Tag Archives: nfl

YOLO

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  James 4:14

Think of who you would rank as the three biggest celebrities alive on earth right now.  Whether by beauty, music, words, atheticism or acting ability, celebrities amplify an otherwise normal life to make their mark on this planet as big as they can.  Okay–now think back 20 years.  Who would you have considered the top 3 celebrities then?  (I was like 10.  My top 3 consisted of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan.  HA!)  Where are those 3 now?  How quickly things change.

There’s a hit song by Drake called The Motto.  Don’t look it up.  It’s terrible.   It’s a song with the lovely Lil’ Wayne where they talk about money and sex.  Original!  In it, he coins the term “Yolo.”  You Only Live Once.  (I laugh every time I hear the word, because for me, Yolo was a podunk town that hosted a band review I use to twirl a baton in in junior high.  Go Huskies!  HA!)

The Motto.  You Only Live Once.  The banner of our generation.

You Only Live Once.  Let’s get money and take duckface pictures and waste our lives!  Let’s glorify ME!

Trouble is, it’s a lie.  Cuz guess what homies…you can only live once, or you can be born twice.

Step out and look at our world from above:

Earth-Western-Hemisphere

Yup, there’s Kim Kardashian in all her glory.  Right there in that tiny little speck of Los Angeles.  In 20 years, will anyone still be Keeping Up With her?

The name of the game is bringing glory to HIS grace.  That’s the point of this whole thing.  Glorifying who God is and what He’s done for us.  You can either be the part that brings glory to His grace by CONTRAST, or by similarity. Either way, He’s going to get the glory.  The light shines brightly in the darkest areas.  Are you the part that shines, or are you in the darkness it shines out of?

“…you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” Phil 2:15

A celebrity can amplify their years on earth, getting as much fame and wealth and worldly significance as they can muster up, but that glory is limited.  No matter who you are, you can’t add any years to your life.  You can’t make your life more than the mist it is– a tiny blip on the timeline of our universe.  The world spends so much time trying to copy these people in their limited glory, so that their glory is a cheap imitation of glory that’s already cheap and small in relation to the big picture.

What do you want to chase?  Glory that will fade in 20 years, or glory that will last an eternity?  If my little life is just a mist that is here one day and gone the next, what is the best way I can spend it?  Is the limit of my life’s glory, the most I can muster up, the white boots and red lipstick and pom poms that I sported for a few months of my existence?  What does that look like in the scheme of it all?  Nothing!  Who cares!?

I want to make my mist-of-a-life a heavy downpour.  A rainstorm.  Something that at least generated some significance.  Here’s a few ways I can do that:

1-  Make my small life count.  YOLO as your motto?  Nahh.  How about Don’t Waste Your Life.  “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  Phil 3:8

2- Make my small life last.  “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”  John 11:25

3- Make my small life multiply.  “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”  Psalm 103:17-18

We can make the most of our lives by making the most of Christ.  We can beat YOLO with eternal life.  We can multiply the impact of our lives by leaving a legacy through our kids and other people.  Training them up in Him so that they make the most of him, and so on, and so on.

In ancient times, people tried to build a huge tower thinking they could reach heaven with it.  We’ve been to the moon and still can’t reach it.  If we waste our lives trying to build ourselves into demi-gods, we’re just building a big tower trying to reach heaven, when our best attempts are puny at best.  He’s given us the vehicle to make our lives count, though, and it looks like this–less of me, more of Him.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Phil 2:3-8

Advertisements

Lights Out

nfl_a_lightsoutts_288

Casey and I have a standing date night every Sunday evening after church (we have a night service), so we plugged our ears and turned off our phones so that we could watch the Super Bowl together over a huge plate of nachos.  We were floundering on who to root for– I had some old Charger Girl teammates on the field cheering for the Niners, plus the QB is from the Central Valley, and we valley folk like to pretend we know everyone who ever lived within a 60 mile radius.  I’ve always liked the Ravens, though, so that’s who I was going for.  Maybe there is only room in my heart for one California team.  We were really getting into the game and the Ravens were dominating… when all of a sudden… lights out!  And not only out, but out for like half an hour!  During the Super Bowl!  It was so weird!  The outage gave plenty of time for the Niners to recoup and slowed down Baltimore’s momentum.  It was looking like a comeback was possible, but the Ravens eked out the win in the end.

One of the most incredible things about cheering for an NFL team was just being in the facility where the guys trained.  We met in their conference rooms and picked pom pom scraps off of their practice fields.  We walked through their weight rooms and ran on their track.  We were constantly in the presence of athletic greatness.  The players are elite.  They practice for everything.  They watch film and study their opponent’s every move.  They X and O and O and X and pore over stats like nobody’s business.  They teach them to be ready for everything….but no one could have prepared them for what happened yesterday.  They just had to warm up again and hit the field.

The Super Bowl power outage got me thinking about preparation.  We, as God’s elite, his chosen holy people, are commanded to “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2).  What would it look like if a player just decided that he didn’t need to work out anymore?  That he was just going to watch from the sidelines?  That he just wanted to collect his million-dollar paycheck and go home?  His selfish behavior would do nothing to advance the team’s goals and he would begin to become a drain on its resources.

You are one of His elite.  You have been picked to be a part of His team, with all the tools and assets you need to win.  We play for the trophy.

 First, you gotta become a player.

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (Rom 10:13)

Push to be recognized as a first-round pick.  

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”  Isaiah 6:8

Train as one of the elite.  

“…train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”  1 Timothy 4:7-8

Be prepared for everything.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13).

Play to win.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Cor 9:24-25).

The enemy is going to try to throw any wrench he can into your game.  If you’re totally prepared, even lights out won’t throw you off course.  Our goal is the hope that we were called to–that grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed.  He is the MVP, the all-star quarterback leading his team to victory.  And, this game is fixed.  It’s already been won.  That doesn’t mean it will be easy, it just means that even in the darkest hours we have hope for the win.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 3:14

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have had an awesome week.  Ours has been a CrraaaAAAaaaAaaazZZZzy one, but when are they not?  God has been exceedingly gracious with me this week, working on my heart in a variety of ways.  Friend, what I can tell you is this:  there is no doubt that there is a God in Heaven who loves us with more tenacity and intensity than we could ever wrap our little minds around.  Anything telling you differently is a lie straight from the pit of hell.  The things that He has done and continues to do in my life are mind-boggling.  I am one to set up a picnic right in front of a dam and am happy to call it home.  Only by His grace has He given me the desire for more.  More of Him.  More abundance and substance in my own life.  The emptier I become of my SELF, the more fulfillment I find.  HE is the real deal.  You want to know what the “Purpose-Filled Life” looks like?  It looks like JESUS.  It doesn’t look like a Mercedes or a good-looking man or a set of shiny new NFL pom-poms.  Press into Him and learn to discern what is from Him and what is not.  When your mom calls and you answer the phone, you know that it’s her because you know her voice (well, pre-caller ID I guess).  But, if your third cousin twice-removed rings you up, you might have a little hesitation as to who is on the other end of the line.  The more you hear His voice, the more recognizable it is.  And guess what?  He’s written 66 books all clumped together with His words plastered all over them.  PICK.  IT.  UP.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:14-21

Have a PURPOSE-FILLED weekend, loved ones!

XO

Well Aren’t You Something

So I gotta start off with a confession.

When people hear that I cheered for the NFL, I generally get two responses.  One is either a “wow, that’s awesome” kinda thing, and the other is a grimaced half-smile that hides their “aren’t you a mom” and “aren’t you a believer” and “aren’t they scantily clad” kinda thing.

Yes.  Yes.  And, yes.

Clearly, I had not quite mastered the “modest is hottest” mantra (which, after child #2, is a much easier lifestyle choice.)

The reason I feel the need to lay this out to the public blogosphere is that the enemy has used this to shame me from my calling, and I wonder if anyone can relate.  It’s been a couple of years since the Lord pressed upon my heart the desire to write and teach.  Even to type it out now leaves me feeling, well, naked.  I tread lightly.  “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1).  The thought makes those vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies I just scarfed wanna hop back up my throat.  My husband, my dear friends, my mentors, my family…they all knew that the Lord had called me to write (partly because I couldn’t shut my big mouth about it…however the Lord knows this about me and has chosen to tell me anyway, so I figure it’s my accountability).  Problem was, I wasn’t doing it.  And no one could figure out why.

The darkness in the front of my brain behind my eyeballs was carrying a deep root of shame.  After all, how could someone whose heroes were John MacArthur, Piper, Chandler, Bethy and Kay be so….stupid?  Shallow?  Attention-mongering?  And how ridiculous is it to go vote with my four-month old and see my swimsuit shoot plastered in the polling place’s garage?  How could I possibly stand up and wag my finger at other Christian women and tell them how awful they were for seeing Magic Mike…when I was part of the problem myself?

Welp, we’re just gonna go ahead and extinguish them there flamin’ arrows right now.  It wasn’t right.  It’s not okay.  I don’t want my daughters doing the same thing (that is…unless the girls get some godly uniforms happenin’…but I digress).  But did I learn?  Yup.  And what the enemy meant for my harm, God meant for my good.  Why?  Because of this little phrase called “progressive sanctification.”  I’ve learned it the hard way.  And I’m here to knock it into your brain so that you don’t have to.

You see, mine is not a story of being saved by Amazing Grace and then radically altering everything in my own power and being a perfectly moral, good little Christian happily ever after. Nope.  My. Story. Is. MESSY. And it ain’t over yet.

Lock arms with me, girlfriend, as I flesh out my flesh and kill my sin and show you it’s ugly, putrid, rotting carcass.  Time to get real and admit the grotesqueness of our imperfection.  Time to be the same on Sunday as we are on Wednesday.  Imma be callin’ it out.  Rock the road with me.