The Victory Formation

nfl-superImagine you’re watching the Super Bowl this week.

Peyton Manning has led the Broncos to an incredible, hard-fought victory. The confetti is raining down. Fireworks are exploding. The team is gathering around as Manning hoists the Lombardi Trophy in the air.

An interviewer steps onto the podium and asks the legendary quarterback to give his thoughts on the game.

And instead of giving an emotional, tearjerking speech he says something like this:

“You know it’s great to win another Super Bowl and all, but boy we sure did make a lot of mistakes out there tonight. I’ve really got to work on my passing skills and our defense was pretty weak out there. I just can’t stop thinking about that interception and all those dropped passes. We’ve got a lot to work on tomorrow morning.”

You might think Peyton Manning or any football player to be insane if they just won the Super Bowl and said something like that.

An interview like that would be normal after any other game during the season. That’s because no matter what happened there’s always another game coming up the next week. Even after you’ve won you’ve got to be doing more to get better.

That’s not the case with the Super Bowl. That’s not the case when you’ve won the ultimate victory.

When you’ve won the Super Bowl there’s no need to worry about your mistakes out on the field anymore. There’s no need to worry about fixing your problems during the next practice.

Even if the path to the championship was imperfect it doesn’t matter anymore. The trophy is in your hands.

You can forget about all the mistakes. You can let go of all the errors. The season is over. It is finished. The only thing you ought to be doing in that moment is celebrating.

You might think it would be a ridiculous scenario for a football player to miss out on celebrating the ultimate victory. But it’s something many of us (including myself) do every single day. 

You see when Jesus died on the cross to rescue us He won the ultimate victory against sin. In His final breath He uttered three important words: “It is finished” (John 19:30).

He wasn’t just saying His work was done. He was saying the battle was over. There would be no rematch. Sin and death had lost the battle.

If we have a relationship with Christ than we are not just victors in this battle, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Because of this we ought be living in the victory formation everyday.

Because of Christ’s sacrifice the victory has been won. The game is over. It is finished.

That means letting go of our mistakes. That means not beating ourselves up anymore over our faults.

That means not worrying about whether or not God will forgive us for our latest failure and celebrating our victory everyday. That means forgiving ourselves because we’ve already been forgiven.

Of course that doesn’t mean our work in this life is over. We don’t just retire because of this victory. We are still called to go out and be disciples to the ends of the earth.

But we can do the work of this world confident in our ultimate victory. We don’t have to carry the burden of our sins any longer. We don’t have to fret over little mistakes. We don’t have to feel inadequate or insecure.

We can live as champions knowing that no matter how imperfect our lives are, we are guaranteed victory. 

The Stray Dog Mentality

FullSizeRender-92016 didn’t start out with a bang for us. It started with a bark.

On January 1st my wife woke up before me to head out to the mall and do some post-Christmas shopping. Just as I was waking up and heading to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee, I saw her walk back up to the door in the garage.

She was holding something completely unexpected – a puppy.

The dog had ran out into the road as she was heading to the store. Being the incredibly kind-hearted woman she is, she pulled over to see if she could help the dog back home.

The dog had no tags, no collar and no one was outside looking for her. So Kate brought her home. Continue reading

Halfway To Whole: My Whole30 Day 15 Report

FullSizeRender-14I haven’t had a piece of bread in over 2 weeks.

I also haven’t had any dairy. Or any sugar.

Not even a Cheerwine.

That’s because I’ve been on The Whole30. 

The Whole30, if you’re not familiar with it, is not so much a diet as it is a food reset. You spend 30 days eating pretty much only basic, natural foods.

The 30 day process supposedly allows your digestive system to reset and your mind to form a new perspective on eating. Then after 30 days you slowly reintroduce problematic foods into your diet to find out the way each type of food truly affects your body.

My wife pushed for us to go on the Whole30 to start the year. I’ve had problems with my digestive system over the years so I thought it would be interesting to see if the diet would really have any positive effects.

A little over halfway through the program I haven’t really noticed any significant digestive effects (the book does say it can take the entire 30 days for the process to fully work). I have however found I do have a few other observations: Continue reading

The Last Minute

FullSizeRender-12There are some of you reading this right now who are panicking.

It’s less than 48 hours until Christmas. There’s still one or two gifts you need to buy. Someone just popped into your head you realize you didn’t purchase anything for.

Look, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. And honestly I’m right there with you right now.

It’s no sin to buy a present at the last minute. The act of giving a gift – even if it’s one picked up at Christmas Eve at Rite Aid – is a beautiful thing.

The best gifts though, the ones we truly cherish, the ones we remember for years and years are the ones someone plans out for us. Continue reading

Rejecting The Yule Log Mentality

FullSizeRender-13The Yule Log has become part of the Doriot family Christmas tradition.

If you’re not familiar with the Yule Log, it’s about as simple as it sounds – a single shot video of a blazing fireplace (usual with some relaxed holiday tunes in the background) set on a loop for hours on end.

You can get a Yule Log “movie” on DVD  or Blu Ray. A few cable channels show one on Christmas. There’s even one streaming on Netflix!

Now we also have a real fireplace. It’s usually ablaze as well on Christmas morning.

And yet we still put the Yule Log on the tv alongside the real fire as we open presents.  Continue reading

Monday Morning Music: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

922853_10153794330701303_7844604813520770486_nAfter Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band finished their second performance on SNL this past Saturday I was fairly disappointed.

Don’t get me wronged – The Boss and the band put on a couple of great performances of songs from their new box set celebrating the 35th anniversary of “The River” (a great Christmas present for the Bruce Springsteen fan and blog writer in your life).

On any other night I would have been elated to hear performances of “Meet Me In The City” and “The Ties That Bind” live on Saturday night.

The only problem was this was the Christmas show. Continue reading

The Santa Clause Commission

still-of-tim-allen-in-the-santa-clause-1994-large-pictureWhat if I told you “The Santa Clause” was a pretty perfect metaphor for our calling as disciples of Jesus?

You remember the plot of “The Santa Clause”, the 1994 Christmas film starring Tim Allen? Old St. Nick arrives on the roof of a man named Scott Calvin’s house only to trip and fall to his death. Calvin checks on Santa, puts on his garb and finishes his route.

After the night is over Calvin visits the North Pole and finds out, due to a hidden clause,  he is actually obligated to become the new Santa. Despite his protests he actually begins transforming into Santa over the course of the year to hilarious effect.

“The Santa Clause” is arguably a Christmas classic at this point (despite the two abysmal sequels which followed it). But is there really a deeper message hidden inside the holiday fluff? Continue reading