Archive for January, 2010

I was watching a local nightly sports-talk television show this week when the discussion turned to Tim Tebow and his practice performance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.  The four hosts were discussing his play at quarterback that week which by all accounts was less than spectacular.  Suddenly, one of the hosts decided to detour from talking about this play as a quarterback and how he may or may not be an NFL quarterback to “slamming” him for the commercial ad he will be featured in on Super Bowl Sunday.  They presented a clip from a Senior Bowl press conference where Tim was asked about the commercial which is a Pro-Life piece connected with Focus on the Family.  Tim defended his position in doing the commercial by referring to his mother as “courageous”, because she went against the advice of some medical professionals who encouraged her to end the pregnancy because it was deemed high risk.  Well, as soon as the clip ended the particular “gentleman” decided we should all know his opinion on all things Tim Tebow.  He stated that Tebow had no real life experiences, that he had no idea what the real world was about.  He attempted to be-little the missions work Tim has done since childhood, and the prison ministry he now does.  He referred to his college lifestyle as cushy and pampered, and then he stated that instead of doing TV commercials maybe Tim should focus more on football saying, “Right now he has bigger fish to fry.”  In case you were wondering, yes he was saying that fighting for the rights of the innocent and unborn should not be important to Tim as his NFL career at present.  Remember the words of Jesus, ”   21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:21-22).  This man attacked Tim, not to his face, but as a coward on television because he hates the God Tim Tebow serves, the God of Jesus Christ who cares and loves and creates the innocent and unborn.  Tim will go down as one of the all-time greats on the college gridiron, but he in my opinion is greater off the field.  This was much more than a personal attack against Florida’s #15, it was a clear view into a man’s heart who hates the spirit and person of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful for the decision Tim’s mom made long, for his stand time and  again for his faith.  I realize the sports show host was attempting to criticize Tim for putting his faith and belief’s before football…if I am Tim Tebow I take that as a tremendous complement.  And even more if I were Tim Tebow I would think about and look forward to heaven and the many babies and people he will meet there who will embrace him in with Christ’s love for his and defense of them, those aborted and those whose mothers were influenced by Tim’s story and other’s like him.  One day his Heisman trophy will be rusty and forgotten, but his place and crown in heaven will never fade because of Christ.

I Corinthians 10:24-25 

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.


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Are You Stealing Joy?

Perhaps I should phrase the question like this, are you robbing from your self?  Robbing from yourself, that seems to the logical man entirely counter-productive.  We do however rob from ourselves, every day.  We steal from our own lives joy when we settle for “things” that are less than Christ.  Joy thieves we all are.  As a Christian I have come to know and am fully convinced that there is to be found no greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment than walking in constant fellowship with Jesus Christ.  There is no greater joy than finding oneself satisfied in Christ completely.  A true sense of knowing that nothing less than Jesus will do when it comes to our ultimate happiness.  The problem is, you and I as believers know this, we believe it, and yet we act as beings momentarily and completely irrational when we sin.  Sin before God is an irrational behavior for the Christian.  We can never justify our sin before a perfect God, and no excuse will ever suffice his holiness.  We know better and yet we still sin.  As though the sin were not bad enough, we settle for less joys.  We give into what John Piper calls “momentary and fleeting pleasures”.  We give into the temptation before us and receive form our wickedness and rebellion a short spark of excitement, satisfaction, or comfort.  We sin because we want to.  We sin because we like it.  The problem we soon realize after we lied, cheated on a test or taxes, lusted, coveted, or gossiped (just to name a few) is, after the initial “high) we feel worse than before.  That is the Holy Spirit reminding us we have once again settled for less that the best.  What we thought would make us happy has made us miserable, and we are left feeling far from God.  William Wilberforce, great English Politian who is best know for his life’s work toward the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in England, was said to be committed to the “abstinence from anything that would rob him of his greater joys” ( Roots of Endurance: John Piper, p. 153).  All greater joys for the Christian are found in Christ.  We should work hardily to abstain from things that would cause us to rob ourselves of the greatest amount joy.  It makes no sense to steal from oneself…and if that is true it makes even less sense for you and me to sin against God.  Sin promises happiness and contentment, God delivers.

Philippians 3:7-8        

  7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

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I once had a conversation with another couple in which the then wife of my friend made the comment that she felt she would truly find happiness when she “made it” in her chosen profession.  She further attempted to make her point by saying,”you know Taylor you are probably a lot happier now that you are doing what you really want to do as a sports chaplain.”  I said, well actually Tenly will attest to this, but I was just as happy when I was teaching tennis for a living while we were engaged and then married and in seminary.  I told my happiness has much more to do with Christ than it does any position or title I hold, possession I own, or achievement.  Being happy for me is about being satisfied  and complete in Christ.  Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13,   12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  For the Christian, Christ is our primary and ultimate source for strength and happiness.  I realize the wisdom of Jesus Christ through Paul is completely countercultural to what most in our society believe.  If you have money…If you find the right person…if you are successful at you chosen profession…if you have friends and influence…then you will be happy.  God is not an IF he is I AM, and I AM is always better than If.  We have Jesus, and he is eternally greater than all the pleasures this world has to offer.  When you’re happy in and with Jesus…nothing else can compete or compare when it comes to your happiness.

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You may ask what gives me the right to say what is and isn’t cool.  A fair and just question.  I am certainly not “the keeper” of all things cool, however, I am cooler than most people I know.

-Mullets (sorry Alabama fan’s)

-Unibrows (again sorry Alabama fan’s)

-Wife Beater tee’s (Ok Bama fan’s I am picking on you)

-Walmart (Last one Bama fan’s, I promise)   

-Hair-nets (Sorry lunch ladies…just no way to make a hair-net cool)

-Speaking of lunch…Mystery meat every Tuesday of my high school life.  I mean come on, does my $1.25 not afford me something better?  Oh and by the way, no matter how much gravy you put on that flat patty it will never be able to overcome the poor quality or presentation of the meat.

-Mouth breathers…Please close your mouth and open your nose.

-Crocs, they may be comfy but they are ugly.

-Any movie “starring” Matthew Mcconaghay or Brendan Fraser (except for School Ties…that was a fine film)

-Being the director of the Louisville Tennis Club’s Summer Tennis Camps.  You try digging ditches while baby sitting.

-Frat guys, yeah your right you are unique and cool…I mean who else in the world wears polo’s, costa del mar’s and flip-flops every day to class, nobody but you.

-Skinny jeans on dudes, man those are some tight jeans.

-Those who get their information form Glen Beck, Keith Olberman, or Bill O’Riley and then try to pawn their views off as their own.  I didn’t care what any of them had to say the first time.

-Bible School, it was always less than two weeks after real school let out for the Summer.  Bad timing, bad name.

-Black Holes, I hear those things can like swallow a whole planet.

-Picking your nose in public…what’s fun in secret is not generally accepted by society.

-Bolonga, wow I don’t even know what to say.

-Admitting you are a Los Angeles Clippers fan, and you wonder why you don’t have any friends.

-Bowling on TV…not until you can tackle each other.

-Sharing a great story with a competitive listner…”oh yeah well listen to this”.

-Being on a 3 1/2 hour plane ride from Madrid to the Canary Islands that allows smoking.

-Or flying back from the Canary Islands to Madrid while some Greek kid keeps kicking the back of you seat.  I may not be able to speak Greek, but I can give the stank eye in any language.

-Proms, I just thought they were stupid, and looking back they were.

-Car/Truck antennas with a tennis ball attached to the top (sorry Bama fan’s, it just came to me).

-The smell at your grandma’s house…Dude something or somebody has got to be dead in there.

-The second day back at school, yesterday was plenty school for me this year. 

-The Flobee, hard to figure out why that one never caught on.

-Community showers, I don’t like other naked dudes.

-South Alabama in the Summer time…hell wishes it were that hot.

-Facebook and Twitter status updates, wow, you are ready to get off work, wondering where to eat lunch, in class bored, or looking forward to your favorite team’s game this weekend.  How do I say this proper, I don’t care.

-When the snow turns to rain (credit this one to that guy who wrote that sad Christmas song). 

-Litter boxes, can your cat really not “go” outside like every other animal?

-Morning breath, the rule should be “one may only speak after brushing their teeth.”

-Un-sweet tea…whats the point?

-Having someone explain their view to you over and over.  i understand you perfectly, I just don’t agree with you.

-Hell…It’s hot year-round, lonely, and away from Christ.  To avoid it all you have to do  is know and follow the Savior.

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Here are the a few of the events that defined my 2009…

-Perry Rose turned 1.  We had an awesome 1st bday party at Tenly’s mom and dad’s house in Guntersville Alabama.  The best gift she received?  A potty chair from my Aunt Bellann and Uncle Fred. 

-I went 2-5 in my summer tennis league.  It was my first time to consistently play competitive tennis in over 15 years.

-Perry Rose began to talk.  Her first two words were “bye” and “ball”.

-Tenly and I joined our first church together, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta GA. 

-My friend Andy’s wife walked out on him and divorced him nine weeks later.  It was so sad to walk through that with him…he and I talked everyday and prayed for God to intervene.  God did not intervene, but He is good and he will bless Andy for his faithfulness and for fighting for his marriage.

-I am now 90-95% recovered from my chronic fatigue.  This was the best year I have had since becoming ill in February of 2007.

-I surprised Tenly and took her out on the 10th anniversary of our first date (February 27th 1999).  

-We took Perry Rose to the Beach for the first time.  Our amazing friends Nick and Deanna Chapman let us tag along with them to Destin FL.  Perry Rose loved the sand…so much she kept trying to eat it.

-My great friend and favorite solider, United States Army Captain Dave Dice served and returned from a tour of Duty in Iraq.  Dave Dice is one of my heroes.

-We had to unexpectedly put down our 4 and 1/2 year old dauschaund Dax.  He hurt his back and within 48 hours was almost completely paralyzed.  He was the best dog I have ever had.

-My brother got a job and moved to Atlanta.

-After going 2-5 in tennis last summer…I rebounded and went 9-1 in the fall.  My only loss cam last week in the semi-finals of tournament. 

-The FCA ministry struggled tremendously financially at Tech…but somehow, someway God always provided.

-My brother and I teamed up to go 4-1 in our doubles league.

-Several of my close coaching friends moved for other jobs.

-My flag football team finished second on our league.

-Ultimately, I fell short many times in many ways…but God remained faithful.  I realized I need Jesus more each day I am alive.  I have so many areas I need God to improve about me.  Jesus is greater than all my sin…and I need that.

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