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What It Was Was Football Life

Through the Looking Glass“It’s football time in Tennessee!!!”

Ok… it’s a little late, and I’m actually an Alabama Crimson Tide fan (Roll Tide!), but if you live in Tennessee like I do, you are used to hearing those words in the fall of every year. Not just a declaration – it is a warcry. It is a call to Saturday football, friends gathered around television screens, popcorn and potato chips flying everywhere when your team scores, an occasional pilgrimage (for some) to Neyland Stadium, and lots and LOTS of orange.

Regardless of your persuasion of team choice (or what color you think you look good in), there is nothing quite like a good football game. When it is neck-and-neck, back and forth battling on the gridiron, the energy is contagious – the excitement nearly impossible to contain!

It reminds me of some quotes by icons of the game:

Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. ~ Vince Lombardi

I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game. ~ Tom Landry

Never be too proud to get down on your knees and pray. ~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

Three different coaches. Three different quotes. One important message, not just for football, but for life…

Be prepared.

Just like a football team has to practice, condition, and prepare in order to have any chance of winning once it walks out onto the field, we have to prepare for the challenges and trials of life through education, dedication, hard work, and…

Prayer.

In the Bible, Paul stresses, over and over again the value of preparation…

“Run with perseverance”… “Endure hardship”… Hebrews 12

“Everyone who competes goes into strict training”… I Corinthians 9

“Put on the full armor of God”… Ephesians 6

In order for us to win in the “game of life”, we must prepare. As Christians, we do that through worship, prayer, studying the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers (just to name a few).

Years ago, the late Andy Griffith had a comedy routine called What It Was Was Football, in which he described the game of football from the vantage point of a “good ole country boy” who had never seen the game before, and didn’t understand the rules.

As we go through life, are our lives shining and crystal-clear examples of the love of Jesus, or something that is foreign to those that are observing our lives at arms-length? Do we point people to the love of Christ, or confuse them with an unconvincing and unattractive “performance” devoid of passion, love, or commitment?

Take the time today to assess your “game plan”. If you see that it needs work, a good place to begin is on your knees.

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Healing Living It Out In Real Time The Life of Faith

A Traveler’s Journal: Finishing the Race

In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this”.

wpid-IMG_20130319_211953.jpgPaul compared the Christian life to a race, encouraging us to run the race with consistency, determination, and commitment (see Hebrews 12). A long-distance race is not won by the short distance sprinter… it is won by the one who paces himself, and runs the race with endurance and skill, having conditioned himself for the task.

AHCCHaving just returned from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and seeing the need that exists there, it brings that analogy of “the race” closer to home. While people who do the “big thing” do a lot to advance the work of the Kingdom of God, the Bible says that we should not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). The fact is that most people do not have the wherewithal to pay for an orphanage, or supply drinking water to an entire village; however, we can all do the small, consistent thing – the small gifts that, when joined together, make the huge difference that can change the world.

What makes up a $100 bill? 10,000 individual pennies.

Landfill

How do you change the world? One single, solitary heart at a time.

In our current economy, it is easy to lose hope when it comes to giving. It is easy to lose sight of the small, consistent thing we can all do in the shadow of the desire to do the big thing. We all have the desire to do something, but it is easy to succumb to a spirit of condemnation and defeat when we either cannot do all we think we should, or in some way fail to do what we have committed to. Sometimes, throwing up the white flag of surrender seems easier than trying to win the race.

However, maybe Paul knew something that we all forget too easily. Maybe Paul knew that it is not always about winning as much as it is about finishing. Just maybe, Paul knew that, in the Christian life, the winning is in the finishing.

AHCC2Here at Ron Phillips Ministries and Abba’s House, we are reaching the world in a variety of ways. Not only do we have our international television program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, and our associated print and media ministry, but we are also involved in a variety of mission projects, not just here in the United States, but around the world. Jerusalem, Guatemala, South Dakota, the Dominican Republic – just a few places in the world we are reaching through the generosity of faithful partners and friends who make what we do possible.

If you have given to Ron Phillips Ministries in the past, words cannot express our gratefulness to you, or the impact you have made on the lives of so many people.

If you have not given, but would like to be a part of something bigger than yourself, it only takes one thing… a willingness to start. When you give to Ron Phillips Ministries, you can be confident that your gift is going to share the Gospel of Jesus, whether through television, internet, or boots-on-the-ground mission work around the world.

Will you help us? Will you use this opportunity to make a fresh start in giving to the work of God around the world?

Crusade

Please help us change the world… one heart at a time.

If you would like to talk to someone about how you can be a part, call 1-800-877-6493.

You can also contact us online at www.ronphillips.org, or click here to give securely online.

If you would like more information on how you can partner with Ron Phillips Ministries, click here.

Categories
Friendship Living It Out In Real Time The Life of Faith

Run to Win (A Bear Story)

I am reminded of a story I once heard…

Two friends were hiking through the woods when they happened upon a bear. Hoping they had not been noticed, there hopes were quickly dashed when the bear, still a ways off, began to charge them. Panic seized them, and one began to run as fast as he could away from the rampaging bear. The other, who was several yards behind his friend, quickly sat down, ripped off his hiking boots, and began strapping on his sneakers, which were in his backpack.

As the first friend passed the second, he screamed, “What in the world are you doing? You can’t outrun that bear!”

“No,” came the reply. “But I can outrun YOU!!!”

In Hebrews 12, Paul implores us to “run with endurance the race set before us”.

In 1 Corinthians 9, he tells us to “run in such a way as to obtain [the prize]”.

Sometimes we feel like we’re running to something, and sometimes if feels like we are running from something. However the race looks to you, God wants you to run it to receive the prize. As the saying goes, “Be in it to win it!” He who called you will also equip you (Phil. 1:6). Whatever race He has called you to run, He has made a way for you to come out on top. Just trust in His goodness and His strength, and run to win.

You can do it! That’s a promise from Him (Phil. 4:13).