Category Archives: Faith

Growing Pains

It is called growing pains for a reason. As you grow as a child some have physical pain from growing so quickly. As you grow mentally and spiritually into an adult there are other growing pains to experience. The death of loved ones is a long lasting pain. The loss of a loved one in a romantic situation is another kind of pain. The experience of leaving home after high school may be painful.

Football practice is also a place to experience growing pains. Football practice at times is just plain uncomfortable. Weightlifting is of course a painful thing the day after, a heavy workout.

The idea of putting ourselves into painful situations in order to grow as a person is almost a lost concept today. We are all about the next pleasure and what’s in it for me and because of it; we are becoming a weak nation.

Who in our nation today experiences difficulty? The immigrant, the poor, the disadvantaged, those who join the military, small acreage farmers and ranchers and dare I say, those high school kids who go out for football. These are people that have been raised or exposed to harsh conditions and taught that life is tough, sometimes not fair and the strong survive.

As a Christian are you still growing? Do you ever feel uncomfortable? Do you ever feel the pain of growing? Do you go to church once a week in your comfortable environment and feel you have done your weekly duty after an hour? Where as a Christian should you feel the growing pain?

During repentance or confession, when you truly humble yourself and ask to be forgiven, you should feel weakness that turns into strength. That weakness to strength thing is a growing pain.

Daily prayer is painful at times, because you should do it in the quiet times of life. That will be before everyone gets up or after everyone goes to bed in your house. It is painful to miss out on sleep.

Bible reading of course is on our list. Many people have told me how difficult the Bible is to read. To big a book, to long a book, to boring, don’t have time to read, don’t like to read and all those excuses sound so painful, like growing pains that you don’t want any part of.

Do you ever fast from food? Spiritual fasting involves turning away from evil and turning back to God, but the lack of food can be difficult on the body. John Wesley was very famous for fasting. His main fast was from sundown on Thursday night until Friday at 3:00 p.m. Try that just one day next week. My guess is you will feel some pain on Friday.

I challenge you to continue to grow this next week and may it be painful.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the Name of Love

Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed up on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

John 15:18 If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

 

The Goal

The main goal of the game of football is to score touchdowns and win the game. Over the past 100 years, how we arrive at the end zone has changed many times. Different schemes, plays, ideas and the game changes every year, but the main goal is to score touchdowns.

The main goal of life is holiness on this earth, now while we live our lives. What is holiness? Some think to be holy you have to be the preacher or the priest. Some think we must give up all the fun things we do.

Holiness is surrendering to the will of God. Therefore, it is knowing right from wrong and saying yes to God in all areas of our lives. When you see holiness in someone else you recognize it and you want to be around them.

For me in my life, two of the men who inspired me to be a Christian, were a couple of my high school football coaches. They both were very straight forward tough men, but they also helped lead our Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization. You would also find them in church every Sunday morning. They led us by the example of how they lived their lives.

I have also been fortunate to be around other holy men, over the course of my life, a Methodist preacher, two Catholic priests and an Episcopal priest, that have encouraged me to seek and serve God.

Let us remember that holiness is something God does to us while we are doing the will of God. Just like the game of football that continues to change, so our lives also change. We grow and we think differently, but holiness is still the goal.

2 Timothy 1:9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

 

Which Team?

Several years ago, I left the press box to go down onto the field, before pregame time, to talk to a college friend, who was an assistant coach on our opponent’s team. After we had talked for a few minutes I asked him what he thought about the game we were about to play? He said, “You guys are going to kick our butts.” There were two other coaches standing there listening to our conversation, from the opponents team, and they took exception to what their fellow coach had said and they said so with anger in their voices. My friend answered them back, “You guys are too young and blind to see that our kids don’t want to be in this game and are not mentally prepared to play in this game.” My team won the game about 40-0.

I can’t count, how many times over the years, I have heard a coach or another sportscaster, newspaper writer, fan say, when asked a question about their team, they will answer with the following, “Depends on which team shows up tonight.”

A football team takes on their own personality. Sometimes they are focused and ready to play. Other times they may not be ready to play. The kids may have their minds on other things. Sometimes half the team is ready and half aren’t ready to play that night. The football team that is not one at heart, but has a split personality will struggle in the game.

In our own personal lives, are we living our lives with divided personalities? My guess is most of us, do that. We have the life we live at school and that personality. Then at home around our mothers, father and grandparents, we live and talk differently. When we are at church, we act differently, than at our work or at our play.

Speaking of our football teams, if we can get all the players on the same page, with an attitude of one focus and that is the game for the next couple of hours, we usually have got something special to behold.

In your own lives, if we did not compartmentalize our life and instead focused our entire life around one specific goal or set of beliefs, what kind of life do you think you would be living?

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord; that I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name.

Sabetha Triumph and Tragedy

Saturday Sabetha defeated Marysville in the state championship football game. That evening the Bluejays were dealing with the death of 3 members of one family of two of their teammates.

Topeka Capital Journal story is here.

Another story with picture of mom with her two sons here.

Sabetha Funeral Home Popkess Mortuaries

As the football community of Kansas, we should respond with cards and letters to those boys.

Sabetha Pre-Practice Prayer

Beautiful picture of the Sabetha High school football team
praying before practice (as they do before every practice) with a
gorgeous sunset behind them. Most teams (though not all) pray after
games at the 50, but these guys have taken it upon themselves to pray
before every practice.

 

 

What is said in the SC Football Team Huddle?

Have you ever wondered what is said in the Scott City or Smith Center football offensive or defensive team huddles? To find out what is said in any teams offensive or defensive team huddle you must join the team.

Even if you could hear what is said in those team huddles, you most likely would not understand what was being said. Oh you would understand the language, but not understand the actual play calling. Every team has their own specific football language and numbering system. Sure some of all of that is generic, but the specifics to each team do apply.

When the football coach is talking X’s and O’s and play calling you have to join the team, go to practice and study to understand what he is talking about.

You have to join Jesus’ team to understand him also.

John 8:43-47 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

God is constantly recruiting the hallways of life. He wants you to understand, when he is talking. Join the team and get yourself in a team huddle today.

Football is a Team Sport

I was standing with one of our opponents assistant football coaches visiting, just as the players were taking the field for the first time to warm up during pregame. One of the football players came over to us and said, “Coach, one of my shoulder pad straps has come undone, can you help me?” The assistant coach and myself pulled up the front of the players jersey and restrapped his shoulder pad strap to the proper place.

After the player ran off to warm up, I remembered back to the night our coaches brought out the game day pants and jerseys. The very first time I would dress out in varsity game day clothing. It was essentially a practice session putting on our game day gear. As a sophomore, I was terribly excited to be putting on that jersey that I had wanted to wear for years. In my minds eye I could see the guys from the past years who had worn my given jersey number.

The pants were incredibly tight to get over my legs and hip pads. Once I put my should pads on there was no way I could get the jersey over my pads. I had to ask for help. Everyone else needed help putting the jerseys on also. We asked coach, “Why the clothes were so small and tight on us?” He said, “I want them tight on you, so nobody can grab your jersey and easily pull you down.”

Football is the greatest team sport because you have to have help to even dress out in game day gear and if your shoulder pad straps come undone you may need help to put them back together.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.