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Eric Liddell: Olympian and Missionary

“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. ” Chariots of Fire

Eric Liddell @ Three Cornered Hug

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Even if you’re not familiar with Eric Liddell’s story, you will certainly know the tune to the movie, entitled Chariots of Fire, made about this Olympian.
(If not see the vid below!)

The Olympics of 1924 were held in Paris, and Eric Liddell’s main event was the 100 meter dash. This Christian athlete made history when he withdrew from this event, due to the fact that it was scheduled on a Sunday. Instead, he signed up for the 400 meter dash.

When asked about his plan for the race, he replied, “The secret of my success over the 400 meters is that I run the first 200 meters as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200 meters, with God’s help, I run faster.”

His plan worked; Liddell, “The Flying Scotsman”, went home with a Gold medal, having set a new record for the event.

While some may know this part of his story, many do not realize that Mr. Liddell went on to be a missionary in China. To begin with, he taught chemistry and sports at a boys school. After getting married he was a traveling evangelist, going from village to village.

In 1940, when Japan invaded China, the dire situation caused Liddell’s wife and children to flee to the safety of relatives in Canada.  Liddell himself was placed in an internment camp, where he died of a brain tumor not long before the liberation.

In a nation full of “American Idols”, we need to teach our kids about heroes who had more than just talent. People who gave it their all, who risked their lives for what they believed- those who’ve run without looking back.

There is a wonderful free ebook I found about Liddell’s life, which is basically a beautiful picture album with narration all throughout to tell the story. You can go there by clicking here.

You can also go to the Eric Liddell Website for more info.

Below, the first clip contains actual video of the race, followed by a clip from the movie, Chariots of Fire. Enjoy!

DNA: A Creative Work of Art

Stained Glass DNA @ Three Cornered Hug

I’m not trying to say that there’s something inherently religious [in this picture] but, I think it is emblematic of the potential here of the topic to both interest people and to make them unsettled. Can you, in fact, admire both of these [pictures]? Can you do it at the same time? Is there an inherent problem in having both a scientific world view and a spiritual world view?

… We live on this knife edge of improbability … the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics [points to God’s existence.] There’s no particular reason why all the events in the universe should follow simple mathematical equations.

Dr. Francis Collins

Recommended Resource: Discover 4 Yourself

Discover 4 Yourself Bible Studies for Kids @ Three Cornered Hug

Recently, I discussed Sticky Situations, which is a great book to use for Bible study in the younger ages. It’s a “moral dilemma” type devotional which displays how Biblical principles can be applied to everyday life.

What about when your child is ready for some more “meaty” study of the Word?

I was looking for something which continued to emphasize that the Bible is a mirror which we should continuously hold up to ourselves. At the same time I wanted a guide which would show the historical relevance of the Word, and details such as when a book was written, or who the author was.

After mentioning this to several friends and family members, I was pointed to a great series that we’ve used for some years now.

The Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible studies by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt allow kids to do just that: discover for themselves. Passages are read, sometimes reread, sometimes cross-referenced. Then kids are asked a series of questions that help them to understand what it all means. Interwoven between these things, there are puzzles, codes to crack, and games to review-which makes things fun.

The cross-referencing helps them to put the stories into the proper context, and understand when and why things happened. It may also help kids understand how Biblical characters or stories relate to each other.

The questions not only help kids to concentrate on the text, but many of them are personal questions which challenge the child to question whether they’re on track. There’s the mirror I was looking for.

This series helps you to discover stories in the Bible that you may not know much about, but it’s just as great for going deeper into those stories that kids may have heard so many times at church. Okay—I won’t lie: it’s also an awesome way for parents to learn more about the passages WE’VE read and heard so many times!

In these studies, you may spend a whole week taking apart one or two chapters. While your kids are writing down their answers, your eyes will find things in there you’ll swear you’ve never read before! Even if you’ve gone through the Bible in a year, every year since you were born, I’m sure you will agree. There’s something different about reading the Bible this way, taking the time to “chew” on things. You’ll also look smart for your spouse—see if HE knew that Abraham was remarried after Sarah passed! (This fact saddened me for some reason…)

These books really brought the stories and people to life for us. Our favorite may have been Daniel. Later, when we were doing one of the other studies, we were required to go back to Daniel to read a couple of verses for a cross-reference. After reading those couple of verses, I heard, “Let’s go ahead and read the rest of the chapter, Mom. I love this story.” WOW! What a feeling!

Now, to be fair, I do want to tell you that I did disagree with a couple of points made throughout this series. However, they were few and far between, and not on anything I would consider fundamentally important. It’s a good opportunity for discussion anyhow.

The other thing is that these studies include marking key words in the passages. Well, not really in your Bible, but in the pages in the back where all of the scriptures are copied for you. Now, I know some people like to mark in their Bibles, especially if they have eye-tracking issues, dyslexia, or simply to find things quickly later. To some, marking in the Bible is wrong. My son and I are in neither of these parties. However, we didn’t do the marking basically because we don’t like to. For me, it makes things look messy. For him, it’s tedious. The problem with that is that he would no longer pay attention once we finally got to the rest of the lesson. However, that’s the great thing about homeschooling. If something doesn’t work for you, just skip it.

You can buy these studies on here on Amazon, or at the Precept Ministries site. Alternately, many times I was able to score good deals at half.com or ebay. Just make sure they are in unmarked condition before purchasing. Finally, if you really like them, you might want to check out Kay Arthur’s series for adults! 🙂