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Quick trivia question – what is today? If you said it's February 7, you were right. If you said Sunday, correct again. It's also Charles Dickens' birthday, along with that of the excellent actor and fellow member of the baby boomers generation, Miguel Ferrer. Oh yes, it's also the day various people, including senior citizens, baby boomers, kids, grandkids, and more will all be watching THE SUPER BOWL!
OK, I have to admit, I won't be one of them. But I don't generally watch football, including Super Bowl Sunday, on any date. However, several of my Sandwich Generation family members, including my senior mom, will be. Granted, some are watching for the cute commercials, others for the spectacular half time. However, there are also the serious die-hards who will be watching every play closely and enjoying the game tremendously.
Since I am not a football fan, you may wonder why I'm writing about it. I may not love football, but I really appreciate any sports player who sets a grand example, both spiritually and character-wise, for my kids and grandkids – on the field and off! Now mind you, no one is perfect. I recently read an older biography of a professing Christian. The book was good, though there were a few comments I was concerned about. And when I mentioned the writer's name to a friend, she commented that the paper had recently been full of stories about him and he was NOT setting a good example.
I've also seen that happen more than once with tween stars my grandkids have liked. It's vital for all of us grandparents, when we're pointing out positive character traits in famous stars – on the field and off – to use that as a good opportunity to remind our grandchildren that the only One Who ever was or will be perfect is Jesus Christ. And to teach them to look beyond the good looks, the great voice, or the tremendous sports skills. Instead, I like to remind them look at their hearts. And even then to realize that only God knows the total truth about that.
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
Another thing I keep reminding them is that the more famous a Christian is, the more they need our prayers. I often pray for TV stars, football players, coaches, or other athletes, and tween singers – particularly those I love or my grandkids love and encourage my grandchildren to do the same.
With all that being said, I want to tell you about a special award that is given annually, the Bart Starr award:
The Athletes in Action / Bart Starr Award was created to honor the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. The Award is named after Bart Starr who, in addition to being in the NFL Hall of Fame, was selected as MVP in Super Bowls I and II. Mr. Starr is an individual of impeccable character who has served his family and community faithfully through the years and is a role model for athletes and business people alike.
Now that's the kind of sports action I love to hear about. Not only that, but Athletes in Action has long been a favorite organization of mine. As such, I am very pleased to announce that Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has been named the recipient of the 2011 Bart Starr Award. Here is an interesting interview that shares his Christian faith and testimony:
Congratulations are also in order for the other three finalists for this award: Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers, London Fletcher – Washington Redskins, and Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys. I was especially blessed reading the various articles about each of these famous Christian NFL football players and all around athletes (click their names to read the articles), as they all mention the positive impact their grandparents had on their lives. What an encouragement for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny and for all of us grandparents!!!
Since this year's Super Bowl is between Donald Driver's Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, I'll be watching the sports news headlines a bit more closely than usual. 🙂 How about you and your Sandwich Generation family?
P.S. As I finished this article, I discovered Drew Brees has written a book, Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity, which also mentions the positive impact of his grandparents! 🙂 There is also a kids' book out about him, Drew Brees (Amazing Athletes series), that might be fun for reading to our grandchildren. If you'd like more information about either of those, just click here.