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Please note that while this is an unbiased review of the book Always Fall Forward by Todd Gerelds,, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
Sports are in my blood
I’m a huge sports fan. I mean HUGE. As an only child with a sports fan father, I was raised watching sports and rooting for my teams. Some parents quiz their kids on state capitols, mine quizzed me on sports teams. My dad would say “Milwaukee” and I would have to say “Brewers”. He would say “Pittsburgh”, I would have to answer “Pirates, Steelers or Penguins”. Watching sports was in my blood, so to speak.
Through the years, my sports interest has deepened. For the past ten years, I have played fantasy baseball and for the past four, fantasy football. I arrange my schedule around Duke Basketball games and have FOUR separate apps on my phone to keep up on sports news.
“Football Sunday” is a weekly holiday in our home. After church, I cook an assortment of appetizers and spread them out in our media room. From noon until the last game of the night is over, we watch football. Both of my sons, and sometimes a few friends, join my husband and I in rooting for our teams. Almost all of us have different favorites, so this can get a bit crazy!
Having raised two sons who played football, baseball, basketball, soccer and wrestling, sports are part of the family DNA.
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Always Fall Forward
Recently, I was provided an opportunity to read and review Always Fall Forward by Todd Gerelds. Todd also wrote Woodlawn, which was later made into a movie. In Woodlawn, if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, Todd shares the events he witnessed as the son of football Coach Tandy Gerelds. It is a true story of hope, faith, and love has impacted countless people as well as inspired many for Christ.
Always Fall Forward is a football-themed devotional; Perfect for a sports fan like me. At first, I was concerned that the writing would be geared to men, and while, granted, more men than women will probably pick up this book, I found the devotions applied to male and female, alike.
After a foreward and introduction, the book follows with 52 devotionals based on life lessons from the football field and the biblical truths within. With 52 devotions, I’m assuming that the book was designed to read one per week. I, however, did one per day. The devotions are short (2-3 pages) and follow with suggested Bible reading and a few questions for reflection.
What I enjoyed most about this book is how relatable the devotions are. We read the Bible and the commands from God about how to live life, but the devotionals in Always Fall Forward provide vignettes from the author’s life and from the football field as well as HOW these biblical commands apply to our everyday life.
In the devotion, Two Whistles, Todd explains that his father, Coach Gerelds, was not a fan of average and that neither is God. We are told in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” How often do we go through life half-heartedly performing work, chores and even worship? This chapter is a great reminder that God wants us to “work with all of our heart in a way that brings honor to Him”.
I also loved the devotion, The Little Things Matter which is based on Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” In it, we read a story which reminds us that it is the “little things” in our life that become big things and how those little things were what led Todd’s father to Christ. It is a beautiful story, rich with meaning and nuance. Although I, and most of my readers, are already in Christ, the lesson to do everything, even the little things, to the best of our ability and to ask God to use our obedience in those little things.
I could provide example after example from this gem of a book about how football mimics life and where biblical truths lie in our everyday life. I absolutely loved this book and will be buying extra copies for my sons and for gifts. If you have a sports fan in your life, they will treasure this book. It may even be a good gift for someone special who loves sports, but has not, yet given their life to God.
If you’d like to grab a copy for yourself or a special sports fan in your life, you can find them at the links below:
Did you read Always Fall Forward? What were your biggest takeaways? Can you think of a sports fan that needs to have this devotional?
For reviews on other books, devotionals and Bible studies, see THIS page.
Because of Him,