BY KEVIN WELBORN
I used to play football. Now I watch NCAA and NFL games on TV and realize that if I got hit by one of those guys my wife would be receiving a nice check in the mail from our insurance company.
Because I would be dead… I wasn’t sure if I was being clear. Perhaps, you thought that I had taken out a policy that paid my wife every time I was tackled by an opponent, which conjures up the image of my wife actively rooting for me to be tackled. Maybe that isn’t too far-fetched, but I was talking about life insurance.
My least favorite day of the week during football season was the day that we would watch the film from the previous game. We could’ve defeated our opponents soundly, yet there were always things to improve upon. That part I understand, you never play a truly perfect game. The aspect of film day that drove me nuts was the rarity of a positive comment even when you completed your assignment to the letter. On that rare occasion, you received a mere “nice job”.
I’ll never forget one Friday of my freshman year.
BY JAMES DAMAN
Pokémon Go is a mobile app game that was released this past month and has been downloaded millions of times. The game allows players to capture virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on the screen as though in the real world. You then train them and bring them into "gym's" to battle on your behalf. I often wish that life worked like the game does, I wish we get to watch something else experience the pain in life on our behalf and I wish we could choose everyone who comes into our life.
Unfortunately in real life, we do not get to pick who comes into our lives and oftentimes those who come into our life are difficult to deal with.
Furthermore, we don't get to pick and choose the battles we face and when we face battles in our lives we have the possibility of getting hurt, while in Pokémon Go our Pokémon are the ones that get hurt.
When we face a difficult person, we don't realize that many of them have been difficult people for so long that it has become an identity for them. Or they identify as an addict, someone who is constantly angry or unhappy, or something else that causes them to manifest as a difficult person.
The only thing I've learned from Pokémon Go is that it is not designed to teach us life lessons, it's just for fun and I do love playing it. But, if I'm seeking those answers from Pokémon Go then it's a good reminder that I certainly don't have all the answers in life. But, it did help remind me of lessons from the bible that playing Pokémon Go sparked in my life:
BY DANIEL FOSTER
And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Mark 10:20
This passage is from Mark 10, the story of the rich young ruler who was seeking eternal life from Jesus.
“What must I do?” (verse 17) He asked Jesus, as if there is some sort of checklist we must accomplish to enter Heaven. Sadly, there are many today with this exact thought. If I go to church twice a week, if I help someone in need, if I read my bible exactly 25 minutes each day, if I tithe my 10% I will be good enough to go to Heaven when this life is over. However, it’s never been (and still isn’t) about being “good enough.” But it is all about having a relationship and following Jesus. Jesus lists a few of the commandments we are to follow and the guy insists he has kept them from his youth. Ultimately Jesus tells this guy to sell everything and to take up the cross and to follow Him.
BY ELLEN MARTIN
Do you have that person (or people) in your life that are just hard to get along with? I am guilty of ending things badly or making a bad situation worse. It may be easier to just write people off that frustrate and aggravate you and never speak to them again. Is this what God wants for us, though?
Romans 12:17-18 says “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Verse 19 goes on to say “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’”.
God commands us to live at peace with everyone. I would be the first to admit that this is very difficult to do. I have a tendency to not back down and to have the last word. We need to allow God to be in control. As Romans 12:19 says, we do not need to avenge ourselves. We need to trust God with our hurts, offenses, and other wrongs people have done to us.
BY KEVIN WELBORN
I have now officially been without my full voice for two weeks. At this point I can communicate clearly, but depending on the time I either sound like Whoopi Goldberg or a pubescent Peter Brady. It is irritating, infuriating, and irksome. With the heat of the Saharan sun do I scorn my current deficient vocal aptitude!!!
Being able to speak as a pastor is fairly, you know, important.
As a general rule, I do not think that I talk that much. When a subject in which I am interested is broached, I will surely jump into that conversation. Or, there are times when it is nice just to say your piece to a willing listener and let go of some thoughts be they consequential or not.
Whether you are reserved or a chatterbox, let me encourage you to remember there is a large difference in having something to say, and in having to say something.
I can think of two specific examples of men that I know or have known that rarely spoke a word.
James Daman | @jdaman04
Living in Phoenix causes me to completely forget that other areas don't experience 60-70 degree weather in Winter and early Spring. Winter often feels like Spring in other parts of the country, however in Phoenix, we know Spring is here when we start seeing lots of weeds pop up in our yard. As I work on getting rid of the weeds, I can't help but compare it to the work we do in Celebrate Recovery.
First, our goal is to get rid of the weeds, I don't know many people who are proud of their weeds. When I did a Google search to see if there were any weed contests around the world, I was able to find them, however they were all competitions for a different kind of weed.
In order to achieve our goal of getting rid of the weeds, we must work at it. We can't just pull the top of the weed off, we must get to the root and often we need help. Our lives can be a lot like that. Our inventory is a lot like getting at the root, it takes work, but it's worth it. If we just take care of the surface, it may look nice, but the issue will resurface, much like the weed.
Kevin Welborn | @theKevinWelborn
I don’t have a nemesis. Some days, I want a nemesis. At least an archenemy. Archenemies are typically less diabolical than nemesises. Nemesisises…nemesisi. What is the plural of nemesis? It doesn’t matter, I am certain that no one is allowed more than one nemesis.
Anyway, if I had a nemesis I would at least always have something to do. If I was bored, I could just conjure up some scheme that would antagonize my rival. When shenanigans happened, people would just comment, “Oh, it’s just Kevin and the Bad Guy again”. Were a nemesis to be had, make no mistake that tomfoolery and escapades would be a certainty.
The real truth is that I do not want an enemy. Much less an archenemy. Now, I know that the Bible calls Satan “the enemy”, but I mean that I do not want another human being to be my enemy. I am also aware that preaching the Gospel of Jesus will be very offensive to some.
But to have a bona fide enemy? That is a heavy thought.