Things I Think..

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15 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    Yes, this commentary was very well written and heart provoking making one examine our own lives.

    Every time a star dies I immediately think of the verse , It’s appointed once to die and then the Judgment..

    It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of The Living God…

    Life is very serious , and death is even more serious …

    Not one thought or deed will go without examination the Bible tells us…

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Tim…

  3. Ray says:

    “I personally felt very conflicting emotions about Bryant, but I chose to let the love on his daughters face when she looked at him be my guide. In complex situations where there are ambivalent feelings, it is best to err on the side of grace and kindness, especially when the grief is new and raw…”

    Wow…very well said Michael

  4. filbertz says:

    The RC piece gives me some measure of comfort–for our hope is in the sacrifice of Christ and the grace of God, not in our ability to follow Him well.

    I was shocked and saddened similar to the degree I felt for the sudden loss of Robin Williams. Compounding this tragedy was the loss of others–daughters, parents, pilot. I think we often respond to celebrity deaths in measure of our time spent watching, listening, and enjoying their craft. Art is a powerful human expression that draws others in to a shared experience. I spent countless hours watching Kobe play basketball, one of my own sports, as I did watching Robin Williams act or perform. They become part of our fabric. Neil Peart–same thing, and those who listened to his music, lyrics, and sat in wonder at his drumming–of course we mourn that loss. Christians who wish to chastise those who mourn a celebrity’s passing need to gain a broader perspective and also end their opportunistic practice of using a tragedy to issue cautionary warnings. They are like glorified ambulance chasers.

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you, Ray.

  6. Michael says:


    Well said.
    We have little opportunity for shared experiences of this magnitude these days and it’s important to note them when we do,
    “Ambulance chasers” indeed…

  7. Samer Khoury says:

    Been awhile but loved what you wrote. Technically you can’t err with grace! I know what you mean but …

    Interesting reaction from his “adversaries”. Seemed like Kobe really built some bridges the last few years of playing.

  8. Michael says:

    Thank you, Samer…good to see you!

  9. For me, Kobe Bryant was the Larry Norman of basketball. Both famous, both gifted, both flawed. People of great talent who had huge lapses in character. Because they took the stage (or the court) their lives were put on display for us to either cheer, critique or complain. Thank God for my small life.

  10. Michael says:


    There are some similarities there in public perception…

  11. Kevin H says:

    Kobe has always caused conflicted feelings in me. I was proud that he was a native Philadelphia and as a basketball fan always admired his talent and tenacious drive to become great. But of course there was the rape/sexual assault case and other things of his personality and behavior that rubbed me the wrong way. Such as when his tenacious to become great caused him to cross lines like during the 2001 NBA finals when a Philadelphia fan told him to remember where he came from and Kobe responded by saying he was going to rip our hearts out. It’s one thing to have a drive to win, it’s another thing to act and think crudely and menacingly towards one opponent. Plus, Kobe played for the hated Lakers (not quite as bad as playing for the Cowboys, but almost 🙂 ).

    And so it is the same in his tragic death – a rush of sudden and conflicted feelings remembering who he was. It is a shame though that some take this opportunity to only bash the man and condemn him to hell or to conversely deify him as some hallowed man who was virtually beyond reproach.

    I do hope he was ready to meet his Maker and learning that he practiced faith helps to gird those hopes. I feel worst of all thinking of the death of his daughter and of his wife and children left behind. May God have mercy.

  12. Em says:

    “Kobe’s story was a redemption story.. so tell it all.” Worth repeating. ?

  13. Thanks Kevin,

    You captured a lot of my feelings as well. I was a lifelong Lakers fan, but Kobe’s actions in Colorado were too egregious for me to ignore. I never want to be a person who is so enamored with a celebrity that I look past utterly grotesque behavior…especially when it puts another human being in harm’s way. The truth is many of the actors or musicians or athletes we idolize live less-than-stellar lives, and if we knew what some of them were up to, we’d gag. It’s also a reminder to me of the necessity of the Gospel, and that the Gospel begins with me.

    About 10 years ago I took my Down Syndrome son (about 14 at the time) to a Lakers-Jazz game it Salt Lake City. We had really good seats thanks to a guy in our church in the radio business. I had taken him to 3 Jazz games prior to this, the Jazz winning each contest in the last minute or so. So, somehow, Aaron got it in his mind that the Jazz win all their games when he shows up. As the game rolled on, the Jazz were always a couple points behind. But in the 4th quarter, the Lakers extended the lead thanks (no thanks?) to a series of Kobe daggers. At one point, Aaron looked at the scoreboard, then looked at the clock, then looked at me with a confused look on his face. His brain was telling him that the Jazz wouldn’t be able to rally. Which clashed with his mythological thinking that the Jazz pull every game out in the end. Sure enough, the Lakers got the W, and my hour-long drive home was with a young man in a bad mood! Eventually, I taught him about how winning and losing really works. and he is able to handle a loss now and then. 🙂

  14. I also pray that the young woman that Kobe wrongly abused has found recovery and restoration. I pray that someone shared the Gospel with her and that she is not crushed by what happened to her, but that she discovered grace and healing from Jesus.

  15. Pastor J says:

    What a great and needed statement:
    “it is best to err on the side of grace and kindness, especially when the grief is new and raw…”

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