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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Seventeen Years of Marriage and a Football Game"




As you may know, my parents and staff conspired to send my wife and me to Denver for our 17th wedding anniversary.  Dad and Mom supplied airline miles to get the plane tickets and the staff pitched in to get the football tickets, and my wife and I did our part to survive the cold--it was between 9 and 11 degrees with wind chill to -3.  We bundled up from head to toe, and stocked up on hand and foot warmers (those things work!) and tried our best to apply the Ecclesiastes 4:11 principle (that works, too!).  The National Anthem, the flyover, the roar of 76,900 voices, and my childhood football team on the field all made for an exciting time.  The game itself was a blast.  It being the coldest NFL game this year, the 4th longest game in NFL history, and record kickoff returns by Denver's Trindon Holliday made it most memorable.  As I reflect on the game and our marriage of seventeen years, some important things stand out.

  1. Prepare for Adversity.

      Both teams on the field, and every fan in the stands had to face the same conditions.  It was cold and windy, and opposition stood in everyone's way.  My wife and I were cold, to say the least, but we were prepared.  We had proper clothes and gloves, hats and boots, and we managed to last the whole game, even into double overtime.  Don't ever think that you won't face adversity in life.  You will.  Prepare for it now, and you will come through it.  Proverbs 24:10, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

2.   There are Highs and Lows.
      During the game, we saw Payton Manning throw a great touchdown to the corner of the end zone we were sitting behind.  Holliday took the first punt of the game back for a touchdown right in front of us.  The crowd went crazy with excitement!  However, we also saw Manning throw an interception that went for a touchdown in the end zone we were sitting behind.  Major highs and major lows can occur in a matter of minutes.  Life works the same way.  There will be highs and lows in life and how you respond to them will determine the outcome.  II Corinthians 4:8, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.Proverbs 29:23, A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

3. “It ain't over til its over!
      The Broncos were 9-point favorites, and with home field advantage they should have won that game.  They had the ball and a 7-point lead with under two minutes to play.  I figured we could start heading to the exit, and get out of the crowd to go get warm.  Well, it ain't over ‘til it’s over!  The Ravens got the ball back and scored with 34 seconds left in the game.  You may be on top right now, and feel as though things are going your way, or you may be on the bottom and feel as if you are never going to survive.  Keep playing!  Stay by the stuff!  It ain't over ‘til it’s over!  Don't quit on your family!  Don't quit on your church!  Don't quit on God!  Keep pressing on the upward way, and don't let up until Jesus comes!  Hebrews 3:14, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

My wife and I have enjoyed seventeen years together.  Life is filled with adversity, but we have been preparing to face it the Bible way.  There have been highs and lows in these years, but we have responded Biblically to them and made it through.  We both realize it isn’t over yet.  We still must keep trying and working to love each other more, and have a better marriage.  We can't afford to get complacent.  Let’s all be STEADFAST unto the end!  Hebrews 6:11, “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.


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Previous devotions

"How To Avoid a Wasted Year - Part 2" - January 9, 2013
"How To Avoid a Wasted Year - Part 1" - January 2, 2013
"The Gift of a Life" - December 26, 2012
"Is Yours a Heisman Christmas?" - December 12, 2012

"Rest Unto Your Souls" - December 5, 2012
"Enthusiastic" - November 28, 2012
"Consider the Poor" - November 21, 2012
"A Presidential Prayer" - November 14, 2012
"Hope" - November 7, 2012
"Fear Not" - October 31, 2012
"A Great Awakening" - October 24, 2012
"The Fabulous Fabulist" - October 17, 2012
"Rest" - October 10, 2012

"Time Out" - October 3, 2012
"The Right Call" - September 26, 2012

"The Ability Which God Giveth" - September 19, 2012
"The Presence of God" - September 12, 2012
"Why God Delays" - September 5, 2012
"As the Whirlwind Passeth" - August 29, 2012
"In HIS Time" - August 22, 2012
"Happy Are Ye" - August 15, 2012
"By the Word of God" - August 8, 2012
"Well Done" - August 1, 2012
"Bearing His Death" - July 25, 2012
"Down By The Riverside" - July 11, 2012

"Thank You, Jesus!" - July 4, 2012
"Modern Day Sodom" - June 27, 2012
"Keeping What Has Been Committed" - June 13, 2012
"The Pause That Refreshes" - June 6, 2012

"The Sin of Idleness" - May 30, 2012
"Remembered" - May 23, 2012

"Graduating Diamonds" - May 16, 2012
"Mom-Others" - May 9, 2012
True Motherhood - May 2, 2012

What Missions Means to Me - April 25, 2012
The King and the Witch - April 18, 2012

Rules for Rearing Children (Part 4) - April 11, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 3) - April 4, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 2) - March 28, 2012
Rules for Rearing Children (Part 1) - March 21, 2012

Gullible Christians - March 14, 2012
Tenacity - March 7, 2012
Above the Storm - February 29, 2012
The Principal Thing - February 22, 2012
The Greatest Valentine - February 15, 2012
He First Loved Us - February 8, 2012
Real Love - February 1, 2012
Pardon Your Enemies - January 25, 2012
Applause - January 18, 2012
Finish! - January 11, 2012
Meeting New Goals - January 4, 2012
Meeting New Goals - December 28, 2011
The Word Made Flesh - December 21, 2011
Sonship - December 14, 2011
Fruit in Old Age - December 7, 2011

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Words of Truth - March 28, 2012