Our grandson was puzzled by the smile of Carsen Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles sidelined QB) in the last few minutes of the playoff game (last Sunday, January 6, 2019) between the Eagles and the Chicago Bears. The Eagles were in the lead 16 to 15 over the Bears after scoring a touchdown and missing a two-point pass conversion. With only 56 minutes left in the game, the Bears appeared they would win the game by making a 29-yard field goal. Prior to the presumed winning FG, the television camera spanned the Eagles sideline. Interestingly, Carsen Wentz was smiling from ear-to-ear, as if his team had already won the game. I thought to myself, “Doesn’t he know they are about to lose the game?”
I noticed Wentz smiling earlier in the game and mentioned this to my husband. Jeff and I enjoy watching football together. Who knew! Jeff explained to me that Wentz was injured in back-to-back seasons, with Nick Foles, the Eagle’s backup QB stepping in to fill his position. The Eagles won last year’s Super Bowl with Foles as their backup quarterback. (Eagles 41 – 33 victory over New England Patriots, Super Bowl LII).
Back to the playoff game with the Bears. After learning of the disappointing seasons for Carsen Wentz, I became even more intrigued about his persona on the sideline. I was curious, too, like our grandson, with his ginormous smile during the last few minutes of the game. The Eagles went on to win the game after the Bears kicker missed the potential winning field goal.
After the game, I did some research on Carsen Wentz. I learned that he is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and shares his faith publicly on and off the field. I thought to myself, “Well, that it explains his exuberant smile!” Like other Christian athletes, Carsen Wentz has realized there’s more to life than playing and winning football games. He’s always on a winning team with Jesus as his coach.
I’m so thankful there are faithful Christian role models in the sports arena that my grandson and other children can look up to. (See note below.)
To learn more about Carsen Wentz’s personal testimony of faith, which includes his devastating leg injury during the 2017 football season, check out this video:
Did I mention that my grandson and I were watching the Eagles and Bears game at different locations and hadn’t talked about the game until his mother and I chatted a few days later? We both smiled when I learned that Jack had noticed Carsen Wentz’s smile during the closing minutes of the game as well.
Special Note: Nick Foles is also a devoted follower of Jesus. In fact, the Eagles team gives God the glory whenever they have an opportunity. Highlights from last year’s Super Bowl VII Victory:
Various successes come our way, some offering momentary fulfillment and joy. I am grateful for these. For me, the greatest success in life is to achieve the purpose for which God has called me to. The purpose that drives me is the passion of my heart and soul: To intentionally pass down my faith in Christ to my children and grandchildren.
Most recently, my four-year-old granddaughter paid me the greatest compliment I could ever receive. “Nana, I’m making this bracelet for you because you love Jesus so much!”
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Quote from George Washington Carver: “The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible.”
True successes come with much prayer and perseverance.
View From the Summit (Excerpt from Turning Point, Dr. David Jeremiah, July 13, 2017)
In her book Reach for the Summit, former Tennessee women’s head basketball coach Pat Summitt wrote, “There are different kinds of success. There is fame and fortune, which…is a pretty flimsy, short-lived kind of success. Then there is the more gratifying kind of success that comes from doing something you love, and doing it well. Still another kind of success results from committing to one person and raising a child with them. Yet another is finding a sustained faith in your church. But notice something about all the various forms of success. They are open-ended. They aren’t tasks that you finish. Success is a project that’s always under construction.”1 God wants to give us success as He defines it—the fulfilling of His perfect will for our lives. That’s a lifelong process that unfolds as we follow Him daily.
Somehow, you have to make a commitment to get better every day, no matter how successful you were the day before. Pat Summitt 1Pat Summit, Reach for the Summit (NY: Broadway Books, 1998), chapter 12.
Pat Summitt (American women’s college basketball head coach accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history. She served as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team from 1974 to 2012). Pat lived out “much prayer and perseverance” on and off the court. Pat was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer’s at 59. She passed away at 64, June 2016.
Excerpt from CP (Christian Post):
Quote from Pat Summitt’s son, Tyler, about his mother: “For 64 years, my mother first built her life upon a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Summitt wrote in the statement. “Her foundation was also built upon love of her family and of her players, and love of the fundamentals of hard work which reflected her philosophy that ‘you win in life with people.'”
The Faith of Basketball Legend Pat Summitt: God Gave Me ‘Certain Work to Do’
To read more about Pat Summitt’s life go to the link below:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joybecause of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:3-6.
Stove Top Stuffing….Simply Following Jesus
On my drive to work the other day I was listening to a local Christian radio station, and the hosts were talking about ways to simplify Thanksgiving Day. I’ve decided to apply one of their ideas. Here’s the simple tip: Make only tried and true dishes that everyone enjoys. And instead of adding new recipes to the menu simply make larger portions of those “oldies but goodies.” You know–sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, Pink Stuff (the Fletcher’s name for fruit and coolwhip salad), and pumpkin pies. This not only keeps the cooking simple, it also keeps the grocery bill down. Of course, don’t forget the turkey and dressing. A friend of mine said that she always uses the box stuffing mix, and just adds some broth from the turkey, to give it that “homemade” taste.
Simplifying the Thanksgiving Day meal, in theory at least, is probably much easier to do than simplifying the overall family gathering. For instance, when you have grown children who are married and have the other side of the family to consider, it can become a little stressful in determining which home to eat the big meal at, or whether or not to rotate homes from year to year, etc. I’m sure there have been some major family feuds over this one! This is definitely not the case for us. My husband and I have repeatedly told our children that we are completely fine having the meal whenever, and with whoever wants to join us or not. Let’s just keep the peace and be thankful for the blessings we have year round, not just on Thanksgiving Day.
After writing in my blog now for over a year, I’ve decided to take some time off, at least until the beginning of the New Year. The reason for this is so that I can take to heart and put into practice the thoughts I’ve so passionately been writing about. Sometimes I believe It’s much easier to write about ways to be intentional in living out one’s faith in Christ, than it is to actually live them out! I guess I’ve been a little convicted lately from reading my journal entries.
For instance, the Holy Spirit recently laid several people on my heart and mind. Without going into any specifics, I have realized that even though I have taken time to pray for these dear ones, I haven’t done anything else. My excuses: I’m too tired, I don’t have the time, does God really want me to do that?
So, starting today, I am going to intentionally stop writing in my blog. And prayerfully I will begin to follow-up with people God places on my heart. It’s not so much that I think this will give me any extra time, because journaling doesn’t really take up much of my time, and it definitely doesn’t require me to give up any sleep. I do believe this is what God is asking me to do. And I truly want to follow His lead.
I pray that all of my blogger friends will be blessed by God’s holy presence on Thanksgiving Day.
My greatest passion is intentionally passing my faith in Christ down to the next generation, starting with our family. I’ve been married to Jeff since 1975. We have three adult children, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren…our greatest joy in this life! I served alongside of my husband in pastoral ministry for twenty years. We currently offer resources and a speaking ministry to churches and families called Covenant Heirs. Our mission is to encourage and equip parents, grandparents, and others to intentionally live a life of faithfulness to God, with a family discipleship emphasis. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about us and our ministry.
Holding His Hand blog (2016) is dedicated to my mom, Audrey Lewis, who learned to trust in Jesus during her battle with cancer. This blog testifies to God's amazing love and provision in our lives.