A Solitary Life

I went through a rough patch with my faith when I was young.  I’ve been through a lot, and I couldn’t imagine that God (who supposedly loved me), would put me through the awful things I went through.

But, I came around.  My faith is mine.  So know that I share my story of faith with you out of the spirit of sharing and nothing more.  It is not my intention to change someone’s mind, or have them change mine.  My relationship with God is very personal.  And it’s mine.  And I trust His will and guidance and I know, now, that the things I’ve been through were to prepare me for my mission on earth.  I believe that I was put here to shepherd others through their darkness.  Which is why I do so well with words.  It’s why I can convey emotion with my written and verbal communication; serenity and anger and sadness and motivation and love and fear and determination…. all part of the gift I was given.  And while it does make for a sometimes very challenging life, it is really all part of what I need to experience to be able to help other people.

I trust Him, explicitly.

And although I’m very familiar with the origins of Christmas and the pagan roots, I still choose to observe the birth of Christ as a wonderful and momentous occasion.  One man….just one… changed a whole planet.  Jesus changed everything.  I’m grateful for the sacrifice.

A wonderful friend posted this, yesterday, on Facebook.  Originally seen in Spanish, by him, he’s graciously translated it for the rest of us.
(**Side note….the irony is that my daddy had this exact. same. thing. in a frame when I was young, but I never knew what it said.  So I knew it was Divinity that placed it in my path this weekend.)

A Solitary Life
He was a man born in an insignificant little town. Son of a peasant woman. He grew up in another town of no importance, worked as a carpenter until he was 30 years old. And then, for 3 years, he was a nomadic preacher. He never wrote a book, never raised a family, and He never attended a university. He never set foot in any large cities. He never traveled more than 320 kilometers away from the place of His birth. He never did any of the things that are usually associated with greatness; the only credentials he had was Himself.
When He was still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. In the hour of most danger, his friends abandoned him. One of them denied Him, another betrayed Him. He had to deal with mockery by a jury of His peers. He was nailed to a cross in between two thieves.
His executioners, while He died, gambled for the only material possession He had left in the world: His tunic. When He died, He was lowered from the cross then placed in a borrowed tomb.
Almost 20 centuries have passed, and He is still the only hope for the world, the only comfort for the sad and Savior for the sinners. All the navies that have been assembled, all the armies that have ever existed, all the governments that have been put in place, and all the kings that have ever ruled……..
All of that, combined, has not affected mankind living on Earth as powerfully as that one, solitary life.
Merry Christmas, if you celebrate.  And if not, have a truly wonderful day!
Advertisements

Tim Tebow and the hand of God

 This post has been a long time coming.  It’s been milling about in my head for days/weeks/months.  Technically, I’ve had a very strong opinion on Tim Tebow since we drafted him back when Josh McDaniels was blowing up coaching the Denver Broncos.  Ugh…. McNugget is a whole other issue.  This is about Tebow.

Tim Tebow AP Photo: Jack Dempsey

Tim Tebow AP Photo: Jack Dempsey

But… it isn’t.

Sit tight with me, folks.  I need to give you some background.

  1. I have been, am, and always will be a Denver Broncos fan, despite the fact that some have accused me of being a bigger Indianapolis Colts fan.
  2. Beyond that, I am a football fan, through and through.  The world stops in my household on Football Sunday.  And Monday.  And sometimes Thursday.  And Saturday, during the playoffs.  Yep…. I’m that guy girl.  So this little rant of mine that’s coming is well founded.  This isn’t something I am regurgitating from talk radio or my husband.  I can think for myself. And I know what I’m talking about.
  3. I am a believer.  I don’t know how far into saying “I’m a Christian” I will go, but if you had to categorize me, yes.  I’m a Christian.

Now that you’ve got some background on me, let’s get started.

Yep… the Denver Broncos are winning games.  And yes, Tebow is leading them.  And yes, he’s a Christian.  And yes, he brings some energy that is exciting and inspiring.

I am so tired of hearing, from my fellow fans, “Tebow’s taking us to the Super Bowl.”  Are you kidding me? We win a few games and all of a sudden we’re a championship team?  Give me a break.  I don’t know how it is in other cities, but I’ve been told that Denver fans are some of the worst in this sense.  We win a few games and suddenly we’re a Championship-caliber team.

Wrong.  We’re not.  And let me tell you why.

  • Tebow is still a rookie quarterback.  He’s green, still.  He’s not accurate.  He still makes stupid choices.  He’s still learning, for Pete’s sake!
  • We can’t go to the Super Bowl with a quarterback who can’t pass consistently and accurately.  And we certainly can’t go with receivers who couldn’t catch a ball in a 3 foot net surrounding them.  Seriously!  How many balls are thrown and hit them in the chest or the hands and they drop it.  Geez!  It’s embarrassing.
  • The defense is playing inspired football.  It’s the only thing we have going for us.  But does anyone remember the ’06 Bears with Rex Grossman?  He had the worst QB rating, ever, in a Super Bowl.  And was mediocre before that.  The defense got them to the Super Bowl. But defenses don’t win Super Bowls.  And if I measure us against the Green Bay Packers (a well-rounded, solid team), there’s no contest.

But it isn’t just that.  A very good friend of mine (who is also a fan just of another team), had a discussion with me last year when we drafted Tebow.  I was pretty fired up about it, then (go figure, huh?) because we drafted a quarterback when we really needed help with defense.  But whatever… bygones.  He asked me. “Is it the fact that he’s a Christian?”  Yeah… it was part of it.  I wasn’t sold on Tebow.  And the whole Christian thing was a turn off.  I was over it.  Just play football, you schmuck.  But then I saw some interviews.  And I saw how he carried himself in the media.  You know what I found?  He is a Christian, but it’s *us* who are making that into what he’s about.  The media is sensationalizing it.  I didn’t really care.  I just wanted to see the guy play football.

Then… Tebowing.  Wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quart back more polarizing than he is.  People are all types of pissed about the Tebowing thing.  Let me be clear: I don’t give a rip about Tebowing.  People are like, “It’s not Tebowing, it’s praying.”  Sure.  It is.  Who cares, though?  For some of these people, I am truly shocked!  I mean, really?  True Christians who are passing a blanket judgment on others, and for what?  For the glory of knowing that they are somehow better because they “pray” and don’t “Tebow.”  Whatever.  I know enough about Christianity to know this much:

It is not my place to know what’s in the hearts of men.  It is *my* responsibility to have a relationship with Christ, and He will take care of the rest.

Then… and this was the kicker for me today…. I hear, on the news, that some Pastor in Castle Rock, Colorado is preaching that God is helping Tebow win games.  “It’s not luck,” Wayne Hanson said. “Luck isn’t winning six games in a row. It’s favor. God’s favor.”

What. The. HECK?  I can’t claim to know God’s plan, or know His thoughts on Pro-Football.  But I’m gonna take a guess that winning/losing in the NFL doesn’t really rank compared with famine, disease and tragedy that the people on this earth face on a daily basis.  So that’s just asinine, to assume that it’s God’s favor.  You know, people on the opposing teams (and fans) pray, too.  Just sayin’.

I made a joke, recently, that seeing Tebow “Tebowing” probably ripped a hole in the time/space continuum.  Let me be clear: I don’t mind that he prays.  I don’t mind that he’s a Christian.  I don’t mind that people are mimicking him, all over the world (notice I said mimic, not mock).  I think that God does amazing things with people who get on their knees for Him for *any* reason.  That’s His business, not mine.  For once, we have a guy who’s a pro-athelete getting on the news for something other than rape/drug abuse/domestic assault/etc. and actually inspiring adults and children to be better people, to reach for their goals, and to have faith in something bigger than themselves.  That is absolutely amazing.

Here’s what I can see, as a fan and as a woman of strong spiritualism: Tebow doesn’t pray that God will help him win the game.  He’s said this, out loud.  When Tim Tebow is praying, he prays that God will give him patience/guidance/strength/focus…whatever.  The reason he is able to come back after a fumble or interception or 3-and-out series and play like it’s his first drive is because he has the divine gift of focus.  That’s all.  His faith keeps him strong and focused and determined.  And that’s not because “God likes Tebow” any more than God likes any of us.

I have long said that Tim Tebow has talent and a drive to succeed that I’ve not seen in a while.  He is, essentially, the Rocky of Football. “What he lacks in skill, he makes up for with will.”  Give the guy time and space, to grow into the NFL.  I believe in his abilities.  He’s not, nor should he, be ready to “take us all the way.”  He’s just a man.  And he’s still learning.

He makes it fun to watch the Broncos play, again.  We haven’t had that in a while.  I like Tebow.  I do.  But I’m not going to run out and buy all the Tebow gear I can find, because his future in Denver is uncertain.  But please, people… lay off the whole “God/Tebow/Christian” thing.  He’s just a man.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

A prayer on the morning of her biopsy

Dear Lord,

It is with great pain that I am praying this morning.  I’ve been awake for hours.  I’ve been just lying there, allowing my mind to totally take over and go through the one million possibilities that can come from today’s biopsy.  About 90% of them are good.  But I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t the 10% that was really messing with my head.

Of those 10%, some of them include survival.  Some don’t.  And either way, imagining it is more than I can stand.

I’ve learned some lessons, Lord, in the last couple of weeks.  The first being: real lumps do grow in the breasts of 16-year-old girls.  The close second being: I should take her seriously if she tells me before 7am.  But it’s been more than that.  I don’t underestimate the love of strangers and the compassion of friends.  Most everyone I have told about this has shared a genuine understanding of my fear; I didn’t expect that.  Most people said, “It’s probably nothing.”  And they’re probably right.  And although a week ago I hated that people said it, today I’m grateful.

Lord, she is only 16 years old.  I know you know that, but I am imploring you – don’t let this be cancer.  She has a whole life ahead of her.  And she deserves the shot at living it out without ever having to worry about chemo, radiation, lumpectomies, or anything of that nature.

*sigh* But I know that Your Will be done, and I trust You.  That being said…. I’m praying, hard, that you are on my side, this time.

Wait… did I say this time?  Okay, yeah – let’s be honest here.  I’ve been given a shit deal in my life.  They say that You never give more than someone can handle, and I believe that.  I’ve handled a lot.  A lot a lot.  And I can and will handle more.  But I don’t want her to bear this burden.  She deserves better than what I’ve gotten.  She is a perfect sweet creation of amazingness.  And she deserves better.

And while I’m praying, I’m want to throw in a good word for all the ladies (and men, I suppose) who are dealing with the real, live thing.  I’m praying for them, their families, their friends.  I’m praying for the people who have lost the ones they love to it.  I know the sheer magnitude of the fear I am dealing with, and I realize that it’s *nothing* compared to the battle these other people are facing, or have dealt with.  Lord, for just one day, take their pain and make it easy.  Give them a break.  They deserve it, too.

All in all…. I am afraid, my God.  I am terrified and here it is, before 6am, and I am begging you – don’t let it be cancer.

In Your Precious Name I pray,

Amen.