The Weight of The World

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As I looked on our society

I could see all the anxiety

I felt the weight of the world on me

I thought I would write an inspiring story

About a hero fighting for glory

But my hero was full of worry

I thought I would write about the flowers in spring

About the renewing of life and the hope it would bring

But all I could see were the flowers dying

I thought I could write a hopeful song

That maybe the world would sing along

But all my words came out wrong

Fresh out of ideas and bored to death

I wondered what could be left

I sighed and took a deep breath

Wondering if there was a reason to live

I walked to the edge of a cliff

And tried to think of something positive

We are living in the worst of times

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And I know everything is not fine

But is that the legacy we want to leave behind?

We all know heroes fall and flowers die

And there will be sad songs to make us cry

Sometimes the truth turns out to be a lie

We must remember the sunny days and not the grey

We must remember the love and not the hate

We must remember the moments and not the days

When the weight of the world is weighing me down

And no rest, no hope seems to be found

I take a minute to look around

I see the beauty in a snowflake falling

I hear the distant birds calling

I stop this world spinning, for a minute pausing

There’s beauty all around

Even in the dark places it can be found

From the bluest skies to the greenest ground

When the weight of the world is on me

I must choose to be

The light that the world will see

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Less Like Me by Zach Williams-

Keep Me In The Moment by Jeremy Camp- 

The Upside by Lisa Loeb-

Shine by Lisa Loeb- 

Be The Light by Ok Rock – 

Let It Be Love by Unspoken – 

 

Yes, Kylie, There Is A God

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Dear editor:

I am 14 years old and a freshman in high school. I grew up in the church and believed in God, but now, I am not so sure. I see what is going on in this world, this country, and my hometown and I have to wonder if there is a God, where is he? I have friends whose parents both work full-time jobs and just barely have food on the table. She told me yesterday that they couldn’t even afford a single Christmas present this year. I see people starving not only all over the world but right here in my town. I read about human trafficking and people doing opioids to escape their pain.

I see people in my school that are so stressed out and have such low self-esteem that they hurt themselves or do whatever it takes to be liked. I see Instagram and Snapchat pictures of smiles on their faces but I look in their eyes and see nothing but hurt. I know I am loved, but there are so many people my age who do not feel loved or do not know who they are.

I have friends I  go to church and Wildlife and now Younglife with that are having these same issues and are leaving the church or just quit believing. I want to believe there is a God, I want to believe there is hope and love in this world, but I am struggling.

Mr. editor, I am 14 years old, I should not have to worry if today is the day I go to school and someone will shoot me and my friends.

So, is there a God and if so, where is he?

Dear Kylie,

First, thank you for your letter. I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling this way. It does not matter if you are four or fourteen or forty-four, we are all frustrated with the world we live in.

I am not a theologian, simply a writer, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

A simple answer to your question, where is God, would be that we, or some people, asked him to leave our schools, we told him we didn’t need him and we stopped praying, we told him we could do it on our own. So, he simply left.

But like I said, that is a simple answer and also the wrong answer because I do not believe he left at all. I see teenagers every day that are making a difference. You probably see them, and maybe you are one of them, that take a stand against bullying, that reaches out to someone who is hurting, even if that person is not in their “circle.” They are the ones that will do what is right, not what is popular, no matter what others will think about them. Kylie, that is where you will find God.

I know our church collects gifts to give to those in need and can’t afford Christmas presents. Not only our church but churches and communities and individuals that give to the needy, like your friend’s family, so that they can have a Christmas. I know this time of year is hard for families with financial hardships, but when you see others giving and volunteering to help those in need, that is where God is.

I see the same news and social media you see about the evil in this world, such as human trafficking and drug overdoses. That’s what the news wants you to see, but they do not show the good that is out there. You truly have to search for it to know that for every bad news story, there is a good one. The Bible says seek and you will find.

I ask you to do that Kylie, turn away from the news feeds and search for good. Organizations like ECPAT-USA, ecoatusa.org, who are also international, or Polaris Project, polarisproject.org. Even right here in central Ohio there is Out Of Darkness Columbus Ohio, outofdarknesscolmbusoh.org and Live United Delaware County, liveuniteddelawarecounty.org.

There are thousands and thousands of other organizations and individuals that are fighting against evil in this world. That is where God is Kylie.

How do I know  God exists? Take a look at our planet Earth. If it were positioned just a few inches from where it is located, it would not exist. Think about that Kylie. If the earth was located less than half the size of your iPhone, it would not be able to support human life. Scientists can’t even disagree with that.

How else do I know God exists? Well, it is you and me and every other human in this world. None of us are exactly the same. Who could make billions of people and not one of them is the same? How could billions of people exist that are all unique down to the tiniest DNA in their bodies if they were not created by God? Do you think that could happen by chance? I do not.

I did not always feel this way. Unlike you, Kylie, who grew up in church and knew about God and his love from the moment you were born, I did not. I did things my own way and ran my own life and was desperate to change the way I was living and one day I just stopped and turned around. I let God, who was pursuing me my entire life, catch me. And when he caught me, my life changed. I fell to my knees and I wept. Which was strange to me because I was raised to not show my feelings. To keep it all inside and be tough like a man. But that very moment God caught me, I was overwhelmed with love. As I learned about God, I learned about who he made me to be and what my identity is in Him. Not what everyone else thinks of me, but what God thinks of me. That changed my life.

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Kylie, I have made many mistakes in my life. I have been divorced twice and tore apart my family because I was selfish and did things my way. Christians are humans and like all humans, we all make mistakes. After I accepted God into my life, seven years ago the unthinkable happened. My wife had an affair. It started around this time of year and I kept hearing a voice, or having a sixth sense if you will, to check her emails. Call it God trying to get involved before it got too far or call it the devil trying to tell me to look at what I helped your wife do, I do not know, but I ignored it because I trusted her. Until I could not ignore it and I found out the truth. In my anger, rage, hurting, and how could you, I wanted a divorce. Then on January 17th, I could not sleep. I was tossing and turning and crying and at 2:37 am, I felt the need to bundle up and take a walk. I remember the exact day and time because it is the first time I heard God speak to me. As I walked outside and tears streamed down my face and I yelled at God why, how could he let this happen, I looked up and saw the many many stars. In the stillness of the cold night,  I heard him say stay, this is not about you, it’s about her and I need you to stay and be strong and help me help her come back to us. Over the next few weeks, a peace came over me and instead of yelling and saying hurtful things, I spoke words I never thought I could speak. They were not my words but God’s. Seven years later, even though not all is perfect, no marriage is, we are still proof of God’s grace, forgiveness,  mercy, and love.

Kylie, Only God can heal a man like me, a marriage torn apart by an affair, and the brokenness of the people in this world.

We only have to be still and ask for him to help us and tell us what to do.

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My dad did not believe in God. Thankfully, to his wonderful wife, my mother, who had a heart of gold and to his caretakers over the last few months of his life, and maybe to the way I lived my life after I accepted God, he accepted that Jesus is his lord and savior and invited him into his life shortly before he passed. I wish he could have had more time to know how much God loves him but in my grieving, I also knew that I would see him again. Only God can heal the grieving and the hurting Kylie.

Kylie, I wish everyone your age, or any age, knew what their true identity in Christ is. I believe that if everyone knew how much they were loved, how they were chosen to be born and that there is a plan for their life that there would less hurt in this world. I wish that they defined themselves as God defines them. That they would understand that false identity comes from the brokenness in this world. Trust that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and that they were forgiven and that there is a better way to live this thing we call life. I wish that they would find their plan and purpose for what God has for them, not what this world tells them they should be.

Kylie, do not choose happiness. It is an emotion like sadness or anger or excitement. It comes and goes with circumstances. Choose joy and love Kylie. No matter what you are going through choose to love, choose to be joyful. That is where you will find God.

You can choose what your heart will follow, Kylie, and what your heart follows is where you will be. Choose goodness, compassion, empathy. Choose to follow the good in the world and people will follow you because they will see how you live. Kylie, that is where God will be.

I recently saw the movie Overcomer. I could tell you a million quotes that I wish every teenager would know in this social media world where everything is based on smiles and likes but one I would like to share is this: people always try to tell you to look like this person or do something this way because it is popular but knowing that God loves you and he made you, why would you want to be anyone else.

Be yourself. Kylie, When you realize and accept that, your self-image and your identity and your view of the world will change. Filter out the negatives and live in the positives.

You, Kylie, are a child of God and you are here for a reason.

Kylie, I wish this world was not what it is. I wish and pray today when you go to school that it won’t be your last day on this earth. But, I beg you Kylie, do not live in fear. God does not live in fear. Live with hope Kylie, go out today and change the world. Be the one who shows the world that God is alive and well and that he lives in you.

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Kylie, even in the bad I see all around me, I choose to see the good more. From the morning sunrise to the evening stars, from the leafless trees of winter to the first flower that blooms in the spring. From the first breath a baby takes to the last breath someone breathes. There is a shell that covers this unseen world and people choose to believe in what only they can see but there are mysteries in the unseen that we will never fully understand but it is as real as the next breath you take. You must have faith, hope and love, Kylie. That is where God resides and that is where you will find him. From the beginning to the end, I choose to see God in all of it and that is how I know God was here yesterday, he is here today, and he will be here tomorrow.

Kylie, God is alive and well and he is in you. He made you and he saved you, he loves you, he blesses you, he protects you, you are chosen and he died for you, Kylie. If you will find it in your heart to believe how much you are loved and chosen then you, too, will see him everywhere for he will be with you everywhere you go.

In the good and the bad, in the laughter and the tragedy, seek him, Kylie. He is there.

And that my dearest Kylie, is how I know that God exists and that he is here today.

Your friend,

Rob

You Say by Lauren Daigle –

Enough by Koryn Hawthorne –

Who You Say I Am by Hillsong –

What Mercy Did For Me by Micah Tyler –

Father by Jeremy Camp –

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Where The River Meets The Desert

Image result for No matter how far down any path you might have walked, the beauty of free will is that at any point you can PIVOT on the spot and take a  different journey.

At first, I thought I must be dreaming. I could hear the strength of the water rushing by me, I could feel the wind as if it was piggy-backing on the strong current. I bent down and put my hand into the water and my fingers came out wet. I could pinch myself but I knew this was not a dream. I stood up and I looked to my left and all I could see was a vast desert, no more than ten yards from me, that the river just suddenly disappeared into. I could not fathom how all that water was pouring into the desert with no trace.

The desert was lifeless but I was intrigued to take a few steps into it. I looked back at the river, like a child who is about to do something wrong looks back at its parents, but continued on my way. The river was close, I knew I could return to it anytime I wanted.

I ventured farther and farther into the desert. The farther I went, the thirstier I got. Not for the river, but for more adventure. The desert was alluring but I knew there was nothing out here for me, but I continued to walk. What was I doing? I could no longer see the river but I could remember the life it gave. There is no life out here.

Why couldn’t I turn back? Every time I started to, another distraction caught my eye. I was feeling guilty and ashamed for being gone so long but that made me want to stay away even longer.

I would pass cacti and a few animals out here, reminders that even in the emptiness of a desert, there is life. Life that reminded me of my old life, when things were good. I started to long for that life again, but I didn’t know how to get back there. Out here in the desert, it is easy to lose your way, to continue to go the wrong way, to be desperate to go back but not knowing the way.

Frustrated with the way I was living and desperate for help, I looked back to where I thought the river was and somehow I was able to whisper help me Jesus.

That was a name I hadn’t said in a long time.

Dig. I heard a voice say.

I fell to my knees and started to dig the dry, hard ground. I broke a couple fingernails and my knuckles and fingers bled. Why am I digging? It is so easily to forget the voice I heard.

Keep digging. I am never far from you.

Through the sweat and tears I kept digging for what seemed like hours. Eventually the ground began to soften and shortly after, there was a stream of water. I immediately took a drink and my eyes opened.

It was like I was blind but now I see. I thought I was alone out here but now there were hundreds, no, thousands of others with me. Thousands just like me, wandering aimlessly. Lost souls.

Next thing I knew, I was back at the river. I had found my way home, but I knew I could not stay. I was given a second chance, a new way to live my life, and I knew what I had to do.

I took my first steps into the desert, but this time it wasn’t for me to do what I wanted to do. This time, I had to find other lost ones and bring them back to the river with me.

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Church (Take Me Back) by Cochren & Co.-

The Wanderer by David Leonard- 

All The Wrong Things by Branan Murphy-

The Journey by Building 429-

Never Been A Moment by Micah Tyler- 

Come To The Altar by Elevation Worship –

 

 

I Do Not Fight Alone

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Society wants me to conform. I will not conform.

I have had enough. I could not take It anymore. I had tried and tried but no one would go with me. If no one will go with me, I will do it alone.

I don’t see things any differently than anyone else. They all see the world is falling apart. The difference is I couldn’t sit still and watch it get worse. I couldn’t stay quiet and let the evil keep talking.

You know what they say, there is no God, he isnt here, he doesnt care. If there was a God then why….If there was a God then where was he when….

Well, didn’t we ask him to leave? We took him out of schools, court,  any kind of gathering. We let the minority rule. If one person doesn’t like it then no one can enjoy it. It’s no wonder suicides have increased, opioid epidemic, mass shootings, over the counter meds for anxiety,  divorce.

Nothing is sacred anymore.

I left to face the demons on my own. It wasn’t long before they had gathered to defeat me.

I drew my sword and drew a line in the sand.

I said,  “If you are not a believer, you can not cross this line.”

The demons smiled at me as they approached the line. “My dearest friend, do you not know, even we demons believe.”

The demons crossed the line and I took a step back. The demons drooled and laughed. “So, friend , you do fear us.”

To their surprise, I then took a step forward with a smile on my face.

“I am not your friend.”

I knew what they did not. The demons hesitated for a second but that’s all I needed.

I drew my sword but it was only for a diversion. The demons attacked.

The demons were so consumed with me that they didn’t notice the warrior angels that had surrounded them.

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Walk On Water by 30 Seconds To Mars-  

What It Comes Down To Me Is Me by Mark Bishop- 

Fight Forever by Anthem Lights – 

Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)  by Chris Tomlin – 

Fighting For Us by Michael Farren – 

The Room

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image credit: willomailley.com

 

For the last fifty nine days, every day has been the same for me. I didn’t expect day sixty to be any different.

I wake up, look in the mirror and tell myself today is the day. Today will be the day that I can do it. I am stronger than I think I am. I can do this.

I then walk out of my room and go exactly five feet three inches and stop in front of the room. I reach for the door knob then pull my hand away. I stare at the door for what seems like hours but it is only minutes, maybe seconds. I then take a deep breath and walk away.

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image credit: The Sabbath Recorder

 

I go about my day like a robot. Doing without thinking. Lost in my guilt. Lost in the what if’s. Everyone looks at me the same. Fake smiles. I fake smile back. They say everything will be alright. I want to scream at them that it will not be, but I don’t.  I only want to hit something. I have so much anger and hurt and it’s all my fault. They say it is not but I know it is.

I go home. I hesitate as I turn the key to unlock the door. Do I really want to go back inside? I don’t know what else to do so I turn the key.

I make dinner and set two plates out of habit. I know you won’t be joining me. I eat in silence.

I go upstairs to go to bed and I once again stop at the door. I reach for the door knob and pull my hand away. I take a deep breath and walk away. I go into my room and yell at myself in the mirror. Why are you so weak? Why can’t you turn the knob?

God help me! Where are you? I need you. She needs you. Why won’t you make her wake up? I need a miracle.

I fall asleep listening to the hissing and popping of the machines that keep her alive.

I have the same nightmare, but it’s not a nightmare. It’s a reality. You fell down the stairs and couldn’t move. Ten minutes. That’s what the doctor said. If I could’ve gotten you to the hospital ten minutes earlier you would’ve made it. If I would’ve came straight home that night you would’ve been okay.

But I didn’t.

We were fighting and I took the long way home to clear my head.

Ten minutes.

I wish I would’ve driven straight home. That’s why it’s all my fault. That’s why I can’t go in there. I know I did that to you.

I wake with a startle. The house is silent.

It shouldn’t be silent!

The machines have stopped. I jump out of bed and run to the door. I reach my hand out and pull it away. Maybe it’s for the best.

She needs you.

I look around. No one is there.

She needs you. She is still alive. Appreciate the living while they are here. One day she will be gone and you won’t be able to tell her anything.

Tears pour out of my eyes and before I know it my hand turns the door knob. I slowly walk to your bed and reach out to hold your hand. I am so sorry. Please wake up, please. I love you. I need you. I am sorry I haven’t been here. I will always be there for you from now. Wake up!  Please God, wake her up.

I feel her hand squeeze mine. It had to be my imagination. I look up through the tears and see her eyes open.

I didn’t expect day sixty to be any different. God knew it would be.

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He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Miracles by Alisa Turner – 

God Of The Impossible by Lincoln Brewster – 

Faithful by Sarah Reeves – 

God Who Moves Mountains by Corey Voss –  

Mountain Of Sorrow by The Taylors – 

 

Come Back To Me

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I won’t beg and plead

For you to come back to me

You have your own choices to make

You have your own roads to take

You will take many wrong paths

But the tough times will not last

I will be there, waiting patiently

Until that moment you come back to me

There will be people placed along your way

Most you will not listen to what they say

A few words will stay in your mind

A few others will be left for you to find

All will be where I want them to be

Guiding you to come back to me

You will be tossed around in the wind

Many branches will be trimmed

You will curse, you will rage

Nothing you do will take my love away

Even when all you see and hear are thorns and thunder

Doesn’t mean there are not roses and rainbows and wonder

Dead men do indeed bleed

But you can still come back to me

You can choose to live in a dilapidated shack in a deserted wasteland

You can choose to live in a lush garden in a castle so grand

You can choose to live in a prison in your own mind

You can choose to live with eyes that see but are blind

You can choose to live free

You can come back to me

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There will be hurt, suffering, and pain

Without them true transformation will not find its way

You can ignore life and choose death

But that is not why I gave you breath

There is so much light around you yet you choose to live in the dark

I will be here waiting when you are ready to open your heart

Take these words as my guarantee

I will always be waiting for you to come back to me

Though your branches shake in the breeze

Don’t you know your roots grow deep

A candle gives off light because it endures the burning

To find the truth you must never stop learning

Every step taken closer to your destination

Every step taken to your current location

Every step  farther away from where you began

Each and every step was all part of my plan

I will be here waiting patiently

Until you come back to me

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Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets – 

One Step Away by Casting Crowns – 

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner by Crowder – 

Come To Jesus by Mindy Smith – 

Lean On by 7eventh Time Down – 

Forever Starts Today by Disciple – 

This Is Going To Hurt

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I ran.

As soon as he took a step towards me, I ran.

I can’t tell you how far or how long I ran.  I am willing to bet my last dollar it was farther and longer than I thought was possible.

I stopped to catch my breath and two questions popped into my head. What did I do for him to be here? Why was he following me?

I started to run again. In between my breaths, I heard the roar of rushing water below. It was in that moment I knew I took the wrong path.

I had three choices. Two of them would surely end in death. I could jump off the cliff into the cold rushing water. Death. I could stand there and do nothing and let him catch me. Death.

Since the first two choices would end in death, I had one choice left.

I had to escape.

Come on, come on.  THINK!! I looked around, evaluating my options. Looking for another way. Time was running out. I could hear him coming.

I threw a rock over the cliff into the water. Hoping he thought I jumped. Then I looked at my only option left. The thickest thorn bush I had ever seen.

This is going to hurt.

I jumped in.

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I tried quieting my breathing. I tried curling up into a small ball. I tried wishing that the moon wasn’t full. But it was.

I heard his footsteps. Getting closer. And closer. How did I get here?

I remember the day it happened. One year ago. One year ago today to be exact. I was in one of my “seasons,” as I like to call them. Nothing was going right. I was sinking into the quicksand I called depression. I was spiraling out of control. Failure was coming and I couldn’t stop it. Shame and guilt knocked on my door and I not only answered, I let them in.

Have you ever done something and one second after you did it you said what did I just do? I am so stupid. Why did I do that? I just let everyone I know down and I know they could never forgive me. I couldn’t even forgive myself so how could they?

I had to keep what I had done a secret. NO MATTER WHAT!! The truth would kill them, therefore killing me. Since I was already dead, there was no need to kill them. So I kept it to myself.

I sank further into my guilt and shame. I withdrew from everyone. Oh, I still had a killer smile and was wittingly charming. I could get by. I faked a lot of happiness. Inside, I cried a lot of tears. I was rotting inside and I knew they could smell it. I knew they knew I was a fake. But they never said anything.

Maybe I was better at hiding it than I thought. Then I started thinking, I am such a good liar. Which led to more guilt and shame. Which led to him.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention. I would see him at the gas station or maybe at the store. You know the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you. I would get that and look up and he would be looking at me. He wouldn’t look away. I got chills down my spine. What a creep, I thought.

Through the first few months, I would seem him every couple of weeks. As the year progressed, I would see him more and more. Recently, as I was falling apart and my lies were catching up to me, as my guilt and shame were eating at me, I was seeing him every day.

EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

ALWAYS LOOKING AT ME.

NEVER LOOKING AWAY.

I finally was getting the courage to approach him and ask him what his deal is. That’s when he took the first step to me. I froze. Then, I ran.

I ran and here I am. In this thorn bush. Scratched and bleeding. Dying inside. Hiding from a man who wouldn’t quit following me.

As smart as I thought I was by throwing the rock into the water, he was smarter. As quiet as I thought I was being, he could still hear me. As dark as I thought my hiding place was, he still found me.

I, for the first time, took a good look at him. I mean, a really good look. I wanted to know who was going to end my days. That’s when I saw the crown of thorns around his head. He didn’t say a word. He just reached his hand down and by the light of the moon, I saw the scars on his. A sudden peace came over me and for some unknown reason, I reached out and took his hand.

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The thorns parted as he pulled me up. My bleeding wounds stopped bleeding. It was like a giant boulder was taken off my shoulders.

“I forgive you.” In those three words that he said my heart changed. It was like clean air was poured into my dirty lungs. Tears of guilt were replaced with tears of joy.

I walked back home, with him by my side. I knew it may be a long road to recovery, but I knew I had to tell them. I knew they had to know the truth. I could not keep living with this.

I also knew with him there was no condemnation, no guilt, no shame. I had to believe that they would forgive me also. I had to hope and pray for a better future. No matter what happens, I knew I had to continue to walk with him, not run away from him.

I took a deep breath and walked into the house. I knew we would be okay. I knew that I would be a better man. I knew they would forgive me. I knew we would survive the lies. Even so, I knew this was going to hurt.

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Never Stopped Loving by Jeremy Camp- 

Grace Will Lead Me Home by David Dunn – 

Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams – 

He Still Does Miracles by Hawk Nelson – 

Worth It by Lecrae- 

You Waited by Travis Greene- 

Always Faithful by Ashes Remain – 

Come Back To Me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

 

I won’t beg and plead

For you to come back to me

You have your own choices to make

You have your own roads to take

You will take many wrong paths

But the tough times will not last

I will be there, waiting patiently

Until that moment you come back to me

There will be people placed along your way

Most you will not listen to what they say

A few words will stay in your mind

A few others will be left for you to find

All will be where I want them to be

Guiding you to come back to me

You will be tossed around in the wind

Many branches will be trimmed

You will curse, you will rage

Nothing you do will take my love away

Even when all you see and hear are thorns and thunder

Doesn’t mean there are not roses and rainbows and wonder

Dead men do indeed bleed

But you can still come back to me

You can choose to live in a dilapidated shack in a deserted wasteland

You can choose to live in a lush garden in a castle so grand

You can choose to live in a prison in your own mind

You can choose to live with eyes that see but are blind

You can choose to live free

You can come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

There will be hurt, suffering, and pain

Without them true transformation will not find its way

You can ignore life and choose death

But that is not why I gave you breath

There is so much light around you yet you choose to live in the dark

I will be here waiting when you are ready to open your heart

Take these words as my guarantee

I will always be waiting for you to come back to me

Though your branches shake in the breeze

Don’t you know your roots grow deep

A candle gives off light because it endures the burning

To find the truth you must never stop learning

Every step taken closer to your destination

Every step taken to your current location

Every step  farther away from where you began

Each and every step was all part of my plan

I will be here waiting patiently

Until you come back to me

Image result for god waits for the prodigal

Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets – 

One Step Away by Casting Crowns – 

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner by Crowder – 

Come To Jesus by Mindy Smith – 

Lean On by 7eventh Time Down – 

Forever Starts Today by Disciple – 

Sometimes It’s More Than A Game

Image result for choosing to live a christian life instead of a game quotes

What a great first weekend of college football. The Buckeyes looked like they might be better than last years team. You know, the team that had a record number of NFL draft picks.  It is early. We will see how how the rest of the season goes.
It was great to see the upsets. Houston beating Oklahoma. Texas A&M beating UCLA in overtime. Wisconsin beating LSU. Clemson almost losing to Auburn. Tennessee almost losing to Appalachian State. South Alabama beating Mississippi State. Western Michigan upsetting Northwestern. Richmond upsetting Virginia.

Texas upset Notre Dame on Sunday night. Texas was my first choice of schools to go to but out of state tuition was/is too expensive so I became a Buckeye instead.

Most of the SEC struggling to win or lost. Seven SEC teams losing in week 1.

Alabama  losing. Oh yeah, that was just a dream. They looked unbeatable , but they said that two years ago also.

All these great games, close games, upsets, etc…..

But sometimes it’s more than a game.

James Conner, star running back for Pittsburgh, coming back from Hodgkins Lymphona cancer.  He broke Tony Dorsett’s records that had stood for 38 years. He was invincible…until he wasn’t. He played in the first game in 2015 then was out the rest of the year battling for his life. You can read his story in his own words here :  http://www.theplayerstribune.com/james-conner-pittsburgh-college-football-cancer/

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photo credit : James Conner

Travis Rudolph, Florida State wide receiver,  was visiting a school and saw a boy eating alone. He sat down and joined him for lunch. The boy, Bo Paske, has autism and often eats lunch by himself. Travis says he didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We are all the same and one man can make a difference. You can read the full article here: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/us/photo-of-fsu-football-star-sitting-with-boy-eating-alone-at-florida-school-charms-internet.htmlnyskyz.com.

photo credit : Michael Halligan, Associated Press.

 

Sarah Hill, the wife of Weber State’s head coach Jay.  She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Weber State football players, coaches, family and friends shaved their heads in support.  At the end of each practice they chant How strong are we? Strong like Sara. You can read the story here : http://www.sltrib.com/sports/4275503-155/weber-state-football-wildcats-rally-around

(Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  Sara Hill hugs her daughter Allie, 5, after she and her husband, Weber State football coach Jay Hill, talked about her battle with Hodgkins lymphoma and how the Wildcat family has rallied around her and her husband at Stewart Stadium, Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Weber State football players, coaches and family and friends shaved their heads in support of her chemotherapy treatments.
photo credit Leah Hogsten , Salt Lake Tribune

 

The one that really brought a tear to my eye is Nebraska. On July 23rd, they lost their senior punter Sam Foltz in a car accident. Michigan State punter Mike Sadler also passed away in the accident. On Nebraska’s first punt of the game they only sent out 10 players, the punter didn’t go out. They took a delay of game which the opposing team, Fresno State, respectfully declined. Tell me you don’t get goose bumps watching this video. http://www.ncaa.com/news/football/article/2016-09-03/nebraska-football-honors-sam-foltz-lines-10-men-first-punt?cid=ncaafbsocial_fb_sf35087046

 

Lions by Skillet – 

Cheer You On by Jordan Feliz – 

We March On by Hillary Scott and The Scott Family – 

Beyond Me by TobyMac – 

It’s Alright by Stephen Marley – 

Artists Stand Up To Cancer – 

 

 

God, Is This Your Answer?

God, I asked you to use me

The next day I was diagnosed with cancer

I don’t want to question you but if that’s your answer

God, there  must be another way I plea

God, I asked you to use me

The next day my wife tells me our marriage needs a makeover

I thought all was well, I need you to takeover

God, tell me this isn’t the way please

God, I asked you to use me

The next day my teenage daughter was killed by a drunk driver

Oh God , I am not supposed to survive her

God, can’t you see me down here on my knees

God, I asked you to use me

With you by my side I will fight this cancer

With you as my strength I accept your answer

With this disease I will show your glory

God, I asked you to use me

Just when  my marriage was falling apart

You stepped in and gave us a fresh start

God, you made a masterpiece out of all the debris

God, I asked you to use me

In my worst moment you made me strong

You helped me to forgive, to sing a new song

When he couldn’t forgive himself, he saw You in me

Choose Me by Latice Crawford – 

Eye Of The Storm by Ryan Stevenson – 

Thank You For Everything by Jason Gray –