Saturday, August 30, 2014

11 Differences Between a College Football Fan and a Church Member

Something to think about on this football Saturday! 
by Thom S. Rainer
(Google Images) 
(Editor's Note: This article appears in the September issue of the "Nebraska Family Times." If you would like to receive a FREE sample issue of the NFT and read more articles to "inspire, encourage and motivate you in your Christian walk," e-mail with your mailing address. To subscribe to the NFT click the "subscribe" button in the right sidebar.)
Warning: The article below is a bit of sarcastic humor. I am speaking in hyperbole to make a point. The football fan noted represents a very rabid football fan. The church member represents some, but certainly not all, church members.
Disclosure: I tend to be a rabid college football fan. I see my allegiance as an area of devotion that needs significant adjustments downwardly. So I don’t necessarily practice what I preach. For example, even as I type these words, I am reminded that the kickoff for my team’s first game of the season is exactly five weeks from today.
Caution: While I do write these comparisons with some humor and a lot of hyperbole, you might get just a bit uncomfortable reading them. That may indicate there is some truth in each of them.
  1. A college football fan loves to win. The typical church member never wins someone to Christ.
  2. A college football fan gets excited if a game goes into overtime. A church member gets mad if the pastor preaches one minute past the allocated time.
  3. A college football fan is loyal to his or her team no matter what. A church member stops attending if things are not going well.
  4. A college football fan is easily recognized by his or her sportswear, bumper stickers, and team flags. Many church members cannot even be recognized as Christians by people with whom they associate.
  5. A college football fan pays huge dollars for tickets, travel, and refreshments for games. A
    (Google Images) 
    church member may or may not give to his or her church.
  6. A college football fan reads about his or her football team every day. A church member rarely reads the Bible once in the course of a week.
  7. A college football fan attends the game no matter how bad the weather is. A church member stays home if there is a 20 percent chance of rain.
  8. A college football fan invites others to watch the game every week. A church member rarely invites someone to church.
  9. A college football fan is known for his or her passion for the football team. A church member is rarely known for his or her passion for the gospel.
  10. A college football fan will adjust gladly to changes in kickoff time. A church member gets mad if his or her service time is changed by just a few minutes.
  11. A college football fan is loyal even if he or she never gets to meet the coach. A church member gets mad if the pastor does not visit for every possible occasion.
Yes, I admit I do enjoy college football. But I really love Christ’s churches even more. I need to demonstrate that reality more readily. Do you?
This article was originally published at on July 26, 2014. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam,  Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Patience is a Virtue...

As you know, we have been eagerly anticipating the September issue of the "Nebraska Family Times," with a new look and updated graphics! We headed up to Wayne on Tuesday to pick up the paper, excited to see the new look and share it, and, more importantly the Good News of God's love, with our readers.

When we arrived at the Wayne Herald we learned that there had been a major malfunction of some technical part of the complex machinery of the 40+ year old printer they had been using. Their technical term for it was, "it blew up." (To see some photos of the old printing press click here)

But even as we were there, technicians were putting in the NEW printing press! Again, I don't understand the technicalities, so they explained it to me as, "It will be much simpler and everything we print will turn out much better." That's enough information for me! Unfortunately we could not pick up the paper Tuesday, but...I just got a call from the lady at the Wayne Herald, saying the "new and updated" paper will be printed on their "new and updated" press and done by noon tomorrow!

We will deliver papers in Wayne and Norfolk tomorrow, and plan to deliver in Columbus tomorrow and Saturday. Papers will be mailed to subscribers and out-of-town sponsors on Tuesday, so you'll get a look at the "new look" very soon! It will be worth the wait.

"The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, 
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, 
against these there is no law. 
Galatians 5:22-23

Friday, August 22, 2014

Another Sneak Peek! 

Today Jennifer did the paper layout, which I just got done proofreading. I am so excited about "new updated look" of the Nebraska Family Times, I've decided to give you another sneak peek! 

I consider publishing the NFT as a mission as well as something I love to do, and I am so blessed to be able to use the talents God gave me doing something I love! I want everyone to know His love, to feel His peace, and I pray that the NFT will be part of that.  

I try to print articles that give a unique view of some aspect
The front and back page of the NFT; this is how they look when
they're laid out on the computer. Do you like the new title look? 
of Christian living, and I'm excited about several articles this month, including "11 Differences  Between a College Football Fan and a Church Member" and "6 Things Jesus Didn't Die For." My article this month is titled "The Teacher Was Not Silent During My Test," and was inspired by the popular Facebook graphic that says, "If you don't hear from God during hard times, remember the Teacher is always silent during a test." (Obviously, I strongly disagree!) 

Have you been thinking about subscribing to the "Nebraska Family Times"? If you subscribe by next Wednesday, August 27th, you'll receive the September issue FREE--meaning you'll get a total of 13 issues for only $20! Payment must be received by next Wednesday; click "Subscribe" in the right sidebar or send your check or money order to Nebraska Family Times, 209 27th St. Apt. #13, Columbus, NE, 68601. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Sneak Peek at the "Nebraska Family Times" new look! 

I am so excited about the "new look" of the "Nebraska Family Times"! Our mission remains, "To inspire, encourage and motivate you in your Christian walk", and my prayer continues to be to publish articles that will touch the hearts of readers through issues that are important in their lives. 

The inside pages of the paper are set up like the rooms in a home. The "rooms" of the NFT
have been updated and have been given a theme verse and "blurb" that represents that room. In each room you'll find articles that I think will apply to your lives.                                                                                               We have also put our Mission Statement and Faith Statement into words; the ideas were always there but now you -- and new readers -- can easily see what the "Nebraska Family Times" is all about.    

Thanks to Tracy Buzynski for her work in finding the updated graphics--I really didn't know how I wanted them to look but when I saw what Tracy had found, I immediately knew it was perfect! And I also thank Jennifer Gleason for all of her work in doing the paper layout since I took over the "Nebraska Family Times" almost five years ago.                                                                             

Here is a sneak peek at the inside front page of the can see that the Editor's Letter will be on the new Front Porch page and get an idea of the graphics that will appear throughout the paper. 

I'm so excited to see that new look in "real life"! And I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bible Verses to Start the School Year

By Shelly Burke, Editor

The Bible truly can guide us in any situation in life. In Deuteronomy Moses commands us, concerning God’s commands and instructions, to “Make them known to your children…” (Deut. 4:9b) Talk with your kids about the following verses and how they can apply them at school, no matter what grade they are in.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:39) Ask, “Who is your neighbor?” Share examples of how kids can love their “neighbor”—teachers, fellow students, administrators, lunch ladies, bus drivers, janitors, and so on. Talk about saying “hello”, being respectful, showing the new student around, sitting with an unpopular student, being a good friend.

“Set guard, Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3) Discuss how gossip, being rude, and saying hurtful things is not showing God’s love. Role-play changing the subject when someone else is gossiping or talking negatively. Discuss how to react to a teacher who is angry or perhaps treating your child in a way that your child feels is unfair.
“For we all stumble in many ways.” (James 3:2) If one of your kids is a perfectionist, or hard on himself or herself over any mistake, reassure him that no one is perfect (except for God, of course)--the Bible says so! Of course we should always do our best, but “best” doesn’t have to be “perfect.”  
“God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  (1 Corin 10:13b) This is a good verse to talk about when discussing peer pressure and making good decisions. God assures us that there is always a way to get out of the situation. When my sisters and I were teenagers our dad told us, “You have to know what you will do if you find yourself in a situation that involves making a choice—whether you’re with people who are drinking, you’re alone with a boy, or others are cheating on a test.” As age-appropriate, talk with your kids about what they’ll do or say in any of these situations. Many families have a code word or phrase; if they call their parents and say the word or phrase, the parents know to come and pick them up immediately as they aren’t comfortable in the situation.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) Remind your children that God is with them in any and every situation, at school and everywhere else. If they are nervous about a test, upset because of problems with a friend, dreading a difficult class, sad because they didn’t make the team, embarrassed because they dumped their lunch tray…God is right there with them. He cares for them. Reassure them that they are never, ever alone. They can pray to God wherever they are, whatever they are doing. They don’t need to fold their hands or close their eyes. They don’t need fancy words; they can just share their thoughts with Him. He cares for them…ALWAYS.

What other verses can guide your kids during the school year? How can God’s Word guide you during your life, every day?

To read more by Shelly, go to.Home is Where the Mom Is