A former basketball star and his wife address students about faith. Plus, a huge donation is made to the university by another big name in the NBA.
PHOTO BY KRISTI JONES, LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY
Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, talk with Lipscomb’s president, L. Randolph Lowry during the Imagine 2017 event.
After he was diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago, it was Magic Johnson’s Christian faith that saved his marriage, the basketball legend told the Lipscomb University community during a Monday visit to the Nashville, Tenn., campus.
Johnson, who dominated the court during his 13 seasons as point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his wife, Cookie, spoke to students, faculty, staff and donors at the 4,000-student university associated with Churches of Christ. The visit was part of the university’s Imagine 2017 series, titled “Nashville: Prosperity for All Corners of the City.”
Magic Johnson — now president of basketball operations for the National Basketball Association team where he once played — stressed the importance of education and faith as he addressed Lipscomb students, Nashville’s NewsChannel 5
— Lipscomb University (@lipscomb) April 4, 2017
“I grew up poor, but I never had poor dreams,” Magic Johnson told the students, WKRN reports. “Never let anybody define who you will be, and it’s very important.”
Cookie Johnson also spoke about faith and forgiveness during the event. She recently released her memoir, Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming Adversity, and Keeping the Faith, which focuses on her marriage, motherhood and Christianity.
The HIV diagnosis, she said “changed the course of our lives forever.”
— MegaTitansFan (@TitansLavaFan) April 4, 2017
For Lipscomb, the Johnsons’ visit wasn’t the only exciting news connected to professional basketball.
Magic Johnson (holding a picture of himself) and George Shinn at the Imagine 2017 event at Lipscomb University
George Shinn, former owner of the Charlotte Hornets, gave the university a gift of $15 million — an investment in the university’s College of Entertainment and the Arts.
The gift, the largest in the university’s history, will fund a new events center and other initiatives.
Shinn told the audience, “I love what you’re doing at Lipscomb, and I want to thank all of you (donors in the audience) for what you’ve done to support and lift up this university… Be proud of it and please continue to support it.”
Chellie Ison | The Christian Chronicle
April 04, 2017
Every Tuesday morning at 10, about 15 to 18 of us, gather at the church building for our Tuesday morning Bible class (no, it is not a Ladies’ Bible class). The title of the class is “Wallowing in the Psalms”, and it may not be like any Bible class you have ever attended. You see, we are not studying for affirmation (prove what we already believe), or even information (the who, how, when, why and what of the text); but we are studying for “formation”. We want to learn more about God, improve our relationship with Him, and learn to praise Him more — and our reading and discussion, move along those lines. I heard one speaker say (talking about this kind of study) allow the Scripture to “wash” over you, and immerse you in God’s words. One of the ladies in the class told me that she didn’t think she was going to like the class, but she has — and that it has been really good for her.
As you might imagine, King David has been mentioned a time or two, seeing as how he wrote so many of the psalms. David has always been a little bit of enigma for us. One lady remarked in one of the latest classes, that she didn’t think she “liked” David in that chapter. I think that part of our problem with David, is that we have trouble reconciling the information that we have. We are told that David was “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), and yet we know of some of his horrific sins (II Samuel 11). Most of us have struggled with all of that in our study of Scripture.
Then you read a passage, like the one from my reading this morning:
“The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned away from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.”
(Psalm 18:20-24, NLT)
????????? How in the world can the David that I read about, even begin to write something like that? It almost offends me, how about you? I know my sin, and while they may not be the same sins: I would not begin to talk about myself that way. Would you?
Then look at what he says in the next chapter:
“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from all these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
and innocent of great sin.”
(Psalm 19:12-13, NLT)
Could it be that David was a “man after God’s heart”, because he was always “seeking” God and His presence; and every time he fell, he got up and started that pursuit again. Could it be, that even with the blood of Jesus, I don’t understand “cleanse”, “free from guilt”, and “innocent” as well as David did? Could it be that I am still thinking that God has “perfect” expectations for me, and that I can’t forgive myself for the wrong that I do? Could it be that I am not “seeking” God, that I know that He is not my priority?
What do you think?
The reading for this morning was 12 very short chapters, Psalms 120-132. Easily, they are some of my favorite psalms. The devotional is going to be a little different this morning. It is going to be a confession of faith, based on one of these psalms.
I was moved by Psalm 130 this morning, as its message really spoke to my heart. In the NLT that I am reading this month, the 8 verses of the chapter are divided into 5 sections. We will list each section, and then comment on how it applies to our life of faith.
“From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
Pay attention to my prayer.”
(Psalm 130:1-2, NLT)
Lord, I know what I am. I am the creature that struggles every day to live for you, the creator. I know that I am a sinner saved by your grace, that is dependent on you to sustain me every day. Lord, I need to know that you are there, that you hear, and that you pay attention to my struggles, needs, and call for help.
“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.”
(Psalm 130:3-4, NLT)
Lord, we know how weak and frail that we are, and that because of our sin — the only hope that we can have is because of your unfailing love. Father help me learn who you are, and respect what you are, because of the forgiveness that you give to me.
“I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.”
(Psalm 130:5, NLT)
The saddest two words in the English language are “no hope.” I have made the decision to choose the Lord, and be able to live in the hope of forgiveness through grace, and the hope that this world is not all that there is. Those two avenues of hope, forgiveness and life after death, make this life better. So, yes I am counting on the Lord.”
“I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.”
(Psalm 130:6, NLT)
I have never been a night watchman, but I would imagine the last three hours of the shift are the toughest. From 3:00 a.m. til 6:00 a.m., you long for morning to arrive. In the very same manner, I long to be with the Lord, more than the night watchman longs for morning. What he has done for me, is doing for me, and will do; makes that longing go stronger every day.
“O Israel, hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
from every kind of sin.”
(Psalm 130:7-8, NLT)
As a part of “spiritual” Israel (the chosen people of God), my hope is in the Lord. I don’t understand how people can make it through life without the hope that he gives. A hope of a love that never ends. A hope of redemption from sins that constantly torment us. A hope that this world is not all that there is!