Memories from a Cautiously Optimistic Vikings Fan

Sports fans in America love rooting for the underdog. Just over a year ago, the Chicago Cubs had many people pulling for them (myself included) as they won their first World Series in 108 years. Now another franchise with a reputation of losing big games has a chance of finally winning it all. It happens to be my favorite football team.
The Minnesota Vikings began playing in 1961 as an NFL expansion team. Eight years later, they appeared in their first Super Bowl but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Three years after that, I started watching Vikings games on TV while growing up in Moorhead, Minnesota. The following season, they reached Super Bowl VIII, which was played on my tenth birthday. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a Super Sunday for me as the Vikings lost to the Miami Dolphins.
Nevertheless, I remained a Minnesota Vikings fan with quarterback Fran Tarkenton as my favorite player. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, I watched almost every Vikings game on TV. They consistently won their div…

An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
I’m a traveling missionary who’s been using Facebook now for over ten years. It’s a marvelous tool to help me reconnect with old friends, meet new people and minister to them. However, there are a couple things I don’t like about your social media site. They are serious enough to me where I’ve considered leaving Facebook completely.
One of them is being forced to use Messenger if I want to send a private message through my smartphone. It often results in other Facebook friends trying to start up chat sessions with me. I liked it better when my chat room could be kept off and not let everyone know I’m online. I’ve had to use the “block messages” function with individuals who persist in initiating conversations with me. I don’t want to be rude but maintain boundaries and limit distractions. Some of my friends won’t even use Messenger because of privacy concerns
Another intrusive feature I loathe even more is Facebook groups. Since 2010, friends have been able to add …

His, Hers, and Hers?

An old Jan & Dean hit featured the repeated lyric: “Two girls for every boy.” Some men think it’s cool to date multiple women at once. When I was in high school, my popularity increased after landing a job at a roller rink. I quickly compiled a list of girlfriends to call. One of them made it clear she didn’t want to be part of anyone’s harem. I really liked this girl and decided to go steady with her but broke off the relationship after a few days. At the time I missed the freedom of seeing other women. Years later after becoming a Christian, I started desiring to be married.
God designed men and women to be monogamous. Jesus repeated a commandment from Genesis in Matthew 19:6, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Two women and one man (or vice versa) cannot become one flesh. That’s like trying to plug an electric cord into two sockets at the same time. 
The Bible has accounts of men having more tha…

Will Universalists Go to Heaven?

Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith let it be to you.”God’s promises of salvation, healing, and provision are available to everyone but don’t happen by default. One must be willing to receive those promises and then obey His instructions for them to manifest.
A concept isn’t true just because a group of people believe it. That certainly applies to the doctrine of universal reconciliation, which states everybody will spend eternity in heaven. It’s scary to think what the Lord will say to ministers who preached this false gospel when they stand before His throne. 
I do believe universalists who are born again but lack biblical knowledge will get into heaven. It wasn’t until a year into my faith walk when I received the revelation that Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). We are saved by faith in Christ, not because all our spiritual beliefs are 100% in line with Scripture.
However, mature Christians who suddenly become universalists cross a dangerous line when t…

Tell Them the Truth

It's unfortunate that many traditions associated with Christmas have pagan origins. Rather than make a fuss about them, let’s create traditions that glorify the Lord. When I used to get together with my mother’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, one of my aunts insisted on us singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus before we opened up presents. That’s a clever way to remind people of the reason for the season.
One holiday tradition I am strongly against is parents giving presents to their kids saying they are from Santa Claus. Many people think this is harmless fun. But when I was little and discovered Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy were all fictional characters, I started questioning God’s existence. Parents who don’t tell their kids the whole truth about St. Nicholas are setting them up for a letdown.  
A few years ago, one television news anchor got in hot water for speaking the truth about Santa Claus. In response to comments made by a co-anchor regarding gift expecta…

A Eulogy for My Dad

It’s with a heavy heart I write this in memory of the man who brought me into this world and took care of my needs while growing up. 
Richard “Dick” Post was born on June 28, 1943 in Hood River, Oregon. His father was stationed there during World War II. The family later moved to Fargo, North Dakota.
After graduating from Fargo Central High and taking some college courses, Dad settled into a career as an interior decorator. Over the years he worked at various furniture stores in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Dad could have made more money as a traveling salesman but opted for jobs that allowed him to come home every night to be with my mother, sister, and me. Often our evenings were spent watching TV and playing an occasional board game. Dad sometimes brought meals home for us such as hamburgers, pizza, and Mexican food. In recent years when I came home for a visit, Dad and I usually ate out at Asian buffets.
During the 1970s, Dad’s work prospered him enough to own three cars including a corv…

Why I Hail Jesus and Not Mary

Mention the phrase “Hail Mary” and football fans think of a desperation pass usually thrown by a team trailing in the final seconds of a close game. The phrase became part of the football lexicon following a 1975 NFL playoff game in which (to my disappointment) the Minnesota Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach revealed he “closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary” before throwing the winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson.
The traditional Hail Mary prayer recited by Catholics like Staubach goes like this…
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

When witnessing to Catholics, I’m sometimes asked about praying to the Virgin Mary. There are reasons why that is unscriptural… Mary did not remain a virgin after Jesus’ birth. Matthew 1:25 says Joseph “...did not know her till she had b…