Tag Archives: Rugby

Your Guide to Life

12 Nov

When you’ve been out and about recently, you’ll have noticed a chill in the air and a change in the colour of leaves, that’s right, Autumn is upon us! And I always really look forward to this time of the year, not so I can make the usual generic comments about how ‘the leaves are a lovely shade this time of year’ and ‘look how dark it is outside already!’, but because it is the time of year when Rugby’s finest from the South Hemisphere come on tour and so the Autumn Internationals start! Yes, that’s right, we can look forward to our weekends when terrestial T.V coverage will be overrun with some classic fixtures and some of the sport’s great players will be on display.

So in my usual preparation to these great matches, I was doing a bit of reading on how the Tri-Nations teams had been performing up to now and my eye was drawn to an article on Australia’s new up and coming Out Half, Quade Cooper. He is a fantastic athlete with a great set of hands and feet and a mind to run the game, however it wasn’t his skill at the game of Rugby that caught my eye.

Cooper in action for the Wallabies earlier in the year

In the Rugby World magazine, Cooper was featured and interviewed in an article that focused on the beginnings of his career, where he found his motivation and desire, and what he hopes to achieve. As a young sportsman, these are perfectly normal questions to face, but it was his responses which intrigued me most. The article started with a quote from Michael Jordan, the world’s greatest ever Basketball player, who said this:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost 300 games. 26 times i’ve been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. And that is why I succeed.

'Air Jordan' showing his skill in his famous Chicago Bulls No.23 Shirt

The article went on to explain how it was Jordan’s constant embrace of risk in the pursuit of success that drew Cooper to him and therefore this is why Jordan’s quote has been an inspiration to him. This sentence then followed; Forget the Bible, for a 22 year old fast emerging world rugby star, Jordan’s story is a good a guide to life as Cooper is going to get.”

A very interesting quote. In todays world, I wonder how many millions upon millions simply ‘forget the Bible’ when it comes to working out their own life guides. I do wonder where people get their guide to life, which philosopher, celebrity or personal thought do they turn to in order to have some direction in their lives. Many today perhaps think the Bible to slow and old fashioned to keep up with their hip and exciting ways of living, like Quade Cooper, success, money and status has given the world it’s drive to cast aside the holy word of God and catch and hold to other meaningless and empty words to guide them.

As for Christians, we know that the Bible is God’s infallible word; Psalm 119:105 ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ and Joshua 1:8 ‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.’ are just a few verses which show how important it should be in our every day lives.

May we take great confidence that we know our life guide is coming from the very mouth of the Lord, that every word in the book is fashioned for our own well being and good.

Psalm 119:103, ‘How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!’

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‘The Master of my Soul’

6 Nov

Hopefully you regular readers on Another King won’t see me as a movie junkie due to my other posts about classic film lines, however I felt this one was begging to be doneas i’ve been hearing it a lot recently. My focus isn’t exactly on a film, it is on the poem, ‘Invictus’, written by Victorian writer William Ernest Henley in 1875 and this has been more recently made famous by Clint Eastwood’s production in 2009, where he captures the poem being used in South Africa as they won the 1995 Rugby World Cup against all the odds. Perhaps you’ve seen the film or heard a few lines, but never got a chance to read the whole thing, well here’s your opportunity!

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 

A poem that is filled with rich language and it’s all pretty emotional when it is used against the backdrop of a South African nation over coming apartheid and social inequality to go on and conquer some of the biggest names in world rugby, however that’s not what I wish to focus on. The last two lines have become very popular in recent months, many people have quoted them, have them scribbled down on their notepads or merely just thinking them to themselves in testing circumstances.

But when we stop to think about the implications of those last two lines, we see the utter foolishness of mankind creeping in. Psalm 14:1 states ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God’, and the words of this poem seem to show up this flaw in man’s heart. Man thinks we’re able to control our own future, we think we’re able to go against whatever circumstances beset us, because we are the ‘captain of our souls’.

We see many modern minds telling the masses of people in this world that because there is nothing out there, nothing eternal to worry about, then why shouldn’t every man and woman be in charge of themselves? No matter what is happening, they can turn it around because of their inward pride, because of their belief in no deity and their belief in their own strenght….

Of course, those readers of the scriptures know this to be nonsense….Psalm 128:1 ‘Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!’ Psalm 46:1 ‘God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.’ We must acknowledge that God is the master of our fates, he alone is the only one who can be a comfort in the midst of troubles and he alone is the only one that man can find refuge in on that great and terribly judgement day that is coming. May we continue to realise our own stupidity in placing trust in our own works and turn to an increased faith in God and his saving power.

As with all poems, lots of people can have lots of various takes on them so upon reading Invictus you feel some thing sticking out at you, drop us a comment and feel free to share!

 

Ulster Schools Cup Semi Finals

1 Mar

If you’re bored on Tuesday afternoon and have nothing better to do, get on down to Ravenhill and support Wallace in our Cup Semi Final at Ravenhill.

Wallace vs. Belfast Royal Academy at Ravenhill. Kick Off 2:30pm.

Please note that the next section is taken from the Ulster Website and not written by me, you only see stuff this corny on SWS!

“The journey to the much coveted Northern Bank Schools’ Cup Final 2010 is nearing an end, with the semi finals taking place at Ravenhill next week.

Both matches promise to be exciting affairs and spectators will be guaranteed of some very entertaining rugby.

Please note that the terraces will be closed on both days. Tickets for both matches will be available to purchase from the gate priced at £8 per adult and £3 per schoolboy/ schoolgirl.”

It's really not what it looks like....

Hope to see you there!

Rugby Star Refuses to Play on Sabbath

16 Dec

Lions prop Euan Murray has announced that he will be unavailable to play on Sundays for Scotland or his club side Northampton.

“Murray, who has 28 caps, is a devout Christian and is understood to be reluctant to take part in a match which would compromise his belief in Sabbath observance.

Although unwilling to discuss the matter publicly on this occasion, Murray has acknowledged in the past that he has wrestled with the issue of playing on a Sunday before now…

Murray, formerly of Glasgow, once explained that he had been a Christian for most of his life, but his faith deepened dramatically three years ago when, after suffering with a series of injuries and other problems, he decided to devote his life to God.

He subsequently suggested that an upturn in his fortunes had been directly connected to that strengthening of his faith.

Over the past couple of years he has become recognised as one of the best props in the world.”

Daily Telegraph

Read more about it from the Daily Telegraph or BBC News.

Pupils vs Staff Football Match

12 May

One of the highlights of my time at Friends’ School Lisburn occurred only a few weeks ago when the Staff agreed to play the Pupils in a game of football.

If we’d won I’d have probably posted this alot sooner.

The game started with both sides playing very nervous football and the tone was set for a physical encounter when a certain James McCullough barely avoided a yellow within the first two minutes. The staff created a few early chances but the partnership of Robbo and Chesnutt failed to captalise whilst at the other end the attacking pace of Glen Whitten and Gerrard Killough threatened repeatedly when provided with chances from the midfield field trio of Keag, Campbell and Tracey. A missed clearance from RE teacher Chesnutt allowed Gerry to poke home a 1-0 lead which the pupils protected until half-time.

Shortly after the restart a controversial decision by referee Mr McCrea allowed Mr Wilson, the staff goalkeeper, to remain on the pitch despite a rugby-style tackle on an opposing midfielder following a goalkeeping error that looked certain to double the Pupils’ lead. It was two defensive errors at the other end that would settle the fate of the match. Craig “Foxy” Cunnningham was thrown forward from the Staff defense and his lightning pace caused havoc amongst what had previously looked like a sturdy back four. The equaliser came when Pupil keeper Stuart Law had a Fabien Barthez moment, deciding to attempt to chip the oncoming Mr Cunningham rather than hoof the ball upfield. The delighted teacher relished the easy tap-in whilst his side sensed panic amongst the Pupils. A few minutes later Romanian striker Alex Bouzziano had a chance to restore the lead of the Class of 09 but headed the ball narrowly over.

The Pupil’s defence had employed the offside trap effectively throughout the game as it greatly perplexed Rugby coach Mr Robinson but it was this tactic that proved to be their undoing. A run from deep saw the defence caught flat footed and Mr Cunningham score his second goal of the game. The Pupil side pushed for an equaliser but were denied by a stunning save from Mr. Wilson and defenders throwing their bodies in the way of a last second James Keag attempt.

Thank you to the teachers for playing. It was truly one of my favourite moments of school though I’d still be up for a rematch sometime.

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Cambi brings the ball out

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Colm rises for a header

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Time for a measured pass/ hoof

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Pupils defend a corner

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Zidane

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Robbo v Kenny

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Robbo on the ball

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Cambi nods clear

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Beatty puts the pressure on

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Colin the Maintence Man- like Robbie Savage without the hair

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 Moment of madness

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“I thought I’d chip Mr Cunningham and make him look stupid”

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As easy as catching fish for the Kilkeel man

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 Jacko closes down Woods

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Buzzy heads over the bar/ bit of rope

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Second goal for the Staff

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Keag couldn’t find a way past Mr. Wilson

All photos are from the 2nd half and were kindly provided by James Scott.

Final Score: Pupils 1 Staff 2

Euan Murray

5 Dec

A friend sent me a link to this article about Scottish international rugby player Euan Murray who came to faith in Jesus Christ following an horrible injury in 2005. Apparently there is also an article about him in this month’s Evangelical Times.

10,000 Instant Christians

27 Oct

Greetings True Believers and Faithful Readers, on the verge of coming into Lisburns Bible Conference Week (meetings are on Truths of the Reformation, starting at 8pm!), my thoughts have been wondering a lot.

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The Very Best of Max Boyce Album

As our speaker Rev. Peter Naylor is currently minister of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Cardiff, I have been thinking about all things Welsh. And the main thing is a great memory in my mind. One Christmas, Dad decided to blow the dust of the record player and bring out his LP collection from the glory days, that night, I was introduced to a great entertainer and my favourite to this day, Max Boyce.

Max rose to fame in the mid-70’s with a combined music and comedy act focusing on the great Welsh Rugby Union teams of that time and his mining background. The man shows a clear love of his heritage and country but i’m left confused about him. Many of his songs are of a relgious nature and yet have no idea about his faith. However, more to the point, one of his songs has always stuck in my head, entitled, “10,000 Instant Christians”.

His introduction goes a little like this,

Anyone who goes to the Rugby internationals in Cardiff, cannot fail but be impressed by the great hymn singing Welsh crowd. But i’m not so sure if they’d be impressed if they just went around the corner from the Arms Park and they saw the little chappel there with the windows smashed and the doors locked and shuttered and a sign that says ‘for sale’. When I saw this one Sunday morning after an International, I wrote this song entitled, Ten Thousand Instant Christians.

And the song goes on like this:

When He sees the Hope and Anchor
Where we sang before the game
Where ‘Cwm Rhondda’ and ‘Delilah’
First sounded both the same
The bar was filled with singing
Hymns came on a tray
Saturday was Sunday
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees the North Enclosure
With it’s belly full of ale
And sees that male voice flagon
Sing to the twisted barrier rail
‘Cwm Rhondda’ and ‘Penmachno’
Hymns of yesterday
Only half remembered
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees that touch-line tenor
With his copy made of sand
Ten Thousand Instant Christians
And the Glynneath Silver Band
‘C’mon man, ref, for Ch***’s sake
That ball was still in play’
Ten Thousand Instant Christians
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

When He sees that empty chapel
With it’s locked and shuttered door
And sees that dusty Bible
Cobweb covered floor
The numbers slowly dwindling
Much fewer now each day
Calfaria now a bingo hall
I wonder what He’ll say

What will He say?
What will He say?
I wonder, I wonder what He’ll say?

I wonder.

It is met by rapturous applause from the crowd but I wonder how much uncertainty they felt after hearing it with the knowledge that one day we’ll be answerable to a great and mighty God.