Sackomania and The Quarterback Sack

palmerAfter watching the gleefully satisfied look of the defensive players on the Broncos and Panthers, I’m adding a new classification to the list of impulse control disorders.  This list usually includes dysfunctional behaviors such as kleptomania, pyromania, trichotillomania. 

Impulse control disorders are characterized by a person’s inability to avoid behavior that might bring harm to themselves or others. Typically, the pot of anxiety is about to boil over immediately before the behavior occurs.   Committing the act is like opening a pressure relief valve, and in spite of the potentially dangerous consequences, there’s an immediate feeling of relief and even happiness:

  • Kleptomania: People who struggle with this disorder will steal when they get anxious or frustrated and find relief by doing so.
  • Pyromania:  This describes the act whereby a person feels a sense of excitement or relief after deliberately setting fires.
  • Trichotillomania:  This is the person you’ve seen who is constantly pulling and twisting her hair to gain a release of tension or a sense of satisfaction
  • Sackomania is the new classification that I am adding to this list.

Sackomania is usually observed on Sundays, and it most often occurs between the opposing goal posts on a field consisting of 100 yards.  If you watched the Broncos defeat the Patriots or endured the massacre of the Cardinals as they were devoured by the Panthers, you saw a classic case of Sackomania.

Some of the actions of the defensive players were characterized by their inability to avoid behavior that might bring harm to themselves or others.  In these instances, the harm resulted in very little pain to self, but Tom Brady and Carson Palmer, were left in crumpled piles of agonizing pain.

The NFL is the dream of many young boys, but football odds are stacked against them.  Out of the  310,465 high school seniors who play football, only 6.5% of them will make to the NCAA division of football; and, out of that number, just 1.6% of them will make it to the NFL.

Even though you probably won’t make it to the NFL, there is a 100% chance that at some time in your life, you’re going to struggle with an impulse—Mr. Temptation is going to knock on your door and invite you to come outside and play. No one is immune to the enticing power of temptation:

  • David struggled with it, and in the Psalm 46, he found hope in God as his “refuge and strength, and a very present help in trouble.”
  • James said, “Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him. Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin (James 1: 14-16).”

The impulse to yield to temptation can be managed by putting on the “whole armor of God,” and “hiding God’s word in your heart (Ephesians 6:11; Psalm 119:9-11).” The next time an urge or impulse is pulling you away from the safety of the shore and enticing you to engage in some questionable behavior, let me suggest you get into one of God’s RAFTS:

  • Resist the urge:  Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4: 7).
  • Align with God:  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4: 7–8).
  • Follow:  Pursue what has God’s approval. Pursue faith, love, and peace together with those who worship the Lord with a pure hear (2 Timothy 2:22).
  • Trust:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  • Seek God in prayer: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).

Step Up To The Plate and Take A Swing

pMLB2-19389877dtThis is the time of year when some guys go into some sort of a sports-like-hibernation.  Football season had ended, and they blankly stare at the TV screen yearning for the next kickoff.

Not me, I love the game of baseball, and I watch several games each week.  My fondness for Americas’ game is due to the many memories of my dad and the times we spent together on a baseball field.  He coached, his boys played, and the family rotated from one field to another playing and watching games.

Weather permitting, I played baseball almost 7 days a week. My buddies and I would ride our bikes to a designated field or park and choose up sides and the game was on.

There were usually 3 or 4 of the boys who were the best of the best, and all the other boys wanted to play on their team.  You wanted them to pick you because your odds of winning were much better when you were on their team.

While I was reminiscing about this favorite summer pastime, I thought of John 15:6.  Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

The greatest All Star of all times has chosen you to play on His team. He promises to equip you and empower you to accomplish His will.

The game has begun, so why not step up into the batter’s box and take a swing or two?

The Sound of Spring

finchI always look forward to the coming of Spring; its arrival is heralded with the song of yellow finch as they eat from the thistle filled feeder hanging from a tree. They are often joined by their redheaded cousins, and cardinals eat from another feeder close by.

These brightly colored birds do something that we generally associate with human activity. I’m speaking of praise and worship. In Psalm 148:1-4, it is clear that God’s creation is to actively praise Him. When you skip down to verse 7, it suggests that the song of the bird is an act of praise to God.

The Psalm closes with these words: “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.”

I want to encourage you to give some consideration to what you say today. When you make a choice of words, make sure they are choice words.

Your choice of words will define you. Are you known more for your tongue lashings or for your words of grace and encouragement?

This was the centerpiece of James thoughts when he said: “For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. A spring does not pour out fresh water and bitter water from the same opening, does it? Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a vine produce figs? Neither can a salt water spring produce fresh water (3:7-12)”

Birds sing because they have a song, and you should praise God because he has put a new song in your heart.

Psalm 40:2-4: “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”