Thought For The Day 02/03/13


Faith and Football


Huddle up


“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Wayne Gretzky, former NHL player


Unless you are living in a cocoon somewhere (or perhaps on another continent), it is impossible to miss the staggering hoopla and gimmicks aimed at the football fanatic. Yes, for weeks now, the preparations have been made and the advertisements prepared by businesses, all hoping that you will be serving your friends anything and everything they have for sale. Who in the world (or at least the US) doesn’t satisfy those football gastronomical urges with platters of wings, bowls of chili and chips dipped in every type of concoction imaginable.  Yes, Superbowl XLVII, is being eagerly touted as the must attend (whether down in the Big Easy, or in your big easy chair at home) event today. Dare I say the words?  More people will share today with the 49ers and the Ravens than they will with God, which is why I am asking you to huddle up with me for just a bit, before you sit down with your TV remote in hand!


Think for a moment, about the words in the title above….Faith and Football! I think you will find yourself agreeing, that the two are becoming inexplicably intertwined. The camera pans to the end zone and we are just as apt to see a player who has made a touchdown crossing himself or genuflecting and saying a quick prayer as we are seeing him high-five a fellow player! Even those sideline shots are as apt to find a player pointing to heaven and giving thanks as waving at the camera and saying “Hi mom”! Just think of the player whose devotion launched him into the national spotlight in a way that his talent as a pass thrower never could! Of course, I am referring to Tim Tebow! Yes, faith and football are odd bedfellows, but bedfellows they are!


Did you know that football actually dates to the mid 1800’s movement called “Muscular Christianity.” It was a movement that heralded things like organized athletics in schools and even the YMCA! It was also a movement that leveled the playing field between the more affluent students and those from inner city institutions by stressing things like physical fitness and the importance of moral as well as physical education. Football popularity continued through the years because it was deemed to be a positive influence for a society that was tested by the economic trials that changed forever, the lives of people here in the US and throughout the world following the Great Depression! Yes, the game and the hope it gave to millions, prevailed!


Fast forward 84 years, and the messages of faith shared by players and cheerleaders…from the Berkshires to the Cascades…from Buford, Wyoming, with a population of 1, to New York, New York, with a population of 8,175,133, the passages looked to for inspiration are familiar. How about, Romans 8:31 NIV, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” and Philippians 4:13 NIV, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”.


Faith continues to be pervasive, and even encouraged in sports, despite the fact that it is also against the law in many publicly funded schools. But love the game or hate it, the lessons that can be learned from football can also be applied to increasing one’s understanding of the issues of faith! Think about how the two are connected through the following ideas. The list is most likely not complete, but I offer it as a place to begin the process of what I hope might just be a dialog in your homes today!


  1. There is no “I” in team, nor is there an “I” in God! The more you look to serve the greater good by helping others, the better off you are!
  2. We all need to make sacrifices if we are to achieve the rewards that await us in the end. Whether it is football or faith, the more sweat equity we invest, the greater our reward! 
  3. Character counts for everything, whether on the football field or in a life of faith! It means much more when we can shake hands, winner with loser, and truly be happy for the success of the other guy! 
  4. An expert coach makes all the difference….whether the football coach or God. When we look to these two and trust that they will guide us in what is right, we win!
  5. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. One lost game does not a losing season make just as one slip on life’s path does not mean we will not make it through the Pearly gates! It is the way we learn from the mistakes we make that helps us in attaining the goals we hope for!
  6. An occasional re-cap of our lives is essential. Just as the game films helps the team to identify weaknesses, so can a time of introspection help us to identify our weakness as it pertains to our belief structure!
  7. Be willing to take chances. It is sometimes that leap of faith and trying the unusual that will win the game, just as we must often take that leap of faith when we seek to become a part of God’s family, even when others criticize us for it. God will always be with us when the times get rough, and after all, “…if God is for us, who can be against us?”


This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 NIV


Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!


Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
For information, visit


Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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