It’s been a whirlwind day that really started last night in Columbus when Bill and Mary Jo Price hosted a get-together to introduce some of their friends to Keep Believing Ministries. Duke Heller went out of his way to invite people so we had around 45 people who came for food and fellowship and stayed to learn about the KBM vision. It was good to see Dick and Marti Alt whom we met the first time I spoke at Word of Life Florida fifteen years ago. Paul and Kathy Ward came also. Most of the folks were new to us. We were delighted to find quite a few China connections.
Since today is the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I spoke on that theme to the high school and middle school chapels at Worthington Christian Schools. At the high school, you could hear a pin drop as a recounted the story of Todd Beamer and the other heroes of United Flight 93 who decided to fight back. I reminded the students that a crisis never made any man; it only reveals what he already is. I challenged them with this quote: Do not fear failure. Fear succeeding at something that doesn’t matter.
Tonight I had the unique privilege of speaking to a high school football team, the Columbus Crusaders, coached by Mike Stanley. The crusaders are a “club team,” which means they are not sponsored by a particular school. Started by a layman in Columbus eleven years ago as an outreach, over 250 students are involved in the program at some level. They have a locker room, a playing field, uniforms, and Mike Stanley coaches them with enormous intensity. He reminded me a lot of Gary Olson. Mike used to coach with Jim Tressel, the head coach at Ohio State, when they were both assistants at Miami of Ohio. He leads a ministry called Manhood in Action. The coach led them in a rousing fight song called “On Crusaders” that ended with the line, “We’ll fight and win in Jesus’ name.” They are an unashamedly Christian football team. They listened intently as I spoke on dealing with doubt. Later I learned that one of their players, a senior who would have been one of the captains, died a few months ago in a drowning accident. It was one of those moments when you know the Lord gave the message because he knew what the players needed to hear.