For a long time, we were beginning to think the First Baptist Church of Chalmette, just below New Orleans, would never finish with their rebuilding. Hurricane Katrina had ruined their facilities and they were razed. New plans were made and volunteers came in by the thousands to help construct the plant. Finally, this weekend, this church is having an open house and a dedication.
Today, Saturday, I spent several hours at their open house sketching people and listening to the oohs and ahhs from those taking the tours. It’s a lovely building and I am beyond excited for Pastor John Jeffries and his people.
I said to one member, “I know you’re tired of meeting in Chalmette High School.” She hesitated. “They are the sweetest people in the world to us. But we’re ready to be here and I know they’re ready to see us go.”
Almost every Facebook friend I have has been commenting today on various football games this weekend. I’m a fan, but these days have a hard time sitting down to watch a complete game. I thought of a great line from Scripture, however, in the pyschological give-and-take that has been going on between the teams and fans of the Universities of Tennessee and Florida.
First year coach Lane Kiffin of Tennessee had commented that he was looking forward to singing “Rocky Top” (the Volunteers’ song) all night long “after we beat the Florida Gators this year.” Well sir, that didn’t sit too well with Florida Coach Urban Meyer and his people. They are, after all, the defending national champions and presently number one in the nation. According to the Sportscenter people–I’m unsure how reliable they are–that comment really pumped up the Florida fans and inspired its team to rub Tennessee’s nose in it.
One ESPN guy said he’d not be surprised if Florida tried to score as many as 100 points on Tennessee, they were so infuriated by Kiffin’s comments.
Sooner or later, young coaches have to learn the hard way not to say anything which will inspire his opponents. Kiffin will learn.
In the meantime, I thought of the line from an Israeli king to a bragging Syrian ruler found in I Kings 20:11. “Let not him who puts on his armor boast like him who takes it off.” (I love the subtlety of that little comment.)
When all was said and done, Tennessee held their own for the most part, and even though they lost, returned home with their heads held high. They’re going to beat some good teams this year, I expect.
Would it surprise you to learn there is political infighting occurring in New Orleans?