Saturday, November 21, 2015

Times Infinity

My guess is that you will see MANY posts, shares, quotes- regarding Thanksgiving this week.

In our information Tsunami culture, these things pop up and drop away... about as long as a tweet and for the most part, they skip off in the midst of clicks and are soon forgotten.

This post will be no different. Maybe it is read by 8 or 10, maybe a like, maybe a share... but it is also fun to think that this may be read by someone in China or India... maybe you clicked on this by mistake, perhaps you are reading this 3 years after I am writing this.

Regardless, what I am writing will be a true then as it is today... and it as true in the east as it is in the west. It is true regardless of race or social status... male or female... young or old.


I went running this morning and decided for the entire length of the run, I was going to think about all the things in my life I need to be thankful for... I was only a mile in when it hit me.... this number is INFINITY!

Each item I brought up introduced an entire category that led to other universes of blessings and gifts....

It wasn't long that my prayer to God was, "Lord, forgive me for the unlimited number of things in my life I just take for granted" and in His grace and knowledge of my heart, He understands.

So the process went something like this... "I'm thankful I have a mind to think... health to run.. this amazing day, the beauty of Your creation... the hope I have in my life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus... thankful to know that...thankful for the amazing machine you have given me in my body- it's ability to be broken, torn, infected...but regenerates and heals and fights disease.. I can see, hear, taste, touch, ..beautiful colors and enjoyable music brings back amazing memories... thank you for this song from Journey... reminds me of the summer of 1981 in my 1975 Camaro- thank-you that I had those days and that time... the sacrifice of my parents..thank-you for my mom and family.. how can I begin to thank you for the beautiful people in my life!..I can't count them all... most of all my wife and children...what a joy!.. Lord thank you for your Word..I could go verse by verse and thank-you for all 66 books! home, my job, where I live, my church... and what about even the dark times in my life? I can thank you for leading me through those times... and all of the great times..I have a car.. I have access to gas, groceries, medication, I have heat, clothes, I have enough stability and peace that I can travel, fish, I have freedom.... "

Now, if you go back and look at that list...everything is like an ICON- you pick it and begin to drill down..and it is like a universe in itself...

I'm going to pick one at random...

Ok how about ... "my body"

I breathe, walk, run, eat, sleep without discomfort..I'm blessed to not have to be on medication.. I have balance, coordination, I can communicate, I can lift, hold things, I had a terrible cold last week and no energy..but now I am showing almost full healing, I have scars on my body that is proof that it can heal, I have had broken bones that are now healed, 2 knee surgeries, but it didn't prevent me from running two marathons, I had my gall bladder removed, but I show no negative effects from that.. the engineering just in my hand is incomprehensible!

and when I was younger, I had enough speed and strength to enjoy sports, played football, was a starting Qb, played college ball- was able to play, run, jump, climb...and think about how many times my body was able to deliver me from harm- I have run away from dogs, jumped out of the way of a moving car, 

Now drill down from there... pick let's say 'football'

thankful that I didn't quit after that 1st day of practice in 2nd grade... for my coaches, for success, for the team mates and principles I learned, for all the parents who worked to provide uniforms, fields, equipment, concessions... referees and opponents, all the training I received. Wahouma football, Banks football, Alabama football..all the memories, the games, the team, the cheerleaders and band, the crowd, the media, - the legacy and tradition of football in Alabama,  the privilege I had to coach, to experience winning, winning state titles, becoming a head coach and my great memories about those days, my staff, being able to enjoy watching college football, go to games.....all the great games I have either seen or been a part of....

Have I bored you yet?

Now, ALL of THAT is from God... He has been so good to me!


Why will heaven last forever? It may take long to enjoy getting to know God and to personally thank Him for all He has given me!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1992 Deja Vu?

Curry/Copeland 1992
I don't post much on Alabama football. But it has been a lot of fun to watch this team develop this season. This is, from the beginning of the fall until now, the most improved team I have watched in the Nick Saban era.

It is a joy to me to be an Alabama fan because of the traditions that this program has. Yes, I'm spoiled because of the wins... no doubt about it. But I love the way this program does it. Classic uniforms, high expectations, and this team represents class both on and off the field.

This Alabama team has a feel similar to the 1992 Alabama team which used a ferocious defensive line to totally stifle their opponents. Under Coach Saban, Alabama has been remarkable on defense- but this year has shown a step up to the challenges that  current offenses present.

I am an offensive minded football coach- but I KNOW that a great defense will always beat a great offense. The rise of spread offenses, tempo, and complex concept passing schemes are challenging defensive coaches more that anytime in football history.

But Alabama has solved some of the problems that these teams bring.... especially how to combat fatigue and personnel mismatches.

My guess is that the very first time Coach Saban was stung at Alabama was the La Monroe loss his first season. He clearly had the better personnel, except on the apex defender versus the #3 receiver.

If you have a least 1 bad match-up... all you want to do as a coordinator is tire the defense down and slow the pass rush enough to play backyard football with that bad match-up or a Qb run versus cover 2 man.

Alabama has countered the spread by matching every move.... bold substitutions, a plethora of pass rushers, and brilliant disguising of the coverage... including multiple combo/match concepts when the formations go 3x1.

I also have to mention the decision to 'stop the rush and jump up in the air versus the quick passing game'  has taken away a lot of the hot throws that offenses use. I have never seen more batted balls as I have this season.

When I think of the 1992 team- I can't help but do some comparison regarding Jay Barker and Jake Coker. Both guys are asked to do similar things in the offense.

The 1992 team had to grind it out to get to the National title game.... a stubborn Auburn team and talented Florida team demanded dramatic moments and Antonio Langham stepped in and delivered.

Don't be surprised to see the same effort needed- Auburn has too much competitive pride to lay down at home and Jim McElwain will feel like a guy playing with house money and inside information if Alabama wins their way to the SEC championship game.

A lot has to happen between now and then..... and just making the final four is an honor. It's like basketball in that to get in is worthy of glory and all 4 teams can beat any of the others on any given day. That what semi-finals are all about!

But what makes me take time to write about this isn't the record or wins...

This Alabama team has some really good guys.

Did you see what Leonard Fournette (also a great guy) said about the Alabama front 7?

"They came out to play. I can't take nothing from their front seven, they're a great group of guys, and even better than  people. After the game gave us words of encouragement, 'stay focused.' Overall, they had a great team effort."

Rachel Baribeau (an Auburn grad) wrote about Derrick Henry after Mississippi State wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson was injured:

Derrick Henry was having a monster game — he finished with 204 yards, his third 200-yard game in his past four outings — and he pushed his way through the crowd to get to Wilson. He shouted, “Praying for you, dog, praying for you,” before turning and making his way back down the bench. 
And did you see how Kenyan Drake responded to another injury that will make him miss some of these crucial games?

Big thanks to these wonderful women, the other nurses who took care of me overnight and the doctors who performed my surgery. I'm feeling so much better already. Also thanks again for all the people who called, texted and for the prayers and well wishes via social media. Much love ‪#‎rolltide‬ 

and this post

Good morning everyone. Just wanted to 
personally say that I really appreciate all the 
love and support throughout this process of my 
career. Blessed to be a part of Bama Nation 
and the support of the best fans in the country!

Finally- there was a a few Tide players who went to the Tuscaloosa VA for Veteran's Day.

There is a great video of them singing "This little light of mine" to the vets.

I am not saying that UA players are all angels..and I root for players and coaches in all programs who demonstrate class and laudable character.

But in the end... I love Alabama, because those things are important at Alabama.  No, it is not enough to win... it has to be done in a certain way. Players are burdened with a tradition of winning with class.

And in the end, I will be proud of this team... ring or not.

And I hope to enjoy this latest era of great memories... and try not to take them for granted.

MY FINAL 4? Sure.....WHY NOT?

Any team can just about beat any team in modern day college football.....

Here Are My Final 4- but any of these teams could be tripped up before the last week- and any loss late is a drop out

Ohio State

and if those 4 teams are there- that will be a fun thing to watch. Any of those teams could win it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Laugh and Call Me A Fool.. But What If I Am Right?

I believe in God.

In our modern culture of reason, sophistication, and science- this is at the least a silly notion  OR , at worst, a delusional evil!.... or is it?

In light of the atheists getting bolder and colder and sensing the growing antagonism to religion in general, I feel it is time to publicly explain “the reason for the hope that is in me”.

My model begins with the existence of God. I believe that all arguments begin with, “Is there a God?” If we begin with man, we start at the wrong place. A lot of people base their whole world view within their own existence, what a mistake!

I answer the question in the affirmative. There is a God. There is too much order, too much beauty, and too much notion regarding good and evil to explain it away to natural, random occurrences. My own inner life points to mystery beyond me. The world under the microscope is too wonderful for me to accept blind chance and the expanse and beauty of the heavens is too majestic to cynically attribute it to uncoordinated randomness.

General revelation also points to a life beyond this life. Are the seasons merely a coincidence? The life cycle of a butterfly points to rebirth. I was praying one day to see God and as I drove into work on a foggy morning and I saw hundreds of spider webs inside the hundreds of openings in a chain-link fence. They had been invisible for months, but now their design and beauty were clearly seen.

The visible world does point to the invisible God.

IF THERE IS A GOD... HOW CAN WE KNOW? What type of deity?

And what we find is that God has taken the burden to communicate to us on Himself. We are limited, so He takes steps to reach out to us....

That leads to my next question: “Is there revelation or evidence of specific communication from this God to man?” Again, I believe there are two that give credence to the other. (Jesus Christ and the Bible). Jesus Christ is a clear manifestation of God and His nature. He did make that claim. He gives support of both the New and Old Testament. Is there valid support of these two revelations? The answer is yes. History supports both in spite of an entire system bent on destroying this precious truth. A seven day work week has been handed down to us from somewhere. The disciples died for a myth? The Bible survives? How?

And no other purported revelation holds water. They are all imitations from a constant enemy.


So there are always the attacks. I’m simple-minded, poorly educated, and have committed intellectual suicide to shake hands with faith. How do you respond to this?

I feel like when someone discounts God on the basis of reason, they are doing the most foolish thing of all. When the Bible speaks of the ‘unforgivable sin’ and ‘blasphemy of the spirit’- it has to be this.

I am rejecting any offer of salvation because.... and then a lot of excuses follow.

When someone says, “There is no God, no angels or devils, no heaven or hell” they are lifting their life experience and powers of reasoning to a god-like status.

 ‘I must become God to kill God’, Nietzsche understood this. But it comes at a price!

I’m thankful that I am under-educated enough to keep a healthy self-suspicion of my intellect. Is reason trustworthy enough to gamble on eternity?

What does the Bible say about our ability to reason?

Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

I Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [6]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

If you are raising your fist against God, please reconsider. The promise is that those who repent and believe will be rescued. Cry out to Him before it is too late!

I challenge anyone reading this to step back and read the Bible- not with the cynical heart of skepticism... but one that asks God to show Himself to you.

Why are you so mad about a God not being there that you don't believe in anyway?

Something happened in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago that turned cowards into martyrs, swept the globe, changed the calendar, and changed the world..... don't laugh it off as foolishness until you research it thoroughly for yourself.

And that means a willingness to worry that a darkened heart may be leading you astray.....

“The riddles of God are more comforting than the answers of man” G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Foul Dust of Crumbling Humanistic Ideologies

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 ESV)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)

Free speech, individual rights, tolerance, political correctness, progressivism, socialism, radical activism..... leave me alone and let me do my own thing!

Events from Ferguson, Baltimore, Yale, Columbia, NYC, and even recent videos from Tuscaloosa have some common elements that are unsettling to say the least......

We, as a culture,  are refusing to submit to any authority except what our eyes judge to be right..... and if what we see doesn't line up with how we think it should be...then destruction must be prescribed as the only remedy.

Have you ever read Patrick Henry's speech to the Virginia Convention?

There was a rousing and divisive conversation going on regarding whether Virginia should raise a militia to act in the cause of a war for independence.

They met in St. John's church on March 23, 1775 and the end of the speech is the famous line:

Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
What strikes me THE MOST about the speech is the courtesy Mr. Henry bestows on his opponents  in the debate.

See if you notice it......

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.
How we have fallen!

I guess I am no idealist who believes that we can easily return there.....

Unless there was a great spiritual revival and national repentance.... I don't see it happening.

But I am not a pessimist either:

We have a great country - never perfect. But we have to change the tone of the discourse and open our ears- we must speak the truth IN LOVE..... and we must be willing to stand firm when the opposition is dark, selfish, evil, and untrustworthy....

On this eve of Veteran's Day, I will work for the preservation of our union...but it MUST be a union-

AND it begins with an old adage (that used to be attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, but since has been challenged- but the sentiment is TRUE)

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce - and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it vas not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

So what concerns me at this moment?

Our presuppositions and selfish agendas leave no room for civil discourse and the rule of law.
AND, there is no self suspicion... we leave no room for a great possibility, which is this.... "Evaluate carefully... I may be wrong!"

and even if we are right- are we willing to treat each human being with respect and dignity?

Are we willing for facts to shape our opinions- or do we rush to judgement and twist facts to support our view of the situation?

Here are some concerning things in our current America:

We have turned free speech and tolerance into a right to cry-bully anyone we don't agree with.

We have given power to any discomfort as a right to play the victim.

Any voiced disagreement is treated as 'hate speech'.

Forget the idea of forgiveness- all grievances are settled by flesh and blood payments.

We think nothing of lying to support our world view- if the facts don't support us- let's lie our way to power. Where is integrity?

Any authority figure when using consequences to secure a situation or trying to correct a wrong, is thought of as guilty until proven innocent.

We have lost the idea of short term discomfort for long term gain.

See how the Apostle Paul counters so many of these wrong headed leanings.....

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:10-17 ESV)

How does this flesh out and apply to our culture?

Our politicians must once again learn to be statesmen.....

Our journalists need to report the facts and not feed agendas.....

Our pastors need to preach the gospel and serve the poor......

Our churches need to be willing to live humble and holy lives of love and service.....

Our schools must faithfully teach fundamental skills and valuable content- not incubate ideology...

Our parents must discipline our children or watch reality destroy their selfish safe houses....

Our marriages and homes need to be held together for the sake of the children.....

We all must be willing to forsake personal peace and affluence for the sake of others...

We must find a willingness to forgive and love... that is the only hope of healing....

Our capitalism must be held in check by the call of God, not the laws of men...

We must respect life as God given and treat all men like image bearers of the Creator...

And I believe we must forsake the false religion of secularism and humbly bow before God and cry out to Him for mercy and praise Him for His patience

And I think God's Word must become the subject of our conversations and opinions... our light and path.. the only rule of faith and practice....

I'm not ever giving up... but there is a lot of darkness on the horizon... clouds of judgment are building.....

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!