Halftime, Durham, North Carolina. The Duke Blue Devils have just scored the first touchdown that top-ranked Alabama has surrendered in two-and-a-half games.
Not exactly a moment to panic, however. Alabama leads at the half, 45-13.
Cue the halftime interview with Coach Nick Saban. “Coach,” Sideline Babe says, “Were you upset about giving up your first touchdown of the season?”
“I don’t care about the touchdown,” Saban replies. “I’ve just been talking to our guys about playing to a standard.”
Fast-forward one week. Halftime again. This time, nobody wearing white and crimson was strutting to the locker room. The defending national champions are trailing a very strong Arkansas Razorbacks team in Fayetteville 17-7, and it’s no fluke. These Hogs are good, and Bama’s looking rough.
Somebody… not namin’ names here… but somebody woke somebody up. Final Score: Alabama 24, Arkansas 20.
After the game, Coach Nick had this to say:
“I want them to remember what it’s like not playing the way you’re capable of playing, not playing with the intensity and focus you need to have. We have a standard we want to play to, we want to play to it all the time. We certainly didn’t get that done in the first half.”
Another Clock is Counting Down
Football is not the only place where the clock is ticking toward zero. [click to continue…]
Jon Acuff recently shared the story of a coworker named Brian who had witnessed the death of a man in the gym a day before. Apparently he had a heart attack, and nobody could help, except to vainly call 911. Now a day later, the coworker was filled with regret and what-if scenarios.
Twenty years ago, James’ life took a detour through some moral quicksand. And though he can tell you in glowing terms today about the grace of God that lifted him out of the “miry clay” and “set his feet upon a rock,” sometimes the past comes blowing back in his face like a cold rain. Even though he lives today as a forgiven man, at times he still finds himself on the Highway of Regret.
I can certainly relate to both of those scenarios – helpless situations and careless choices. But the regrets that nag me the most have to do with unfinished business. [click to continue…]
If only I could love them enough…
To unfeel her pain
To unmake his choices
To unmedicate her sickness
To unreap his consequences
Surely there’s a way…
To fill a bottomless void
To fix brokenness-in-motion
To free him from self-made prisons
To find for her what keeps getting lost
To forgive for him what he can’t forgive himself
Short of that, I must…
Admit how powerless I am
Believe in a Redeemer more gracious and alive than I
Turn it over, turn it over, turn it over,
And (hardest of all)…
Leave it in His hands.
You’ll want to read this story… because it’s yours in some way.
Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
What do you do when you’ve done everything you know to do? What do you do when your tried-and-true system, which has worked before, doesn’t work this time? How do you respond when God makes a promise and you’ve seen it fulfilled – but this time it doesn’t seem to be “working?”
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
They’ll laugh when they read this, but I sometimes call Kaye and Mark, whom I love very much, Barbie and Ken. From a distance, they have a storybook life that looks like an 8×10 glossy. Kaye was a Baylor Beauty; Mark was a quarterback/safety for Frank Broyles’ University of Arkansas football teams. They married, settled in Little Rock, and had four beautiful children.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Mark and Kaye weren’t just church wallflowers. [click to continue…]