It perhaps seems odd that I chose this quite manly devotional book for a book review. Except for the fact that I am surrounded by men in my family. Therefore, I have experienced much of football firsthand with all the smells and laundry, the commitment of time, money and energy and the reward of team camaraderie.
Both of our sons played youth football and our oldest son continued playing all the way through high school. Our youngest son’s football career led him to transition into wrestling through high school. I’ve been fascinated over the years by the fraternity of men in sports.
And so, it wasn’t a great stretch for me to select this devotional book. (I received a free copy from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest book review.) I was first intrigued by the title, Always Fall Forward, because I don’t want fall at all! Secondly, I recognized the title of the movie Woodlawn.
Again, as the mother of two sons and wife to one husband, I’ve watched just about every feel-good motivational football movie produced in the last 20 years. Some of our favorites – Facing the Giants, Rudy, Friday Night Lights, The Blind Side and Remember the Titans. I’m not sure how I missed Woodlawn, but now I will have to add it to my list of movies to watch this summer.
So, while reading through this devotional (for men, mind you) I’ve not felt too far outside my comfort zone. Some of you men who only have daughters understand because you are completely comfortable with playing princess dress up and attending tea parties while you sing all the words to your daughters’ favorite Disney tunes, which you know by heart! We’re speaking the same language here. You know, you’ve got to join in or be left out, right?
Anyway, Always Fall Forward is a scripture based weekly devotional covering 52 weeks. The devotions are short enough to hold the attention of men who like fewer words than their wives. Yet, they are meaty in that each week’s devotion connects football concepts to the daily challenges of men seeking to follow Jesus. As many of us know who have experience with boys/men and football teams, they may be talking football, but they’re conversing about all aspects of a man’s life including relationships, work ethic, future goals and strong moral principles for life.
Equally intriguing to me is the strength of the scripture focus as each week’s devotion ends with a section entitled – “To go deeper this week…” and includes several other scriptures for further study. The weekly devotion ends with a couple of questions for reflection and to bring the message home and useful in daily life. From a woman’s perspective, the devotional is as creative as it is inspirational.
Though I tend to not dwell on football practices in my daily Bible reading and conversations with Jesus, I have been thoroughly blessed by reading the devotional, Always Fall Forward by Todd Gerelds. I will most likely be purchasing a few of these for Father’s Day gifts this year.
Enjoy a copy for yourself or bless your favorite guy with a copy. Summertime, when the men begin to crave another football season, would be a great time to begin 52 weeks of following Jesus through football concepts and scriptural principles. I’m sure of it!