No need for a Hail Mary

img_0098Last week’s Tennessee/Georgia football game was one for the ages.

A capacity crowd of 92,746 witnessed it live from Stanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.  Another 4.2 million college football fans watched it on television.

The storyline went something like this…

Georgia scored a go-ahead touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to lead 31-28.

Thousands of Tennessee fans turned off their television sets, computers and radios and missed what happened next.

The ensuing kickoff got the Vols just inside Georgia territory.  Tennessee quarterback  Josh Dobbs had time to run one play…a Hail Mary pass into the Georgia end zone as time expired.  (see the play here)  Tennessee wins 34-31.

Statisticians later gave the Vols less than a 1% chance to complete the pass and win the game.  Think about that…a 99% chance for failure.  Victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:37-39

We are faced with challenges everyday.  Worry and fear can overtake us and leave us feeling helpless. But the sacrifice of Jesus gives us victory over all obstacles that this life can present.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  I John 4:16

There’s no need for a Hail Mary when it comes to life on this earth.  We have all we need for victory.

Please pray for me to worry less- and to trust in Jesus more.

And let me know how to pray for  you.

God bless.

 

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Inconsistency

arrowwood 2016It’s still hot as blazes outside, but football is in the air.  The boys are practicing with their team.  Our daughter is working with the pep club on Friday nights to foster school spirit at the high school games.

It’s our favorite time of the year.

I recently caught an NFL preview on ESPN.  One of the commentators was discussing Cam Newton, the uber-talented quarterback of the Carolina Panthers.  Cam can beat you with his arm.  He can beat you with his legs.  He can beat you with his mind.  He’s a prototype quarterback.

Almost.

They went on to say that the only thing that’s disappointing about Newton is his inconsistency.  You never know which Cam will show up…good Cam (who is very good) or bad Cam (which makes big mistakes).

Those comments hit me in the heart.

What about my own consistency?

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.  I Corinthians 15:58

What would Jesus say about my everyday effort?  Do I work hard to further develop spiritual gifts?

I’m afraid that the commentator could say the same about me.  I need to be more consistent in my own daily walk with Christ.

What should my goal be?

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27

Like Newton, I need to hit the field with purpose.  Reading the Bible.  Meditating on the words.  Praying for guidance.  Putting it to practice.

Please pray for me to be more consistent with my faith…and let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

 

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21 years and still learning

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Hollianne and I are celebrating 21 years of marriage today. 

Things were much simpler back in that summer of 1995.  We had a one bedroom apartment, a used green Ford Mustang and a 19 inch television.  I was working my first job out of grad school at a private college in Marietta, Ohio.  Hollianne was student teaching at Washington Elementary school.  We could both walk to work.

I also remember us having lots of free time.  While we were both busy at work, the evenings were ours.  We would walk downtown for dinner and sit by the river for hours on end.  We drove through the Amish countryside on weekends in search of antiques we couldn’t afford.  And on weekends that Fall- we made the six hour drive from Marietta to Knoxville to cheer on our beloved Volunteers.

We had time.  We spent it with each other.  It was an early investment in our marriage.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  Genesis 2:24

Life’s much more complicated now.  We’d added three active children.  Our jobs take us away from each other during the week, and the sports schedules of the kids cause us to split up each weekend.

We wouldn’t have it any other way…our family’s activities make for great memories.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.  Proverbs 18:22

While life events can complicate our marriages, it can also mature these relationships. If we’re lucky, we’ll notice when our relationships need adjustment or renewed focus. 

I love Hollianne even more today than I did way back in 1995. I’ve witnessed her give birth and raise our three children. I’ve watched her take care of parents and relatives during time of distress and need. I’ve seen her care for friends when crisis rocked their lives. 

And I’ve experienced her incredible grace over and over again. 

She’s my partner. My soulmate. My example. And my friend. 

Pray for me to be the husband that Hollianne needs. She deserves it. 

And let me know how to pray for you. 

God bless you. 

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What it takes to be an All-American

It’s been an enjoyable time of year for college football fans, especially for those who are watching their teams compete for bowl wins- or better yet- a championship.

It’s a time to reflect on players who are chosen to be All-Americans. These athletes are recognized for their ability to run, throw, catch or block.  It’s the ultimate honor for players who have set themselves apart on the playing field.  It doesn’t come easy…but their skills are honed by hours and hours of practice and repetition.

This begs a question.

Am I willing to be an All-American in my walk with Christ?

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:23-24

We all have the potential to be great examples, but it takes work.  Discipline. Commitment.

I struggle with this daily.  Am I fulfilling my role as a Christian?  Am I the husband, father, son, friend and servant that Jesus calls me to be?  The answer is often “no.”  I’m not preparing myself for greatness.

I need to remember that someone is watching me at all times.  My wife.  My children.  My parents.  My co-workers.

I need to continually ask if myself if my actions are consistent with a Christ-centered life.  Most importantly,  I need to be honest with that answer and have the courage to make the changes and sacrifices that are necessary.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

My prayer this week is to have the discipline to act “as one approved.”

Let me know how I may pray for you.  God bless.

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