Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Devotion 1.14.16

Enter Tom Landry, sainted coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  Dallas, the heated rival in terms of towns to Houston, is not to be loved, recognized, or even acknowledged by a Native Houstonian.  It is, in the terms of some Texans, the southern most port in the north, meaning we saw it as a "yankee" town.  The teams were never equal.  The Oilers struggled to win until late in their history in Houston.  Dallas, always the proud champion, had its followers for a long and glorious tenure.

It was from this that I was taught not to like Dallas.  My dad, a Minnesotan, and my mom, a central Texas woman, had little use for Dallas.  Nothing good claimed to be a Dallas Cowboy.  Having grown up in that environment, I was with them (disclaimer, my wife is from Dallas, so I overlooked that fact as much as she overlooked that I was from Houston), until one day, a few months ago, I read a brief bio on Tom Landry.  It was simple.  Landry earned his wings in World War II and flew a B-17 bomber.  He flew 30 missions and crash landed his plane during his time in World War II.  He went back to the University of Texas to finish his degree and played football, during which time, he almost gave up football to pursue engineering as he completed a Master's Degree in Engineering after his time at UT. In that moment, I went from dislike to admiration, from disdain to hero status. 

Yes, all it takes is a bio to state he flew a bomber in World War II.  It is that simple.  He won me over immediately, and Jerry Jones went from an owner with an ego who runs the Dallas Cowboys foolishly to completely despised by me.  Who fires an officer from World War II who served his country proudly?  Who fires a man who saw battle in bombers which could have taken his life as much as the enemy (statistically, in World War II, casualties in the air were as much self-inflicted accidently more often than the enemy's actions).

Yes, Tom Landry won me over that fast.  His past came forward and I became a fan of all he did that quickly.  He did, after all, leave his college football career and his education to serve his country.  Call me a fan.  Buy me a hat.  In some ways, he became a new person in my view.

So what of us in God's eyes?  Sinners all.  We can do nothing to win God over.  And yet we are clothed in Christ in his eyes.   "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life." (Romans 6:2 - 4)  In God's eyes, we are new because of his baptism, even more quickly than Tom Landry changed in my eyes.

Two prayers today:  a prayer of Thanksgiving for all who have served our country and risked their lives to maintain the freedoms we enjoy; and, we pray thanksgiving for God's plan that clothes us in Christ's righteousness.

Hope Men's Ministry

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