TBT – Finding Your Faith – Justin Tuck – DL – New York Giants

Former Giants D Lineman Justin Tuck

Role models are an important part of growing up. Working with kids as I do, I see it often. The kids will be playing some kind of football game, one will score a touchdown, smile big and dab like Cam Newton. I smile at their efforts, but I also remember similar things that I would do to mimic my heroes. When I would play floor hockey, I would tuck my shirt in on one side like Wayne Gretzky used to do. I would hold up 2 fingers to let teammates know there were 2 outs when I played baseball – like I’d seen countless baseball players do. I don’t think my teammates paid much attention to me, but I felt I was doing my part to inform the team. And my batting stance would change frequently as I tried to copy whoever’s unique stance had caught my eye most recently. And I don’t believe that I am alone. I think that we are all inclined to copy others and strive to be like them.

Tuck is a 2-time Super Bowl Champion

So it makes sense that we can notice similarities in the realm of faith. Growing up in a church-going family, it was easy to take some cues from my parents on how to live a Christian life. Sunday mornings were never a question, we would get up and get ready for church. Supper would not start until we had prayed to thank God for our meal, and for many years, after supper meant time for family devotions. But as I got older, I kept trying to copy them. The piece that I missed out on was building my own relationship with God. It would be years later, after struggling to find purpose for my life, that I learned that the missing piece was making Jesus the Lord of MY life.

Former Giants Defensive Lineman Justin Tuck and I have that in common. Tuck was a 3rd round pick out of Notre Dame in 2005. He played in almost 150 career games in his career.  He was a 2 time Pro Bowl participant, a 2 time All-Pro, and a 2 time Super Bowl Champion. In fact, many thought he should have been the MVP of both Super Bowls for his outstanding defensive play against the Patriots (2 sacks in each game, 1 forced fumble, and the pressure that lead to a safety). Check out this video from “Beyond the Ultimate”

He says “But personally, I didn’t find my relationship with God to be strong until after I left home to go to the University of Notre Dame. I was so accustomed to going to church just because my father and all my family members went to church. But when I got out of my home and learned more about faith for myself, that’s when my relationship with Christ changed and became stronger.”

Tuck is very outspoken about his faith in God. He says pleasing God is more important than pleasing others.

Another thing he talks about is having a good support network to help you battle against temptation. He says (Beyond the Ultimate article) “I’ve always had people to lean on for advice and support, which has helped me keep walking the right way. Temptations are great, but I’ve found that when you have support, it’s easier to make good choices.” Choosing to follow God and make Him top priority doesn’t make life easy. In fact, there are some ways that life becomes so much more challenging, especially if you take a position of leadership. He is very open and outspoken about his faith. He says in this article from Gospel Light Minute “Live your life the way that you know you’re supposed to, which is living for God. Don’t worry about what people might say or think…You’re not going to make everyone happy so you might as well do what you know is right.” Tuck talks about being in front of teammates, leading a team Bible study. He talks about the importance of studying the Bible and having something helpful to say. I have been learning that the best things to use for teaching others is what God has been teaching you. It is important though to put in the effort to letting God teach you from His Word first.

Here are my takeaways from Tuck’s story

Tuck was a standout in the 2 SuperBowls he has played in. He wants to stand out for God on the field and off

1- Finding Your Faith – This was a lesson that learned in my life. My parents faith was not enough to save me. I needed to meet Him for myself and spend time getting to know Him. I now try to encourage the youth that I work with to do the same. I would love to choose to follow God for them, and for my own kids too. But the best that I can do is model an authentic faith for them to see, give them opportunities to encounter God on their own and pray that they choose on their own to follow Him with their lives. I love to tell them the stories of the Bible and share with them what God has been teaching me. I have seen them take interest in the things of God. I even had the joy of putting together a  coloring book/poem with my oldest daughter talking about the true meaning of Christmas. Click here for more info.

2- The Choice is Yours but a Good Network Helps – Tuck talks about his family and about teammates that have helped encourage Tuck in his Christian walk and his battles against temptation.  We have to choose for ourself to follow God, but He does give us other people to encourage us, to teach us, to call us out when we are straying from God and to lovingly go through this life with us. Who is your network? Are the people you turn to for advice people who are on the same journey as you?

3- Who should we Mimic – I started this post talking about the people I used to copy. The problem with mimicking people is that they often turn out to be flawed humans. Looking to them and copying them can lead to troubles because they are not perfect people or perfect examples. There is only one example that is  truly worth emulating. That is Jesus. Over and over again we read in the Bible the invitation to be like Jesus. The best way to know the example He set is to read and study His Word. He did some remarkable and radical things. He calls us to a radical life. Let’s set our eyes on Him and choose Him each and every day.


TBT – My Part is to Just do My Part – Rosey Grier – DL – Los Angeles Rams


Former “Fearsome Foursome” member Rosey Grier

I have mentioned many times on these pages that I love looking into the stories of these Christian Athletes and sharing how God is working in their lives. I also enjoy finding the curious parts of their lives that add intrigue to their stories. Maybe an athletes is also a blogger (Benjamin Watson and Jeremy Affeldt, or climbs mountains in their spare time (R.A. Dickey), authored children’s books (Donald Driver and Eric Fehr) or their strange name has a cool meaning (O.J. Atogwe or Jarrod Saltalamacchia). There are interesting things in all the stories that I have shared, but the story I share today may have more levels of intrigue that any other that I have shared so far. Today, we look at the story of Defensive Lineman Rosey Grier.


The first bit of interest for me is that Rosey and I share a birthday. I remember my mom was always aware of celebrities that we shared a birthday with in our family. It is the reason that I have a personalized greeting from President Gerald Ford. We shared a birthday, so she sent him a greeting on my behalf and a couple months later, I got a note from him. Anyway, Rosey Grier was another name that was on my “birthday list”.  I knew he was a football player, but only over the past year have I really learned that Rosey was so much more than a football player over the course of his life.


Rosey Greer – the singer


But let’s start on the field where Roosevelt Grier was a third round pick by the New York Giants in 1955. He played for the Giants for 7 seasons, being named to 3 All-Pro and 2 Pro Bowl teams and a 1956 NFL Championship. He was traded to the Rams in 1963 and joined the “Fearsome Foursome” one of the great defensive lines in the history of the NFL. He would spend 4 seasons with the Rams before an Achilles injury would end his career. He finished his career with 44.5 sacks in 11 seasons (21 of them in his 4 seasons with the Rams).


Rosey Greer – The Actor


During his career, Rosey also recorded and released some music singles. When he was traded to LA, he found opportunities in Hollywood to try acting. He has published a book called “Needlepoint for Men”.  And in 1968, he volunteered as a body guard for Robert Kennedy’s family. In fact, he was there when Robert Kennedy was shot, and was the one that subdued the assassin, wrestled the gun from him and then protected him from the crowd that wanted to hurt him. Read more about it here, or check out this video of Grier talking about his role that night.


Rosey Grier – the Bodyguard disarms the assassin and then protects him from the angry mob in LA 1968.


Rosie Greer – the Author

The last resume item I want to share with you is Rosey Grier, ordained minister. He has been speaking at “Lead Like Jesus” conferences and involved in reaching into the community and helping people in need.  He talks about his purpose in this way. He says “My part is to just do my part.” So how did football player, singer, actor, bodyguard, needlepoint/macrame enthusiast Rosey Grier add pastor to this incredible resume?  Well, as you can read in this article from Crosswalk, Rosey Grier’s son Roosevelt Jr asked him in 1978 if they could go to church. Rosey resisted but when the younger Rosey pressed, they went. That morning, Grier heard that Gospel message and it changed the course of his life. He remarried his ex-wife, made learning about God a priority and began working towards becoming Rev. Rosey Grier. From the article: “Now, he reaches out to those who suffer from the same depression and hopelessness that caused him to “close myself inside my apartment and close the drapes” in the early 1970s.” And in pursuing God, he has seen his other pursuits take off, too. He says “It seemed everything I was doing was unfruitful. I’d bring in lawyers to help kids and those kids would get right back into the same problems. I was like a soldier who was too long on the battlefield. When I came to know Him, I suddenly knew He was the real answer to society’s problems. That God was what could change the world.”

Check out this video that shares Grier’s view on his time in football, faith in God and studying the Bible.

Here are my takeaways from Grier’s story:


Rosey Greer – the Minister. He was challenged by his son to go to church, turned to a life of Faith in God in the late 70s.  Now He seeks to share God’s love in this unloving world. Seen here with Pat and Shirley Boone

1- I’m in the Whole Bible – Grier shares in the video the way the Bible has become more exciting for him. He read some of the action-packed story parts of the bible, but was not interested in some of the other spots (He mentions Ecclesiastes by name) but then when he started reading it, God revealed to him “I’m in the whole Bible”. I love that. I have similar experiences frequently. I heard the stories of the Bible so frequently in my younger years that I was quick to tune out the stories of scripture. But when I chose to make God a priority in my life, and I began to seek Him, I saw these same old stories with new eyes. They came alive to me as Rosey says in this video, the whole Bible became exciting.  Do you find the same when you read God’s Word? Ask Him to help you read it and understand more about Him through the words and stories. And then get ready. It is an amazing book about and amazing God that has an amazing love to show you through his amazing Grace.

2- My Part is to do my Part – So what is our response? When we see what God is doing and what He has in store for us, what should we do? Well, we should be prepared to do whatever He asks us to do. He has a role for us each to play. We will not see the whole picture of why He is working out the things He is working out. But we can trust that His plan is in place and that it will be perfect. And then we can live out each day asking Him to help us do our part. We don’t need to worry about what others are doing. Let’s just focus on doing our part and letting Him deal with the details.

MM – Importance of Consistency – Morgan Cox – LS – Baltimore Ravens


Ravens Long Snapper Morgan Cox (46)

As I have said many times on these electronic pages, I live in the Twin Cities. Over the past year, there has been a lot of attention as far as football goes, to the job of the place kicker. Blair Walsh, who had been carrying out the duties for the Vikings for the past 5 seasons lost his job earlier this year due to several missed field goals and extra points.  The most glaring miss was in the playoffs last season against the Seattle Seahawks. If he made the kick, Vikings pull off the upset and end Seattle’s season, but as the joke goes, “Everything went right in that game for the Vikings, except the kick – it went left”. Walsh missed a short field goal and the sad bitterness of another season-ending-too-quickly settled in the Twin Cities metro. And when Walsh struggled at the start of this season, the patience was short. He was released and replaced by Kai Forbath.


Cox is reminded about Jesus presence in his life each time he looks back and sees the cross made by the intersecting of the holder’s arm and knee.

Inconsistency is death to a place kicker. But there is more to a “simple” field goal than kicking the ball between the yellow uprights set up on the back line of the end zone. It takes leg power, foot angle, aim and precision to kick a funny shaped ball that far in general, but let’s remember the other pieces that need to be in place for a successful kick to happen. A good snap, caught by the holder who then gets the ball in place, at the right angle, with the laces away from the kicker. It is a complex chain of events made to look simple and expected to be successful each time.

Today, we look at a player whose job it is to start that whole process. Meet Baltimore Ravens Long Snapper Morgan Cox.  Cox is in his 7th NFL season all spent with the Ravens.  He was signed, undrafted after playing college ball for Tennessee and in 2013, was a member of the Super Bowl Champion Ravens team. Last year, Cox played in his first Pro Bowl.


Cox was a member of the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII winning team

Cox understands the thankless role that he plays as a long-snapper. In this article from the Baptist Press, Cox says “I know that I’m doing my job if nobody really knows my name. You kind of have to have the personality for that — being OK with staying in the background and watching your kicker succeed and being happy for him.”  In this interview with cover32.com, Cox talks about the highs and lows that life brings. The key to dealing with those highs and lows is consistency. He says “And for me it crosses over so easily. At my position, consistency is so key, and I try to cross that over as a principle of life, just being consistent when I go through things.”

In both of the above articles he shares the importance God plays in helping him stay consistent and cheering on his teammates.

Here are my takeaways from Cox’ story:

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox (46) with kicker Justin Tucker (9) against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan Cox (46) and Justin Tucker (9) talking over game plans ahead of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

1- Consistency is the key –  The definition of consistency according to wordcentral.com is “sticking with one way of thinking or acting“. This means striving to do the same thing the same way each time. That is important for a long snapper. The snaps he gives need to be in the same place at the same time with the same rotation, etc. It needs to be predictable so that the holder and the kicker can carry out their duties. To be successful, consistency is important. He says as much for life off the field, and it hold true for us as well. To be successful in living for Christ and pointing others toward Him, consistency is also important. Consistently connecting with God through reading and studying his word. Consistency in depending on Him to guide us through life. I know that I struggle to stay consistent in these things, but when I do find a measure of consistency, the connection I feel with God is much stronger. And I also want to be clear that God is always consistent. Any breaks comes from my end of the relationship. Which leads to my next takeaway

2- Nowhere to hide –  When all goes well for a long-snapper, no one knows his name or gives him much thought. When the long-snapper messes up, everyone knows it and is ready to tear him apart for his failures. There is nowhere to hide. There is no way to cover up the mistake. The same is true for our sin. No matter how hard we try to cover it up, or how much we convince ourselves that we are hiding it well, our sin is on display for God to see, maybe others, too. But all that matters is that God, who sees our sinfulness and our shame still loves us, still values us and still offers us forgiveness. And while there is nowhere to hide, there is a place where rest and restoration can occur. In the loving arms of the Jesus who took our place and paid our price. So let’s stop trying to hide, acknowledge that we are responsible for our mess ups and gladly embrace the gift of life and forgiveness that He offers. What a joy to consider! What a treasure that can be ours!


Cox knows that doing his job well sets others up for success. Part of the joy he gets in his job is seeing others succeed.

3- Cheering others on –  The articles talk about the thankless job that Cox does for the Ravens. He talks about the joy he gets in seeing others (his punter or kicker) being successful. He knows that if he does his job, it sets others up to be successful. This is a good lesson to take with us in our Christian life, too. We can cheer others on, we can do whatever it takes to set them up for success. By this I mean we can point others to God and to the work that He may be calling them to do. And as they accept Him and the role He has for them, we can cheer them on and encourage them in following Him.

TBT – Running with Purpose – Priest Holmes and Tony Richarson- RBs – Kansas City Chiefs


The Cornerstones of the Chief’s rushing game from 2001-2004 Priest Holmes (31) and Tony Richardson (49)

Since the mid 1980’s the Kansas City Chiefs have had a long line of good-to-great running backs. Starting in 1987 with Christian Okoye, through Marcus Allen through to Larry Johnson and Jamaal Charles the Kansas City running game has been in good hands.  And right in the middle of this impressive run, the Chiefs were led by Priest Holmes, who for many of those seasons, was led to the holes he rushed through by fullback Tony Richardson. Let’s take a few minutes and look at the way the Chiefs used these 2 men to carry the team to some success in the early 2000s. We will also look at the role that faith in God has played for each of them in their careers and even today after they have hung up the cleats.


Priest Holmes in Super Bowl XXXV against the Giants. This would be Holmes’ last game with the Ravens

Priest Holmes played college football at the University of Texas where he played in 7 games as a freshman. He started a couple games as a sophomore before excelling as a Junior, leading the Longhorns to a win in the Sun Bowl rushing for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns. An injury though would cost him his starting job as future Heisman Winner Ricky Williams took over. He was actually third string in his senior year and was not drafted into the NFL. He signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Ravens and led the team in rushing in 1998. Check out this article from 1998 as Holmes began to catch the attention of the NFL. In the article, Holmes also shares about the importance of God in his life. He says “I always did what I was told until I was about 10, but then I started going through this transformation where I had to make a decision for myself.  I always thought there was something else that happened or was involved when you accepted Jesus Christ, but it’s just a matter of claiming him as your salvation, that he died on the cross and that you believe in him. Through the years in your walk, you go up and down and it depends on if you’re feeding yourself. I’m glad my parents instilled this in me when I was young. I’m a man of God. I’ll look you in the eye and you will know that I will rise to all of life’s demands.

He encountered some of those ups and downs in Baltimore. He battled injuries in 1999 as he was replaced by Jamal Lewis as the starting running back for the Ravens as they won the Super Bowl in the 2000 season. Holmes was a free agent at this point and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.


Holmes would go on the set Chiefs’ records for TDs and yards. He still holds the TD records.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated called him a meteorite. He arrived quietly and made a sudden and large impact. In his third game with the Chiefs, he rushed for over 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. That was the start of a run where Holmes would have 3 straight seasons of 1400+ yards, score more that 50 touchdowns combined and be names as both a Pro Bowler and and a First Team All-Pro.  Ultimately, injuries would end Holmes’ career early but in his time with the Chiefs, he became their all-time leader in yards, rushing TDs and combined TDs. Jamaal Charles passed the yardage mark a couple seasons ago, but the touchdown records still stand.

These days, Holmes is still able to use the platform of football to share his faith and motivations with others. He has started the Priest Holmes foundation to help students achieve education goals through programs and scholarships.  Holmes was added to the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2014.


Holmes was named to the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame in 2014

He also remembers a conversation that he had with his teammate and the other part of today’s post Tony Richardson

In that 2001 season, after a couple of tough first games to the season, Richardson said to Holmes “‘I know I was running the ball last year, but I’d rather be your fullback. I’m going to do everything to make you successful.’” You see Tony Richardson had been the Chiefs feature back the year before, leading the team with almost 700 rushing yards on 147 carries. He would carry the ball 66 times in 2001 and never more than 25 in a season after that for the rest of his career as he transformed into an elite blocking fullback.

Tony Richardson also went undrafted after his college career. He played at Auburn where he was a starter for 3 seasons. He was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys and was on their practice squad in 1994. There he worked with Emmitt Smith and Daryl Johnson, learning the RB position at the NFL level. The next season he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and played in 14 games with them. He would play at least 13 games each season with the Chiefs for the next decade, blocking for Priest Holmes and also Larry Johnson.

Kansas City Chiefs' Priest Holmes (R) runs in for a first down fourth quarter as teammate Tony Richardson (L, 43) blocks Oakland Raiders' Anthony Dorsett (Top L) and Napoleon Harris (Bottom C) on Monday, 20 October 2003 at Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, California. EPA/Arleen NG

Holmes (31) runs through a hole created by a Richardson (49) block against the Raiders. Chiefs and Raiders battle tonight.

He played in 2 Pro-Bowls along the way. When he left Kansas City, he spent 2 seasons in Minnesota leading the way for Adrian Peterson and being named to another Pro Bowl in 2007. He moved on to the New York Jets, and retired from the NFL after the 2010 season.  He was name to the 2000s All-Decade team and this season, he was added to the Chiefs Hall of Fame. As you can read in this article from The Goal, Richardson’s faith is important to him and gives him purpose for his life. He says “People had always thought I was an honorable man. They thought I had it all together, and, for a while, I did too. I went to church and I knew the Word – but I wasn’t living it. And because I wasn’t living it, I felt an emptiness inside. Once I gave everything to the Lord, I discovered my purpose in life is to share what God has done for me, and to bring people to Christ. My purpose is to share with people that Jesus died and rose again for them. As a single and celibate Christian athlete, I have many opportunities to share with people how wonderful the journey of faith is.”



Richardson was named to the Chiefs Hall of Fame earlier this season.


Here are my takeaways from today’s stories:

1- I Will Rise – Life has a lot of ways of knocking us down. It can be exhausting and painful to try and work through the things that come against us. But in Christ, there is hope. Hope that He can sustain us through the hard things. Hope that can turn bad into good. Hope that can give us strength to face the new day, knowing that we are not alone in this battle and that we will be victorious if we stick with God’s plan. I really appreciate the boldness of this thought. Priest Holmes shared it in one of the articles that I read.  He said “I’m a man of God. I’ll look you in the eye and you will know that I will rise to all of life’s demands.” God gives us that kind of confidence because He proves himself to be faithful at all times. We may get hurt and knocked down but He is there, we may get betrayed and abandoned by others, but never by Him. We may feel week, but in His strength, we can stand again. Rise up and face whatever comes your way WITH Him! He is in the battle with you and will work things out for your good and for His glory.


Richardson(49) had been the main RB a season earlier, but wanted to be a FB to set Holmes (31) up for success

2- Whatever it takes – Tony Richardson had the job of starting running back and Priest Holmes came in to compete for it. Richardson’s response? I want to help you and “I’m going to do everything to make you successful.” What changes is God leading you to make to help others? Are you willing to do it, even if it means a lesser role for you or a different role for you? Jesus was willing to do whatever it took to pay the price for our sins. He took it on so we could be receive the reward of Salvation and eternity with God. What an example for us to follow. Pride can be such an obstacle to overcome. But God calls us to serve others, to be humble and put others ahead of ourselves. Challenge received.

Modern Monday – Finding the Cure – Brandon Marshall – WR – New York Jets


NFL had a “My Cleats My Cause” campaign this weekend. I wonder if Brandon Marshall was part of the reason why.

This past weekend in the NFL, players were permitted to wear specialized cleats drawing attention to a cause or charity of their choice. It was great to see some of the charities and foundations that the NFL players are involved with and a nice step by the NFL to relax its strict uniform policy if even for just one week. I wonder if Brandon Marshall had anything to do with this. You see it was 3 years ago that Brandon Marshall, then with the Chicago Bears, wore bright green cleats with his uniform. The result was a $10,500 fine. Marshall matched that fine with a donation to charities working with Mental Health Issues. This is a cause near and dear to Marshall as in 2011 he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Psycom.net sums up the symptoms as : Intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and extreme reactions can make it difficult for people with borderline personality disorder to complete schooling, maintain stable jobs and have long-lasting, healthy relationships.

That seems to fit what Marshall himself said was going on in his life when he sought treatment at McLean Hospital in Belmont Massachusetts.  Check out the video of his story from The Increase.


Marshall, wearing the green cleats that got him a $10,500 fine. He wore them in 2011 to raise awareness of mental health issues. His journey of recovery is a great demonstration of God at work to change lives.

Marshall had identified as a Christian for several years, but as he shares in the video, on a flight, a stranger asked if he was a Christian.  This started a journey as he began to pray for clarity in his life. In reality, his life was not going great. His marriage was in danger, Marshall was bitter about his wife reaching out for help, thinking he was giving her all she needed. Eventually he went to McLean Hospital trying to figure out what was going on in his life. In this process that he really sensed God at work, through the help he was seeking. He continued asking God for clarity, and in the midst of this time at McLean’s he sensed God at work. When he returned, his wife was going to tell him that she was not going to come back to him, but in their initial conversation, she saw the change in Marshall.

It is a great story of lived changed and marriage redeemed. And through this journey, Marshall also saw his mother, father, sister and brother come to faith in Christ. As you can see in this video, his journey is also impacting people he doesn’t know because of the platform of football and his openness to share what is going on in his life. Meet Megan Armstrong.

Here are my takeaways from Marshall’s story:


Marshall has been very outspoken about his Borderline Personality Disorder as well as his faith in God.

1- Finding the Cure – Marshall shares how over and over he would get frustrated that he was unable to deal with the issues that were causing his troubles off the field. He knew that something is off, but didn’t know how to fix it.  He got the help that he needed and is beating this issue in his life. Brandon said “We didn’t understand the root of it. The missing piece is Jesus at the center of our life.” This is the story that we are all living. We all battle a disease – the disease of sin. And there is a cure out there- as  Brandon said, what was missing for him – the cure that he was looking for – was Jesus at the center of his life.  The truth is that He is the cure for the disease of sin that we battle. Jesus died to make a way for our sin to be beaten and our life to have purpose. Do you accept that you need Him to cure your sinfulness? Do you accept your purpose of telling others all the He has done in your life. This can be life changing for you and those around you. Jesus is the Cure!



Jets Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall.

2- Don’t Shy Away –  Because our lives are our story, there are countless ways that what happens in our lives can teach us lessons – lessons about who God is, what life is about and what our purpose is.  But like Brandon, we need to be open, willing to make ourselves vulnerable, to truly see the depth of how God has worked in our story and to effective in helping others. The more we try to hide the more limit the connection we have with others who may be struggling through the same issues.  God is good and his plan is perfect. He has given us our stories and worked to free us from so many issues and problems. Let’s be honest with those problems and issues and let’s allow our story, bumps, warts and all to be used by Him to draw us closer to Him and share our story with others.