Sermons

Summary: We must run the race of faith with patience and not allow our past to trip us up from finishing our race.

“TRAINING FOR THE RACE OF FAITH”

Hebrews 12:1-11

February 1, 2009

Pastor John L. Harper

Warden Assembly of God

Introduction:

Kurt Warner back for second Super Bowl fairytale with Arizona Cardinals

By Oliver Holt on Jan 31, 09 12:00 AM in Superbowl

This is what makes Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner special: he’s on his second fairytale; he’s lived the American dream not once, but twice.

The Cardinals will be underdogs when they go into the Super Bowl against the heavy hitters of the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow but Warner is used to that.

The NFL went into romance overload over him once already, back in 2000 when he led the St Louis Rams to Super Bowl victory.

What a story he was then, the average college quarterback who nobody wanted, the guy who screwed up his one NFL tryout with the Green Bay Packers.

The guy who earned $5.50 an hour on the night shift stacking shelves at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and clawed his way into the big time via the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers.

He finally took over as a starter for the Rams in 1999 and that season took them on an unlikely run to one of the most dramatic victories in Super Bowl history over the Tennessee Titans.

Warner, 37, the ultimate underdog, broke passing records in the game and was named the Super Bowl MVP. He was the NFL’s new poster boy, a brilliant ambassador for the game.

But then things began to slide. He gradually fell out of favour with the Rams and was released. The New York Giants rescued him but he only lasted a year there before he was moved on again.

Then he was picked up by the Cardinals, a dubious privilege even for a man down on his luck. The Cardinals were a joke team back then, a team that was the laughing stock of the league.

Warner was widely assumed to be washed up, a man coming quickly and ingloriously to the end of his career.

Warner was just a back-up anyway but then the team’s up-and-coming quarterback Matt Leinart broke his collarbone at the start of last season and Warner took his chance.

So now, he’s on that second fairy story. He has led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl for the first time in their history and no one in America can quite believe it.

Warner, a born-again Christian, a man of admirable character, a serial doer of good deeds, is reveling in his renaissance but also considering retirement.

“In the back of your mind you say, ’Man, this could be a perfect scenario to leave the game’,” Warner said.

“But what I’ve continued to realize about my career and my life is that nothing takes on a perfect scenario. What people think would be perfect doesn’t seem to work out in my situation.

“So I’m going to step back and I’m going to pray about it. And I believe God’s going to show me whether He wants me to continue in this game and if He’s got more for me to accomplish, or if He’s got some other calling in my life.

“Bottom line, end of the day, I believe God’s going to send me what He wants me to do.”

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/fourth-down/2009/01/kurt-warner-back-for-second-su.html

I. FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE FAITHFUL(vs. 1-2)

A. Lay aside every weight

1. Don’t let anything hold you back

2. Don’t let sin trip you up

17-year-old tripped up in women’s 800

by Jeff Smith, The Oregonian

Friday June 27, 2008, 11:15 PM

EUGENE -- In the same month she graduated from high school, 17-year-old Chanelle Price lined up against some of the nation’s best runners.

But whom did the public announcer remind a record 20,964 at Hayward Field to "keep an eye on" in the moments before the 800-meter preliminary race Friday? Price, of course.

It has been that way all year as the Pennsylvania phenom has excelled under the glare of the national spotlight.

Price hoped the opening day of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials would be no exception. She thought she did everything right in her preparation for the biggest race of her career.

What she didn’t prepare for was something she couldn’t have predicted: getting tripped up 200 meters into her 800-meter race.

"It’s something I’m not used to, but I can’t use it as an excuse," Price said.

Price bumped into competitors twice in a couple of seconds and never recovered, finishing her heat in sixth in 2 minutes, 5.93 seconds. Overall, her time was 21st out of 28 finishers and failed to qualify her for tonight’s semifinals.

"It was just a bad race," Price said. "It’s disappointing. I wanted to make it to at least the semis. I felt I had a chance to be there. I put a lot of hard work into it. It just wasn’t my race."

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