Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Game...

Sometime this Sunday evening, someone at your household will probably roll her eyes and mutter the words, "it's only a game". But we know it's more than that. It's an event that will be watched by an estimated one billion people, on television and over the internet, worldwide. It's an opportunity to gather with friends and enjoy large quantities of chicken wings, nachos and other healthy snacks. And next Monday, we'll all be talking about it. But we won't just talk about the game, we'll be talking about the fun we had together...our favorite commercials... and the Springsteen show at halftime.

It's not just a game. It's also an incredible platform for Christian athletes to share their faith. From Tom Landry to Roger Staubach, Shawn Alexander, Tony Dungy and last year's Super Bowl hero, David Tyree...Christ-followers, who, in this moment in time, have the eyes and ears of the world have not been shy about proclaiming their devotion to something or Someone bigger than football.

This year, Kurt Warner, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals and Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, lead their respective teams into the League Championship game. But they have something else in's faith in Jesus.

Who did Warner thank when the Cardinals defeated the Eagles in the NFC Championship game 2 weeks ago? God. In fact, Kurt Warner's faith is well documented as he has routinely expressed it throughout his career. Both He and his wife are known publicly as born-again Christians.

You may know less about Roethlisberger's faith. Or you may remember the "cleat controversy" of 2006. Big Ben has worn the initials PJF on his cleats since he was a high school sophomore in Findlay, Ohio. But in 2006, the NFL uniform police cracked down on Big Ben (who claims he's still wearing the message somewhere - "let's see if they can find it now" he's quoted as saying).

For me, it's always exciting to hear another believer boldly proclaim their faith in Jesus. And it's also a challenge. If the microphone were in my face (or yours), would we be so bold as to give God the glory for our successes? Would we be so bold in "naming the Name of Jesus"? I'd like to think so. But the truth is, if we shy away from boldly proclaiming our faith on the small stage that most of us live on - then we shouldn't imagine that a larger stage would make us more courageous in our witness for Him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time Flies...

Recognize the guy on top of the pyramid? It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But it seems like yesterday...time flies.

I know, it's been a long time since the last blog. How long has it been?

It was in 2008.
I was still 42.
George W. Bush was still President.
John Smoltz was still a Brave.
It's literally been a month of Sundays.
Time flies.
So sorry.

These days I'm teaching through the book of Daniel (at least the prophetic parts). Much of what we're learning compels us to live our lives with a sense of urgency. The end is near (or at least nearer). Jesus is coming soon (or at least sooner). And our time is like a vapor. Each day comes and goes so quickly. So, if we're going to live like Jesus lived, love how Jesus loved and serve how Jesus served...we can't afford to wait until the season change. We must act now!

Start by praying with me...Lord Jesus, our days are short and the times are wicked. Please come quickly and rescue us from the kingdom of this world. But please, Lord Jesus, give us at least one more day to be faithful and fruitful. One more day to "kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight". One more day to seize the day for Your Kingdom and Your Cause.

Carpe Diem...

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.