I am not sure if you know this about me, but I love college football. This time of year is when I get excited because we are not far away from the first kick-offs of the season. Of course, I do have my favorite team, but I also enjoying watching other teams and hearing their coaches. I find that some coaches’ approach to their players is as much of a ministry as anything. Recently I heard an interview by legendary Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban. Now, whether you agree with how he coaches or how he approaches football is one thing – but I think most people would agree that his approach with his players is first class. In his interview he said he always tells his players that there are two words that will always affect their future. Those words, and or but. This immediately caught my attention because I was very curious where he was going here, and the point he made that followed this was (in my opinion) spot on. He said in the interview that he tells his players that people will always make judgments about you by what people say. If people say “this guy is a great athlete” AND “he’s a great teammate” AND “he’s always on time” AND “he cares about doing the right thing,” that little three letter word AND will take you a long way. Because it means you are not only doing what you are supposed to but you are also exceeding expectations. Then he said if someone says about “He’s a great athlete” BUT “he’s always late” BUT “he plays selfish” BUT “he doesn’t care about his teammates” – that three letter word will end your career before it starts. He goes on to say that we have a choice to make--are we going to have our life guided by the word AND or ended by the word BUT.

This interview made me think about us as Christians, those people that are supposed to be living a life like Christ. How are we going to be defined? Will they say, “There goes a great Christian” AND “They care about other people” AND “They help others” AND “The live a life that is like Christ”? Or will they say, “There goes a great Christian” BUT “They are selfish” BUT “They are mean” BUT “They don’t act like they actually know Christ”. Two little three letter words that can easily change how people not only view us but view Christ followers in general. I think if we are going to live a life that is like God intended, we must make sure that our life is filled with AND’s – because that is what Christ did. He is the Father AND the Son AND the Holy Spirit. He is Alpha AND Omega. He is the beginning AND the end. When our life is filled with buts we aren’t showing the love of Christ. It’s believed that the Devil was once an angel BUT he fell from grace. When we have the word BUT in our life, we are not living a life that shines the light of Christ in all of the world. So, when someone tells our story how will they tell it – with a lot of ANDs or a lot of BUTs? Those two simple three letter words have a major impact on how the world see’s us.

So here’s to a great college football season and a whole lot of ANDs in our life!

Love you all!

Your friend,


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Robby Lybrand
Pastoral Services