Putting Faith First, Finding Faith, And The Importance Of Being Positive – Olympic Version *Weekend Open Thread*


The Olympics are in full swing, and despite the lunacy of the media in their Trump deranged haze in lauding the sister of a brutal dictator of one of the most heinous regimes around, there have been some incredible athletic feats taking place.

So far, one of my favorite sports, Curling, has been the Mixed Doubles, just two curlers on a team. Our team was a brother/sister pair who, sadly, did not do very well. Sure hoping they do better on their respective teams.

One of my other favorite sports is figure skating. I never cease to be amazed at what people can do while on thin blades of steel on ice. Heck, much of what they do on ice I couldn’t begin to think of doing on two feet on the ground even in my more athletic youth. Yes, they amaze me.

None more than our US Pairs skaters, the married couple Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim. Check out their National Championship free skate, the same one they did this past week at the Olympics which led to a Team Bronze Medal:

Such a beautiful, poignant, lovely routine they skated then and at the Olympics.

It was also a remarkable performance considering with what Alexa was going through in 2016. From Faithwire:


Alexa Scimeca Knierim was diagnosed in 2016 with a rare and potentially deadly gastrointestinal condition, one that left her needing a serious and immediate surgery on her abdomen in August 2016; then, she needed two additional procedures.

The health woes paid a toll, with Alexa Scimeca Knierim telling People Magazinethat the ordeal was quite harrowing.

“I’m 5-foot-2 and I was about just over 80 lbs. before and after surgery. I lost all of my muscle, and my body mechanics when I started getting back into working out were like next to none,” she said. “The very first time I stepped back on the ice after my surgeries, Chris had to hold me up because my body was not capable of standing on its own.”

Professionally, too, the situation was daunting. The couple were thrown into uncertainty, pulling out of every skating event for the first half of 2016.

No doubt it was daunting! Think about the movements Alexa made in her performance, and consider how she looked post-abdominal surgery:

Isn’t that incredible? For her to have lost so much muscle mass and be so weak she couldn’t stand, to being the National Champion AND in the Olympics, is just remarkable. What a testament to her perseverance – and to her faith:

“It’s the reason I was able to get back on the ice, because I stopped worrying and stopped trying to control life, because I couldn’t,” Alexa told People. “In the moment, you know, I was so sick and didn’t really know where things were going to go for me, whether it was skating or life in general.”

She continued, “So I finally just threw my hands up and said like, ‘You lead the way,’ and it’s my testimony and I stay true to it.”

Alexa also discussed how important she believes it is to stay grounded and share her faith at the Olympics, adding that competing in the games is a chance to “glorify God.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Indeed. Both Alexa and Chris use their considerable gifts and talents both on and off the ice, and give credit where credit is due. Good on them. Here’s hoping they medal in this Olympics.

Speaking of faith, the next story is about five time Olympian, Kelly Clark, a snowboarder (half pipe) who has won Gold and Bronze medals at the Olympics and a ton of Gold Medals (and others) at the X Games.  Clark was edged out for a medal this time around by a fellow US athlete, Gold (who won Bronze – funny, right?), who lauds Kelly for helping her become a better athlete and person.  Faithwire has the story on how Clark found her faith:

But it’s the story behind her faith that is truly amazing, as Clark found herself faced with an important question after winning a gold medal at the Olympics in Salt Lake City back in 2002: “Now what?


Clark said she was feeling disconnected after her initial victories; despite finding success, she didn’t know her identity.

But when she arrived in Park City to compete after the Olympics, she saw something that led her to start asking some important spiritual questions. A fellow competitor stumbled, fell and failed to qualify; that woman was understandably upset. But Clark overheard another snowboarder console her and say, “It’s all right. God still loves you. You don’t need to cry.”

It was that kind exchange that got Clark thinking deeper about faith, so much so that she headed back to her hotel room and cracked open the Bible that she knew she would find in the drawer.

One of the things about Clark that she noted in the article is that she was a big time party girl before all of this. Hence what makes this life transformation so remarkable. Back to her story:


It was a moment that changed everything, with the snowboarder later accepting Jesus back in 2004.

That acceptance came after much exploration, reading and contemplation, with Clark finding herself wondering whether she could continue living as though God didn’t exist. The answer was a resounding “no.”


In the end, the snowboarder — who continues to be outspoken about her faith — said that her life and identity transformed, and that those around her noticed the incredible changes. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Isn’t it amazing the impact an overheard comment can have on someone? Perhaps Clark would have ended up opening one of the hotel Bibles at some point in her quest. But that such a simple statement from one competitor to another opened her eyes and heart so much is remarkable. Good on her.

Finally, I have an incredible story about finding the positive in life no matter what situation we have been handed. This story comes by way of the Good News Network and the good attitude comes from ParaOlympian, Andrew Kurka. His story is below:

You know, when you see someone like Kurka talk about choosing the positive in life after sustaining such a tremendous accident speaks volumes about what kind of young man he is. And not for nothing, what he is capable of doing on the slopes is nothing short of remarkable reardless of ability. What a tremendous athlete he is!

Kurka, Clark, and the Knierims, all demonstrate such strength and generosity of spirit. They are excellent ambassadors of this country for the Olympics, and of the Olympic spirit, too. What tremendous young people they are. That they share their faith, guiding light, and positive outlooks with others is truly a gift.

Regardless of what kind of medals they won, or if they didn’t win any, they are already winners in my book with the wonderful attitudes they possess.

Time to get back to watching more Olympics. Feel free to discuss whatever is on your minds. This is the Weekend Open Thread.

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42 Responses to “Putting Faith First, Finding Faith, And The Importance Of Being Positive – Olympic Version *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    The courage and faith of Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim is awe-inspiring! And they way they move is so beautiful.

    Like you, I have always loved figure skating.

    😦 Sorry the curling isn’t going our way.

    Meanwhile the home-grown Olympics:

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    John Hawkins: 5 Things They Get Wrong About Christianity

    Christianity is a great faith that has been integral to America’s success and so perhaps those of us that are Christians should spend a bit more time tackling the misperceptions about our faith that are out there.


    Not only does the media, for the most part, seek to portray Christianity and Christians “wrong” you have disgusting scum like Joy Behar suggesting that a man who at least attempts to follow his faith, as in VPOTUS Pence, is crazy. And her crazy liberal audience cheers.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      So, so true. What Behar said is stunning in its ignorance, and the continued intent to demean Christians/Christianity is tiresome, to put it mildly.

      Thanks for the article!

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    Edward R. Murrow once said something we desperately need to remember during these dark days of “allegation as fact”:

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not men who fear to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

    One suspects Murrow wouldn’t have been popular with the left. In fact he would have probably been cast into the outer darkness with the likes of Sharyl Attkisson for the crime of doing journalism.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    Some information for those, like me, that know little or nothing about curling:

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    Now that their Russia, Russia, Russia hysteria has crashed and burned the Dems, or one of the more foolish ones, Peter Daou went back to the:

    ✔ @peterdaou

    Anyone who thinks the GOP’s moral decrepitude is solely because of Trump needs to remember they STOLE a Supreme Court seat long before he was elected.

    Periodic reminder:

    10 times in US history, a president has made a Supreme Court nomination in an election year when the other party controlled the Senate.

    9 of the 10 (all but Melville Fuller in 1888) were held open for the party that won the election.

    “Stole” is a lie.

  7. piper Says:

    And the blather keeps on, keeps on.

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Okay, this is just disturbing. If you saw any of the initial press conferences after the Florida shooting, this same sheriff was telling people, “if you see something, SAY something.” Well, turns out people did. Over 20 times was this department contacted abt the shooter.

    Good grief.

  9. CindyIndie Says:

    Those are wonderful stories about three incredible people. Thank you Cuz.
    I was surprised t find out that curling originated in Scotland (500 years ago?)

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Cuz’n! Glad you liked them!

      Indeed – and many of the stones they use now still come from the same place in Scotland. 🙂

      Btw, those stones are HEAVY – like picking up 5 gallons of milk at a time!

  10. kenoshamarge Says:

    • cindyindie Says:

      That’s beautiful, Marge.
      We’re off to church right now.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Health problems keep me from church most of the time now. I miss it so much. I do not, I cannot stop praying but praying together seems so much more.

        Say one for all of us who cannot get there to pray with you. I will say one for all the wonderful people I have met here thanks to Rev. Amy and her broad mind and giant heart.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          You are too kind, Marge. I am delighted and grateful to have your amazing posts and outstanding comments here. Mostly I am thankful for our friendship!

          Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

        • cindyindie Says:


        • cindyindie Says:

          The Bishop was there this morning so it was really a wonderful service. Our church looks like it belongs in a little English village…..and very conducive for worship.
          I do think of you and Cuzin and all my friends when I go!

          • kenoshamarge Says:

            Thank you. I always picture my usual church on Sunday morning. It’s one of the oldest in the area and a little dark and shabby but it’s comforting.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            Thanks so much, Cuz! I wish I could sit through services now, so appreciate you thinking of us.

            And yes, your church is lovely!

            Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

            • cindyindie Says:

              I can no longer process in, so I’m not in the choir now….I have stay seated for the service except for communion….so another reason I’m not in choir. But I’ m determined to take the boys, so that gives me strength to walk into church, but it’s painful……and once I’m in, I just sit, which is fine with me 😊

            • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

              I am sorry to hear about the choir. I imagine that is hard for you. But I am glad that you can take the boys. I am sure they are glad to be there with you!

              Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Beautiful image, Marge- thank you!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    At the 1988 Games in Seoul, Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was moving along at a quick clip, even though the seas were exceptionally rough. About halfway through the race, he seemed to have a firm grip on the silver medal when disaster struck.

    Lemieux heard the cries of two Singaporean sailors competing in a different event nearby. One of them was clinging desperately to his boat, which had capsized under the six-foot waves. The other had drifted 50 feet away, swept off by the currents. Instead of staying in his race, Lemieux set course for the sailors and pulled them out of the water. His hope for a medal all but dashed, Lemieux waited for rescue boats to arrive. By the time they did, he’d fallen to 23rd place. But Lemieux’s bravery did not go unrewarded. The Olympic committee gave him the Pierre de Coubertin medal, a special award for sportsmanship.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Wow, what a fantastic story! And what a great show of humanity he displayed. Thanks so much !

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Denigrates Faithful: ‘The Power Of Prayer Is Insufficient To Stop Bullets From Killing School Children’

    On Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson published the following tweet:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson Verified account @neiltyson

    Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.

    Here are all the issues I have with Tyson’s tweet:

    1. It’s condescending. One can criticize someone else’s belief system or political positions without being smug or dismissive. No one’s mind will be changed by this tweet; it will not cause anyone to thoughtfully reconsider a previously held belief. In fact, it will most likely cause people to shut down, or turn away from Tyson’s viewpoint.

    2. Tyson doesn’t seem to understand the nature of prayer. Prayer isn’t simply a requesting service wherein one asks for something and God presses the red or green button. Prayer is a means of communicating with the creator, not only to make requests, but to give thanks, ask forgiveness, and offer praise — among many other things. Believers understand that while prayer can indeed change the course of human events, God doesn’t think as we do, and as such, our requests may not be answered in the way we desire. We also understand that because we live in a fallen world, we cannot prevent all tragedy.

    more – https://www.dailywire.com/news/27270/neil-degrasse-tyson-denigrates-faithful-power-frank-camp

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      People like de Grassi who often infuses ideology into his claims needs to stick to his own area of expertise and stop acting like he knows all. Clearly he is unclear on the topic.

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

    When the Los Angeles Olympics rolled around in 1932, a 19-year-old typist named Mildred “Babe” Didrikson faced an unusual problem. The rules dictated that an athlete could only enter three track-and-field events, and Didrikson had qualified for five. So, she simply picked the ones in which she already held world records—javelin, 80-meter hurdles, and the high jump.

    Her first event didn’t get off to an auspicious start. The javelin slipped from her hand and tore the cartilage in her right shoulder. For most athletes, that would have meant instant defeat, but Babe’s compromised throw sailed more than 143 feet and set a new world record. Two days later, Babe set another world record in the 80-meter hurdles. She looked poised to sweep her events, but was disqualified in the high jump competition for diving headfirst over the bar, which was illegal at the time. She had to settle for silver.

    Didrikson had an out-sized personality to match her athletic prowess. Reportedly, she’d greet her opponents with the taunt “Yep, I’m gonna beat you.” And during training sessions for the Los Angeles Games, she would irritate her teammates by literally running circles around them while playing her harmonica.

    Babe’s sports dominance didn’t stop with track and field. In 1935, she picked up golf, and by 1950 she had won every available women’s title in the game. She’s still considered one of the greatest golfers of all time, male or female. Never humble, Didrikson wrote in her autobiography, “My goal was to be the greatest athlete who ever lived.”

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I remember learning about her when I was a kid. What an incredible story that is. Thanks!

      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I accidentally found those older stories about the Olympics when I was looking for something else. That often happens. Serendipity!

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