Archive for August, 2016

Blue sign points the way to happiness

I heard someone the other day make this statement to me about how unhappy his life is and all of the troubles he is going through right now. He said that after all the bad stuff he has had to deal with, he believes now he has paid the price and is due some happy times because he deserves to be happy.

Is that how our lives are supposed to be? We struggle with daily trials and difficulties whether we are married or single. We deal with our kids, our jobs, and our families and once we reach a certain point, the scale tips and then things start to go our way? Is that part of God’s plan?

But what does God think? Does He say, “Well this guy has been on my “bad” list for 6 months but now I am going to switch him over to my good list to balance things out”.

Sometimes I think we work hard in our minds to assume that God thinks like we do.

Everyday, all of us hear that something isn’t fair or, we need to balance that out when all along God never promised us happiness and bliss while here on earth.

I know what I am about to say will not excite anyone but the reality is, who are you or who am I that we would challenge God about anything? The idea that God needs to bring me happiness in this life or else is ludicrous and frankly, just selfish. I have said this before, God is God and we are NOT. If we approach God on those terms, HE WILL NOT HEAR US. The Bibles tells us to, humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10

There is a character in the Bible that maybe you have heard of or maybe not called Paul. Before he was Paul however, he was called Saul and before he was an Apostle, he was on a mission to exterminate Christians from the early church (Acts 9:1). Saul was NOT a nice guy. But as we see in the same series of verses (Acts 9:1-17), God had a very different idea about who Saul was and how He would use him for His own purposes. God’s intent was to save Saul and use an actual enemy of Christianity as a force for His good.

My main point in using this story today is to simply draw your attention to a single verse from Christ at the point of Saul’s conversion.

For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name. Acts 9:16

When I read this, my first thought was Christ was getting retribution from Saul for all of the persecution he inflicted upon Christians by making him suffer too. But then I realized that was not the case at all, Christ was foreshadowing the many statements that Paul himself would make as he walked his own Christian journey.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

 

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

 

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.     Philippians 1:27-30 (NKJV)

 

Through his own suffering, Paul experienced an amazingly, intimate relationship with Christ that he would never give up for anything he had before. There are so may examples of how Paul went through prison and torture and still praised God.

Read this from Paul’s own words:

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move.

 I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

2 Corinthians 11:23-27

 

So am I suggesting that we focus on just suffering for God? No, I’m not. What I am suggesting is that my original question is flawed because we are NOT on this earth to be “JUST” happy. God never promised us that. He never told us that life on this earth would be pure bliss and our existence is just about being happy. I do think the world we live in does make that a priority. What God did tell us is that HE WOULD BE WITH US as we walked down the path. One thing I can say with confidence, bad things will happen but in Him, we can find ways to move forward even though we may be in pain. God does NOT owe you or me anything. You have been given a freewill to choose either the easy path or the hard one. (Luke 13:24)

I encourage you to read what Paul wrote about the pain of his life and his journey as a way to help inspire you on yours. (Philippians 3: 7-11) If we can gain the right perspective about our life here on earth and NOT think that God owes us anything, it will change the way you think and pursue God but more importantly, the suffering you may experience along the way will be different. How?

God will use your suffering to make you stronger in Him. I know it sounds crazy but if you rely on God while on the path, He will get you through safely and over to the other side.

I leave you with one more word from Paul:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

 

Until next time guys…

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NFL-football-players

We have been battling through a whole bunch of life stuff on this blog for a long time so I thought we might take a break this time and think about the great game of football. So in honor of this new season of the NFL, I collected 40 or so interesting and fun facts about this game we love. These are some great facts about football that I have never thought of before like who knew that the “G” on the Packers helmet stood for “Greatness” and not “Green”?

I hope you guys enjoy this post…

40 Interesting Facts about Football

  1. It takes about 600 cows to make one full season’s worth of NFL footballs.
  1. The Wilson Sporting Goods Company in Ada, Ohio, has been the official football supplier for the NFL since 1941. They make more than 2 million footballs of all sorts every year.
  1. A cow has only a 1 in 17,420,000 chance of becoming an NFL football that is used in the Super Bowl.
  1. Only two players have caught, rushed, and thrown a touchdown against the same team in the same game: Walter Payton in 1979 and David Patton in 2001.
  1. While football originally was popular in midwestern industrial towns, its growth in popularity around the U.S. is typically traced to the 1958 NFL Championship game, which has been called the “Greatest Game Ever Played.”
  1. Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett is the only player to rush for a 99-yard touchdown, in 1983.
  1. Just two years after finishing their careers, approximately 78% of NFL players go bankrupt.
  1. In 1892, former Yale star William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first recognized pro player when he accepted $500 to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association.
  1. Though football games usually last around 3 hours, the ball is typically in play for only 11 minutes. Around 56% of the game on TV is devoted to replays.
  1. In an NFL game, as many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of total TV air time (excluding commercials) is spent on shots of players standing on the line of scrimmage, huddling, or just walking around between snaps.
  1. Injured football players in televised NFL games get six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players.
  1. The average age of an NFL cheerleader is 25 years old.
  1. NFL cheerleaders typically make $50–$75 a game. However, by the time they spend money on makeup, hair accessories, dance classes, etc., they end up losing money.
  1. During broadcast NFL games, cheerleaders are on TV for only about 3 seconds. Coaches and referees receive around 7% of the face time in a game.
  1. An NBC’s Sunday Night Football producer says that he makes it a point to get Dallas cheerleaders on screen but “otherwise, it’s not really important . . . if it’s the Jets, I couldn’t care less.”
  1. In the 1930s, NFL game telecasts were simply a constant feed of the field. Instant replay became commonplace in the mid-1960s, which helped fill the idle moments of the game. By the 1990s, some football broadcasts showed about 100 replays per game.
  1. Deion Sanders is the only person in history to both hit an MLB home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week. He’s also the only person to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl.
  1. The NFL has annual revenue of $9 billion, with a profit of 1 billion. MLB has annual revenue of $7.2 billion, with a profit of $49 million.
  1. The NFL consists of 32 teams, with an average team value of $1 billion. MLB has 30 teams, with an average team value of $523 million.
  1. The average game attendance for an NFL game is 66,957 spectators. For MLB, it’s 30,135 spectators.
  1. There are nearly 3 million sports industry jobs in the U.S, which is approximately 1% of the population.
  1. According to the California Avocado Commission, 12 million pounds of avocados will be purchased in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat 8 million pounds of guacamole.
  1. The Baltimore Ravens are named after Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”  The team mascots are named Edgar, Allan, and Poe. Poe wrote his famous poem while living in Baltimore in the 1830s.
  1. Though wings and pizza are the most popular Super Bowl snacks, around 11 million pounds of chips are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday. Additionally, around 4 million pounds of pretzels and 2.5 million pounds of nuts are eaten that day.
  1. Contrary to common opinion, the “G” on the Green Bay Packers helmet doesn’t stand for Green Bay. Rather, it stands for “Greatness.”
  1. Six teams in the NFL don’t employ cheerleaders: the Bears, the Browns, the Lions, the Giants, the Steelers, and the Packers.
  1. Super Bowl XLV was the first Super Bowl with no cheerleaders at the game because both the Steelers and the Packers don’t employ cheerleaders.
  1. The most famous NFL cheerleading squad is the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. They were originally a male/female group called the CowBelles & Beaux.
  1. The huddle was invented by Paul Hubbard. A legally deaf quarterback from Gallaudet University, he “huddled” other players together so he could hear them better and to protect them from the other teams’ prying eyes.
  1. The last scoreless NFL game was in 1943 when the Detroit Lions and New York Giants battled it out for a 0-0 tie.
  1. As of September 2012, the Dallas Cowboys were the highest-valued sports franchise in the history of the United States.
  1. The wealthiest team in the NFL is the Dallas Cowboys. They have an estimated value of approximately $2.1 billion and generate almost $269 million in annual revenue.
  1. The first recognized football game as played between Rutgers and Princeton Universities in 1869, using rugby-like rules.
  1. Red Grange was football’s first true superstar. He was one of the first athletes to sign endorsements. His games attracted record crowds and he also starred in several movies.
  1. American football has several names around the world. In Europe it’s called soccer, and in the U.K. it’s called rugby.
  1. The Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team in history to complete an undefeated playing season, in 1972.

37. The days when Super Bowl games are played rank second when it comes to the   highest American food consumption. The number one-day when Americans eat is Thanksgiving.

  1. NBA players earn a bit over $4 million. MLB players earn a little under $3 million. NFL players are the lowest-paid players, with salaries that average to less than $1.5 million dollars.
  1. Ronnie Lott had his left pinky amputated after the 1985 season. It had been crushed during a tackle on running back Timmy Newsome
  1. Antacid sales increase by 20% the day after the Super Bowl. Additionally, 6% of Americans will call in sick the day after

 

And finally…

  1. During Super Bowl halftime, there are an estimated 90 million toilet flushes. That’s equivalent to 180 million gallons of water flowing at once, or 3.5 minutes of flowing water on the Niagara Falls