Aggressive Faith: How To Come Back From Way Back

Stanford Coach David Shaw
Stanford Coach David Shaw Says You Just Gotta Believe

 

We love college football. And the only thing we love more than college football is college basketball and March Madness. But it’s the first full day of Fall 2018, and it’s football weather, so we’re in for upsets, comebacks and turnarounds, college football style.

In the Stanford – Oregon game — played in Eugene Oregon, mind you – with the score 24 -7, Ducks, Oregon running back Jaylon Redd appeared to have scored a touchdown, but he was later ruled to go out-of-bounds just inside the 1-yard line. He hit the pylon, and the pylon is out of bounds. It is?  Who knew? Anyway, no big deal, right? The way the Ducks were playing, they were destined to punch it in on the next play and take a seemingly insurmountable 31-7 lead in the first half. Right?  Wrong.

Wouldn’t ya know it, a bad snap sailed over Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert’s head. Stanford’s Joey Alfieri scooped it up and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. All of a sudden, a 14-point swing has the Cardinal down by just 10 points. After the game, Coach David Shaw called it the turning point of the game. And then, the Ducks go three and out, and the next time Stanford touches the ball, they go right down the field like it’s a walk in the park and they get another touchdown. That made the score 24 -21 at half-time, when it could have been 31 -7, Ducks.  Unbelievable.

And the final score? Stanford 38, Oregon 31, OT. Talk about a comeback for the ages.

The Stanford Cardinal (Cardinal is singular, mind you – but don’t ask) is ranked No. 7 in the nation. No. 7!  But they sure didn’t look like it in the early going, as Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert picked Stanford apart. It looked like a shooting gallery. It was like shootin’ ducks in a barrel – get it? Ha ha.  Anyway, Stanford couldn’t do anything right, and Oregon seemingly couldn’t do anything wrong. But that all changed in an instant. And as we live and breathe, we also believe that what’s going wrong can go right, if we only put feet to our faith.

After the miraculous comeback, Stanford Coach David Shaw said this:

 

We talk so much about believing. And not just about believing, but believing in the work and the effort and believing in the passion that we have for each other.

Wow. Coach Shaw sounds like a preacher! And he’s right. He’s exactly right. If you can believe it, you can achieve it. But you first have to believe; you must have faith.  And then you must put feet to your faith. We need not just talk about believing; we need to put our faith in action put our confidence in God in motion and do more than just believe. And that’s exactly what Stanford did.

Stanford came back from way back because they hung in there. Stanford was aggressive in the second half, and took advantage of every opportunity that came their way. And that’s what we need to do. We need to have aggressive faith. When we’re down, we should never feel like were out.

In this season, many of us are praying for revival. As we pray for a revival in the land, we should also pray for a revival in our souls. We should ask God to give us a personal revival. And as we pray, we should sing this great hymn by W. P. Mackay:

Hallelujah, thine the glory!

Hallelujah, Amen!

Hallelujah, thine the glory!

Revive us again.

 

 

 

Note From Oregon and South Carolina: “We’re The Little Engines That Could!”

Oregon vs. Kansas

I am so happy for the Oregon Ducks. I am. They KO’ed Kansas, and now they’re on their way to the Final Four. They have players like Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell. Go Ducks! The Oregon motto was “Don’t sleep on us.” And Kansas did just that, to their peril. The Associated Press said this: “With swagger and verve and downright prolific shooting, the plucky team that everybody wanted to count out rolled to a 74-60 victory over the Jayhawks on Saturday night, earning the Ducks their first trip to the national semifinals in nearly 80 years.

‘You feel so good for so many people,’ said Ducks coach Dana Altman, who is headed to his first Final Four after 13 trips to the NCAA Tournament. ‘It’s a team effort. You feel good for a lot of people.’ Indeed, a whole lot of people had a hand in it.

Tyler Dorsey hit six 3s and poured in 27 points, and Dillon Brooks added 17 points; and what about the defense of Jordan Bell? Bell finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in a virtuoso performance for the Ducks (33-5). Bell was a man among men as he single-handedly shut down the Kansas offense. Oregon seized the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half and never trailed the rest of the way.”

South Carolina Coach and Players

And what about the South Carolina Gamecocks? They took on and took out Duke and Baylor and Florida, and now they’re on their way to their first Final Four, ever. In the Elite Eight, South Carolina was seeded as a No. 7, and Florida, seeded as a No. 4, with its portfolio of postseason pedigree, couldn’t stop a determined South Carolina squad.  Their victory “T” Shirts read: “Cut the Nets.”  To the victor goes the spoils.  And I love their coach.  Just look as his facial expression. Frank Martin coaches with the intensity and the  propensity to push and pull and poke and prod his team on to victory.  Love it. 

So the correlation is clear. You must believe that you can! Just like the children’s book entitled, “The Little Engine That Could,” first and foremost we all need to dig deep and double down and stop listening to the naysayers who say that we don’t have the right stuff and we don’t do the right things and we’re too awkward and too backward and we’re too this and too that, and blah, blah, blah.  Phooey!

So here’s a homework assignment. Let’s all go and find and get and read “The Little Engine That Could,” again, or the first time. It’s an illustrated children’s book that became widely known in the United States after publication in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story is used to teach children (and dare I say adults?) the value of optimism and hard work, something we all need a little more of. Amen

Wham, Bam, Thank You Cam!

cam-newton-slapping hands

Cam Newton is for real. I mean, for real, for real. He’s certainly not a one and done deal, or a one night stand, that’s for sure. They way things are going for him, Cam should shine in the NFL for a long, long time.

In the NFC Championship Game yesterday, he lead his Carolina Panthers to an annihilation of the Arizona Cardinals, the No. 2 team in the NFC, 49-15, and as they say, it wasn’t that close. The Panthers won by 34 points, and they didn’t let up in the second half like they did against the Seahawks to leave little to no question about how good they really are.

Cam is a ham. Yes he is. He runs the inside rim of the stadium after games and slaps hands with the fans, and he celebrates after touchdowns more than most.  But when you beat up and beat down your opponent like he beat Arizona, you feel that you have the right to flaunt and to taunt, even if you’re not supposed to. The domination was so bad that it was like a crucifixion, and as crucifixions go, it wasn’t pretty. But Cam the ham is the fruit of Cam being the sacrificial lamb.

At one point in his career, Cam was in a jam. Or two. He’s worked his way back from being kicked off of one team and playing for another unknown junior college team to winning the Heisman Trophy to being the No. 1 Draft Pick in the NFL to being on the verge of winning the Super Bowl. At age 26. So before you damn and sham Cam, walk a mile in his shoes.

On November 21, 2008, Newton was arrested for receiving stolen property after purchasing a stolen laptop computer from another University of Florida student. He was subsequently suspended from the team after the laptop was found to be in his possession.

In January 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, to play for head coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione. That fall he led his team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship, throwing for 2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns and rushing for 655 yards. He was named a Junior College (juco) All-America honorable mention and was the most recruited juco quarterback in the country.

Then Auburn “came a calling,” and Cam went on to win the Heisman and the National Championship. The Tigers beat Oregon 22–19 to win the BCS National Championship in 2011. Newton threw for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed 22 times for 65 yards, though he lost a fumble that later allowed Oregon to tie the game with limited time remaining. Once Auburn got the ball back, Newton drove the Tigers down the field to win the game on Wes Byrum’s last-second field goal.

One major story of the next two weeks leading up to the Panthers’ shot at a Lombardi Trophy against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl L will be how much people hate him. That’s been the case throughout his career, from those who saw him as an inevitable bust to those who resent his “antics” and his celebrations. But guess what? That shouldn’t be a surprise to Cam.

In the game of life, we all have haters and helpers, supporters and detractors. Cam’s got critics and skeptics as well as backers and boosters. You can’t have one without the other. It’s just like that. So the lesson is, just get used to it. Cam recognizes that everyone is not in his corner, but that does not faze him or raze him or daze him. Good for him.

Cam has risen and rocketed to sports stardom after being kicked to the curb and thrown from the train. And as heroes go, he’s garnered faithful fans and frightful foes along the way. Yet through it all, he has not bowed to the pressure of doubt but has allowed the force of his faith, and the attacks of his allies and his antagonists alike, to fuel his fire.

Go Cam.

Ohio State Is “Oh, High O!”

Ohio State

Ohio State overcame their mistakes and missteps, miscues and misfortunes, and road a 3rd string quarterback and Ezekiel Elliott, who rushed for 242 yards, all the way to the National Championship.

Ohio State’s third-string, that’s right, it bears repeating — their THIRD-STRING quarterback, Cardale Jones, was promoted to starter after misfortunate, season-ending injuries to the starter Braxton Miller and backup J.T. Barrett. The 250-pound third-year sophomore’s résumé includes three starts — a Big Ten title, a Sugar Bowl title and a 42-20 win over No. 2 Oregon in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Go Figure!

The Ohio State Buckeyes won the National Championship by defeating the Oregon Ducks 42-20 in a game that proved you can be down, but you’re never out.  Oregon had the Heisman Trophy winner. Ohio had a 3rd string backup. But when they were down, Ohio State scored 21 unanswered points and never looked back as they ran all over and right through the Oregon Ducks defense.

Ohio State made their share of mistakes as they committed 4 turnovers – that’s four fumbles, and yet they still won by double digits. That, my friends, is an example of how not to get down on yourself and how not to beat yourself down just because you’ve made a mistake, or two  . . . or three  . . . or four.

So congrats to Ohio State. In last night’s game, they made mistakes. Some were really big, really bad and really bubble-headed mistakes. But they overcame every one. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all overcome and recover from them. And that’s the difference between an overcomer and an underachiever.

So, if you’re an overcomer, then you’ve come over some high hills and come through some low valleys. A mistake is not a dead end; it actually can lead to new beginning; it’s an opportunity to make an active revision to your life.

So take a page from the Ohio State Buckeyes: overcome every mistake you’ve made and every mistake you’ll make in this game of life by putting them behind you. You’ll have to. Because if you don’t, you won’t conquer what’s in front of you. So continue to forget about — and better yet, learn from — your mistakes on the way to your remarkable, wonderful win.

Too Legit To Quit

Rose Bowl

This time, the hype was not hysteria. The Oregon Ducks are in fact and indeed for real.  They’re quick, they’re fast, they’re strong, and they proved that they can bang with, and even beat down, the big boys.  And they’re too legit to quit, and that’s why they will win the National Championship.

This time, the actual games were better than all the glitter. And James Winston and Florida State actually lost a game, badly. And Alabama also lost (and some have reacted gladly). We all knew the time was coming (for Oregon to win big and Winston to lose bad), it’s just that it all came to a head and it all came crashing down in one fell swoop.

In the Rose Bowl this time, the second-seeded Ducks (13-1) scored six straight times they touched the ball in the second half, with five of the touchdowns covering at least 21 yards and the last four coming after Florida State turnovers. Marcus Mariota and the Ducks are built for speed and in a flash they turned the first College Football Playoff semifinal game into a Rose Bowl rout. The final score: OREGON 59, FLORIDA STATE 20, and it wasn’t that close.

This time, it’s time that the truth comes out.  And ultimately the truth will come out. The critics have been downing and dogging the Ducks for far too long .That time is over. Now, it’s time for Oregon to shine for the football world to see.  And those of us who love God and live for God and are determined to disappoint the devil are also coming to the light for all the whole wide world to see. 

It’s about time for those who have been reborn and redeemed and restored and repaired by the power of God to predominate and prevail.  It’s about time for those who have been revived and revamped and refreshed and reframed by the Almighty God to overcome and overpower every archrival and every archenemy.  And it’s time for those of us who have been regenerated and resuscitated and refurbished and redecorated by the Spirit of God to know that we are destined to defeat and destroy every opponent and every antagonist that dares to even approach us.

And so the spiritual tie-in is clear: it’s time. It’s time to conquer hate with love. It’s time to redirect wrong by doing right.  And it’s time to overcome evil with good.  It’s just time, because believers of God are too legit to quit.