Monthly Archives: August 2014

One-hour documentary to chronicle Jim Harbaugh’s mission trip to Peru

Published by:

Jim Harbaugh holds one of the locals' baby.

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

SAN FRANCISCO – For the first time since San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has made his annual pilgrimage to Piura,Jim Harbaugh holds one of the locals' baby. Peru, camera crews have been allowed to follow him.

On Sept. 2, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is set to premiere an exclusive, one-hour documentary that chronicles Harbaugh’s annual mission trip.

The first airing of the documentary, slated for 9 p.m. PT, titled “Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America,” will take an inspiring look at the humanitarian side of the San Francisco 49ers head coach.

The documentary is narrated by Comcast Bay Area’s Dave Feldman and produced and edited by Sean Maddison.

According to a press release provided by Comcast SportsNet, for eight days, the missionaries helped at the parish of Santisimo Jim Harbaugh talks football with children in the Piura. Sacramento with its daily community outreach programs and ministries for the people of Piura – a small town almost 600 miles north of Lima. Sixty percent of the population lives in poverty and 20 percent is in extreme poverty.

The documentary reveals Harbaugh’s dedication to his faith in God, his craft (coaching and playing football), and helping others.

“It’s beyond rewarding; it’s a chance to do something good,” Harbaugh said of his recent mission trip. “You can pretty much help someone from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed.”

Along the way, impromptu games of “Peruball” – a combination of football, rugby and soccer – seem to break out everywhere Harbaugh goes, a game where the rules to evolve each day and with each person who plays it. Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, taught groups of Peruvian boys about American football, put them through running and catching drills, and thenJim Harbaugh kicked off games of “Peruball.”

The group of humanitarians included Harbaugh’s older children – Jay, who works on the offensive coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens (coached by Jim’s brother, John), James Jr. and Grace – Feldman and numerous volunteers.

The group built houses, visited the sick and elderly, delivered food packages to an orphanage, worked the rice fields, and attended daily Mass with the locals.

Harbaugh first learned about the mission trip through friends at St. Raymond Catholic Church, his parish in Menlo Park, Calif., and has made the annual trip since 2009. An American priest, Father Joseph William Uhen, has been the pastor of Santisimo Sacramento since 1993 and coordinates the charitable efforts for his parish.  The parish’s outreach includes a women’s shelter, an orphanage, a drug rehabilitation center, a hospice facility and a tuition-free Catholic school for children in kindergarten through 11th grade.

“Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America” re-airs later that evening at 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m., and Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.  All times listed are PT. Visit CSNBayArea.com for additional air dates and times.

Wooding: Opponents pour cold water on ALS Association‘s ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Published by:

George W. and Laura Bush

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS) — Many around the world have been posting videos of themselves taking part in the “ice bucket Ann and Ted Bleymaierchallenge” to raise funds for the ALS Association, who are trying to find a cure for this terrible degenerative neurological condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

I have been moved as I watched these videos of celebrities and ordinary folk, taking part in their “soaking,” for a cause that is close to my heart.

You see, I recently lost to this dreaded disease, Theodore “Ted” Bleymaier, a dear friend.

It was Ted and his lovely wife Ann, who were among the first friends we made when we, as a family, moved over from the UK to Southern California, back in June of 1982. They showed us great love and introduced us to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, then being pastored by Chuck Smith – the “Father of the Jesus People Movement” – and with whom I am now a “Media Missionary.”

Ted was then working for Maranatha! Music, with his close friend, Chuck Fromm, and spent many hours helping us to readjust to our new life in the “New World.”

But sadly, Ted’s life changed forever on March 27, 2012, when this super fit former Stanford football player, and his wife Ann, sat across the examination table from specialist, Dr. Kamisky, as he confirmed to them the devastating diagnosis for Ted of ALS.

“It is hard to put into words exactly what I felt at that moment,” he said shortly afterwards. “Other than a few mechanical injuries I had sustained playing sports all my life, I had never really been sick.

“I was 62 years old, in great shape with a beautiful wife, two daughters, a son in law and the greatest dog in the world named Berwyn. My wife and I were traveling the country helping non-profits put on fund raising golf tournaments and we loved it. This also afforded me a great opportunity to play golf as I have most of my life. In fact, with a career in the Air Force and then as International VP for Word Entertainment, I have been blessed to have played golf in over 40 countries around the world.”

Ted Bleymaier, who met Ann in the U.K. while serving with the US Air Force – she is from North Wales – continued, “Lou Gehrig’s disease affects the motor neurons; they die and your muscles atrophy. It affects the voluntary muscles, but not the involuntary. Your heart is not affected and for the most part you are fully cognizant of the fact that your body is falling apart and there is nothing you can do about it.

“You will lose most of your motor skills including the ability to breathe and swallow. To this day, they have not figured out what causes ALS and there are no known remedies or medications to cure the disease. In the US, only 2 out of 100,000 come down with ALS. 50% of the patients die in the first 18 months and 90% die in 3 to 5 years. As a result, there are only about 30,000 people in the US who have this disease at any one time.

“In fact, if it was not for Lou Gehrig, this disease would be almost invisible. If I may, let me take you back to 1939. Baseball was the biggest sport.by far.in the country and since Babe Ruth had retired in 1935, Lou was the sport’s biggest hero. There is no equivalent to Lou’s stature in our country today. He had not missed a single game in 17 years for the NY Yankees – truly the original iron man.

“As the season began, Lou was only batting 158 with just 1 RBI. He then gets diagnosed with a disease which no one had ever heard of and then two weeks later the Yankees and all of baseball honored Lou before the start of a home game. Lou never played another game and died within two years. This was later immortalized in the movie, ‘The Pride of the Yankees,’ starring Gary Cooper. In one of the most recognizable sport quotes of all time, Lou called himself ‘the luckiest man on the face of the earth.’

“WOW.now that is having an attitude of gratitude!”

Ted Bleymaier was so moved with learning of Lou Gehrig speech, that he received a standing ovation when he recited it at a Nashville Sounds baseball game in Nashville, not long after receiving the news that he had the same illness as the baseball great.

Sadly, Ted passed away this year at his home in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on Friday April 4, and that is why I have watched and cheered so many “ice bucket challenges,” especially those of my family members and also friends as they have posted the videos on Facebook.

But now recently, an eRumor has been circulating on the Internet criticizing this worldwide “ice bucket” phenomena.

One of the messages reads, “Everyone has seen video after video (on social media) of friends, family, and colleagues taking the #IceBucketChallenge for the ALS Association research foundation.

“The goal of which has been stated to find a cure for those suffering with neurological breakdown through diseases like ALS.

“For any who have witnessed such struggle in those we love, the sincere and desperate hope for a cure seems like a big payoff for a bit of ice cold water being dumped on the head!

“The only problem here is that–unknowingly–this very challenge is contributing to the ongoing destruction of human life–intentionally.

“The ALS association is actively now funding embryonic stem cell research and admitting that they likely will continue to do so in the future.

The message went on to say, “The funding of embryonic stem cell research means that children are created and at their earliest stages of life they are destroyed so that the stem cells (from usually the base of the brain) can be harvested to perform tests with.

“Embryonic stem cell research has proven zero percent effective in combating diseases like ALS and other neurological degenerative diseases.

“Adult stem cells – which can be harvested from living humans without them being killed – have on the other hand – proven vastly effective in making progress towards slowing down and in some cases seeing remission or reversal of degenerative defects.”

There have made other criticisms of the #IceBucketChallenge, one of which stated, “Be it that millions around the world die from a lack of clean water, while millions of Americans have now poured out tens of millions of gallons of it. Or the idea that ALS takes approximately 1.6 lives per 100,000 deaths, while hunger amongst orphans is taking the life of a child every 90 seconds with roughly 60 million orphans globally.”

So what is the truth behind all of this condemnation? Well, intrepid veteran eRumor investigator, Tony Ashlin, who runs Truth or Fiction, a web site started by the late Christian broadcaster, Rich Buhler, has looked into the stem cell allegations, and says that it is only true in just one case.

“The ALS Association funds one study that uses embryonic stem cell research, according to an August 23, 2014, article by the Minneapolis Star Tribune,” said Ashlin in a posting on his www.truthorfiction.com.

“The ALS Association said that the research was funded by ‘one specific donor who is committed to this area of research.’

“Additionally, the ALS Association said donors were able to stipulate that they do not want their donations used to fund any stem cell research, if they so choose.

“Human embryonic stem cell lines that are used in research come from embryos that were left over from in vitro fertilization, or from embryos that carry genetic mutations like cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs disease, according to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s website.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

“After a couple completes the in vitro fertilization process, they either continue paying for the leftover embryos to remain frozen or allow them to thaw, which destroys the cells.

“Couples in some states, however, also have the choice to donate the embryos to research or adoptive families, according to the institute.”

Ashlin added that the ALS Association said on its web site, “The discovery that human embryonic stem cells can be isolated and propagated in culture with the potential of developing into all tissues of the body is a major medical breakthrough.” It admits, however, that “it has raised a great deal of ethical questions.”

So there you have it.  Many of the tens of thousands who have taken the “ice bucket challenge,” have often done so for dear friends, like Ted Bleymaier, who they have lost, and who made a huge impact on our lives.

They were not making any statement other than that!

Of course, there are those who appear to have as their life slogan, “You name it; I’m against it! They dedicate their blogosphere lives to criticizing others, as I well know, having been on the receiving end of some of these folk.

Of course, each one of us has a choice to make in participating, or not, in the “ice bucket challenge,” especially if one personally knows someone who has died from ALS. However, if there is only one case involved here in which the funding from the challenge is not being used, I am trying to figure out why there has been such a fuss, unless maybe it is to build up their mailing lists.

For me, I prefer to follow what Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward” (Mark 9:41 NIV). You could substitute, a “bucket of ice water,” if you wish.

Where do you stand? I know where I do, and it all relates to a dear friend called Ted Bleymaier.

#post-3241 .CPlase_panel {display:none;}

Good news from Ferguson, St. Louis!: The Church responds to crisis

Published by:

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

ST. LOUIS/FERGUSON, MO (ANS) –We have all witnessed the extraordinary scenes from the streets of Ferguson, a city in St.Robert Loggins Louis County, Missouri, over the past several days, wondering what could be done to bring calm, peace, and civil treatment on all sides back to this small city.

But there is also good news: the Church is responding to the crisis.

Christian Emergency Network (CEN) Founder and President Mary Marr, has interviewed Pastor Robert Loggins, Executive Director of Mission Metro St. Louis and a city missionary for 38 years.

An African-American, born in Winona, Miss., but considers Laurel, Miss., his hometown, he shared that in the midst of the looting, escalating violence, finger pointing, and with media lights on full throttle in Ferguson and parts of St. Louis, the Hope of Christ is shining ever brighter!

She began by asking him what was the overall situation in the area from a Christian worldview?

“Ferguson and St. Louis are not unlike other cities in the U.S. We suffer from the same divisions which often separate the body of Christ. But there is an invitation from Jesus Christ to the Christians of these two cities right now to be Light in the midst of this darkness. Only Jesus can do what needs to be done to right the wrongs and to heal the land,” he said.

“The Lord Himself is bringing the Light of Jesus Christ in the midst of the pain and the turbulence in the area. He is inspiring unityJustice Peace and Love through the many prayer gatherings and is moving us toward acts of loving kindness toward each other, as well as toward the Brown family and all those who are confused and hurting. We are able to put our arms around the anxious and the fearful with the Hope of God.

“I pray the Lord would penetrate the radiant Light of Jesus Christ through His followers here that would spread across this nation.”

How are Christians praying, caring, and sharing the Hope of Christ in the area?

“We have had lots of humble prayer meetings, beginning at the First Baptist Church Ferguson, then St. Marks, and tomorrow prayer meetings will be held in North County Ferguson/Moline area. Each group is sending out prayer info within their own network on this,” said Pastor Loggins.

Pray

“Prayer meetings are continuing with calls to unite in prayer for healing in the city. The Christian leaders within our community have issued a challenge to all Christians to participate in inter denominational prayer gatherings with calls to action. Bishop Scott of Word Fellowship Church, one of the largest African-American churches in area, is calling Christians to unite their voices and begin a dialog of repentance reminding them of the Scripture, ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, I will heal their land.'”

Care

He went on to say, “After Pastor Joe at First Baptist Church Ferguson held an excellent prayer meeting, his church got with other churches in the area and started cleaning up the community and helping the businesses by not only cleaning up, but apologizing on behalf of those who had damaged their property.

“There is a lot of hurt and shame here, but this situation does not reflect our city. Rather, we are feeding and helping the needy with clothes. And one ministry group is giving $20,000 in scholarships to the other members of the Brown family. There is an out-pouring of compassion from all ethnic areas. St. Louis is a divided city, but Christians are seeing this as an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ in action. We may not be doing it at the level of excellence all the time, but His heart is moving us in St. Louis. Serve St. Louis and other ministries like it here, are doing so much, and yet they do not advertise themselves.

Share

“We are sharing information in St. Louis [and Ferguson] as well as sharing resources to open the door for the Gospel to be seen. We are witnessing things happening through relationships we have not previously seen, which have allowed us to present the plan of salvation to people who are coming to churches.

“We are seeing people who are more desperate, who may not have anything directly to do with the incident, come forth saying they are fearful or have a need. Teens are coming asking for help with their family problems, or police are coming asking for prayer and comfort in dealing with their many challenges. We are just lovin’ on people. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, we have seen Christians re-dedicate their lives to Christ. Lots of good stuff.”

Mary Marr then asked the pastor if he believed there may be more incidents like this one.Mary Marr

“God has been speaking to America,” said Pastor Loggins. “It is not the same America as what I saw growing up. God has been speaking and America is not listening. How we treat Jewish families – we are not listening. Congress and the President are not listening. Pastors, often, we are not listening! Proverbs 7 reminds us it is not about the seekers but about the believers God is speaking to. Yes, groups are coming into our city and tearing the city down, and some may be of other convictions as well.

“But this is a wakeup call. And if we do not answer His phone call and give God the right info on what we have done wrong or what we are going to do about the matter, more will come.

“We are told righteousness exalts a nation and sin is a reproach unto God; so our sin and disobedience are because we are not sharing the Gospel right here where we find ourselves, in a nation with the largest mission field that exists because we are not sharing our faith in Christ. We need to come to the end of ourselves, stop focusing on buildings and numbers in the pew, and expand the Gospel by leading others into a saving knowledge of God.

“I was taught how to love God and share His love at an early age in the midst of the projects filled with drugs and all sorts of problems, yet my life was untouched by these things. And why? Because my Aunt had walked faithfully before me and showed me the way.

“If God’s people are to be the presence of God, they must be marinated into His being, then the racial, economic, educational, all these issues which we focus upon will be resolved. We need to produce fruit from the bottom up, not top down, as we have been prone to do in the church today. Come to the end of yourself. Get back to forming disciples!”

Meltzer: Those who maintain God’s goodness in business dealings go far

Published by:

David Meltzer

By David Meltzer
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: David Meltzer and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon are founders of Sports 1 Marketing. According to Meltzer, “We bring the rightDavid Meltzer people to our projects that, in turn, attract more of the right people. This elevates the awareness and exposure of the project thereby allowing us to maximize its monetization in order to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun!

“We take great pride in partnering with both outstanding individuals and exceptional corporate brands that have the same moral character and integrity that we believe in as our daily operating ethics.  We have also been involved with consulting and producing some of the most inspirational and aspirational films of our time.”

Why did you create your business?

“Warren Moon and I created Sports 1 Marketing in order to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun.”

What is the one scripture that you draw strength from?

“Psalm 107:1, ‘Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  For his mercy endures forever.’  This psalm teaches the importance of gratitude and the connection to God or goodness. Gratitude provides perspective and empowerment, and the concept of enduring forever shows not only how important it is to connect to God or goodness, but also maintaining that connection.  This is what my book – Connected To Goodness – is all about.”

 

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur.

“I’d like to advise a fellow entrepreneur to be kind to your future self.  In everything you do stay connected to goodness and do the right thing.  You never know who orConnected to Goodness by David Meltzer what will come back in your life to either help or hurt you. So be kind to all and everything you encounter especially your future self!”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I try to devise ways in order to let my employees and interns experience the awesome power of gratitude and goodness. For instance, before the office closed for the Christmas break, I gathered everyone into the conference room per our usual Friday training session (which is based on the principles found in my book).  However, instead of a training session, I handed out small pieces of paper, instructed everyone to write down a number between 1 and 10 describing how they were feeling at that exact moment. After collecting the pieces of paper, I handed each individual in the room – employee and intern alike – $60 in cash in the form of three $20 bills. I told everyone that they had one hour to go out to any store they wanted and do the following: the first $20 was to buy a gift to place under our office tree (to be taken to the Orangewood Children’s Home), the second $20 was to be used to buy a gift for a child in the store, and the third was to be used at their leisure.”

“Upon their return, I huddled everyone back into the conference room and returned their pieces of papers to them.  I proceeded to ask them to write a number that corresponded to how they were feeling at that very moment.  Everyone in that room now reported being at a “10” …  all simply because making someone else feel good made them feel good.  These random acts of kindness connected everyone to goodness and kept them connected.  Quite simply, in the case of this Christmas experience, everyone, including myself and Warren found this to be the most fulfilling day we’ve ever experienced at the office … bar none!”

Meltzer’s book, Connected to Goodness, is available for purchase online at http://www.connectedtogoodness.com. Read more about Meltzer’s and Moon’s sports marketing company at http://sports1marketing.com.