Complacency vs. Passion

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Anyone who has ever dated knows the feeling.  That longing to be with a person every waking second.  That belief that nothing could be better than to spend the rest of your life with the person you love.  The surety that the passion you feel for that person will always burn hot.

Anyone who has ever been married knows that reality looks a bit different on the other side of the ring exchange.  No, marriage doesn’t ruin all of those rosy sentiments that go with dating.  It tests them and gives opportunity for a final product that is much deeper, purer and beautiful than the dating life can ever offer.  But it also brings with it the temptation to allow familiarity to breed complacency.  And if one word stands in stark contrast to passion, it is complacency.  You know what that looks like:

  • You think you’ve done all you need to do.
  • Boredom when something “new” doesn’t happen.
  • Forgetting to do what got you there.
  • Never bothering to notice the things that once captivated your attention.
  • Wondering if something new might be better.
  • A dangerous lack of awareness that  potential danger lurks.

In other words, when you finally get what you want-togetherness, that togetherness comes with the potential for greatness AND with the potential for a slow drift towards coldness…or worse.

I believe it isn’t all that different with our relationship with God.

In Psalm 84:4, the writer states,

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, they are ever praising you.

In my last blog, I described the writer’s words in verse 3 of this song- how he was envying the birds who had taken up residence in the temple.  He could only make a trip to be in God’s presence every once in awhile, but those birds get to be there all the time.  What access!  In this verse, he remembers that the birds aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy that.  There were priests that got to dwell there every day.  He declares what an incredible privilege they had to be able to be close to God and praise Him every day.  His words foreshadow the life offered to all believers after Christ came and established a new reality where our bodies can become the temple of God- the place where His Spirit always dwells.  Thus, we are now offered togetherness with God…all the time.  How fitting it is that God uses marriage to describe our relationship with Christ.  How great it is that this togetherness can birth greatness in our lives, as well.

How unfortunate it is that complacency also lurks in this relationship.  After all, the Bible is filled with examples of priests gone bad- offering no true praise to God, extorting money from pilgrims at sacrifice time, and, lest we forget, putting in action the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Familiarity and close proximity do not equal an assurance of passion.

As I look at my own story with Jesus, I have experienced moments of mountaintop greatness that have taken my breath away.  I have also slogged my way through bogs of complacency that have brought my journey to a near standstill.  Kinda what I’m feeling now.  I know that many look at my life (my very job seems to offer and demand closeness with God-kinda like with those priests) and assume that keeping the flame lit must come almost naturally.  Read, “Blessed is Donnie who dwells in a God-profession, he must be forever praising God!”  Well, hate to disappoint.

So, what is the answer.  I think I’d suggest that part of it is to realize that being near someone isn’t the same as being present with them, intentionally aware of them, and focused on enjoying them.  Picture me in the living room with my kids while trying to watch the final two minutes of the AFC Championship with the Steelers down by 3 but driving for a score.  I’m nearer to my kids but I assure you, my presence is with the Steelers.  And in that moment, guess where my passion lies.  Get the picture?

Familiarity, nearness, access, togetherness- they all offer great gifts to us…if we open them…every day.

Familiarity, nearness, access, togetherness- the stories of heart-broken people who don’t know what went wrong when they had all of this going for them, well, they reach to the heavens.

 

 

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Righteous Envy

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We generally consider envy a bad thing, right?  Don’t spend all of your time dwelling in the poisonous pool of “if only I had what she has” kinds of thoughts and desires.  It leads to a bitter, discontent heart and sometimes to thieving hands, because we often try to get what we want.

But then, along come the words of Psalm 84:3.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.

After talking about how much he wants to get to the temple to meet with God, the writer starts casting an envious eye at the birds that he has seen in the past, building nests in the very temple courts that he can only get to occasionally.  He starts to imagine how great it must be to dwell there all the time, right near the altar of the King of the universe.  What accessibility!

So, a person sees that which was “for the birds” and starts to envy it!  A little strange, maybe, but it teaches us a good lesson.  Envy is wrong when our hearts are demanding we get what belongs to someone else.  But this envy is a longing for something that God wants all of us to have…closeness with Him.  That accessibility is offered to us so much more today, through the Holy Spirit, than was offered back in the temple days before Christ came.

As I pursue a renewed relationship with God, I think it is healthy for me to look around and see how others around me are enjoying intimacy with God. Have you ever found yourself thinking “Wow, they really are serious about studying the Bible!” or “I wish my worship was as passionate as hers.” or “I would love to pursue a life of prayer like he has.”?  As long as we don’t go the morbid, self-hate route, I think these kind of “envious” longings can be great motivators in our pursuit of God.

But I think God is calling me to one step more than that.  Usually, when I want to pursue God more fully, I try to do it alone.  But Jesus came to usher in the kingdom of God through the body of Christ, the church.  A huge part of our pursuit of God is to be done in the context of the community of faith.  I fear that my “job” sometimes leads me to spur others on to find their support in the body of Christ but at the end of the day, I allow myself to remain on the outside looking in for my own spiritual needs.  That is wrong.

A mentor of mine recently challenged me to allow the body of Christ to help me in my pursuit of returning to my first love for Jesus.  I haven’t yet followed through.  So, in front of the 10 or 20 of you that may read this, I commit to looking around over the next couple of months to see what “birds” are enjoying God in ways that I am longing to, and I will seek them out for help in realizing those desires for myself.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Dry Bones

Psalm 84:2 – “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”
Yearning, fainting and crying out. Those words reflect one thing: Passion, with a capital P! This writer obviously loved God. Oh to be so obvious.
I read this and I get sad, but not just about my relationship with God. I think of all the people, activities and things that I know are important to me somewhere in my heart, and I think, “But where is the passion?!” I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
I think if there is one dangerous thing about the world we live in today is that it zaps people of passion. It drives us to be so busy we don’t have time for passion, or else leaves us too tired to exert it. It convinces us that what we do have isn’t good enough…and whose gonna get all excited about that? It overstimulates us with more info, options and opinions than we could possibly take in and leaves us numb…to our spouses, our kids, our friends, our hobbies…and our God.
Most of us read these words of Psalm 84:2 and think, “Either this guy is a little weird or I’m a little (or a lot) dead.” And we’d be right. The guy is a little weird if by weird you mean ‘peculiar’. Not many people like him. And we are a little dead.
As I think of who I want to be- a guy passionate for God- I’m increasingly aware that I don’t have any tricks on how to become it. Life has always only come from one source- our God. One day God showed His prophet Ezekiel a vision of dry bones coming together and coming back to life. It was a promise of what God would do in His people, who were also a little on the R.I.P. path.
If you’d like to be awakened, filled with passion, brought back to life again in your walk with God, hit play on this song above and make it your prayer. Let’s sing it together until we catch sight of a little yearning, fainting and crying out!

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God’s Place

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I sheepishly make my way back into your cyberspace after a long pause in action on my blog.  I know bloggers flame out all the time and that really isn’t my intention.  2014 has been a challenge in many ways for me and one of the outcomes has been putting my writing on the back burner.  But, if you’ll have me back, I’d like to start up where I left off!

At the beginning of this year, I told you of my desire to return to my first love for God.  As relationships can, mine with God has gotten a bit cold; a distance between us has developed as I’ve made choices to step back from my deep affection for Christ and step towards other “things” that I thought would be of greater help/comfort/joy to me.  I’m grateful to know that it is His great desire to welcome me back where I belong, despite my foolishness.

As I was praying about this while in Kyrgystan in March, God spoke to my heart about using Psalm 84 as an important passage in my journey back to Him this year.  I determined to begin meditating on it and memorizing it.  I’ve decided that maybe I’d do a little bit of my meditating out loud with you on this blog, a verse at a time.  I hope along the way, you pick something up from it that draws you closer to our Father, also.

Psalm 84:1 “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!”

To begin with, this is one of the Psalms written to be sung as the people are longing for or traveling to the place where their temple was, the place where they would meet God.  We know that after Christ’s death and resurrection, there is no longer one special place where God has chosen to dwell.  We can meet with Him anywhere.

But to me, this first verse is all about a decision based on a core belief-

“You know what?  Wherever God is, that is the place to be, because He is so awesome!”

These pilgrims on their way to the temple were pumped cuz they were going to God’s place.  And man would it be a lovely destination.  Now I was debating whether to focus too much on the word “lovely” being as it seems like a girly word.  But, I typed in my search engine the phrase “images of lovely places” just to see what came up and millions of images came up that were as dazzling as the one above that most caught my eye.  I began to think, lovely ain’t so bad!

Right now, I’m 27 days away from returning home to America, family and friends after 3 straight years in Russia.  I’m convinced that it is an amazing place to come home to and so you can bet I won’t miss that plane on June 14.  Lovely definitely seems a fitting description.  If I could, I’d snap my fingers and be with them in an instant.  27 days seems like torture at the moment!

But as I write, I’m potentially a moment away from being caught up in the presence of God- through worship, prayer, reading His Word, etc.  I always am a moment away.  So are you.  I don’t have to wait 27 days or even 27 seconds.  But I do have to make up my mind about whether or not God’s place is so good that it is where I want to be.  This song writer made up his mind and you can tell by the rest of the psalm that his belief led to great passion for God.  Since I’ve not noticed this kind of passion in me for awhile, I’ve gotta go back to the basics-  “Father, grant me the faith to believe that You are as good as good can get and that Your place is worth getting to.”

 

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Who is at the center?

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A recent article came out declaring that in a recent survey, 1 in 4 Americans didn’t know that the earth revolved around the sun.  Scientists and educators were dismayed!

It was quite hard for people to accept Copernicus’ notion that the earth was not the center of the universe.  That 75% of the population has finally figured it out is fairly impressive, at least as compared to the percentage that have comprehended an even more important truth about life. 

You see, I was actually surprised to hear that the percentage was that good, seeing as how nearly all of us live life as though the world revolves around us. Our need for other people, circumstances, and even God to keep in line with our desires shows a huge flaw in our understanding of life. 

Jesus made it very clear that nothing that has life, got that life apart from Him, the eternal Word of God.  In John 15 of the Bible, He gave us a picture of what that means.  He said that He is the vine and we are branches.  That wasn’t a put down.  Branches are where beautiful leaves and fruit get produced…when they realize that they aren’t the center of the universe…when they stay attached to the vine. 

Ever see a branch that gets detached?  Ever see one in that condition that produces pretty leaves and fruit?  Nope, me neither.  They die. 

That is what happens to people who forget that Christ is the center of it all.  That is what happens to branches that wander off from the vine.  They die.

Jesus goes on to say, “Therefore, remain in me.”  Notice, modern translations have yet to change that to “Therefore, if you start thinking you are the vine instead of me, then I’ll just cave and let you call the shots.”  Jesus only gives a plea that we stay in a position of life instead of choosing death.  He does not offer another path to life.

Now that I’m 2 months into my journey to recover my deep love for Christ that I have abandoned along the way, I’m realizing that the key to recovery is simply reconnecting to the vine…over and over, deeper and deeper- in prayer, in worship, in silence, etc.  Recovery doesn’t come from doing good things or not doing bad things.  I’ve tried a bit of that in January and February.  Still dry.  Only through reattachment to the vine and remaining there does the living water of God begin to resuscitate my spirit. 

My wandering has brought death…dried leaves and rotting fruit that have alerted me to a problem.  I guess I was hoping I could tote the vine around to where I wanted to go like a transportable IV bag stand and that my leading the way or my lack of interest in the vine wouldn’t have bad consequences because I could always plug in for a quick hit when I really needed it. 

In summary, here are the 2 positions:

Jesus’- I’m the vine.  Remain in me. 

Mine- I’m the branch.  Remain near me for when I need you.

I believe the subtle distinction is all that has been necessary to derail me.  But I have gained awareness of this and that is huge.  I’d appreciate your prayers as I try to shake off old patterns, busyness, and independence in order to reattach to and remain where I belong.  I want my life to revolve around the Son.

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Sports Smorgasbord

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In honor of the Olympics starting today in my 2nd home country, I thought I’d check back in with my latest sports thoughts.  I know I’ve been out of touch.  That has been a reflection on my schedule of late.  But I can assure you that I’ve not let a little bump in the road for the Steelers this year jar me away from my passion for sports!

Football

Hooray for the Seahawks!  What a dominant effort they gave on Sunday.  I like seeing new teams win if the Steelers can’t.  My only fear is that this team looks like they could be hard to handle for years to come.  Let’s hope that defense can be broken up a bit when they have to break the bank to try to keep them all.

As for Manning, it is hard for me to deny that he simply has not been a big game quarterback.  He has had amazing teams for years that come up dry in the postseason.  Probably the worst stat- 8 one and dones in the playoffs.  That is inexcusable.  He is a great player.  I think he is a great person.  But I can think of a good handful of quarterbacks I’d rather have when it really counts…and Big Ben is one of them. 

In Steeler news:

  • Love getting Munchak as our Offensive Line Coach.
  • Cut Woodley, keep Polamalu.
  • Get a deal done on Ben’s final NFL contract.
  • Go for a cornerback with the #1 pick. 

Baseball

I’m trying to trust that the Pirates know what they are doing, but it sure seems like they are sliding backwards.  I’m disappointed that they haven’t at least added one big piece at first base and I think they should have offered A.J. Burnett that $14 million offer so that they could at least get good compensation if he signs elsewhere.  That said, the contracts being signed around the league are insane and baseball and the Pirates will never be fixed until MLB gets a salary cap in place. 

Hockey

The Penguins are doing well but you get the feeling some deals need to be done to make them ready for Lord Stanley.  I am struggling to know whether to cheer loudest for the American hockey team with Blysma coaching and several Penguins playing, the Canadians and my main man Crosby, or the hometown favorite Malkin over here.

Olympics

Last but not least, the Olympics.  First of all, Dejan Kovacevic wrote a great column today in the Pittsburgh Tribune that gave Russia a lot of kudos for their preparation, unlike most of what is being written.  I know there are problems but it seems like many are hoping that they will fail.  That isn’t fair.

As for the games, I love watching them but I read a great, thought-provoking article recently describing how the Olympics should cease to exist.  The writer reflected on the fact that when the Olympics were restarted by some French guy, it was supposed to be to promote world peace and focus on the thrill of competing, not winning.  This reporter then began to bemoan the fact that the threats of terror each year, the steroid infested competitions and the payoffs of judges all show that the games don’t nearly live up to the original dream.  Sad.

Well, there you have it.  I’m still alive over here in Russia and hoping that the next 2 weeks are filled with lots of exciting competition.  I hope you all get to enjoy a bit of Russian culture through those Bob Costas stories!  Think of me while you watch.

 

 

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Kim Walker-Smith- Walk With Me

This song helped usher me into God’s presence this week in a powerful way. I hope it helps you connect with Your Father, as well.
Side note- I think Kim’s voice and passion are amazing!

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A New Year’s Revolution

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As my family huddled up yesterday afternoon to talk about our relationships with God and to pray for our new year, we got on the subject of new year’s resolutions.  Every time Katya went to talk about it, her tongue tied a bit and it kept coming out as New Year’s Revolution.  The first couple of times got chuckles, but as she kept repeating it, I found my heart beginning to shout out, “Yes!  That is what I really want!” 

I don’t know what the percentages are for how many people are able to keep their resolutions but I’m thinking it may compare to the playoff chances of the Steelers the last couple of weeks.  I know I am certainly to blame over the years for lowering the success rate.  By the time I’m over the sleep deprivation, cookie over-ingestation, and football intoxication of New Year’s Day, I realize that my resolutions are already on the clock and I’ve probably fallen behind further than I already was the night before when I made them!  By mid-January, my resolve has lost its way in the midst of new agendas and old habits. 

I hate that.  I’m tired of that.  I don’t want to do it again.

But is there anything weaker than my resolve?  I can’t seem to send it to the gym to get stronger or last longer. 

Yes, one more resolution this year doesn’t inspire much hope in me.  What I need is a revolution.  An overthrowing of some of the old ways of doing and being that are alive in me, by something, or should I say, Someone, who is stronger than my own resolve. 

I want the God of all creation to make things new in me this year. 

2013 was a big search for the idols that are still cluttering up my life.  I’ve written enough about that.  But as I ended the year, I felt like I still had only covered 50% of the “search and seizure” process.  Yep, I see the idols.  But, they seem to still be lounging around and frankly, I still seem to be offering them hospitality.  I feel like me standing up and resolving to kick them out the door this year would be greeted by their cackles.  Haunting laughs that tell me that they know me too well, and thus, aren’t terribly frightened by my threats.

Been there, done that.  Over and over.

But this past year, my mentor gave me some wise words that he heard from pastor Tim Keller.  Something about the words smelt different than the fragrances of my past approaches.He said,

The only way to overcome the power of one affection is by the expulsive power of another one.

Now you might say, “Hey, we are talking about things in our lives that we don’t like.  So what’s up with the word ‘affection’?”  Well, I think he is saying that everything we allow in our lives, from little innocent things to big not-so-innocent things, are only given a place in our lives due to an affection we have for them, or the result we hope that they will give us. 

You might say, “But I don’t have an affection for these extra pounds!”  No, but you might have an affection for the comfort you hope to receive from that pack of Oreos.  I know I do. 

The point is, there is a reason that all of these idols are in my life.  They each have a function, a purpose, that I’ve assigned to them.  I want them to do something for me.  I’ve placed my hope in them for something.  They’ve become for me what Keller describes as a “false gospel”.  The true gospel is “Christ alone.”  In Him should be all of my hope.  False gospels are our way of seeking out something we feel that we need that we don’t trust Jesus for. 

So, I’ve got these affections for idols.  What a miserable confession.  What do I do about it?  Well, not sure that is the best question.  I need a greater affection to come and blow them out of the water.  An affection for God. 

There is a verse in the Bible, Revelation 2:4, where some believers are told that they lost their “first love” for Christ.  I think perhaps that is where I’m at.  I need that first love that I had for Christ to be rekindled.  I believe that is my only hope. 

So, my New Year’s revolution is this- that my evil affections would be expelled by the powerful force of a new affection for Jesus.

How is that going to happen?  I think I do have a part to play.  I must:

  1. Spend time repenting of my sin. 
  2. Asking God for this resurrected affection.  I can’t just drum it up.  It is a gift.
  3. Put myself in position to receive the gift when it comes.  Spiritual disciplines that followers of Jesus do aren’t just magic formulas.  People who treat them as such (I have at times) don’t receive from that what God wants to give through them.  But things like prayer, meditating on God’s Word, fasting, worship, etc. are activities we can do to position ourselves in a place where God can then deliver to us His gifts.  In other words, if my attitude is- “I’m gonna read the Bible more so God will be happy and then change me.”, I will miss the boat.  If my attitude is, “He loves me so much and wants to change me if I offer Him my life and trust.  I will demonstrate my desire for Him and His rule in my life by putting down the sports page for awhile and just worshiping Him.”, He will move and I will be changed.

A return to my first love of Christ.  That is what is on my list this year.  When you think of me, pray for that.

Thanks.  And Happy New Year, everybody!

 

 

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My Last Take On It

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Merriam-Webster defines the term “suck-up” like this- a person who tries to get the approval of someone in authority by saying and doing helpful and friendly things that are not sincere.  Kicker Ryan Succop obviously applied his “helpful and friendly things” to the Chargers’ account and not the Steelers’, and thus, at 4:42 a.m. St Petersburg, Russia time, the Steelers season ended. 

Was it better this way or would it have been better if the Steelers just continued the appalling season they began?  The last second hoping led to lots of last second hurting!  They entered the next to last game of the season with a 1% chance of making the playoffs according to computers.  Beating all the odds, they were one easy kick away from realizing the impossible dream when it was all dashed by a guy whose entire career consists of swinging his leg back and then swinging it forward.  I couldn’t believe it. 

The black and gold victory and the joy that unfolded as each game result came back positive was thrilling.  I had 3 games playing at once on my computer and at any given moment you could choose between “Jets, Jets, Jets!”, “Here We Go Steelers” or “Let’s go Bengals!”.  It was a beautiful scene.  And then the backups of the Chiefs came roaring out and the perfect storm indeed seem to be blowing in!  But, alas, the perfect storm was to include a little of everything EXCEPT lightning.  But the Chargers, with those lightning bolts flashing on their helmets, came to life with the bad kick and the bad non-call the refs made that would have given Succop a chance to correct his ways…and the Steelers were struck down.

As the Steelers enter the offseason, here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Contrary to what I said early in the season, I now believe that the offense has come around and that Offensive Coordinator Haley should stay…for now.  I think his humility expressed in giving Ben control more through the no-huddle is admirable. 
  • The offensive line, Bell’s running, Brown’s super-stardom, and Ben’s leadership give us a lot more hope offensively going into next year than I had reason to hope after the first month of the season.
  • The team needs to find a way to ditch Woodley, sign Worilds, move Ike to safety, get Keisel and Polamalu to return with pay cuts, and convince LeBeau to take on an assistant head coach type of role (as suggested by writer Kovacevic of the Pitt Trib) so that Butler can move up into the Defensive Coordinator role before we lose him to another team. 
  • Thanks, Ryan Clark, for your great play.  But it is time for you to move on.
  • Ziggy Hood, I always liked your name more than your play.  See ya.
  • Mike Tomlin, please hire someone to help you with time management.  You once again were awful at the end of the first half against the Browns.  With under 2 minutes to go, the Browns had to punt and were about to take a delay of game penalty when the Steelers called a timeout with 2 seconds on the play clock.  Then, our offense only used one of the timeouts as they drove into Brown territory, allowing many seconds to run off after one play.  They ran out of time to get in field goal position WITH ONE TIMEOUT LEFT UNTAKEN!  If this one day costs us a playoff game or Super Bowl, it will really hurt.
  • Jarvis Jones and Shamarko Thomas- I believe you both have tremendous talent.  The Steelers defense needs it to show in your sophomore seasons.

Well, the Steelers now have time to focus on an important draft and on fixing some of their financial problems.  Other teams play on.  This next weekend, I expect the Chargers to go quietly against the Bengals, the Chiefs to tame the Colts, the Saints to go marching all over the Eagles, and the 49ers to send the Packers packing.  After that, I’m not so sure.  I think the Seahawks will rise to the top in the NFC but I’m having a hard time figuring out the AFC.  Hard to bet against Manning and the Broncos except for the fact that for all of his greatness, Manning comes up boyish in the post-season.  Despite the pain they have caused me, I’m gonna predict and cheer for the Chiefs to ride all the way to the big game. 

And most of all, I want a huge snow storm in NY for the Super Bowl!

 

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What Might Have Been

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) appears to step out of bounds as he gets past Miami Dolphins strong safety Chris Clemons (30) on the final play of the of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. Brown made it into the end zone on the play, but it was ruled he stepped out of bounds. Miami won 34-28. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The Steelers’ season is “hanging on by a cat’s claw”, as my Great Grandma used to say, due to a fair amount of “below the standard” play, as Coach Tomlin likes to say.  I’d be thrilled if they can somehow maneuver the maze of playoff scenarios on Sunday in order to punch a ticket to the post-season.  Anything can happen there and you might say that the Steelers are getting hot, or at least slightly warm, at the right time of year.

But before it is all decided in 2 days, I thought I’d remind us all of how, even in a season that has been miserable by Steeler standards, it could have been considered a great success by the changing of just a few plays this year.  Looking at it this way, one might either become increasingly excited by how close they were to a good record team or increasingly depressed.  I’ll let you decide.  But this is another opportunity for us all to gain awareness of just how true the phrase is in the NFL…”On any given Sunday…”

Week 1- If Redman doesn’t fumble here, I have no doubt the Steelers win this game, which they ended up losing by a touchdown.

http://www.titansonline.com/media-center/videos/Moise_Fokou_Recovers_Steelers_Fumble_in_End_Zone/60eaf329-c16d-45fe-9b05-2966ce390f7a

Week 2- The Steelers were hot early and may have gone up 10-0 on the Bengals if not for this fumble, which was quickly turned into a touchdown for Cincy.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000245985/Bengals-fumble-recovery

Week 8- Suisham has been great all year but his 2 misses (34 and 32 yarders) this year were brutal.  They both occurred in this game with the Raiders and were the difference in a 3 point loss.  I’ll spare you the video highlights!

Week 13- An early missed field goal attempt that Suisham didn’t even get a chance to kick and this final missed 2 point conversion that Sanders dropped were the difference in a 2 point loss.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000289537/Sanders-can-t-haul-in-two-point-conversion

Week 14- The grand finale- this heartbreaking play versus the Dolphins.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000294428/Steelers-almost-produce-magic

So, I ask you, how would a 12-3 record sound right now??  That would tie them with the Broncos for the best record in the AFC.  I’m not suggesting they deserved to win these games, only that they very easily could have won all of them and perhaps should have won most of them.  The biggest shock to me is that they could have pulled off 12-3 being basically the same “mediocre at best” team that they are today at 7-8.  What a crazy sport!  That is why I love it.  That is also why I’m graying just a tad early!

Well, let’s hope for the best on Sunday!  And if it doesn’t work out, let’s not try to think about what might have been.  Let’s just move on to the first place Penguins!!

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