Monday, June 23, 2014


Yes, I am.

A hockey fan-addict.

And my team is the Los Angeles Kings.

Who just won the Stanley Cup, thank you very much.

Wanna hear a story?  (Say yes…you're gonna hear it anyway).

My oldest son got into hockey about 20 years ago.  He's always been a huge sports fan.  Me too.  Of course, like every child born in California, he started out playing soccer.  I think it's a *right of passage* here.  Like you can't grow up unless you've kicked the old white-and-black around for a few seasons.

We never really liked the game too much.  (My sincere apologies to all you World Cup fans…).  So, around 1st grade, my son started playing basketball.  We loved watching the LA Lakers.  Exciting, thrilling…FUN!

However, at some point, my son realized that he was never going to be tall enough to play competitively for long.  (Sorry, my genes stopped at 5' 4"...)

So, hockey came to reign.

He started by playing roller hockey.  We all loved the sport.  It was rough, fast, and explosive.  And, though we lived closer to the fan base of the Anaheim Ducks, we became furious fans of the LA Kings.

Fast-forward about 20 years…

Two seasons ago, I decided to buy my son season tickets for his 30th birthday.  Two seats.  I was lucky enough to be his game buddy most of the time, until he got married!!  

In case you're not a hockey fan, this season was an incredible ride.  The Kings finished the regular season with the record for the least goals scored against them.   And then they started the playoffs by losing three games in a row: 6-3, 7-2, and an OT killer 4-3.  On the brink of elimination, they won four in a row to move on.

The rest is history.  Incredible, exciting, heart-stopping history.

I had the privilege of going with my son to the 2nd game in the finals.

The game in which we were behind by 2 goals, three separate times.  The game in which we finally won in a 2nd (!!) overtime.  The longest (at the time) game in LA Kings history.

And you know, the whole experience just made me think.

I remember sitting in the arena – silent, anxious, hopeless, despairing – the game was lost, I kept thinking.  My son and I didn't speak for over an hour – we were so nervous.  I know it's just a game, but still…

And then, that magic moment came about halfway through the second overtime.  A lightning-quick goal, an eruption in the crowd – against all odds, we had WON!!!

There is something quite thrilling when over 18,000 people simultaneously jump to their feet in ecstatic cheering.  There is something quite thrilling to be one of them!

I laughed, I cried, I hugged my son.  I high-fived tons of surrounding strangers.  United in near defeat, we were now united in sweet victory.

Now, I am always thinking in spiritual terms, you know.

So, this whole experience made me ponder another moment of seeming defeat The Cross.

I can only imagine the deep despair of Christ's followers, the ones who had had such high hopes.  The ones who watched victory slip out of their hands. Did they whisper amongst themselves, "Wasn't it less than a week ago that He was being praised as our king?  What happened??"

I can imagine their faces – silent, anxious, hopeless, despairing – as they watched, helplessly watched, their Jesus die.

There was no cheering, no cheer, among the many followers of Jesus that day.

There might have been some cheering and high-fives among the followers of the enemy, however.  I'm sure they were quite pleased to have defeated their opponent, and in such a demolishing and demoralizing way.

End of story, right?


There's a sort of motto in sports – "It's never over until it's over."  I learned that lesson well in this playoff season with the Kings.

And, a whole bunch of people also learned it when they saw the return of The King!

You see, when I was screaming like crazy at the Kings' win, I was also picturing the throngs of people, and angels, erupting in celebration when Jesus walked out of that tomb!!

Victory!  Sudden and explosive victory!  

Hugs and high-fives in Heaven!

Tears of joy on earth!

Against overwhelming odds, the lowly Man of Sorrows had overcome.  He took the sting out of sin, and destroyed death.

Because of that day, there is another moment coming…

A moment when the *final* victory is won.  When our enemy will be once-and-for-all defeated.  When God will reign forever, and we will all be champions.

Can you imagine being part of the crowd that day?!

On that night in a sports arena in downtown Los Angeles, I did imagine that moment.

And understood that this awesome sports moment had given me a foretaste of something bigger and better that awaits.

A time of momentous victory.

A time when against all odds, against the seeming winning tide of sin in this world, against everything evil, against pain and suffering, against despair and hopelessness, there is coming a BIG OL' WIN!

You know, I think God gave me another insight into the deeper meaning of joy. 

Joy can be found in knowing that there is coming a day when I will be sitting in a throng of multitudes, waiting for God to complete His purposes. Waiting for the culmination of history.  Waiting for God to display His glory and win the victory for His children.

And then, I plan to erupt from my seat, hug and high-five strangers (who are no longer strangers, but dearly beloved saints!)and cheer along with a throng of people who will now be united in sweet victory…forever!

Salvation has made us all season ticket-holders!!

And I am a Jesus fan-addict!

We are ALL champions in Him! 

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57, ESV)

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (Romans 8:37, ESV)

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession..." (2 Corinthians 2:15, ESV)

"For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory." (Deuteronomy 20:4, ESV)

"'I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.'" 
(John 16:33, ESV)

"He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." (Colossians 2:15, ESV)

"The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son." (Revelation 21:7, ESV)

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3:2, ESV)

"Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance..." (Hebrews 9:15, ESV)

"'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.'" (Revelation 22:13, NLT)

In what area of your life do you desperately need a victory?

Linked today with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh I just LOVED this!
    I am often moved to tears whenever I am caught in a crowd of people cheering too.
    Last weekend we attended a ballgame and watched our soon to be son in law's team play (he coached a catholic high school team)...It was the state semi-finals...they had won five years straight...but this time they lost.
    I felt sad for the team and wanted to try and cheer him up all day long...It is only a game, but what is going on between heaven and earth right so much more! I wish everyone realized that...Can't wait to high-five you as we stand together in the presence of our Lord someday, Sharon!

  2. Only you, my dear Sharon, could spin a sports story into a spiritual application and make me appreciate the game of hockey (or any sport for that matter) for the few minutes to took to read your post! And like Never Forsaken, above, I will stand behind her give you a big high-five as well! Who knows? I may just like sports when I get to heaven! Blessings!

  3. Hi Sharon! Oooh. How fun to have season tickets! And a begrudging congrats on the Stanley Cup. I am a Chicago Blackhawks fan, so we were a bit sad..
    Wonderful to think of all that cheering at Jesus Resurrection, and certainly I need to be one of those in the peanut gallery. My hero overcomes!
    BTW, my brothers played hockey, and my older brother played in an adult league until his knees gave up on him. It's a great sport :)

  4. YEAH!!!! Stanley Cup 4 LA KINGS! Way to go!

    Sharon (and blessed son) ... your enthusiasm and JOY are contagious, jumping off this page with even a tie breaking spiritual application... only you, my dear fanatic Sharon ... only you (and God, of course) ... I loved hockey in my youth! (even joined the boys on the hockey rink) and loved be a cheerleader on the ice for our high school state tournaments .... so I can only imagine this! and the sweet victory ... I await ...

    and my personal victory that I'm in desperate need of??? (hmmm) that would take volumes of makeover or overtimes ... a few 'hat tricks' and God's Holy Spirit ... but the one for someone else's salvation is paramount on my sweet victory list!

    Thanks for the JOY!

  5. oh, I think our posts this week are so similar -- holding onto knowing one day...ONE DAY...when we are all free. Just knowing that brings SO MUCH JOY!

  6. Too funny...we are in the midst of World Cup fever here in Brazil. Love the joy link to hockey fans:) Joy must be the topic for the week because I also wrote about it too on Sunday. found at titus 2 tuesday linky. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Caught up in our day to day challenges to our faith, we sometimes forget that final victory that IS coming! Such an encouraging post, Sharon!

  8. So true, Sharon, that we all all victors in him! That is comforting! And congrats to your team! That had to be exciting to watch that game. Now maybe you'll have to think of getting your own season tickets :)


  9. Oh, come, LORD Jesus, come! I praise Him for His promise of that coming day!
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  10. I loved this story, Sharon! We are "all season ticket holders"--what a great image. Being an avid sports fan like you~but my sports and teams are a little different~I was right there in the stands with you yelling and screaming and high-fiving everybody around. I immediately saw the picture in heaven when we all come together shouting in victory because Jesus has triumphed over the enemy!!!
    I love the Scripture that says the Lord will fight for us. Hang onto that one, Sharon! It sounds like He is winning that battle for JOY for you! YAY!!!

  11. Glad your team won the game with an awesome final goal. Yes, I agree that the cross seemed like defeat, and Satan was no doubt having his victory party until that final third day goal. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell me a Story."

  12. A day of victory to look forward to indeed!!!

  13. "Salvation has made us all season ticket holders!" Love this post even though I'm not a sports fan. Such a writer's anointing you have!!!

  14. So much JOY in this post. You are always the highlight of my week. Loved this. Do I say that every week? Much love to you, my JOY friend. xoxo

  15. Great post! I am not a hockey fan but years ago I went to a few Blackhawks games in Chicago. Glad you enjoy it with your son.

  16. Such a great analogy, Sharon, and one I appreciate being a sports person (if I can call myself a "fan", it would be of any Mexican soccer team ;-D). I love that you had that glimpse of a greater joy to come, that tiny peek into what the cheering and overall mood will be that glorious reunion one day. Thank you for sharing your words with Unforced Rhythms.

  17. It's so fun that we so often end up next to each other at Jennifer's link! We have a whole bunch of hockey fans in our church and a bunch of the young men play on an amateur team. As far as that GREAT DAY when Jesus comes back, well it can't come soon enough for me!

  18. Great insight! Thankful for the Hope and Power of the cross! Dropping by from Coffee for Your Heart :)

  19. Congratulations, Sharon! That must have been incredible game to be present for. Can you believe I've never been to a sports game except for Little League? I was raised in a legalistic church group and it was supposed to be evil--to encourage our young people to want to be athletes instead of preachers. We never even listened to them. Watching them now kind of give me an idea of what they must be like. And still...I can't quite imagine what it will be like when God's purpose on earth comes to an end. But I do know I want to be on His team! ~Pamela

  20. High five back to you my sister for a great post with deep spiritual truth taken from of all things, sports. It shows God power to take good earthly things to bring us a little closer to His truth. We will probably never high five here on earth but I'll look for you in heaven so we can bow together before Him...His high fives is done on our knees.

  21. Looking forward to that day, Sharon! Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday. :)

  22. Hi Sharon! I'm popping in from Faith Filled Friday. It's a great story. I love soccer, though. ;) Recently it was Pentecost, so this message fits right in. I've got my weekend linky on the go if you want to join at

  23. Sharon, seriously, you are so fun! I love how heavenly minded you are, sister! Have you seen Redford's movie, All Is Lost? I'd love your take on it.

  24. "We are all season ticket holders" - I love that! And this hockey momma loves everything else about this post too...although our household typically cheers for the Leafs and the Red Wings :)

  25. Isn't it just like God to create human experiences that mimic spiritual truths! I often hear scolding sermons where folks are told how awful they are for passionately cheering on a sports team, but when it comes to the things of God they're passions are pocketed for stoic indifference. But, here you've turned the whole experience to His praise. Though I'm one for the glories of a quiet sanctuary in my praise, I see the parallel with your Kings. Congrats on their trophy. I can boast that the Philadelphia 76ers won it back in '76. Never a hocky fan, myself, but I live 45 minutes from Philly and all the guys in high school where 76er fans back then. Praying they might one day turn passionate praise for the King - singular.

  26. Sharon, What a wonderful analogy. Thank you so much for sharing it at Counting My Blessings. This is so good!

  27. Great analogy Sharon. Encouraging post. We're heading out early tomorrow and wanted to wish you and amazing weekend.

  28. Love how you brought this around to "The Victory."

    But really... there's no sport but baseball. ;)

  29. I must agree with Debbie Ray Sharon. You have the gift of seeing and spinning a sports story into a beautiful kingdom analogy! Such a sweet victory.

  30. A cool analogy, Sharon ... I'm hearing you, tonight!

  31. Amen, Sharon. I love seeing things from an alternate perspective. So glad I found you at Lisha's place.
    Peace and good to you in Jesus' name,

  32. I thought we were separated at birth...until I read this. (o: Our oldest son played hockey through college. I was a soccer mom at heart. All those hours spent in a cold rink in the midst of a cold winter in the frozen tundra was too much for me. I didn't warm up until July. I do love the final victory you write about here! XO

  33. What a fun post Sharon! I love the idea of being a season ticket holder....guaranteed a seat in the glory of resurrection. Thanks for sharing your story today at #GiveMeGrace.

  34. Wow, what an incredible post. I'm not much of a hokey fan, but I sure appreciated the spiritual application and lessons in this post.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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