The Most Spectacular Goal Ever

If you’re a soccer fan this goal last night in the Premier League may be the best ever:

Wayne Rooney said it was the best goal he’s scored and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson called it the greatest strike he’s seen in 25 years at Old Trafford.

If you’re not a soccer fan it’s a good reminder that the spectacular will never happen if you don’t take the risks to attempt it.

“I saw it coming over and I thought why not? Nine times out of 10 they go into the stand,” Rooney told Sky Sports.

Sorry, the Premier League has blocked that video on all web sites.
Wayne Rooney – Manchester United 2 – 1 Manchester City

Belhaven Sophomore to Perform at Carnegie Hall

Jocelyn Zhu has won first place at the American Protégé Music Talent Competition and  will perform in The Winners’ Recital on Saturday March 6, 2011 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

concerto04Jocelyn has served as concertmistress of the Mississippi All State Orchestra for the past three years. She served as concertmistress of the Premier Orchestra Institute Philharmonic Orchestra.

She was the winner of the 2008 Mississippi State MTNA Junior Strings Competition. In 2009, she was a featured soloist with the Belhaven College Chamber Orchestra. and the winner of the 2009 CICAS Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition in Arkansas.

Jocelyn is a music major at Belhaven and studies violin with Mr. Song Xie, Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola, Conductor of the Belhaven Chamber String Orchestra, Chamber Music Coach, and Violinist of the Belhaven Piano Trio at Belhaven University.

As a concert soloist, Mr. Song has played concertos and other masterpieces with many orchestras. He received the Excellent Performance Award at the Chinese National Violin Competition in 1984, won the LSU Symphony Concerto Competitions in both 1991 and 1994, and was one of the three finalists at Chautauqua Festival Concerto Competition in New York.

Song Xie is currently the Principal Second Violinist of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 1998.

The Theological Signficance of Grits

I like this  Duke Leadership Blog post by Dr. Richard Mouw, the President of Fuller Seminary.

My good friend David Jones, longtime ethics professor at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, sent me a small sack of grits for Christmas. These are the high quality kind — white speckled grits from a mill in Georgia that was established in 1876.

The gift was an expression of friendship, but also a reminder of our shared interest in the theological significance of grits. David has been encouraging me to write a book about “grits and grace.”

Our grits dialogue got going when David heard me tell a story that I had heard in a homily by a Catholic priest from New Jersey. The priest had flown across the Mason-Dixon line for the first time, and on his first morning in a southern city he went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. After perusing the menu, he called a waitress to his table. “Miss,” he said, “what’s a grit?” Her reply: “Honey, they don’t come by themselves!”  The priest used that as a metaphor for the Christian life.  As Christians, we don’t “come by ourselves” — by grace we are incorporated into a community, the Body of Christ.

A year or so after hearing me tell the story, David sent me another grits tale, this one a part of the lore among folks who work in the Waffle House chain. A guy goes into a Waffle House and orders a waffle accompanied by scrambled eggs and bacon. When the waitress brought the order to his table, there were also grits on the plate. “Miss, I did not order grits,” the man said. “Honey,” she replied, “you don’t order grits, it just comes!”

The theological lessons in those stories are clear to a couple of Calvinist theologians. It’s all about grace. There is nothing wrong about explicitly asking for grits when you order your food at a Waffle House. But whether you ask or not, “it just comes.”  God’s grace “just comes” to us — not because we order it, but because we can count on grace as a sign of the faithfulness of the provider.

And the grace that we receive is not intended for an isolated “me and God” spirituality. We are called to a community that is meant to show forth the rule of God — a peoplehood that serves as a sign of God’s larger purposes for the creation. “True grits”!

Chilean Miners’ Story of Faith

From CNN’s Belief Blog

One of the rescued Chilean miners shed new light Thursday on the intense religious and spiritual experiences of many of the miners while trapped underground for 52 days last year, saying that faith was a key part of surviving t he ordeal.

“We realized we had only one alternative and that was God himself,” said Jose Henriquez in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on in Washington, speaking to a crowd that included President Barack Obama.

“We were different creeds and churches,” Henriquez said, speaking in Spanish with simultaneous translation. “So I got them in a circle and made sure everyone could pray in a participatory fashion. And as we prayed we began to know the presence and blessing among us of God in the mine. We were strengthened, our spirits were revived.”

He said the first seventeen days were the hardest, having no communication with the outside world.

“We had some serious problems. We had very little food for three days only, no water,” he said. “So we decided unless we prayed and God did a miracle there would be no way out. And that became our daily hope and confidence. We began to pray that he would do a miracle among us and solve our problems.”

There were tensions in the collapsed mine, including fist fights among the miners.

Henriquez did not speak about those fights but talked about how the miners resolved tensions. “This democratic community was not a secular democracy but a praying, democratic community,” he said. “God began to reconcile us together and so we’d get  one with the other and forced them to shake their hand, we maintained the peace and community spirit that way.”

He said a turning point for the miners was the delivery of small Bibles through the tubes rescue workers used to provide food, medicine, supplies and entertainment. “There was one Bible for each man with his name on it,” Henriquez said holding the small Bible above his head to show the crowd.

As a final act of thanksgiving Henriquez said he got the men to pray before they entered the rescue craft that would shuttle them to freedom. “Some wanted to dive in and get in the capsule but I said, ‘Hold it. Were going to pray first.’”

As they emerged from the depths he said it seemed as though the whole world was watching. The miners wore tan t-shirts over their coveralls. The shirts were provided by a local branch of Campus Crusade for Christ. Henriquez said the miners felt like the t-shirts were, “the best way to express the way we were feeling was to wear these t-shirts we had made that said, Thank you Lord, thank you Jesus.”

Belhaven Tennis – Best Years Redux?

There was a period in our athletic history when Belhaven was an NAIA tennis powerhouse.

  • We won the national championship in1983.
  • We won 13 of 15 conference championships between 1975 and 1991.
  • We had a string of remarkable players….the full list of the honors they won is HERE – and it is impressive.

Then we hit some tough years.  Just couldn’t seem to get traction in tennis.  Then Coach Levi Patton came along three years ago, and had the vision, gifts, and determination to rebuild a quality tennis program.

Today, for the first time in many, many years, Belhaven University received votes for the top 25 ranking!  Way to go Levi and team.

We have a long way to go to earn our place solidly in the rankings, but seeing what Levi has done so far, something tells me we’re going to get there!

For those of you who don’t know coatch Patton, here is his bio:

Levi Patton enters his 3rd year as head coach for the Belhaven University Men’s and Women’s Tennis programs.

An Alabama native, Patton was a member of the tennis program at Gadsden State Community College from 2000-2002 before being recruited to play at Belhaven University from 2002-2004. Patton was also a member of the 2003-2004 Cross Country program. Coach Patton graduated from Belhaven University in 2004 where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 2006 he received his Master’s degree in Business Management.

Patton is a staff teaching professional at River Hills Club in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified teaching professional. Patton also holds certification by the United State Tennis Association (USTA) as a referee and an umpire. Patton is on the Mississippi State Board of the United States Professional Tennis Association. In January 2010 Patton became sponsored by Prince and added to the Prince Team. Patton is also a Sports Administration adjunct instructor at Belhaven University

In 2009 Patton was awarded the Rookie Pro of the Year Award by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) for the State of Mississippi and also received the Southern Rookie Pro of the Year Award later in 2009. Patton is also a Junior Southern Cup for Team Mississippi (Formerly Junior Davis Cup).

Since Patton’s arrival at Belhaven, the tennis program has seen substantial growth, development and vision. It is currently the largest tennis program in the schools history. Coach Patton is also looking for a top 25 year end ranking in 2011 and a top 10 ranking in 2012. Through a joint effort with Coach Patton and Athletic Director Scott Little the entire tennis facility has been completely renovated. This includes a new playing surface, new wind screens, nets, score keepers, benches, trash cans, painting of light fixtures and retaining walls and concrete stairs. Banners have been added to honor those who were on the National Championship team and those who were on the many Conference Championship teams. Banners honoring those who became All-Americans were also added. This again is the largest facility overhaul since the tennis facilty was created.

“Belhaven had such a strong impact on my life,” Patton said. “Belhaven prepared me in so many different ways, being academically, mentally, spiritually and athletically. I look forward to the program become known again as a national powerhouse in tennis and pushing students towards maturing and becoming ready to go out and be successful in the marketplace.”

Tim Keller Speaking at BU Feb. 24th

Dr. Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City will be speaking in our Center for the Arts on, Thursday evening, February 24th at 7:00 p.m.

He will be speaking about his new book “The King’s Crossing: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus”  Dr. Keller will be signing books at the conclusion of his presentation.

The doors will open at 6:00 pm, and we are expecting a very full house (capacity of 800 people), so I encourage you to come early – there will not be reserved seating.

This event is jointly sponsored by Belhaven University’s RUF, Lemuria Bookstore, and Belhaven University.