Our family has been watching the Olympics this week. Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, and Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. Women’s gymnastics team–it’s been awesome to watch.
I love watching these athletes compete, but I also enjoy it when these competitors take advantage of the spotlight and their platform to talk about their faith. Here are two of my favorite testimonies from the Rio Olympics:
Gold-medal swimmer Maya DiRado told Yahoo Sports:
“I don’t think God really cares about my swimming very much,” Maya said. “This is not my end purpose, to make the Olympic team. My God is powerful and in control, but I don’t think he cares whether I win. It’s interesting theology you can get into when it’s a God of victory in your sport.”
In an interview with Christianity Today, DiRado went on to say that her faith has helped her keep her swimming in perspective:
Knowing that I’m a child of God and that his love for me is determined by nothing I can achieve or do on my own has given me a quiet confidence. I think that my faith has helped me chart my own course and pursue my goals when people around me may be going in different directions. Jesus’ love for me and all humanity is something that always helps me better love people around me when things get difficult.
As for my swimming career, my faith has helped me remember that there are so many more important things in life worth doing. Swimming is a pretty selfish activity, and so I’ve always known that it can’t be my whole world.
Synchronized Divers David Boudia and Steele Johnson also spoke about their identity in Christ after their silver-medal-winning performance. Both Boudia and Johnson talked about how knowing who they are in Christ helps them keep the pressure in perspective. As Steele Johnson told NBC:
The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace. It gave me ease, and it let me enjoy the contest. If something went great, I was happy. If something didn’t go great, I could still find joy because I’m at the Olympics competing with the best person, the best mentor, just one of the best people to be around.
I love how Maya DiRado, David Boudia, and Steele Johnson all put their emphasis on the confidence that comes from knowing who they are in Christ. That’s a lesson we all should take to heart. We are defined not by what we achieve, but by what Christ has done for us. The security of knowing we are perfectly and intimately loved by the Father gives us confidence and courage in any situation we face.
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And now . . . giveaway news. I had the privilege this week of receiving a $25 shopping spree at Family Christian Stores and sharing a $25 gift certificate to Family Christian with one of you. They’re having a BOGO (Buy One Get One Half Off) sale on books, movies, and music, so it’s a great time to stretch your shopping dollars.
I used my gift certificate at FamilyChristian.com and enjoyed my shopping experience. The first thing that caught my eye was the NLT One Year Chronological Journaling Bible. I like the idea of reading through the Bible chronologically, and Bible journaling is one of the tools I often use to enhance my devotional reading. I also looked at children’s devotional books, hoping to find something new to read with my children on school mornings this year. Nothing really caught my eye there, but I thought the Cupcakes and Jesus line looked like something my daughter would like.
I did find that browsing Christian fiction is somewhat easier at Family Christian than it is at Amazon. I find Amazon somewhat difficult if I want to browse new Christian fiction releases, though I do wish Family Christian allowed some more fine-tuning on their browsing options. It would be nice to be able to select “new Christian fiction suspense” or “new Christian fiction historical,” for example, to be able to search easily for new books in my favorite genres. I also missed Amazon’s “Look inside” option, which allows me to read the first few pages of a book or browse the table of contents of a book to see if it’s something I’m interested in. Still, there’s something to be said for browsing a more curated collection of books, which is a big plus for Family Christian over Amazon.
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So what did I get? Ultimately I decided to take advantage of the sale by ordering something for me and something for my daughter. For myself, I bought a new commentary on 1 Peter to use as a resource for a series I’ll be teaching through this fall. I also bought Lost and Found, the second book in Colleen Coble’s Rock Harbor Search and Rescue Series for tweens. My daughter really enjoyed the first book in the series, and I thought this was a good opportunity to pick up the second one for her.
And I have a $25 gift certificate to Family Christian Stores for one lucky reader. I’ll be drawing the name of one of my subscribers to receive this giveaway, courtesy of Family Christian Stores and FlyBy Promotions. So, if you haven’t subscribed to follow my blog by email, now’s the time! Fill out the form below to join my email list and be entered in the giveaway. You’ll also receive a free copy of my ebook, How Do I Forgive? Subscribe by noon on August 23, 2016 to be entered into the giveaway.
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.