Monday, December 17, 2012

Twenty Angels are Dancing

Most everyone has an outlet of some sort, or a certain way in which they process tragedy, difficulties or challenges. It seems, ever since I was old enough to write, mine has been through words. This weekend I couldn't sleep as the horrible news from Friday's classroom shooting in Newtown kept replaying in my mind. In the midst of thought, prayer and numerous unsuccessful attempts to return to sleep; words slowly began to form from what my heart was feeling. It's my hope that healing this tragic wound that's affected the entire country can come as each of us contribute our prayers, love, words and music--pouring them out on the devastated hearts connected with Sandy Hook Elementary school. 

There were seven adults killed along with the children, and then the gunman took his own life, however, the following words are focused alone on the loss of such young lives . . . the twenty little souls that left this earth for Heaven that day. 
angelsTwenty Angels are Dancing     
(a response to a great tragedy)

Halfway through December, two thousand and twelve
From a regular Friday to the darkness of hell
Just a young, troubled boy—for reasons unclear
Stormed into the classrooms and unleashed a fear
Given over to evil and hatred inside
That day taking twenty innocent lives

Twenty angels are dancing in Heaven tonight
Pulled from such darkness, brought into the Light
With each little last breath, the Savior’s strong arms
Carried with pure love away from the harm

Hearts that are breaking on hearing the news
Try waking this nightmare; it cannot be true
Mothers' arms aching in empty embrace
Dads' minds filled with sorrow, long the day to erase
‘Neath trees and menorahs gifts still wrapped, remain
With each family we all grieve, hearts feeling their pain

Twenty angels are dancing in Heaven tonight
Pulled from such darkness, brought into the Light
With each little last breath, the Savior’s strong arms
Carried with pure love away from the harm

Will hope again fill where it had been known?
How will come comfort? By God’s grace alone
Trusting the unseen for each little soul
Lovingly He is restoring them whole
Hand holding hands, no longer in fear
A smile, a wave, and joy for the tears

Twenty angels are dancing in Heaven tonight
Pulled from such darkness, brought into the Light
With each little last breath, the Savior’s strong arms
Carried with pure love away from the harm

. . . Carried with pure love away from the harm.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Difference of Christmas is Everything

"Poverty must be enriched by Him in whom are infinite treasures before it can venture to commune; and guilt must lose itself in imputed and imparted righteousness ere the soul can walk in fellowship with purity." –C.H. Spurgeon 

In this "I'm okay-you're okay" world, where many blasé university religion professors tout the so-called equivalence of all religions—I am very grateful for the difference Christmas makes.

I'm not talking about "fa-la-la" and tinsel, festive lights and trees in the living room—I'm talking about the divergence from similitude that was laid down by one Baby.

God Himself, in the vulnerable, fragile form of a human infant.

Nativity The All-sufficient One, Who created the entire universe—and you and I—laying down His consummate position, exchanging royalty and absolute independence for tenuous flesh and blood; suddenly becoming the epitome of mortal dependence. (Nativity scene: Somerset House Publishing) 

The Apostle Paul described it this way:

"Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross." (Phil.2:6-8)

John, in the first chapter of his Gospel, wrote:

"And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us . . ." (John 1:14 -AMP)

Just in case that doesn't yet strike wonder in your heart, really think about this . . .

Mary was created by the very Son she bore.

How's that for a time-space-continuum vortex?!

And just when you start to think the astonishing mystery of Christmas is too unattainable for you to grasp; God has made the message and the purpose of His mission very simple.

Any loving parent and any child can understand it.

. . . To be with His children, and for His children to be with Him.

"There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person. He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him].

"But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]" (John 1:9-13)

It's summed up in two names bestowed upon God's Son—one the immediate promise: Immanuel, which means "God with us."

"Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" (Matt.1:23)

The other name; the one and only key to unlock Heaven's door. It's the mission statement and also a reminder that what we could never do ourselves, God has done for us: Yeshua (Jesus in the Greek), which means "God saves."

". . . you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matt.1:21)
"There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

It's the greatest gift we could ever receive; it can't be earned and it is offered to everyone.

God with us now, and us with God when our mortal life is done.

It is the assurance of constant companionship of the One who has authored our very lives and the world in which we live, and the One who knows our future. The assurance and the peace of knowing that even death cannot tear us apart from Him—He is with us through and on the other side of it.

Nothing in this world; no person, no substance, no prosperity and no religion can offer what a relationship with Jesus does.

Again Paul wrote in Corinthians:

"You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich." (2 Cor.8:9) 

It is the absolute difference that Christmas—the birth of Jesus—makes to each one of us who will open that preeminent Gift.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Responding in Grace

"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things." –Proverbs 15:28 (NASB)
(Albany, OR)—As someone who has been on this planet for more than a few decades (I'm not saying just how many), I know that no matter how well—or how poorly—a person does, there will always be someone to put them down.

As a Believer in Jesus, and an imperfect-but-devoted follower of Him, I know we have the choice to carefully choose our words, and act with grace when criticism comes, instead of reacting with something much less character-building. And, in fact, the former is what we are called to do as Christians.

Tim Tebow So, when I see someone like Jets backup QB Tim Tebow (a solid Believer)—who is not having the best pre-season so far—being constantly criticized, most recently by former NFL QB, Boomer Esiason, I admit that it makes me cringe. (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

But, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at Tim's grace-filled reply.

Boomer, who is now a CBS NFL analyst and radio host, said of Tebow, "If I was the Jets, you want to know what I would do? I would cut Tim Tebow. I really would. I'm telling you right now I would, and I'll tell you why I would: It's just not in any way, shape or form benefiting this team."

Esiason—who (USA Today pointed out) never did take the Jets to the playoffs when he was their starter, yet Tebow did in his first starting role with the Denver Broncos—went on to say that Tim Tebow "has played some of the worst football that any quarterback has ever played in the history of the game."

Of course, after such callous comments, the press waited to see how Tebow would answer; if his Christian witness would hold up.

"I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason," responded Tim. "I know he was a great player here, and I just wish him nothing but the best in his announcing, and God bless him."

. . . Grace and wisdom in that response.

This young man accomplished a lot last season in the NFL, but with each sincerely kind and un-defensive answer he gives; I think he accomplishes even more.

And, I despise pedestals, so I'm not putting him up there. I'm merely using Tebow's example to point out to myself first, and to all of us, how much better it can be to "ponder how to answer," as the Bible notes in Proverbs 15:28.

It's something the Lord is still giving me plenty of opportunities to put into practice—something I hope will one day be second nature.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Independence Day Prayer for America

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." -(excerpt from) The Declaration of Independence
As we come to July 4th, and my beloved country celebrates its birthday, even the most ardent American patriot can look around and see its ailing state of being.
It's easy to start pointing fingers and slip into political rhetoric, but this nation began as and has always been a nation of individuals connected by a common bond. Out of many, one: "E pluribus unum."
Whatever sickness (spiritually speaking) from which America suffers, it is we-the-people of America who are afflicted, not an inanimate continent.
King David wrote in Psalm 11:3, "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
The ones who set out for the New World were driven by a desire to worship God freely, and they were led by their DEPENDENCE on the God they loved.
First Continental Congress Our forefathers wrote it into the Declaration of Independence; the bottom line: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." (Photo: Painting of First Continental Congress kneeling in prayer)
A "firm reliance" on "Divine Providence": God. This is America's foundation with everything else stripped away.
Independence Day seems to remind me lately of this country's attitude of independence-from-God that has been growing like those hard-to-kill weeds in our front lawns. Without cultivating the good grass, the weeds will soon take over.
The same is true in each of our hearts.
I know there have been gatherings and prayer events calling for us to return to our foundation of DEPENDENCE ON GOD as a country. But again, this country is individual people; its attitude change begins in the hearts of each of its citizens.
I have been reminded lately of the sweetness of depending on God.
Depending on the Lord Jesus for ultimate salvation, but also for everyday peace, direction, motivation, purpose.
Finding joy in the incredibly close and awe-inspiring Presence of God. Finding purpose, direction and strength in just knowing that the Creator and King of the Universe is "intimately acquainted with all our ways," and what's more, He wants to be!
It's a simple prayer, I know… But still I pray that each of us here in America, and everywhere in this beautiful Earth the Lord has given us, would return to this dependence on our immutable God.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nik Wallenda's Walk on Wire "to Inspire" over Niagara Falls

"I believe God has opened many doors for me in my life and this is one of them." –Nik Wallenda
Nik Wallenda over Niagara (Niagara Falls)—Once you've been to Niagara, and have stood so close to the 700,000 gallons of water rushing over the top of Horseshoe Falls, that you could almost reach out and touch it, you really don't forget that feeling of awe. (Photo:
I never have, even though I was just a child when I visited there—I can close my eyes and almost hear that roar in my ears.
No doubt the same is now true for Nik Wallenda, except in an extraordinarily unique way, as he became the first person to successfully walk over Niagara Falls, Friday night—from the American side to the Canadian—on a high wire.
Nik Wallenda over Niagara This was the fulfillment of a 27-year-dream of Nik's, now 33, and one he's trained, planned for and petitioned the Canadian and American authorities to temporarily lift the current ban on stunts involving Niagara Falls, which they finally agreed to for his walk only. (Photo:

When he completed his incredible feat, he had crossed into Canada, and was met on the other side by a border agent who asked him, "What is the purpose of your trip sir?"
Nik replied, "To inspire people around the world."
And inspire he surely did!
ABC carried the broadcast of the historic event, and equipped Wallenda with a headset so the entire television audience could hear his comments and conversation with his father from the broadcast booth.
Nik Wallenda over Niagara Perhaps viewers weren't expecting the stirring commentary from Nik as he took step after step in the shoes his mother had made him specifically for the high wire. (Photo:
"It's an unbelievable view! I'm so blessed to be in the position I am; to be the first person in the world to be right here. …Praise You, Father God, Praise You, Jesus," Nik said as he praised and thanked the Lord throughout his entire walk.
As the famed mists enveloped him his steps seemed to slow, and after passing that point the 7th generation high wire walker admitted, "You know the mists were thick, and it was hard to see at times."
"This is what dreams are made of people," encouraged Nik to everyone listening at one point, "pursue your dreams and never give up. Mine might seem strange but anyone dealing with any battle; focus on that other side."
Wallenda family prayer The walk that began with the Wallenda's traditional family prayer, ended with Nik's promised phone call to his grandmother who was "too nervous to watch." (Photo:
In a post-walk news conference, Nik noted that "Faith plays a huge roll in what I do. I believe God has opened many doors for me in my life and this is one of them. …To inspire people around the world; let them know the impossible is not so impossible if you set your mind to it."
What are the doors Nik feels God is opening to him next?
"I have permits to be the first person in the world to walk across the Grand Canyon," Nik Wallenda told reporters.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Value of Spontaneously Singing Together

I ran across an article in The Atlantic, recently that began in me some real contemplation on its subject: communal singing.

Singing at ballgame If you've ever attended a baseball game, you know the tradition of singing a chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during 7th inning stretch is one which even those who are reluctant-at-first will join in, especially for the ending crescendo of; "…one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball—game!" (Photo credit:

Reminiscing about the way Americans used to join in song at civic events, and the rarity of that in society today, writer Karen Loew notes some of the reasons that may be responsible for this lack of crowd-song.

"The reasons why are legion," Loew writes. "We are insecure about our voices. We don't know the words. We resent being forced into an activity together. We feel uncool. And since we're out of practice as a society, the person who dares to begin a song risks having no one join her.

"This is a loss… In these divided times as much as ever, we need to do some singing and feeling together, united as both citizens and amateurs."

Perhaps talent shows such as American Idol have done more harm than good in this arena, as we are now so quick to judge the vocal quality of a singer, instead of maybe throwing caution to the wind and joining in if appropriate.

karaoke I admire certain aspects of the karaoke scene for this reason. There's kind of an unspoken rule in karaoke that you support the (usually very) amateur singer no-matter-what. Even if all you're clapping for is the "shear guts" it took for the person to get up and shakily hold onto the mic while attempting to stay in some discernible key. It's nice that people are kind for the most part. (Photo credit:

While my thoughts are swiftly drawn to congregational worship services as good examples of communal singing that still exists; I think the aforementioned insecurity—and that quick-to-judge attitude—can, unfortunately, also be found in the Church.

Most churches either provide the lyrics to worship songs and choruses on an overhead projector, or from a hymnal, so it's not that we don't know the words… So, why aren't more sanctuaries filled to overflowing with the voices of a congregation in song—instead of just the worship team?

Let's not be so timid (or judgmental)!

Singing Together Can Be Therapeutic
Karen Loew brought up another interesting point when she noted that after so many of the sad events that touch communities there are candlelight vigils; however, at most of them there is no offering of communal melodies to help ease emotions.

"In news reports, we see photos of hugs and tears and shocked faces, and then candlelight vigils. These events, which apparently will continue, seem even sadder without the relief of song," writes Karen.

I think it's a valid argument; times like that warrant joining together in some healing chorus. It doesn't even need to be a Church song—God can touch hearts just as easily through a stanza of "You've Got a Friend," or "Lean On Me."

The Atlantic article concluded with a statement by Dr. Will Schmid—former leader of the music educators' association, who helped folk artist Pete Seeger create a list of singable folk songs. Schmid, citing the way a crowd will belt out a song together at a baseball game, said, "No one there is worried about whether they're good enough.

"That's a wonderful feeling—that's what I think we need to restore. That sense that: I'm good enough. I'm a happy amateur singer. I'm just going to let it out."

I agree! Maybe we all need to relearn a few of those old folk songs and bring into the spontaneous public arena some of our easy choruses from Church, and dare to sing them out.

Perhaps Christians especially—sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit—could lead a gathering into song at a moment when all those present could really benefit from lifting their voice.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Extraordinary Gift that is Music

"[Music] gives me the feeling of love… I figure right now the world needs to come into music, singing… you've got beautiful music here. I feel a band of love, of dreams."

I have always said that music can move a person like nothing else. It bypasses defenses, and barriers that mere words cannot penetrate.

We've seen this evidence in the internet station I program, ElijahStreams, which is dedicated to an eclectic mix of heartfelt, contemporary worship. While most of the songs played are in English, some are in other languages such as French, Swahili, Polynesian, Native American, or Hebrew.

ElijahStreams' statistics show large numbers of listeners not just in the US and Canada, but also in countries with a main language other than English—even countries that are mostly non-Christian. Worship music for the Lord is effectively moving past borders and cultural barriers to people's hearts. It's exciting!

What an amazing gift from the Lord is music.

He's given His children the creative ability to take notes, sounds and rhythms; putting them together in such a way as to evoke emotions from the player and the hearer.

For this reason, I know music can be a powerful tool for healing emotions and inner wounds as well.

Henry - what music does for him Consider a video that is rapidly going viral at the moment. It shows an elderly man named "Henry" in a nursing home who sits head-on-chin in his wheelchair day after day, mostly unresponsive. However, when a nurse puts headphones connected to an iPod on him and plays his favorite music from his own era, he immediately opens his eyes wide, raises his head and begins to hum and sing along to the music. Even after they take his headphones off, he communicates lucidly and candidly, especially as he begins to answer questions about the music he loves. So moving! (Watch the video by clicking here)

When asked what music does to him, the elderly gentleman replies emphatically, "It gives me the feeling of love… I figure right now the world needs to come into music, singing… you've got beautiful music here. I feel a band of love, of dreams. The Lord came to me and made me holy, I'm a holy man, so He gave me these sounds…"

Henry van Dyke (born in 1852) was a clergyman, English professor, author and poet—he wrote the lyrics to accompany Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," better known as "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee."

Henry also wrote a stirring poem about music that beautifully portrays the effect that even a simple melody can have on a person. Below is an excerpt from "Music."

Thou art the Angel of the pool that sleeps,
While peace and joy lie hidden in its deeps,
Waiting thy touch to make the waters roll
In healing murmurs round the weary soul.
Ah, when wilt thou draw near,
Thou messenger of mercy robed in song?
My lonely heart has listened for thee long;
And now I seem to hear
Across the crowded market-place of life,
Thy measured foot-fall, ringing light and clear
Above the unmeaning noises and the unruly strife;
In quiet cadence, sweet and slow,
Serenely pacing to and fro,
Thy far-off steps are magical and dear.
Ah, turn this way, come close and speak to me!
From this dull bed of languor set my spirit free,
And bid me rise, and let me walk awhile with thee.

(Excerpt from the poem "Music" by Henry Van Dyke)

Without detailing all the powerful ways music has been used in the Bible—in praise and worship, at the front lines of the battle, as effective salve for a tormented soul, as a necessary background for a prophetic word—suffice to say, it is a precious gift from God.

Now soothing music is being increasingly used as an effective treatment for many emotional, neurological, developmental and other disorders and ailments.

We are so blessed to have music to make, listen to and give back to the One who created it for us to discover!

I just don't want to take it for granted. So, thank You Lord, for music. ...And for a beautiful way to communicate to You and to others what we are feeling deep inside.

Watch the aforementioned YouTube video by CLICKING HERE.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Grammys and Whitney's Goodbye

"....although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit, and to have the legacy of her music to cherish and share forever." -LL Cool J

Whitney HoustonMost have already learned of the tragic end to gifted singer Whitney Houston, this past Saturday, when she was discovered alone and deceased in her hotel bathtub. As we recall her struggle to overcome addictions, we were "shocked but not surprised" as the saying goes. (Photo:

With Gospel singer, Cissy Houston as her mother, Whitney's background was one steeped in Church and a relationship with the Lord, and hopefully that is what she fell back on in her final moments of life.

Indeed, her final song sung in public turned out to be a chorus of, "Jesus Loves Me," which she sang with Kelly Price, when she called Houston up on stage with her. (Albeit, Houston was not in the best voice and appeared to be "under the influence" of something)

Whitney's last public songUnknowingly her swan song—it was a fitting one. Because, no doubt the Savior's love for His troubled songbird never ceased.

The impact of Whitney's passing was felt by her friends and fans at Sunday's Grammy Awards, which were opened by a moving prayer led by host, LL Cool J:

"Heavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister Whitney with us. Today our thoughts are with her mother, her daughter and all of her loved ones. And although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit, and to have the legacy of her music to cherish and share forever. Amen."

Toward the last hour of the Grammy Awards, Jennifer Hudson—herself a Christian artist with a beautiful voice—delivered a stirring and powerful version of Whitney's signature song from the movie, The Bodyguard; "I Will Always Love You." (CLICK HERE TO WATCH)

Whitney's short life of 48 years remains a reminder of the beautiful gifts and talents given by the Lord, juxtaposed to the destruction and deception that accompany addictions to drugs and alcohol.

We join those who pray for comfort for Whitney's family, and especially her only daughter, Bobbi-Kristina; that her direction would be one focused on God and His purposes for her life.

And perhaps one day we'll hear Whitney's beautiful voice again, as we stand singing before the Lord.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Defeat, Glory to God Shines Brighter in Tebow

"It still was a good day, because before the game I got to spend time with Zack McLeod and make him smile..." -Tim Tebow

Heading into Saturday, the media-driven hype surrounding Denver Broncos starting quarterback Tim Tebow had reached an all-time crescendo involving various forms of the web, print and TV.

So when the win-or-go-home playoff match finally took place Saturday night—a heady beatdown by the New England Patriots that culminated in a fairly humiliating loss for Denver—the disappointment (seemingly even by those who expected them to lose) mixed with "I-told-you-so" comments was palpable.

There are plenty of blogs proliferating the internet that have analyzed every physical, football-related aspect of that playoff game this past weekend; to the point where one more is quite unnecessary.

What I wanted to know about is character.

Much had been said about Tim Tebow's exemplary attributes prior to Saturday's loss. And, knowing that true character is forged and displayed in adversity much more than in times of victory and success, I wondered what the reaction from Tim would be after such a defeat. Would he still give God the glory?

Tebow prays w patriotsFrom what I can tell after scouring the internet, this young man—though quite obviously discomfited—seemed to remain solid in fiber and faith. (Tebow prays along with some of the Patriots/Al Bello/Getty Images)

"They had a great scheme," said Tebow about the Patriots in the after-game press conference. "They came out and they played well and they executed well. You've got to give them a lot of credit. I just want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and thank my teammates for the effort they put forth not only tonight but the entire season. I also want to thank the Broncos fans for all their support this season and it definitely meant a lot."

When asked about all the media hype, Tim talked about the value he placed on the camaraderie of his fellow players, "I haven't worried too much about [the media]," he told reporters. "I think the cool part is the relationship with my teammates. The run was a lot of fun. A lot of ups and downs but we really try to block everything in the outside off and just enjoy the relationships with teammates and coaches, and work and try to get better, and I feel like we did that all year. We just didn't put forth a good enough performance tonight. You've got to give them a lot of credit, that's a really good team."

Then Tim was asked about how the loss affected him. He talked about Zack McLeod the 20-year-old Cambridge native who suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football, whom Tim spent time with before the game. "It still was a good day," explained Tebow, "because before the game I got to spend time with Zack McLeod and make him smile. Overall when you get to do that it's still a positive day and a good day. Sometimes it's just hard to see but it depends what lens you're looking through. I choose to look through those lenses and I got to make a kid's day and anytime you do that it's more important than winning a game, so I'm proud of that."

In sports or business or whatever it is we work at and try to accomplish on a daily basis... When all is said and done, and we stand before the Lord someday, it will not be the yards passing or rushing, or the money we've brought in for our company, or how many albums we've sold that the King of the Universe will ask about.

It will be the love we've shown to another individual; did we touch someone else's life for Him—that matters.

As journalist, Vaden Chandler pointed out in a recent article, "It's important to remember that, at the end of the day, although millions of dollars and many jobs are at stake, the game of NFL football is still just that, a game.

It's not a matter of life and death, and I for one am thankful that the Broncos have a QB at the helm that besides being a fierce competitor, also understands that concept and will use his position to help others.

It reminds [me] of one other popular and well-known Orator, who admonished His hearers this way: 'For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul?' (Mark 8:36)"

It's evident to me that even at Tim Tebow's young age, he has these priorities straight.

And, perhaps more so because of this loss to the Patriots; his commitment to the Lord of life, and to touching another individual with the love of God, will shine even brighter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

God Gets the Last Word in Tebow's Miraculous Win

"Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great..."

[UPDATE]: Due to the sheer volume of feedback received pointing out some other interesting, and quite symbolic stats—after the publishing of the story below—I felt it behooved me to include them: In addition to the fact that Tebow threw for a total of 316 yards (mentioned below), he also averaged 31.6 yards per completion. (Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up yet?!) There are other rumors that contain 316 swirling around, however these were the ones that I was able to confirm. Because of the frequency of 316 appearing in the stats from Sunday's game, the Bible verse "John 3:16" was Googled over 90 million times, making it the "most searched Google term on Monday," according to the Washington Post. Who knows how many people may have been brought to the Lord by that one verse that spells out the message of the Gospel. No matter how you feel about "Tebow-mania," you cannot deny the impact this one life—surrendered to God—has made. This one person who almost wasn't born as the doctors advised Tim's mother to terminate her pregnancy. No wonder the enemy tried so hard to prevent his life!

By now even those who disdain football have likely heard of Tim Tebow. They may have even been privy to the water cooler remarks regarding the stunning finish to the playoff game this past weekend between "Big Ben" Rothlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tebow's Denver Broncos.

Just when I think enough has been said and written about this talented-yet-humble son of missionary parents, something else incredible—or miraculous, and in this case, pretty symbolic—happens that just can't be ignored! (Not that I would want to anyway.)

In fact, no one has ignored this fact—the entire internet is buzzing with it! But just in case you missed the statistical excitement that has caused a frenzy on the web and over airwaves this week, I'll explain.

A person who has a relationship with the Lord (and sometimes even those who don't), or really anyone who reads the Bible cannot deny that God seems to enjoy using symbolism—ie: certain numbers that may correspond to Scriptures, or have a significant Biblical numerical meaning behind them—to get our attention (or 'blow us away' as some would say).

After losing three straight games with disappointing stats, suddenly rumors had begun to fly that Tim Tebow was all but finished as the Denver starting QB. But on Sunday, along with an excellent performance by the rest of the team, Tebow led the Denver Broncos to an astounding overtime finish. One that ended with some very interesting numbers that seemed, well, emblematic, if you will.

Skeptics might write it off as "coincidence." If, however, one considers that God is the Author of coincidence, and therefore there is none, since "in Him we live and move and have our being," and everything He does has meaning and purpose; then the following numbers put up by Tim Tebow in Sunday's victory will be a treat.

Tebow threw the football for a career high: 316 yards.

That's right; 316. (Or 3:16, if you will.)

Tim Tebow with eye blackIf that number sounds familiar in regards to Tim Tebow, it should. (Photo: Lynn Sladky/AP)

When in college, playing for the Florida Gators, Tim often wore the Scripture reference for John 3:16 in his eye black. Now in the NFL, messages on a player's uniform are not allowed—funny though, how that number came right back up. (Looks like God got the last word after all!)

Criticism of Tebow had grown very ugly prior to Sunday's game, even someone as optimistic as Tim must have felt that pressure. (Although he never showed it)

But in the end, the final stat on Tebow spoke loud and clear.

The Scripture, for those not familiar with John 3:16, is Jesus speaking to Nicodemus (who had sought Him out for clarification). In it, Jesus explains God's plan in sending His Son in order to bring eternal salvation to every person who believes in Him.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

That's the message that Tim Tebow has always shared...from eye-black to after-game press conferences; he always gives the glory to and thanks his "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

He's just a regular guy—albeit gifted—who shines the most by virtue of his humility, and who lives to please God and to touch others with God's love. That truly is what astounds even his critics the most.

Tebow prays before the Denver/Pittsburgh gameAs I read journalists from all kinds of media outlets, and numerous announcers on TV, so many of them offer a disclaimer that they're not "religious," but then go on to list Tebow's humble demeanor as being heartening and even refreshing to them amid a world full of narcissism. (Photo: Ron Chenoy/US Presswire)

That's what's so inspiring to me and should be to every Believer. This attitude isn't exclusive to Tim Tebow; this is how we all are called to live: humble before God, caring for and encouraging others; joyful and walking in His purposes for our lives.

Just for fun I looked up 1 Timothy 3:16—since the athlete in focus is a "Tim" —and it starts out by saying: "Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great..." Boy, isn't THAT the truth! In case you're wondering, the rest of the verse goes on to proclaim Jesus, coming to the world for the world to believe. Sounds a bit like John 3:16, doesn't it?

"[Jesus] appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory."

Either way you look at it, the Gospel is preached.

When I first saw the connection between Tebow's passing stats and Scripture in that last Denver game for the regular season, I thought perhaps a few people (most likely Christians) here and there might also recognize and write about it.

But just the incredible speed at which this connection was made by such a vast array of media outlets and reporters—let alone social networking—is astounding.

This simple 3-digit number, the Gospel message it represents, and the way it's spread across the world in just a few days…

Definitely a God thing.