I’m beginning a six or seven week sermon series from 1 Thessalonians this Sunday with the intention of looking at that church that met at Jason’s house in Thessalonica that Paul said was so great. I want us to look at that church for the next month and a half and see why Paul said they were THE model church. And then I’m praying that, naturally, we can imitate that wonderful group of believers and do what they did and live like they lived.
If you’re a member of our Legacy church family, I challenge you to read all five chapters of 1 Thessalonians — out loud, of course! — sometime between now and Sunday. And notice how often Paul says something along the lines of, “You’re doing exactly what we’ve taught you to do. Keep it up!”
In my extensive reading for a Christian Ethics course last year (no, that is not an oxymoron) I came across the writings of John Chrysostom. One particular passage from 388 AD, concerning the ways the Church of Jesus Christ overcomes the world, fits our upcoming series perfectly:
“Let this, I say, be our way of overpowering them, and of conducting our warfare against them; before all words, astound them with our way of life. For this is the main battle, this is the unanswerable argument, the argument from actions. For though we give ten thousand precepts of philosophy in words, if we do not exhibit a life better than theirs, the gain is nothing. For it is not what is said that draws their attention, but their enquiry is, what we do. Let us win them therefore by our life.”
There are 29 days left until football season. And today’s all-time #29 is one-half of the famed Pony Express and one of the most underrated running backs in football history. Eric Dickerson was not a TV analyst. But he could tote the pigskin. Dickerson was born in Sealey, Texas and went to SMU (for who knows how much money) to team up with Craig James — who is a pretty good analyst — to form the Express during the Ponies’ glory days of the glamorous ’80s. Dickerson was a unanimous All-America selection in ’82 and finished his college career as SMU’s all-time leading rusher and the all-time leading rusher in Southwest Conference history with 4,450 yards. His 28 100-yard games is also still a school record.
Dickerson was the Rams’ #1 pick, #2 overall, in ’83 and racked up over 1,800 yards rushing in three of his first four seasons. He ran for 2,105 yards in ’84. He bounced around from the Rams to the Colts to the Raiders and then finally to the Falcons. But when he retired in ’93, he was the NFL’s second all-time leading rusher behind Walter Payton.
He was so big and tall (6’3″, 220 lbs) and ran so smoothly and effortlessly that most casual observers, including reporters and writers who should have known better, believed he wasn’t giving it his best — that he wasn’t trying hard enough. There just wasn’t a whole lot of wasted motion with Dickerson. He made it look so easy. Too easy, in fact.
He wore #19 with the Hilltoppers at SMU. But he’s my all-time #29.
Off to the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco and then on down to Marble Falls for three days. Have a great day!