Monday, February 23, 2009

The Sad Story of Tight End Brian Mandeville

Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am EST

The sad story of tight end Brian Mandeville

The Huskies went 2-10 last year, and haven't had a winning season in five years. So when a guy from Northeastern even gets an invite to the combine, it's a big deal ... which, unfortunately, makes this even sadder.

Tight end Brian Mandeville waited and waited for his invite to the combine, and finally, it came. He ventured out to California to prepare at the Velocity Sports Performance Center. And when the time came to show up at the combine and impress everyone, doctors instead told him that he should retire before he even got started.

How's that for soul-crushing? A guy gets an invite to the combine, which is essentially an audition to make a career out of playing football, and when he gets there, the first thing that happens is that they tell him he has no chance to make a career out of playing football. That's like getting a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Dance right before your advisor takes a baseball bat to your knees.

Doctors performing a routine exam found an issue with one of Mandeville's heart valves and advised him that he should give up football. The issues, according to his agent, aren't life-threatening, but they are career-killing. Even his agent grants that it's unlikely now that Mandeville will have a career in football.

It's a shame. By all accounts, he's a bright and capable young guy, so I'm sure he'll carve out a place for himself in the world. And of course, we all wish him luck with that.

Gracias, FanHouse.

This is a sad story, one of which most people will forget about by lunch. However for Brian Mandeville, this is a grievous story that he will live out every day.

When your hopes and dreams are taken from you, what is left? For some, nothing. Child star Jonathan Brandis took his own life, November 11, 2003. Brandis' friends are quoted saying he was lonely and depressed about his lagging career. I can attest to the feeling of being punched in the stomach, having the wind blown out of you as you come to the realization that things won't happen the way you planned. Not only that, but the hopes you have clung to for most of your life that seem to define who you are will not be realized. Yet for all of us there is hope. For Brian Mandeville, there are possibilities of coaching and making a huge difference in some young child's life. With an undiagnosed condition, there is a possibility for a cure and i may dance again or teach. For Jonathan Brandis... well perhaps our hope is yet too low. What we need in this life is Living Hope. Hope in something that will not perish or fade, that is undefiled - pure - kept safe in a place where nothing can destroy.

This hope has kept me not only from death, but has given me joy! I may not find out what is ailing my body, i may not dance again, i may not even be able to teach, compose or direct. Even though it hurts not seeing these passions realized, my deepest desire is not in these perishable things. One day this world will waste away, and what will be left is a new earth where The Father will wipe away tears from all faces. There will be no more tears, pain or strife. My hope is in my knight in shining armor, Jesus Christ who not only rescued me from death but guides me everyday toward his promises. Does this mean once you become a Christian Jesus will fix everything? No. My life can attest to that. But he will walk with you through it. Your life may be hard but it is only life. Really, in light of eternity this life is a breath, a recess in the 4th grade. The hopes and dreams we have in this life are important to us, and our grief is important to God. However, sometimes our eyesight is short and God's plan for us is far greater than we can see for ourselves.

If your hope is in Jesus Christ the Son of God, you have eternity in Heaven waiting for you. This salvation from death is not something you can earn, nor is it something you can lose. It is given by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. God The Father, the Creator of all, sent His perfect Son (Jesus) to earth. Jesus taught us the ways of the Father, then voluntarily walked to the cross as the perfect sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins and reconcile us to God, The Father that loves us. If you would like to turn from your old life and become a child of God, let us review the commitment you are making and pray.

I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior - this is to repent or turn away from sin

I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead - this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins

I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God - this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus

I receive Jesus as my Savior forever - this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised

"Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life. I am Yours, save me."

If you are not yet ready, here are some truths from scripture.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." —John 3:16 (NIV)

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." —Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV)

If you have any questions and/or have accepted Christ today, i would love to hear from you! Feel free to e-mail me.

More resources:


Why you can make it through anything.

The Cup and the Glory.

Shoreline Community Church

Thursday, February 19, 2009

20And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21"Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22"Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

23"Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets."

Luke 6:20-23

Monday, February 16, 2009

Luke 6:46-49

This passage has been coming up for me a lot lately. I don't have any thoughts to add to it just now (partially because i have a screaming headache that is also poking my retina) but wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
Luke 6:46-49

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

That's Not Natural

At Wolf's memorial service this past weekend, people had said that death is natural - a part of life. The first time i heard Brian say that death is not a natural part of life, it really resonated with me.

Three years ago, when i began to have pain, it felt wrong. After all, pain is a signal to your brain that a part of your body is damaged. At one point i assumed that i would eventually get used to being in pain. In the sense of expecting it, yes, i did; but in the sense of it hurting physically and emotionally, no. Three years later - although i have mounds more tolerance - pain and trials still hurt my body and/or my heart. If it still has this kind of effect on me, how can it be "natural"? As Christians trial is something we should expect but not something we can "get used to" because it is not natural.

Yes, God is sovereign. Yet, if you read the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation, you will see God's intention. We are intended to be in complete communion with Him. Even though not everyone's pain is a result of their personal sin; pain and death in itself is a result of the fall.

Revelation 22:17
17The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eulogy of Wolf

This is an awesome story of a wonderful man of God. Leave it to God to send a gruff, ex-Hell's Angel then homeless man to minister to us.

I will miss those calls of, "Amen!" from the back of the congregation, that crazy long beard that tickled when you hugged him and that tender heart that was covered with tats. Most of all i will miss looking into the eyes of someone who has suffered dearly for Christ and have them look knowingly back at me.

Praise God that Wolf is no longer in pain, lying prostrate on the ground in front of his Savior. There is not doubt in my mind that Christ has looked Wolf in the eyes and said, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I am so overjoyed for him and jealous at the same time!