Guest Post: On Faith and Football

Today I’m honored to introduce an author friend, Melanie Garrett. We are both Dallas Cowboys fans but, unlike me, Melanie actually understands the different kinds of plays and the rules of the game. She also has some pretty keen insights on life, as you’ll see.

Here’s Melanie:
I had the privilege of getting to meet Jan recently. While chatting over coffee, it wasn’t long before we realized that we were kindred spirits. It was as if we met a friend we’d known for years.

Jan asked me to share an excerpt from my book. I selected the “chapter” entitled ‘December’. When we reach the 12th month of the year, it’s only natural for many of us to become reflective as we ponder over the happenings of the previous year. As you begin your review of 2011, I hope you find it is filled with cherished memories.

I wish you the most blessed Christmas!
Yours in faith and football,

At the beginning of the season, along with the rest of you NFL faithful, I made my predictions for which teams would make it to the Super Bowl. December rolls along, and with that comes winter and the gaze toward the playoffs. Although both teams I had tagged were still in contention, other teams I thought wouldn’t even make an appearance were closing in on playoff berths. Strange how life brings the unexpected, isn’t it?

Six teams had already been eliminated from the race. There wasn’t a chance for them to make it, even as a wild card. I watched their training camps. Using the highest quality equipment that money can buy, talented athletes were put through hard, disciplined workouts under the guidance of veteran and previous Super Bowl champion coaches. Everyone involved was baffled as to what happened and what went wrong. But if we look closer, we can find a surprising number of strange and unexpected injuries. Regardless of preparation and protection, sometimes injuries take out some of the best athletes. Unfortunately, it is one of the sad facts of football. Injury is the silent enemy of all athletes. While some teams have enough talent and depth that they can recover from the loss of a key player, there is almost no team that can withstand the loss of multiple key players from the roster.

December is also a time when the rest of the world begins to take inventory of the year. When you rang in the New Year, did you ever dream of the events which have transpired? While at a lunch with some friends, we began to look at the year in review. Mirroring some of the NFL teams, they too had had a Cinderella year with engagements, graduations, or the birth of a child. But my year had resembled more the teams out of contention, one full of losses. With a job loss and the death of a dear loved one, the year had left me wondering what went wrong. But like the teams plagued with injuries, sometimes losses come—not so much because of wrongs committed, but just from living life in a fragile and fallen world. How easy it is for disillusionment and discouragement to set in.

Yet, in the midst of a season of sorrows, God offers us words of comfort. Jesus quoted his Father’s promise as recorded by the prophet Isaiah: “A bruised reed He will not break” (Matthew 12:20).

You and I might feel as if we are at a breaking point, but our loving Father assures us that His grace is sufficient for us and that His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). Remember, win or lose, He is faithful to see us through another December.

Study the Playbook
Read: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Romans 5:5; Psalm 46-1, 147:11

Execute the Play
Stop the replay of what all has gone wrong.
Start keeping a list of how God is bringing you through life’s hurdles
and into victory with Him.

You can read more about Melanie and her book, Under His Helmet, at her website:

I’m linking up this week with Rachel Anne and our Company Girls friends. (Tip: stop by for Rachel’s sugar cookie recipe!)

Also with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters. We would love to have you visit.

Thanks for reading,

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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7 Responses to Guest Post: On Faith and Football

  1. Steve Bato says:

    Jan, thank you for sharing Melanie’s enocuraging words with us. I just came through one of those injury periods, and it was the Lord’s strength and love that saw me through to the other side. Of course, your friendship was also a lifebuoy.


  2. joyceandnorm says:

    A great reminder….His grace! Sounds like an interesting book.


  3. I love the analogy of football in this piece and I love best the part that says, win or lose, he is faithful…Amen.


  4. Visiting from Soli Deo Gloria. Glad for the football analogy. I get it. It is good to know that there are other Cowboys fans out there that will admit it after days like yesterday. Glad that the Father has given us a playbook!


  5. Jan says:

    Hi, Everyone!
    I’m glad you all enjoyed Melanie’s post. With the Playbook, our teammates and of course our faithful Coach, our season can end in the best possible way for each of us.


  6. Jen says:

    I love this analogy! I’ve never thought of the bible as a playbook!


  7. Lillian Drekanpus says:

    This is the time of my life where I start to see that it is not what people say that change me, but its God speaking through me through the Bible.


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