Sunday, June 11, 2017


The World Series of Poker normally starts a couple of weeks after Mother's Day in the U.S. But this year, one man played with his mom on his mind.

John Racener won the "Dealer's Choice Championship" early this morning, while wearing a "Unibomber" style black hoodie. After he won, he took off the hoodie and showed a "FOR MOM" t-shirt. Racener's mother died from cancer four years ago, and broke the news of her diagnosis to him only after he played in the Main Event final table in 2010.

We can't fault Racener for this tribute at all. He's doing what a classic guidebook recommends....

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. - Exodus 20:12

Honor for parents should begin in our youth:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. - Ephesians 6:1

Of course, we realize some parents do things which are less than honorable. But when their commands fall within the rules of God's instruction, children should follow them:

My son, keep your father's commands and do not forsake your mother's teaching. - Proverbs 6:20

Racener also seems to realize the "honor" for parents can go far beyond this life. We personally wondered for years how to honor a mother who died when we were a young adult. We've tried to do it through respectful words about her - and in recent years by annual graveside trips, as we've lived closer to her grave.

But we respectfully disagree with Racener's comment that his mother is now his "biggest fan.... from up above." That's a view of the afterlife which the Bible does not teach....

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man. - John 3:13

Jesus said these words. As the Son of God, we think He would know about such things.

But we congratulate Racener not only on his success at the table, but the statement he made in victory. May he enjoy the winnings, the WSOP bracelet - and the hope that he and his parents will be together someday in a resurrection.

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