Saturday, April 20, 2019

Reflections from the Home Team - April 20, 2019

“Redemption is a wonderful storyline in both sports and life…Tiger Woods 2019 Masters’ triumph showed us a hard earned redemption in both sport and life. As wonderful a story as that was - the story of Jesus — once dead now raised to life is truly a comeback story for the ages!”
Greetings from Cedar Falls!

Let me begin this reflection by wishing everyone a very Happy Easter that is filled with plenty of love and happiness. I hope that Easter will give each of you a reason to celebrate and enjoy the resurrection of life. 

I have had a great deal of time to reflect on and appreciate the gift of life since undergoing cancer treatments back in 2009.  The “gift of life” can bring with it some hardships, but they pale in comparison with what a joyful and meaningful life journey can be for each of us, if we make the choice to live that joyful and meaningful life!

I’m sure many of you are aware of the Tiger Woods story and his recent comeback in the world of Professional Golf. My favorite author, Jon Gordon had an interesting perspective on that this week.  Jon writes:

Everyone Loves a Comeback Story…

Tiger Woods made mistakes and poor decisions. In 2009 the world watched him crash his car, ruin his marriage and fall from the throne of Golf's Kingdom. In the years that followed we continued to watch the once unbeatable golfer get beat by life. Many described him as a Terminator on the golf course, but addiction, rehab, a severe back injury, issues with pain killers and failed comeback attempts made everyone realize just how human he was.

Imperfect and flawed like all of us.

And that's why when Tiger Woods won the Masters yesterday, his first championship in 11 years, Twitter timelines blew up and the world cried and cheered.

Yes, watching Tiger hug his son the way he hugged his late father 22 years ago, after his first Masters win, would make anyone tear up but our emotional connection and response had more to do with who we are than the hugs we saw.

We don't like hypocrites. We don't like people who say one thing and do another. We root against people who think they are perfect and act imperfectly.

But we root for those who fall, who admit their mistakes, who step back into the arena, with flaws and all to see, to overcome their challenges, pain, and setbacks to accomplish something great.

Everyone loves a comeback story! And we love a miraculous, improbable comeback story that features an imperfect, relatable hero even more.

We cheered because we knew how many times he tried to come back. His failures were observed and documented by everyone. The critics said he would never win again. Many suggested he should retire. One talk show host said he considered Tiger a former golfer.

But he didn't give up. He kept trying and we cried because we know how hard he worked and how much courage it took for him to battle through all the adversity, all the back pain, all the doubt and all the personal challenges, to win another championship.

Before his fall from grace it seemed like Tiger was given everything. He had the talent, the drive, the swagger, the mental toughness and the success. It seemed like he was placed on top of the mountain for all of us to worship. We loved watching him play but not everyone loved watching him win.

But this win was sweeter. This one came after the fall. After years of sweat and tears and climbing back up the mountain, he earned this one.

The world tries to define you by the mistakes of your past. But history defines you by how you responded, how you learned and improved, how you made amends, how you persevered and what you accomplished afterwards.

Tiger never gave up and neither should you!

You root for a relatable hero like Tiger Woods because deep down you know there is a hero inside you that has the ability to overcome your pain and past to courageously create an amazing future.

Whether you have been knocked down by life or by your own mistake, Don't Give Up!
Everyone loves a comeback story but the best come back story of all is your own! 

- Jon

Jon certainly makes some great points about how Tiger went from arguably being the greatest golfer of all time, carrying with it fame, success and material wealth to a life that crashed in around him.  He got “beat up” by life’s challenges exposing just how human he really was. He fell out of the top 1,000 golfers in the world. For eleven years he failed to win a single major tournament. His career was as good as dead. Until last Sunday…
He teed it up against the world’s best at the Masters when he came from behind to win his fifth green jacket—22 years after he won his first!  As Jon points out, the world often tries to define us by the mistakes of our past. But history will define us by how we respond to challenges, how we learn and improve, how we make amends and how we persevere. Some wonderful life lessons we can take away from all this and some great stuff to ponder.

Redemption is a wonderful storyline in both sports and life…Tiger Woods 2019 Masters’ triumph showed us a hard earned redemption in both sport and life. As wonderful a story as that was, his story reminded me of a much more important story - the story of Jesus — once dead now raised to life is truly a comeback story for the ages, and yes, it happened on a Sunday morning too!  Whether you have been knocked down by life’s challenges or by your own mistakes, DON’T GIVE UP!  Everyone really does love a comeback story, but the best come back story of all can be our own if we sincerely place in our hearts the Easter story of Jesus’s death and resurrection which makes possible our own redemption!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all that I recently was blessed with the opportunity to visit with author and ghostwriter Dr. Larry Keefauver and Christian counselor and pastor Jeff Golden on their radio program “I am a friend of God” which airs in the Atlanta, North Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee listening areas. It is an inspirational program sharing many examples of the concept of “being a friend of God”. We had a heartfelt discussion and for those who may be interested in listening to the podcast interview or accessing the “I am a friend of God” website, I’ve listed those links below.

“I am a friend of God” website:

Dr. Larry and Jeff’s podcast interview with David Welter:

“I am a friend of God” Radio Guests and Contact Information:

Wishing each of you the love, happiness and redemption that Easter can bring!


Are you or someone you know fighting cancer... struggling with the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that accompany a cancer journey or other serious health issue? Making ourselves available to others can open up the doors of opportunity for deeper relationships, healing, and transformation. For many, time is one of the most valuable commodities in today's fast-paced world. Sharing time with others is a wonderful gift. It says, "Here I am. . . for you. To listen, to care, to serve." The power of presence should never be underestimated!  

Be an encourager in someone else’s life!

To learn more about being an encourager, and to view the Reflections blog and several video messages, visit the Reflections from the Home Team website at: