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Tag Archives: Los Angeles
For 20 years, he’s patrolled the most dangerous, smelliest, grungiest disease-saturated section of Los Angeles, a one-square-mile on the edge of downtown called Skid Row where 2,000 sleep on the streets each night.
And Deon Joseph loves it because he gets to share Jesus. He’s never used his gun and has made more friends than arrests. He’s started mentoring and self-defense programs and even become a sort of spokesman to city officials about the need to address mental health issues.
“We need to be lights in dark places,” Joseph told Liberty University students. “If ever the world needed us to be a light, it’s right now.”
It’s only a 15-minute jaunt from the hipster-dominated financial district of downtown. But for some, the journey to Skid Row is a life of bad decisions that lead to the last way station before death.
“When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be a famous R&B singer,” Joseph said. “I did not realize my steps were ordered by God to be on Skid Row. I never thought I would be dealing with crack addicts, drug dealers, loan sharks, pimps and prostitutes.”
Joseph was born to Christian parents who, through the years, welcomed 41 foster kids into their household. His dad got saved when he mugged a preacher. He married his mom, dug ditches, collected cans, fed the homeless and started a construction business to give work to people like him, who had grown up in the Jim Crow South.
When Joseph finished his LAPD training phase, he volunteered for Central Division, not realizing it would lead him into the heart of darkness.
Skid Row is now being called the “homeless capital of America.” It’s the product of anti-police policies and NIMBYs (the acronym Not In My BackYard is for homeowners who wish to corral all the trouble-makers into one bad area of LA), Joseph said.
“I came from Venice where you have beautiful women, lattes and fine eateries,” Joseph remembered of his first day in Central. “And when I worked in Skid Row, it was as if I tripped and fell into Dante’s Inferno or Mad Max’s Thunderdome.
“There were rows and rows of people destroying themselves with crack and heroin, beer, having sex on the sidewalk, defecating on the sidewalk with a porta potty right next to them because the gangsters wouldn’t let them use the toilet,” he said. “The smell was a combination of blood, feet and fish. It grabbed you by the nose hairs and shook you.”
Despite the dehumanizing exploitation and the desensitizing constant crime, Joseph fell in love with the beat.
“Why am I in this place that could easily be compared to hades, and I’m comfortable?” he asked his mom. “My mom said, ‘Son, if ever you feel comfortable in chaos, it’s probably where God called you to be.’ On Skid Row I realized I was home.”
It was never easy though. On his first two months, he worked the front desk where he saw firsthand the mayhem.
“Every five minutes somebody was coming in with their arm broken backwards at 45 degrees, lacerated cheeks, swollen eyes,” he said. “One guy came in and his intestines were hanging out. And they didn’t want a police report because they were that scared of their attacker. All they wanted was an ambulance to whiz them away to the hospital.”
He formed friendships with mentally ill people – only to see them die tragically months later.
One such was “Hurricane Linda,” who knocked over desks at the station, ripped out phones and spat on officers. Joseph was nervous the day she came in like the Tazmanian Devil. Spotting him, she directed a laser gaze on him that made him even more nervous. Read the rest of the story.
He grew up wearing knickers sewn by his grandma, endured the rage of his Vietnam vet father, and learned to play golf smacking a wiffle ball around the house.
Bubba Watson, 37, arguably golf’s most colorful character, won the Los Angeles Riviera tournament Feb. 21, and he credited Jesus and the Bible with the win, his ninth PGA tour victory since 2010.
“I have a lot of fears in my life, which, as I’m reading the Bible, I’m not supposed to have — but I do,” Watson told the New York Times. “Me changing as a person has helped my golf, not my swing.”
It wasn’t too long ago that Watson would lose games in his brain. He struggled with insecurity, melted down after a bad shot, and looked for people to blame when things went wrong. He used curse words and rankled other players with some unfriendliness.
But with the help of his wife, his caddie, and fellow Christian golfers (who meet weekly at a PGA Bible study), Watson is overcoming the temperamental side of his personality.
“We’ve been working on it, a hard, slow process,” Watson said in Golf Digest. “Instead of swing thoughts and swing, it’s all about the mind for me. It’s staying patient, and having Teddy (the caddie) in my ear. Teddy’s been a blessing. It’s been a struggle over five years, but we’re working in the right direction.”
His twitter account is telling. Followed by 1.54 million, @bubbawatson describes him in this order: “Christian, husband, daddy, pro golfer.”
Watson told BillyGraham.org that he is “getting more in the Word and realizing that golf is just an avenue for Jesus to use me to reach as many people as I can.”
His walk with Christ started when he was 19. A neighbor invited him to church. It was his first time in a service. “I went to church with her a few times,” he told CNN. “I listened, thought about, gave myself to the Lord.”
During college, his church attendance tapered off, but in 2004 he got baptized with his new wife, Angie, and renewed his faith.
On his first date with Angie, a college and professional basketball player, she advised him that she couldn’t bear children – and Watson told her that was fine. To date, they have two adopted kids, Caleb and Dakota.
After his baptism, he drifted away from God. Then his caddie yelled at him for his stormy behavior on the links, and Watson realized he needed to take things more seriously.
“I’ve been reading my Bible and getting stronger in my faith,” he said.
Today, Watson is a very visible and vocal Christian. After the won the Master’s at Augusta for the first time in 2012, he said, “I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Famously, Watson never received any more golf instruction than from his dad when he was a tyke using a sawed-off club. That’s astonishing because the lefty hits the ball farther than pretty much anybody in the PGA (over 350 yards). And he can put spins on the ball that produce tree-rounding curves that will make you think he has Jedi powers.
To win the 2012 Master’s, Watson hit his ball out of some pine trees in a boomeranging hook that landed on the green only a few feet away from the pin of the second hole. It would seem that whacking that wiffle ball around the house taught him about spin. Read the rest of the story.
“We are Christians. We believe in forgiveness,” said Santiago, 31, now an immigration lawyer based in El Segundo. “We prayed for him (the shooter). We prayed God transform his life. I’m not the person to pass that kind of judgment on another human being.”
Santiago said her brother got involved in a race-based altercation at 20th St. and Delaware in Santa Monica in the early 2000s, and he was shot with a 22-caliber gun from close range. One bullet shattered his jaw and another pierced his heart and lung, she said.
He was rushed to St. John’s where he lay unconscious for nearly three weeks. When he woke up, he asked about his kids. After months of physical therapy, he returned to normal life.
Santiago’s extraordinary plea for clemency is part of the troubled past of a Santa Monica once beset by gang violence. Part of the reason she chose law is because she saw her own parents, as working class residents, struggle to get sound legal advice for her troubled brother. Read the rest of the article.
Editor’s Note: Cynthia Santiago was the flower girl in my wedding 25 years ago. My wife and I lost track of her when we spent 16 years in Guatemala as missionaries. When I found her on Facebook 24 years later, I’m surprised to see her all grown up and a lawyer! I praise God she, coming from a family without college students, had the wherewithal to study and achieve a dream. It seems to me that her choice to forgive is extreme and compelling. Her choice to help the neediest who need help only makes me admire her more.
The way Sam Forman tells it, he found his first love before he found his great love.
He married fellow LCA student Marielena Champney in March 2013, and then he discovered his passion for cooking.
“When I met Marielena, I realized I needed to find a career,” Sam said. “I prayed and asked God to give me direction, and looking back now, I can definitely say he did that.”
Sam is a line chef at the highly touted French restaurant Petit Trois, a hipster hole in the Melrose District of Los Angeles. Chef sensation Ludo Lefebvre’s eatery was named top seven best new restaurants nationwide by James Beard and top five internationally by Food & Wine.
“It doesn’t really feel like work,” said Sam, who only coursed his senior year at LCA. “It’s something I love doing. It’s a fun job.”
Of course, Sam loved the food in France, where he lived five years as a missionary’s kid in Marseilles. He delighted in downing crepes, baguettes, ratatouille and fresh mussels on the port of the Mediterranean Seaside city.
“France definitely had an impact on my appreciation for food,” he said. “Food is a big part of the culture in France. The French are very well known for their food.”
At that time, Sam loved basketball and was able to swing a homestay with the Petersons to study his senior year at Lighthouse Christian Academy and play b-ball. He graduated in 2007 and eventually fell in love with the Guatemalan LCA student Marielena, who graduated in 2011.
Then he coursed the $17,000 yearlong culinary course at Cordon Bleu in Hollywood. His first gig afterwards was Latin fusion food at Playa Restaurant in West Hollywood, which quickly changed into an upscale taquería called Petty Cash.
Sam hit it off well with the chef, who moved over to Republique in the La Brea neighborhood and brought him along.
Sam began working mornings at Japanese Knife Imports, where chefs go for high quality dicing knives. The boss there recommended him to Chef Lefebvre for Petit Trois. Today Sam works both the knife job from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the restaurant 4:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
“I’m young,” he said nonchalantly, when asked about the heavy work load. Read the rest of the article here.
Editor’s Note: Sam Forman is a Christian who goes to our church. His decision to marry required faith because he didn’t have a career yet. God helped him find a job he loved. We are proud at Lighthouse of the successes of our former students.
As with any love relationship, there is also heartbreak. When the kids give you grief because they just want to be lazy. When your efforts are criticized.
But as with any love relationship, there are also moments of elation. Mine particularly are when kids come into a relationship with Jesus. Those moments even exceed the famous light-bulb moment when they get something that was previously very difficult for them. Those moments also exceed to glowing satisfaction of seeing kids graduate, succeed in the university and triumph in life.
The school where I work is a small Christian school in Santa Monica called Lighthouse Christian Academy. I have promoted it through SEO, and 15 new students were added this year. Previously, they never got outsiders to come in. Knowing that I have been useful is a satisfaction.
I like making an impact. I don´t want to ¨ride¨ on the success of others. I want to be a key member contributing to the success.
Don´t choose a winning team and sit on the bench and pose with the championship picture. Choose a small team, a needy team, a losing team. And then work to make it a winning team.
Frankly, I don’t get the allure of Hollywood — and I don’t get the stars on the sidewalk. I host foreign students who learn English. They ALL want to see Hollywood. Little do they know that Hollywood is ghetto, with abundance of drugs and grimy streets.
But those foreign students, invariably, like to get a selfie with the star of their favorite performer.
Why anyone would want people to walk all over their name, I’ll never know. It seems like a dishonor, not an honor. But Hollywood is full of such contradictions that go totally unnoticed by people infatuated with this world.
This I know: the darker this world gets — and it IS growing darker — the brighter the light of Jesus. The more that sin becomes “acceptable,” the more people are going to suffer its ravages. They will need a Savior more and more desperately.
Hey, I’m tempted, and I sin, but the attraction of God is greater. I always come back. I keep following God. Because there’s nothing better, nothing like Him. His love is amazing. Freedom is incredible.
Make Jesus your star.
Andres Barahona hoped to engineer his second upset in Mar Vista Park soccer finals Saturday with his nervy energy and treacherous left foot, but ultimately his team, Aston Villa, fell to the superior firepower of Chelsea.
Andres,15, blazed twice down the left with feints and burst of speed to pass four and five defenders to slot home. But he was playing a game of keep-up in the “sweepers division,” age 13 to 15, against an onslaught of goals. Chelsea took the championship 6-3.
“We played pretty hard,” Andres said. “The penalties weren’t penalties. I wanted to win, but we couldn’t win.”
Last week, 3rd-placed Aston Villa upset 2nd-place Norwich to bid for a surprise championship Saturday. But Chelsea, a team full of forwards, was too lethal in front of the net.
The Blues’ deadshot aim was unusual for parks leagues, where all kinds of clumsiness and lack of definition prevail among the lot of mostly beginners.
Some 650 kids aged 5-15 played in Mar Vista’s 9 divisions in spring league, said Soccer Director Kiswani Dumas, better known as simply “Kiwi.” With the largest park soccer program on the Westside, Mar Vista has produced stars for European soccer, he said. One kid has a contract for a Turkish team, he added.
“Our soccer program is growing every season,” Kiwi said. “We hope to have 1,000 kids next season.”
Sign ups, boys and girls, start on July 1 for fall soccer, which initiates Sept. 12. For $130, kids get a uniform, a trophy, training and a lot of competitive fun.
Mar Vista Park’s turf field, installed eight years ago, has been the field of dreams, where kids can learn soccer and soar. They learn teamwork, discipline and hard work. They can experience the exhilaration of victory and the crush of defeat.
In Saturday’s final, Chelsea, the highest scoring team among the older kids’ division, started what they do best early when Flynn Roe, 13, turned a free kick in past the goalie after only a few minutes after the starting whistle. It was a smart goal, uncharacteristically classy for parks soccer.
But Aston Villa responded quickly. Andres, of Honduran descent and with the Latino flair for el futbol, tore down the left flank, ghosting past four defenders, to fire home and tie up a game that promised to be highly competitive and highly entertaining.
Then for Chelsea, Hosea Ashcraft, 13, fought off three defenders to shoot clinically past a hapless Aston Villa goalie.
Before the first half was over, referees cited a defender’s handball, and Daniel Garcia, 15, the league’s highest goal-scorer, blasted a blistering penalty kick for Chelsea, making it 3-1.
In the second half, it was Aston Villa who opened scoring. Again the always-dangerous Andres blazed down the left flank and slotted home.
Chelsea responded almost immediately. Midfielder Daniel, who was Andres’ equal in domination, whipped in a cross from the right that Samuel Mikhail, 15, turned smartly in. It was impossible for the keeper to bat away.
Down 4-2, Aston Villa refused to let this game slip out of hand. From the feet of Andres came a through-ball that Donovan Brizuela sprinted on to fire from the left for another score, keeping the game within reach at 4-3.
If only Chelsea could cancel out the constant threat of Andres, they could win. Seeing the need, Flynn offered himself to coach to track and defend against Andres. He promised coach that he wouldn’t be beat by the fleet-footed youth.
“Ok, go ahead,” Coach Mario Ortiz told him. Andres didn’t make any more key plays.
All season, Chelsea had been a scoring machine, and Saturday’s game proved no different. A through-ball left Samuel in a one-on-one face-off with the goalie. He fired low, a shot that shanked the goalie’s shins and glided into goal.
Another defensive handball in the area gave Chelsea its second penalty kick, which Daniel didn’t miss with a rocket fired from the spot. The game ended 6-3.
With about 15 goals this season, Daniel was named the most valuable player.
“He covers all the midfield,” Coach Ortiz said. “He can shoot. He can pass.”
After taking possession of the field, the boys — and girls — in blue retreated to the park picnic tables for their banquet. Coach Ortiz handed out medals and praised each player as they munched sub sandwiches, chips and cupcakes.
After clashing against the tiny titans of soccer, the kids fell to playing Clash of Clans on their phones, trading strategies.
As the sun fell, another soccer season receded into glorious memories.
Then, his brainchild, Lighthouse Christian Academy, started a football program. Since it was a small school, they played 8-man CIF league.
Of course, among the new jerseys was #33. And one of the best players picked that number. He would continue the tradition of legends. Twice, the lowly Lighthouse, with a fraction of the enrollment of its competitors, nearly snatched championship from the entire Southern Section.
All the while its aura of greatness grew. Opposing teams could have figured out who to double-guard on offense, who to avoid on defense. Who would blast past them with a 90 yard sprint into the End Zone? Who would tackle them so hard that they would see stars from the sidelines – for the rest of the game?
Yup. Number 33 was not to be messed with — ever.
Then, the mighty number — which spoke volumes of history — was handed out to 107-pounder Chinese student who had never played football before.
When Henry Sihao Yu, our not-too-formidable tight-end, donned the prophetic mantle, was he our best player? Read the rest of the article.
Our students are experiencing revival. After frolicking on slopes of Utah snow, they savored a sermon by Pastor Zach Scribner and then Five Guys burgers. Since there was a community board, they posted “Jesus loves you” notes.
And even them I’m stuck here in Santa Monica writing articles about the Islamic State and not enjoying the fun, I rejoice. While other religious schools have trouble with church kids bolting their faith, at our Christian high school in Santa Monica kids are embracing Christ wildly.
I pretty much got kicked off Reddit, a mecca for sarcastic atheists. Have you seen American Sniper? You could call Reddit “American Snippier.” In any case, post after post mocks Christian warnings against sin.
Once I read about a former Christian school kid forming a “support group” for those who were subjected to the horrors of being forbidden alcohol. I remarked on that message board that it was ironic that some ran from alcohol to Jesus and that others from Jesus to alcohol. I never heard from him. Nor do I know if she could appreciate the irony.
Excuse me for being so curmudgeonly on this post, but I’ve seen so many suffer and even die for flouting God’s ways. It is a joy to see kids embracing God’s ways. Some of them have been bullied in public schools. Some were lost in cutting. Now they are living happy serving Jesus. Why would you make fun of that?
They gelled when it counted most. Here was a team that during the league season would lose 8-0 and 7-0. The story of their turnaround is one of not growing frustrated, of learning from mistakes and of combining slow kids with fast kids, talented kids with not-so-talented kids into optimal formation.
Many middle schools have an A-team, a B-team and even a C-team. With less than 50 students, Lighthouse Church School in Santa Monica has only one team, combined with all sorts of players. To say all candidates make the cut is an understatement. Sometimes, the school begs kids to play.
With teams like that, the wrong thing to do is to let that one star do everything. Just give him the ball and get out of his way. Instead, the Saints focused on building a team around the stars.
A critical moment came when the Saints showed poor sportsmanship. In a pre-league scrimmage against Westside Neighborhood School, the Saints behaved very… um,unsaintly. After losing 4-1, some of the kids spat into their hands at the end-of-the-game high five, smearing it on their unwitting opponents’ hands.
Ugh! How despicable can you get?
While the opposing kids may not have realized they were the victims of an ugly prank, the opposing parents had seen it all.
Understandably incensed, the WNS coach spoke to Lighthouse coach. He couldn’t believe his ears (he had been herding stragglers to form part of the line when the offenders committed their crime).
LCS coach scrambled a quick investigation, which more or less confirmed the worse. A photographer produced incriminating photos. Kids broke down under interrogation and confessed.
It is sad to see top clubs and national teams defend their players – no matter how repugnant their behavior. Whether it is racial epithets uttered on the field or biting incidents, it’s shameful to see teams try to confuse the facts just so their players won’t be suspended.
LCS, a Christian ministry of the Lighthouse Church, decidedly reacted against self-defense. The athletics director and the coach immediately sent profuse apologies to the league organizers and offended school. They requested to NOT be excused; they asked for a sanction from the league.
Ultimately, league officials opted against punishment, acting on WNS’s gracious forgiveness. But Lighthouse benched for one game each of the offenders anyway. It was a matter of character – what Lighthouse most is trying to teach.
More important than winning league games was winning the souls of men. Since at least three players fessed up, three players sat out – and the team suffered on the field.
Overcome by the darkness, this young Grant High School student decided she would end her life at the end of the school day. But instead, she went to an on-campus Christian club and heard Brian Barcelona share with about 150 other students.
After a stirring message, “she came running up to the front. She was weeping. She asked Brian to pray for her. She was going to commit suicide that day, but instead she found God,” says Allan Giglio, a coordinator for One Voice, which is seeing extraordinary revival in Los Angeles and Orange County high schools.
About 2,500 students at 15 high schools hear the gospel each week through campus Christian clubs, which invite One Voice representatives to speak, Giglio says. Kids have been saved from drugs, violence, sexual sin, and hopelessness.
I have a winninger attitude. I’m the happier coach. I coach for free, and I’m seeing the fruits of my labor, most importantly kids drawn to Christ at a Westside Christian school.
So far we have lost every league game of Middle School soccer in CIF Pacific League Basin. Monday will see if we finally win one.
Despite the dismal outlook, I’m enjoying the positives:
- Our goalie, an adapted basketball player, won the opposing coach’s praise with “five first-rate saves.” “We thought we weren’t going to be able to score on you,” he said.
- We limited an A-team to four goals.
- My son scored a goal.
- My son juked four defenders to get to goal and almost scored an individual effort.
More important than game highlights are kid highlights:
- Kids are really enjoying soccer.
- One kid told me he used to not like soccer; now he really likes it.
- Beginners are scoring (at practice), and that’s a thrill for them.
- There’s such a good feeling of Christian good attitude and fun.
So I wouldn’t take the paid coaching position. The unpaid is better because the rewards outweigh financial compensation.
When my father-in-law was coming to after a 10-hour surgery, he heard words that transformed his life. He had always been a community servant, a fighter for the community. He was a good man. But these words re-directed his goodness.
“Only eternity matters.”
God spoke to Stan, and from then on, all of his efforts to help Chinatown of Los Angeles were undergirded by Christianity. When his lifelong dream became a reality of opening a police substation to fight the worrisome neighborhood crime, Stan helped church members to work there so they could give the gospel.
In August, a hollow shell of the former Chinatown big shot breathed his last and stepped into Eternity. The last decades of his life had focused on the fact that we are NOT going to be on this blue globe forever.
I can’t wait to see him again.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – For a few minutes in the fourth quarter, Saints Christian school football got the sensation it would engineer the greatest upset of CIF Southern Section 2013 when Senior Joel Lahood intercepted a pitch and scored, making it 22-28, one touchdown away from a tie on Friday.
It’s nothing new for Lighthouse Christian Academy, student population 46, to face teams that are both bigger in bodily size and in terms of team members. LCA has flouted the odds-against with grit and its rediscovered sense of greatness, winning four games in a row before Sept. 27.
But Upland Christian Academy, student population 230, was simply superior to any team yet seen. In the first minutes of the game, an Upland player broke through and sprinted for a touchdown. To watch him pull away from pursuers like a train produced a sinking feeling of helplessness. Never before had we faced someone faster than us.
Mustering character, the Saints squelched the sinking feeling and responded with a touchdown. Nate Peterson ran the ball with verve and swerve, timing his cuts and crashes perfectly to exploit any millimetric miscalculation of a foe’s counterbalance.
“This is going to be a game,” observed Michael Moore, whose transfer has delayed his start with our Christian school football.
But Upland was far better than they were last year, when the Saints’ bobbling gifted them a win. With players 20-30 pounds heftier than ours in every position, and with a humming discipline, Upland finished the half with 28 points.
LCA conjured a determination to play to win – not just limp through the rest of the game, praying for the final whistle to come. The Saints denied Upland any more points until Lahood put LCA within striking distance.
That is when a missed tackled allowed another touchdown sprint to assure Upland the victory. LCA suffered its first defeat of the season 22-34.
The opposing coach praised LCA’s Christian school football: “You guys are the toughest team we’ve faced all season.” At the end of the game, the two teams prayed in a circle in the center of the field, and the opposing coached singled out Peterson for particular praise. It was a loss, yes, but a loss we could take pride in.
LCA Head Coach Justin Kayne pumped up his players. We were simple outgunned. One loss doesn’t sink a season, he said. “We’re going to the playoffs!”
And so, the legacy of Christian determination manifested in toughness and fighting spirit on the field – a legacy founded by former Rams football player Pastor Rob Scribner, marches on in pursuit of excellence.
ROLLING HILLS, CA – Lighthouse suckerpunched Rolling Hills Preparatory 41-15 Friday in its third straight win since the 2013 season of CIF 8-man football began.
The undermanned Saints outgunned their numerous opponents on Sept. 13 and avenged two straight losses to their South Bay rivals from previous years. Sophomore Tex Hagoski opened scoring within minutes of the game start with a daring dash, wiggling free of would-be tackles. With each play, Santa Monica’s Lighthouse Christian Academy showed its intentions of rolling all over Rolling Hills.
Next, senior Joseph “Raising Cain” Kayne powered through to the big 6 points. Next came senior and toughguy quarterback Joel Lahood to sprint into the end zone. In the second half, sophomore Adrian Brizuela, a soccer star cajoled into playing football, intercepted a pass and demonstrated fancy footwork to cross the touchdown line.
Finally, senior Nate Peterson jack-knifed through an onslaught of hulking opponents to get his name on the scoreboard.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Rolling Hills had requested a game with the slumping Saints (slumping for the last two years) because RHP had lost a slew of seniors this year. They had hoped for at least one easy win (against us). Instead, our lopsided victory will be sure to pile up their misery.
But if Rolling Hills had fewer seniors, their entire squad outnumbered ours by almost three to one. In a now-common pattern of brutal injustice, our opponents field both a defensive and offensive squad, which gives their players a needed respite. Meanwhile, our dogged dudes must dig deep down inside to find the energy to equal their adversaries, moving both forward and backward.
When starlet Hagoski limped off the field with a knee injury, Lighthouse threw on its one and only substitute, freshman Will Clancy, who’s never played football before
When his older brother, senior Nick Clancy, took a particularly hard hit, Hagoski removed his ice pack and hobbled back onto to the field to fill the position for one play.
On the surface, it’s pure insanity. But it was a gutsy kind of testosterone display that men love to see on the gridiron. When you analyze the numbers, Lighthouse, with fledgling resources, should NOT be winning. But these kids believe in themselves enough to make every tackle, to make every wild run, to make every handoff.
In a sign of their growing confidence, Lighthouse is making pass completions and surprising opponents with unsuspected plays. That these young men believe in their own leadership and ability is clear. Will the Lighthouse fans, jaded by previous losing seasons, believe in them also?
They played their hearts out — and at the final whistle Lighthouse Christian Academy had executed the most improbable upset in the league, defeating touch-perfect New Roads 3-2 in varsity soccer.
With girls, freshmen, and inexperienced players on the team, LCA Saints are
understandably bottom-dwelling fish. But somehow this season, they believed in themselves, winning four and tying one. Friday’s game was the crown jewel of the season. New Roads left the field in despair.
These kids who played with unaccustomed verve teach us a lesson in life.
No matter how many failures, no matter what the man-to-man analysis, you can prevail with spunk and belief.
When you go to prayer today, when you minister, expect the victory. Whatever your shortcomings, whatever your handicaps, remember God grants triumph. Faith is key. Last year, we lost every single game.
For the full story, read http://www.thelighthousechristianacademy.com/saints-embarrass-in-big-upset/
We lost Tuesday 8-0. We lost today 8-0. We are facing tougher teams; ours is absorbing injuries. Kids have skipped practices, and the results are manifest on the field. When Lighthouse Christian Academy tied our first soccer game, when won our second 9-2, when we won a
couple more, it was exciting, easy to want to play and put in the effort.
Now it is hard. Kids might want to bail out. But now is exactly the moment of character, the foundation of excellence. If we allow ourselves to become “losers” in our minds, then we will. If not, we will win again this season, and we will win next year!
The reality of life is that everyone loses more than wins. What you do when you lose makes you win.
Faith does not drag down with discouragement. It remains buoyant, hopeful, expectant of good. It persists. It constantly looks for the victory just around the corner.
Most are terrified to show their insecurities. They consume a nuclear power plant’s energy just trying to project supreme self confidence.
But because of their fears to be vulnerable, they have deficient relationships everywhere. Having a million “friends,” they don’t have one true friend with whom they can open up. This is especially true for men. This is worse in Los Angeles, where image counts more than substance.
Be secure enough to let your insecurities show — not with everyone, of course, but with a select few people with whom you want to share friendship. Be real.
Don’t try to prove your self confidence all the time. Don’t try to win every argument, always be right, always win, etc. Let somebody else be better. Be secure enough to accept another person’s gift.
That’s why we go to prayer — not out of compulsion or religiosity — but out of wonderment. What unimaginable answer will God produce? The world’s greatest fiction writer couldn’t think up what God does.
Sometimes, you go for a long stretch without seeing an answer. Then out of the blue, God moves dramatically, unexpectedly, unforseen. And then praying is gratifying. He is at work always; we do not perceive always. We win at the end, after the enemy has scored so many points that a lopsided victory seems sure.
I think Los Angeles is the city most like Gen. 1:2 — formless and empty, (with) darkness… over the surface of the deep. Out of Los Angeles, has come corruption-propagating
entertainment to poison the world. They may have built this city on rock and roll, but the prayer warrior rebuilds it on prayer. Not only is there Hollywood here, there is also Azusa Street.
A friend of a friend, a super model and an actress, has cancer and is now praying and reading her Bible. When the mask breaks up, you turn to something of true value. Prayer has brought her to Christ and is bringing her to Christ.
MAR VISTA PARK – The origin of Lighthouse Christian Academy’s hard-fought soccer victory Friday was in the small Central American nation of Guatemala.
At game three in the 2012-13 season, the varsity Saints are 2-0-1.
After both teams stale-mated in the first half, fleet-footed Secaira put Lighthouse ahead early in the second half. Chasing an audacious through-ball from Stopper Tori Scribner, he bolted past Wildwood defense, rounded the goalie, slotted gently into the net — and fell down, the wind knocked out of him by an opponent’s elbow at the start of the 40-yard dash.
But the elation turned to anxiety 13 minutes later as Wildwood struck on a free kick just outside of the area, and the ball was headed into the Saints’ net.
Tied at 1-1, both teams fought an exhausting battle to move forward into striking range. Wildwood was unlucky to see hard-won penetration frustrated as a low shot on the far post bounced out and was cleared.
With four minutes to the final whistle, midfield magician Elijah Symonds – a.k.a. the human catapult – hurled a throw-in into the area. Surrounded by three defenders, Rob headed the ball backwards and into the net.
While the Guatemalans scored the goals, at the other end of the field a Mexican American was ensuring the victory. Ace Goal-Keeper Adrian Brizuela blunted Wildwood attacking weapons with intelligent, hair-raising saves.
The freshman threw himself time after time with nervy kamikaze dives that only the most fearless goalies pull off. While saves at both ends of the field were almost equal (Saints 7, Wildwood 6), the types executed by Adrian were technically more difficult — and gutsy.
Playing co-ed against all boys, the Saints gave a lesson in mental fortitude and doggedness. Refusing to tire, they dug deep to find the inner resources to grab the victory in what was their sternest test to date. With every match, improvement can be seen.
Looming ahead on Tuesday is the biggest challenge yet: the speed demons and master-class passers of Vista Mar. Can Lighthouse with half a team of beginners muster enough grit, concentration and determination to wrangle out a satisfying result?
**** Pictures thanks to Susie and Jennifer Scribner!