Losing Faith in the NFL

On October 9, 1977 running back Herb Lusk took a pitch from quarter back Ron Jaworski, Lusk headed around the left end and ran 70 yards to the end zone for a fourth-quarter touchdown. Four steps over the goal line the Philadelphia Eagles’ running back dropped to his left knee and bowed his head in prayer. A few seconds later, he stood back up and returned to the sideline. What may seem like a common action among today’s players, Herb Lusk was the first NFL player to do something like this and since then it has turned into a staple for many players in the NFL as well as other sports.

12-06-tom-brady-jets_full_600

Whether it be a pitcher pointing skyward after a save, a hitter offering thanks to a higher power after a home run, or a basketball team joining for a prayer at mid-court after a game, giving God thanks after a play is common among professional players.

Faith has been practiced among players and teams long before Lusk kneeled in prayer in Giants stadium.  Many players and teams conducted prayer before and after games, but all of that was out of the public eye.

Fast forward to 2011 — we are seeing more and more players show the public side of their faith, but has the public lost the ability to have faith in the game itself?

It surprised and shocked me when I turned on the news this past summer and heard both the owners of the teams and the players could not agree on the financial terms of the game and therefore they were locked out. As someone who does not make a million dollars a year, I was appalled at the actions I witnessed, and I started to lose faith in the NFL.

I realized I was not the only one, I had people ask me about the activity of God in the lockout. What do you think God would say about the lockout? someone asked me.  I paused and really thought about the question.

To read more about this post and my reaction to the question check it out on Soul Munchies Blog

Changing Views

Recently I was able to spend a week at my favorite place on Earth, Camp Calumet.

My time there was at the end of our family vacation and I was able to relax and enjoy the experience completely.

I realized a few things while I was on the trip.  First , I need to take a vacation more often.  For the first time in my pastoral ministry I was able to take a real vacation.  I was away from the church long enough to clear my head and focus on my family and friends.

Second, I love my friends.  I have been blessed with so many great friends and they are there to love and nurture me both personally and professionally.  During my time away I was able to talk about all the things that I have been thinking about for awhile and I was able to get advice and comfort.

Third,  I realized how Camp Calumet has changed for me over the years……

When I was eight…

Calumet was about meeting new friends, it was about camp-wide games, it was about “the dance”, it was about staying up late and sleeping in my sleeping bag.

When I was sixteen….

Calumet was about spending my summers at camp, it was about meeting up with my friends every summer, it was about the Boys Junior end, it was about pranks, it was about girls, it was about the campers, it was about days off, it was about mandatory fun, it was about arts and crafts.

When I was twenty-two……

Calumet was about PUDDLE, it was about double days off, it was about friends, it was about girls, it was about the campers, it was about being on the year round staff, it was about Calumet in the Winter, it was about Campfires on the beach, it was about the quietness of camp,  it was about the guests, it was about hanging out with my friends all weekend, it was about the Whitter House, it was about Rosies.

When I was twenty-eight……

Calumet was about the value of all I have experienced, it was about memories and good times, it was about the friendships I developed, it was about the occasional visits with my family, it was about Rosies, it was about visiting North Conway, it was about introducing Calumet to anyone and everyone.

Now that I am thirty-three…..

Calumet is about occasionally being the Chaplain, it is about Indian Food, it is about Summer Finale Week, it is about my kids having fun, it is about Rosies, it is about the Staff House, it is about Lake Ossipee, it is about spending time with my best friends, it is about deeply connecting with a God who is always with me but most present when I am connecting all aspects of Calumet for me.

I have enjoyed all aspects of Calumet for me and I know that as I continue in my Relationship with this wonderful place its meaning will continue to evolve.

God’s Weeds

 

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7

Yes, dandelions are weeds, it is true. People spend so much of their time during dandelion season trying to get rid of these pesky little things. But if you stop and think about it, God made these two. And He loves them for one reason or another.

When you were a kid you had no idea that those yellow flowers were weeds. If you were anything like me, you picked bunches and bunches of them for your mother and told her it was a bouquet of flowers. And then for the next 24 hours she was forced to put them in a glass of cool water and set them at the middle of the dinner table while they quickly drooped over the side of the glass. And then bright and early the next morning, you go out and pick a bunch more and the day starts all over again!

I don’t know how old I was when I learned that dandelions were weeds; but I remember knowing at that time that weeds were considered to be a bad plant. Yet no matter how I tried to manipulate my mind, I couldn’t help but love dandelions. The beautiful sunny yellow in contrast with the bright green of the grass is one of the most beautiful things I can think of! But not nearly as beautiful as when all those dandelions turn from yellow, to a whispery thin white.

I truly believe these weeds are God’s gift to people. Have you ever walked past a white dandelion without thinking of all those wishes you made as a child? Have you ever felt like making one now? These wishing weeds are here on this earth to remind us of our blind trust in whatever invisible force we would wish to as children. When we were little we put our trust in something we thought was a flower! We would make a wish for things such as a pony for Christmas or a night at the amusement park with ice cream to follow!

As much as we put our trust in a flower, imagine what can happen when we put our trust in God!  He is the only one that can make our wishes come true. God is all around us, even in those weeds that no one wants littering their perfect lawn. So don’t think of those weeds as pesky, think of them as a chance to wish for something from God. God wants us to be happy, He wants us to trust Him, and He wants us to ask things of Him.

Keep God in your heart, always. Bring His love and joy wherever you go and use it your everyday life. Do this, and your wishes will be given to you. God takes care of those who serve Him and live their lives for Him. So go do it! The next time you find one of these wishing weeds, pick it up, make a wish or send a little prayer to God, and blow those seeds off. By spreading these seeds you are spreading God’s love.

 

6 Ways to Experience a God Moment

Sometimes it is hard to know when we actually experience a God moment in our life.  Not only that, but most of the time we are too busy with the day-to-day tasks of living that we don’t fully prepare ourselves to fully immerse ourselves in the greatness of God.

Here are six things that we can do everyday to prepare ourselves for the God Moments which surround us everyday.

Continue Reading »