Guts Grace & Glory [DEVOTIONAL]
I don’t often write about my religious beliefs, although they are definitely a huge part of who I am and feel my success can be directly attributed to. It’s plain and simple – I wouldn’t be here right now with this laptop, these words or this sport’s column if it weren’t for the Grace of God.
About a month ago I reached out to my Pastor (Tim Liston) at New Hope Church asking if he’d be willing to grab coffee and just talk. Quite frankly I needed all sorts of guidance in life, love, friendships, motivation and honestly, sports – that is my career after all. I feel when one part seems to be off, nothing works quite the way it should. I had reached that point where I needed to refocus and just recharge.
After we chatted and prayed, I asked for recommendations on a daily devotional. We walked to the church’s bookstore and as we shopped, Pastor Tim introduced me to the woman in charge of the store. His exact words, “Can you help Jayme find a daily devotional – but not your typical women’s devotional, because she’s not your typical woman.” We laughed, but Pastor Tim was spot on. It’s important to note that Pastor Tim follows me on Twitter, so there really aren’t any secrets there.
As odd as it sounds, I was immediately drawn to the men’s section and one book stuck out: Guts Grace & Glory. It felt a lot like choosing a bottle of wine (gosh, can I even say that right now?) – the label is important and is the first thing that makes us want to pick it up and check it out. This devotional was no different – the font of the title was the ESPN font – as an advertising major, fonts are a big deal in my world. I looked closer and saw the foreword was by one of my favorite all-time NFL quarterbacks, Kurt Warner.
You may think it’s silly to learn about and be reminded of religion by relating to sports, but it’s right up my alley and that’s what it’s all about. In life we go through many trials and hardships and sometimes we need something we can relate to in order to pick ourselves up and keep going. For me to read something and truly digest it, I have to relate to it – that’s just how I operate.
Sports are such a huge part of my life, why not read about Nike’s famous slogan Just Do It and how it relates to RG3? This particular section talks all about RG3’s stats how he lead Baylor to its first nine-win season since ’86 and passed for a new school record of 3,998 yards and 36 TDs (also rushing for 644 yards and 9 TDs). The story then goes on to say that Griffin kept perspective through it all by pointing to heaven after each touchdown and how he remained active in organizations like Friends for Life and the Special Olympics. He stayed humble and kept doing his job while showing all the fans out there that he was praising God throughout it all.
“I praise God, I thank Him for everything. Purposefully, you live every day for Him, and when He gives you the opportunity to speak up for Him or to do something in His name, you do it,” RG3 said.
Each nightly read ends with a “Game Plan” for you to ponder and pray about. The one with RG3 says that we all have “a stage to make a difference.” Clearly we’re not all professional athletes, but we don’t need to be. Maybe our stage is at work, in our community, at the gym, or with that nosey co-worker – it can be anywhere. But it’s a stage that God gives us, and we should use it.
Other stories come from Bobby Bowden taking criticism early on in his career and persevering and becoming one of the best college football coaches in history. The football parallels of some of the greatest games and how they relate to faith along with stories and quotes from some of your favorite all-time athletes make continuing to grow in your faith easy and fun.
Whether you’re a male or female in love with sports, or you’re looking for a birthday gift or Father’s Day gift for a sport’s lover, this is a great book. You can buy it here on Amazon.
Pro-tip: Since daily devotionals aren’t usually read more than once, I always hand my books off to a friend I think will also get great use of. My last devotional was for Florida State fans and I gave it to a new friend I met on the plane coming home from the (winning!) National Championship. Spread the word. Literally.
If you know of other great sports/fitness type devotionals or Bible verses or websites that stand out, please share them in the comment section – I’d love to check them all out.