You are better than record says you are…

You are better than your record says you are.”

This was my constant refrain to my basketball team this year:

We went 2-6 during the regular season. It was a tough year. We lost some games by 20 plus points. It was painful to watch my team hurt because we could not get the wins we longed for and I knew we were capable of.

“You are better than your record says you are.”   I knew it, I could see it in their play and the way they practiced.  They were a great team with lots of talent.  Each team member was making progress every week in their skills and understanding of the game, but it was simply not coming together on game day.  

Well, it did not come together till the end of the year tournament. And when it came together, it really came together.

We were the 5th seed out of 6 teams heading into our tournament.  All the teams we played were ranked ahead of us.   Our first game went into quadruple overtime… the team was tired- but they persevered.  Then we beat the 1st seed by two points early in this past Saturday morning.  The championship was the same day at noon, and we won by two points in overtime.

It all came together at the right time.  It was a beautiful thing to experience.  It was more fulfilling to experience a championship win as a coach than any team I ever played on.

You are better than your record says.   

Many times, we feel underwhelmed by the ways we have handled life up to this point, but can I say to you:  you are better than your record says you are.

God sees you for what you can be, not what you have done in the past.

This Easter season (aka Lent) we at First Fire, the church that I share life with as a pastor – are going to explore some of our deepest fears in life – in other words – the places we have not won in the past.  We are going stare down our past, knowing that we know that we are indeed better than our record says we are.

We will use the hydra as the metaphor to help us navigate our greatest fears.  Why a hydra, you ask.  I recently read this book:  How to Fight a Hydra by Josh Kaufman.   It uses the metaphor of a normal person fighting a hydra.  I think this picture helps us to visualize/imagine our spiritual journey.  We are indeed a normal person called to be the hero that enters the cave to fight our hydra of fear.  

Our hydra has many heads.

We fear: 

being wrong, 

being worthless, 

being lost, 

being unprotected, 

not being provided for, 

being in the darkness, and 

being swallowed up by death.  

In the weeks to come, we will work through these 7 heads of the hydra of our greatest fears. I will blog during the week, followed by a sermon on Sunday that goes even more in depth around each of these fears.

Every hero needs a guide or some divine intervention in their quest.   Jesus who is full of grace and truth is our guide.  He uses seven  “I am…” statements in the book of John to help us fight the hydra.  He helps us move from a life dominated by these fears to an overcoming life with the essence of who He is and how He cares for us.

So how can you be a hero and answer the call by facing the hydra? 

1. Follow along here each week for the blog post.

2.  Follow this reading plan of John, special passages of focus and if you so choose, pick up and read the book I mentioned above: How to fight a Hydra by Josh Kaufman.  (Click here to purchase)

3.  Follow the sermon on First Fire’s Facebook page each week where we stream the sermon live and it is also archived. (click here to be connected to that page.)

We are better than our record says we are. It is time to be the hero, leave the comfort of home, find the cave with the hydra and get to fighting it.

I will see you at the entrance of the cave.

Kevin

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