SPARK Talks 2019: Week 4

Former NFL player and Emmy Award-winning TV broadcaster, Solomon Wilcots is sharing his story. Brian Tome believes passivity is killing us and will bust the myth that being aggressive is a bad thing.

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    From a young age, God put in me this desire to create art.
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    He gave me the space where I'm free to create and an imagination
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    fueled by His creativity.
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    I'm inspired by natural wonders and by architecture.
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    I work with multiple mediums, from murals to ceramics, but
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    really enjoy working with porcelain clay.
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    Before I begin, I always invite God in with a simple prayer.
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    God, what do you want to make this morning?
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    And with that prayer, ideas will come to me and the results are
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    usually quite unique.
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    The process of creating can be an emotional one.
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    All pottery must go through multiple steps and can fail at any
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    step.
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    My clay is subjected to many changes and looks very sloppy
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    during the process which makes me doubt it will look as good as
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    I planned.
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    But the finished piece is always better than I imagined.
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    I step back and I see how God had His hand in the results.
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    I'm Gail, and the joy of creating art with God is what ignites
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    life in me.
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    Well, welcome to Crossroads, you're joining us for Spark Talks,
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    where you're going to get to hear from a couple different
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    people with something that might inspire you.
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    Right now I'm in California and you'll get to hear more about
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    that later and who these people are behind me.
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    But first, we're going to spend some time worshipping together.
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    And this is an opportunity to set our hearts and our minds in a
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    place to be prepared for what God has to say to us over the
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    next hour or maybe even over the next week.
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    So join us as we sing these songs.
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    Well, welcome to the Crossroads.
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    My name is Lena Schuler and I'm the Crossroads Anywhere
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    Community Pastor, because the beautiful thing about Crossroads
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    is you can experience it anywhere you are.
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    And right now I'm in Newport Beach, California, with some new
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    friends.
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    Yes. I have had the joy of getting to know some of these people
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    in this room.
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    The Byerlys over here have been so hospitable and gracious to
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    host us.
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    And next week we actually get to hear some from the Byerlys and
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    from my good friend Megan.
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    And they're going to be part of our Spark Talks series.
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    So next week, wherever you live, you want to check out
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    Crossroads.net and find the location nearest you and head
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    there.
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    And if there's not a location close to you, join us on
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    Crossroads anywhere, because we're going to get to experience
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    together what's happening in your local community, whether you
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    live in Florence, Kentucky; Mason, Ohio; or Newport Beach,
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    California.
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    So check us out next week for Spark Talks.
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    And you know, one of the great tools that we have at Crossroads
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    that you're able to use whenever you want is something called
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    the Connect Map.
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    If you head to the Crossroads Website, you can check out the
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    And on there you can filter for groups and people and locations
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    that are close to you.
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    And that's how some of the people in this room with me right now
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    actually met each other and became friends a couple of years
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    ago is through that Connect Map.
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    It's a sweet tool if you've not checked it out, you should.
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    And if you live somewhere outside of the Greater Cincinnati or
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    Lexington area, make sure you put yourself on the Connect Map
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    and reach out to the people around you so that when someone
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    moves, they might be able to find you.
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    Right now, we actually get an opportunity to be generous.
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    One of the marks of our team at Crossroads is that we're a
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    generous team.
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    What that means is we believe that what we have is all God's to
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    begin with.
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    And so we get the joy of giving in a way to be obedient to God.
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    And because it's His anyways, He lets us keep a whole bunch of
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    We just get to give a portion of it back to Him.
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    And so if you want to be generous and give right now and fuel
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    things like tools being made, like the Connect Map and
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    communities here in Newport Beach, California, getting to form,
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    you could do that by heading to Crossroads.net/give
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    as a way of saying the God, "I believe that all of this is
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    Yours to begin with and I want to see more people around the
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    country meet You."
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    I'm Conor and I go to Crossroads.
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    I grew up in a family of five boys and then my two parents,
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    very, very close-knit family that was very faith based.
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    I decided to go away to college and to take life into my own
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    I drank and I partied and I had a blast.
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    And fast forward four years, I got a degree and got a great job.
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    I started dating a woman and we dated for about two and a half
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    years.
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    And that was great.
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    We talked about taking that next step and the next step being
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    marriage.
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    So I bought a ring.
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    A week before our engagement she ended everything and that
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    wrecked me.
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    I was not eating.
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    I lost a ton of weight.
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    I couldn't find motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
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    I decided that I had one of two options, I could go to my own
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    vices and I could party and I could drink and I could sleep
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    or I can turn back to my faith.
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    And I decided that I'm gonna give God another chance.
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    And that led me to Crossroads.
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    During the announcements on that very first Sunday they talked
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    about how young adults was starting up.
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    And so I knew that this wasn't a coincidence, this had to be a,
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    you know, a God thing.
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    And I decided to take a step of faith and go to young adults.
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    I felt like as I walked through those doors they could see my
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    pain, they could see me hurting.
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    I think Josh, one of the leaders, saw that I might have been a
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    little bit uncomfortable and lonely, and he made a beeline
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    straight for me.
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    And for the first time in a very, very, very long time, I felt
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    like I could connect with somebody and they wanted to hear my
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    story.
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    I felt loved.
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    I felt accepted.
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    So that next week we formed our pod at young adults, it's
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    basically a small group.
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    So it's about 15 people.
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    So what I didn't realize at that moment was that Pod was gonna
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    become my family.
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    They were people from all walks of life, but we all were looking
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    for something and that was community.
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    And we found it.
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    Those people are my best friends and my family to this day.
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    When I was in my in my darkest spot, I felt like God had
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    forgotten me.
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    And because of Crossroads, because of my young adults pod, my
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    faith has completely changed.
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    I'm not worried about what my future looks like.
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    As long as I trust in Him, He is going to provide.
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    I had no idea how much of an impact this place was gonna have on
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    And so to those who give, truly, thank you.
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    Well, yes.
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    Yes, I'm making an aggressive move today.
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    I have some new shoes on.
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    Obviously everyone always knows.
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    I swear anytime I wear something
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    new, people are like, "Oh, did you just get those?".
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    Yes, I did just get these shoes.
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    Thank you very much.
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    A friend of mine does some contract work with Adidas and gave
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    them to me.
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    I think that's cool.
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    And I'm -- I've got a lot of new stuff today.
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    New shoes.
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    And also there's been some new stuff happening on here.
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    You know, we're trying to get more people speaking on stage,
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    different voices, different perspectives.
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    And so I've created an outlet that helps me have more teaching
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    content every week, it's called BrianTome.com.
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    I have a new podcast coming out that's called The Aggressive
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    It's going really, really well.
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    And actually, I'm going -- so, some people have already heard
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    The Aggressive Life.
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    And there's some other things.
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    You can subscribe at BrianTome.com
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    if you want to, but today I want to talk about why I would do a
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    podcast called The Aggressive Life.
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    Some of us would say, "Aggression? I've
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    read the Bible a number of times or I've heard about it, but I
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    don't remember seeing the word aggression inside of there.".
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    Yes, the word aggression or aggressive is not in the Bible.
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    Neither are the words empathy, delayed gratification, racial
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    reconciliation.
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    There's a bunch of things that are in the Bible, but the phrase
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    itself isn't in the Bible, the phrase itself aggressions
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    is not in the Bible.
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    Aggression is all through the Bible.
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    I'm not talking today about using your physical or financial
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    might to power up somebody on somebody and have your way.
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    I'm talking about taking control of your life.
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    I'm talking about seeing something that you want and you think
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    God wants you to have it.
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    And feeling equipped by Him to actually go after it.
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    Every single Bible hero you've ever heard of has one thing in
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    common, other than they love God.
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    Two things in common, they all were aggressive.
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    We don't know of any prophet from the Old Testament who had a
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    word from God and chose not to share it.
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    We never -- we don't hear about him.
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    It's only the ones who are aggressive enough to share it that we
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    hear about.
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    We don't know of anybody in the early church who did anything
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    that was just passive waiting for it, it was all aggressive.
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    Every Bible hero is a hero because they aggressively went after
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    something.
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    Jesus aggressively came to this earth, aggressively went to a
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    cross and got nailed to it.
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    Now you might think that was passive, Him going to a cross.
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    No, he aggressively chose that.
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    He could have talked his way out of it.
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    He aggressively goes to it.
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    This is a far cry from our culture today that is increasingly
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    passive.
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    The signs are everywhere, I mean everywhere.
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    We have this theory that the reason my marriage isn't working is
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    because I haven't met my soulmate.
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    People are getting married later and later because we're waiting
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    for our soulmate to come along.
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    Hey, the clue phone's ringing and there's no such thing as a
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    soulmate.
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    They're not coming around, not going to happen.
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    But we're passively waiting for this perfect person to be
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    married to and what do you know?
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    There is no perfect person to be married to.
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    If you want to be married, you have to aggressively ask somebody
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    out on a date.
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    Shocking, shocking.
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    Our culture is increasingly divided.
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    Right, left, extreme right, extreme left.
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    And they look like each camp is aggressive, but really they're
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    only passive inside of their own political leanings where ever
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    they are.
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    Nobody's aggressively stepping over the aisle and shaking a
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    hand.
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    No one's aggressively stepping over on the other side to
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    understand and strike up a conversation.
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    We're still passive as a culture.
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    We put airbags on everything, seatbelts on everything, helmets
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    on everything, including three year olds who are on a tricycle
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    in a basement.
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    Nobody's ever had brain damage that way.
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    And yet it's a symptom of our culture.
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    And when you talk about the church.
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    Oh, my gosh, the church, the body of Christ are some of the most
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    passive weenie people going around.
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    Totally passive weenie people going around.
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    Someone just said say it again.
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    Someone's into what I'm saying.
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    Even classic stories of the Bible, we don't even understand.
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    One of them I want to share in my remaining remaining moments.
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    Jacob. Jacob, and Esau.
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    They are twins who are born.
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    Jacob is the second born and he comes out holding the heel of
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    his older brother, who's born older by a couple of seconds.
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    When you hear this talked about in Christian circles, Jacob is
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    given the word of supplanter.
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    He is the supplanter.
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    That's not what the word Jacob means.
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    It means one who grasps the heel.
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    And then, when we don't understand because in Christiandome we
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    just think we should just sit back and let go and let God.
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    Just let whatever will happen in my life was gonna let happen in
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    my life.
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    And it looks like Jacob is constantly pushing, and so we don't
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    like this.
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    Like he's grasping.
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    He's like, "No, no, I want to be first, I want to be first out
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    of the womb.".
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    He wants to be first out of the womb because in ancient culture
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    to be the first born son meant you got the lion's share of the
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    inheritance.
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    That was yours by birth.
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    It was your birthright.
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    So as Esau, who's the first one out, he's kind of the manly man.
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    His dad's favorite.
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    Jacob is the momma's boy.
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    He's mom's favorite.
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    Esau is out hunting, he's hairy, he's hunting.
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    He's kind of a classic male, if you will.
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    Jacob. Jacob.
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    He's cooking.
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    He's home.
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    But Jacob is actually far more aggressive than Esau.
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    You can drive a truck and like guns, but be incredibly passive.
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    By the way, if you have guns, you should be very passive.
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    We're thankfully -- We need more people with guns to be passive.
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    But nonetheless, Jacob goes and he posts up on the path where
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    Esau is going to be coming back home and Esau is hungry.
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    And Esau stops to Jacob and he sees his favorite stew
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    there and says, "Oh, give me some of your stew.".
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    And Jacob says, "No, I can't do that.
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    I'll tell you what, though, I'll make a
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    trade. I'll make a trade.
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    I'll give you some soup and you give me the birthright.
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    You let me be first born and get the blessing me for it and you
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    And Esau goes, "Umm, I'm kind of -- I'm kind of hungry.
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    Deal. Deal.".
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    So he sells his birthright.
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    Jacob gives him the pot of stew.
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    And Jacob gets the birthright.
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    And some of us go like, "This is just dirty.
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    This is just evil.
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    Why? Why?
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    Why would -- why would Jacob just not give it?".
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    Well, Jacob's a giver, I give things and I also sell things.
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    I do, in fact, if you think that this is wrong, then the very
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    idea of business you think is wrong, because business is all
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    about making a deal.
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    All of us in here get a paycheck to some degree or another
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    because there is a deal being made.
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    In fact, even today in our culture this is why we're drawn to
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    socialism, because we'd rather not make a deal.
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    We'll just sit back and let somebody else take care of us.
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    No, we need to go forward.
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    Jacob makes a trade.
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    He makes a business transaction.
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    And it's fair.
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    It's not -- it's not seedy.
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    It's the underhanded.
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    It's a business transaction.
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    And then Jacob goes on and he has an amazing life.
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    Now, you might think to yourself, "Well, this is not right.
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    I think Esau's a bad --"
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    Well, let's see what the Bible says about this.
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    The Book of Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 14 and following.
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    Here's where it talks about, you notice aggression is all
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    through this even though the word aggression isn't.
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    Here's what it says in verse 13:
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    Strive, I might say be aggressive
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    Aggressively, try to be at peace with everyone.
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    If you want to spiritually grow, you want to be holy, you've got
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    to have an energy about it.
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    You've got to want to try something new.
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    What's the last new thing you tried with God?
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    What's the last new prayer technique you've tried?
  • 00:24:06
    What's the last new Bible system you tried?
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    What's the last new book you open yourself to?
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    What is it?
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    Well, I'm not growing, I'm not growing.
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    Okay. What are you doing?
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    You've got to be aggressive.
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    In that very next verse.
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    What is bitterness?
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    Bitterness is when someone has done us wrong.
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    Maybe they've wrongfully used their aggression, they've done us
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    And then how do we stay bitter?
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    We stay bitter because we passively keep waiting for it to get
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    better.
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    We get bitter because we passively expect it to go away.
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    No, no, you need to aggressively love your enemy.
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    You need to aggressively pray for your enemy.
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    That's how bitterness gets away from us.
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    Bitterness never just goes away by sitting around waiting.
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    Now here's the next and last verse, check this out:.
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    "That no one is sexually immoral."
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    You'll have to be aggressive to be sexually pure, by the way.
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    If you're passive in our culture, you will fall into sexual
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    "That no one is sexually immoral," here it is:
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    Esau is the one who is unholy.
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    Jacob goes on from this and he makes a lot of mistakes, he does,
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    makes a bunch of them.
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    I like the word aggression because I want to make aggressive
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    mistakes, and Jacob for sure makes mistakes in his life.
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    But when we make an aggressive mistake, it'll take care of
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    itself because nine other mistakes we made aggressively are
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    going to more than make up for that.
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    Jacob goes off and he ends up wrestling with God and God
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    renames -- He names the whole nation of Israel after Jacob.
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    Because as Jacob is wrestling with God and God's just playing
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    around with him.
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    While he's wrestling with God, God touches his hip, jacks up his
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    And he says, "You know what?
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    I like how you hustle.
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    I like how you're aggressive.
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    You're going to be named Israel, which means God's fighter."
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    And the whole nation visual is named after a guy who's being
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    aggressive.
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    And God says, "I want your DNA in and through my entire
  • 00:26:27
    nation.".
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    One of our Tome family motto is Tomes Hustle.
  • 00:26:34
    We don't do everything well.
  • 00:26:36
    It's not -- when something goes well, it's not because we're the
  • 00:26:40
    best looking.
  • 00:26:41
    We're certainly not.
  • 00:26:42
    It's not because we're the most articulate.
  • 00:26:43
    It's not because of anything.
  • 00:26:45
    But when something goes right, God may be using our desire to
  • 00:26:50
    That's why I named my son Jacob.
  • 00:26:52
    I named him Jacob because of this story and wanting to say,
  • 00:26:56
    "Let's have the value of hustle and aggression in our family.".
  • 00:27:00
    And I want you to have the hustle of value and agression.
  • 00:27:03
    Nothing great can happen in your life and lose the grace of God
  • 00:27:10
    intermingles with your aggression.
  • 00:27:14
    Grab your life by the throat, friends.
  • 00:27:16
    You only have one life to lead.
  • 00:27:19
    Ask her out on a date.
  • 00:27:21
    Start the business.
  • 00:27:24
    Stamp out the addiction.
  • 00:27:26
    Don't just go, "Oh, I wonder if I'm addicted or not.".
  • 00:27:28
    Stamp, aggressively go after it.
  • 00:27:32
    It's the aggressive ones that are powerful ones.
  • 00:27:54
    Hello, everyone, I'm Solomon Wilcots, and I am honored to be
  • 00:27:57
    here with you today.
  • 00:27:59
    I just wanted to stop by to share with you my story of how
  • 00:28:04
    prayer and faith has changed the trajectory of my life from the
  • 00:28:10
    very beginning.
  • 00:28:12
    And to validate how prayer and faith works and how God will
  • 00:28:17
    stand on His word.
  • 00:28:19
    I go to scripture where in Jeremiah 33:3 it says:.
  • 00:28:32
    Our ability to call on God in the moment when we run into
  • 00:28:36
    roadblocks, that really is a wonderful opportunity to not only
  • 00:28:41
    grow close to Him, but I think we often will understand that
  • 00:28:46
    sometimes hard work, perseverance doesn't always work.
  • 00:28:51
    I know we've been told that if you just continue to push
  • 00:28:54
    forward, if you continue to try hard, if you just persevere,
  • 00:28:59
    that you will be able to achieve your goals, dreams, and
  • 00:29:02
    aspirations in life.
  • 00:29:05
    But what happens when hard work just isn't enough?
  • 00:29:09
    What happens when perseverance falls just short?
  • 00:29:14
    I'm here to share with you just a few examples in my life where
  • 00:29:17
    those moments occurred and prayer provided the
  • 00:29:22
    breakthrough those roadblocks that would have prohibited me
  • 00:29:27
    from achieving dreams and aspirations.
  • 00:29:31
    Go back to being 9 and 10 years old.
  • 00:29:35
    I grew up in a church where most of the congregation there were
  • 00:29:40
    family members: cousins, aunts, uncles, I come from a large
  • 00:29:44
    extended family.
  • 00:29:45
    My grandparents were in the church.
  • 00:29:47
    My dad was a pastor there.
  • 00:29:50
    That idyllic life came to an end when my parents divorced when I
  • 00:29:55
    was about 10 years old.
  • 00:29:57
    My three older brothers went to live with my dad and I decided
  • 00:30:02
    to stay with mom.
  • 00:30:04
    And while I had been used to living in a home that was full of
  • 00:30:09
    energy, that was the bustling with a lot of people and a lot of
  • 00:30:14
    chatter and three older brothers that took out their worst days
  • 00:30:18
    on me.
  • 00:30:19
    Now there's no one there.
  • 00:30:22
    My mom worked two jobs to make ends meet.
  • 00:30:26
    She worked second shift on her second job, she would typically
  • 00:30:29
    get home around midnight.
  • 00:30:31
    I would see her in the morning.
  • 00:30:34
    When I was on my way to school, she was getting up in the
  • 00:30:36
    And then I would have to stay up till midnight if I wanted to
  • 00:30:39
    talk with her.
  • 00:30:40
    But typically I would be asleep by the time mom got home.
  • 00:30:46
    And you fast forward just a few years beyond that, I knew I
  • 00:30:52
    always wanted to go to college.
  • 00:30:54
    I loved to read.
  • 00:30:55
    I loved playing sports.
  • 00:30:56
    If I wasn't playing sports, I was somewhere reading.
  • 00:30:59
    If I wasn't somewhere reading, I was somewhere playing sports.
  • 00:31:03
    So naturally a kid who's curious, who loves learning, loves
  • 00:31:07
    playing ball, you want to go off to college and you want to
  • 00:31:10
    play sports in college.
  • 00:31:12
    It was a tremendous dream of mine from a very, very early age.
  • 00:31:18
    But at about 14, as I was coming out of middle school and
  • 00:31:22
    looking for a high school to go to.
  • 00:31:24
    I grew up in Compton, California, was in environment that I
  • 00:31:28
    desperately wanted out of.
  • 00:31:30
    And it was definitely an environment I did not want to remain in
  • 00:31:36
    to go to high school because no one came to Compton,
  • 00:31:39
    California, for Friday night football game looking for
  • 00:31:44
    potential college students.
  • 00:31:46
    So I remember going to my mom and I had to convince her to allow
  • 00:31:49
    me to move away about an hour outside of Los Angeles to live
  • 00:31:54
    with an older brother who was rarely home.
  • 00:31:57
    He was busy living his life, but he had a home in a better
  • 00:32:00
    community that offered me a better opportunity for education
  • 00:32:04
    and opportunity to earn a scholarship.
  • 00:32:07
    And after much chatter, after much talk of convincing my mom,
  • 00:32:14
    she relented and she allowed me to go live with an older
  • 00:32:17
    She laid out all the requisite things that I had to do.
  • 00:32:21
    And if I, of course, would screw up even one of those, she was
  • 00:32:24
    going to pull me back home.
  • 00:32:27
    But I acclimated very quickly, made friends with the right
  • 00:32:31
    friends, adapted academically, and I adapted athletically.
  • 00:32:37
    And I had a wonderful high school football coach who prescribed
  • 00:32:42
    for me various things that I had to do.
  • 00:32:45
    And that if I performed at a very high level that he would work
  • 00:32:49
    to help me earn a college scholarship.
  • 00:32:52
    So it was exactly what I wanted to hear.
  • 00:32:54
    And I remember by the time I was a junior, it was -- we were
  • 00:32:58
    going into our final game of my junior year.
  • 00:33:01
    Now, I remember the coach called me and one of the other players
  • 00:33:05
    into an office and he says, "Guys, I have some bad news.".
  • 00:33:09
    He said, "We have this final game that we need to win.
  • 00:33:11
    If we don't win it, we don't get into the playoffs.".
  • 00:33:13
    Now our school had not been to the California state playoffs in
  • 00:33:17
    19 consecutive seasons.
  • 00:33:20
    This would be 20 years in a row where we would have to sit it
  • 00:33:24
    out.
  • 00:33:25
    Well, he proceeded to tell us both that if we did not win that
  • 00:33:28
    game and get into the playoffs that his contract would not be
  • 00:33:33
    renewed, that he would be fired.
  • 00:33:35
    And then he proceeded to tell us that, "Those scholarships that
  • 00:33:38
    we talked about, well, that's off the table.
  • 00:33:41
    I don't know what's gonna happen if another coach comes in here,
  • 00:33:44
    but I could tell you that it would be real slim chance that
  • 00:33:48
    you'd be able to earn that scholarship.".
  • 00:33:51
    He said, "So here's what I need in order to win this games: I
  • 00:33:54
    need two interceptions from you.".
  • 00:33:56
    And then I kind of, you know, I just kind of went numb.
  • 00:34:00
    And I remember him telling my teammate he needed something from
  • 00:34:03
    There were some things he needed for him to do in order for us
  • 00:34:06
    to win this game.
  • 00:34:08
    And I just remember thinking to myself, "How is all -- and why
  • 00:34:12
    is it gonna put all this pressure on me?
  • 00:34:14
    This 14, 15 year old kid we've got to win this game in order
  • 00:34:19
    for all these great things to happen?".
  • 00:34:21
    But I remember going home that night and after just being very
  • 00:34:25
    overwhelmed because I saw everything flash before my very eyes,
  • 00:34:30
    all the dreams, the hopes, the aspirations of attending
  • 00:34:34
    college.
  • 00:34:36
    I'm thinking if we lose this game, I'm going back to Compton,
  • 00:34:39
    which is the last thing I want to do is to go back there.
  • 00:34:43
    And maybe having a sense of failure for having gone back without
  • 00:34:49
    accomplishing the goal that I set out to accomplish.
  • 00:34:54
    I just remember praying that night feverishly and not
  • 00:34:58
    necessarily to get two interceptions, but to certainly to want
  • 00:35:02
    to win the game.
  • 00:35:04
    I remember going to school the next day, that Friday morning.
  • 00:35:08
    And as we went through the day of going through classes, of
  • 00:35:13
    going through some of the pregame rituals for warming up,
  • 00:35:16
    I just remember having a great sense of calm that came over me.
  • 00:35:20
    No longer did I have the anxiety.
  • 00:35:23
    No longer did I have the fear of failing.
  • 00:35:26
    No longer did I worry about what's going to happen if we don't
  • 00:35:30
    win this game.
  • 00:35:31
    What's gonna happen if I don't come through and hold up my end
  • 00:35:34
    of the deal?
  • 00:35:35
    It was a sense of calm that came over me, and I remember just
  • 00:35:39
    having the game of my life.
  • 00:35:41
    In fact, I didn't even think I was good enough to get two
  • 00:35:43
    interceptions in the game, but I did.
  • 00:35:46
    I got two interceptions.
  • 00:35:48
    We won the game.
  • 00:35:49
    And I just remember this sense of adulation that came over me
  • 00:35:55
    because I could almost reach out and touch the dream that I had
  • 00:36:00
    out in front of me.
  • 00:36:01
    I felt it was a major milestone that for all the hard work that
  • 00:36:07
    I put into it, that I needed help in this situation.
  • 00:36:11
    I needed help getting two interceptions.
  • 00:36:14
    I needed help winning the game, not only the help of my other
  • 00:36:17
    teammates, but I felt I needed divine intervention.
  • 00:36:22
    I needed that conversation with the Almighty.
  • 00:36:26
    And through that moment of humility, through that moment of
  • 00:36:30
    helplessness, I grew closer to Him.
  • 00:36:33
    And in growing closer to Him, all the sense of anxiety, fear,
  • 00:36:37
    and doubt subsided.
  • 00:36:40
    I just remember a couple of weeks later, my coach calling me and
  • 00:36:44
    a few teammates over to his house and we were helping he, his
  • 00:36:48
    wife and two daughters, they were moving into a better home.
  • 00:36:52
    He had been awarded with a better contract.
  • 00:36:56
    And I just remember coming away from that understanding that the
  • 00:37:01
    prayer that I was seeking, whatever was going to happen on the
  • 00:37:05
    other end of it, it had to do more than just having something
  • 00:37:09
    to do with me.
  • 00:37:11
    There were so many people who were blessed as a result, not only
  • 00:37:14
    my coach and his family for being blessed to move in a
  • 00:37:18
    different home.
  • 00:37:19
    He wasn't released from his job, so he had secure employment.
  • 00:37:24
    Our student body that year we became closer.
  • 00:37:27
    Not only the very next year, we came together, we won 14
  • 00:37:31
    straight games, went to the state championship game.
  • 00:37:34
    The student body population, we had greater unity, we came
  • 00:37:38
    together as a community.
  • 00:37:41
    We had 10 players the very next year, including myself, to earn
  • 00:37:46
    a scholarship to play Division 1 football.
  • 00:37:50
    It was something that was beyond whatever work that I did.
  • 00:37:55
    I think it was a direct correlation of being humble enough to
  • 00:37:59
    ask God for help in a time of need.
  • 00:38:05
    As I moved forward and went to college, I had great times.
  • 00:38:08
    I had some difficult challenges along the way, but I did
  • 00:38:13
    persevere.
  • 00:38:14
    And I remember 1987, 32 years ago, I was fortunate enough to be
  • 00:38:21
    drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the eighth round.
  • 00:38:24
    And I'm coming to Cincinnati.
  • 00:38:28
    Now, in the NFL, there are only seven rounds.
  • 00:38:33
    I was drafted in the eighth round.
  • 00:38:36
    If there were would have been many years later, I wouldn't have
  • 00:38:38
    been drafted at all, wouldn't be coming to Cincinnati.
  • 00:38:40
    I would have been an un-drafted free agent
  • 00:38:43
    But I was blessed enough to be drafted to come here and we went
  • 00:38:48
    to training camp.
  • 00:38:49
    In those days you go to training camp with 90 players, only 45
  • 00:38:54
    players are gonna make the team.
  • 00:38:56
    Roughly half the players who report to training camp are going
  • 00:39:01
    to be sent home.
  • 00:39:03
    Imagine you're coming out of college and you're going for this
  • 00:39:06
    dream job of yours and you're going to work the very first day
  • 00:39:12
    and they tell you,
  • 00:39:13
    "All right, you've got six weeks to prove that you could keep
  • 00:39:16
    this job because half the people in this room we're sending
  • 00:39:19
    them home.".
  • 00:39:20
    That's what it was like for me coming to Cincinnati, being
  • 00:39:23
    drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • 00:39:25
    And we went up to training camp in Wilmington, Ohio, on days
  • 00:39:29
    that were hotter than the one you experienced today.
  • 00:39:32
    90 players battling every single day.
  • 00:39:36
    Two practices a day, meetings that night.
  • 00:39:39
    Take the information from meetings that night to go back onto
  • 00:39:42
    the practice field the very next day.
  • 00:39:45
    And if you screw up, back to the end of the line.
  • 00:39:48
    And it was a battle, it was a war of attrition.
  • 00:39:52
    You had to perform and you had to perform at a very high level.
  • 00:39:56
    I remember six weeks later, you don't get the call saying that
  • 00:40:00
    you made the team.
  • 00:40:01
    In fact, you get a call saying bring in your playbook, your time
  • 00:40:08
    here has ended?
  • 00:40:09
    If you don't get a call, you sort of creep into the building the
  • 00:40:13
    day after Labor Day, hoping no one taps you on the
  • 00:40:16
    shoulder saying,
  • 00:40:17
    "No, you weren't one of the guys.".
  • 00:40:20
    Apprehensively, you continue to go, you sit in the meeting.
  • 00:40:23
    Then you're looking around.
  • 00:40:24
    You're in a room with Anthony Munoz, Boomer Esiason, Chris
  • 00:40:28
    Collinsworth.
  • 00:40:29
    And then you realize, I think I made it.
  • 00:40:32
    Now, they don't really want to tell you you made it, because I
  • 00:40:34
    think they want you to feel precarious about the job.
  • 00:40:38
    You'll play harder.
  • 00:40:39
    You'll try harder.
  • 00:40:42
    All I know is that I played in two games, that was my rookie
  • 00:40:45
    year we play our first game, then play the second game.
  • 00:40:47
    We come into the locker room and the veteran player say, "Guys,
  • 00:40:50
    don't come into work tomorrow, we're on strike.".
  • 00:40:55
    It was the year that the NFL players went on strike, and as a
  • 00:41:00
    rookie, you have no choice.
  • 00:41:02
    I'm getting calls from the ownership saying, "You need to cross
  • 00:41:06
    the picket line to play with the replacement players in these
  • 00:41:09
    games.
  • 00:41:10
    And if you don't, we can't promise you that your job will be
  • 00:41:14
    here when you come back.".
  • 00:41:18
    I remember going through that period, I was depressed because
  • 00:41:23
    imagine I had earned this dream job, I had earned it.
  • 00:41:27
    But now it's gone.
  • 00:41:29
    That's when I came to understand that the NFL was an acronym,
  • 00:41:32
    which means "not for long." [ laughter ]
  • 00:41:35
    And so I remember feeling helpless and I just remember praying.
  • 00:41:39
    And I remember having a conversation with the Almighty and
  • 00:41:42
    asking God to show me who am I outside of being a football
  • 00:41:47
    player.
  • 00:41:49
    This is the conversation most athletes don't want to ever have,
  • 00:41:52
    because they don't ever want to imagine themselves no longer
  • 00:41:55
    being the athlete, right.
  • 00:41:58
    But here I am, I'm forced to have this conversation because I
  • 00:42:01
    did everything, I worked hard.
  • 00:42:02
    I persevered.
  • 00:42:03
    I made the team.
  • 00:42:05
    Made the cut.
  • 00:42:06
    Then why am I sitting home on a sofa with an uncertain future?
  • 00:42:12
    So I begin to have a conversation with God and asked Him to show
  • 00:42:16
    me who am I without the game of football?
  • 00:42:22
    And it wasn't too long after that I end up meeting two gentlemen
  • 00:42:25
    who I remain very close friends with today.
  • 00:42:29
    They had played at the University of Michigan.
  • 00:42:31
    They never even got an opportunity to play in the NFL.
  • 00:42:34
    And they were working at a local insurance company here in town.
  • 00:42:38
    And we became close friends.
  • 00:42:39
    They were telling me about their job and I was so intrigued.
  • 00:42:43
    I said, I'm looking for a job.
  • 00:42:44
    I said, I don't care if I go back and play football.
  • 00:42:46
    If I could get a job, work every year in the offseason, that'd
  • 00:42:49
    be great because I need to figure it out.
  • 00:42:52
    So I end up like went in and I interviewed, I ended up getting
  • 00:42:55
    into a management training program where I work in
  • 00:42:58
    I worked as a claims adjuster.
  • 00:43:00
    I worked in human resources.
  • 00:43:02
    And every year, even though we were called back after the strike
  • 00:43:05
    to come back and play, even though I got to play in a Super
  • 00:43:08
    Bowl the very next year and I'm having the time of my life
  • 00:43:11
    playing in the NFL,
  • 00:43:13
    every single year when the season was over, I went to my real
  • 00:43:17
    job, a job that I felt that God had led me to,
  • 00:43:20
    because there is where I grew exponentially and begin to learn
  • 00:43:25
    and grow in ways that I never thought possible.
  • 00:43:29
    And had I not gone through that transition, that it would have
  • 00:43:33
    made it more difficult that when my playing days were over, it
  • 00:43:36
    would have been even more difficult to transition into a real
  • 00:43:40
    job.
  • 00:43:41
    And that leads me to this final story of how prayer and faith
  • 00:43:45
    helped crystallize my belief that God still answers prayer.
  • 00:43:52
    Later in my football career, I remember we were playing a game
  • 00:43:55
    in Spain, we're playing the San Francisco 49ers.
  • 00:43:58
    And my wife at the time, we were pregnant expecting our third
  • 00:44:04
    child.
  • 00:44:05
    And so we had some complications and flew back here, go in for
  • 00:44:11
    for inspection, for treatments.
  • 00:44:14
    And the doctor pulled us in a room and said, "I have some bad
  • 00:44:17
    news. The umbilical cord is not attached to the esophagus.
  • 00:44:23
    The stomach is not attached to the esophagus.
  • 00:44:29
    And the chromosome count seems to be off.
  • 00:44:33
    This is common in children who are expected to be born with Down
  • 00:44:37
    syndrome.".
  • 00:44:39
    And I remember crying a lot of tears.
  • 00:44:42
    I remember them offering us opportunities to abort.
  • 00:44:46
    And I remember thinking, I can't do that.
  • 00:44:51
    And I just went home and I called my mom.
  • 00:44:55
    And I can still hear her saying, "You know what?
  • 00:44:59
    I'm gonna get all the women at the church and we're going to
  • 00:45:01
    pray.
  • 00:45:02
    That baby is gonna be okay.
  • 00:45:03
    Don't you do anything?
  • 00:45:05
    You just pray with us."
  • 00:45:08
    And I remember praying and going back to my Bible.
  • 00:45:11
    And there was the scripture, Jeremiah 33:3 which says:.
  • 00:45:21
    That scripture keeps coming back.
  • 00:45:23
    After that, I didn't worry, I just knew seven months later I'm
  • 00:45:26
    going into the emergency room
  • 00:45:28
    or I should say the delivery room, and I had pretty much had
  • 00:45:32
    forgotten all the fear and anxiety had left me.
  • 00:45:37
    I just went to work every single day.
  • 00:45:39
    I was doing all the right things.
  • 00:45:41
    And when there were a team of doctors that rushed into the room,
  • 00:45:46
    that's when I became aware again of what the potential was to
  • 00:45:51
    have a child born with Down syndrome.
  • 00:45:54
    I remember Dr.
  • 00:45:56
    Nelson, after my son was born and this team of doctors doing
  • 00:46:00
    all these tests and poking all -- they were doing so many
  • 00:46:03
    things.
  • 00:46:04
    And I remember him just saying, "Who said this baby was sick?
  • 00:46:08
    This baby is perfectly okay."
  • 00:46:12
    Born to us was a healthy baby boy who thrives today
  • 00:46:17
    [ applause ] and by the grace of God, He answered our prayers.
  • 00:46:24
    I've told that story to other people and they
  • 00:46:26
    say, "Well, are you sure they just didn't misdiagnose?
  • 00:46:30
    Are you sure it wasn't that?".
  • 00:46:33
    But I believe that God does stand on His word.
  • 00:46:37
    I believe that during those moments of uncertainty, because all
  • 00:46:42
    the money in the world, all the fame in the world could not
  • 00:46:46
    heal my son in utero.
  • 00:46:50
    There was nothing being an NFL player was going to do to fix
  • 00:46:54
    that situation.
  • 00:46:55
    I had no choice but to fall on my knees and pray.
  • 00:46:59
    I had no choice but to have faith in the darkest moment.
  • 00:47:05
    And so that's what I leave with you here today.
  • 00:47:08
    Not only will God answer prayer when hard work and perseverance
  • 00:47:12
    falls through.
  • 00:47:14
    He will come into your life.
  • 00:47:16
    He'll draw you closer to him and he will answer you.
  • 00:47:20
    He did it for me, and I know he'll do it for you.
  • 00:47:23
    Thank you very much.
  • 00:47:24
    [ applause ]
  • 00:47:38
    >> Let's talk about some stuff you talked about here.
  • 00:47:40
    I love -- I love that line about hard work isn't enough.
  • 00:47:45
    Our own efforts aren't enough.
  • 00:47:47
    So you obviously, you're working hard, right?
  • 00:47:52
    You're getting scholarships.
  • 00:47:54
    You're doing everything you need to do, you're working on.
  • 00:47:57
    But then you've got the prayer thing.
  • 00:47:59
    So is it -- is it you work hard and then when your work isn't
  • 00:48:02
    doing it, then the prayer picks up or is it intermingled
  • 00:48:05
    throughout or how does that work?
  • 00:48:07
    >> No, I think you need to do both because particularly as say,
  • 00:48:10
    if you're an athlete?
  • 00:48:11
    What happens if you get injured?
  • 00:48:13
    Because you know, it's inevitable.
  • 00:48:16
    You know, athletes, it's not about when I get hurt, you are
  • 00:48:20
    going to get hurt, particularly in a sport like football.
  • 00:48:23
    You continue to play, you are going to get hurt.
  • 00:48:26
    So I remember every single time before going out to a game, you
  • 00:48:32
    -- there is some humility there.
  • 00:48:33
    You have to have that and ask for protection and understand that
  • 00:48:39
    hard work and all the weight lifting and all the training does
  • 00:48:42
    not amuse you from injury.
  • 00:48:46
    That divine intervention conversation with the Almighty, it
  • 00:48:51
    really does help.
  • 00:48:52
    There's been many instances in my life where I didn't just pray
  • 00:48:57
    and ask for results without putting in the hard work.
  • 00:49:00
    >> Right. Well, talking about the physical game, when I was
  • 00:49:05
    talking with Solomon about, hey, let's have you kind of stand
  • 00:49:08
    You don't have to sit down.
  • 00:49:09
    This isn't a studio. Let's have you
  • 00:49:10
    standing up around.
  • 00:49:11
    And the reason why you didn't stand was?
  • 00:49:14
    >> Yeah, I told him, I said, "I have this old body that's been
  • 00:49:17
    beaten up by football, you know, bad back, bad hips.
  • 00:49:20
    >> Right.
  • 00:49:21
    >> I said, "I need to sit down.
  • 00:49:22
    You can stand that's good for you, but give me a perch to sit
  • 00:49:27
    on because, you know, I'm 54, but my body and joints are
  • 00:49:31
    >> Yet?
  • 00:49:34
    >> No, no, no. You
  • 00:49:35
    don't hit as hard as some ballplayers, so it's okay.
  • 00:49:37
    [ laughter ]
  • 00:49:41
    >> But that, man, that is I mean, that's really wild to be in a
  • 00:49:46
    profession for six years that's going to affect the rest of
  • 00:49:51
    your life.
  • 00:49:52
    >> Absolutely. Physically.
  • 00:49:54
    >> Physically, yeah.
  • 00:49:55
    Physically.
  • 00:49:56
    >> There was times I remember after a game the next morning and
  • 00:50:01
    you go to get out of bed and, whoa, I mean, you hurt from head
  • 00:50:05
    And all ballplayers will tell you this, the very next day you
  • 00:50:10
    have so much inflammation, you're in such pain that you get up
  • 00:50:15
    slowly.
  • 00:50:16
    And that's when you know that this isn't good for my long term
  • 00:50:19
    health. There's just no way this is good.
  • 00:50:22
    And you keep doing it and you keep getting back on that
  • 00:50:26
    horse, sooner or later, something is going to happen.
  • 00:50:29
    My body would pop in places that I even know existed.
  • 00:50:33
    And now I'm still feeling the pains from from having done that.
  • 00:50:40
    But I wouldn't change it for anything.
  • 00:50:41
    >> Well, what?
  • 00:50:42
    Why not?
  • 00:50:43
    I mean, it seems to me maybe there's some credibility to
  • 00:50:46
    football should just go away.
  • 00:50:48
    >> No, I don't think so.
  • 00:50:49
    I think it does still offer our youth opportunities to come
  • 00:50:54
    together and learn how to win as a team.
  • 00:50:58
    Learn how to operate within a team setting and still strive for
  • 00:51:02
    goals, dreams, aspirations, as I did in high school.
  • 00:51:06
    The game helped change the trajectory of my life.
  • 00:51:10
    We learn how to fail and still bounce back.
  • 00:51:13
    That moments of failure aren't permanent.
  • 00:51:15
    I learned that from playing sports.
  • 00:51:17
    I learned that from playing football.
  • 00:51:19
    I got beat, gave up touchdowns, came back and made a play.
  • 00:51:23
    You have to always get back up and keep fighting.
  • 00:51:26
    So there's so many things that we can learn, okay, that we can
  • 00:51:31
    carry with us the rest of our lives that we learn from
  • 00:51:33
    participating in sports.
  • 00:51:34
    Football did that for me.
  • 00:51:36
    It might be another sport for your son or daughter, but that
  • 00:51:40
    game should not go away.
  • 00:51:41
    There's always gonna be some young kid on some farm in the
  • 00:51:45
    Nebraska, he wants off that farm.
  • 00:51:47
    He's tired of bailing hay.
  • 00:51:48
    >> Right? But football offers him an opportunity to one day buy
  • 00:51:52
    that farm.
  • 00:51:53
    >> Well, it's not just that, I like a sport that gives a healthy
  • 00:51:57
    outlet for aggression.
  • 00:51:58
    >> There you go.
  • 00:51:59
    Absolutely.
  • 00:52:01
    >> A lot of young males need a healthy outlet for aggression.
  • 00:52:05
    And I think that are paranoia over football is coinciding with
  • 00:52:09
    our embracing of passively.
  • 00:52:11
    We just -- we just want less and less of a vigorous life.
  • 00:52:15
    And I'm concerned about it.
  • 00:52:16
    >> Well, you talk about being aggressive.
  • 00:52:18
    You cannot survive on a football field if you're not aggressive.
  • 00:52:22
    Even the quarterback who you don't think of is being aggressive.
  • 00:52:25
    I mean, if you watch Tom Brady and you watch him, he's head
  • 00:52:28
    butting with his offensive line.
  • 00:52:29
    He's getting jacked up and he's not going to tackle anyone.
  • 00:52:33
    But even when it comes to throwing that laser ball with the
  • 00:52:37
    clock ticking, he cannot be passive in that moment.
  • 00:52:41
    Defenders are swarming around Rob Gronkowski and he's still
  • 00:52:44
    going to squeeze that ball in that tight window.
  • 00:52:47
    And if he's passive or if he's at all tentative, there's no way
  • 00:52:51
    he's going to be able to win as many championship rings as he's
  • 00:52:54
    won.
  • 00:52:55
    >> You saw it on blows this out, he was a guest on The
  • 00:52:57
    Aggressive Life podcast and you did a great job.
  • 00:53:00
    >> And we did some race stuff on there, too.
  • 00:53:02
    It was a really, really good one.
  • 00:53:05
    Okay. Big question for you, last question for you here.
  • 00:53:08
    Solomon has not talked about his broadcasting career.
  • 00:53:12
    He went to work for free at a local TV station in Cincinnati,
  • 00:53:19
    just to earn ropes and climb the ladder.
  • 00:53:21
    And he's been on the sideline reporting gig at this
  • 00:53:24
    Super Bowl, a number of Super Bowls.
  • 00:53:25
    How many Super Bowls have you reported on.
  • 00:53:26
    >> Oh, four?
  • 00:53:27
    >> Four. How many Super Bowls have you won?
  • 00:53:30
    >> I've won none, Brian.
  • 00:53:31
    He already knew that.
  • 00:53:35
    >> You've got an interesting perspective.
  • 00:53:37
    Like you've been in the NFL and you've been in reporting at the
  • 00:53:42
    highest levels, not just in sports, but some other things.
  • 00:53:45
    What's God doing in the NFL and what's God doing in broadcasting
  • 00:53:49
    these days?
  • 00:53:51
    >> Wow. I mean, that's a very tough question because I think we
  • 00:53:54
    see it across the landscape of media, whether it's in sports or
  • 00:53:59
    whether it's in politics, that it's hard to be a truth
  • 00:54:03
    teller in media.
  • 00:54:06
    It's hard to be a truth teller.
  • 00:54:09
    In fact, you're almost rewarded for embellishing.
  • 00:54:13
    Right?
  • 00:54:14
    Whether it's in politics, whether it's in political news,
  • 00:54:17
    whether it's in entertainment news, and sports is like
  • 00:54:21
    entertainment.
  • 00:54:23
    So, for instance, I remember being in production meetings and
  • 00:54:29
    for instance, we were talking about JJ Watt, he plays for the
  • 00:54:31
    Houston Texans.
  • 00:54:32
    I absolutely love JJ Watt because I love the community work.
  • 00:54:36
    When you talk about the work that he did when there was a
  • 00:54:40
    hurricane, it struck Houston and he opens up this Go Fund Me
  • 00:54:47
    He just only wants to donate a couple of hundred thousand
  • 00:54:50
    dollars.
  • 00:54:52
    He ends up raising millions of dollars to give to those who lost
  • 00:54:59
    their homes due to the hurricanes in Houston, in the city where
  • 00:55:02
    he played.
  • 00:55:03
    So I want to talk about it.
  • 00:55:05
    I say, "Hey, we need to talk about this.
  • 00:55:07
    We always talk about the negative things when a player gets
  • 00:55:09
    arrested or when some of these things -- let's talk about, you
  • 00:55:13
    know, some of the work these players are doing in their
  • 00:55:15
    And I remember, oh, no, we're not talking about that.
  • 00:55:18
    But we could talk about who the player's dating.
  • 00:55:20
    We could talk about how they were arrested for whatever they
  • 00:55:23
    did.
  • 00:55:24
    And so to be able to find the space to do that consistently is
  • 00:55:29
    something that we often have to fight for.
  • 00:55:31
    >> Which that would be something that God would want.
  • 00:55:34
    God would want us to dwell on some of the positive things.
  • 00:55:36
    But you're saying where you've been in, that's hard to do.
  • 00:55:40
    >> Well, I would say, yeah, absolutely.
  • 00:55:42
    It's been challenging because you have producers, you have
  • 00:55:45
    bosses, they tell you, "Here is what we want.
  • 00:55:47
    Here's what we want to focus on.".
  • 00:55:49
    But when I came up through our journalism school at the
  • 00:55:51
    University of Colorado, you had -- you learned to be fair and
  • 00:55:55
    balanced.
  • 00:55:56
    Fair and balanced mean tell both sides of each story.
  • 00:56:01
    We don't do that anymore.
  • 00:56:03
    In fact, in the mid 90s, the FCC, the Federal Board of
  • 00:56:08
    Communications, they passed legislation where you don't have to
  • 00:56:12
    You could tell one side of a story and only that one side and
  • 00:56:17
    not lose your license.
  • 00:56:19
    So since the beginning of television, which the advent of
  • 00:56:22
    television and 1950s, you had to tell both sides of the story,
  • 00:56:26
    whether you're Walter Cronkite, Edward R.
  • 00:56:29
    Murrow or any of the great news broadcasters of the past.
  • 00:56:34
    And today you get to sell one side of the story.
  • 00:56:38
    >> We all know that one side of the story is not the whole
  • 00:56:42
    story.
  • 00:56:43
    I'm all right?
  • 00:56:44
    Well, we're glad that we've got folks like you who are in
  • 00:56:47
    places that the rest of us aren't.
  • 00:56:49
    Would you -- would you just up pray us out here today before we
  • 00:56:53
    have all of our community pastors come up?
  • 00:56:54
    >> Absolutely.
  • 00:56:55
    And close us out. Would you just pray for us?
  • 00:56:56
    >> Gracious eternal Father, Lord God, we thank you for this
  • 00:56:59
    opportunity to come and share the fruits that you have given us
  • 00:57:03
    one with another.
  • 00:57:04
    We pray, O, Lord, that you would continue to bind us to Your
  • 00:57:07
    word, that You would combined us as a community to stick
  • 00:57:11
    together in love.
  • 00:57:13
    We thank you, Father, for your word today.
  • 00:57:17
    We pray that as we leave here today, you would protect each and
  • 00:57:21
    every one of us to arrive home and at our destination safely.
  • 00:57:24
    We thank you and ask this in Jesus name.
  • 00:57:27
    >> Amen.
  • 00:57:28
    >> All right.
  • 00:57:29
    Let's bring up our community pastors. [ applause ].
  • 00:57:46
    Thanks for joining us this week for our Spark Talks.
  • 00:57:49
    I hope that right now you're feeling inspired maybe with a brand
  • 00:57:52
    new idea.
  • 00:57:54
    Next week for our Spark Talks all of our community pastors are
  • 00:57:58
    going to be speaking live in their locations.
  • 00:58:02
    And there will be local people in each of those communities
  • 00:58:05
    getting to share their stories.
  • 00:58:07
    And so it's a great weekend for you to check out what locations
  • 00:58:10
    are near you and maybe head to the location nearest you.
  • 00:58:14
    Or join us here on Crossroads Anywhere and get to hear a little
  • 00:58:18
    bit more about what's happening in California with this group
  • 00:58:21
    behind me.
  • 00:58:22
    We'll see you next week for Spark Talks.
  • 00:58:23
    Closed Captioning: Maverick Captioning Service, Cincinnati, Ohio
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Chaser—a few questions after the weekend service to start conversations. If this is your first time in a group, or your group has new members, take a few minutes and introduce yourself. Two truths and a lie is always a good place to start.

  1. No matter where you live across the country, this week was a scorcher. What did you do to cool off this week?

  2. A definition of the word “aggressive” is this: “pursuing one’s aims and interests forcefully”. What are some aims and interests in the world that are worth this kind of pursuit?

  3. What is something you want to aggressively pursue in your life right now?

  4. “My hard work wasn’t good enough.” Share a story of a time when it took more than just hard work to succeed. What else did you need?

  5. Read Hebrews 12:1-3 out loud. What jumps out at you? How can you aggressively go after something and still “fix your eyes” on Jesus?

More from the Weekend

What’s an obstacle in your life right now that makes you want to give up on your goals? Share it with your group and pray together right now. Ask God what your next steps are to move through that road block. And don’t forget to thank Him when he answers you!

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Jul 21, 2019 58 mins 55 sec

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