I recently met Chad Gibbs through a mutual friend on Twitter. Since then I have had a few Twitter conversations with Chad and began reading his blog.
Most importantly for this post, I read his book God and Football: Faith and fanaticism In The SEC which was published in 2010. (To be fair, I should tell everyone that Chad was kind enough to send me a copy.)
I should start out by saying that I usually avoid these type of books. I may have even seen Chad’s book before and just kept on going. This seems weird,even to me, since I am a huge college football fan and write a blog that focuses primarily on faith.
What Chad did was go to every football stadium in the SEC during the 2009 season. If you have ever read Clay Travis’ Dixieland Delight, think of that with a spiritual twist. Chad would also go to church in the SEC town while he was there. He networked and tailgated with other Christian fans of those teams as he embarked on his quest.
I would say that the chapter for Week 4 was my favorite, but unfortunately I don’t deal with defeat very well. Add to the fact that Chad has bragging rights to the last four times our teams have played and bad memories begin to creep in and moods can be affected. Chad writes with a sense of humor, but I probably found that chapter to be the least funny of all.
God and Football is simply this: It explores the connection between those of us who follow Christ and football. Both become religion in our lives. Both evoke wild emotions. Chad shows how it becomes difficult for us to maintain any type of balance between the two in our lives.
My best recommendation is to say that if you love college football and the Lord, you should read this book. If you have some other passion that sometimes takes the place of your faith, read this book. In the end, we all have something that gets in the way of our relationship with Christ.
Have you ever read God and Football? Do you struggle with something that can replace your passion for God?
The picture above is of me wearing my latest Tennessee hat. As you can see I look pretty darn cool.
I get two or three of these every year. They always feel and look good when I am trying them on. The problem is that once I have them for a little bit, I find some flaw in them. Either it fits a bit too tight on the back of my head or the bill is too short, too long or I can’t get it bend just right.
Do you know what happens next?
I’m on the search for another hat.
I have perfectly good hats left behind in the dust of searching for a better hat.
In other words, I’m not content with my hat. I’m not satisfied.
That may be fine with hats, but it becomes a problem if it seeps into every other part of my life.
We can get to the point where we allow the minor imperfections in relationships become major. We search for better relationships. What we end up finding are other relationships that have other imperfections.
It could be a church. Something minor becomes major. You’re on the search for a new church.
I’m not saying that you may not have to end some relationships. I’m not saying that there aren’t times you may have to search for a new church.
I’m just saying that you don’t have to always be looking for better ones. You may have problems with the ones you have. The “better” ones will have their own issues, problems and imperfections.
The next hat won’t be perfect.
There’s no such thing.
What “hat” are you searching for?
A lot of Christians these days are cool. Not me. I am not a cool Christian. I may even be the king of uncool Christians.
What does that look like?
I don’t wear V-Necks.
My worship pastor is not a metrosexual.
I still don’t drink, even for missional purposes.
I don’t have a tattoo, even though I don’t care if you have one.
I don’t sing with my hands raised.
I don’t really try or care to be relevant.
I’ve never tasted Red Bull.
I’ve never said the Bible is my favorite book.
My kids never played Upward or Outward.
I’ve never been on a prayer walk.
I’m not crazy about Tim Tebow. I wish him well, just not wins.
I don’t take notes during sermons.
I don’t keep a spiritual journal.
I don’t have a goatee.
I’m not bald….well, not completely.
All of that is ok.
It’s ok if you have or do those things.
Those things do not define us as believers in Christ. If they do, we are a pretty sorry lot.
There is only one thing that defines us. Or I should say there is only One who defines us.
Are you a cool Christian? Or not? What defines you?
For the past seventeen Memorial Day weekends, I have been able to count on one certainty in my church services. At some point, all people who had served in the military would be recognized. The song of each branch of the military would be played and whoever served would stand up.
Now, I’m in a new church. Memorial Day was recognized differently. Some patriotic songs were sung. Some words were said.
Memorial Day is a great day to pause and remember those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country.
The thing that I thought, though, was this.
Each Sunday is a type of Memorial Day for us. We come together. We worship our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. We remember together what He did for us.
Sunday worship is a memorial day. It is an opportunity to gather in community and have a weekly “holiday” to honor Christ.
I need that.
I need that day to stop, pause and worship Him.
I need that day to meet with my brothers and sisters that I have committed to live with and love.
I need that weekly Memorial Day.
How has your Memorial Day weekend been?
One of the things Jesus said that we all might remember is that we must be born again. I’ve always though that was his one and only birth analogy. Guess what?
I was wrong.
In John 16, Jesus finalizes the comparison.
Christ has been spending His time preparing the disciples for His departure.
They don’t get it. They’re confused. He tells them that He is going away and that they will face sorrow.
Then He says that birth brings labor and pain. Once it’s over, though, it’s forgotten because of the joy of the birth.
In other words, you disciples will forget all of the pain and sorrow of losing me when you see me again.
And I’m bringing the New Birth with me.
The cross brought plenty of sorrow, pain, weeping and lament.
But it also brought us the New Birth.
We must be born again.
Praise Jesus, He makes that possible.
Have you been born again?
For the past several weeks I have been sharing other people’s blogs on Saturdays. I’ve enjoyed passing along other bloggers to you guys. This week is different.
I don’t have anyone to share.
I have been on vacation this week and have not spent much time on-line.
I power washed my deck.
I mowed my yard.
I spent time with my wife and kids.
I wasn’t totally off-line, but I had queued up my posts and didn’t read as many blogs this week.
It was kind of nice.
I needed that break.
I suggest that we all take that kind of break every so often.
Do you take breaks from blogging and being on-line? What do you usually do?
I don’t know when they first started popping up. I have seen them all of my life and that goes all the way back into the 1970’s.
It’s those God Is My Co-Pilot bumper stickers and license plates.
It seems like a nice sentiment, doesn’t it? God is riding right there beside you while you fly the plane.
So, why don’t I like it?
I guess I would ask that with a couple of questions. What does it say about how you view God?
Does it say that you think you are captain of your own life, with God sitting in the seat beside you ready to take over if you falter?
Is that a Biblical view of God?
It makes me think that many people think that God is a grandfatherly type of god who is just sitting in a rocking chair smiling and happy for you to come see him.
No, that isn’t the kind of God I want.
I want one who is the Pilot of my life. I want Him flying the plane. I’ll sit in the seat beside Him. I’ll push the buttons He wants me to push. I’ll be the flight attendant. I’ll take whatever role He wants me to take.
I just don’t expect it to be the Pilot.
How about you? Is God your co-pilot? Or is He the pilot?