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The boy “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road” was a sports fan from the very beginning. He slept with a picture of “Dandy Don” Meredith, from the fledgling NFL team the Dallas Cowboys, hanging on the wall over his bed. Much of his childhood was spent tossing a baseball around with his cousins. On Friday nights, he would walk down that red clay and gravel road to the ballfield to watch the Rockdale Tigers take on their opponents in football. When he got old enough, he tried out for Little League baseball. He earned a spot out in centerfield, as far away from the action as they could place him. Yet, he was a part of the team, proudly wearing his t-shirts and ballcaps!

His love for sports continued as an adult. In college, he enjoyed playing handball with his friends. He also loved watching games of his college team, the Howard Payne “Yellowjackets.” Sadly, his school was not known for their football excellence, but had a strong basketball program. His love for the Dallas Cowboys continued throughout his young adult life, as the team grew stronger during the late 1960’s and during the 1970’s. They even won the Super Bowl in 1971, and again in 1977. As a young pastor in the early 1980’s, his love for the Cowboys got so strong that he had a hard time preaching on the Sunday evenings when they lost.

The man that God grew from that DGR kid still enjoys watching sports. My days of participating in sporting events are limited to a short time passing a football around with my grandkids. Yet, my passion for my team has matured to the point that I am happy when they win, but okay when they lose. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the NFL or my favorite college team, in the end it is just a game. At this point in my life, a football game is no different from a movie or a television program. It is just another form of entertainment to help pass the time.

The one team that really matters to me now is being on God’s team! The only game that truly matters is the game of life! And, it is a game that is full of uncertainties. There are numerous challenges to face, but some amazing victories to be won! I love serving as a coach, encouraging people on to how to develop their skills and teaching them how to improve their performance. I point them to the Captain of our team, the Lord Jesus Christ, who promises us a victory, if we follow His leading and trust in His Word. I could not care less about who wins the Super Bowl this year, but I am happy to know that people dear to my heart have run a good race and crossed the finished line!

Serving in love,

Bro. Jim


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