Tag Archives: mistakes

Play Like a Wild Man

Story of the Day for Thursday January 19, 2012

Play Like a Wild Man

                      . . . Don’t you know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 

                                                                                    Romans 2:4

The second half of the Rose Bowl had not yet begun before Roy Riegles sinned.

Riegles was an All-American defensive lineman for the University of California.  He recovered a fumble and started to run with the ball.  But, for reasons he could not later explain, he got turned around and started running in the wrong direction.

His coach, Nibs Price, could not believe what he was seeing!  His teammates shouted furiously for him to stop.  Benny Lom, a halfback, raced after him.  After a 65 yard scamper, Lom caught him on the one-yard line.  A few plays later, a punt from the end zone was blocked for a safety.

To say that Roy Riegles was discouraged in the locker room at half-time is to master the art of understatement.  He was completely distraught.  After his idiotic mistake, he had no intention of going back on the field for the second half.  When coach Price told him he would start the second half, Riegles objected, “Coach, I can’t do it.  I’ve ruined you.  I’ve ruined myself.  I’ve ruined the University of California.”  He was too ashamed to face the crowd.


Coach Price knew that Riegles did not need a good chewing out.  He needed comfort.  The coach encouraged him and sent him back into the game in the second half.

And Riegles played his heart out.  So much so, that, despite his huge mistake, he was later named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.


Roy Riegles is the poster boy for all of us who commit sins which let our friends and family down.  Which let ourselves down.  Which let our Lord down.

What do we need at times like these? A good chewing out?  You’ve experienced that, haven’t you?  And it has left you ever more depressed.

Jesus wants to put his arm around your shoulder, and let you know it’s going to be okay.


But here is the thing that seems hard to understand, at times.  If you comfort someone when they sin, and tell them Jesus forgives them, doesn’t that just give them an excuse to continue sinning?

Well, let me ask you this: Do you think coach Price’s comfort and encouragement at Roy Riegles blunder made him want to go out the second half and make more mistakes for his team?

No way.  The coach’s kindness lifted Riegles up, and he played like a wild man in the second half.

God’s kindness does the same thing.  It leads us to repentance.  It fires us up to play the second half with renewed passion and enthusiasm.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)


The Intent of Our Heart

Story of the Day for Thursday October 20, 2011

The Intent of Our Heart

                 We all stumble a lot.  

                                         James 3:2

 A little four-year-old girl has a secret plan. Her mother’s birthday is tomorrow morning, so she is going to make her mommy breakfast in bed.

Her older brother shows her how to set the alarm clock so she can wake up before the rest of the household.  Her mom tucks her in for the night, but she can hardly sleep – she is too full of joy at the thought of the present she is going to give her mommy in the morning.

When the alarm goes off, she yawns, tiptoes downstairs into the kitchen, and prepares a birthday feast. She makes toast with jelly (lots of it), pours a glass of orange juice, and heats a pot of hot water for tea. On the tray she puts the birthday card she made the night before.

The little four-year-old bursts into the bedroom, crying, “Surprise! Happy Birthday Mommy!” She beams as she rushes to set the tray on her mother’s lap. But, in her excitement, she trips on the rug by the bed. Orange juice flies everywhere. Hot tea scalds her mother’s arm, and the toast lands on the new quilt – jelly-side down.


As your distraught little girl breaks into tears, what do you do? Will you be furious because of the hot tea water that splattered on your arm? Will you punish her for the damage done to your quilt?

Or will you hug her tight and say, “It’ okay, sweetheart! It was an accident. Thank you for making me such a special breakfast. I love you!”


Think hard about how you would respond to your brokenhearted little daughter, because that little girl is you.


All of us stumble through life. The problem, however, is that we’re usually lousy at assessing our guilt. We tend to feel guilt based on the consequences of our behavior, rather than the intent of our heart.

But, the unintentional mistakes we make can occasionally have big consequences. As long as we assess our guilt based on the degree of damage we caused, rather than the intent of our heart, we will never find relief from our feelings of guilt.


When I said that the little girl who stumbled was you, I didn’t just mean that, like her, you goof up a lot (which we all do).

What I was really getting at, is that Jesus doesn’t punish you based on the consequences of your mistakes. Instead, in your grief, he is crying with you. He wants to wrap you up in his love, and let you know that it’s okay.

God always offers forgiveness for the sins of our heart. And he has nothing but love and understanding for the disastrous mistakes we never intended.

                                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)


Lit Up in Fairy Lamps

Story of the Day for Thursday July 21, 2011


Lit Up in Fairy Lamps


                    In those days, as the number of disciples increased, the Greeks complained to the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 

                                                                Acts 6:1

 Great Britain, as part of her coronation celebration for King George VI, staged a review of the royal fleet. On May 20, 1937, the Spithead Review was immortalized by a BBC radio announcer, retired Lieutenant Commander, Thomas Woodrooffe.

But, the radio pre-transmission test sounded troublesome, and the broadcast director was alerted that all might not go well with the broadcast. The Commander’s celebration before the broadcast was, to put it mildly, enthusiastic. Woodrooffe did not disappoint those at the radio station who feared a coming disaster.


“At the present moment,” the Commander began, “the whole fleet is lit up. When I say ‘lit up’ I mean lit up by fairy lamps. . . The whole thing is lit up by fairy lamps. It’s fantastic! It isn’t a fleet at all – it’s just fairy land. The whole thing is in fairy land!”

Woodrooffe was beginning to warm to his theme.

“And when I say a fleet is ‘lit up in lamps’ I mean she’s outlined. The whole ship’s outlined. . .In little lamps.”

The Commander would pause, sometimes for over ten seconds – which, on the radio, is an eternity. After a prolonged silence he proudly announced, “I’m sorry, I was telling people to shut up talking.”

Woodrooffe knew he had grasped the nub of the issue and was not about to let it go.

“What I mean is this: the whole fleet is lit up. In fairy lamps. And each ship is outlined. . . the ships are all lit up. They’re outlined – the whole lot. . . But at this moment there’s a whole huge fleet here. . . this colossal fleet. Lit up. By lights. And the whole scene’s in fairy land. . .”


“The Woodrooffe Incident,” as it came to be called, alerted the BBC that they had no procedures in place to interrupt a live broadcast. (A studio engineer finally cut the Commander off the air, even though he had no authority to do so.) But the BBC learned from its mistake and installed an announcer on duty to intervene should another live broadcast dissolve into calamity.


The early church made mistakes. As Christians multiplied in Jerusalem, the church didn’t fairly distribute food to the poor.  The Greek-speaking widows, who didn’t speak the native language, were neglected.

But when they realized their mistake, the church corrected the problem. Seven men were chosen to see that food was distributed fairly to everyone. And, in a touching gesture, all seven of those responsible for feeding the poor had Greek names.


Don’t worry about making mistakes – you’re not going to avoid them. The only thing you need to worry about is failing to learn, and grow, from them.

                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre