Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church by Pastor Steve Shields on 2/25/2018
While playing for the Minnesota Vikings, defensive end Jim Marshall did something embarrassing.
In a game against the 49ers, he recovered a fumble and ran it 66 yards — the wrong way — into his own end zone.
Because he thought he’d scored a touchdown for his team, he threw the ball away in celebration, only to have it go out of bounds, giving a safety for the other team.
Despite this error, Minnesota went on to win the game 27–22, with the victory provided by a touchdown return of a fumble caused by Marshall.
I am sure there are a lot of people who know Marshall’s pain.
And I am sure there are a lot of people who, upon failing so miserably, left the arena. They allowed their failure to be fatal.
Sometimes Christians can feel this way. We see our own failings as tragic, and retire from serving God.
They believe a lie that they are useless in the Kingdom.
This podcast speaks about this and gives insight into why failures don’t have to be fatal.
I often say that I am a nostalgist. There’s no such word, but there should be.* I like to think of the past and remember it, happy or sad. Sometimes people avoid thinking about the past because the memories are filled with pain. Other times people don’t let their minds go there because when placed beside the past, the present feels pretty lame.
For the redeemed, there are parts of the past that we’d rather forget. Having opened the eyes of our hearts to the hope to which we’ve been called, we see our past lives for what they were — and some of those memories are not ones we hold fondly. Yet, in Ephesians 2, the text recalls our past — a past that isn’t so pretty.
The answer is that thinking back to who you were and contrasting it with who God has made you, evokes appreciation in your heart and life.
This Communion Service podcast encourages us to look back at our past so we can appreciate what God’s done in our lives.
*I’ve recently been made aware there is such a word as nostalgist. Thanks Allen. 🙂
Tiger Woods was talented, clean-cut, charismatic, and generally well-liked. He broke records in the world of golf. His marriage to Elin Nordegren seemed like a fairy tale — two beautiful people with beautiful children. Then, according to the media, Tiger made some bad decisions. Lots of bad decisions involving adultery. One news outlet reported in April that his numerous affairs have cost him about $1 million per mistress. It’s cost him more than that. His game is off. He’s no longer the golden-boy of golf. His popularity is in the basement. And he’s lost Elin. Recently a news headline read, “Tiger says being a father is hard since his divorce.” It’s a classic case of a superstar thinking that the rules didn’t apply to him. It was nothing more, nothing less than, audacity.
Recently, three college students crossed a safety barricade at the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park so they could have their photo taken. The result was not pretty. The swift-moving water of the falls caught them and dragged all three over the 317 foot cliff. It was a classic case of intelligent people thinking that they knew better than the experts. Sad to say, it was pure and simple audacity. It cost them their lives.
In 2009, a 54-year-old mountain climbing guide, was leading come climbers up a snow-capped mountain in his native New Zealand. Although the spot he was climbing had melting snow and ice and he, being a seasoned climber, did not take the normal precautions of belaying himself. You know what happened, right? It was a classic case of a seasoned veteran thinking he was smart enough to break the rules. It is pure and simple audacity.
All three of these stories connect with the podcast here — a message about a man who thought he knew better than anyone else, even better than Jesus.