No More Doubt About It… Defense Wins Championships

First things first… I stand corrected. My picks for the National Championship game was Clemson and Georgia. I pegged Clemson to win because they have a solid defense, but also because I don’t think anyone would refute they have a better offense than Bama. Enjoy.

This year in the FBS college football playoff, the four most deserving teams punched their tickets to the Sugar bowl and Rose bowl. Georgia vs. Oklahoma; Clemson vs. Alabama.

A long standing belief in the vast football universe is that “Offense wins games; defense wins championships!” College football has once more testified to that this year.

Out of all four teams, only one stands apart from its counterparts— Oklahoma. By far, hands down, unequivocally, Oklahoma has the best offense in College Football this season. But, comparatively speaking, their defense isn’t necessarily anything to write home about. The other three teams hold something in common that no one can argue against; each have great defenses. Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson all are attributed to playing solid, consistent defense.

The Georgia/Oklahoma game was epic. It can easily be said it is an instant classic. Oklahoma had a lot to prove in this game, and despite the loss, they sure did just that. They are no one to be trifled with; they can put up points on anyone… ANYONE. Including elite defenses. The first half, they made Georgia’s defense look mediocre at best. The bad part about that is we all know it’s not. In fact it’s stellar. Georgia’s defense is arguably the best in the nation this season. Come the second half though, the Dawg’s defense came hungry and ready to feast. They shut out the most prolific offensive attack in the third quarter. That’s huge. Georgia won the game in that quarter, if you ask me. Had they not shut Oklahoma out that quarter and had another shootout with the Sooners, there wouldn’t have been an overtime. The Oklahoma fans would be yelling “Boomer Sooner” in Atlanta, January 8.

I’m sure a lot of doubters will say Georgia got lucky with that blocked field goal in 2OT. Or with the coffin nailing TD run by Sony Michel. But make no mistake; you can not refute that Kirby’s defensive dawgs is what kept them in the game, and ultimately is who should be attributed with the win.

A low scoring affair was the expectation of the Clemson/Alabama game for most people. The offense for each team can arguable be the “weaker” side of the ball in comparison to their respective defenses. It was clear in the second half whose defense wanted it more— Alabama’s. Not that Clemson’s defensive effort wasn’t enough. It’s just that Bama’s defense dominated Clemson’s offense.

Defense 2; Offense 0— and I’m sure defense will be undefeated after all is said and done.

The two best defensive teams in the country will be competing for the National Championship… and rightly so. Hats off to the SEC for producing a match up of two Juggernauts that are about to beat the brakes off each other.

New Year’s Resolutions Are A Sham

Quick! Someone call “Guinness Book Of World Records” because come January 1st millions of people worldwide will attempt to do the exact same thing— commence their New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the time of year when lists are magnetically fastened to refrigerators, reminders are set to do mild exercises at the most inopportune times, kale smoothies become breakfast, and countless other goals set forth by people wanting, and needing, anywhere from minor to major life changes. We have all been here. Nothing inherently wrong with it.

Recently, a friend asked me if my wife and I are “resolution people”.  I answered with a feeble and unconvincing, “I guess so.”  I had never been asked that question before to be honest.  It’s always been a more direct question like, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”, as if to assume I certainly need any.  I don’t take offense to much, but I could see where a direct question like that could cause a snowflake to melt and evaporate in less than a Planck instant.  “Are you resolution people?”…  I gotta say, it produced some thinking.

I began to realize based off of this question, that though I may set resolutions, I can not truly call myself a “resolution person”.  But come to think of it, does setting resolutions make me, or anyone else, a “resolution person”?  Anyone can make a list and either complete it or not.  What good is a resolution to lose 20 pounds only to put it back on later in the year during the holidays?  Not much of a resolution if you ask me.  The meaning of resolution is; the act or process of resolving; the act of solving.  It is a very direct, absolute word.

Olympic athletes have a resolve. Doctors have a resolve.  Navy Seals have a resolve.  All these people, and of the like, categorically have resolved within themselves to live a certain way; to become certain people; to let nothing stop them on who they intend to be.  The goal isn’t necessarily the resolution. No. The resolution is the person.  True resolutions should be inward. It’s not something you should limit to a list of does and don’ts.  It is something you resolve to become, and furthermore— remain.

We can have our “bucket list” type things to do as New Year’s goals, like skydive or climb Everest.  Those are good, awesome things.  But setting one adventurous goal pales in comparison to resolving to be an adventurous person.  I will forever believe that who we are will always transcend what we do.

This new year, I resolve to become a Person of Resolution.

Of Charlottesville, Racism, and Social Justice

It is quite disheartening to witness events such as what happened in Charlottesville, and what has spun off of its devastation. It is as if our present state has relapsed American society into the degraded state of our history’s Civil War. Yes, bullets may not be flying(yet), and infirmaries aren’t filled with limbless dying men, but at the heart of it lies a dreadful repeat of one of our nation’s darkest times, or at least the beginning thereof.

In personal reflections of this matter, there isn’t anything that is surprising. Just as when our Ten Commandments monument was bowled over with a car less than 24 hours of its establishment, it holds no shock factor. Sad thing, is it not?

Reflecting further, there is no question the actions and beliefs of white nationalism, neo-nazism, and racial supremacy are disgusting, vile, and abhorrent to anyone with even the slightest ability to think for themselves. It is a behavior that is primitive and only keeps in existence terms such as “dregs of society”. In the spirit of honesty though, and furthermore reflecting for comprehension of the entirety of the social issue, it becomes clear that a singular congregation of people can not be held wholly to blame. Neither the neo-nazis nor the protesters against them can leave the situation without an equal amount of blame. In school, if a fight between two students erupted, each would receive disciplinary repercussions due to equal partaking of violence. One may have provoked the other, or it may have just been retaliation as a reaction of self-defense, but nonetheless, each is equally to blame. No one may know who threw the first punch, and frankly, that will never matter. What matters is there are Americans who are losing a battle within themselves to be confident in who they are regardless of what someone else thinks or says about them. Hate is not racist or bigoted. Hate wants to be in everyone’s heart. Hate wants to spread like a wildfire through humanity in the hopes that humanity will tear itself apart. Watching the videos of Charlottesville should not evoke any differing thought from simply hate vs hate. The mind of someone who truly believes racism is evil shouldn’t see white vs black, it sees hate vs hate. Neither side wins. Refusal of accepting the narrative of “white vs black”, sold by mainstream media and other godless media platforms, will then allow proper perspective of the truth of “Hate vs Hate”.

Nothing good will come of retaliatory response to a provocative action. It will only incite wars, as times past have proven.

Of Social Justice

Social justice can not be fulfilled at the expense of someone else receiving social injustice. If there is a heart at all in anyone who truly desires social justice, they should balk at the thought of a single group, sect, or race of people being treated with a lesser, (or none at all for that matter), amount of justice. Yes, for example, the courts are unjust in various instances, and there is evidence that a lot of African American’s are treated unfairly in court systems. It is unacceptable and intolerable. But to be a person of social justice, and to rule out that other races do not receive unfairness to the extent that African Americans do in law, is to be a hypocrite regarding social justice, even though the truth may be as such regarding the level of unfairness to African Americans on trial. The levelof unfairness is not the issue at hand in the statement. The point is, the problem of unfairness in court systems, regardless of what race the person is who is being tried unfairly, is what should be paramountly tackled to someone who upholds the principles of social justice. But this seems not to be the case, does it?

The past clearly offends a lot of people these days. Even at the level of the current standings of social injustice, whatever they may be, it almost feels as if people are revived in believing that it presently exists on the same level, or even higher, than that of when slavery and the Confederacy occupied time and space in our country. This is only proof of the mental slavery people put themselves in. Let’s be clear that this goes for people of ALL races. Mental slavery is self-inflicted. It is shackles and chains made up of only lack of self-worth, self-degradation, self-loathing, and much more. Links are added to the chain when a soul harbors unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, and lividity towards one’s own past. It also can be forged in false love, greed, covetousness, etc. Racism is colorless once it’s festered long enough to lash out in violence. True social justice does not, and should not, exalt one group over another, in any circumstance,  and therefore it should also, in essence, be colorless.

There is great fallacy, not in a human’s actions, but in a human’s heart and mind first. Hate germinates in the mind and heart before resulting actions are birthed. This, too, has no racial preference. White, Black, Brown, Yellow, Red, Jew… ALL are guilty of racism. Even if thoughts in the mind never culminated to an act of verbal abuse or physical violence, and so on, to a member of a different race, every race has committed racism sin in heart.

The emphasis of one race being treated more unfairly than another is the antithesis of social justice. This is not to denounce the truth that one race may be treated more unfairly, but again, that ultimately is not the point. We have squandered the spoils of our history. We all are to blame. All Americans are to blame. No one should be without penitence. This is, and always has been, and will remain for ages to come, far beyond politics. We have let go our inheritance as being ONE Nation, Under God”, and the whole world is watching with morbid curiosity. This great American collapse will only prove one thing… the power of hatred in the heart. These transpiring, heavily marketed events will manipulate, violate, and mutilate your heart and mind to think evilly of races opposite your own if you let it.

Before judging a situation as white vs black,  excavate your own heart and search deeper. You will, in essence, only find hate vs hate. Free your mind, Loved Ones.

With Love and Shalom

– From Death To Life

Dependence on God is the only true way for America to have Independence

Today being July fourth, is a time of reflection and celebration for our nation’s independence from Great Britain. The colonies were united and leaned heavily towards a notion of freedom that ultimately spawned the passion and belief that actually made it possible to undertake such a feat. But a good question to ask is, how could these people so deeply believe that? The odds of this rebellion actually succeeding against the world power of that day and age was probably incalculable. Could it have been a gross underestimation on Britain’s part that cost them the war? Sure. Nevertheless the task at hand for the Americans was nothing short of requiring devine intervention… and they knew that… they depended on that.

Nothing is impossible for God. Time and again, in Israel’s biblical history and modern history, we have seen the miraculous transpire in their favor. The nation that the hand of God covers can not be overcome by the godless. It is undeniable that the same hand of God that was upon Israel was upon the colonies of the Americans in their endeavor of independence. He conquered for them.

This nation was purposed by God. He founded it. He brought it out of the shadow of a tyrannical monarchy. It wasn’t just about taxation or political enslavement. It was about being free from a religious establishment that hindered a true heart of worship and faith that God Himself saw. THAT is what He wanted to prosper. Praise God for the love He has for those that love Him!

The aforementioned is our history, despite a growing number of people’s efforts to distort, pervert, and spit on it. This leads to the next point.

Consequently, there is an opposite reaction from God once a nation takes to the path of disobedience and sin against Him. Israel, once again, is an example of this. Despite multiple warnings God gave them through His prophets, they continued on their own hand hewn path of destruction, and they ultimately earned the reward of their labors. Now, here’s what is a scary thought; if God would lift His hand of sovereign protection off of His chosen people, Israel, and allow them to be taken captive multiple times, and then ultimately dispersed throughout the nations of the earth, how much more so should we be of the understanding that He will do the same to this once great nation, He Himself raised up, known as The United States of America? He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, is He not? There are consequences for sin that not a single soul on this planet is immune to, let alone an entire nation.

{To the true church of Yeshua The Messiah-

God will never leave you nor forsake you(Hebrews 13:5, Deut 31:5-6). He knows who is His(Nahum 1:7). Perfect love casts out all fear(1 John 4:18). We are not of this world and will not partake of the punishment of this world. You are part of the Kingdom of Messiah(John 18:36).

Do. Not. Fear! Never fear!! Don’t waste a precious moment of time on fear! It is not for you! Do not neglect the great hope you have in Yeshua the Messiah! Mercy is your reward, not judgement! Rest in this.}

Lastly, there is always hope. Those who preach the good news of Messiah and obey the Living God will not have any blood on their hands. As the story of Jonah reveals, we are never to assume that a nation is unwilling to listen and heed the blessed warnings of God. Let us repent together from believing our nation is beyond all hope. Let’s hold fast to our faith that our Heavenly Father is a miracle working God and can restore our nation’s great dependence upon Him and the name of His Son! Amen!

Attached below is Dr. Scott Stewart’s, Pastor of Agape church in Little Rock, recent message regarding our freedom. He raises great points we should all hear.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/agape-church-sunday-teaching/id1183490173?mt=2&i=1000389484718

With love and shalom,

– From Death To Life

Get ready… Stay alert…

Waking up to a news broadcast telling of a desecrated Ten Commandments monument in my state’s capital city, Little Rock, that was barely complete 24 hours, is not how I want to start the day. Especially since my wife and I, through our church, donated money for its establishment. It is despicable, cowardly, and at best disrespectful to the beliefs of an enormous amount of this planet’s population.

I can’t help but question if a satanic monument, that people have tried to get funded and constructed on the capital as well, would be met with such distain and hostility.

My wife and I were discussing the event and simply couldn’t put two and two together as to why the words of the Ten Commandments cause offense to anyone(other than it being found in the Holy Bible, of course). What part of “Thou shall not kill” is evil and worthy of a person’s perspective of disgust? What about “Honor thy father and mother” deserves such a destructive show of vandalism?

This has gone far beyond separation of church and state, as some would argue. These kinds of actions are nothing less than hatred for the belief’s of others. The rage a person has to drive their vehicle onto the capital grounds and ram it into a privately paid for monument must have festered deeply from the first mention they heard about its approval for construction and placement. Who can refute that it was premeditated? No one! Regardless if you approve or disapprove of the location of where the Ten Commandments were placed, to agree with the actions of this criminal is to have been in the vehicle with him encouraging his every move.

Here’s a harsh reality though… I wasn’t surprised. Were you?

When I saw the broadcast early this morning I did shake my head in displeasure, but I can’t honestly say I was surprised. I wasn’t surprised because I had an expectation for this to happen, but because I’m not blind to what this world has come to. Hatred for God, not just any god, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The Father of our Lord, Jesus, is a fluid part of American culture now. They say it’s because we’re intolerant of their lifestyles and we’re hypocrites, which in some instances may be true for some “Christians”, but ultimately it comes down to the brass tax that they don’t love God. “How could you say that?! You don’t know people’s belief/walk with God!” Give Matthew 7:15-27 a read, please. Jesus exclaims some wise words to those who want to become more like Him, but those very same words become an offense and a stumbling block to those who work unrighteousness. The fruit of someone’s life  either proves their love for God, or exposes their hatred for His words and His standard of righteousness.

Get ready… This is about to get worse. Is that a fear mongering phrase? I don’t think so. It’s a preparation phrase. If you fear what has been prophesied to come, it’s because you have not prepared your heart for battle. “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials…”, the apostle James penned(James 1:2). Jesus warns, “You will be hated by all because of my name.”(Luke 21:17). So no surprises here. Jesus laid it out in black and white. So get ready! The spirit of the Accuser is present and vengeful. Rest assured though… our redemption draws nigh. Far be it from you to lose hope now.

Stay alert… We do have a responsibility to know the times we are in. Prophecy is being fulfilled seemingly on a daily basis. Because of lawlessness, the love of many has grown cold(Matt 24:12). Wars and rumors of wars. Signs in the heavens. Earthquakes in various places. All of this is beginning to unfold. Don’t be afraid though! If you know The King of Kings and Lord of Lords you have the hope higher than all hopes. Knowing these things should give you perspective of the time and comfort you that your salvation will be swift. Do not be ignorant to the schemes of Satan. He walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour(1 Peter 5:8). A lion, when on the hunt, tries to single out the weakest most sure prey. Don’t be the one to make it easy for him. Resist the devil and he will flee from you! Stay alert…

Stand in your most holy faith, for the battle we are witnessing does not belong to us. It is The Lord’s, and the victory was declared long before the beginning of time.

With love and shalom,

– From Death To Life