SUPER BOWL: Aaron Rodgers, other Packers, looking to ‘follow Jesus’ example’

 Originally Posted February 2, 2011 in the Baptist Press


Posted on Feb 2, 2011 | by Art Stricklin

ARLINGTON, Texas (BP)–NFL experts and newspaper headline writers have been quick to label Green Bay starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers the "Leader of the Pack."

Something about 4,712 yards passing and 34 touchdowns, and leading the Packers to the verge of their first Super Bowl title in more than a decade will do that for you.

But Rodgers made it clear in Tuesday’s jam-packed Super Bowl XLV Media Day he only wants to be a leader of God’s pack when it comes to influencing others to see his faith in Jesus Christ.

"We all have a platform, we all have a message in our lives," Rodgers told Baptist Press and a worldwide media turnout, which ringed his individual interview area. "I just try to follow Jesus’ example, leading by example."

During his six years with the Packers, his career has seen enough twists and turns, dead ends and detours to test anyone’s faith. An expected top 10 draft choice, he lasted until the end of the first round for reasons he never understood. He stood on the sidelines for three seasons while Packers quarterback Brett Favre went through his yearly will-he-or-won’t-he retirement routine as Packers QB.

Finally given a chance to start three years ago, he has matured into one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but not forgetting his past, present and future in Christ.

"God always has a plan for us, a path. Sometimes we wish we knew it sooner," Rodgers said with a bit of a laugh, "but He always shows up His way."

He credits his parents, Ed and Darla Rodgers, who still live in Northern California where he was raised, for showing him a loving and Christ-centered household. He also remains close to his two longtime accountability partners, Pastors Andrew Burchett of the Neighborhood Church in Chico, Calif., and Young Life Christian youth group leader Matt Hock.

Even in the midst of the craziness of Super Bowl week and Tuesday’s Media Day at Cowboys Stadium, Rodgers had already checked in with his accountability team.

"They won’t be here Sunday, but they’ve been calling and texting me," he said. "Matt sent me a photo of his entire Young Life group decked out in Packers gear."

Rodgers’ quiet and humble testimony has been enough to inspire Christian NFL fans everywhere and his own teammates as well.

Rookie defensive end C.J. Wilson, whose father is a Pentecostal minister in Mt. Olive, N.C., said he really didn’t know what to expect when he showed up for his first NFL season this year. But when he saw the experience of his star quarterback and his witness, Wilson felt encouraged with his own professional football faith.

"I think it does help when your superstar quarterback is walking with God. I’ve been blessed to be around him and see how God makes all things possible in our lives," Wilson said.

Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is one of Rodgers’ receivers and teammates on the field, but more importantly, a spiritual brother on and off the field. He said he’s determined to let Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers be his platform for God.

"I just want to let people know what it’s all about. One of the Scriptures I refer to a lot is, ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’ and I’m required to have a voice [for God] because I have a stage and a platform," Jennings said.

"Number one, all glory goes to God. That’s where it starts and that’s where it finishes."

His father, Greg, Sr., is the pastor of Progressive Deliverance Ministries in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett has been inspired to join an anti-pornography campaign in the NFL this year to help rid the destructive influence among his friends and teammates. He said he had to turn down the invitations of his teammates this week and other times who wanted him to go places he knew was not right.

"I value my family and my wife. I try to stay away from that," Pickett said.

Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby doesn’t have to be reminded about the number of Super Bowl games which have come down to a final touchdown or field goal, including the last Super Bowl held in Texas when the New England Patriots won on a last-second kick in Houston.

But he said his faith in Christ won’t allow him to be defined by a single kick.

"I think He helps me knowing that kicking is what I do, not who I am. It’s not everything that I am. I can escape knowing that my relationship with Christ is what carries me."

Crosby has also noticed his quarterback’s faith and his example to his teammates and the sports world.

"Aaron has a great relationship with the Lord," Crosby said. "He’s the face of the franchise and it helps to see he’s living the message all of the time.

"I’m always reading in the Proverbs and Psalms to relax my mind before we play," Crosby added. "I know that God cares for me all the time regardless of any outcome here."

–30–

Art Stricklin is a Dallas-based sports correspondent. With reporting by Jerry Pierce, managing editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN (www.texanonline.net), newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

 

Jesus Knows You’re Here

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, ‘Jesus knows you’re here.’  He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more , after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard, ‘Jesus is watching you.’  Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.  ‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot.

‘Yep’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that he is watching you.’

The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’  ‘Moses,’ replied the bird.  ‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’

‘The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.’

Satan

A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews and talking.

Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.

Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence..

So Satan walked up to the man and said, ‘Do you know who I am?’

The man replied, ‘Yep, sure do.’

‘Aren’t you afraid of me?’ Satan asked.

‘Nope, sure ain’t.’ said the man.

‘Don’t you realize I can kill you with one word?’ asked Satan.

‘Don’t doubt it for a minute,’ returned the old man, in an even tone.

‘Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?’ persisted Satan.

‘Yep,’ was the calm reply.

‘And you are still not afraid?’ asked Satan.

‘ Nope,’ said the old man

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, ‘Why aren’t you afraid of me?’

The man calmly replied, ‘Been married to your sister for 48 years.

… But You Are Now …

Each Friday night after work, Bubba would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a venison steak.. But, all of Bubba’s neighbors were Catholic. And since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday. The delicious aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest.

The Priest came to visit Bubba, and suggested that he become a Catholic. After several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass.. and as the priest sprinkled holy water over him, he said, ‘You were born a Baptist, and raised a Baptist, but now you are a Catholic..

Bubba’s neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled venison filled the neighborhood. The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors, and, as he rushed into Bubba’s yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.

There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: You wuz born a deer, you wuz raised a deer, but now you is a catfish.

Suicidal Muslims

Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim terrorists are so quick to commit suicide.

Let’s see now:

  • NO Jesus
  • NO Christmas
  • NO Television
  • NO Cheerleaders
  • NO Nude Women
  • NO Car races
  • NO Football
  • NO Soccer
  • NO Pork BBQ
  • NO Hot dogs
  • NO Burgers
  • NO Chocolate chip cookies
  • NO Lobster
  • NO Nachos
  • NO Beer nuts
  • NO Beer !!!!!!!!
  • Rags for clothes and towels for hats.
  • Constant wailing from the guy next-door because he’s sick and there are no doctors.
  • Constant wailing from the guy in the tower.
  • More than one wife.
  • You can’t shave.
  • Your wives can’t shave..
  • You can’t shower to wash off the smell of donkey cooked over burning camel dung.
  • Your bride is picked by someone else.
  • She smells just like your donkey.
  • Then they tell you that when you die it all gets better!

I mean, really, is there a mystery here?

The Boasting Boys

Three boys are in the schoolyard bragging about their fathers.

The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem and they give him $50.”

The second boy says, “That’s nothing.   My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song and they give him $100.”

The third boy says, “I got you both beat.  My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon and it takes eight people to collect all the money!”

 

12 Step Program for Sound Technicians in Churches

The following was orignally published at Guitarists Praise and Worship on April 17, 2009.


Over the years I have gotten quite a lot of mail, calls and letters from frustrated church musicians. Browsing any church related forum you will clearly see musicians hit the net to vent their frustration when it comes to the sound people. Either it is too bright, too dull, too loud, too quiet or just a huge ole mess all together.

I have designed a 12 step program that might be able to help some of you sort out these matters before you all are absorbed by holy wrath.

Step 1 Know Sound.

A lot of churches are not blessed with people who actually knows what good live sound is. Actually, often they don’t know what bad sound is either. While most musicians listen to music and try to mimic sounds or styles, a lot of sound technicians don’t seem to pay any attention to sound quality at all. Many sound techs are more volume controllers than anything else.

I usually put together a CD with examples of good live sound and bad live sound. I then bring this to the venue and set up a date with the techs going over the different examples explaining what makes them good or bad. Usually I hand out a copy for each tech with notes. You would be surprised how many techs who never thought about clarity in a mix.

Step 2 Know Instruments

To be able to dial in a decent live sound, the sound technicians need to know the instruments, including the characteristics and diversities of the human voice. At this stage I usually bring in frequency charts as well as suggested EQ-settings as a starting point.

With the help from the band, we do instrument by instrument. Listening closely to each instrument finding what frequencies that makes a guitar sound like a guitar and so on, we build familiarity for the technicians. This will help them fix issues in the mix at a later stage.

Step 3 Know gear

For a lot of church sound techs, they have gotten the job because no one else wanted it. In other cases they are good at operating other technical gadgets without really having a clue about sound systems. I usually go over the in-house system and make a simple diagram over the parts and the functions.

In a lot of cases the problem is that the techs don’t really have a clue about what is on a mixer and why it is there. At this stage I usually go over the functions on the mixer and how it can be used. At a minimum you need to explain EQ-settings, AUX, FX and mute. There are a lot of good books on live sound out there, and if you lack the knowledge on how to get there yourself, I am sure the band would be more than happy to contribute with a couple of $’s each to get one for the sound guy or gal.

Step 4 Know the music

Ok so let us say that you are on your way here. The sound tech has understood the concept of good live sound, the difference in instruments and frequencies and has a basic understanding of the gear. The next step is to get the tech to know the songs.

A very helpful tool here is making up a sheet with each song on it. Write in who is doing lead and backing, what instruments are on, if there are any solos and so on. I usually make these sheets very, very clear by using different fonts or colors for each musician/ singer. This way the tech will know what happens and when it happens.

Step 5 Know each other

One of the main problems I see in a lot of churches is that a sound tech more often is that annoying dude who messes up the sound, rather than a friend. I think it is crucial for any band to build a strong relationship with their sound tech. The tech can enhance or destroy what you are doing and should be viewed as a part of the band.

As any musician needs to practice, a sound tech needs to practice as well. Of course you can practice at home by yourself as a musician so you know your part when you are meeting up with the band, that is however not that easy for a sound tech unless her or she has a multi track recording to practice mixing with.

If the band rehearses anywhere with a PA-system, the sound techs should be included at every chance possible to hone their skills. I used to attend a church in Stockholm years ago. The band and the techs hung out, set up and rigged down together. It was great as friendship allows you to be more direct and speak your mind, rather than calling a meeting to sort out differences of opinions.

Step 6 Know the room

Some people might be surprised that I put knowing the room as far down the list as Step 6. However there is a reason for that. Without knowing sound, gear, instruments, the music and the band, knowing the room would be pretty useless to church technicians.

If you have gotten this far, I believe that your sound tech should have some point of interest in making everything sound as good as possible. Why, because he or she is a part of a team doing an important job in the church. Knowing the room will now become pretty essential to make everything smooth and clear all over the room.

With the band playing or with a CD for that matter, I take a tour of the empty room with the tech to listen. I repeat this when the room is filling up and when it is full. People will alter the sound. With basic knowledge of main EQ, most of this can be fixed. It is also a good pointer for all over sound levels.

Step 7 Communicate

Communication is the key to any cooperation. However to communicate, people need to speak the same language. Sometimes it can be necessary to educate each other on what we actually mean by expressions that make perfectly sense to us, but appears meaningless to others.

A little more bass, less boxy, a bit more air in the mix, I lack some definition, a tad more kick in the monitor, are all things that could be easily misunderstood and overdone or even underdone. We need to learn how to be specific and explain what we need in ways the techs actually understand.

The more we communicate the easier it is to understand that the bass player might mean a lot when he says a little, while the acoustic guitarist means a little when she says a little. We all have different scales so let’s sort those things out.

Step 8 Record, record and record.

I am a firm believer of recording live mixes of several reasons. First of all it provides a good tool for the musicians to improve their playing, secondly it can give really good hints on needed changes in the orchestration and thirdly, it will be a tool to improve the quality of the live sound.

By having the mix “documented” you can go back and go over the good and the bad with the tech. By using heir sheets from Step 4 they can make notes on what works and what doesn’t work. I do not care if it is recorded to an old cassette deck or an mp3 player, as long as it is recorded. As the musicians need to evaluate their playing, the sound tech needs to evaluate his or her job.

Step 9 Keeping it interesting

I come from a family who has been into music and sound for decades. I wanted to be good at it because it gave me something. Someone managed to keep it interesting. I had my first sound tech job at 12 years old. It was a pretty much straight forward gig, 2 ole ladies with acoustic guitars and one preacher. I had been a volume controller for the pulpit mic for a while under my father’s supervision. Now I got to manage 5 channels as well as the mains.

The thing here is to let people grow with the task, setting realistic goals, keeping it interesting to learn more and handle more. Too much too quick will most of the time discourage people, while too little too slow, will most often bore p
eople to ignorance.

I have been to numerous churches and with very few exceptions I have heard people complain over sound. Funny enough I have never heard someone in a congregation say “Hey let’s send our tech on a weekend sound seminar”. Keeping it interesting is also about actually equipping people to become excellent.

Step 10 Gear up

Everyone loves unwrapping new stuff. A zillion kids can’t be wrong at Christmas. I have gone in and out of churches that get new chairs, new lighting, new décor, new coffee machines and what not, but still run the same ole PA-system year after year after year.

If you manage to get someone to take sound seriously, I think everyone will benefit from the occasional bone throwing. It doesn’t have to be the huge investments, but maybe a decent headset, a new chair for the tech or even a new mic every now and then. Making people feel that what they do is important often starts with small gestures.

What actually works like a charm is to have the tech explore different solutions on the bands needs. I watched one of the most hopeless cases I ever seen turn into quite a decent tech after he was given the possibility to impact decisions on what gear to get. Suddenly he found a trigger to learn more.

Step 11 Recruiting new talents

You might be going wooot, while scratching your head now. If we finally are having a sound tech who actually does a decent job, why go out and bring in someone else?. There are mainly two reasons for this.

First of all teaching someone something often lifts your level of knowledge as well, as you are forced to think about why and how from a new perspective. Secondly, your sound tech could get sick, move away or move on to another church, and you would be left with having to start all over. If you let the sound tech train an assistant, that job will be less stressful on the band.

Step 12 Acknowledge efforts

When I started out as a kid doing those kinds of 2 ole ladies with acoustic guitars and a preacher gigs, I was pretty fast getting credits for my efforts no matter how “easy” the gigs might have been. I felt welcomed and included. I am not saying that I did not get straightened out from time to time, but that always happened in private, while acknowledging happened in public.

The reverend was introduced, the singer, choir or band that was performing was introduced and the sound guy was introduced. That made me really want to do my best not only for the people on the platform or the ones sitting in the pews, but I wanted to do my best for God.

I probably messed up more times than I remember, but I got better, and so will people who are allowed to make mistakes but still receives acknowledgement for their efforts. You would be amazed how little cred most sound techs get at all. If the pastor or the band doesn’t do it either from the platform or after, the chance that the congregation does it, is slim to zero.

————————–

You might find this all to be interesting but a lot of work. Maybe you find this to be utter rubbish. I don’t know. What I do know is that patience, a will to share knowledge, an inclusive friendship and acknowledgement probably will get you a lot further than criticism, ignorance and hostility.

I see the frustration from both sides. I have been on both sides and I still am. I am not saying churches should treat sound techs like superior beings, but they should not be treated like necessary evil either. It is often very easy to praise those on a platform and forget about the ones who clean the church, the ones who prepares the meals, the ones who decorates and yes, the ones who manages the sound system.

For Catholics Only

This information is for Catholics only. It must not be divulged to non-Catholics. 

The less they know about our rituals and code words, the better off they are. 

AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows. 

BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass. 

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync. 

HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY. 

HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range. 

RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left. 

INCENSE: Holy Smoke! 

JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams. 

JONAH: The original ‘Jaws’ story. 

JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.

KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava. (for you non-Catholics it means Lord have mercy) 

MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower. 

MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn’t covered by an HMO. (The Bible’s way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.) 

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches. 

PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.  

RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot. 

RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand. 

TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman. 

USHERS: The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew. 

Little known facts about the Catholic Church in  Las Vegas : There are more churches in Las Vegas than casinos. During Sunday services at the offertory, some worshippers contribute casino chips as opposed to cash. Some are sharing their winnings – some are hoping to win. Since they get chips from so many different casinos, and they are worth money, theCatholic churches are required to send all the chips into the diocese for sorting. Once sorted into the respective casino chips, one junior priest takes the chips and makes the rounds to the casinos turning chips into cash. And he, of course, is known as The Chip Monk.

Where Did People Come From?

A little girl asked her father: ‘How did the human race appear?’

The father answered, ‘God made Adam and Eve; they had children; and so was all mankind made.’

Two days later the girl asked her mother the same question.. The mother answered, ‘Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.’

The confused girl returned to her father and said, ‘Dad, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Mum said they developed from monkeys.’

The father answered, ‘Well, Dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family, and your mother told you about hers.’

Acts 2:38

A woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services, when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled: ‘Stop! Acts 2:38!’ [Repent and be Baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven.]

The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.

As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar: ‘Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you.’

‘Scripture?’ replied the burglar.. ‘She said she had an ax and two 38s!’

Send this to someone who needs a laugh today and remember: Knowing
scripture can save your life – in more ways than one!