Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Communion in Unlikely Places....A Turnover is Texas

With a class like Sports and Spirituality, I get to share a lot of inspirational sports moments with my students.  The best ones always come with a surprise.  A recent story about a game at Coronado High school in El Paso is no exception.  If you haven't seen it and I'm glad this one has gone viral, it's well worth the two-minutes.

At its conclusion, one of my students raised both arms in victory, a number had huge smiles and even a few had to dry the tears in their eyes.  There was a brief pause and then one student said what a few of us were thinking; "I feel as though we've seen a lot of stories like this lately."  He's right, but not all illustrate the Catholic principle of communion as effectively and beautifully as this does.  


This communion, not to be confused with the Eucharist, is one of three principles that constitute the distinctiveness of Catholicism from other Christian traditions.  According to Richard McBrien "Catholicism is characterized by three principles: sacramentality, meditation, and communion.  It is a tradition that sees God in all things (sacramentality), using the human, the material, and the finite (mediation), to bring about the unity of humankind (communion).
Communion is the principle that affirms "that even when the divine-human encounter is most personal and individual, it is still communal, in that the encounter is made possible by the mediation of a community of faith."

This story is made possible because both the individual and the community.  Obviously Mitchell had an effect on Coach Peter Morales and his teammates. A disability doesn't diminish a desire; he shared the same passion of the community.  

Coach Morales placed him in the game with a minute and a half left. His teammates did everything they could to make sure he got the ball.  The story could have ended there.  Mitchell's dream came true--he suited up and played in an undecided varsity basketball game (see the 28 seconds of Jarien Grant if aren't convinced a 10 point lead qualifies as "decided!") and try as he may, his individual effort came up short....but a dream came true.

But we know about this story, because his dream did come true.  Communion. It was from an unlikely person in an unlikely place--the opposing team.  Coach Morales said "I couldn't have imagined what happened."  Jonathan Montanes connected the dots.  He heard the crowd.  He saw an opportunity for Mitchell that no one could have seen.  In doing what he said was in line with how he was raised, he "treated others as you would like to be treated."

We can debate who is the sacrament--the visible sign of God's invisible grace. Is it Jonathan? Is it Mitchell? but one thing is for sure, this is a story of communion.   
At its best, this principle brings unity.  It's hard not to see that as both teams celebrated at the end of that game. The sacrament was mediated and yielded communion: union in the Community.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Photo Credits
Mitchell
Mitchell and Coach
Coach Morales
Crowd Surf

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In Defense of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue


I suppose it's only fair for every argument to enact the counter argument. It demands critical and creative thinking.  It can be an exercise in humility and empathy, unless of course, there is no argument....

In that spirit, I thought I would challenge myself by defending the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. I raised questions of its purpose and the morality of it. By way of comments from friends and colleagues, I have but a few.  Here we go!

The models it features are not anorexic.  It's hard not to notice how curvy and voluptuous so many of the models, including Kate Upton appear to be.  On the cover alone, you will see that her belly makes no way for a "6-pack."   
I want to recognize that truth as a breath of fresh air as our "cultural obsession with thinness" is most evident in the fashion industry. But therein lies a quandary--I have a hard time finding this an acceptable standard for a magazine that features athletes.  Although many women struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with food, female athletes included, it would be very difficult for the woman featured in the regular issues to be anorexic.  Food is fuel.  The best athletes know performance is dependent on proper nutrition, hydration, sleep.  A balance of mind and body is essential.  

Second, Sports Illustrated isn't a fashion magazine.  Although athletes often promote fashion lines, directly and indirectly for athletic ware, only four of the models are athletes.  

Subscribers are free to opt-out.  In "The Mail" section, essentially their "Letters to the Editor," readers are informed of what to do "If you do not want the swimsuit issue:  The annual SI Swimsuit issue will be published in February.  If you're a subscriber and would prefer not to receive it, call our customer service center toll free and let us know.  If you choose not to receive the SI Swimsuit issue, SI will extend your subscription.  

Despite the fact that the "heads up" runs for but two weeks in December, one has to acknowledge  the invitation to exercise one's conscience is preferable to tacit acceptance of reality: Sports Illustrated prints a special edition of women in swimsuits once a year.  

And yet a friend raised an interesting question: What would happen if the three million subscribers had to "opt in?"  One could say this would never happen as it generates 7 percent of Sports Illustrated's annual revenue, but anytime you have to make a person work for something, it reveals how much they truly want it.  

And people want it; non-subscribers certainly "opt-in." According to Yahoo! news report,  "The swimsuit issue traditionally sells more than 1 million copies on newsstands (about 10 to 15 times as much as regular SI). Last year, consumers forked over $6.99 to get their hands on the popular glossy."  But I don't subscribe to Sports Illustrated for the swimsuit issue.  It runs counter to what I understand the purpose of the magazine to be.  But just to be fair, I have the choice....  
Production of the SISI supports local economies.  A hallmark of the 2013 issue is that featured models on all seven continents.  You will see women in Spain, Chile, China, the Bahamas, Las Vegas, Australia,  Antartica and Namibia.  The entourage of models, photographers, directors, make-up artists, etc is impressive.  If you're looking for defense with a social justice bend, one can deduce that the  SISI supports the local economies where production occurs.  

It could be a gross presumption on my part, but I didn't know there was a local economy to support at the South Pole (I hope you're laughing). So, I decided I would pursue how it might help Namibia.  According to the Rural Poverty Portal
Although Namibia is classified as a middle-income country, the income gap between rich and poor is one of the most marked in the world. The government has made good progress in addressing structural problems such as gender parity and access to basic education, yet the situation of imbalance persists. Although a tiny proportion of the population enjoys considerable wealth, overall poverty rates are high. About 27.6 per cent of households are classified as poor and 13.8 per cent as severely poor; poverty is especially prevalent in rural areas.
It felt a little strange knowing that the cost of the SISI in the stands could feed a family of six in Namibia for an entire week, but we already know the world is full of grim realities.  I suppose this struggle is more striking because for whatever reason, I have a harder time reconciling a need for a $300 bathing suit in Namibia than in the Bahamas.  In defense of Sports Illustrated, I should be glad they are there...?...
SISI is great photography.  To quote from my friend Tom, "as someone who photographs a lot and want to get better by looking at good work, I've had an excuse to keep on checking out the SISI. I have to admit that one doesn't need to twist my arm to get me to look at well-done pictures of beautiful models.  Most would admit that in years past, the SISI has a long history of composition, lighting, positioning and great surroundings in their pictures.  For a photographer, even just paying attention to how models are posing their hands can be worth it."

My only response is the feeling that sits with me when I see a photograph of Kate Upton holding a fur muff at her breasts and her matching white bikini bottoms.  A line has been crossed.  That photograph of her in Antartica as well as the one featured in my last posting is near pornographic.  The subject has been moved to object.  

Great photography, like art,  magnifies beauty and truth. Pornography on the other hand tarnishes that possibility.  In the article, Sex in the Dorms, Lou DelFra, CSC writes:
Pornography also, over time, leaves its users with an increased sense of loneliness and emptiness - the exact opposite of the fulfillment it promises. As intimate as the act of viewing pornography may feel in the moment - alone, another human being unveiled before you - your deepest self is not duped - the fact remains that no truly human relationship is ever formed. It is all virtual. 
I know I aimed to defend the issue, but I cannot remain silent about what I consider to be the strongest argument against the purpose of the SISI issue.  Not only is it inconsistent with mission of the magazine, it runs counter to what I believe the purpose of organized sports to be.  Sports at their best build community. The relationship that forms with teammates is anything but virtual—it is tremendously personal.  

I aimed to defend, but in conclusion, the truth has been revealed.  

Photo Credits
Kate Upton Body Paint
Opt In
Production Team
Namibia
Fur Muff

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Morality of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Talking about the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue often launches a spirited conversation. I try to maintain a healthy sense of humor about it, because being negative and a "nay-sayer" isn't any fun.  It's not.  But I have to raise questions about the morality and purpose of it.  Perhaps you have too.  I decided to look for some answers.  

My search began with the issue.  After reading the Editor's Letter, however, I was left with more questions.  In addition to featuring Kate Upton as the female lead for the second time, the 2013 issue was purported as "special" because it involved shooting on all seven continents in seven months.  MJ Day, swimsuit editor wrote, "I'm a big believer in pushing the envelope, challenging myself and taking the road less traveled."  I came to learn how the swimsuit staff tackled the logistics of traveling over 90,000 miles, surviving sunburn as well as subzero wind chills.  

This report seemed odd to me.  A road less traveled in an athletic context makes me think Dick Fosbury, an American high jumper who invented the "back-first" technique. I know during the height of his career, Andre Agassi traveled nearly 100,000 miles a year.  And athletes in the Olympic Winter Games face similar weather conditions, but a swimsuit model?  I was confused.  
I decided that I would run my impressions of the issue against the mission statement of Sports Illustrated.  Its website reports the following
Sports Illustrated is the most respected sports brand in the world. Each week, the magazine covers the people, passions and issues of numerous sports with the journalistic integrity that has made it the conscience of all sport. It is surprising, engaging and informative, and always with a point of view that puts its readers "in the game."
This mission statement speaks to my experience as a reader, one of the 23%.  I am sure the other 77% of its readers who are men would agree that we typically encounter a weekly magazine with talented writers, thorough and compelling stories and fantastic photography.  I am challenged by the views of some authors and the attention some sports get over others, but I genuinely look forward to sharing my thoughts with my friends, colleagues and students.

I simply cannot say this is true about one issue a year.  I think the only thing I respect about Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue is that as a subscriber, I am free to opt out.  So here's why I feel the way I do.
The women that Sports Illustrated features in the swimsuit issue are not athletes. They are models (and I realize the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive).  Their appearance runs counter to the spirit of the magazine and borders on near pornographic (calling a spade a spade here).  The positions that women maintain do not speak to dignity of a woman's body, but are hyper-sexualized.  My guess is that 35% of the swimsuits are appropriate for a most women, let alone swimming.  I mean seriously--body paint?!

I was also told in the "Editor's Letter" that "The issue also contains another first: a mini-zine filled with fashion and style tips aimed at our female readers."   I could not find this section. Was it the listing of where I could purchase the fishnet see-through suit?  
What I simply do not understand is why this issue does not celebrate the beauty of the human body with a sense of dignity.  Athletes have incredible bodies--they reflect the goodness of God's creation.  We can say that comfortably and openly about stars like Lolo Jones, Lindsey Vaughn or Candace Parker.  And why limit this to just women?  Could SI cater to the 23% by featuring the magnificence of the human body is Michael Phelps, LeBrong James or Usain Bolt?

One could make the claim that they do feature female athletes and this year was no exception as it celebrated two members of the Olympic Dutch Hockey team, who we saw in plain view "from behind."  Last year, readers met Natalie Coughlin, Alex Morgan and Natalie Gulbis in body paint swimsuits.  Feminization need not be sexualization.  A woman can be both beautiful, athletic and graceful.  I wish this was the subject of but one issue.
One year, the swimsuit issue featured male athletes with their wives.  Again, most of their wives were near models--not athletes.  However the spirit of that shoot was much different than the rest of the issue.  It reflected a small insight into what the annual swimsuit issue could be.

And there is my question--what could this issue be?  Rather than a money making venture, or a publication where the "subject moves to object," why can't the subject reveal the mission and intention of the corporation that has hired her.

I wonder what percentage of that 23% opts out. I also wonder what percentage of the 77% does as well.  Unless the purpose of the issue is made clear to me and the morality of it changes, I will.

Photo Credits
Kate Upton Cover

7 Continents
Near Pornographic
Body Paint
Dutch Hockey Players

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Thoughts for 5 Overtimes


You don't have to be a Notre Dame fan to understand that any basketball game that goes into 5 overtimes is special. Yes, the Irish defeated the Louisville Cardinals 104-101 in an epic duel that may have ended at 12:35 a.m. the following day, but has had many sports fans still talking.  I am one of them.  Here are my thoughts...one for each OT.

1.  
28 Seconds of Jarian Grant: Many consider this to be the greatest clutch shooting display by one player ever. One Facebook posting said "This 12 points in 28 seconds by one guy is the stuff kids dream about and act out in their driveways and playgrounds. I've never seen it before."  And we might not ever see this again.  It was just one of many components that made Saturday, February 9, 2013 an instant classic for Irish Hoops.
2.  The Importance of Having Fun: In the article "March Madness" by Rev. Tino writes that "sports can teach us how to have fun. And the business of fun—of play, of laughter, of lightness—is important spiritual stuff. Just ask any of the resident clowns around here."  Every team has its resident clown, or should, but I also think it's important to see leadership caught in the act of having fun.  Enter in Coach Mike Brey. Every single person who watched this game noticed how much fun he had coaching.  

I never take having fun for granted and many don't, but enjoying the moment can be a tremendous challenge with the pressure of winning or not losing--choose your poison.  However, Brey acknowledged that fun was a reason for their success. "We got over 100 (points) because we played an extra game," Brey said on ESPN after the game. "We were having fun. It was awesome."
3.  Free Manti: When last cited at Purcell Pavilion, Manti Te'o was on top of the world.  What fan didn't love seeing #5 sweep the floor at halftime or leading the charge as students swarmed the court in 64-50 rout over Kentucky.  In just a few months time, our vision of him may have changed, but he hasn't.  Met with mixed reactions, he came to support the Irish standing tall and his head held high.  That humility we once found so endearing has been exercised more than anyone could have ever predicted.  He is the butt of many jokes, his character has been questioned and even though the truth was revealed, he was cited by Forbes magazine as one of the most hated American athletes.  He shares the same approval rating as Lance Armstrong--15%.  My rally cry was and is FREE MANTI!  Seeing him be who he is at a great game says even though the world can't imagine it, he already is free....
4.  Never Miss a Free Throw:  I grew up in a home that truly regards the foul shot as a "free throw."  "Free!" in our society is a good thing.  We welcome free food, free drinks, free merchandise, etc.  So why don't we embrace the "free" throw.  My dad watches players in the NBA miss free throws with an air of total disgust (and it happens often!).  It's almost a moral wrongdoing.  Missing free throws  affects the outcome of games.  In this game, it didn't necessarily determine the winner, but it could have.  As noted by NCAAB.com "Both teams missed crucial free throws in the final minute. Atkins missed two with 37 seconds left and Montrezi Harrell did the same for Louisville with 24 seconds left. The lead changed hands 26 times and there were 16 ties."  A free throw made is a free point.  Folks love to say "defense wins games." It does, but so do free throws!


5.  Why You Gotta Have a Deep Bench:  I teach 7 of the 14 varsity basketball players at St. Ignatius, so this year I have paid much more attention to the role of every team member.  Some of these boys are starters, others get subbed in frequently and others never see any playing time.  I know this is reality in a sport that allows for 5 players on the court, yet I feel for the guys who suit up yet never get called into the game.  I wonder how frustrating and disappointing it must be to "ride the pine" (and I hate that expression) or hear from your friends "good luck" knowing you won't contribute.  For those journeyman players, let Sherman Garrick serve as a shining example.  


Dan Martin writes that Garrick came "in for Big East Player of the Year candidate Jack Cooley, who fouled out with 6:54 left in regulation. At the time, it appeared the Irish would be in trouble without Cooley for the remainder of regulation, not even knowing yet that there would eventually be 30 minutes of game to be played."

In the ten Big East games prior to No. 25 Notre Dame’s five-overtime thriller against No. 11 Louisville, Garrick Sherman had only appeared in six and averaged two points in just over 10 minutes per game. Saturday night, though, he was just what the Irish needed.  His 7-of-10 from the floor was the most efficient mark of any Notre Dame player on the night.  He will admit he had the game of his life.  Not a bad game one to serve as that distinction.

   
Coach Brey said "we played an extra game tonight."  When you're having fun, have great fan support, and get great contributions from many different players, why not play two....!?  Thank you Irish. Thank you Coach Brey.  An awesome memory....by the way, do freshmen know how good they have it?!

Photo Credits
Garrick Sherman

Free Manti
Coach Brey

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What 600 Wins for Coach Frank Allocco Reveals...

The love and support of our parents can never be underestimated.  It doesn't matter if you are eight, sixteen or 59 years of age like De La Salle basketball coach, Frank Allocco.  This is just one of many truths I have learned from his life and legacy.  
On February 8, 2013 Allocco earned his 600th career win as the Spartans beat the visiting Livermore Cowboys 64-29.  Plans to recognize this feat began to materialize as the benchmark came increasingly closer.  And those plans did not preclude getting his 87-year old parents, who live in New Jersey, into the stands.


It was easy to recognize Allocco's parents.  At a reception after the win, they were surrounded by three younger generations, which includes three great-grandchildren!  I  looked at Frank's dad and was reminded of another father recently in the spotlight, Jack Harbaugh.  Both men support their sons with their presence and impartiality.  I loved that he was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with an interlocking ND--a symbol that speaks for both Frank and his younger brother Rich, also in attendance .  They both attended and played football and Notre Dame.

When Frank introduced his mom and dad and thanked them for being there, I realized I was a witness to a new insight--a powerful example.  We often think of our parents supporting us at our team banquets and academic awards ceremonies in grade school or high school.  But, our lives, our accomplishments and our dreams extend for all of our days.  Age is just a number.

Equally impressive was the number of former players and their parents who were in attendance at both the game and the ceremony.  Perhaps they were there because they know that the role of a coach demands many things, and a key demand is love.  A love that is similar to that of a parent.  De La Salle senior Elliot Pitts (who one game prior just scored his 1000th point) affirmed that reality with his words "I think he just loves his teams more than any other coach.  He's just so close with us. He loves us, and we love him, and that's why we play for him."  
I try to attend at least one basketball game a year at my quasi-alma mater.  The momentum come Friday night typically pushes most people my age plus to a night on the couch, but my living room could never reveal to me what a community does.  Yes, I saw Coach Allocco become the 29th coach in California to have 600 wins, but with that I saw so much more.  I met up with old friends and teachers.  I joined in a celebration with everyone around me as we saw a junior who has severe learning disabilities nail two-three points shots. And after the game, I saw my friend Frank Allocco honor his players past and present for what they have taught them.  And thanks be to God, his parents saw this too.

Photo Credits
DLS COach

Monday, February 4, 2013

What happens when you lose the Superbowl....

I once heard a study concluded that workers are more productive on Monday after a big NFL win on Sunday.  I shared this factoid with my students at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco and one boy said, "well that explains Oakland." Before you think this was SF's superiority complex rearing its ugly head, I must note that quip was directed at a charismatic classmate who loves his home town across the Bay; he wears Raiders gear on a regular basis.  Little did these Niner fans know, however they would face that other reality a few days later. Indeed, my students came to their work place today with long faces and broken hearts.  A collective malaise filled the hallways, the colors of red and gold have already begun to fade. Yes, all of San Francisco was less productive on this Superbowl Monday.


It's easy to recognize how sports brings people and communities together when a team has a great win.  It's much more challenging, however, after a big loss to appreciate that power.  In our best moments, we stand grateful for the journey and hope for even better next year.  And yet, it still hurts.
In his article "March Madness," Dr. Michael Tino writes that 
Sports also teach us important lessons about failure. Athletes whose skill is unparalleled fall short on a regular basis. Teams marked as “destined for greatness” fall short. And those athletes learn to play another day. They feel the disappointment, they feel the pain, and the best ones channel it into improving, into renewed passion, into arete. Sometimes, championship teams look back at their season and understand that they needed to lose a bunch of times in order to get better, to learn, to grow, and to win in the end.  
Would that any of us have the perseverance to channel our losses and failures into opportunities for growth. Would that any of us, faced with failure on a national or international stage, would have the grace and dignity to hold our heads up high.
And Tino's message was one shared by my student today (they lead prayer at the start of every class).  I am often humbled by their thoughtfulness and devotion.  And I am occasionally disappointed by their lack of planning--too often placing prayer low on life's list of priorities.  But that was not the story of today.  No, on this day of low morale and limited productivity, they nailed it.  
So, I would like to conclude this posting with this prayer, as said by my second period Ethics/Morality class.  When students take a risk like this one, it's easy for me to ask the question "Who's got it better than us?"  I was so proud of Alijah.  But as much as I'd love to say "nobody," that would be a lie.  The answer?...our brother school in Baltimore: Cristo Rey.  Go Niners.

AMDG
Prayer for Monday, February 4, 2013

Japanese Proverb: "Fall seven times, stand eight."  
Epictus: "It's not what happens to you, but how you react that matters."
Unknown: "Every failure is a step toward success."   
James Allen: "Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him."
Walt Disney: "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
Unknown: "The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow."

Unknown: "A heart is a muscle....and what do muscles do when they are torn?  They grow back stronger!"

Reflection: I chose to use a collection of proverbs and quotes for my prayer because I felt they were all relevant to the time and space we are in now. With the recent loss of the Niners in the Superbowl, I thought it appropriate to give some words of encouragement and words that would help inspire people to bounce back.  I think that learning to stand back up after we fall down is a very important lesson to learn in life and what better opportunity to hightlight that theme.

St Ignatius: pray for us.

And here's the only research I could find to back up what I heard on KNBR sports talk radio. In "Football Finances," Rick Van Sant writes:
 
If you live in a city with a winning National Football League team, you have more money in your pocket. That’s the intriguing conclusion of research conducted by assistant professor of psychology Christian End and Michael Davis, an economist at Missouri University of Science and Technology. The duo found that an increase in the winning percentage of a city’s NFL team increases the per capita personal income of city residents. The data also suggest that a winning team boosts the growth rate of personal income. “If the team is winning 11 or 12 games a year, it increases per capita income about $160,” says End. 

The researchers speculate that’s because a winning team makes people feel better, work harder, become more productive, earn more money and spend more, which bolsters the economy.

Interestingly, though, it only seems to work for football. End and Davis researched the financial impact that victorious Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association teams have on the income of local residents and found there wasn’t any. End says that’s because the NFL is more popular than baseball and basketball, and the impact of NFL success looms larger with football fans. 

Photo Credits
Niner Down
Missed Catch
SI vs Cristo Rey

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ray Lewis: Good and Faithful Servant?

There is nothing lukewarm about Ray Lewis.  He elicits that response in others--people love him or they hate him.  He is vocal, he is emotional,  and his expression of faith is no different.  After the Baltimore Ravens won the AFC title, he knelt down in total submission to God.  He kept his prayerful posture, his head to the ground for longer than anyone would have guessed.  And the media captured every last second of it. He is a competitor and he is a Christian.  I would be hard pressed to know what matters more.  His words to the press in New Orleans were an answer to that question.  He said,

"Rings fade, they tarnish, but the relationship I have with Him will never die," he says. "My ultimate goal is to leave a great name, so that one day when those skies finally spread, I'll hear those famous words, Well done, good and faithful servant."

This is the second time in the last week I have heard an NFL football player declare the significance of those words in their life: Well done, good and faithful servant.  The message is clear.  And I have to admit, it's a message that moves me.  I hope when I meet the Good Lord, He will say the same to me.  

Such words almost become a personal ethic, a motto to live by.  I'm not sure you can search them out.  Rather, they might come to you and speak for you, in the way that the words Let's Roll! have come to signify the life of Mark Bingham.

Bingham was one of the four men widely believed to have led the passenger insurrection that sent United Flight 93 plunging into a deserted field near Shanksville, Pa., killing all 44 aboard but thwarting the terrorists' plot to destroy the Capitol in Washington, D.C.  He was a gay man, a rugby player at Cal who many believe yelled "Let's Roll!" as these heroes launched their attack.

And yet, I think it's important to search out a motto for our own lives. It can be one to guide our spiritual journey.  Scripture is a rife resource.

Steve Pinkston, Director of Christian Service at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose concludes every e-mail with the words "Press On."  I can't help but smile when he says those words to me.  What delight I took when I discovered the source of his motto was in St. Paul's letter to the Philippians, 3:14:  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. And when Steve leaves any place he visits, the final words people see is that message; they are on his license plate.
I would be lying if I wrote that I wish the best for the good and faithful servant--the former Superbowl MVP, two-time defensive player of the year, 13-time pro-bowl ballplayer, and 7-time all-pro linebacker--on this Superbowl Sunday.  But I am grateful that he vocalized a beautiful spiritual motto.   

What words capture your life?  Serve as your spiritual ethic? Motto of faith?
Go Niners!  Let's Roll!!

Photo Credits
Ray on Fire

Ray in Prayer
Psalm 91
Bingham