“Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”

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This is a 1991 Christmas film that you’ll have to tell me about, because I’ve never seen it. According to IMDb, the plot summary goes like this: “While newspaper writer Church struggles with the death of his wife, he receives a ‘special’ assignment. He must answer a little girl’s question about whether Santa Claus really exists. It’s based on a true story.”

And the Eagle’s win against the Oakland Raiders on a frosty, Christmas Monday Night proved once again that miracles are possible, and they do in fact happen.  And if backup QB Nick Foles and all of Philly ever needed a miracle, tonight was the night. Foles looked horrible, and did everything possible to lose this game.

On a cold winter’s night in late December, the Eagles had a chance to sew up home field advantage in the playoffs. But they were flat and cold and they ran into a buzzsaw of a running back that’s torched them before.  Enter Marshawn Lynch and the Oakland Raiders with nothing to play for but to be a spoiler.

And spoiler they nearly were. Both teams played ugly and gritty, neither looking like they wanted to win. In fact, this was probably the worst the football team from Philly has played all year, and yet somehow, someway they pulled off an undeserved win.

Ever been on the plus side of an undesirved win? It’s better than beeing on the wrong side of the tracks. And it makes you awfully grateful.

All jokes aside, isn’t what God did for us on the first Christmas equally undeserving? The first Noel was to lowly shepherds, signaling the coming of grace to the least of all.

It just goes to show ya; you can be down but you don’t have to be out. You can look bad and still come out clean. You can lose battles and still win the war. And you can make mistakes and deserve defeat and still, with the help of the God of Heaven, gain the victory.

Santa Claus is the holly, jolly, giving, loving and caring saint who indeed lives in the hearts of every child and every child at heart. And so I’m offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two; miracles can and do happen.

You’ve just gotta believe

Potential: The Kiss of Death

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The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots: Potentially the Best Super Bowl, Ever?

The Seattle Seahawks are a dynasty in the making.  At the start of the 2013 season, BEFORE they won the Super Bowl, Sports Illustrated crowed them “The New Kings.” The New England Patriots, on the other hand, well, they’re won 3 Super Bowls (2002, 2004, and 2005), and so they’re more of a perennial power than a dynamic dynasty. And while it’s nowhere written that you have to win back-to-back championships to be a dynasty, let’s just say it’s an unwritten rule. The caveat, of course, is that both teams must make it out of the AFC and NFC Championship Games.

The Seattle Seahawks have the potential and promise, the possibility and probability to be a great, grand, potent football power for years to come. Or at the least, they have the chance and the chutzpah to cement that seal this season.   

The Seattle Seahawks have what we all have: drive, determination and demonstration of the  dynamism to pull off what was expected at the beginning of our seasons but almost got lost in the shuffle along the way. Superstars Russell Wilson and Luke Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and Richard Sherman lost to the Cowboys on October 12th, and after the loss to the Rams, the defending champs were 3-3; not necessarily the fantastic form displayed the year before. But they again realized they had potential.

We all have potential. And for some that could be the kiss of death. The motley crew and distinct and disparate band of brothers called the Seahawks are as contrasting as the come. Yet and still they’ve learned how to put ego aside and pull their pugnacious pride together.   Yes, together. If we as individuals and collectively as the congregation of Christ can coral our collective confidence, there is nothing we can’t do for the glory of God.

Potentially, the devil can’t stop us, and the world can’t beat us. Potentially.  We can only beat ourselves.  When a player is said to have “potential,” it means that he or she hasn’t quite lived up to the hype and the hopes of those who see pregnant possibilities in them. And Unfulfilled expectations and anticipations is a terrible thing.

On the contrary, let’s realize our own individual potential, as well as the potential we have as the combined, coalesced and cohesive Body of Christ.  Spiritually speaking, let’s swing the swagger that champions like Seattle and New England (with an honorable mention to the Packers) have.

So let’s take the promises of God, which are a certainty, and make them our reality. Let’s realize our possibilities, and make them inevitabilities. Let’s make our potential experiential.