I am doing something new and exciting this week on Papa God and Ashley.  My dear friend Jessica had a great analogy on how a relationship with God is often similar to a touch down in the game of football, and as it relates to life.  Jessica has had the most amazing life-changing encounter with The Lord and I am in awe of the journey Papa God has her on.  She has come to the realization that without God, life can be very hard, if not impossible to live a life worry-free.  Jessica has learned that with Jesus, all things are possible and that the Holy Spirit is her helper.   I loved what she said about football so much that I am giving her the stage.  I hope you enjoy what she wrote. I pray that Jessica will encourage you to step out of the ordinary and crossover that red zone, into the extraordinary! Big hugs, Ashley 

Jessica writes….

“I can’t believe God put us on this earth to be ordinary” Lou Hotlz, Former Notre Dame Head Football coach. (And one of my heroes)

Are you scoring touchdowns in life?  Do you feel that you have done everything it takes to enjoy the touchdown, but stay stuck in the red zone (last 20 yards to victory)?  Many Christians are stuck feeling the pressure of the hard work needed to travel those first 80 yards of the 100 yards it takes to score.  As we look at our strategy to score, most of us will recognize the right players are already on our team -church, bible study, we serve, and we love our neighbor as ourselves, but we just don’t seem to be scoring.  What is missing?  What is our red zone strategy?

The Red Zone in football is considered the hardest yards to overcome on the field.  The pressure felt in the red zone brings out the strongest skilled players. Typically, the key to red zone offense is understanding what the defense is planning to do to stop you and knowing how to exploit it. And thank God, we already know what the enemy is doing, and how to defeat him. But maybe we don’t know how to execute that knowledge.

This is where you have all the advantage. Your quarterback’s name is Victory.  He is the strongest skilled player on your team. Jesus died on the cross so that we may be victorious in every game.  The enemy must retreat in His name.  Did you know that on the day Jesus was crucified the whole world experienced darkness and the veil to the Holies of Hollies in the Jewish Temple was torn in half!  This veil was so heavy it was estimated to take 300 priests to move it, let alone tear it in half.  That veil was what kept you and me out of the Holiest of Holies.  It was reserved for only the high priest to enter once a year.  When Jesus died, that veil was torn because God spoke loud and clear that you no longer needed a man as an intermediary to have a relationship with Him, your head coach.  Jesus ‘s death and resurrection gave you access to Him directly through the power of the Holy Spirit-our new and improved intermediary. You already have the strongest player in Jesus and the best coach in God.  God’s playbook for you is His word.  Only by studying His word and revelation knowledge through the Holy Spirit, can you begin to understand just what the winning plays in life are.  There is a play for every hardship in our life.  And there is a play for celebrating properly in the end zone, giving glory to God.  Have you ever noticed how when a player reaches an end zone they often celebrate with a kiss “blown to God”.  These players know the celebratory rules of the end zone, praise to Him who got them there.  All things are possible through Christ.  Every red zone has its special challenges, but the enemy’s defeat is still the same, and your strategy remains.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6.

Our Bible is our playbook manual, and although important to have guidance, these instructions do not require a pastor or priest to enter into the presence of God.  They involve only you and Him, through the blood of Jesus.  Spend time alone with God in His Word and walk directly into the Holy of Holies and ask the Holy Spirit for the next move. Then follow His plan, as He promises you will win more touchdowns than you could ever have imagined!

~Jessica Lauver

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