A Young Lad Goes From Bad To Sad: The Markelle Fultz Story

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Markelle Fultz’s Future in Philly is Fairly Debatable

It’s not just bad — now it’s turned so, so sad for this young lad. The Markelle Fultz story in Philly has quickly gone wrong in a hurry. It’s not just bad, it’s really, really sad. It really is. First let’s talk about the bad.

It seemed like a good thing that Markelle Fultz was the No. One overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Philadelphia 76ers picked him because of his explosiveness, his ability to drive to the hoop, and most importantly, his ability to shoot the ball. But all that’s gone. Game over. This kid’s game is kaput, out the door and over and done with, or so it seems.

No one seems to be able to put their finger on it, but the thing we can point to is that this kid can’t shoot, he’s scared to drive, and his verve and his nerve have evaporated into thin air. AND, if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s lost his confidence. You can see it in his eyes.  Fultz has lost his sureness and his certainty and his assertiveness. In other words, Fultz has lost his faith.  And his loss of faith leads us to the sad part.

Markelle Fultz looked so good on paper as far as potential for the NBA was concerned.  He’s so young, but so gifted, that it doesn’t seem possible that he would be struggling like he is. In college Fultz was “a player who jumped off the page athletically and possessed creative scoring instincts and playmaking skills. Everyone everywhere held that Fultz would be the consensus among sports analysts to be the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.”  But that was then, and this is now.

Now, “Markelle Fultz and the Philadelphia 76ers could be headed into an inevitable divorce after rumors circulated that the former No. 1 overall pick is no longer considered part of “The Process.” Fultz has been a huge disappointment since the 2018-19 NBA season started, and as of now, he remains on the sideline, dealing with shoulder and wrist injuries.” (Bleacher Report)

So what’s the lesson to be learned here? How can Fultz regain his faith and overcome his fears?  The same way you and I can: go back to what works.  Stop listening to the “experts” and the pundits and listen to the voice you hear from above that speaks to your inner man.

Fultz can get back and come back if he listens to what God says, and not what man says. And that’s what we need to do too.  God says that we are more than a conqueror through Him that loved us. God says that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. God says that I’m the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. God says that the enemy is under my feet, and that I’m healed by the wounds in his side. God says that one can chase a thousand, and two can put then thousand to flight.  God says that we are to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life!

So let’s say what God says.

 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Philippians 4:13  KJV

 

We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.

 2 Corinthians 3:4-6,  New Living Translation

Signing Day: Penn State and Brailyn Franklin

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Brailyn Franklin is going to play for Penn State!

Brailyn is a fine young man. He “picked” Penn State over Maryland, Temple, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse on Signing Day. He attends church in Manassas, Virginia where his pastor, Bishop Wesley Cherry, Sr. preaches and teaches and lives and breathes faith. And watching him from a distance, it is clear that Brailyn is a product of his family’s and his church’s faith. His proud parents are humbled by the prospect that their son was recruited by a Big 10 Power school, and are moved even more by how Heaven is elevating Brailyn.

Sometimes faith is mixed with “pinch me, I must be dreaming” amazement at how God has ordered and orchestrated the pieces of our lives to come and fit together perfectly. Brailyn’s athletic and emotional development is impressive. Add to it his maturation and progression and you get the excitement of Signing Day that is only surpassed by his unlimited potential.

Brailyn Franklin did everything for Battlefield (Va.) High School: rush the passer at defensive tackle, return kicks, run the wildcat, force fumbles, split out wide and built a stadium. Alright, he didn’t build a stadium. But he did build a solid relationship with Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry, and that was key in leading Franklin north to Happy Valley.

Here’s what the website FANSIDED said about Brailyn signing with Penn State:

Thin at linebacker, the Nittany Lions got an important piece of the puzzle on National Signing Day when linebacker Brailyn Franklin officially signed with Penn State. Franklin committed to the Nittany Lions back in August and followed through with that promise on National Signing Day.

Listed by many recruiting services as an athlete, Franklin will start at Penn State as a linebacker. He mainly played on the defensive line in high school in Virginia, but at 200 pounds, he’s better suited to be a linebacker in college. He’s a raw talent who would benefit greatly from an extra year to both develop his skills and build some size. He could also move to the defensive backfield if needed.

Franklin’s versatility and speed make him a very intriguing prospect and Franklin could be a key addition to the defense. http://victorybellrings.com/2017/02/01/penn-state-football-20017-recruit-profile-lb-brailyn-franklin/

Franklin intends to major in sports psychology, a mission he’ll begin as soon as his Haymarket, Va., Battlefield High team finishes its 2016 season. “What I’m hoping to accomplish on the field this season is to actually get to the championship, and making sure that I finish out the season healthy so I can prepare for college,” Franklin said.

Congratulations Brailyn and welcome to Penn State!

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.