It Ain’t Over

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It Ain’t Over.

Many times when we find ourselves in tight spots we call it quits and throw in the towel at 11:59 – one minute before midnight; one minute too early – and a moment too soon.  But as the old saying goes, “it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings.” A better, more spiritual way of putting it is “it ain”t over till God says it’s over.”  Joseph was in the pit, Daniel was in the Lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the fiery furnace, Peter, Paul and Silas were in jail, and Jesus was nailed to a rugged cross and then buried in a borrowed tomb.

And we all know how the story ends. Joseph made it all the way to the palace; Daniel was named as the No. 3 Man in the empire, the three Hebrew boys made it out of the fire unscathed,  Peter, Paul and Silas were miraculously freed from prison, and Jesus rose from the dead.  It ain’t over until God says it’s over!

Let’s equate this to baseball. Continue reading

Turnarounds

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Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, a steel magnolia/southern belle who, like the good Samaritan, “turned around” and acted upon what she saw instead of “passing by on the other side.”

The 2009 film The Blind Side is the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized African-American boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. 

It all started when Leigh Anne “turned around.”   Just think of what could happen in your life if you just turned around?  Just think of what could happen if we all did what Arthur Ashe suggested:

Start Where You Are.

Use What You Have

Do What You Can.

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RGIII: A Life Changing Story

Robert Griffin III won the 2011 Heisman trophy running away. He was a world-class track star in high school and converted to an athletic, play-making, dual-threat quarterback in college.  Most significantly, he made a successful comeback from season-ending knee surgery which derailed his 2009 season in the third game.  He is a comeback player who owns or shares 30 Baylor records. Now with the Washington Redskins, in 2012 he led them to win the NFC East. He also won the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

It seems like there is always something special to be said about RGIII, from His dynamic story, having to work his way back from season ending knee surgery, to his thrilling comeback finishes he has provided time and time again.  Now, after off-season knee surgery yet again, he is expected to lead is team to even higher heights. 

RGIII is quoted as saying that the moment he won the Heisman was ”Unbelievably believable. Unbelievable because in the moment we’re all amazed when great things happen. But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work. The hotter the heat, the harder the steal.  No pressure, no diamonds.  We compete. We win.”  Continue reading

Give Up Giving Up

Not to be outdone by Underarmour, Nike has put out another slick slogan of their own: “#Makeitcount.”  In this commercial, personal sayings are coupled with those who are training and are committed to fulfilling several “I Will” statements including the wonderful catch-phrase, “Give Up Giving Up.”  I love it.  If we are to be the triumphant, more than conquerors we are called to be, we must stop giving up.  Getting back up is ok, but committing to “give up giving up” is even better.

We need to be strong and stay strong. How? By spiritual training.  We must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12b).  The Message Bible says “ . . . keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God.”  

So give up giving up.  Be strong in the Lord. Ask God to be the strength of your life. Ask Him to renew your strength.  Ask Him to be your strong tower, your bread when you’re hungry, your water when you’re thirsty, your shelter in the time of storm.

And then say these affirmations with me:

 

In 2013 I will . . .

 

Stay on top of my game

Train 1 hour each day (spiritually)

Outrun 2012

Set a new pace

Smash a 5K

Do it for my team

Earn a starting place

Bring my best and better it

Go further, farther, faster fiercer, harder, heavier, higher, bigger, bolder, braver, longer, stronger. 

 

And make my life count.

“#I WILL”

If you love sports, and thrive on watching and witnessing the drive to victory, you have to love the new Underarmour commercial “#IWILL.”  I will is a declaration. It is a declaration to be committed and the determination to see it through.

For high school football players, the road to the playoffs and the championship begins in August with the simple but profound phrase, “I Will.”  I will train; I practice (where is Allen Iverson when you need him?); I will work out; I will be disciplined; I will be strong. Every time and in every instance you feel like you can’t make it you should immediately declare and decree that you are not weak, for the weak are required to declare “I am strong.”

At a tough time in Joshua’s life, God Himself encouraged him three times to be strong: Continue reading

Get On A Hot Streak

Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez Flying 8.14.13Since June 22nd, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 40 games against only 8 losses.  That’s a winning percentage of 0.833.  As my kids would say, “That’s Sick!” meaning, unbelievably unreal.   The victory over the Mets Wednesday, August 14th gave the Dodgers a 40-8 record since June 22nd, the best 48-game performance since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals went 41-7.  Local television ratings for the Dodgers are up across the board for the season, and ESPN is moving Dodger games into prime time.

This is the definition of buzz.

“The buzz all starts with the success on the field,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ chief marketing officer. “Without the success on the field, I don’t think we get all the buzz.”  “The magic has happened again,” the Dodgers’ fabled 85-year old announcer Vin Scully excitedly proclaimed to his listeners as the Dodgers stormed back from trailing four-nothing to win in the Twelfth inning on Wednesday night.

When the hot streak started, Los Angeles was 30-42 and 9.5 games behind the leaders in the NL West. Today, the team boasts a 71-50 record and sits 7.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the division.  To cap it off, the Dodgers have missed the playoffs for the last three years and haven’t been in the World Series since winning it in 1988.  Now, they’re the favorite to win it all.

A hot streak is one of the more incredible phenomena in all of sports. They’re uncanny, usually unpredictable, and always unmanageable, meaning you can’t schedule a hot streak, you don’t know when it’s going to end, nor can you see one coming — “it just happens.”  Or does it? Continue reading

Why You Need A Personal Trainer

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I started working out again. Yes again. W. E. Hickson was a British educational writer who is credited with this sage advice: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I was in great shape in High school (who wasn’t?) but now I’m just in ok, so-so shape. So back to the gym I go as I try, try again.

Going back to the gym and working out with “kids” who are half my age is humbling, but I can handle it. What I can’t handle is trying to go it alone. I finally “came to myself” and realized that I need a personal trainer. Working out on my own without initial guidance, I felt lost. I wandered around the gym, watched what the die-hard gym rats were doing, and wondered what ‘da heck each apparatus would do for my body. Wandering, watching and wondering in a large gym; sounds like a real good recipe for getting back in shape. Not!

Enter Ashley, my personal trainer, physically speaking. She’s ‘da bomb. She assessed my body weight, mass and fat, and tailored a workout just for me. She doesn’t yell at me with a bullhorn, but calmly and firmly gives me instruction on what apparatus to use and how to use it. All I have to do is follow her instructions to a “T.” I can expect to get positive results if I put in the work. And put in a work out I will. Continue reading