Week Twelve, 2022

Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21:19

Football is a team sport, but some positions get more hurrah than others. Often it is the quarterback. He is the one who usually throws the ball that others use to make the score. Sometimes, it is the kicker who kicks the 45-yard field goal to win the game in the fourth quarter, as the clock winds down. Sometimes it is the tight end, who gets a pitch from the quarterback and runs for a 50-yard touchdown, but couldn’t do it without the lineman blocks that opened a corridor to run through. It is a team sport.

A number of years ago when the Superbowl was coming to Tampa, I was on the committee to plan and host the annual prayer breakfast. Our preparation began when we flew over to New Orleans to attend and see firsthand the prayer breakfast the year before. On the committee and who made the trip with me was Boyd Dowler, a name that probably means nothing to many reading this post.

The breakfast honored Green Bay Packers star quarterback, Bart Starr, who led the Packers for fifteen years and won the first two NFL championships. As a part of the program, they showed film clips from some of Starr’s greatest plays. Three of the five showed touchdown receptions in the end zone by Boyd Dowler. He started on all five of Vince Lombardi’s NFL championship teams and played as a Packer for eleven years with 474 receptions and 40 touchdowns, many of them succinctly described by Lombardi-era broadcaster Ray Scott’s signature call, “Starr. Dowler. Touchdown!”

I turned to Boyd, who was sitting next to me and said, “Boyd, it seems to me like you should be getting some of the credit at this breakfast.” He responded saying that while he caught the ball for the score, it was a team effort, right down to the water boy.

The water boy? Yes, the water boy, who is ever ready to spring from the sidelines when an exhausted team needs some rest and a quick drink in order to continue. He is always prepared for action and ready to respond. Water boys form an essential part of the team. Their main duty is pouring water into the mouths of players and providing players with fresh towels.

There are water boys in the Bible, many of them. They play great roles to great people and make great things happen, but go unnoticed. So too there are water boys, men and women in the Christian faith. Pastors preach great sermons, but someone has to make sure the lights are on.

God calls each of us to be water boys doing what needs to be done, often with no notice or acclimation. Like football, the Christian life is a team sport. All contribute, though not all are noticed.

Are you willing to be a Christian water boy?



The Scottish minister, David Livingstone was one of the most popular national heroes of 19th century Britain. He was known as an explorer. Scientific investigator. Anti-slavery crusader. And Protestant missionary martyr.

The story is told that Livingstone once received a letter from the London Missionary Society inquiring about his work in Africa. They asked the explorer, “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send other men to join you?”

Livingstone wrote back, “If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

Livingstone was looking for others who were committed to his cause, not their personal convenience. He wanted men willing to suffer hardship, not those seeking a life of ease. He desired co-workers who were dedicated, disciplined, and duty-bound. Not folks who simply wanted to make a mission trip without any trouble, trial, or inconveniences.

Are you willing to participate in a mission like that?

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I am thankful for social media. Because it exists, I am allowed to do the work I do. And I hope that I have been able to make a positive difference in your life through it. But I think we all need to be reminded from time to time (myself included) that we’re not going to find our greatest mentors on social media. In fact, when I look back on the people in my life who have made the biggest difference in my growth and development, social media influencers are nowhere near the top.

The men and women who have shaped me the most are the men and women I have chosen to spend time with in-real-life. My parents, my grandparents, the family who took me into their home during college, my first boss, my second boss, my friends… these are the people who have shaped me the most.

They knew me best… and I knew them best. And the relationships changed me. We are interpersonal creatures and positive social relationships affect our physical, mental, and emotional health.

This is why personal relationships are so important. And why we are wise to invest time and energy in cultivating healthy ones. The Minimalist



Just as there is no human cure for leprosy, there is no cure for human sin. Dan Shock

If all Christians were more like Christ, could our post-Christian and even anti-Christian culture remain the same? Jim Denison

When you make yourself a vessel, God flows through you. Jomo Cousins

In running from God, we run to the things we ought to be afraid of and we run away from the One we have no reason to be afraid of. Ken Whitten

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Being a Christian is like swimming upstream in a downstream world. Daniel Henderson