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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iowa Coach Changed Lives

A year ago, I wrote about a small town near our Iowa home that had just been hit by a devastating tornado. (That last link is a video story about how my friend's home vanished while she hid in the basement crawlspace.)

Yesterday, that same town was hit by a far more devastating disaster. If you havent' heard about it. Here is the story.

Aplington-Parkersburg was a school district that, before the two small-town schools merged, was in an athletic conference of small farm-community schools in which our school participated. Our middle school math teacher and volleyball coach lived in this town. (It was she who lost her house last year.) This school's football coach, Ed Thomas, was a legend. He played a major role in rebuilding the town's morale as they were literally rebuilding their school after the tornado. They named the new stadium after him.

This little community and Coach Thomas's football team has produced four NFL players in recent years. One of them, had this to say about the tragic murder of his former coach yesterday.

"Coach Thomas was very special to me and many other young men from the Aplington-Parkersburg communities. His legacy for many will be identified with his tremendous success as a football coach. However, I believe his largest legacy comes not in how many football games he won or lost but in the fact that he was a committed follower of Jesus Christ. He lived his life trying to exemplify this faith and convey those values to those under his influence. His faith in Christ pervaded everything that he did and that is why in the midst of the heartache we all feel there is comfort in knowing he is with his Savior."
Aaron Kampman, linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

My friends in Iowa tell me the entire state is grieving the loss of this fine man. Pray for this community as they pull together once again in the face of unimaginable loss.


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