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Archive for January, 2012

Life Is Like Football.

Philippians 3:12-16

Introduction: According to Forrest Gump‘s mama, “Life is like a box of chocolates.

You never know what your’re gonna get.” I say “Life is like football!”

I am not the first to say “life is like football.”

Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard put it this way, “The game of life is a lot like football.

You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.”

 The legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, expressed the same sentiment.

 “Football is like life, it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”

Coach Lombardi also said, “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport.

 Dancing is a contact sport.”

Ladies, you might prefer Erma Bombeck‘s observation on football.

She said, “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”

I played football in high school, believe it or not.

That’s was back in the Middle Ages.

I was a quarterback.

 I started out as a running back.

 I gave up on that after the first game.

I was running a sweep around end when an opposing tackle grabbed my left leg.

Another grabbed my left leg.

The linebacker looked at me and said, “Make a wish!”

Of course, that’s not true.

Football didn’t exist in the Middle Ages.

 American style football didn’t come into its own until about the time of the Civil War.

It began as a variation on rugby and its cousin soccer among the Ivy League schools of the Northeast.

If football had existed in bible times, Paul would probably have been a fan.

I say that because his New Testament books contain many sports analogies.

 The primary sports of the day were running, boxing, and wrestling.

Listen to these illustrations from Paul: “Do 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.

Everyone 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.

26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-26).

 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Our text provides another example.

To understand the passage requires understanding at least part of the sports analogy.

Today I want to tackle the message of Philippians by translating Paul’s ancient picture into our more familiar football analogy.

I will say it again.

 Life is like football in at least three ways.

 It’s not over ’til it’s over.

You gotta know which way you’re headed.

You gotta remember which team you’re on.

First, life is like football.

It’s not over til it’s over.

A good team doesn’t start celebrating until the game ends.

Victory comes to the team who wants it the …

By Roger Thomas.

How to win the Super Bowl!

Acts 1:8

This evening the world will watch the Chicago Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts (I mean play the Indianapolis Colts).

I shouldn’t have made a prediction like that!

How many Bears fans do we have here this morning?.


 How many Colts fans do we have here this morning?.

Wonderful! How many Jesus fans do we have here at the Grace Baptist Church this morning? Raise your hands! Oh that is great!

This morning I want to compare the playing of the Super Bowl, and all the fans that will be watching the Super Bowl to that of the Christian life.

Now, there is a greater Super Bowl being played, even as I speak!

King Jesus, and His team is on one side of the playing field, and Satan and all his demons are on the other side of the playing field!

Which side are you going to be?.

 I hope you are on Jesus’ team, and you can be on His team before you leave this morning!

As I thought about how to win the Super Bowl, I thought about how the Christian life is compared to the sports world.

We have a lot in common with the world of sports.

The Bible even pictures the Christian life as a boxing match, a race, and a wrestling match.

Now how can you win at the Super Bowl of Life?

1-Tell everybody whose team you are on!

Acts 1:8 says

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

A true fan is not ashamed to stand up and be counted for his or her team!

 As many of you have already stated, a fan is not hesitant to say what team they are pulling for, unless it happens to be the New York Yankees!

Just kidding! Are there any Yankee fans here today! I’ve tried my best to convert you into Brave fans, but all to no avail!

You want to be a winner right, so you pull for the Yankees, instead of the Braves!

Well friends, I really do not know who will win the big game tonight, but I guarantee that the Colt fans are going to let everyone know when Peyton Manning throws a touchdown pass, and the Bears Fans are going to let everyone know when they score a touchdown or kick a field goal.
I’ve even seen fans would fight you over their team if you said something about them.

It is easy to tell who a true fan is pulling for. Just look at their shirts, coats, socks, and even their underwear and they will have the logo of their favorite team on them.

It is said that Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player ever, would wear his North Carolina Tarheels gym shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform.

Once a Tarheel, always a Tarheel. AMEN! That is why the Lord painted the sky above us Tarheel Blue!

 How many Tarheel fans do we have here today?.

 How many Duke Blue devil fans do we have?.

 If those fans can tell everyone whose side they are on, let’s go out into the world and let them know we are on God’s team!

By Marvin D. Patterson.

Imitating the (Real) Proverbs 31 Woman.

This is about the time of year when I usually consider writing the Proverbs 31 woman a nasty letter.

You know what I mean. It’s the time of year when all those thoughtful, prayerful goals you’ve set seem hopelessly unrealistic.

 (How many books were you planning to read in January?.

 What was that bit about organizing the kid’s closets?.

 And cutting back on caffeine… seemed like a good idea at the time.)

Or maybe that’s just me. I’ve finally gotten to the place (now that I have four kids, it’s about time) where I am enthusiastically embracing the joys and headaches of homemaking.

The art of butter cream frosting, the green of fresh parsley, the spicy kick of garlic: yes, please.

I’m slightly less enthusiastic about laundry, but we’ve made our peace.

These are my peeps. This is my calling, so let’s get to it. Let’s pursue excellence. I’ve got the whole wide world at my fingertips! Do I want to sew up twirly skirts for the girls? Make my own soap? There’s probably a tutorial online.

I’ve learned so far that I’m awful at organic gardening. I love chopping vegetables. The smell of baking bread makes me want to put on an apron and hug someone. I want to keep learning.

So I sit down at the beginning of the year, and I map out all the things I want to master, or at least try. All the things I want to do differently than last year. All the ways I want to be different. Grow.

Goals, goals, goals. LOTS of very good goals.

Sometime shortly after this moment of raw idealism, life happens. “Routine” is just a low-scoring word in Scrabble. I wake up before the sun; the kids wake up even earlier.

I start sorting through closets; everybody gets the flu. I really do want to attack those unfinished sewing projects, but have you seen the new drama on Masterpiece Theater?

Enter Proverbs 31 Woman with her strong arms and her well-clothed household.

Cue the despair.

The woman is amazing, and if I’ve been listening in Sunday school, I know she is my standard. She is generous, strong, kind, wise, trust-worthy, never lazy, and she most certainly does not yell at her husband when he comes home from the store without the Kalamata olives.

I pretend I’m annoyed at her brilliance, but really I’m not. I want to be like her. I want to be a safe haven for my family. I want the word of kindness on my tongue. I want to laugh at the future.

When I spend some time re-reading the Biblical portrait of the virtuous woman… I’m shocked. I could have sworn I read in there once “She has organized all her spices alphabetically.”

And, “She immediately picks up toys as her children put them down.” And this gem: “She is always caught up on her laundry.” None of these are in there!

In fact, most of the descriptions of the virtuous woman have to do with her faithful actions, not the state of her household. We learn how she spends her time. We learn what her priorities are.

What her character is like. She is faithful, even when life throws curveballs. She works hard, even though the work is never done.

She expands her interests, even when her world feels small. She demonstrates grace to her family, (I’m guessing here) because she knows what it is to receive grace.

Why is it so easy for me to trade in one wrong heart-attitude for another? I ask my Father to help me drop-kick idleness and discontentment, but I fail to guard my heart, and in creeps the idol of perfectionism.

I work manically to accomplish all I think Proverbs demands of me, but what if God’s plan for my day doesn’t look like that? Perfection tells me to get that cake baked and the kitchen cleaned up.

 Grace says to let the kids help even though it will take longer and some batter will get spilled down the side of the cabinet, because somewhere in the middle of measuring and pouring, they start to tell me what they’re thinking. They ask questions about life and friendships and God.

I imagine what the Virtuous Woman would have to say about being held up as the standard of womanly perfection. She’d probably be shocked, because like all of us, she would know her own shortcomings best.

 She’d remember all the battles she lost before she started to win a few. I think she’d tell me that a joyful home, a home where grace dwells, is better than an organized one.

 A clean heart is to be sought above a clean house. Yes, I do think she’d remind me to pick up my bones and get busy. Life is full of trying! Work! Give! Love! Laugh! Don’t quit!

“You will fail. But you will grab hold of grace, and you will get back up again,” she says to me. “This is the kind of thing your children will rise up and bless you for.”

Lori Chally is an aspiring fiction author and mother of four creative children who never fail to provide inspiration. In her spare time (yeah, right!) she enjoys modern quilting, trying out new recipes, and scoring vintage finds! Lori can be contacted at

By Lori Chally.

Mimiko Presents N150b Budget, says We Have Redefined Governance.

Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has presented to the State’s
House Of Assembly  a  N150 billion budget meant to run the affairs of the
state  for the 2012 fiscal year.

Tagged “A Caring Heart  Budget  III” the 2012 budget is 7 billion higher than
that of 2011 and it is   geared towards  further consolidation of the present
administration’s three years  land mark achievements.

Presenting  the Caring Heart budget to the state’s Lawmakers  on the floor
of the  State House of Assembly in Akure  yesterday, the governor explained
that   N85.5b of the budget is  meant for  capital expenditure while N64.5
billion is estimated for recurrent expenditure inclusive of N8.2b statutory grant
to Ondo State Oil Producing Development Commission (OSOPADEC).

The governor also informed that the budget would be serviced by expected
N75b revenue from the Federation Account, the retained N12b internally
generated revenue projection and N38b drawdown from the Bond issue as
well as external and internal sources which will commence from this fiscal
year among other sources.

The sectoral breakdown of the budget shows road construction and
maintenance taking the lion share of N16.025b  with  education gulping N12.
198b while N8.2b is the estimated spending on the provision of health

Others are Agriculture N3.7b, Trade and Industry N3.3b, Enhancement of
Electricity Supply N0.8b, Social and Community Development N6.6b, Water
Supply N3.6b, Housing and Environment N6.7b, Administration of Justice N1.

Mimiko explained that “one feature of the capital estimates for the 2012 fiscal
year is the emphasis placed on completion of all on-going developmental
projects while only very important new initiatives were taken on board.

“A total of N2.2 billion has been earmarked for the operation of the legislature
to provide the needed impetus for the delivery of the dividends of democracy
to the people of the state.

“The judicial arm of government received enormous support in the course of
the out-gone fiscal year. The Court of Appeal, as well as the Customary
Court of Appeal, effectively took off in the course of the year. Also, the
National Industrial Court will soon commence operation in the state.

“ In the current fiscal year, over N1 billion has been provided to support the
judicial arm for its operations.

At the workers level, the governor informed that  a new Public Service
Training Institute sited in Ifedore Local Government is nearing completion. He
added the the Institute has an International Governing Council and  set to
produce world-class graduates.

Reviewing both the 2011 budget and his administration’s performance  since
inception, Mimiko explained that on the revenue side, the performance of the
2011 budget started on a sluggish note, especially the expected revenue
from Federation Account. He hinted however that  as the year progressed,
the different classes of revenue continued to improve.
Mimiko divulged that  as at December, 2011, a total of N118.997 billion had
been generated from all sources as against the expected generation of N143.
500 billion, implying a shortfall of N24.997 billion. Informing however that
inspite of all these challenges, the government has  been able to record
appreciable success in the implementation of the 2011 Budget.

“On a general note, it is heartening to state that within this short period in the
annals of this State, we have redefined governance; achieved a respectable
level of infrastructural renewal; invested heavily in the productive capabilities
of our people; and raised the bar in all sectors of governance.

The governor who also spoke on the current political situation in the state,
cautioned political leaders irrespective of political affiliation, to guard their
utterances for sustenance of peace in the state.

“As we approach the electioneering period in the state, I wish to implore the
people of Ondo State to conduct ourselves with decorum. Let me also call on
the media to avoid mischief makers who are purveyors of misinformation in
order to mislead the public. This State belongs to all of us, hence we should
all work together to move it forward” Mimiko pleaded.

By  African Examiner.

Court dismisses N40 billion corruption charges against Bankole, Nafada.

Justice Suleiman Belgore of the Abuja High Court has thrown out the N40
billion corruption case against former speaker of the Nigerian House of
Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole and his deputy Hon. Usman  
Nafada.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused
the two politicians of corruption bordering on theft, contract inflation and
fraudulent embezzlement of public funds while in office.  

But when the matter came up in court on Tuesday,  Justice Suleiman
Belgore dismissed the case saying both Bankole and his deputy have no
case to answer.

Belgore noted that  the former speaker and the former deputy speaker did
not benefit from the controversial N40 billion loan and added that there
was no case of theft either as it was a loan that have been liquidated and
was provided for in the budget.

He also said constitutionally, it is the duty of the clerk of the house to run
the account of the house and not the speaker or the deputy.

By African Examiner.

Praying For His Will Of Deliverance Upon Us Over Every Spirit Of Doubt.

Giver Of Hope, Lord God, I join my brothers and sisters to thank, reverence and praise You, for by through the hope, we have in You, through Christ Jesus, we are able to be still, calm and at peace even in the midst of our circumstances and tribulations and from today, tomorrow and forever more, we pray that Your peace will continue to dominate our lives, as long as we have breath in us, this we pray and believe in Jesus name. Amen. 

Great Revealer, Father,  we command every works and manipulations of the enemies that are trying to hinder Your revelations in our lives to cease, Lord Jesus, we beseech Thee to remove every veils that is covering our hearts, spirits and bodies and prevent us from seeing You as You are but Father, we beseech Thee to open our spiritual eyes to be able to behold Your glory, supremacy and revelations and may Your glory transform us into what You want us to become, this we ask through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Giver Of Covenant Blessings, Lord, we pray Thee to deliver us from every tools of doubts, that the enemies is trying to use against us, in other to hinder the flow of Your covenant blessings and we ask for forgiveness, in every areas, we have considered yielding to doubt and from today, we receive a certain measure of grace to live, walk and abide in obedience to Your promises to Your elites and as we do so, we pray that Your covenant blessings will out run and overflow in every phases and areas of our lives, this we ask and recieve in Jesus name. Amen.

Lord Jesus, we decree, declear and proclaim that You are Our Rivers Of everflowing abundance and we are fully persuaded that their is no lack in You, cause Your name alone represents abundance and we pray this day that Your abundance will flow and continue to run in our lives, for You are the good Shepherd and we employ You to continue to be our Shepherd, so that we shall not want and finally today, Lord Jesus, we beseech Thee to remove every lacks and emptiness and fill us with Your eternal abundance, this we decree, pray, believe and receive in Jesus name. Amen, Amen and Amen.

Behold Him.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. John 1:10-11

Many Christians do not understand the privileges of the covenant and, therefore, live lives of hardship and defeat.

To the spiritually blind, Jesus cannot be seen.

To the spiritually deaf, He cannot be heard.

To the spiritually dead, He cannot be perceived.

 But in Christ, your eyes and ears have been opened.

You have been quickened or made spiritually alive in Christ.

You know Him!

Those who live apart from Him can look right past Him and not see Him.

They think the promise of abundant life is meant for when this life is over.

Like Martha at the tomb of Lazarus, they sigh, “I know he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”-.-.-.-while Jesus stands before them saying, “Look at me! I am the resurrection!” (cf. John 11:24-25).

Abundant life with Jesus is not in the distant future.

Your covenant blessings are yours today!

Jesus came that you might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

 Stop believing the lie of the world that you are destined to lack.

 Christ’s resources are infinite.

 Touch infinity today.

Jesus, You are my abundance.

There is no lack in You.

You are my Shepherd, I shall not want.

So today, Lord Jesus, remove my lack and fill me with Your abundance. Amen.


We All Have Reasons to Rejoice.

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. —Acts 5:41, KJV

Do you feel that you let God down sometimes?.

Haven’t we all?

He is not asking us to be excited about the bad things that may have happened in our lives or in the world around us, but He is trying to get our minds on something useful and positive because—one day—we will be glad we did.

The rejoicing that Peter experienced after being rebuked and flogged by the ruling council of Jerusalem showed how much he had changed.

He was cowardly after Jesus was arrested, but now he was as bold as a lion.

God wants to do this for all of us. He lets us have a second chance after we have blown it.

This alone is cause for rejoicing.

But there is one further important clarification: we are told to rejoice in the Lord.

We do not rejoice in ourselves or in things.

We rejoice in the Lord Jesus.

This we can always do because there is no fault in Him, no disappointment.

We rejoice in His person—that He is totally God and totally man.

No matter what our circumstances we can always—with integrity—rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The same Lord we rejoice in, however, is not only in heaven.

He is with us wherever we are. Paul spoke of Jesus being right there with him (2 Tim. 4:17).

How could this be if He is in heaven?.

Is it because He miraculously remains there and yet comes to us where we are?.

Certainly. But it is also because He lifts us up to where He is!

“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

That is therefore perpetual cause for rejoicing.

God will come again, one way or another, to let us have another chance—and (perhaps) save face!

Rejoice in His faithfulness.

Rejoice in the way He covers for us and does not expose the skeletons in our closets. God is so kind and gracious.

Whatever you are going through, this too will work together for good (Rom. 8:28). So rejoice!

Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).


{ Day 31 }.

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18, NAS

While Jesus walked on Earth, His glory was veiled in human flesh.

Veils were used in the Bible to hide the glory of God.

A veil was put over Moses‘s face to hide the glory, a veil hid the holy of holies and glory of God in the tabernacle, and the writer of Hebrews spoke of the “veil, that is, His flesh” (Heb. 10:20, NAS).

 In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul discusses one other veil that hides the glory of God.

It is the veil that covers the heart and prevents a person from beholding the glory of Christ.


Father, I do not want anything to hide the revelation of Your glory from my life.

Remove the veil that covers my heart and prevents me from seeing You as You are.

The revelation of the true knowledge of the glorified Christ will transform you.


His Ways, Your Ways.

“It is important to make it your desire not to do your own will but the will of the father.” Dag Heward-MillsTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
We often have this mindset that the will of God for us has to be done one way and that’s it.

And if we don’t choose that right way, we re out of his will.
 It is true that God has a plan A for us but what I have discovered lately is that there is not only one way to see that plan fulfilled in our lives.
 God has one destination for us but he can use various ways to get us to our destiny.
And none of those ways is less of God’s perfect plan for us.
Some time ago, I found myself having to make a choice and I was disturbed because I could not bring myself to choose a path.
I was so afraid of getting out of God’s perfect will. But God’s answer to my cry for help was “you don’t have to choose a particular direction”.
” He said that the first answer came because of a prayer I made, but it was up to me to decide.
I could choose the first path and make things happen faster or I could choose the second which would take more time.
 With the first choice, I would see the desires of my heart fulfilled more quickly.
 On the other hand, in the process of waiting with the second choice, I would have the opportunity to learn to know God better in a different way.
Ultimately, with these two choices, God’ plan for me, that is His will for me, will still be done.
The point is that what God has purposed is what will come to pass as long as we rely on Him at every step.
However the way to get there may change.
 And that would not necessarily mean that we are not in His perfect will. 
The perfect will of God is done (or not) in our ways and in our choices.
 We have to understand that aligning ourselves on God’s wisdom, is choosing His ways to become our ways.
It is important to note that it is then our way, our choice.
The Bible says in Psalm 119, verse 105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
And once it becomes ours, humanity enters in.
Then errors infiltrate; miscalculations interfere.
 However if we are in His will, making mistakes is not being out of God’s will or even being in His imperfect will. 
But if we have trusted in the Lord with all our heart and have submitted all our ways to His ways, He will make our paths smooth.
 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
Abraham was a man who was in God’s perfect will. In obedience to God, he left father and country to go to a place that God would show him.
 On his way to his destination, he went to two other countries and because he was afraid that the kings in those countries might kill him to get his beautiful wife Sara, he lied to protect himself. (Genesis 12:10-17 & Genesis 20)
Now, there is no where in the Bible where you will find written that lies are a good or even acceptable thing.
 But because Abraham had made God’s ways his ways, God’s will his will, the Lord did not rebuke Abraham, neither the first time nor the second time he lied to protect himself.
 No, God punished the kings. God straightened his paths.
On the other hand, we see how, by not trusting in God with all their heart, Sarah and Abraham went out of God will to get Ishmael.This is why we need to not just know the will of God but we need to know it in all wisdom and Spiritual understanding.
Because that is what will help us make the right choices.”For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9)Wishing you a Blessed Week!

I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)
By Anita Antwi.

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