Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weirdest game I've ever seen

Friday night, October 29 in Nacogdoches, I was witness to the weirdest game I've ever seen. We (Jacksonville) went down to Nacogdoches to play knowing that a win (or even a loss by less than 8 pts due to tiebreaker rules) guaranteed a return to the state football playoffs. A Nacogdoches win by less than 8 pts would give them a victory but eliminate them from the playoffs. Confusing? You should've been there in person. When was the last time you saw a team with a chance to win take a knee just to keep the game going? It happened. Or throwing a ball intentionally almost to the parking lot? Many of us who were there won't soon forget it. I won't bore you with the details. Instead, you can read a full account of the game here. Suffice it to say this: when the game ended after a national record 12 OTs, we'd played more than 5 hours (officially the game began at 7:30 PM and ended at 12:54 AM Saturday morning), seen almost 1,400 yds of offense, 18 touchdowns in overtime alone and enough strange sights to leave all of scratching our heads.
Here's my take:
(1) It was cold. My wise and discerning wife had encouraged me to take my "big" coat. I felt sort of funny about when my traveling mates teased me about it. But by the time we turned for home (we left for home about 1:05 AM), I had people offering me cash (!) for my coat!
(2) Anytime I have a coach stop me (I think it was in the 5th overtime but I'm not sure) and ask me if I've ever seen anything like this, you're at an unusual game.
(3) In speaking with people during the overtimes, I told someone that it was shame anyone had to lose this game. Major props to both teams, coaches, bands (they both stayed till the frigid end!) and schools.

Thanks for a night to remember.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Julie's Birthday

Today is my beloved Julie's birthday! It's a bummer that it falls on a Wednesday - a work day for me. I'll make it up to her tomorrow.

That's sort of been our method over the last ten years. I'll make it up to her later. My wife has the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job, especially when it comes to me. She has more "IOU's" for missed things due to church events, funerals, weddings, Sunday School class parties, fellowships, hospital calls, etc.., than I'll ever be able to repay. At least our vacations have been rather sheltered. Only once have we had a trip get interrupted. But it has happened - and she has ridden through it all with me.

Julie grew up as a pastor's daughter. (sidenote: Her parents are awesome! When I grow up, I hope I'm half the man her dad is.) But Julie knew the challenges of pastoring far better than I did and wanted no part of it for her own journey. Thus, when I asked Julie to marry me, I assured her that I was headed for a life of academics. After all, earning a PhD in New Testament - that means you're going to teach, right? Well, not every time. It was she who first knew the change in my calling and direction had come. Her insight into discerning the heart of God and my heart is unbelievable! So when we decided pastoring was where we were headed (after she had gone ahead and married me!), she didn't complain or bemoan her decision. She stood beside me with strength and dignity serving the Lord as my partner and companion in ministry.

I'm blessed to be married to Julie. She'll never know how much because there just aren't words for it. When you see her, tell her of your gratitude for her service to the Lord, our church and to her husband / pastor. She's the one who keeps him sane.