lightenload

Come with me on a spiritual Journey!

Can You Top This?

Many years ago I bought the Guinness Book of World Records.   As you probably know it is a book that lists many different categories and the records in each one and the person who made them.  I remember talking to a friend as we thumbed through the book trying to figure out a record we could top and have our names in there.  The most amazing thing about the books contents were the extremes that people would attempt just to get into it.  The records were so out there that they were not worth our time and effort.  How could having my name in that book change my life in a positive way?  The commitment, time, and ability to set one of those records would almost assuredly wreck someone’s life.  Yet there is that desire we have to beat someone’s record.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/6764_Guinness.JPG

We start at a young age with the sports we play.  Until kind of recently the games were always scored and of course winning felt a lot better than losing.  I remember my first year in little league we were losing the game and in the last inning one of the kids on my team struck out.  He started crying and the coach was left to console him and tell him it was alright.  It was one of those moments when the coach was also a counselor, a friend, and a brother all rolled into one.

We learn in life that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose but we must keep trying.  We also learn to compete.  Competition is a good thing because it brings out the best in us.  As long as we are willing to take our wins modestly and our losses with respect for the person or team that beats us we have no problem.  Sometimes though the competition and desire to win takes too big of a part in our lives.  That competition can occur even over things that don’t matter.batter swinging

There used to be a show that came on when I was a kid.  It was on channel 50 out of Detroit.  In those days cable TV was just 5 or 6 extra channels, not the variety we get today.  Getting Detroit from my home in Portage was a special thing.  Anyway the show was called “Can You Top This?”  It had comedians come on and tell a joke to a live audience.  They would compete with each other with the gauge being what they called a laugh meter.  The highest score they could get was 100 and after the joke was over the meter was shown on our TV as an arrow and digital numbers going to it’s highest point according to the sound of the audience.  To show you how ridiculous the show was I remember one of the jokes that got 100 points.  It was a joke about a kid that was crying and his father was with him.  “What’s the matter”, his father asked.  The kid blurted between tears that all of the other kids called him fat.  The father comforted the kid telling him he wasn’t fat, he was pleasantly plump.  Now put on your hat and I’ll roll you home.

Image result for can you top this game show

Amazingly that joke took the high score for the night.  More amazing is that of all of the jokes they told on that show it was the only one I remember.  As silly as that is there are many people that are playing the can you top this game today.  We used to see it in the old neighborhood saying “Keeping up with the Jones’s.  If Jones got a new mower maybe we would get a better one.  If Jones got a new car maybe we got a newer one.  These kind of competitions were silly and many times had nothing to do with needs.

There is another type of competition that many of us get involved with.  It is the competition to always have the best story or the most exciting experience.  If you tell someone a story they instantly come up with something that tops yours.  It is like they are hardly listening to you as they are thinking about their experience that was truly a bigger thrill or a scarier tale, or a funnier experience.  We should stop that because it makes the other persons experience feel not very important and they may not tell us but it makes them angry.  Everybody wants to feel important and it is important as Christians to make others feel important.  We should listen to their story and laugh, be amazed, or whatever the story calls for.  In other words we don’t always have to win.  Let them win the story game and let them feel  important.  By desiring to listen without competing we silently say that we care and value their experiences!

 

Advertisements

A Helping Hand

His comedy club opened in 1969.  Rodney and a friend opened it in New York City.  It was a club where Rodney could do his act without having to travel all over.  Travel had been his life but it can be a lonely existence.  He was born Jacob Rodney Cohen and kept that name until he was 19.  His father had abandoned the family and Rodney only saw him a couple of times a year.  At the age of 19 Rodney changed his name to Jack Roy.  He had been writing jokes for stand up comedians since the age of 15 and longed to be on stage himself.  He did get jobs in the field but only at local clubs.  He never caught a break and his income as a local comedian was not paying the bills.  In fact he was deeply in debt.  With a growing family (a wife and two kids) Rodney quit the business and became a aluminium siding salesman in the 1950’s.  Later he would make the joke that when he quit show business he was the only one who knew he quit.  He was not happy even though he made enough to support his family.   He never let his dream die.  Rodney decided to give stand up comedy another try.  Now it was the early 1960’s and even though he had quit the business years ago he had not quit writing jokes.  He decided that he needed a character, an image, something people would remember.

Image result for rodney dangerfield

A name change was in order but what?  A night club owner suggested the name “Rodney Dangerfield.”  It was a name used by Jack Benny on his radio show in talking about an old cowboy.  The name would surely get attention and it was adopted.  With a new name he began working on his image.  What could people relate to?  He came up with “nothing ever goes right for me.”  With a subject to work with Rodney developed his routine in a new way.  He also had the mannerisms he used that were as funny as his jokes.  He actually had a funny look.  He made his eyes look even bigger than they were and he had the ability to fire one joke after another.  His memory was sharp and he always remembered where he was going.  All he needed was a big break and he got it in an unexpected way.

Ed Sullivan had a weekly TV show that had all kinds of acts.  As a last minute replacement Ed chose Rodney to do his act.  Rodney was the surprise hit of the show and that opened up doors Rodney never entered before.  There was demand for his act and he came up with his new line.  Instead of “Nothing ever goes right for me” he replaced it with “I get no respect.”  As his popularity increased so did his travel.  Doors opened but they were doors away from home.  Rodney enjoyed his popularity and his comedy club enjoyed great success through the years.  He realized that if Sullivan had not given him a helping hand all of his success may not have happened.

Many have been very talented and have taken their talents to Hollywood only to never get discovered.  We’ve heard stories of unlikely beginnings when the person who would later become a star was in the right place at the right time.  Mel Gibson tells the story of how he got started.  He had been in a fight the night before and had bruises and cuts on his face.  His friend needed a ride to an audition and being the good friend that he was Mel gave him a ride.  Gibson caught the eye of the director and he thought that he would be a good fit for a villainous character in his movie Mad Max.  Weeks later when Gibson reported bruise and cut free the director saw the young handsome Aussie and decided to give him the lead role.  Image result for mel gibson young

Image result for chris pratt

Chris Pratt had an unusual journey to fame.  When he was 19 years old he lived  out of a van in Maui, Hawaii, and waited tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  Actress Rae Dawn Chong happened to come to the restaurant to eat. She cast Pratt in a horror comedy she was directing.  That movie was never released but it opened the door for Pratt to land a role in the drama “Everwood.” In the future Chris would reach leading man status.  What a fortunate turn his life took that day at the restaurant because of a chance meeting!

Carol Burnett received $50 from an anonymous donor in an envelope.  It was for the first year of tuition at UCLA.  Carol was poor and lived with her grandmother.  Going to UCLA was out of the question until that helping hand.  Then in her second year a professor invited students to his house to perform as part of his class.  After her performance while she was stuffing cookies to take to her grandmother a couple came up to her.  Instead of reprimanding her for what she was doing they asked her what her plans were.  She wanted t go to New York and try her hand at a musical comedy but didn’t have the money.  Right on the spot he offered her a loan of $1,000.00 interest free.  He mentioned that he wanted her to pay it back within 5 years so that she would have the responsibility and that if she made good that she had to help someone else achieve their dreams.  Carol did make good as we all know and she has a scholarship at UCLA for actresses in Theater.  She also saw the couple many times through the years and was forever thankful for giving her the means to support her dream. A dream that may not have come true without their help.

https://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/styles/bio_pics_detail/public/bios/carol-burnett-v2-450x600.jpg?itok=jCdUqB4g

Originally Rodney founded his comedy club for his own reasons.  He wanted a place to do his act.  Through the years and as Rodney became an icon it expanded.  HBO did specials from Rodney’s club that helped young comics get exposure.  Rodney was right in the middle of it giving his help wherever he could.  The best help he could give was to give people the chance that he so desperately longed for years ago.  He gave them a platform to exhibit their talents and make people laugh.  Through his efforts many comedians became famous.  Comedians Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Jay Leno, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Saget, Jerry Stiller, Kevin Kline and Jeff Foxworthy were featured at his club.  He gave them a chance and they were forever thankful!

Photo of Dangerfield's - New York, NY, United States. Front

Rodney joked when he went to the hospital for the last time.  He was going to have an operation involving his brain. If successful it would increase blood flow in preparation for a heart valve replacement he would need at a later date.  He was asked how long he would be there and his answer was typical Rodney. “If all goes well about a week, if not about an hour and a half.”  The next month it was revealed that Rodney had been in a coma.  His wife was told that it might be helpful to pull him out of it by having people come and tell their jokes.  Every day they had comedians that Rodney had given their start coming to that hospital room.  His wife mentioned that those sessions should have been taped because they were some of the best ever.  All of those comedians cared deeply for Rodney.  The guy who always said he got no respect was getting the respect that kings don’t get.  Unfortunately  all of their efforts weren’t enough.  Rodney never came out of the coma.

Rodney Dangerfield was a self admitted atheist.  Yet he gave opportunities to a lot of people and God’s laws apply to the just and unjust. “Give and it shall be given unto you” Luke 6:38.  As a result of the good that he did he was blessed with true friends.  The people that helped Carol Burnett and others knowingly or not were obeying these commandments:  27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.  Proverbs 3:27..and “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  Philippians 2:4.  

As Christians it’s God’s will that we do onto others as we would have them do onto us. That is the golden rule.  Sometimes God puts people in the right place at the right time and they get blessed, but more often than not it’s the opportunity people have to lend a helping hand that makes the difference one way or the other.  Would we be willing to make a difference in someone else’s life?  If so that positive decision to lead someone up the ladder to new heights not only would bless the receiver but us too!

Houston, We Have A Problem

“Houston, We have a problem” was originally uttered by Jack Swigert, an American astronaut, after he turned a switch on a routine procedure only to hear an explosion throughout the module.  On April 11, 1970 Apollo 13 launched.  It’s mission was to be the third time that men would land on the moon.  Interest in this particular mission waned as most thought it would be boring.  After all we’ve done this before and it was getting to be a routine after 2 successful trips.  All of that changed with one flick of a switch.

Jack Swigert.jpg

Originally Swigert wasn’t supposed to be on the mission at all.  He was a back up until Ken Mattingly was hurriedly replaced after he was unwittingly exposed to the German Measles.  Now seemingly something awful had gone wrong and Swigert was blaming himself that somehow he didn’t do the procedure right.  Mission Control was in a scramble as their controls were showing that the command modular was losing power.  They would have to act fast as not only the original mission was in danger but the lives of the three astronauts were suddenly at risk.  After putting their heads together Miission Control was guided by one of their top officers.  He persuaded the commander that instead of trying to land on the moon they needed to bring the astronauts home safely. The decision was based on the fact that they were losing oxygen and they had a limited amount of time before it would run out.

Everything was up in the air as they were making their decision of what to do next.  Meanwhile the interest on the ground was at a high level.  What had been originally thought of as a boring mission was now on the front pages.  It was decided that the original module would be discarded and the backup ship the undamaged Aquarius would be used even though it was only supposed to navigate the moon.  They would power it up as a lifeboat to get them home. Through the whole movie problems came up.  They had to power down all unnecessary conveniences so that they could have some power left.  That included the heating and they ended up in a very very cold place.  Through it all they solved problems.  One time the original ship was losing all kinds of oxygen.  Mission control had to simulate their situation.  Ken Mattingly who did not end up with the measles was called in.  He got in the simulator ship which was an exact model of what the astronauts were in.  The mission was to make something out of their supplies that they had to plug up the hole where oxygen was escaping.  Brilliantly they were able to do it on the ground and translate the information to the astronauts so they could make a similar piece.

Image result for apollo 13 movie pictures

All of the problems faced created an interesting and thrilling story.  When I watched the movie for the first time I tried to remember if things worked out.  Because it was based on the true story I knew they couldn’t wander too far from the truth.  I remembered one mission where they got killed at takeoff but obviously this wasn’t it. This particular mission did not stand out in my brain.  However I had a feeling that everything might turn out alright..  Of course I found myself cheering inside as problems that could have killed them all were conquered.  It was a story of guidance, love, and the spirit to survive.

Isn’t that the same spirit that we have as we live our lives on this earth?  There are going to be problems and we have to get through them.  The good news is that we can have communications with the Master of the Universe!  He knows how to get us through our problems and bring us home in victory!

At the end there was one final test.  Would the ship survive re-entry into earths atmosphere?  They always talked about the angle that the ship had to come in. The angle was a little off and it was feared that it could burn up.  That fear was kept from the astronauts because there was nothing they could do about it anyway.  They had it timed that once they lost communications they should gain it back in like 2 minutes.  If they didn’t hear from them by then the chances they wouldn’t increased.  Two minutes came and went and Mission Control was a somber place. They kept trying to communicate but no words were coming back.  There was fear all around as the time went over 3 minutes and ticking.  When everything seemed lost the static in the radio started to clear. “Houston, This is Aquarius”, Tom Hanks the actor said as he brilliantly portrayed Jim Lovell the astronaut.  Cheers rang up in Mission Control and all over the country!

Image result for apollo 13 astronauts getting rescued

I have watched this movie many times.  It is one that when I see it is on I get involved with again.  Each time it brings tears to my eyes as I see their struggles and ultimate victory!  I don’t think I would be so apt to watch it if it ended in disaster.  Since it is such a good ending I am always rapped up in seeing it again.  That is how it is with your life and mine.  We are going to have problems while we are here but rest assured God is bigger than our problems.  We can be comforted to know that our story will have a happy ending.  We can go through our problems knowing that they will come to pass and that we will make it through our fiery tests.  Are you going through trials and tribulations right now?  Remember that this is what is making your story interesting.  The saying goes “Without a test there is no testimony!”  Be joyous in your tests knowing that everything turns out all right.  How do we know?   We know because we have been told the glorious ending of our movie!

Image result for apollo 13 astronauts getting rescued

 

Thinking With Your Heart

When I was in Elementary School we had a gym teacher named Mrs. Remynse.  Each year one of the things that we needed for school was a pair of tennis shoes.  We would hang our tennis shoes on the bar that supported our seat on our desk.  It was with great pleasure that we put those  shoes on when we were told to do so before going to Mrs Remynse’s class.  I don’t remember anyone not liking gym class.  It was a time to get out of our seats and move around.  Mrs. Remynse was a short Indian lady with a strong accent.  She had many fun games for us to participate in but first we had to do our exercises.  Most of the time she had this record that she played and we did our exercises by what the record said.  I remember the record had a catchy tune with lyrics for pushups, sit ups, and other things.  This is a small part of the old lyrics.  If you are my age you might remember the song.  It is part of President Kennedy’s physical education program that he felt was so important for our youth.

“School Version”

Touch down
Every morning
Ten times!
Not just
Now and then.
Give that chicken fat
Back to the chicken,
And don’t be chicken again.
No, don’t be chicken again.

Push up
Every morning
Ten times.
Push up
Starting low.
Once more on the rise.
Nuts to the flabby guys!
Go, you chicken fat, go away!
Go, you chicken fat, go!

Picture 1 of 2

Sometimes Mrs. Remynse wouldn’t play the record.  Instead she would line us up in a circle and do a game called “Do as I do.”  This game had us all take turns going into the middle of the circle.  There we were supposed to do an exercise and everyone making up the circle was supposed to do the same thing.  One kid might jump on one foot, another might do pushups, another might swing their legs awkwardly.  Whatever the middle person did we all had to do the same.  Being kids 7 or 8 years old there was always someone who hadn’t made up their mind what to do.  When entering the circle they might put their finger on their tooth as they contemplated what exercise to perform.  The kids making up the circle would invariably put their fingers on their tooth to  jokingly do exactly what the leader was doing.

From an early age we learn how to do things by copying other people.  Skills in the physical world are passed down from generation to generation.  Think about all of the things you can do now and things you don’t even think about the beginnings of.  Do you remember first learning how to tie your shoes?  Think about learning to walk or ride a bike.  Every day in life we are repeating things that we were showed how to do.  We learned that by doing exactly what someone else was doing we could acquire the exact skill that they have.  All of these new skills are brain things.  We finally succeed in doing them and we remember what we did.  We remember what our instructors (usually our parents or teacher) did as they were teaching us and try to copy them.  From our earliest memories we have continuously learned skills through demonstration. Think about learning to talk.  There is a continuous growth from words that we hear and  remember.  Then we learn what the words mean.  Finally we remember the words, their meaning, and how to form the words with our mouth.

Years ago a new bracelet came out.  A youth group leader at Calvary Reformed Church came up with the WWJD bracelet to help her group remember the phrase.  The movement spread and the bracelets became popular to wear.  With that bracelet on people might watch their actions.  Instead of just doing something because they wanted to it was now put to the question “What would Jesus do?”  It is an interesting question but it is the wrong question and here is why.  The disciples who lived with Jesus every day and observed everything that he did were told a truth by him one day.  In John 16:7 he said..Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  You see while Jesus was on this earth in human body form he could only be in one place at a  time.  With the Holy Spirit we can all have him in our hearts. 

Picture 1 of 2

The What Would Jesus Do bracelet sends the message that we are to think about what Jesus would do in a situation and make our decision accordingly.  The truth is we don’t have to think of what Jesus would do.  It is already in our hearts if we have been born again.  As a result of us accepting him as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes in and lives in our being.  He discerns what is right or wrong in our heart.  If we listen to his small voice he will lead us through the spirit.  It is no longer a brain thing.  Many times we do not go down the road that gets us into trouble.  We do not have to think about what Jesus would do in given situations.  One thing that Jesus always did however was to never do anything without an agreement in his spirit.  He was always led by the spirit in everything he did.  Like us he was in a human body.  That body had hurts and temptations just like ours does.  For instance Jesus had a struggle with going to the cross.  He knew that was the reason he was here but when it came time he struggled with completing the mission.  He overcame by relying on the spirit that was within him.  That is what we must do as Christians.  We need to get out of that thinking with our brain in spiritual things.  God may call you to do something that makes no sense in our traditional way of thinking.  The Bible asks us Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? I Corinthians 1:20.

At an early age we learned to do as I do.   Unlike the exercises we used to do as kids we are all not supposed to do the same thing.  The spirit might be telling you to do something completely different than me.  God uses what we have to offer for his glory.  When we are led by the spirit we take our hands off the the wheel and let him drive.  We do that by not thinking with our brain but thinking with our heart.  Thinking with our heart works because we are led by the spirit in all things.  It is time everywhere for Christians to walk in the spirit and obey his voice in all things.  If you want to know what Jesus would do that is it!

Heaven On My Mind

The song “Georgia On My Mind” was not written by Ray Charles although when I heard him sing it I thought so.  It was actually written by the roommate of Hoagy Carmichael named Stuart Gorrell back in 1930.  It might have been originally written about the state of Georgia or it could have been written about a woman. In his second autobiography Hoagy cleared the picture.  Although he did have a sister named Georgia the song was written because his saxophonist named Frankie Traumbauer mentioned that he should write a song about the state of Georgia.  He also suggested some lyrics “Georgia, Georgia.” Whether it was written entirely by Gorrell or in a joint effort with Hoagy the song was written.  Although both guys lived in Indiana and never visited Georgia it would forever be associated with Georgia because of a Georgian named Ray Charles.
georgia-on-my-mind.jpg
Georgia on My Mind
Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines
Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
I said Georgia
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)
Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you
Whoa, Georgia
Georgia
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
I said just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
Image result for ray charles picture
When I listen to the late Ray Charles recordings of his rendition it almost always brings tears to my eyes.  Ray was a world famous wonder with the way he could sing a song with feeling and beat.  He was also blind but truly he could see and feel in so many other ways.  Yet in all of his travels this song seems to indicate his love for his hometown and his feelings toward that heavenly place.  It isn’t a song with an abundance of spectacular descriptive words, but it is a song that when he sang it there was such a feeling of love for his great home.  There is something about a home that we all love.  It is more than just words it is something deep down in our hearts.  It’s hard to describe in words it is so powerful.  By just taking a few simple but meaningful words and singing it with such feeling Charles captured his thinking and longing for his home.
I remember a song we sang in church when I was young.  It was a hymn called “When We All Get To Heaven”, by Eliza Hewitt.  The lyrics went
  1. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
    Sing His mercy and His grace;
    In the mansions bright and blessed
    He’ll prepare for us a place.

    • When we all get to heaven,
      What a day of rejoicing that will be!
      When we all see Jesus,
      We’ll sing and shout the victory!
  2. While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
    Clouds will overspread the sky;
    But when trav’ling days are over,
    Not a shadow, not a sigh.
  3. Let us then be true and faithful,
    Trusting, serving every day;
    Just one glimpse of Him in glory
    Will the toils of life repay.
  4. Onward to the prize before us!
    Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
    Soon the pearly gates will open;
    We shall tread the streets of gold
I remember that everyone sang this hymn with such feeling.  The spirit in the place was so happy as young and old truly felt the love of God.  In those moments I could tell that this was a song that captured our future home and our desire to be there.
Sometimes great songs are written by people without the experience of what they are writing about.  I am reminded of the song “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”  That song was written by Jack Haworth who saw a sign while riding on a subway in 1908 about a ball game to be played that day and by the time his ride was over a song was written.  He had never been to a ball game before.  The two artists who wrote “Georgia On My Mind” had never been to Georgia.  Yet they created the words that have become the state song.  Likewise most of us have never been to heaven.  Yet the words of the above hymn is in such anticipation of a great event.
Have you ever planned a vacation and dreamed about what a great time you will have?  You start dreaming about each and every event on the vacation and have a longing to be there.  As Christians that is how our focus should be.  We are here now but our future isn’t the here and now.   Someday we are going home.  Sometimes it is a thought and then a yearning as Ray Charles so beautifully stated in his song.
                                   “No peace, no peace I find
                                     Just an old sweet song keeps
                                     Georgia on my mind.
The beautiful thing is when we sing songs about Heaven be it slow, fast, rocky, or a hymn it is like that old sweet song.  We are keeping heaven on our minds and yearning for that wonderful trip.  Just an old sweet song keeps Heaven on my mind!
heaven-city.jpg

A Tale Of Two Kickers

Garo Yepremian was born in Cypress to American parents.  He immigrated to the United States with his brother.  His brother earned a soccer scholarship from Indiana University.  Garo was not eligible for an NCAA soccer scholarship because he had played professional soccer in London previously.  After watching an NFL football game Garo decided that he was going to be a professional football kicker.  He got a tryout with the Detroit Lions in 1966 and was signed to do their kicking.  Garo was a little guy at 5’7″ and his coach told him that after he kicked a kickoff to head straight for the bench.  His coach knew that one thing their opponents would love to do is dismantle their little kicker.  Garo kicked the ball and headed for the bench.  Unfortunately he found himself on the wrong team’s bench in the midst of the enemies.

https://www.detroitathletic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Garo-Yepremian.jpg

At first Garo wasn’t comfortable with a helmet.  When he played his first game he wore one without the face mask until Ray Nitshke  a rough and tough linebacker of the Green Bay Packers tackled him and crunched his face into the ground.  After that little episode Garo wore a helmet with a single bar.  He was the last player in NFL history to play without a face mask.

In that first year with the Lions Garo wasn’t very familiar with the rules of football.  When his team was hopelessly behind one week they scored a touchdown with only a few seconds left in the game.  Garo was called in to kick the extra point.  After kicking the meaningless point through the uprights he ran around with his arms spread in celebration.  One of his teammates asked him what he was doing?  “I just kicked a touchdown!”, he explained.

Garo had a career game in his season with the Lions.  Playing against the Minnesota Vikings he kicked six field goals.  It was a record for kickers in one game and it stood for many years.

After the 1966 season Garo quit football and joined the United States Army.  When he got back to the Detroit area in 1968 the Detroit Lions decided not to offer him a contract.  He signed a contract to be the kicker for the Detroit Arrows in the Continental Football League.  After a horrible year with the Arrows (they won only one game), Garo found himself out of football again.  In the off season and the next year when he was out of football Garo sold Neckties.  He still had a desire to kick in the NFL again.

Garo Yepremian dies at 70; kicker part of undefeated Dolphins team

In 1970 Garo got the chance.  He signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins.  The next couple of years he let the league in scoring.  Garo was a kicker that was very accurate although he wasn’t a long distance kicker.  Today you see kickers who have no problem with distance from over 50 yards.  That was not Garo’s Strength.  However if the kick was inside 35 yards Garo very rarely missed.

Garo is remembered maybe even more than his kicking feats by one play that was on the world stage.  It was a field goal attempt with his team (the Dolphins) winning 14-0 against the Redskins.  It was in the Super Bowl so every eye was upon him.  His kick was blocked and Garo picked it up.  He was running across the field and was about to get tackled.  He tried to throw a pass but it slipped out of his hand.  He batted the ball right into the hands of a Washington Redskin player who ran for a touchdown.  “I honestly felt as if my life was over,” said Yepremian. “I never, ever had been disappointed like that in my life. Goodness, I felt as if it was the end. Norm Evans, the spiritual leader of the Dolphins, said, ‘don’t worry, God is with you.’ That was the best thing that ever happened to me, to have that encouragement from a friend. If the other team scored, and it would have went to overtime, that would’ve haunted me for the rest of my life.”Although it was very embarrassing and is shown whenever football bloopers are displayed it seems, the play did not cost the Dolphins their ultimate victory.  They won the Super Bowl that year by a score of 14-7.

When the media laughed at his gaffe Garo was very hurt.  He left the victory party early and went to his hotel room and took an ice bath.  He went home and stayed behind closed doors for weeks until he received a letter from his coach Don Shula.  The letter mentioned how important he was to the Dolphins and all of the games his kicks had saved.  “It was the most important letter I ever received” , Garo said remembering.  When he was with Shula signing autographs at a show he mentioned the letter to Shula.  “What letter?”, Shula asked.  It seems that Shula’s wife had written the letter and signed Don’s name to it.  Obviously she felt like he needed someone to pick him up and that letter certainly did!  Garo moved on from his famous gaffe and kicked in the NFL for 9 more years.

Jan Senerud was a ski jumper.  He was born in Finland and received a scholarship from Montana State to ski jump.  One day after he had run up and down the bleachers of the football field to stay in shape Jan and a friend were kicking a football around on the field.  Jan had played some soccer and he had a very strong right leg.  He was making field goals from great distances when the school’s basketball coached happened to pass by and observe.  Before he knew it the football coach wanted to see him kick.  After kicking for the football coach he was encouraged to come out for the football team.  In fact he wanted Jan to suit up for the teams final game.  He wasn’t eligible to play but the coach wanted him to wear the football uniform and learn the football rules and see how the game was played.

Following the ski season Stenerud joined the football team for spring practice.  That Fall he set an NCAA record at the time by kicking a 59 yard field goal.  Stenerud humbly admitted years later that a strong tail wind and high altitude helped his kick.  On the kickoff after his record breaking field goal he kicked the ball out of the end zone and over the bleachers behind it.

Image result for jan stenerud chiefs

After College Stenerud was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs.  At the time he was one of the first field goal specialists.  Back then the field goal kicker almost always played another position also.  In fact they would normally get the best kicker from the players they already had.  Stenerud helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl following the 1969 season with his amazing field goals.  He was very accurate and his strong leg was able to kick from distances that nobody had seen before.  The first 9 points of the Super Bowl against the Minnesota Vikings were scored by Stenerud’s three field goals!

It was Christmas day 1971.   The big game was on later in the afternoon.  It was Garo’s Miami Dolphins against Jan’s Kansas City Chiefs.  The winner would advance in the playoffs and hopefully get to the Super Bowl.  The loser would be done for the season.  Many a Christmas dinner was cold that day because the game kept going on and on.  The Chiefs should have won.  Every time they took the lead however, the Dolphins came right back.  One play that stands out is when the Chiefs outsmarted themselves.  They had a 10-0 lead and were lined up for Jan to kick a 29 yard field goal.  However, Hank Stram the Chiefs coach had another idea.  He wanted to do a fake and have Stenerud run for the first down.  The snap was supposed to go straight to the kicker but when the center was about to snap the ball he saw that Jan was looking down like he normally did.  So he snapped the ball to the holder like any other field goal.  Completely out of sorts Len Dawson the Quarterback and also the holder took the snap and put it down for Jan to kick it.  Jan never made an excuse as to why he kicked the ball wide to the right but the confusion all around was a big momentum changer.

Image result for yan stenerud ski jumper

The game was tied with just a few seconds left.  The Chiefs made a big pass play and lined up for Jan to kick a 31 yard field goal.  Jan was so amazing that season that the Dolphins just knew this was the end.  Amazingly Jan missed the field goal wide to the right again.  The game went into overtime and it went on an on.  Finally after  82 minutes and 40 seconds (more than 5 and a half quarters) Garo made a 37 yard field goal to win it.  Garo and the Dolphins were ecstatic while Jan and the Chiefs were devastated.  Looking back Garo mentioned how fitting it was that the tie salesman had broken the tie!  Although his teammates tried to make him feel better Jan could not be consoled.  He felt like that he alone had let all of his teammates down and all of the fans of the Chiefs.  He considered quitting the game he was so broken.

Even today after all of these years later Jan has no desire to talk about that game.  It was a time of personal tragedy for him.  Yet when Christmas comes around every year the memories of that game are brought up.  It’s funny that Garo’s gaffe in the next years Super Bowl is talked about in a fun way because it didn’t cost the Dolphins the game.  Jan’s miss in the longest game ever (at that time) is remembered (especially by Jan) like somebody had died.

Instead of quitting Jan persevered after the tragic loss.  His career totaled 19 years. After 8 more years in Kansas City he signed with the Green Bay Packers and kicked 4 years for them before ending his career with 2 years in a Minnesota Viking uniform. Jan was not like Garo in personality.  Garo showed his emotion when he kicked a game winner.  Garo was apt to extend his arms like he was flying.  Jan was cool as though he was just doing his job in the office.  Jan explained it best though.  “Just because I don’t do cartwheels when I make a game winning field goal doesn’t mean I’m not extremely pleased.”

His cool demeanor served Jan well and helped him to carry on after  he plunged to the ground that Christmas day.   It’s a good lesson to all of us too!  Whatever comes our way do not be distracted and keep going forward  Treat our disappointments as learning experiences and ask God to make something good come out of them.  When his career was over Jan was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  At the time he was the only kicker (who only kicked) voted into the Hall.  His final football numbers were 19 years, 6 pro bowls, 6 all league selections, 7 times scoring 100 or more points (in a 14 game season), and 1,699 career points.  The things that can’t be measured though are his persevering attitude, his pain in disappointments, and his contentment in his victories!

Do You Remember Me?

I had an experience the other day that was kind of embarrassing.  Someone came up to me in a store and asked me if I remembered them.  Actually I did remember the lady.  She worked in the Financial Aid Office years ago.  I also remember running into her years ago in a similar circumstance.  My problem is that I didn’t remember her name.  I did tell her of course I remembered her but I wasn’t honest about her name.  I should have asked her for her name again.  After all it had been years and years since I had seen her.  She mentioned the last time she saw me I was going to buy trophies for my sons basketball team.  I’m thinking that had to be 11 or 12 years ago when I coached them.  It would have been easy to ask for her name and yet I didn’t.  Maybe in the back of my mind I thought that it might be hurtful to her.  Yet when you don’t run into someone for years it’s natural to forget.  It isn’t like you see them every day.   So I skated around the conversation without calling her by her name because I had forgotten.

I had a similar experience yesterday but the shoe was on the other foot.  I walked into a building and there was a guy I hadn’t talked to in years.  His name was George and he was the boyfriend of my boss years ago.  Actually I see him all of the time because he has decided to ride his bike to work instead of driving.  Many times driving to or from work I will encounter him riding down the road.  Of course he hasn’t thought of me in years and naturally when I saw him I said “Hey George!”, and we shook hands.  I noticed he didn’t call me by my name but we exchanged pleasantries.  I told him I see him riding his bike often and he mentioned something about finding that the bike was going against his will too often to Sweet water’s Doughnut Shop lately.  We both got a laugh out of that but at the end of the conversation he said something really softly…I heard it as “take care Terry.”

'This is my wife of 42 years...uh...'  'Lisa.'

I kinda laughed to myself as I continued walking.  I was wondering if I heard him correctly because he said it so low.  I have tried that trick too.  If I wasn’t totally sure I might say the name that I thought it was. The trick is to say it low enough that they would think that I remembered or if it was wrong that maybe they didn’t hear me correctly,.  There was a guy that I was running into every day that worked in Human Resources.  It seemed like every day he was saying “Hi Lewis”, and I was saying “hey how is it going?”, or some other pleasantry.  I had never been introduced to this guy but somehow he knew my name and it was embarrassing.

One day I decided that I have to find out what his name is.  So I searched an old phone book of the people that worked in Human Resources and I thought I had it!  He said “How are you Lewis?”  and I said something like “I’m doing good” and I said a name I forget right now.  The name i thought was right was an unusual name too.  Quickly he corrected me which was embarrassing but the proper thing to do.  “My name is Robert”, he said.  “Oh I’m sorry”, I stated obviously embarrassed.  I think I muddled through the passing conversation using his name Robert.  Quickly I started trying to find a way to remember his name. I used to work with a guy named Robert who was a really good friend.  I made a note that when I saw this guy I would think about my long lost friend.  Now it works like a charm.  It’s either Hi Lewis, Hi Robert or Hi Robert, Hi Lewis!  Now we both feel good when we see each other!

Therein lies the key to people’s hearts.  Everyone wants to feel good.  I was reading a book about Detroit Tiger’s legend Al Kaline.  He was at an autograph show when a fan came up to him asking “Do you remember me?”  Al looked at him and gave him a second glance.  Nothing was coming and he was honest “No I don’t think so, should I?”  The fan explained that it was right after the 1968 World Series that the Tiger’s won!  They were having a victory parade downtown and Al was in one of the cars.  The fan explained that he ran right up to the car and got Al’s attention.  “Hey Al” he said.  He said that Al looked right at him!  Kaline took his eyes off of the ball he was autographing.  “That’s right the parade in 1968”, he said referring to an event 25 years ago.  “You’ve changed a little”, Al offered and they both laughed.  I’m sure that little meeting with Kaline made the guys day.  He probably went home and told his wife and kids that the great Al Kaline remembered him!  The guy next to Al at the table looked at him in amazement of his fabulous memory.  When the fan was safely out of earshot Al quietly told him “of course not.”

There are some people that are brutally honest.  They pride themselves in saying things and letting the chips fall where they may.  Maybe there is a time and place for this if it is in the right spirit and meant to be helpful, but too often their words only hurt the other person.  Too often the brutally honest ones are just brutal.  “I tell it like it is”, they may say proudly.  Yet with their words they sometimes cut a person far deeper than if they were stabbing them with a knife.  That hurt can bring pain to others too.  The phrase “Hurt people hurt people” is very true and it can be passed on or stopped by our actions.  Make people feel good that they saw you.  Leave them in a better mood than before your encounter.  This is what happy people do and we should be happy with the Spirit of God within us!

Years ago Ernie Banks was a big star for the Chicago Cubs.  One day Ernie was at a function and one of the promoters was telling him about his 8 year old son.  His wife would be bringing him over in a few minutes.  “It will be thrilling for him to meet you because  you are his favorite player!”  The promoter told Ernie that he took his son  to a Cubs doubleheader last year on the 4th of July. He mentioned that they got good seats right to the side of the Cub’s dugout and he bought his son a Cub’s hat that he wore the whole day!  “What a great time they had together that day” He recalled, “and how thrilled his son was when Ernie hit a home run!”

As promised the promoters wife brought his son over to where he was.  “I’d like you to meet Ernie Banks”, his father told his son.  Ernie looked up from what he was doing and shook hands with the youngster.  As he was shaking his hand Ernie took a second look.  “Hey, haven’t I seen you before?”, he stated in surprised elation.  “Weren’t you at a game last year?”  The kid mentioned that he was.  “Wasn’t it the 4th of July doubleheader?” “Weren’t you sitting right by the dugout with a Cubs hat on?”  The questions were coming faster than the kid could answer but he was thrilled that the great Ernie Banks recognized him!  “When I saw you do you know what I thought?”  “I thought that kid is a great Cubs fan and I’m going  to try to hit a home run just for him!”

The Window Cleaner

https://www.scienceabc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/window-washing-high-rise-building.jpg

Imagine that you have rented a room in a skyscraper as a get away vacation.  The view was advertised as miraculous and the place immaculate.  After unpacking your bags you decide to open the curtains to see the great view.  When you do you are furious because the window is a dirty mess and you can barely see out.  The sun that should make a glistening clear picture is hurting your eyes and illuminating the dirty window.  Wouldn’t it be awful if the view from these magnificent buildings were hidden by a grimy mess on the windows?

Now imagine that you are on that same vacation.  You open the curtains to see the magnificent view.  Instead you encounter someone looking right back at you.  Your reaction might be to scream as the surprise is likely to scare you.  Then you realize that it isn’t someone who will harm you or steal from you, it is a window washer.  They are trained to go to new heights to keep the windows clean.

Obviously windows need to be cleaned once in awhile.  In a big city with all of the stuff blowing around in the air they need to be done even more often.  The job is a little different from cleaning your windows at home.  Professional equipment is used of course, but the main difference is being situated many stories above the ground.  It reminds me of a tight rope walker.  Even you and I could probably be trained to walk a tight rope if the rope is hung one foot over the ground.  Attempting it like they do in the circus hundreds of feet in the air would create all kinds of fears and anxieties.  Sometimes in the circus a safety net is provided that can calm fears because if they mess up they just fall to safety.  Window washers have safety equipment too.

Tragically in the old days the window washing job was far more dangerous and many fell to their death.  Today with modern equipment the window washers can do their job with much less worry.  A typical window cleaner’s equipment consists of a rope protector, a safety rope, a rope-grabbing tool, a descent mechanism, lanyard and suction cups. These tools not only protect workers from any unfortunate incidents, but also help them clean a building’s facade at a rapid speed with great efficiency.

While working on the outside of a building, the worker is attached to an anchor, that is mounted on the roof. This anchor enables the workers to clean windows as they descend vertically. You might have noticed that window cleaners don’t descend smoothly; their journey to the next, lower floors makes it appear as though they are ‘dropping’ through each floor one at a time. The height of a single drop – the measurement of one vertical cleaning operation from the roof to the floor below – varies according to the buildings windows they are working on.

Our walk through life can be compared to the adventures of a window washer.  The good news is that God has given us all that we need to complete our mission.  Like the window washers equipment and precise settings, God will put you and me exactly where we are supposed to be if we will only trust him.  We should never be afraid because he is our anchor and our safety net.

Someone asked a window washer if they ever looked down?  The answer was no but it wasn’t for the reason I would have guessed.  They said that they just concentrated on the job they were there to do.  They concentrated on the next window on their mission.  It reminds me of the story of Peter walking on the water.  In Matthew 14 verses 25-31 the story is told.

Picture 1 of 1

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

You see Jesus doesn’t want us walking in fear.  As long as Peter had his mind on Jesus and the mission at hand he was fine.  When fear and doubt crept in he sank.  The lesson from the window washer profession is the same.  As long as they keep their mind on the mission at hand, knowing that their anchor and ropes are in place there is nothing to fear.

So Jesus is our anchor but he is so much more.  The buildings windows could represent eyes.  The view could represent the beautiful view that God has offered us.  Most people are looking at that view through grimy windows.  Our job is to introduce them to Jesus so that he can clean up their view of life.  When they open up that curtain they won’t dwell on the ugly sight they used to see, but on the beauty that they see now!

Building On The Rock

Bill Parcells is a builder.  Not your typical builder as in building buildings.  Parcells made a career out of building football teams.  When he got his first coaching job with the New York Giants in 1983 his team wasn’t very good.  He survived a 3 win season and it was there that he decided that if he could survive that experience he would coach on his terms.  He wasn’t fired and he was able to use his agonizing experience as a building block.  In most buildings you start with the basement.  That is what Parcells started with.  After finishing in the basement he went on building other floors to his football team until at long last he won two Super Bowls.

Parcells was asked if he thought that he should have a say in the players that were brought in for him to coach.  Parcells in his matter of fact reaction said “Well if they expect you to cook the dinner you need to have a say in the grocery shopping.”  Typical Parcells, a straight forward answer with a little comparison in there.  It was a lot like how he grew up in New Jersey.  His basketball coach in high school was complimenting him on what a great game he played.  The team had lost a close game but Parcells made it close by his great play.  “It wasn’t enough”, he told the coach,  “we lost.”  His coach always remembered him saying those words and then disappearing into the night.  When Parcells eventually got into coaching winning and losing would be defined as Pat Riley once quoted. “There is winning and there is misery.

Curtis Martin was in the bathroom one time and had a talk with his coach Bill Parcell who just happened to be there.  Martin had the admiration of his coach who affectionately nicknamed him”The Boy Wonder.”   Parcells had earlier told Martin “I think you finally get it!”  “Always remember that you will always be the hardest person on yourself.” As he was standing there washing his hands he looked in the mirror and Parcells was right behind him.  It made a perfect picture in his mind of the thought he was just given.   Parcells has a favorite poem and he has carried it with him since he was a teenager.  It is a poem by an anonymous writer called “The Man In The Glass”

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
and the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
who judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
is the one staring back from the glass

Some people may think you a straight-shooting chum
and call you a wonderful guy
But the guy in the glass says you’re only a bum
if you can’t look him straight in the eye

He’s the fellow to please never mind all the rest
for he’s with you clear up to the end
And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend

You may fool the whole world down the pathway
of life and get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartaches and
tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

1998 New York Jets CURTIS MARTIN Glossy 8x10 Photo NFL Print Football Poster

What was Parcells talking about when he told Martin that you finally get it?  The “It” in Parcells mind was the team.  Doing what is best for the team and not for your individual glory.  Bill Parcells was hard on his team.  He didn’t accept short cuts and sometimes for awhile members of his team didn’t like how he treated them. 

Phi Simms was his Super Bowl winning quarterback.  Phil was not the most talented quarterback in the league but he was sold on this team thing Parcell preached.  That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have confrontations on the sideline. One time they were having one of those confrontations and the TV cameras picked it up.  The announcer mentioned that if you were just tuning in this team is leading 17-0.  To Parcells the fact that his team was winning did not cancel out a teaching moment he needed to make.

Parcells agreed completely with a statement that Pat Riley made one time about winning and losing.  “There is winning and there is misery.”  That is the bottom line in coaching.  Then again that competition is what kept Parcell going in coaching.  He called it “the juice”.  The juice is all about competition.  Who are we playing next?  That is the juice.  Thinking about that next opponent and figuring out a way to beat them.  There is a certain high that comes from a job like that which leads to admiration of the fans.  The fans though can be fickle and when things are not going well they can turn like vultures.  Parcells also refers to the juice from his growing up in Jersey.  There it means overdue interest on borrowed money.

When Parcells had his heart surgery he was very thankful to the doctor who fixed him up.  “When you are prepared for surgery your mortality goes through your mind I promise you”, he stated.  After his surgery he was thinking of how to express his gratitude to his doctor but he just couldn’t find the words.  Finally he said to his doctor, “Doctor I don’t know if it means anything to you to have gratitude but I want you to know that you have mine.”  His doctor looked him right in the eyes and said “Certainly it does!”

In the movie “The City Slickers” Billy Chrystal encounters an old man and wants to know what life is all about.  The old man tells him that you have to find the one thing that is most important as he raised his one finger.  When Billy asked him what the one thing was the old timer only told him “It’s this and lifted his one finger again.”  In his football coaching life Parcells was always looking for that one thing.  Before his team won the Super Bowl he would tell a friend “I just want to win this thing one time.”  After winning it was “I just want to win this thing one more time.”  With each victory he still had issues with the juice.  He knew that his profession was a double edged sword.  He once told someone that in a year he would be in a resting home making ceramic ash trays and wondering what time Jeopardy comes on.  Of course in a few minutes he would be talking about the future of the organization and how they needed to draft this position or get better in this area.  That was the trap he was in.  Deep down when he was out of football he wanted to be back in and when he was in he wanted to be out. His mother used to ask him “When are you going to get a real job?”  She would look at others with traditional jobs and considered them the real jobs.  It finally came to a point where Parcells was not apologetic about his profession.

For the people who really get to know him Bill Parcells legacy will be remembered in the number of lives he helped change.  There was a homeless man in Fort Lauderdale who sold newspapers.  Every day Parcells would see this man and buy a newspaper from him.  Being an avid fan this homeless guy knew who Parcells was.  They talked and developed a relationship.  Being an avid Eagles fan he asked Parcells if he knew Andy Reid?  Andy Reid was the General Manager of the Eagles.  When Parcells said he did the fan said “tell him to draft a expletive wide receiver!”  Parcells did call Reid and told him that he met one of his fans and the message he gave.  One day Parcells was getting his morning paper and he asked the guy “why he couldn’t get a real job?”  The guy looked at him and honestly said that he didn’t have a drivers license.  Drilling deeper Parcells asked why and the answer was that he didn’t have a birth certificate.  Parcells told him that maybe he could help him out so he made the appropriate phone calls and today this former homeless man is employed and much better off!  Curtis Martin (The Boy Wonder)  wrote his coach a wonderful letter one time about how thankful he was for his help and how he had made a monumental difference in his life.  His letter mentioned that he didn’t know where he would be without Parcells guidance.  When he went to Parcells office to give him the letter Parcells wasn’t there so he put it in a trophy on his desk.  That letter is one his most meaningful possessions and Parcells cherishes it!  With gratitude from his broken heart that is now repaired helping people on the way is what he considers the least he can do!

Parcells coached 4 teams and was a General Manager for another one.  Each team held it’s own set of challenges in the building process.  When he was hired to coach the Dallas Cowboys he had an established team that had parts he wasn’t used to.  His philosophy with the Giants was to have bigger linebackers and this team had smaller ones with more speed.  Parcells had to adjust his thinking to build with what he had.  Although they didn’t reach the Super Bowl Parcells managed to leave the Cowboys in a much better state than how he found them.  The same was true with all of his other stops.  Building was his thing and he knew exactly what he wanted to get the job done!

Building things and being a part of a team were very important attributes of Bill Parcells.  It is interesting that in the Bible Jesus talks about building too.

In Matthew 7 verses 24-27 Jesus said

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Perhaps you are in a profession like Bill Parcells where you feel like that there is winning and there is misery.  Maybe you have been building your life on the here and now’s successes and failures.  Take the words of Jesus seriously.  Unless you build on the solid rock your buildings will crumble.  You see everything on this earth is temporary including you and me.  We might be very successful in what we do as far as money and adulation but can we truly look in the mirror and not be reminded that something is missing?  We are and always will  be empty without Jesus.  When Bill Parcells had his heart problem he realized more than ever that life is short.  Just like the Doctor who fixed his physical heart God wants to fix our Spiritual heart.  He wants to take what we have and clean it up so that he can use us while we are here.  You see he is the one thing (the one finger of the old man in the movie!)  If we put him first in our life we will be happy and satisfied!  A simple prayer will start that process.  Pray this prayer with me!

Lord Jesus

Forgive me of my sins and save me

Come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior

Amen

If you prayed that prayer Jesus has come into your heart and your new construction has begun!  You have hired a master builder and joined a team that is on its way to victory!  As with any team there will still be plenty of highs and lows.  You might find yourself in the basement of life,  like Percells did with his football team. Know that God is now with you!  You have employed the best head coach ever in the game of life.  He is helping you  build a life that is on solid ground and will not fall in the midst of storms.  Like Parcells you will have gratitude knowing someone changed your heart as you desire to share your story .  It will be a gratitude of love as you live in peace every day.  That gratitude will be shared with others because it is the least you can do!  Your reward will be great.  Not like a building built on sinking sand that suddenly blows away, but a residence in heaven that lasts forever and ever!

 

God’s Hall of Fame

by Walt Huntley
Your name may not appear down here
In this world’s Hall of Fame,
In fact you may be so unknown
That no one knows your name;
The Oscars and the praise of men
May never come your way,
But don’t forget God has rewards
That he’ll hand out someday.
This Hall of Fame is only good
As long as time shall be;
But keep in mind, God’s Hall of Fame
Is for eternity;
To have your name inscribed up there
Is greater more by far
Than all the fame and all the praise
Of ev’ry man-made star.
This crowd on earth they soon forget
When you’re not up at the top,
They’ll cheer like mad until you fall
And then their praise will stop;
Not God, He never does forget,
And in His Hall of Fame,
By just believing on His Son,
Forever – there’s your name.
I tell you, friend, I wouldn’t trade
My name, however small,
That’s written there beyond the stars
In that celestial Hall,
For all the famous names on earth,
Or glory that they share;
I’d rather be an unknown here,
And have my name up there.

Strive to build your life to reach God’s Hall Of Fame and not on drifting dust!

Image result for drifting dust picture

On Drifting Dust

Author Unknown

Now summer goes
And tomorrow’s snows
Will soon be deep,
And the sky of blue
Which summer knew
Sees shadows creep.

As the gleam tonight
Which is silver bright
Spans ghostly forms,
The winds rush by
With a warning cry
Of coming storms.

So the laurel fades
In the snow-swept glades
Of flying years,
And the dreams of youth
Find the bitter truth
Of pain and tears.

Through the cheering mass
Let the victors pass
To find fate’s thrust,
As tomorrow’s fame
Writes another name
On Drifting dust.

#1 The Trophy Wife

The #1 story of the year on lightenload is a story about how sometimes God in his infinite wisdom can make failure in something we think is important into a blessing that lasts for those who love him!

083439ad-5686-40ba-8c18-b3ecd71e7cd0.png

https://lightenload.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/the-trophy-wife/

Post Navigation