will fail to treat others fairly - yet we expect to receive fair treatment from others. There are no guarantees of abSECOND LOOK
.--- - - -- - -- - - - - - - - -- - -- --------- solute protection from sin's consequences for anyone. Still, God doesn't randomly dole out tragedy or unfairness. He doesn't allow evils to roam freely over the earth, delivering its bitter fruits to undeserving people while He stands helplessly by. He ultimately is in control, and He lovingly and mercifully holds back the full force of sin's consequences. In fact God may have the best intention in allowing suffering - to make the person stronger and more fulfilled.6 Butch Carter, who worked for four years to repay loans that his father had defaulted on, realized this. Carter's track record of integrity was intact when he himself wanted to start several businesses and needed to approach some banks for working capital. What seemed unfair at one time later turned out to be of the highest benefit.7
WE DON'T NEED FAIRNESS WE NEED MERCY THE REAL TRUTH of the Bible is that we shouldn't be primarily concerned with seeking fairness - what we need is mercy. If God's only concern in His relationship with us was implementing fairness according to His standards, God could have wiped the human race from the earth the moment Adam sinned. God's nature demands perfection, but God is merciful. He hates our sin, but He loves us. He is a righteous Judge but also a God of mercy and compassion. We really don't want what is fair from God, do we? We want God's mercy and forgiveness. We want something better than just "fair." God has been merciful and forgiving with you and me instead of enforcing what could be due to us fairly. Shouldn't I show the same actions in my relationships with others - forgiving their wrongs rather than getting back at them? This would be an impossible attitude to acquire and maintain - unless you see the bigger picture.
ONE MAN'S RESPONSE TO AN UNFAIR SITUATION
What can be the outcome when good people suffer unfairness?
APROMISE THAT IS MORE THAN FAIR - ROMANS 8:28 THE BIBLE <;JIVES US a wonderful promise that overrides our need to worry about receiving what is fair: "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."8 "To those who love God" refers to those who have trusted Christ as Savior and received the free gift of salvation. Still there is no guarantee that bad things won't happen - redeemed people still experience disaster and death and unfairness - but for the one who has put his faith in Christ, God is working out the injustices to his best interest in the end. Todd Worrell, the baseball pitcher, quickly realized this when the umpire made a crucial decision that affected a World Series game. While his angry teammates lost control, Todd calmly went about his business of playing the best he could under the diffi-
In the Bible, the Book of Job records how a man by the same name (pronounced Jobe, like robe) responded to a series of unfair circumstances. Job was a righteous man (Job 1:1), whom Satan targeted for an evil test. The devil felt that if he heaped tragedy and abuse on Job, he could get Job to blame God and turn against Him. It didn't happen because of Job's unique perspective of God. The devil destroyed Job's health, his possessions and even his family, but Job never turned away from the Lord. And in the end God blessed Job bountifully. Here are some key quotations from Job that help us to understand how he could stand up in the midst of overwhelming personal disaster: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21, NAS). "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" (Job 2:10). "I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25-26). "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6).
Author and Bible teacher John MacArthur is pastor of Grace Community Church in Sowhem Califomia. He represems five successi1•e generations ofpastors in his family. Dr. MacArthur is also president of The Masters C.o l· lege and The Masters Semi· nary in Newhall, Calif Over six million of his audio casselte tapes have been dis· tribtlled worldwide
cult circumstances, trusting God with the outcome. While God does not insulate Christians from suffering and pain, He does promise that He is able to overrule even the bad things they experience and make them work out for their good. Meanwhile, God allows the unfairness of life to lead those who do not know Jesus to see their need for repentance and faith in Christ.9 That promise frees all those who love God from any worry about the inequalities of life. If we don't make the team; or we are hit with injury and our career is ended; if we're cheated or robbed; we know God can use that for our good. If we suffer tragedy or illness, we know God is working in the midst of it to accomplish something better. Bob Wieland would agree with that. So would Butch Carter, Todd Worrell and Mike Barnett. What about you? No matter what happens in life, we can look beyond the question of unfairness by placing our total faith in Jesus Christ. We can know that God is in control and we have nothing to fear. He will use it for good. •
1 Romans 2: II ; 2 Acts
17:3 1; JMatthew 5:48; Genesis 3:14-16; 5Romans 3:23; 6 James 1:2-4; 7 Genesis 50:20; BRomans 8:28; 9 John 4:18,29.
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BIBLE STUDY In the previous articles, SECOND LOOK discussed the issue of unfairness. How do you respond to unfairness? How would you like to respond? Most importantly, how do you think God, according to the Bible, wants you to respond? LET'S TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how fair has life been to you?
Write down your first impression: "THE MOST UNFAIR SITUATION IN MY LIFE WAS WHEN ..."
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1 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10
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TRUE OR FALSE: According to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, chapter 50, verse 20 says that God doesn't care about unfair situations in our lives.
According to the sa me verse, what can we learn about the unfair situation in the life of the person being quoted (Joseph)?
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MULTIPLE CHOICE: What does the Bible teach us about God's perspective on Joseph's situation? A. B. C. D.
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That God isn't concerned with minor details That God meant it for good That God had other plans in mind Both B and C
According to Psalm 119:67, 7 1, what benefits can come from suffering?
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What is so good about learning and following God's Word, the Bible, according to Psalm 119? Verse 98: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ --- - - - -- - -Verse 103: - - - - - - - ______ - - - - - - - - - Verse 105: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Verse 160: - - - - ·
The New Testament book of Romans, chapter 5 verses 3-5, gives other benefits that tribulation can bring to our lives. What are they? _ _ _ _ _
MULTIPLE CHOICE: According to the writer of Romans 5:3-5, what should be our attitude toward tribulation?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - ----A. We should grin and bear it B. We should passively endure it C. We should exult (glory) in it 10. Can you find other reasons in the Bible that explain why God allows suffering to cross our life's path? What reason ____ is given in 2 Corinthians 1:4?
- - - - --------- · -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - -11. Where and how do we obtain comfort in our suffering - such as when we a re treated unfairly (2 Corinthians 1:5)?
CONTINUED ON NEXT PABE
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BIBLE STUDY CONTINUED 12. Are there any special rewards for people who persevere under trials like unfairness? Look at James 1:12 to help in your answer. 13. What's the most important type of reward in life according to 1 Corinthians 9:25? 14. Read the story about Todd Worrell in this magazine - if you haven't already. Do you think he understood and applied the truths mentioned in James 1:12 and 1 Corinthians 9:25? If so, why? 15. In light of what you've discovered, how do you think God wants you to respond to future unfair situations?
Write us here at Second Look if we can ever be of help.
IF A POLICEMAN WITNESSES a felony and turns his back without enforcing the law, he himself is guilty. If a judge hears a case and knows a criminal is guilty but pronounces him innocent, he has brought about a miscarriage of justice! God in His loving desire to forgive our sins was faced with the same dilemma. God's righteousness demands that our sin be punished. If God ignored man's sin and heaped His blessing on sinners, He must be compared to the previously mentioned judge - He would be tainted if he refused to punish sin and wrongdoing. Thus, the situation: God is a God of mercy and forgiveness who loves people, but His holiness and purity cannot be compromised. He loves us and wants to show mercy, but He must deal with our sin. How can He forgive us, and yet be holy and just? God's solution can be illustrated by another judge, who, after pronouncing a criminal guilty, removed his robe and came down to the side of the criminal, offering to pay his fine for him as a free gift. All the criminal must do is accept the gift as full payment. Similarly, when Jesus Christ died on the cross, His death was a payment for the penalty of our sin. He was God in the flesh, "holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens." 1 He stepped down from heaven, assumed the role of a man, lived a perfect, sinless life - then sacrificed His life to pay for our sin, even though He did not deserve the penalty of sin. His perfect obedience fulfilled
.. ,_ -
SOMETIMES IT'S WRONG TO FORGIVE AND SHOWMERCYI
God's demand of payment for the penalty of sin. In fact, the central truth of the gospel is that Christ took our sins upon Himself and paid our penalty. The Bible says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.''2 In doing that, He provided justification for our sin, without compromising His righteous nature. Romans 3:24-26 emphasizes this remarkable solution: "That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Christ.'' God is just, and He justifies those who put their faith in Christ. God can forgive - and yet remain righteous. The penalty has been paid - He paid it Himself. That is His marvelous design for saving sinners. It is divine grace that goes far beyond what is fair. Why don't you invite Jesus Christ into your life today? He can give you the power to forgive others' unfairness. Simply pray a prayer of expression of faith to God and invite Him in. The following is a suggested prayer: "Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for my sin. Take away any anger and bitterness over the unfair circumstances in my life. Thank You for forgiving me. I now trust You as Savior and Lord. Take over my life, and make me the kind ofperson You want me to be. Amen." If you have made a commitment to follow Christ, we would like to send you some helpful materials. Please mark the box about God's love and forgiveness on the reader information card. â€˘
Hebrews 7:26; 22 Corinthians 5:21.
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