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Football Cheer
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Mixed in with the changing of the leaves and the vacillating mercury, comes the sound of boys and girls of all ages enjoying the time honored game of football. Although it’s been a long time since I was loyal to a professional team, I’m devoted to a couple of local teams that play flag football on our church’s sports field.

One day every weekend you’ll find me with my camp chair as close to the “50-yard line” as the referees will allow. Through blazing sun, pouring rain and freezing temperatures, I’ll be cheering for one or the other of my grandsons and their team. Unfortunately their games are not consecutive and with an hour to kill in between and during good weather, I stay put and enjoy watching another two teams take to the field.

It’s heartwarming to watch the participants take a knee before the start of each game while they pray for a well-played game complete with good sportsmanship. Mid game, the adults are treated to a short devotional.

For Both Teams

One weekend, during the competition wedged between my grandsons’ games, I sat next to a young family. The father was an especially enthusiastic cheerleader – for both teams. I could only surmise that he had children on both sides, although I noticed he rooted for nearly everyone regardless of jersey color. True to my nosey nature, I asked him about it.

“I cheer for anyone making a good play or anyone making a good effort,” he said. “My daughter’s playing on the team wearing black today, but I’ve had several children participate on these church teams and we keep coming back because I love the spiritual aspect here.”

His words made me reflect on how I dole out encouragement. Am I a miser, saving the best words for my friends and family, or am I watching out for anyone who’s making a good effort?

"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them" (Ephesians 4:28-30).

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © .

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