Posts tagged ‘win’

July 9, 2012

All In?

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baggis/167538086/

The biggest moment in a poker tournament is what is known as the “all in” moment. Each player starts with the same amount of chips and the goal is to win the chips from the other players over the course of many hands of poker. Usually toward the latter part of these tournaments, someone decides that they have too few chips to stay in much longer but they have a great hand and so they move all their chips into the center of the table, calling, “all in”. It is at that time that reality sets in. Either this is the hand that changes the night for better or this is the time that you head home with nothing. Going all in is a risky move.
This past weekend the youth of our church went on their first ever youth retreat to Myrtle Beach. They had some work they did helping the hosts and they had some fun time also, but they had a lesson from one of the leaders asking them if they were all in. The analogy used was different though. They were near the pool and as you know, most people ease into the pool. Usually they get in up to their knees and get a feel for the water before deciding to go all in. These guys were in to the knees with God in their role as Christians. Many of them said that they believed and had even made a decision to become a Christian but none of them had committed to that all in moment. Let’s face it; this can be scary.
Are you all in? As a Christian, have you decided to test the waters by coming to church and attending a class and even giving regularly? Some of you are thinking, “what do you mean, test the waters, I thought that was all in?” Sorry, but it is not. Church is only a small part of being a Christian, but for most, it has become what identifies us as Christians. God wants more from us than a couple of hours a week. He wants us all in.
Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we should take up our crosses as we follow. Crosses are hard to carry. I am not talking about those gold ones around the neck. I am talking the wooden ones that they hang you on with nails. Now Jesus did not expect us to literally carry crosses, but rather to realize that this walk He took was His all in moment when He carried His cross up the hill to die for the sins of the world. And if all he would have done was to talk about it, He could have been like most of us who are only testing the waters or making safe bets that won’t put us out of the game or vault us into the lead.
Christians should be different in everything we do. Not “Bible thumpers” who yell out at every one that they are going to hell, but living examples of the Bible that was written to show God’s love for the world. Our marriages should be stronger than most because they are modeled after the one that God designed. Our work ethic should be better because we work as if God were our boss. Our friendships should be better because we want to be friends that stick closer than a brother. Our faith should be our guide because we trust God and show it in the way we act in every aspect of our lives. Reading our Bibles should not be something that we don’t have time for, but rather something that there is always time for. Praying for others should be habitual and joyful and worship should show in our faces as we celebrate the King of Glory as our Savior every chance we get. And oh yeah, our willingness to do the tough things for others should never come into question as we carry our crosses so that others might be saved.
Right now I am thinking of a list of places that I need to double-check to see if I am truly all in. We don’t stay all in all of the time. But we must be willing to fearlessly accept the fact that we have gotten back into the shallow water or are only making safe bets and we must be willing to dive into the deep or push the whole stack of chips and go all in. Its your move. Will you go all in or are you bluffing? Will you take the plunge into the deep water or play it safe in the kiddie pool? Come on…Go all in.

November 21, 2011

New Fan

by pastortimfowler

This past Saturday I took my 6-year-old grandson to his first USC Gamecock football game in Columbia SC. He already likes the Gamecocks but knows very little, if anything, about football. Because this was a game that they were supposed to easily win, and they did, I figured that it would be a safe bet to go to this one in case he lost interest and we had to leave. He didn’t, and we stayed the whole game and had a blast.
In a stadium with 80,000 screaming fans it is not the place to try to teach a 6-year-old about football. I tried. It is a great place to teach a 6-year-old how many different ways that you can mold cotton candy before you eat it. I also discovered that stadium cotton candy, by weight, is more valuable than gold. One bag that weight of almost nothing was $5.00. We had two bags and a bucket of popcorn the size of a new Prius and pizza that was older than most Priusessesseessss.
I am not rich, but I need to be if I am going to keep taking grandkids to the Gamecock football games. Between tickets and food and parking, my wife and I now live in her mini-van. Thank goodness it is bigger than a Prius.
Most everywhere we take our 6-year-old grandson he has to use the bathroom, and this was no different. As we entered the stadium there were rows of port-a-potties set up for the fans who were waiting to come in. He wanted to use them. I said no, we will go once we are inside. I am not prejudice against port-a-potties, I just want better for my grandson. Some of my best friends use port-a-potties. So once inside and after we ate the pizza left over from the first ever game held in Williams-Brice Stadium, we went to the bathroom. It started off with the normal walk toward that urinal and then panic set in on my grandson’s face. This was the first time he had ever seen the public pee trough. Sorry ladies, but that is what us guys get in many stadiums; a metal trough with water running and drains along the bottom.
Most little boys are not to worried about where they pee. In fact, most are perfectly fine with a tree or a bush. Give them your typical toilet bowl and they will pee on the floor half of the time. Give them a chance to basically pee on the floor on purpose and it really freaks them out. But we made it through the experience and he learned the what every man learns: the brick wall stare.
Did you know that most colleges have male cheerleaders? He didn’t. Did you know that those male cheerleaders spend a lot of time touching girls butts and looking up their dresses? He didn’t. Did you know that there is no good way for a 6-year-old to really understand that it is okay but he shouldn’t do it?
Did you know that the chicken can dance? Did you know that the chicken doesn’t touch girls butts and look up their dresses? I do now.
Did you know that if you try to explain everything that a 6-year-old boy notices in a stadium filled with 80,000 people who you will not see every play, especially the really good ones? Did you know that it is hard to explain why everyone gets excited when your team gets a first down when all the time the cheerleaders are asking us, “whadaya want? TD, What’s that? touchdown”?
Did you know that the poor fellow who was sitting beside us was really a patient guy because my 6-year-old grandson can talk to a tree if he had to?
Did you know that the cotton candy guy in the section below you could throw the cotton candy to us? Well he can’t but 6 year olds know more than I do and waiting for one of those guys to come to our section is not worth the wait when I could miss some of the game to go to the concession stand and get some.
Sorry for all the questions, I just wanted to share the joy.
We did make it through the game and we won and he told me that it was awesome to get to come to the game with me and that makes it all worth while. Hopefully, the Gamecocks truly have a new fan now. I know the cotton candy guy does.

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