Posts Tagged ‘Sports’



February 17, 2020

“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thess. 3:13

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An adventure, by definition, is the unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. My wife and I embarked on an activity at the beginning of the year that is not unusual nor hazardous. Yet, adventure seems it’s most earnest title. The title might need to be categorized in order to do it justice. The adventure is more accurately described as an adventure of the mind. While still not unusual, it seems a little mentally hazardous to our self-esteem.

We have become rebels in the Code Red cult of weight loss. This particular cult is exemplified by specific rules; drink your water, get your sleep, eat real food, no snacking, and be done eating by 6:30 PM. Oh, and no sugar!

Our lives have been transformed due to this weight loss adventure. The adventure excitement emanates from when it is working, and swings to discouragement when it does not. One becomes a bit captive to the scale as rebels weigh every day. There is the adventurous excitement of fitting clothing long banished to the museum of “What I Once Was”. Then, there is the hazards of the plateaus of complete rule obedience yet the scale does not display equitable obedience.

These unusually hazardous circumstances baffles the mental resolve of any weight loss adventurer.

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This morning my scale sent me into the treacherous waters of uncertainty and questionable resolve. I had done everything right, earning the anticipation of celebrating seeing digits that I have not observed for 2 years. I don’t know why I create weight memorials in categories of 10, but I do. I excitedly anticipated the proclamation that I have once again entered into the 180’s weight class. For me, that can be 189.9 pounds. It simply means that I no longer will see a 1 and a 9 preceding the stubborn pounds that I am incrementally assaulting.

I have been on the frustrating plateau of the 190’s for a month and a half. Yesterday, the plateau of the 190’s was assaulted with monumental resolve and certainty. My morning  started with a chest and back workout of push-ups and pull-ups and ab-ups. Throughout the day, the rules of Code Red were followed like a good rebel religious zealot. The pincer maneuver, to ensure the success of this full assault, was a long bike ride augmented by the vigor of it being a windy day.

The assault had all the elements needed for a celebratory victory over the obstinate 190’s. Except, it didn’t. This morning arose with all the hope of a goal achieved only to be dashed by the reality of a 1.6-pound gain. Rather than basking in the celebratory light of realization, I find myself in the hazardous gloom of reality. Sometimes, when you do everything right, it simply doesn’t work out as planned and we rarely know the reason.

Expectation can be a hazardous adventure. Short-term expectations are the most hazardous. Perseverance characterizes the route through the hazardous barriers of unrealized expectations. One must trust the process, otherwise, hands flung-up in resignation will become the anthem of all our adventures.

Perseverance is essential for all adventurous endeavors; athletic, academic, career, relational, and spiritual. Perseverance is critical in the spiritual life of a Christian. Particularly, when we are residents in a nebulous plateau of spiritual doldrums. One might be doing everything right. One might make great assaults upon a goal with certain expectations only to experience regression and disappointment.

These are the times to trust the process. These are the times to trust the Perfecter.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

Too often, we get fixated on the wrong things, just like my fixation with a number on a scale. My goal is not a number on a scale. My goal is to reduce the fat on my body. I want to be fit for all the benefits of fitness. Therefore, the short-term expectations of a scale display should not swing my resolve to such an extent.

empty highway overlooking mountain under dark skies

Equally, my spiritual resolve should not be dependent upon expectations that are surrogates of faithfulness. Our spiritual goal as Christians should be fruitfulness, blossoming from minds set upon the Spirit, eyes fixated upon Jesus, daily; even when we feel unfruitful. The perfection of our faith doesn’t follow a standard operating procedure, nor a regimented timeline.

Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. This means that He is perfecting our faith exactly in the manner that He intends. We just need to trust the Perfecter and keep our eyes fixed on Him while running our race even when the course before us doesn’t seem clearly marked out.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to praise you from the plateaus.  Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you.  Teach me to set my mind on the things of the Spirit.  Thank you for the faith that you have pioneered within me and the perfecting of the faith, which you have already accomplished.  Lord, don’t stop.  Please continue to perfect me in the power of your Spirit for you glory and fruitfulness.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen



December 6, 2012

“And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15

A good friend of mine is headed to a very unique convention with his family. They are going to a show organized by the American Hereford Association. I understand that it is a pretty big deal in the certified Hereford world.  They actually take cattle into the convention rooms of a casino for the show.  You will hear the bellow of cattle mingled in with the ding of slot machines and the clatter of chips. I want to go just to experience the clash of senses. However, the only folks that will go to this Hereford show are people who are into Herefords; a rather small niche in the world.

I am amazed at how many niches are out there for us to be engrossed in. Just look at the schedule of a major convention center and you will begin to get an idea of the magnitude of minutia that we can exalt.  Our esteem is cloaked in words such as: aficionado, appreciator, connoisseur, collector, fan, expert, specialists, and devotee.  There are a lot of fascinating and wonderful things in this world to be “into”.

I am a fan of College (American) Football. The regular season is over and I am anxiously awaiting the feast to come – bowl season! I am planning on gorging myself on College Football throughout December and a little bit of January.  However, just on glance at the spectacle of College Football or any major sporting event and you will see a lot of exalting among men and women.michigan_stadium_big_house_2_small

Does that make College Football an abomination in the sight of God? I cannot come to any other conclusion then “yes”. The Superbowl, World Cup, World Series, Rugby World Cup, are probably all abominations in the sight of God. Abominations not because there is anything wrong with sport but because of where men exalt sport in relation to God. However, abominations are not limited to sport.

We have an incredible ability to make the wonderful into the horrible. When does something become bad? When does the thing that we are really “into” become an abomination in the sight of God?

I don’t know. All I know is that it can and does. It seems to me that the best test to discover an abomination in our life is the preference test. This is a mind experiment that requires complete honesty. We need to examine the things in our lives and ask ourselves whether we prefer that thing more than God. If you were to have to choose between that esteemed “whatever” and God, which would you pick? This gets to the heart of an abomination.  God knows your heart and he knows my heart. We are not fooling God; just ourselves.  Therefore, we have to examine our hearts.

We need to be brutally honest with everything in our lives. Consider your job, career, house, bank account, reputation… what if you had to give those up to follow Christ, would you do it?

What about friends, family, spouse, children… do you value them more than God? We can make one of the greatest blessing from God, our family, into something horrible when we place them above God.

For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. There is no escaping the directness of that statement.

What are you exalting this day?  How does that compare to your esteem for God?

PRAYER: Lord, give me eyes to see. I don’t want to deceive myself.  Lord, I don’t want anything in my life that is an abomination in your sight. Forgive me for exalting some of the things that you have given me, gifts from you, blessings from you, to a place of preference. That was never my intent. Thank you for showing that to me.  I give those back to you to the praise and glory of your name. Lord, take once again the place of preeminence in my life.    Amen

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