Saturday, September 24, 2011

So Much More Than a Game...

It began a long time ago…. At least 40 years ago.  It is not a secret that girls are often “Daddy’s girls” and the bond between a dad and his daughter is often quite strong.  Of course since I was my dad’s birthday present in 1964 – it goes without saying that our bond would be forever strong.

There are many directions that this entry could take – some would make us all cry – some would make me cry but today is about something so much more….. Today is Saturday – and I am doing one of my most favorite things – watching ESPN’s College Game Day!

My dad would walk the sidelines of the Perrin Pirate football games.  In fact when we go watch my nephew three play – I still want to walk the sidelines and watch.  There are others that continue to do the same.  I went to every Pirate football game from 1966 – 1983 and during that time we also went to Baylor Bear football games in Waco.  And of course we watched the Dallas Cowboys on Sundays.  When I was a freshman in high school – a friend of Danny White’s got us tickets to see the Cowboys play at the old stadium – football is just a part of who I am.

That love of football has never left me.  It was a bit difficult when I married a wonderful man who went to a school without a football team – he did not understand my withdrawal on Friday nights when we were first married.  That quickly changed – and we watched Gilmer Buckeye football in East Texas.  Then when I started teaching in Graham we became avid Graham Steer fans.  In 1998 when Nephew one was a freshman that love of football went to a completely different level when I started watching our boys play and our boys of four increased to our boys of seven when the McCoy family came to Graham.

David Rupkalvis, editor of the Graham Leader, perhaps said it best…..

Quote from the editor's column in the Graham Leader

I do love football.  It has been a joy to watch #12 play in the Longhorn uniform and now leading the Cleveland Browns, we had so much fun watching the receiver at Hardin Simmons – he was a receiver that is steady and strong (Son two took after him – they both have the best hands….) but the bond between a QB and his O line is much like that dad and his daughter bond.  Forever.

So it was that the forever bond took us to California last weekend.  One dream I have is to visit football stadiums and watch college teams play all over the nation.  Of course the Rose Bowl in Pasadena would be a place to visit.  I will never forget Vince waltzing into the end zone nor the one standing on the sidelines a few years later.  But this year it was about a QB – and for me it was about his O lineman.

The friendship of those two has done more for my family than most will ever know.  In many ways the QB's love for Jesus brought our family back to that in a time when we did not even know we were away.  He was our Graham Steer quarterback and for three of those years – Son one was his O lineman.

When Texas announced that our QB would be the starting QB on Saturday against UCLA in the Rose Bowl – we started looking for tickets.  God blesses people in many different ways and for us it was with reasonable plane tickets, a time frame that worked, and being able to find game day tickets.  The QB’s dad – Brad was flying into LAX on the same flight and Colt’s financial agent was flying out of LAX that evening at the same time.  All the details worked and that O lineman got to watch his QB start in his first college game.

For me football is about the game – I do love the Xs and Os (I understand the game – I could probably coach a team ….) but it is also about the people and the excitement it produces.  Just this morning on ESPN College Game Day – they interviewed Dabo Swinney – coach at Clemson – I loved that interview and now will want to watch teams he coaches.  He talked about showing enthusiasm, loving what you do and being excited.  He also has a sign on his desk - There is nothing less important than the score at half time.

David was right – I do love football.  Thanks Dad – following you around is where it all began…

Notes: There is so much more I could write about football!  Last year when Son one was in Montgomery – getting to be in the stadium where the historical Blue/Gray games were held and seeing the Roll Tide/Auburn rivalry.  Son one’s senior year we took the QB to an A&M game and I have even been on the field at DKR when Colt was a QB at Texas.  My football experiences are just some of my favorite memories!  And of course watching our boys play high school football was the VERY best and ones I will treasure for a lifetime. 

Before the game!  Hook 'em!

His first TD pass!

Our group after the game

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Monday, September 12, 2011

He Inhabits Praise...

When you’re up against a struggle
That shatters all your dreams
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed
By Satan’s manifested schemes.
And you feel the urge within you
To submit to earthly fears
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in
Seem to disappear.

Praise the Lord….
He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you
That they drop powerless behind you
When you Praise Him.

I grew up in Perrin, Texas and worshiped at FBC, Perrin.  I love that church.  One summer we went to an Imperials concert.  I tend to be obsessive, compulsive about music and particularly lyrics.  The “Praise the Lord” song was recorded by Russ Taff & the Imperials somewhere between 1978-1981 – and was written in 1978 by Brown Bannister & Mike Hudson.  I memorized the song years ago and I still know those lyrics today!  My poor parents (you know those people that gave Greta the name of Cheryl…..)  – we did not have internet back then….. so in order to know the lyrics – I had to play the song over and over and over and over.  Needless to say “Praise the Lord” wasn’t the only song I memorized! J

I have the song on my iPhone now and I played it on my way to church this week.  Struggles have seemed a little to close to home and a little to frequent of late.  Mine are certainly not more than anyone else’s but I realize that any time struggles happen with those closest to us – it just weighs heavily on our hearts and our minds.  For me it is easy to know that God is going to take care of me – in the big picture but I think I tend to submit to earthly fears on the day to day matters. 

And of course – as usual God just works when we need him to work!  Our minister shared from Psalm 29 this same day.  I particularly heard the following:

When we realize who God is – God is in charge. He is enthroned over the flood (over my struggles….) – enthroned as King forever…. “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”  Psalm 29:11.

Now Satan is a liar
And he wants to make us think –
That we are paupers, when he knows himself
We are children of the King.
So lift up the mighty shield of faith
For the battle must be won
We know that Jesus Christ has risen
So the work’s already done….

Say an extra prayer for those people that gave Greta the name of Cheryl and taught me to Praise the Lord.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.