5 Star Links for Friday


It’s 5-star Friday! Yay! Time for me to share some links to great online reading and/or listening.

1. Heart Condition (by Kasey Van Norman at Mentoring Moments) explains why the condition of our hearts is of greatest concern to the Lord.

2. Understanding the Unfathomable: God’s Unconditional Love (by Pastor Andreas Custer at Oakwood Community Church) reminds us how deeply God loves and encourages us to love one another.

3. The Most Needed Peer Pressure (by Wendy Alsup at Desiring God) urges us to love unconditionally when bearing with a loved one’s struggles.

4. 8 Tips for Talking to Your Kids about the Sermon (by Pastor Joe Holland) tells how little folks sitting in the pews retain more and understand more than you think they do and how we, as parents, can follow up with them after the sermon. Great tips!

5. Gaining Clarity on Women’s Roles Part 1 and Part 2 (by Leanne Popeko at CBMW) explains some key aspects of God’s lovely design for women in the church.

I pray that these words encourage and inspire you as much as they did me.

Also, may I ask a favor? I recently re-wrote my personal testimony as part of an assignment in the Bible study group I attend. The new version is much shorter and employs a very different format than the earlier version, which I posted years ago. If you would read it and perhaps leave a comment, I’d be ever so grateful to you. Just click here. Thank you!

“March on, my soul; be strong!” -Judges 5:21b

Joel Northrup is a Champion

Merriam Webster’s definition of CHAMPION: (1) warrior, fighter; (2) a militant advocate or defender; (3) one that does battle for another’s rights or honor; (4) a winner of first prize or first place in competition; also, one who shows marked superiority

I usually avoid discussing highly controversial current events here on Starlight Writer, but sometimes an event merits digging into for spiritual reasons.

Last week in Iowa, Joel Northrup, a high school sophomore, defaulted his first round match in the state wrestling tournament. He had been matched with freshman Cassy Herkelman, a girl, and he defaulted because of his faith. He doesn’t think boys and girls should compete against each other in the sport.

As the mother of two girls, I completely agree with Northrup. Putting high school boys and girls in this situation is entirely inappropriate, especially in a contact sport like wrestling!

I commend Northrup for doing the right thing. He did wrestle that day, though not in the flesh. Let’s not overlook the internal struggle he must have fought between doing what was honorable and biblical and doing what would possibly bring him much fame and glory in the sports world. That’s a character-building match like none other.

While Northrup forfeited the chance to advance and possibly win the state wrestling championship, he is a champion no less. He fought for another’s rights and honor that day: Cassy’s. He looked not only to his interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) That shows marked superiority.

Two articles on this topic really appalled me. The first was Wrestling with Conviction by Rick Reilly of ESPN, who claims the 112-lb. Cassy is “as dainty as a forklift” and doesn’t need anyone to protect her because she “relishes the violence.” I argue that Cassy most certainly does need someone protecting her, especially when her own father repeatedly calls her his “son.” What a broken world.

Likewise, in Argument for Boy-Girl Wrestling, Caryn Rivadeneira suggests Northrup’s decision has  more to do with his cultural view of girls than his faith. She makes a very weak attempt to relate the boy-girl wrestling situation to how Jesus interacted with women. This piece makes me seriously question the integrity of Christianity Today’s blog for women.

Fortunately, a few other articles buoyed my own position on this issue. The primary one was this John Piper article “Over My Dead Body, Son,” which I read two years ago during a similar boy-girl wrestling scenario here in Minnesota. Albert Mohler’s article “Boys Wrestling Girls: A Clash of Worlds and Worldviews” is another worthwhile read, as is Betsy Hart’s “Men are Meant to Protect Women and Children.”