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Role Players: Jeremiah Castille and “The Fumble”

In 1986, the Denver Broncos crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Cleveland Browns with “The Drive.”

The “Mistake by the Lake”, and its “Dawg Pound” fans, were silenced as Denver quarterback John Elway orchestrated a legendary 15 play, 98 yard drive in the game’s final five minutes. His touchdown pass to Mark Jackson

Denver Broncos Mark Jackson, 1987 AFC Championship

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 11: Football: AFC playoffs, Denver Broncos Mark Jackson (80) victorious after scoring game tying touchdown during game vs Cleveland Browns, Cleveland, OH 1/11/1987 (Photo by Tony Tomsic/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (SetNumber: X34239 TK2 R15 F15)

sent the game into overtime where the Broncos won on a Rich Karlis field goal.

One year later, the Browns attempted to produce their own “drive”. Trailing 38-31,with just over a minute left in regulation, Cleveland reached the Denver eight yard-line looking to tie the game.

Enter Jeremiah Castille.

In his fifth NFL season, the former Alabama Crimson Tide All-American, was in his first year with the Broncos. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Castille started 45 of his first 60 NFL games from 1983-1986.

Though playing in 11 games during 1987, Castille did not start and was used as a backup cornerback, many times in special situations. Such was the case in the AFC title game.

On first and goal from Denver’s 8-yard line, Castille came into the game as the Bronco’s expected Cleveland to throw. Showing a three-wide formation, and Denver with an extra DB, Brown’s quarterback Bernie Kosar changed from a passing to a running play.

Castille took advantage of his opportunity.

Kosar handed-off to 215-pound Earnest Byner and the Columbus, Georgia native was barreling toward the end zone for an apparent score. Outweighed by 40 pounds, Castille came off his coverage duties and met Byner in the hole, stripping the ball loose and recovering “The Fumble” at the two-yard line.

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Watch the play and listen to the call from NBC’s Dick Enberg here.

Because he kept his focus and played his role, Castille helped Denver to a second consecutive Super Bowl and the little-known cornerback is now forever-known in Bronco history.

Nearly 30 years later, Castille’s current roles include teaching, coaching and leading his Christian-based Jeremiah Castille Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Composure – A Sticky Situation

“Never let them see you sweat.”

In 1984, the Gillette Company launched this new ad slogan for its antiperspirant line, Dry Idea.  It became one of the most famous in advertising history running for over 12 years and being pitched by some of the biggest names of that era. (Former Denver Broncos head coach Dan Reeves – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_EUz0XQbz4)

Keeping our composure is, like most things, easier said than done.  Talking the talk is simple; walking the walk is a much different story.

See Simon Peter.

In John 13:37, he boldly tells Jesus – “I will lay down my life for you.” Five chapters later, when the heat was on, Peter did just as Jesus said. He denied his Savior three times. Not only did Peter deny Jesus, he vehemently denied Him. Peter broke when it was time to stand.

Lest we start feeling good about ourselves,  Peter, though he broke, was literally facing life or death among a mob mentality.

On the flip side, we daily encounter those harrowing times that test men’s souls like: Waiting in a drive through (with our without screaming children). Stuck in traffic. Getting lost (and feeling embarrassed about it). Not being able to find the car keys.

Proverbs 25:28 states: “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control.” During Biblical times, if the walls of the city were breached, its inhabitants and everything in it were at extreme risk.

Isn’t the same true in our own lives?  Why should my 12-year old daughter be put at risk because my “walls” are “broken down” by a cell phone gone AWOL? (I just blamed it on the cell phone)  

My lack of composure breaches her protection. If she enters those turbulent teenage years handling situations similarly, I will not be able to pull a Pilate and wash my hands of it. The stains will remain.

Thus creating a sticky situation now and in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace Your Role

Everyone has a role to play. At some time or another, all of us have balked or pushed back against the said role presented us. Thoughts and feelings run the gammut. It’s demeaning. There’s not enough limelight. Someone else is getting all the pub.

Humans. We are a prideful bunch and get our lip run out because it’s not about me.

Well, all of us little campers can roll that lip back up before it gets stepped on. Thanks to God’s Word, through The Apostle Paul’s writing in I Corinthians 12:12-31, He informs us:

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Whatever role we are called to, let’s do it with excellence, to first honor Jesus, because it is an important piece of a much bigger picture.

The world’s definition of “new”

Hebrews 13:8 states: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”

With that statement of truth, I’m a little confounded as to why Pope Francis (and I’m not Catholic nor have anything against the Catholic faith) would say, in relation to the church’s stance toward homosexuality and divorce, “God is not afraid of new things.” (see the article: Pope Francis: ‘God is not afraid of new things’)

Throughout the Bible, God was never in support of either, but since this is a fallen world, it has, does and will continue to happen. If HE proclaimed that HE doesn’t change, then what the Pope said would portray God as a fraud.

God knew this kind of thing would happen, not only from the secular, but also from within. I’m no Biblical scholar, but Hebrews 13:9 does say, “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” We are here to be His hands and feet, to proclaim His message, not to change it.

But, there is also some truth in what the Pope said (though I doubt he was talking about the following at that moment). In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV), Paul wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

God “is not afraid” to make chicken salad out of our chicken crap.

He is also “not afraid” of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1, NIV) He created for His kids. He “is not afraid” to “give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV). He “is not afraid” to pour “new wine…into new wineskins” (Luke 5:38, NIV).

God “is not afraid” of anything (when you defeat death, you can say that), but He steadfastly rejects the “new things” of this world that directly oppose His eternal truths!

HE DIED IN MY ARMS

In 1995, I played the thief that went to Heaven in ‘Living Scenes” presented by Mabel White Baptist Church. The experience helped me see Easter from a different angle. I hope you will be blessed by it. ‪

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HE DIED IN MY ARMS

HE died in my arms. I felt HIS last breath. I heard HIS final, pleading cry. When HE trembled from the pain coursing through every cell of HIS being, I also felt it.

It shook me to my foundation – every sudden jerk, each wrenching twist and turn from a body HE could no longer control. And I could not put my arms around HIS bloodied frame and stop the hurt. I could not help lift HIM up so a precious portion of oxygen could enter HIS failing and collapsing lungs. HE tried so hard, several times to do so, but as the day wore on, HIS torn, beaten and ripped carcass of a body wore out.

How I wish I could have wiped the blood from HIS brow and stopped its downward stream into HIS blurred eyes. Eyes with an eternal perspective. Eyes which daily saw the prize HE always wants you to see. Eyes that look into the sinful hearts of man and can still find some good. Eyes filled with an unworldly gleam, a heavenly light.

This was replaced with pain, sorrow and bewilderment. Eyes which asked the question “why?”, and knew the answer to that question. But one thing remained. As HE strained to raise HIS head, HE scanned across those who gathered, those who put HIM there – some mocking, some crying, others stoned faced – the forgiveness was still there.

I longed to bandage HIS back which had been stripped of flesh, of form, and laid open to the elements. HE could not even lean backwards upon me to gain a second of relief from the agony.

HIS back was a sea of blood – one massive wound torn and sheared from one side to the other. Everyone who witnessed or those who have heard of this brutal event wince and cringe at the thought of the nails driven through HIS hands and feet. But do not forget HIS back. Unlike HE does each day for you, there was no one to watch HIS back because they had all turned theirs on HIM.

Every time HE moved, pushed HIS body upwards for air or grazed against me, the pain was excruciating as exposed nerves were met with splinters of wood that lodged themselves and moved deeper into the rawness bringing unbearable pain with the slightest breath.
There was no rest, not one moment of relaxation or comfort for HIM.

I would have done anything to pull the nails from HIS ravaged feet and hands. Instead they were pinned to a board like the fur of an animal hung above a mantel. A conquering prize of HIS enemies, hung in the open for all to see and admire. The prey – hunted, cornered and finally caught.

Feet that had traveled so many miles so the hands could perform miracle upon miracle were no longer of use. Feet that people had knelt to kiss and hands they longed to grasp instead were covered in the crimson red of HIS precious blood.

Now, their only movement was of strain and clutching to a life that was slowly fading toward eternity with HIS father.

I understand for I was with HIM every slow, exhausting, torturous step of the way. Through the mockery, the insults, the slander and spitting of the crowds, HE carried me all the way to Calvary. And at the same time, HE was also carrying you. Beaten, whipped, bloodied and stumbling, the “Rock of Ages” would not crack under my weight and your sins.

Even as the filthy sins of this world invaded HIS Holy and perfect body, HE found and gave your victory in death – the final act of service from the ONE who came to serve.

Today, you are washed clean, as white as snow from the blood of the Father’s Son. You continue, though, to scar yourself with sin, after sin, after sin and JESUS remains to wash you clean. Still, you do not seem to fully understand what HE went through for you!

But I do. All I have to do is look either way, up or down and I see the stains of HIS blood – stains that will forever remain as a reminder to those who have accepted HIM or who are seeking HIM. I am soaked in the blood of the ONE who came to give you life! Are you?

I heard HIS moaning. I felt HIS quivering body. I understand.

HE died in my arms.

“Same Love” is not GOD’s Love

As a Christian, and based on GOD’s truths in the Bible, I do not agree with the gay lifestyle.  So, this entry is a difference of opinion to what transpired on-stage last Sunday night at The Grammy Awards. If you want to pull out the gay bashing card, please put it back in the stack.  It is not feasible here.

Accompanied by Madonna, Mary Lambert and Queen Latifa, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis sang, as the Huffington-Puffington Post called it, their “marriage equality anthem” entitled “Same Love.”  The lyric that caught my attention most was:  “Whatever god you believe in/We come from the same one.”

The problem is, “Same Love” is not GOD’s Love.

“Same Love” is a worldly view that has no boundaries or safe-guards.  Essentially, the buffet table is open.  Whether it is a gay relationship, heterosexual couple just “moving in” with each other, or casual sex with whomever, these “alternative lifestyles” are born from one product, sin.

To explain what I mean, and show I’m not ostracizing certain groups, let’s go in the “way-back machine” to where it all started.

The Garden of Eden was perfect and its population consisted of one dude, Adam, and one chick, Eve.  No other couples of any kind were created along with them.  They lived freely within GOD’s protective boundaries.  So free, they were buck-naked as j-birds and no apprehension existed among them.

The one rule – “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

As soon as Adam and Eve tasted that forbidden fruit, they got “knowledge.”  They became “smart.”  Sin had made its debut.  Instantly, Adam and Eve noticed some very interesting things about each other.  They were embarrassed and raced to clothe themselves. They tried to hide from GOD.  (Jonah attempted to do the same thing and that didn’t work out either.)

Except for JESUS CHRIST, everyone has sinned.  It steals our freedom.  It shackles us down.  It puts us on the run and skews our vision.  It tries to convince us the corner piece of the puzzle will fit in the middle.  It never has and never will.

Before sin, there was no murder, lies, greed, envy, lust, robbery, debauchery, self-absorption, etc. “Same Love” did not exist.  GOD’s Love did – and it included one man and one woman whom HE ordained as perfect fitting pieces (biologically and anatomically).

GOD’s Love is clearly defined, forgiving and eternally securing.  It is the “same love” HE offered to us today, yesterday and will tomorrow.

All roads lead to JESUS

A few days before Christmas, I heard a friend speak about a loved one who would spend the “most wonderful time of the year” in a less than wonderful atmosphere.  She then recounted the glory of JESUS’s birth, all who were there to experience it and how it changed them…forever.

I have heard and read the Christmas story hundreds of times, and listened to countless sermons on it. But, through my friend’s circumstances, the LORD opened my eyes to it in a new way – all roads lead to JESUS.

As an adult, JESUS said “come to me…”  Without the ability to utter a word, while lying in a feed trough, HE did the same as a baby.  And, they came.  We come.

All from different backgrounds.  All from different circumstances.  All from different roads.

A poor, newlywed couple from Nazareth became unlikely parents because they followed and trusted the LORD’s promises.  Shepherds, working the graveyard shift near Bethlehem, were invited by an angel, and “the heavenly host” proclaiming the “good news,” to come.  Encouraged to “fear not”, they accepted.  Three “wise men,” “Magi,” would not let the distance from their far Eastern lands deter them from following the “star” to finally meet “the light of the world.”

All from different backgrounds.  All from different circumstances.  All from different roads.

At some appointed time, maybe more than once, our life will intersect with JESUS – a crossroads of the life we have chosen, and the one HE has prepared for us.  It happens to the Sauls in us all, on the Road to Damascus, for those who fish in vain,  women at the well and a thief on the cross.

All from different backgrounds.  All from different circumstances.  All from different roads.

With any crossroads, a decision must be made – to continue in the same direction or go another route.  This choice will render an eternal consequence.  Saul became Paul.  Fishermen became fishers of men.  Women at the well chose to drink from the “eternal fountain,” not life’s pleasures.  A thief destined for damnation took up residence in Paradise.

After seeing “a baby wrapped in cloths,” once “terrified” shepherds left and “spread the word…glorifying and praising GOD.”  Wise men who traveled one path to Bethlehem, “returned to their country by another route.”

An encounter with “the great I AM” will change who we are and send us down different roads…forever.

And there the CHRIST will await because HE knows all about roads.  HE understands how long and painful they can be.  With a cross upon HIS back and our sins soon to be hanging from it, HE traveled the toughest one of all – not because HE had to but because HE chose to.

We all come from different backgrounds.  We all come from different circumstances.  We all come from different roads.

No matter how many detours we have taken, all of us scarred and damaged wayward souls can take hope in the truth that, whether it is in Bethlehem or on Golgatha…all roads lead to JESUS.

Phil doesn’t “Duck” his beliefs

Let me start by saying when sin entered the world, it royally screwed up everything.  Man’s willful choice against what GOD had ordained led to unnatural things that were not present at kickoff in the Garden of Eden.  That includes homosexuality (and any other sin you can think of).  GOD created one couple (man and wife), not three.

In an upcoming GQ article, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, a devout Christian, voiced his opinion on homosexuality.  Today, society wants to move the goal posts where it fits them best – on any issue.  That definitely includes homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc…

As a Christian, and that is a dirty word to the world, Robertson kicked his answer through the uprights where they were originally positioned.   Sin of any kind, homosexuality to the “little white lie”, is outside the boundaries GOD has drawn.  Phil lived outside those boundaries (“all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD“) for many years and said as such in the interview:  “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior.”  Now, he isn’t ashamed to live inside those same boundaries.

Let’s take the sports analogy a little further.  If there were not out of bounds lines on the football field, more plays would be run east to west than north and south where, the end zone, the ultimate destination, is.  Running side to side is an aimless journey that leaves one frustrated, worn out and without focus.

In the rules context, if boundaries did not exist no penalties would be called and utter chaos would ensue.  Unnecessary injuries would take place – we injure ourselves unnecessarily all the time when choosing to live by our rules.  GOD’s word, HIS boundaries give life; it doesn’t take it away.

So instead of coming out and simply disagreeing with his view, Robertson’s detractors are now trying to destroy him and his livelihood (last year similar groups tried to pluck Chick-fil-A over the same subject).  They cannot agree to disagree.  They cannot discuss.  They continue to move the goalposts. In this ridiculous PC world we live in, they will take their ball (and yours) and go home with it unless assimilation is gained.

If A&E drops the show, so be it. In that decision to abandon Robertson, they have shown their true colors. This “season” of Robertson’s life might end, and, if so, GOD will open another door for that family to make an impact for HIM.  Robertson says his “mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches…However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

GOD calls us to show HIS love to the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree with what the world does.

In the end, Robertson decided not to put his business, or anything else, over the foundation his life is built upon. His is JESUS – and the world just has a difficult time with that.

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