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Been away for a few days

We had the opportunity to be away last week. I was doing a Refresh Pastors Conference in north-central Florida. We were able to see old friends and connect with Elaine's sister and mother for dinner. Then we came back in time to head down on the southwest coast of Florida to preach on Sunday. It was great to be on the road and enjoying time together. Doing the work of the ministry to which God has given us now.


Of course, we made it home in time to watch the Super Bowl. We are both Tampa born and raised as were our families. Our kids and grandkids live here too so this is truly home. Having the Bucs in the Super Bowl in their own home stadium was a first. Then to top the night off with the Brady Bunch winning has made for an exciting conclusion to the weekend (get it? the weekend). As soon as the game was over, we ordered our hat and shirts online. Picked them up Monday morning from the store. So now we have shirts and hats from the first and the second Buccaneer Super Bowl wins


As I have watched videos, interviews and read articles I found one story that really was interesting. No, it was not the guy who ran across the field and was tackled by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Deputy. Although that was a great tackle. Heard he might be a linebacker for the Bucs next season. I'm just saying.


No, the one that caught my eye and made me think was on the play when Bucs rookie cornerback Antoine Winfield Jr. was flagged for taunting Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill after a fourth-down incompletion. Here is how he expressed what happened:


“The taunting, man, it’s something I just had to do,” Winfield said. “When we played them earlier, Hill went off on us. He back-flipped in front of my face and gave me the peace sign. So it was only right that I gave him the peace sign right back to him. It felt amazing to do that. I’m not even gonna lie.”


There was not a taunting penalty when Hill did it but, that is beside the point. The take away for the subject is that certainly, 2 wrongs don't make a right. Things do get missed when officiating a game and things get by one time and not another.


This reminded me that in every part of life there are injustices and wrongs committed. Some are caught but not all, and when they are caught, they must be dealt with. Because we don't live in a perfect world, it is difficult to see the justice or even injustice in life. This happens every day. In the workplace, the neighborhood, the church, the school, and even on the football field.


I understand that when the rules are made they are for everyone and there are no exceptions. This has to be the way it is in order for our society to continue to exist. The theme in the Super Bowl commercials and the NFL presentations was that we, all people, need to get along and work together. Honestly, I thought we were doing pretty good as a whole and then things happened, which they will, and people reacted in ways they had not previously. It seems that once it started it was not going to change, at least for the good.


The Buccaneers played as a team and won as a team. There was one goal and it was achieved. The team was cohesive regardless of age, sex, race, size because none of those things individually mattered. The only thing that matter was that as a team each person, individual, came together to achieve the goal to win the Super Bowl. Mission accomplished.


The lesson in this for all of us, is that we have to have a common goal. It seems as if that is not the case today. Things have changed and even though this stuff has been going on a long time it just seems more prolific today. We seem to just be trying to get by and this added to the Covid thing has taken over every facet of our lives. No matter who or what the subject, Covid seems to be the main focus. Mask, wash your hands, stay away from other people, test, vaccine. Close businesses, restrict travel, allow limited attendance. All are in the name of safety. I am afraid there are some who think this is the new normal, and I can assure you from my point of view it is not.


So what is our goal? As much as I hate to admit it, I don't think we have one. At least not one that is accepted by the majority of people. That is more than a little disconcerting. Let God's Word speak to you today from 2 Chronicles 7:14


14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.


"Lord, be merciful to us as a people of faith and to the nation in which we live. Lord, there seems to be so much anger in our nation, Lord heal our land. Lord, our leaders need to do the right things and that can only come from you. Lord, I pray they will hear You. Lord, be glorified in our lives and the life of our nation."


Carl Sandburg said in an interview with Frederick Van Ryn of This Week Magazine (January 4, 1953, p. 11.)


"I see America, not in the setting sun of a black night of despair ahead of us, I see America in the crimson light of a rising sun fresh from the burning, creative hand of God.


I see great days ahead, great days possible to men and women of will and vision,"


A thought to ponder,


Elbert Nasworthy








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