Covering my angst with the soothing wisdom from my mother's prayer journals

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It’s Great to be A Tennessee Vol!

035I Said It’s Great

To Be

A Tennessee


Cheering for the Tennessee Vols is one of my favorite pass times. My favorite Vol wore #36 as a member of several championship teams from 1966-1970. Because he coached for over twenty-five years, he attended his first game as a spectator when he was in his fifties. He had no clue it was a social event and worried that the fans were not as focused on the game as he was.

My thought was, “Thank goodness!”

I was accustomed to watching his games with other coaches’ wives. Watching with my coach was, well, a whole new ballgame. We made the necessary adjustments, and have for many years enjoyed home games in Neyland Stadium.

Saturday we both attended the UT/Florida game but he attended with his three brothers while I got to go with my daughter.

By now everyone knows Josh Dobbs completed five second-half passes for touchdowns. It was Tennessee’s first victory against the Gators since 2004. The atmosphere was electric the second half, but the first half resembled a disaster movie and I’m not just talking about the game.

As we wound higher up the ramps to our seats, the walkways resembled scenes from a disaster movie. Many early bird fans overheated and sat or lay along the way. At least four times we plastered ourselves against the walls of the narrow passages so emergency vehicles could get through.

The anticipation of a girl’s football weekend totally eclipsed any recollection of the usually sweltering atmosphere of Neyland every time Tennessee plays host to Florida.  I also forgot I was three years older than the last time I was required to access seats in a section nearest heaven, but anytime I get to gallivant with a daughter, I’m in.

With enthusiastic Florida fans to the left of us and rowdy Rocky Toppers on the right, we watched as the Tennessee Volunteers gained momentum for a win that took them one step closer to the predicted SEC playoff game in December. Though it is a long season with worthy opponents ahead, Saturday the Vols looked like Champions in that checkered arena.

Football requires commitment from the fans as well as the players and winning is how we are all rewarded. As a teacher, I can’t resist a teaching moment. Lessons do abound in losses, but I prefer to teach from a win so FYI:


  1. There is no reason to pass out or freeze to death at a game so Google the temps. Assuming you’ll be fine might eventually put a burden on your companions. Take precautions. You many look cute in those jeans and cowboy boots, but you’ll look sad passed out from heat.
  2. Arrive at the game sober and stay that way. If you’re drunk you will be a pain in the rear for someone who may embarrass you or themselves. Everybody around you paid good money for their seats. A drunk does nothing to enhance the experience.
  3. Have faith. Josh Dobbs didn’t give up on his receivers. He came out the second half and threw to guys who couldn’t catch cold the first half. Some fans lost faith after Florida’s two TDs in the first quarter and went home. Look what they missed. Those who stayed till the end shared an amazing experience.
  4. Appreciate the power of redemption. At halftime the receivers asked Coach Jones for another chance. “Coach, throw to me.”
  5. A wise coach forgives past mistakes and allows for redemption.
  6. Step up and refuse to be beaten. The entire team responded to the coach’s challenge at halftime.
  7. Take on responsibility not excuses. Juan Jennings was one of the receivers asking for another chance. Josh sent that chance his way. Juan later said, “When I saw the ball coming I knew it was all on me.” A life lesson would be, “You may have dropped the ball many times, but you can still be spectacular.”

Mother wrote in her journal, “A reminder: Keep dreaming and believing and expect impossible things to happen In your life because sometimes the unlikeliest thing can come true in the twinkling of an eye.”







No Weapon Formed Against Us Can Stand -He Fights for Us

stock-photo-17681810-go-monopoly Last year I bought a Monopoly game to have on hand for the grandkids. They love it the most when they can beat their Papa and me. Recently our grandson set up the Monopoly game board and doled out the appropriate money. Before the first roll of dice, he decided I should be the banker. At first I thought this was a wise choice on his part, but I kept forgetting to give myself $200.00 when I passed Go. He never forgot to ask for his stipend.

He bought, bought, bought while I made like a fiscal conservative and saved my money only to give it over in rent. When I wasn’t paying rent on properties with hotels, I was drawing from Chance and Community chest and required to pay city taxes or fines.

When he did land on property I owned, I always had to check to see what amount I was owed. My opponent knew the value of his assets by heart.

After a while, in an act of kindness, he lowered the rent of one of his properties to accommodate my remaining funds. I was out of cash and had only three color sets with houses on them. With the acumen of a real estate mogul, my grandson systematically acquired each of those.

During the game I make three observations:

  1. My mind is not the steel trap it once was.
  2. Based on our Monopoly experience, all the grandkids will prosper.
  3. It only takes a few wrong choices to end up bankrupt.

Life is like that. It only takes a few foolish turns to wind up in a tight corner. It’s hard to regain lost ground, but God is a God of second chances who fights for us. (Joshua 23:10)

How does He do that? Well He can go before us to open doors of opportunity. He might introduce us to someone who has a word of wisdom or a helping hand. His Holy Spirit hovers near to show us just the right scripture for a particular situation. And He can work miracles on our behalf.

The mighty God who fights for us can provide miracles of protection and healing. He can renew a broken spirit, and thankfully, He miraculously gives undeserved grace that’s greater than any of the mistakes we might make.

The song from Travis Cottrell’s worship album says it perfectly, “We will stand victorious! You fight for us.” No weapon formed against us will stand whether it’s a poor financial decision, an embarrassing social media post or anything else. All that’s required is faith in Christ and a repentant heart to be kept by the power of God.

In her journal Mother wrote, “Victory depends not on strength or numbers but on obedience and commitment to Him.”