Hey everybody (I seem to like this greeting a lot don’t I, oh well…*shrug*). So what’s good? I’m really sorry I haven’t posted anything up in a long time, especially seeing as I started the month with such promise…*sigh* I have to say though that it isn’t only because I’ve been procrastinating. Many times I’ve been close to posting something (especially cos I want to complete the From Beyond trilogy), but my instinct would make me stop at the last-minute. And over the years I’ve learnt to trust my instincts. In fact, I was supposed to have posted something up on Saturday, and at the last-minute the guys upstairs changed the approach, and so I had to go back to the drawing board. I guess it was all part of the plan, because today’s post is one that for once all the guys upstairs agree about and have given full support (YAY!!!).

So where do I start? Well, yesterday (Sunday), we had our monthly youth church programme, UNMASKED, and it was movie night. Initially we had planned to watch “Faith Like Potatoes”, but having reviewed the movie himself during the week, our youth pastor felt that it was more suited to married couples and not exactly a “youth church” sturfz. So he said we should watch “Facing the Giants”. He asked me to review it before the programme started at 4pm since I was going to be anchoring the meeting.

Now, the movie is 1 hour 46 minutes (yes I’ve come again with my time-keeper paroles…bite me), and it was roughly 2pm at the time, meaning I had enough time to watch most, if not all, of it; so I settled down and started it. Let me just say this without any long story, to say that the movie is full of deep truths and messages would be like saying the month of June has been really wet (like durh!). Men, I was blown away. One scene in particular got me shedding tears both while I was reviewing it and later in the evening during the actual showing (even though I already knew what was going to happen). It’s the fourth movie that has ever made me cry.

Like I said, the movie was packed full (like a pregnant woman in her third trimester…heavily loaded) with messages. I will attempt to condense them into as small a post as I can. But first, for the sake of those who haven’t seen the movie, let me give you a brief introduction. The movie is built around one of my favourite sports, American Football. Its main character is a head coach who had been in charge of a high school football team for 6 years without winning a trophy (any Arsenal related joke here and I will shed blood *unsheathes his katana*). He had just started the new season with a losing streak, even losing to a team they hadn’t lost to in over a decade (if I hear someone so much as whisper Tottenham and that will be their last memory for a while). Simply put, team morale was in the red. In addition to that, he had just found out that the reason he and his wife had been unable to have a child was because he was impotent (as in…nothing prepares you for that kind of news mehn…nothing). Also, his car was the word jalopy come to life…omo mehn…think of taxis in Ibadan and you’ll know what I mean. And then to put the icing on this rather terrible cake, a few of the fathers were trying to get him replaced by the assistant coach (defense). Needless to say, he was a poster boy for Murphy’s Law.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

The first message I got from the movie was from the question above. You see, in the face of all the challenges staring him in the face, the coach didn’t wallow in self-pity or put up a “woe-is-me” attitude and simply get overrun by the waves that were bearing down on him; he put his faith on the line, and he took his case to God. And then, after some encouragement from an unlikely source, he stepped out in faith believing in God’s Word. And this was the catalyst in turning around not just his life, but the life of every member of his team and eventually the whole school. Did I hear somebody say cheese, well who doesn’t like a little cheese now and then; unless you’re an ajepako or you’re lactose intolerant. And if you’re either or both, well…*shrug*.

WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR?

The next insight I got was the answer to the next question above. When the coach showed his wife his new team philosophy, she said that it applied to life generally and not only to football. Later that morning he said something very poignant to the team. When asked by a student if God really cared about football, his answer was “I think He cares about your faith. He cares about where your heart is. If you can live by faith on the football field, then, yes, God cares, because he cares about you.

You see, whether you believe it or not, there’s only one purpose for which we’ve been put on this Earth. Not two or three…nope. ONE! And that’s to bring honour and glory to God’s name. Everything else simply branches off this one truth. Regardless of who you are; what your occupation is; whether you’re white, black or purple; whether you’re fine or ugly; the fact that you are alive on this Earth is because God knows there is a way that you will bring glory to His name. So I ask you, as I will strive to continue to ask myself daily, what truly are you living for?

IS THAT REALLY YOUR BEST?

The answer to the next question was the part of the film that brought me to tears. And here I must issue a spoiler alert because I’m going to say what happens. So anyways , to prove a point to a particularly stubborn boy on the team he got him to do a “death-crawl” alone, after the entire team had done one for 10 yards. This time though, he asked the boy to go to the 50 yard line. Although, what he hammered on was that he wanted the boy to give him his very best and nothing less. To ensure this, he blindfolded him. At this point I think I should explain what a death-crawl is. You have a partner that balances on your back with his back and hangs on to you by pulling on some straps on your shoulder pads. You’re then supposed to crawl using only your hands and feet to propel yourself forward. Your knees are not allowed to touch the ground. Did I hear you say killing stuff…yup…you think it’s called the deathcrawl for nothing? A boy who thought he could only do it up to the 30 yard line ended up doing the entire length of the football field; 100 freaking yards, with a 160 pound (about 73kg) boy balancing on his back. Long and short, never give up until you know you have given your absolute best. Then and only then can you leave the rest to God.

IS YOUR CHRISTIANITY A RELIGION OR A WAY OF LIFE?

One of the things that hit me the most about this movie is the fact that the coach was unapologetic about his faith; even after he had been scoffed at. And more than simply preaching it, he lived it. Even though he was a Christian throughout the period he had been losing, the fact that he held on to God in spite of all the difficulty is a feat in itself. And then after he got the new insight, he applied the truths he learnt from the Bible to his life and his profession. This eventually led to a revival in his team and the school. One a certain man had been praying about for over six years.

As a Christian I dare say that I’m personally not too crazy about mass evangelism (that’s a story for another day), I’m more a believer in the fact that your life is the only Bible some people will read. However, does that mean we shouldn’t share the word, hell no? It may not be the coolest thing, but does that really matter in the final analysis. It’s not like I’m going to go and start an evangelical revival tomorrow, but let’s just say I’m a little more fired up about my faith in Jesus now than I was yesterday.

IS THERE ANYTHING IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD?

The final message I would like to drop from this movie, what wraps it all up in the end, is the answer to the question above. “For with God nothing shall be impossible”. The coach was given a new truck by one of the parents. He got a $6000 raise in his salary. He turned his team around not just on the field but also in their academics and every other area of their lives. His wife became pregnant (yes o! She get belle). He won the state championship. Long and short, everything that they never dreamed could happen; everything they thought was beyond their reach; everything they had given up on, God gave it to them, and there was no doubt in their minds that it was God that did it.

I would love to go on, but this post is already my longest ever. Honestly, I believe everybody should watch this movie. Like the movie, Fire Proof (another great Christian one) the acting is spot on. The humour is wonderful (trust the black brother to always be the clown). A few clichés, but overall, it’s a beautiful film.

I’ve gotta go now, thanks for reading. If you’ve seen the movie already I would love to hear your comments about it via the comment box. Have a wonderful week ahead. Deuces.

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