The Halftime Report
Many major team sports like basketball or football have some type of scheduled mid-game break. For many it is referred to as halftime. For the team, this break is a chance for the coach to make strategic changes in the game plan, particularly if his team is behind. It is a time of readjustment. No matter what age we might be, God may be calling us to our halftime as well. We too, may need to make some spiritual game plan changes. So now it is time for today’s halftime report.
In the United States the college football season is right around the corner. For many college football enthusiasts Game Day on ESPN is the mainstay of their Saturday football experience. Not only do they look forward to watching football but they want to see what the analysts are predicting before the games begin. Then, once the games begin and halftime comes around ESPN throws the broadcast back to the studio where the pundits and so called experts, with perfect 20/20 hindsight vision, evaluate the first half of play and pontificate on what they feel the teams need to do in the second half to assure victory.
Many authors and motivational speakers have addressed the halftime of life. Have you already heard God’s halftime speech for a spiritual course correction in your life? Maybe instead, you feel like you are losing in the first half of the game of life and can’t wait to get into the locker room at halftime to hear His loving speech and discover what needs to be changed. For me, I believe my second half began when God called me in September of 2011 to begin writing these 4thdayletters.Speaking of 4thdayletters, a momentous occasion nearly snuck by this past week without catching my attention. You see, last week’s 4thdayletter was the 200th edition.
For the benefit of newer readers let me take a minute and re-tell the story from the beginning. In September of 2011 God put it on my heart to send an inspirational message by way of email to 15 friends. I thought this was a onetime event. I never expected that 200 Tuesday’s later I would still be writing these. I am overjoyed that what started as a message to just 15 friends is now being read on every continent in the world except Antarctica. (I need someone in Antarctica!)
For me, beginning to write these emails was a type of new beginning in my life. It was the start of my second half. Let me explain. There is a popular phrase that goes like this: God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called. I clearly fall into this category. I always enjoyed oral communication but struggled with written communication. Spelling, grammar and sentence structure were not my friends. It was all I could do in grade school to avoid falling asleep when the good nuns were trying to teach classes on conjugating verbs and diagramming sentences. With that said, it is hard for me to imagine that I have expended over 2000 hours of time writing some 300,000 words or the equivalent of 5 novels. God must have a sense of humor!God choose fishermen and tax collectors to lead His church; He called Moses a murderer to lead His chosen people out of Egypt and He called David an adulterer His friend. God does qualify those He calls. How is He qualifying you? What is He calling you to do in His kingdom? Is this your halftime?
Unlike College Game Day on ESPN, you and I don’t have a bunch of pundits and experts pointing out the flaws in our spiritual game plan. The great news though is God did send His Holy Spirit to coach us along the way.When these weekly emails began 200 issues ago, I had no idea what I would write about. To this day I do not have a plan. Each week I wait for that “ping” from the Holy Spirit as one of my friends calls it, to prompt me with that week’s topic. Much of my personal life has been on display in these letters, everything from my own struggles, my mother’s dying days, the birth of new grandchildren, my daughter’s wedding, my sudden blindness, and my successful ten mile walk with Multiple Sclerosis. With each passing, I shared my heart felt spiritual journey.
As I look back on www.4thdayletters.com and re-read the previous topics it is clear that God has been revealing to me the necessary game plan changes that I needed to make in my own life. It seems as if God has been having a personal conversation with me and through these past 200 4thdayletters you had the chance to listen in on our conversation.During that halftime in 2011 I tried my best to listen to what God (my coach) was telling me to do. I felt led to address topics that God was putting on my heart and to address them in an ecumenical way. I have tried my best to remain true to doing this.In 2012 the Parable of the Broken Door was placed on my heart and that eventually lead to the formation of Broken Door Ministries and eventually this lead to the book that my good friend Joe Galloway wrote, and many of you have read, The Broken Door. Through Broken Door Ministries I have had the opportunity to travel around the country and meet many of you and provide talks and all day retreats.Countless numbers of you have shared stories with me as to how the 4thdayletters, my talks and retreats have positively impacted your spiritual journey. I am deeply blessed that God has used me in this way.
I was not expecting my halftime correction in life when it occurred. You may not have been expecting one either. Maybe yours has already occurred or may it is yet to occur. We must all remember that God’s timing is perfect. What strategic adjustments do you think God (your coach) wants you to make to assure spiritual victory? Never forget that prayer, fasting and almsgiving are always important skills when we begin the second half of play.May I wrap up this 201st edition with a few requests?
- Would you consider inviting me to speak to your church or parish? I have a strong calling to share my personal story for the purpose of helping as many people as possible deal with the broken things that plague their spiritual journeys. I would love to put on a one day retreat for your Christian community. I would alsowelcome the opportunity togive a1 hour inspirational Christian talk. Click this link so send me an email so that I can send you more information.
- Would you consider clicking this forward to a friend button to send this to one or more friends right now while you are reading and thinking about this so that together with your help we can add 200 more readers on this 200th anniversary edition?
- Would you consider writing tometo share your thoughts and views about the 4thdayletters? Did you have a favorite? Do you use these in larger discussion groups? Click hereto send me an email.
This concludes today’s halftime report. Now back to your game. My prayer for you is that you too will feel God’s gentle nudge and hear His halftime speech and course correction for your spiritual game of life. Thank you for your continued readership and prayers. Let me leave you with a quote from one of my favorite books, The Ragamuffin Gospel: “The second journey begins when we know we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the morning program.”Dear heavenly Father please coach and guide me to the necessary things that I need to change in my life that will assure me of the victory of eternal salvation, amen
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