Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ole Miss Football Road Trip>> Welcome to Ole Miss

I have never experienced anything like it.  When the UA team arrived at the Ole Miss Stadium, they had a horde of well-wishers to greet them.  The crowd gave the team a hero's welcome, and we got to trail along behind the team.
I imagine that this is remotely similar to the Palm Sunday welcome that Jesus received in Jerusalem.

It's a bit sad to me.  A football team gets celebrated as modern heroes.  A GAME becomes a cause for wild celebration.  A person who can throw or run a ball in a GAME outranks so many other endeavors.  Go figure.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The world of D-1 Football: Defense

While on the road with the UA football team, I had the chance to attend the Defensive Squad meeting the night before the game.  The meeting is held to about an hour, and there is no time that is not engaged.

Through the whole hour I understood less than 10% of what was said.  Had it been in French I would have done about as well.

You think I exaggerate?  Interpret these comments for me:
  • Silver pistol
  • Odd hail
  • Chop
  • 47 socket
  • Big Moke
  • Hip Diamond stick
  • 40 red 7 special
  • dagger pop fox
  • odd coin
  • big nickel
  • free bench chop
  • key zone sky
  • ringo
  • 17 fire zone
See what I mean?

I suppose if someone came in to an Exercise Physiology conference, they might be equally confused. I am unsure.

That's why it amazes me so much the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's so simple, yet so profound.  So simple, so vital.

Believe on the L^rd Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  Simple in any language.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ole Miss Football Road Trip>> Sports Medicine

American football is a violent game.  There are the biggest, strongest men in the USA throwing their bodies at each other.  They try to rip each other in two.  In the game I attended, 3 UA players were injured in the first 15:15 of the game.  That's no surprise.

Below is a snapshot of the UA Athletic trainers.  Thye are a super group and one of the nicest groups of people you will ever meet.  They are caring, which I guess explains their profession.

The sidelines work these folks do is pretty impressive.  Gatorade makes their presence known in a big way, and getting gallons of this stuff mixed falls to the trainers.
I was most impressed with their "first aid box".  Their is something here for every eventuality.  Need an eye wash?  Got it!  Need an asthma inhaler?  Got it!  You need it, they got it!
The only Person I know better prepared than the Crimson tide Trainers, is G^d himself.  Need a miracle?  He's got it!  Need your sins forgiven?  He's got it.

Pretty impressive eh?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ole Miss Football> On the Sidelines before the game

Howard Hendricks once recounted a story of someone asking a famous football coach,  "What does football contribute to our nations' fitness?"

"Absolutely nothing!" declared the coach.

"Football is 24 players on the field desperately needing rest, and 80 thousand people in the stands desperately needing exercise."


It was a thrill to walk out the tunnel the players use.

It was neat to be on the field just before the game.

We arrived at Ole Miss Stadium about 12:30 for a 2:30 Kickoff.  We had just shy of two hours to enjoy the experience.  They day was cool and windy, and I was happy I brought my jacket.

I was neat to see the players warming up.  The refs arrived, the sidelines officials who keep the down markers, came up to our sideline.  The UA team athletic trainers, cheerleaders, and lots of other folks were there.  The sidelines were rife with security people, one of whom asked to see my "credentials".  Of course I had no "credentials" so I said, "Ask my Dad."  I led the security guy over to my athletics department sponsor who explained what was happening.  Surprising to me, the security guys just said something nice and walked away.

I was surprised that his attitude changed so readily, but there is a key point to be made.

When we get to heaven, the security there may ask to see our credentials.

We can say, "Ask my Dad".

We don't get to heaven because of our credentials, but because of the credentials of our Savior and L^rd.

It really isn't WHAT you know, it's WHO you know.

Thanks be to G^d!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ole Miss Football Road Trip>> Snacks

I mentioned last post that there was NO shortage of food and snacks for the football team or for us groupies.  There was a snack available when we boarded the plane, there were snacks after the evening meeting, and there were snacks for "early risers" on Saturday morning.  I had  one Gatorade in my airplane snack and picked up another one just before we left dinner Saturday night.

Saturday morning I picked up one to drink on the bus so I'd be hydrated on the sidelines before the game.

I asked the team nutritionist about the snacks and she explained that she was going for "salty" snacks to maximize hydration and stave off cramping.  These guys seem to really like rice-krispy treats, which suit me fine as I think I ate two or three on the trip and wound up with three in my bag when I got home.

Here's the small stash that I brought back.

They had a lot of calories because they burn a lot of calories.  A few of these guys, offensive linemen, may be a few pounds too fat, but most of them are lean.

They can snack a lot without getting fat, because they burn a lot of calories.  It turns out that having a lot of muscle, burns more calories even when we are sleeping.  Reminds me of Scripture,
"29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath."  Matt 25:29.

As we exercise our spiritual muscles, we grow them and are able to exercise even more, and eat more.

Get out there and exercise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ole Miss Football Road trip> Food and Drink

When we boarded the plane, there was a bottle of Gatorade and a snack bag hanging from the seat-back pocket.   I had just eaten, so I stuck those items in my backpack for later.

In my last post I mentioned Dinner.  We all followed Coach Saban into the huge dining room and the tables were clearly labeled, the staff up front and the players closest to the three huge buffet lines.

A terse announcement was made regarding the next evolution, and Coach Saban called on one of my former students, Denzel D. to pray.  After his prayer, the players headed for the food.

The silence was eerie.  There was one announcement of the next event, with no commentary.  Everyone grabbed a plate and headed for the three big identical buffets.  At the end of the buffet was a big table with 2 of the biggest containers of vanilla ice cream I have ever seen.

Everyone ate with very low and very little conversation.  I snapped a picture of Dr. Jimmy Robinson, an old friend and was quickly advised to turn off my flash and be very discreet.  I had asked about photos before the trip and was told that there were no restrictions.   Well, that wasn't quite correct, as I had just learned.  Noteworthy though, this was the ONLY mistake or miscommunication for the entire trip.

I asked about the silence, and my guide, Jon D., advised me that the morning before the game it would be even quieter.  That would be impossible, I thought, and so it was.  The silence was pretty close to absolute, so that would be hard to intensify.

After the team meetings that night there was a "snack".  The next morning there as a continental breakfast at 0830 then the pre-game meal at 1030.  That meal was impressive.  Lean steak, great scrambled eggs, baked potato, fruit, jello, chicken cutlets, OJ, water, Gatorade.

Our last meal was a nice boxed lunch with extra chips and Dasani water.

There was no shortage of food, and the only place it was readily available was during the game.  In fact, at the two meals we had, there was enough left over to feed the same group about twice more.  Even ice cream was left.

It was all delicious and purposeful.  The idea was to maximize the salt intake to maximize hydration and minimize cramping.

It worked for me.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ole Miss Road trip> Organization

I spent 12 years with the US Navy, plus I taught a year at USMA, West Point, NY.  I have made a lot of trips with the military, with NASA, with CRU, with lots of organizations but NOTHING compares to this trip with the U of Alabama Intercollegiate Athletics department.  I have never seen any trip as well organized as this one.

We got to the Tuscaloosa Airport an hour before takeoff.  I saw some old friends and made some new ones.  We had come to the airport via our own autos, but the team was coming via buses.  We boarded the plane, and a short while later the team came on.  I watched as one by one they tall guys ducked to avoid smacking their head on the overhead monitor.  One of the last guys, and a tall one, but not too tall, smacked his head.

Everyone had assigned seating, with the Athletic Director and those of highest status in First Class, and the rest of us, including coach Saban, back in coach with the team.  We took off very close to on-time, not always true in the airline industry.

At the Memphis Airport, the 5 large Gray-hound type buses were waiting for us.  We deplaned and loaded quickly and headed for Olive Branch, MS.  We made the 25-30 min bus ride with a police escort, but more on that later.  Upon arrival at Whispering Woods motel, we grabbed our bags and walked into the lobby where all the room keys were organized by "group type".  I easily found my envelope with my Name, room number and key, ready to go.

I carried my stuff to my room and took a look at the small laminated schedule I had been handed.  It listed every activity and every time.  The next real evolution was dinner.  At the appointed hour, Coach Saban walked through the doors into the huge dining area. Everyone quickly followed. Thirty minutes later, most everyone had eaten and left.

About 45 minutes later were meeting for the offense and a separate one for the defense.  Everybody was on time and all business.

And so went everything.  All on time, all organized.  No one messing around or messing up.  Like clockwork.


Friday, October 10, 2014


The word "submission" is a dirty word in the vocabulary of most Americans.  Not nearly so much for the early Christians.  today's Sunday School dealt with 1 Peter 2 with a reference to the start of 1 Peter 3.  With what do these verses deal?  submission, that dirty word.

To work backwards, Chap. 3 deals with wives submitting to husbands.   Uh oh!  We Americans don't never submit to nobody no time, under no circumstances, no way, no how, no further discussion.  Now you are being sexist, mysogynistic, and stupid.  No way any self-respecting woman is gonna ever submit to nobody, under no circumstances, no way, no how, no further discussion. 

Except of course that's CLEARLY what the Holy Spirit is telling us.  We American evangelicals are capable of some high-level Scriptural gymnastics, and here's a concept worthy of our best contortional-distortional efforts.

But back up a bit.  In the last verses of 1 Peter the same message is given to EVERY Christian regarding submission to governments and all officials.  Hmm, what was teh contemporary situaiton when the readers read this letter?

Paul was writing from... a Roman prison.  His immediate authorities to whom to submit were prison guards!  The emperor of Rome was everyone's favorite... Nero!  Yes, the Nero who burned Christians alive to light his garden parties!

Whoa, there must be some mistake!

Check it out for yourself.

I have puzzled over this, and came to the conclusion that we are to indeed submit.  There is a place for civil disobedience, but it must be civil.  See Acts 5, Daniel 6.

There doesn't seem to be any place for:
 Personal attacks on authorities at any level (including our boss),
Disrespect towards any authorities,
Insubordination, and

The Christ was submissive even to the point of his own death.  The Christ never criticized those in authority, though he has plenty of criticism for the religious officials in the seats of honor.

We ought to be more like the Christ.

My hypothesis for all this is that, just as the Christ was submissive, we ought to submit so as to develop a habit of submission so that we learn to submit to G^d.

In my view, we need, I need, very much to practice submission.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I was Wrong (Once Again)!

One or two of you might recall that I have written a few times about the silver thread of sin that ties all sins together.  I have maintained that it was PRIDE.  And sure enough, there is plenty to cope with in dealing with my own pride.

But, once again, I was wrong.

I was reading a Tim Keller book just last night, Every Good Endeavor.  It is a book about work.  Last night Keller was dealing with the idolatry of work and pointed out that the FIRST commandment of the famous 10 was this:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."  Ex 20:3.

Keller claims, rightly I believe, that it is IDOLATRY from whence all sin originates.  Pride is merely a manifestation of idolatry.  In the case of pride, I am the idol that I worship.

Sadly true!  I am super competitive.  Why?  I compete to show that I am better.   Better than whom?  It doesn't matter.  I need to feed my own ego to keep worshiping myself.  I must earn my own worship, even though I really don't deserve any of it. 

Citius - Altius - Fortius. Faster - Higher - Stronger.  It's my motto and a sad one at that.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."  Ex 20:3.  I guess that includes self.  No, I am sure that includes self.

Ex 3:5-6 says, 5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

We have the ONE thing in the world worthy of all worship in the Holy Trinity. Wouldn't it be better, more fulfilling, to worship G^d instead of myself.

Sounds good right now.  How long will I remember this?  Not long enough.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ode to Jeremiah

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, had a pretty tough life.  His time as a prophet spanned several Judaic kings, beginning with the last of the godly kings, Josiah.  Josiah had instituted spiritual reforms among the whole nation, but the Israelis, as was their habit, lapsed spiritually shortly after.

G^d called Jeremiah to point out the sins of His people and call them into repentance.  He was told by G^d to promulgate the forthcoming fall of the Hebrews and the captivity by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.

Jeremiah faced:
  • Rejection by his family
  • Opposition by other prophets who falsely prophesied
  • Rejection by the Nation of Israel
  • Being carried into captivity
  • Being the bearer of very bad news
  • Being the bearer of a very grim prediction of future events for his country and people
  • Being thrown into a muddy cistern
  • Being carried into captivity in Egypt where he died.

Hmm, not exactly a "bed of roses".

But Jeremiah was given these words to share,

 "23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord."   Jer. 9.

So Jeremiah remained faithful to his call from G^d regardless of circumstances.  Jeremiah never saw the nation he loved return to G^d.  There was no great reward in THIS LIFE.

So, will we remain faithful in the face of adversity?

Some will.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SEC Nation

I am not a devoted football fan.  I enjoy it.  I saw an excellent Auburn v KS State game Thurs night.  I am watching Clemson play #1 ranked FSU right now.  I watch/listen to most all UA games.  I wasn't all that sure what "SEC Nation" was until this last few days.

You see, SEC Nation set up right outside my office beginning early Thurs.  I was impressed at the manpower required.  They had about 6 or 7 people stationed around the periphery just to keep people outside the fence they said up around their perimeter.

They had 30-40 people working to set up for 10 hours plus Thurs and most all day Friday.  By Friday about 1600, they seemed to have everything set.  There was heavy-duty security, and still plenty of worker-bees.  It looked like a circus, literally.  To heighten the effect, in the background the whole quad was being covered with tents.

 My office widows are second floor, just to right of big screen.

I marvel at the time, effort and money put into a college football pre-game show.  Clearly this is BIG MONEY.  Clearly LOTS of people watch, which is why they can spend all this money on doing this show.

Does all this really matter?  Does it really make a difference in the world as to who wins and who loses in college football?

Maybe football is a great illustration for us all. 

Why get so excited about something that will be forgotten in a couple of years?

Instead, why NOT get excited about something that WILL matter in a thousand years!!  What could that be?