Friday, July 6

raymond berry, the famous wide-receiver of the
baltimore colts years ago, and in the football hall
of fame, called me a few days ago. i've been close
friends with him and his wife for years. in all the
games he ever played, he never once...NOT ONCE...
dropped the footballs thrown to him.

an incredible believer of Jesus Christ.
a scholar of the Bible.

"ann, this battle is really getting to me.
my faith is shrivelling. i'm beginning to doubt
things. to lose sight of God in this war."

"oh, raymond, join my club. there are days
i'm not sure i'm going to make it. when the
heat of battle begins to cinge my joy and

we laid one problem after another on the
Throne. forty-fifty minutes of letting go of
the human struggles that you encounter if
you've lived long enough for the enemy to
take you on in such a way that you
sometimes actually begin to believe maybe
he is going to level us. throw us under the
bridge. broken and lost. and win the journey
called living.

then, i remembered a moment not very
long ago when i saw the face of Jesus on
raymond. the latest super bowl. they had
asked raymond to carry the vince lombardi
trophy onto the platform to be handed out to
the winning team.

the champions made a path for raymond to
walk through. as he carried the large trophy,
players would reach out and stroke it. touch it.
amped up with excitement. but the entire walk
to the platform, the cameras focused only on
raymond berry. he had a sweet smile on his face.
a humility hard to find in this day and age.

i wept. watching this from my living room. cross-country.
never could i remember God so lifting someone up
as He did raymond that day. "this in my son in whom i
am well-pleased...." hand-selected by God while the
entire world looked on.

once again, raymond and i were reminded that
the things we thought God had promised us were
shaped differently than what we expected, but for sure.


  1. Yes, Ann, I can remember the early years of the 70's when life was so full of hope and dreams for my future...not realizing that God's plans were a bit different from mine...a growth of faith, clinging to the One who holds us in His arms and will never let go. Thank you, again, for being transparent. And for sharing in Raymond Berry's transparency too.we are in this boat together with Jesus.

  2. All I can do is nod and whisper...Yes..refined by fire
    Learning to practice the ways of Jesus. D. B.