Faith Family Football Challenge #2

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading


Faith F.A.M.I.L.Y.® Football Challenge #2 by Jess Stainbrook

Thanks for joining us in this 7 day reading plan. You may be joining us because you are connected to our Faith Family Football Celebration event live from the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, or perhaps a friend recommended it, or you just found us on the Bible App.  However it happened, we’re glad you could join us for this mini-journey that will give you some more insight and increase your understanding of how to grow your “faith” in your daily life.  

Back in the 1990’s, lots of “church people” were wearing bracelets with, W.W.J.D. - What Would Jesus Do?  We always wondered - what’s the answer to that question?  My good friend Mike Manhardt and his buddy while hanging out in Jamaica came up with an acronym that I believe can be a great reminder of the answer to the ‘WWJD’ question.

It’s F.A.M.I.L.Y.!  Now, I know the word family can have lots of meanings. Beyond just the standard dictionary definitions, it’s more than "parents and children" or "common ancestors."  It can be those that stick with us through thick and thin, or our extended and new blended families. Family can be a mentor or a coach, those special people that care about us... dare we say “LOVE” us... no matter what.  Like Lilo says in the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch, “Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”  OR as Edna Buchanan, the American journalist said, “Family are the friends that we choose ourselves.”

I give you the word F.A.M.I.L.Y.® as a mnemonic device (pronounced, new-monic). I know what you’re saying, “A Mne… what the heck is that word?!!!”  No, it’s not a new power tool from The Home Depot!  A mnemonic device is a way that that helps you remember something else. We use them everyday - probably without even knowing it, i.e., SCUBA = Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus; ASAP= As Soon As Possible; FYI=For Your Information, FAQ=Frequently Asked Questions, BFF=Best Friend Forever, or LOL=Laughing Out Loud.  

In our case, it’s the individual letters in the word F.A.M.I.L.Y.® that will remind you every single day of how to live your life in that “What Would Jesus Do” way.  Plus, you can share it with your friends because while the concept might be straight out of the bible, it’s not overtly Christian and can honestly apply to anyone, anywhere. Hence, a direct response to Matthew 10:16, where Jesus says, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

We will officially start the F.A.M.I.L.Y.® stuff tomorrow. Right now, let me give you some parameters that will help you over the next 7 days:

Three things you should know straight up:

  1. God made you and knows you.  (PSA.139)
  2. God loves you. (ROM.8.37-39)  
  3. God thinks you are very special.  (MAT.10.29-31)

Sounds quaint, but it’s not.  Walking with God is real and I hope to help you discover some things over the next seven days so you have a better understanding of this thing called “Faith.”


Over the next seven days, find a quiet place that you can be for 5-10 minutes each day and prepare to do these four things in that time:

  1. ASK God to show Himself to you.  Invite God to make Himself known so that there is no question that the things you will experience are not just some coincidence.  And be ready, because I believe God will show up - for YOU!
  2. READ the short passages from the Bible that are part of this 7 day adventure. Reflect on them and how they might apply to you. (I recommend picking a translation of the Bible that is easy to read and understand like NIV or The Message. YouVersion has lots of choices!)
  3. WRITE things down - journal - during these seven days so you have a record of what you experience.  This will help you remember what happens as a launching pad for whatever else happens in life from here forward.   You’ll find these “notes” very valuable as the journey continues. If you’re using an old fashioned hard copy bible, highlight things that stand out to you and take notes in the margin. You can do the same in the Bible App.
  4. MEDITATE on the things that come to mind, on the stories from the Bible that you read. And talk to God like he is a friend sitting right next to you in the room.  We call this prayer, and there’s no magic way to do it.  It really just feels like a conversation with someone you can trust with everything. Tell Him what bugs you, what you’re happy about, who you’re concerned about, how you’d like help.  You might get immediate answers, you might not.  But you’ll be surprised how it affects who you are, how you think and what you believe as things progress.

There will be a bonus video clip link for each day from one of our athlete friends that may encourage you in this journey.  You are welcome to watch that too.

Today’s assignment is easy.  Find your quiet place. Then start with the following:

ASK God to show up.

READ: ACTS.1:8, PHL.2:3-4

WRITE down some thoughts about your expectations for the seven days. Be honest.

MEDITATE about your expectations - Talk to God - maybe what you think you’d like to see happen over the next seven days.  Be willing to listen to that still and small voice in your head. It may be leading you to some incredible conversations and discoveries over the next few days!


Matthew Slater, New England Patriots, Super Bowl Champion

Good job getting started! See you tomorrow!