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Cory Weisman’s Basket

In February 2012 Cory Weissman led out the men’s basketball team of Gettysburg College for their last game of the season. Four years earlier he had suffered a stroke that left him paralysed on one side. Four years of rehab and he was able to walk with a limp, but was still not able to play competitively. But before his stroke he had been on the varsity team and the Gettysburgh coach wanted to give him a few seconds on court as a senior. So Cory was nominated captain and led out the starting five for what was both his first and last game for Gettysburg, for he was now due to graduate.

Knowing the struggle it was just to be there, the crowd and the players from both teams greeted him with wild applause. The Gettysburg coach gave him a few minutes on court before benching him.

With one minute to go Gettysburg was well ahead and the coach sent Cory back out on court. The Washington coach called time out and instructed his players to foul Cory Weissman. For those who don’t know basketball this was a very generous act, for it meant Cory would be given two shots at the basket.

Cory takes his place at the free throw line, feels the weight of the ball in his hands, lifts and shoots. It misses badly. But he has a second and final shot left. Again he feels the weight of the ball in his hands, lifts and shoots. This time the ball flies straight through the hoop, and the crowd breaks out in thunderous applause.

The assistant vice president for athletics at Gettysburg, David Wright, later wrote to Washington College: “Your coach, Rob Nugent, along with his … staff and student-athletes, displayed a measure of compassion that I have never witnessed in over 30 years of involvement in intercollegiate athletics.”

Source: reported by Frank Record, “When there’s more to winning than winning.” NPR Radio, Feb 22, 2012

Chuck Swindoll

Chuck Swindoll is a well known author and preacher. He describes a moment of crisis in his life. He was speaking at a pastor’s conference. By any measure it was successful. Participants begged him to speak longer and were very engaged. But when he was alone in his room at the end of each day he felt an emptyness and frustration.

Sensing God was wanting to do something in his life Chuck called four trusted friends. “I want you to listen to my life story and see if anything stands out to you.” And so the four friends and Chuck Swindoll gathered. Beginning with his earliest memory Chuck poured out his life story.

When he had finished, one of the friends asked him a few questions and then said, “Chuck, I want you to put your head on the table and close your eyes.” Chuck put his head on the table and closed his eyes.

“Now I want you to imagine your father is holding you in his arms. What do you feel?”

Almost instantly Chuck began to cry. For thirty minutes he cried his eyes out. You see Chuck’s father had died when Chuck was seven months old. And as he closed his eyes what he felt was pure unconditional love.

What Chuck also realised that day was that while he had preached many times about God’s great love he had never made that personal. With his head on the table that day he really felt, for the first time, that Got loved him, that his heavenly father loved him deeply, richly and unconditionally.

And by his own testimony, he was never the same again.

Source: heard in a talk by Swindoll

Storylines. Tracing the Hand of God in Genesis-Deuteronomy