GEAR Up for the Game – Go Bears!

First I have to say thank you to Noah’s (and his teammates) Coaches and here’s why…

It’s a cold Sunday morning (which I love by the way… don’t tell anyone :0) and we are out on the football field watching our son Noah and his ‘Bear’ Teammates get ready for one of their final games. I guess you could say we have taken the church to the football field today… sort of…

This short story began last week as a result of a brief conversation the prior week with one of Noah’s coaches about my desire to help Noah understand the values and priorities of God, Sundays and Football…

It’s so cool when the gospel gets spoken without the need for words. And for me, being a guy with absolutely no lack of words, this was an unusual and special experience.

My son Noah told me that the coaches approached him after practice and said they knew how important church was to our family and since the game was on Sunday would your dad want to say a few words and pray for the team before the game.

When Noah told me this my whole spirit lit up, like a spark plug igniting an engine!

Well, here we are this morning and this is the word and prayer God had for the team. Go Bears!

GEAR up for the Game:
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul gives the team the pre-game pep talk and reminds us to check our football gear. He’s talking about gearing up for battle, but football players also gear up for the game. If he’d been thinking about football he might have phrased it this way, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the uniform, so that you can take your stand against the opposing team… Therefore put on all of your gear so that when the game day comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the shoulder pads of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the shoes of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the face mask of faith, with which you can conquer all the opponents’ plays. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, your playbook, which is the word of God. Let’s all commit the game to God as we kneel for a locker room prayer, that we might prove victorious in this game.”

Ephesians 6:10-18
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…

Rob Springer
‘perge’
Proverbs 21:21
http://www.robspringer.com

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Samuel Is An Alien and So Am I – Take Me To Your Leader

As I begin my day this morning with my usual routine of stumbling to the coffee maker, then to the shower, then to my knees at my favorite chair I begin to talk with God…

My mind is so full of thoughts about my son Samuel… hopes, fears, joys, concern, hope, love and, well, the words will not come out to express my emotions…  I am not even sure I have a good grasp on how I am feeling… regardless of me, and my thoughts, my heart continues to cry out to God and here is how God answered in his still soft way this morning…

Psalm 95:1-96:13, “Come let us sing to the Lord, let us shout to the Rock of our salvation…”

Then I looked down at my right hand and saw the yellow plastic hospital bracelet with an aqua snap.  I was given this bracelet to wear when I arrived at the Ronald McDonald house…IMG_4884 and met my amazing little boy with a smile bigger than his face waiting with great anticipation behind the sliding glass doors to tell me about his days adventures and show me his new comfy PJ pants and super cool Colts slip on slippers.  I was bursting with joy to see him and my amazing, beautiful, incredibly accomplished super, wife, mother and friend… IMG_2226The reason for my excitement was not only because I was thrilled to see them both and be able share this monumental experience together, but also because I had a totally unexpected gift for Samuel that I knew he was not expecting, really wanted and was sure it would be a while before he might get it.  So as I, with great pride and joy  grabbed him up in my arms and kissed his neck and squeezed him as tightly as I dared, I then gently set him down on his precious feet and casually gave him a plastic Game Stop bag and stepped back to take in his response!  Precious, beautiful moment, nothing to do with the gift, everything to do with the look on my precious, beautiful sons face…  His reaction and surprise was like having warm liquid joy poured all over me and soaking me to the bone!

Ok, back to the yellow plastic bracelet with the aqua snap.   As I looked at it again today (thinking about Samuel being in a brain scan tube today and the numerous blood draws and PT that are down the road, and many other new, unexpected things…) I was reminded of my private vow that I would not take it off until Samuel was through this and/or I was given or asked to put on a new one to wear during our different stays at the hospital.  This morning, with my head full to the point of bursting and my heart filling with joy and hope from the Lord and his soft, gentle, faithful voice I saw with new eyes the word “GUEST” on the yellow bracelet with the aqua snap that I had been wearing since Tuesday.  I was immediately reminded of God’s very clear word that we are not of this world, we are aliens… in this world, but not of this world.  I think this little yellow bracelet with the aqua snap changed my life this morning…

God reminded me in this gentle, quiet, incredibly loud moment… that He is in control and the worries, sicknesses, diseases and problems of this world do not apply to me, Samuel or my family.  God is in control and these outward, human things (for lack of a more descriptive way of expressing) are at worst only distractions and at best (and probably more correctly) incredible opportunities, and precious moments with God to know Him more and draw into Him closer…

So as I cry out to God with praise, and all my human emotions, fears and questions, I also praise Him because I along with Strong, Unwavering Samuel…

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and the rest of the Springer crew (Precious-Faithful Mary, 20130401-111642.jpg

Compassionate-Wise Noah… IMG_4651…Noble-Determined Elijah and Joyful-Passionate Levi)..IMG_4878 …are all fearfully and wonderfully made… (Psalm 139:14), precious treasures that will not lose heart… (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, 10-18), God knows the plans He has for us as we seek Him with all our hearts… (Jeremiah 29:11-13); so we will continue to praise the Rock of our salvation through this… (Psalm 95:1-96:13) and continue to pursue righteousness and love in all things… (Proverbs 21:21)

Then I got in the car and headed down Van Avenue to City Hall and this is the song God sang to me “Our God” by Chris Tomlin…

Ahh… God is good… All the time… God is good…

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Phillip Samuel Michael Springer my Hero…