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{}   *Life Outside of Football* 


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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

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Life Outside of Football

by Rubel Shelly

That there is "life outside of football" may be a necessary reminder for some sports fans and couch potatoes now that Super Bowl XLI is over. Now that the Indianapolis Colts have the Lombardi Trophy in hand, some of them may be wondering what they will do until next season begins.

But the line is actually from Tony Dungy, the Colts' head coach. It wasn't spoken after last Sunday's water-logged victory over the Chicago Bears but just after his son James committed suicide 13 months ago.

In a speech he made shortly after that tragedy, Dungy talked about all three of his sons. He spoke first of his middle son, Eric, and said his competitive nature is so focused on athletics that "it's almost a problem." Then he turned to his youngest son, Jordan, whose rare congenital condition makes him insensitive to pain.

"That sounds like it's good at the beginning, but I promise you it's not," said Coach Dungy. "We've learned some hurts are really necessary for kids. Pain is necessary for kids to find out the difference between what's good and what's harmful."

"Cookies are good," the coach explained, "but -- in Jordan's mind -- if they're good out on the plate, they're even better in the oven. He will go right in the oven when my wife's not looking, reach in, take the rack out, take the pan out, burn his hands - then eat the cookies and burn his tongue and never feel it."

"Pain sometimes lets us know we have a condition that needs to be healed," Dungy said. "Pain inside sometimes lets us know that spiritually we're not quite right, and we need to be healed. And that God will send that healing agent right to the spot. Sometimes pain is the only way that will turn us as kids back to the Father."

Only then did Coach Dungy speak of his oldest son, James, who took his life three days before Christmas 2005. He spoke of his family's pain. He talked about lessons they were learning from it. He and his wife have since joined an organization dedicated to preventing teen suicide.

I'm glad Dungy's team won the big game. I am impressed by his humility, strength, and deep Christian faith. And I am grateful he could remind all of us there is life outside of football, work, and tragedy. There is the authentic love of God that carries us through, puts everything else in perspective, and reminds us of what really matters.

Life isn't about football. It is about accepting and sharing God's love.

Rubel Shelly

(c) 2007 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.

Visit: to read more of Rubel's writing.

Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children: Mrs. David (Michelle) Arms, Tim, and Tom.


Thought For The Day:

"Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts." --William Hazlitt

Verse for the Day:

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?"--James 2:21,22

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Let the frog go where you found it."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"The secret to feeding your child is learning how to disguise a vegetable as a french fry." --Jan Blaustone

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Don't knock your competitors. By boosting others you will boost yourself. A little competition is a good thing and severe competition is a blessing." --Kindleberger

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"Mere literary talent is common; what is rare is endurance, the continuing desire to work hard at writing." --Donald Hall

Deep Thought For The Day:

"The other day I went to the bookstore to buy a dictionary. The clerk showed me a really cheap one. I couldn't find the words to thank him."


Inspired Audio -- Inspirational Audio Message of the Week!

Inspired Audio is a brand new offshoot of  Every week we will offer a different audio message that you can listen to right on your computer as you are surfing the net or just getting things done around the house.  Be sure to come back and visit each week!   

This Week: "The Truth Project" by Jeff Williams


Over 95,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers' free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others".  If you aren't one of them just visit: and click on the link to listen to the free streaming audio message!


Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
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Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.
Chimney Balloon Fireplace Damper

Do you have a drafty or stinky fireplace? A Chimney Balloon fireplace damper can stop the cold draft, bad smell and save you money on your heating bill.


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