Monday, January 19, 2009

Faith & Football

We watch football in our house. My husband is a loyal, devoted, die-hard Patriots fan. Remember them? In the 2007 season they were unstoppable...THE team...and went undefeated until the Superbowl. Where they lost. Miserably. That was the same year Bill Belichick was caught cheating...on the field and on his wife. And the same year Tom Brady left his pregnant girlfriend for a model. In the beginning of the 2008 season, Tom Brady gets injured, dashing any hopes of a repeat of 2007's success. Not to mention all the other injuries occurring throughout the season. My husband, the loyal, devoted, die-hard Patriots fan at one point says something like this: "You have to wonder if God has a hand in all of this and is judging this team for their pride and sin?" Hmmmm....

Fast forward to 2009, NFC Championship, Arizona Cardinals vs. Baltimore Ravens. The Arizona Cardinals weren't even supposed to be there, now they are competing for a spot in the Superbowl?! How about that quarterback, Kurt Warner? Plucked from arena football to play for the Rams (winning them a Superbowl), the Giants, and currently, the Arizona Cardinals. He's a Christian, right?, I previously asked my husband. Yes, indeed he is. We've all heard the sports players "thank God" when they get a big win or catch a pass, but how many of them actually know what that means? Or live out their faith in Jesus Christ?
Kurt Warner does! After the '99 Rams Superbowl win, an interviewer says to him, "Kurt, first things first--tell me about the final touchdown pass to Isaac." Warner's response? "Well, first things first, I've got to thank my Lord and Savior up above--thank You, Jesus!" He has since founded the First Things First ministry.

Last night, with about 2 minutes left in the game, I asked Aaron, "Do you think it's total coincidence that this team is about to win this football game? I sure don't." I think it's entirely possible that the Lord is blessing this team because of one man's faith and committment to Him. At the ceremony immediately following the game, with white & red confetti streaming from the sky, thousands and thousands of fans cheering in jubilation, Terry Bradshaw begins to interview the Arizona quarterback, and this is what he says:

I was moved to tears to hear this man giving sincere praise and credit to our Lord! What a testimony.

The cardinals have (surprisingly!) secured their spot in this years Superbowl. They will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are experienced, tough, and have a stellar defense. I asked my husband if he thought Arizona had a shot. Of course they do, but it won't be easy...citing the superiority of the Steelers defense.

We have yet to see if the Arizona Cardinals will win it or not, but I do know that to get all the glory, my God has moved MUCH bigger things than an NFL lineman.

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