Margaret Koontz is in her sixth year as a full-time faculty member in the College of Theology. Originally from Bakersfield, CA, she earned her MDiv at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, CA. She has served in children’s, youth and cross-cultural ministries as well as pastoring small churches in California, New York and New Mexico. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Hal, for 43 years, and has four grandchildren.
When you grow up in Bakersfield, CA, you get used to cringing when the networks present a national news story from California’s Central Valley.
Drive-by shootings? Check.
Teen pregnancy? Check.
Seventy-two car/truck pile-ups in the fog? Check.
Issues with migrant workers? Check.
The occasional earthquake taking out a town? Check.
The economy taking out a town? Check.
Water wells going dry? Check.
Oil fields, oil field workers, refinery fires. My high school mascot? We were the Drillers and my class ring proudly sports an oil derrick.
When you are a Christian, you get used to cringing when the networks present a national news story about the failures of the church. A positive representation of Christian faith is unheard of. We are used to it.
And yet, from time to time, a light shines through and the clear, simple truth of what we believe is shared openly, honestly and without interruption. Such a moment happened a few weeks ago during the Today Show when Kathy Lee Gifford, who cohosts, returned following the sudden death of her husband, Frank Gifford.
Frank Gifford was a Driller. He graduated from Bakersfield High School before going on to play football at the University of Southern California and then professionally. He was one of the most well-known sports broadcaster in the nation.
And he was a Christian.
Of all the things Kathy Lee could have shared about her husband on national TV, she chose to share what being a Christian means. It could have come right out of Grand Canyon University’s Doctrinal Statement or our Christian worldview. It took her less than two minutes.
Listen to it. Maybe it is time to stop cringing. We have those two-minute opportunities every day. You never know how God will use them. Listen below.
Learn more about GCU’s beliefs and our College of Theology by visiting our website.