Adult remembers the first time he lifted his hands in worship

By definition, Pentecostal means a Christian who’s faith is evidenced by speaking in tongues, healing, and even exorcism. If you ask the Baptists, it would include raising your hands, too. And Baptists don’t want to be Pentecostal.

Steven Turner, son of Pastor Turner and his wife Janine, was raised Baptist from the time he was in Royal Ambassadors all the way up to becoming a student leader at nearby Stonecrest Baptist Church. There are things Baptists don’t do, Steven told us.

“Folks at our church, we don’t judge, but we also don’t handle snakes, and we don’t separate church and football.” Living in the south means two things. You cheer on your football team Saturday, and cheer on your pastor Sunday.

Although he was keeping it lighthearted, there is something else Steven shared. When he was just a young teen attending Wednesday night youth group, he can still recall hearing a song that has meant a lot to him over the years.

“I was standing right next to ol’ Greg Simmons and this song came on. Years later I found out it was Avalon ‘Testify to Love.’ I didn’t know all the words but I just had to do something. So I raised my hand.”

The story goes that when this happened, his friends glanced over and some started snickering. Youth leader Christy Janson thought Steven needed something so she made her way over.

Christy: “I saw Steven’s hand in the air so maybe he needed to go to the bathroom or had a question about the Bible. ‘What’s up, Steve?’ but he didn’t answer and that’s when I got worried.”

Christy had heard about these things happening but not here. Not in this church. How had the devil got a foothold? She consulted the other leaders in the building and they set up a committee to look into it the following week. The pastor was made aware and added a few Scripture verses to the sermon the following Sunday.

Steven, meanwhile, had no idea there was anything going on behind the scenes. When Sunday rolled around and the choir was halfway through “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” he raised a hand again and the organist nearly fell off her bench. The pastor’s lips became tight with the shenanigans this youth was putting on.

Steven remembers the pastors prayer during the offering, “…and Lord, let us make a joyful noise to you, give us opportunities to serve you as we raise our hands in worship, although we don’t mean that literally, we should keep our hands by our sides during the worship service… Amen.” Steven, being a normal person who knows things, knew that was a weird thing to say.

Steven would like everyone to know it’s OK to raise up hands in worship. He’s still not sure about snake-handling, though. Steven, neither are we. Until we know more, just keep it to the ones without the diamond-shaped heads.

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

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Football coach flips the script on offensive creativity

Indianapolis, IN — It was about two decades ago when Kansas State made a splash in college football introducing the wildcat offense. It was highly effective, so much so that many other football teams including those on the professional level all the way down to peewee ball* incorporated it into their playbook.

In this variation of a run pass option, usually it’s a running back that will line up as the quarterback, take the snap, and either run it themselves or hand it off to another running back lined up in the backfield with them. The team’s quarterback will line up as a receiver, or simply remove themself from the field for the entirety of the wildcat formation.

Since the inception of this defense-confusing-lineup, coaches have become more aware and in turn been able to foil most wildcat variations, which is why it’s mostly fallen off most playbooks on all levels.

Enter coach Trevor Knightby. He was a graduate assistant on the sidelines of his college team when he first saw the wildcat used. It was then, he says, the idea was born for another offensive revelation.

“I had no idea I’d become a head coach one day,” says Knightby, “but my parents wouldn’t let me move back in after college unless I helped my dad out with the local high school’s sucky team– I mean– promising young team.”

The senior Knightby, then the coach of the worst varsity squad in the state, was gently forced out of his position mid-season (although he was allowed to remain on staff as a 10th grade history teacher) and that’s when Trevor took over. “It was the fourth or fifth game that year and pretty much the entire city had moved on to prepare for the upcoming basketball season. We’re known for being an almost average basketball school, so I guess most people thought even that was better than a football team that hadn’t scored a touchdown since Saban was an NFL coach.”

Knightby threw caution to the wind and started running an offense never before seen on any level of football. To call it a variation of the wildcat is a wildcat understatement. Under Knightby’s leadership, this new offense was ghostly, surprising, and could downright cause reactions of apocalyptic proportions.

In his offense, there are 11 players on the field but that’s about where the similarities to the wildcat end. In fact, that’s where similarities to any offense you’ve ever seen end. What you won’t see are running backs, quarterbacks, or passes. Knightby credits his dating life for the new radical offense. “My ‘aha’ moment was actually when I was ghosted by a girl I’d met a few weeks earlier. She was nice, but one day she just disappeared. Haven’t heard from her since.”

Take that to the gridiron and you have an offense line, a handful of wide receivers, and that’s it. The center snaps the ball to an empty backfield (where most teams position a quarterback), causing the defense to feel like the quarterback must be ghosting them. They scramble around assuming they’re missing something but don’t want to be made to look foolish.

This design has yet to earn a win for Knightby’s team, and in fact, at the time of this publication, they haven’t gained any yardage, points, or respect from the city.

-Out of the Wilderness News

*Peewee league teams using the wildcat cannot be confirmed, as none of the news staff has ever actually watched a peewee football game. 

Little League dads tussle over pop fly hit to shallow outfield

Hoover, AL — This past weekend Little League athletes took the field for a cross county rivalry showcasing the talents of Allen’s Furniture Ferrets vs. Sew What Badgers. The Ferrets came into the game with 3 wins on the season, and only 1 loss. The Badgers haven’t faired as well, boasting only a single win, and 2 losses.

“It’s great to see a community come together supporting sportsmanship, encouragement, and sports… under gorgeous weather, too,” Hoover councilman Rich Stocker gleamed.

The first pitch was thrown around 9:03am, with the sun hanging just above the tree line about 50 yards behind the outfield fence, a cool breeze brushing past the excited dugouts on either side of the field.

Both teams are coached well, and it was clear all the players were in good spirits. That is, until the 3rd inning when 2nd baseman for the Badgers approached the plate for his second at bat opportunity. After a strike and a ball, Johnson Miller made contact, sending the ball into the air with the force of an unknown former actor on “Dancing With the Stars.” That is to say, it was a blooper with the possibility of landing just behind the Ferrets shortstop.

The ball was called out after the centerfielder hustled in to make the catch. Across the diamond, some shouting.

A Badger dad: “Nice try on the fly ball, Miller,” loud enough for all to hear.

Another Badger dad: “Well, actually it was more of a pop fly, but you’ll get ’em next time,” also loud enough for the entire gathering to notice.

“You think so, Bill???”

“I do, Doug. Did you see where the ball went?”

“I did. It was a FLY BALL. Clearly.”

“Fly ball. Ha! If you ever played the sport, you’d know that was an easy pop fly.”

“If I ever played the sport? So now you’re the expert in all things Little League?”

“I have 3 trophies in the attic from 1982. How many do you have?”

“Why not 4? Did you hit a pop fly to lose a championship??”

This went on for 2 more innings until players from both teams made their way to the bleachers to separate the feuding men. Bill was sent to his car while Doug was moved to the stands of a different game to think about what he’d done. In 5 minutes, the players would come back to check on them.

Meanwhile, discussion in both dugouts arose on what a pop fly is and what a fly ball is. The Badgers Googled it, messaged it over to their friends on the Ferret side of the field, and the game carried on without incident. After the game, both teams met at Dave & Buster’s for pizza and bowling.

At the time of this report, Bill and Doug have not resolved their differences… and were not seen at Dave & Buster’s.

-Out of the Wilderness News

Married Man Loses Touch with Single Guy Friends

Louisville, KY — A Kentucky man recently admitted since his wedding last year, he hasn’t talked with any of his single guy friends. The now husband and father of a toddler said, “I’m not sure exactly what happened. Some of us had plans to play basketball in a league that summer.”

We were able to track down a few of his groomsmen. One had no comment while another was willing to talk under conditions of anonymity.

“Yeah, we did have plans to play ball that summer. He and I had been playing together for years… until she showed up.” He went on to say his friend dating and eventually marrying changed everything. Then once the couple started having babies, he gave up on ever hearing from his buddy again.

The third groomsman we contacted was relieved to hear his married friend admitted to losing touch with him and the rest of the guys. As it turns out, he started dating someone around the time of his pal’s wedding, and just remembered he hasn’t texted any of his guy friends “in a few weeks… or months.”

“I thought it was my fault he and I lost touch,” he says, “I’m glad to know [married guy] feels responsible. Let’s keep that story going.”

Upon checking with the Kentucky man’s wife on how relationships with her single lady friends are going, she had this to say: “Well, it’s been disappointing. We can only meet at Panera three times a week.”

-Out of the Wilderness News