postheadericon When the Game Stands Tall

I had a leadership training at church yesterday for my high school students and I chose to show them When the Game Stands Tall. Before I begin, let me just say that if you haven't seen this movie yet - SEE IT! I will try not to give much away while still sharing what I want to say.

This is a movie inspired by the true story of the De La Salle High School football team. The team shattered the previous national record for longest winning streak (72) with 151 wins between 1992 and 2004. Again, check out the movie if you haven't seen it yet!

Toward the end of the movie, one of the players makes a decision to forgo a huge personal achievement because he realizes that it's not about him. He says that it's not about him or a record, it's about the team. And it's about their coach. He gives up personal glory to make sure that the focus stays on the team as a whole. He pays tribute to a man, his coach, who brought them there. I can't watch it without completely welling up with tears, what wisdom and courage this young man shows in that moment.

It made me think about my own life. Am I willing to give up personal achievement to remember who brought me there?

"I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me
[I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him
Who infuses inner strength into me;
I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
- Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

As I've spent my week getting back into a routine of getting to the gym and beginning my trainining for my first ever (and probably only) marathon, I recited that verse a whole heck of a lot. When the workouts got I hard, I prayed for God's strength. I have finally realized that I cannot reach my goal without Christ.

I want to be like the football player when I reach my finish line. To God be the glory.
I'm so thankful that I have people in my life who keep me humble. Who remind me that it's not about me, but it's all about Him. And I'm thankful for movies that drive that point home even further. Will I have the courage to stand up and say, "I did it because Christ gave me strength?" I certainly hope so!

"In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and
glorify your Father in heaven."
- Matthew 5:16

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postheadericon Beauty

"One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple."
- Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

I read this verse today and I really like it. There's actually kind of a lot packed into this one nugget of scripture. And I so love it!

"To gaze on the beauty of the Lord..."

Oh, what that must be like!

But then again...

The beauty of the Lord is all around us.

It's in the sunrise on a cold day. In the freshly fallen snow that's white and crunches under your boots. In the way you can snuggle up in blankets and feel toasty and warm even when it's a blizzard outside. In the way the moon glows orange right on the horizon and looks so big that you could catch it if you ran far enough. In the way a tree blows gently in the wind. In the way caramel swirl frozen yogurt tastes after a run at the gym. In the way the birds sing. In the way the ocean laps the sand at your feet. In the way your favorite song sings sweetly through the radio. In the way the stars shine...just for you.

I think you get the idea.

After I was thinking about this, I came home and looked up the verse in another version of the Bible.

"I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet."
- Psalm 27:4 (The Message)

What a picture that paints!

I think maybe the way to really see God's beauty is to spend time at His feet. I mean really spend time That's where we're able to think on and contemplate His beauty. That's when and where our eyes are opened and we see things more clearly. In seeking God, maybe we find His beauty.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You, I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing, "Holy, holy, holy"

postheadericon God-Sighting

I woke up singing a song this morning. All morning long, as I read my Bible, as I read my devotions, as I brushed my teeth, as I got dressed, I was singing the same line over and over and over. I'm not even sure I was aware of what song I was singing, but I kept humming a melody and vaguely singing lyrics.

I left my house early because I had to run up to church to get something out of my office. It was freaking freezing cold! I think it was about -5 with an 18 below zero wind chill. Ack! Anyway, I drove up the hill to church and was in complete awe of the sunrise. My words couldn't possibly do it justice. But the way the light came together in a gorgeous canvas of pinks and oranges and purples was absolutely stunning.

From the church on the top of the hill, I stood marveling at God's glory through the sunrise. I had to snap a few pictures, but of course, they didn't capture the beauty I was seeing. It was hard to let the moment end, but it was too cold for me to stand outside for very long and I had to get to work. Just when I got back in the car, my song was just starting to play on the radio. The same song I'd had in my head earlier.

As I started singing along, I was letting the words bubble up from the very depth of my heart. What a glorious gift I was given this morning... We're given the same gift every day and everywhere, but this morning I really saw it. What a sight it was!

Atoning sacrifice
Keeper of this life
Hallelujah! You are Savior
Beginning and the end
Forgive of my sin
By Your mercy, You have saved us

Jesus, You are stronger
More than any other
Hallelujah! What a Savior
Jesus, You are higher
My soul's deepest desire
Hallelujah! You are savior

- from What a Savior by Laura Story
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