And I thought it’s really a shame that here this is a game and it’s so much a part of our life, but it is still such a game and yet for us it’s one of the first things that we’ve had to deal with, with adversity. And both of us talked about this and we said there are two things you can do with adversity: You can sit down and let it beat you down, and you can lay there and just forget about it and just let it hurt you; because the pain for us was definitely there. You try to be strong through it. You try to show your kids. But the pain is still there. And when you see the pain in your children—we’re very fortunate that our children love us and love their dad—so they feel the pain that a mother usually feels for a child. So, here our children were having to experience some pain that they feel for their dad. And yet we had friends in the neighborhood whose dads were losing their jobs at the same time, but it wasn’t plastered over the front page of the paper. So it really made it really difficult. The other thing you could do with adversity, and for us, is that it really brought us to our knees. And that was such a great thing for it to do. Because we were able to get to our knees and then stand up from there and go on.
Dave: All the faith, all the effort, and all the time and the Bible studies and the readings and the focus and the journals. When you hit adversity and maybe if you’re going through it right now or you’re going to go through it, your faith is kind of like a muscle. And if you don’t exercise it—if you don’t exercise your faith—you finally hit that big adversity in your life, it can be too late. And the commitment that we made to the Lord and our journey through those years—we carried that thing through Chicago and it was amazing how we felt like we were able to have an inner peace with all the things going on in the outside and all the walls collapsing. And everybody in the craziness that’s going on, we were able to have an inner peace that can only be felt with a true relationship with the Lord. And that’s what we’d talk about it. We got to lean on each other.
I went up there with three guys—we got together in Chicago—we lived in the Lake Forest area. Lake Forest is very comparable to West Palm, Boca, that area if any of you have been to Chicago. And three of us got together and started having breakfast and started having a little men’s group. And now, that group—and I’m talking about CEO’s, doctors, architects, the guys that built the Sears tower—we had sixty guys that started getting together on Thursday mornings. That’s what the group grew to. And we would sit around and talk about issues that everybody was dealing with and from those meetings find the strength from the Lord and how he would expect us to deal with the situations that we were dealing with on a daily basis.
And we kind of looked at life is kind of like a play-book and we look at the Bible as God’s play-book. And when you really think about it, if I gave you a play-book right now for the Miami Dolphins and it said to run this certain spot on the field and then if you turned around the ball would be thrown to you. If you went a little bit farther or a little bit shorter and turned around, the ball would not be where it was supposed to be. And so we tried when we deal with our kids, when we deal with situations at work, our play-book is the Bible. And we try to look back on that for direction and for guidance and for strength. That’s kind of where we’re at right now.
Jan: And with everything. I mean, we all have busy schedules. And it’s funny because I say, there’re times where we’re both involved with Bible studies and I’ll say, “I have a nail appointment on Thursday. And I’ll think, I’ll do everything I can to get to my nail appointment, but heaven forbid if I can’t go to Bible study someday.” I sometimes need to have the same approach for that. And that’s why in Chicago it was good and continues to be good here that you still find the time with a busy schedule because it really keeps our focus.
Things that we’ve come to do since being married—I never thought I would be praying with him in an open way. I never thought I would be praying with my children in an open way. I don’t know why. It was maybe just something that I didn’t grow up with, but I never thought I would have that comfort zone that the Lord has given me that now, you know, before coming tonight we prayed about it and we discussed it and with our children—it’s like “I’ll pray for you.” And it’s not something we just say anymore, but it’s an actual feeling that God has taken over for us that enables to do that in a really comfortable way. And it doesn’t feel as awkward as I ever thought it would be because I know the sincerity.
And the one thing that I’ve enjoyed most about the growth that God has given us is the change, you know, people say that people can’t change. Well, I don’t believe that because I see that the Lord does make people change. And not—he was never a bad person to begin with—but I think in myself, we’ve been able to communicate. We’re better forgivers of things. We understand each other more. We have time for each other more. We’re more compassionate with each other. We’re understanding. He’s more charitable. Patience though, Dave, you’ve got to work on the patience. But there’s so much that we’re able and that we’re so thankful for that we are able to share with our children and hopefully that they can grow from that same walk too.
Dave: That’s kind of our story and we were trying to think of something from the Bible or a verse that would be appropriate for this evening’s program. And Jan came up with something that I think, even if you haven’t been to any football games, I’m sure you’ve watched some sporting events on TV and—
Jan: Well someone last night mentioned that I could be the guy at the back with the rainbow wig on. But any of you that have ever been to any sporting events have probably seen this. Now I know there’re many verses from the Bible that we could have shared, but I thought, you know what I took this from a guy at the stadium in the end zone and I said we couldn’t pass it up to think about John 3:16 because it says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that everyone who believes in him might not perish and might have eternal life.”
Dave: We thank you for your time and we appreciate you listening to our story. Thank you.
I hope you enjoyed listening to the story of our spiritual journey. If you are interested in beginning your own relationship with God, you can do that with a simple prayer similar to the one Jan and I prayed. Prayer is talking with God. He is more concerned with the attitude of your heart than the words of your mouth. If our words help you communicate your feelings to God, please use them. Pray this prayer with me right now:
“Lord Jesus, I do recognize my need for you. I open my life to you right now. I need your forgiveness. Help me to grow and change. I want to be the person you created me to be. Thank you for hearing my prayer and coming into my life.”
If you just prayed this prayer, there are several things you need to know. You will want to tell someone you trust and respect about your decision. Go to God in prayer daily. Tell him your needs and concerns and thank him for his love for you. Read God’s word, the Bible, daily. It is the way God leads us to understand and do his will. Trust God with every detail of your life. You can trust him with whatever is on your mind. He really does care about you. Find a church where Jesus Christ is honored and the Bible is explained. You can make new friends who have made the same commitment. If you are not ready to respond to the things you have just heard, let me encourage you to keep an open mind and continue exploring. God is more than ready to help you find answers to your personal questions. He is anxious to enter into a personal relationship with you.
Thank you for allowing Jan and me to share our personal story with you. We hope and pray that you will discover God’s love and plan for your life and be an inspiration to others around you.