I am a Texas boy. Born here. Educated here. Texans are known for many things — most of them true — but one thing stands out more than any other: our love for football.
The Greatest Comeback in College Football Bowl History
I was in the stands and personally watched one of the most amazing sporting events of all time — the greatest comeback in college football bowl history. It took place at the Alamo Bowl in 2016 between Oregon and Texas Christian University, both ranked in the top 10 nationally. Playing with a quarterback who had never before started in a major college football game, TCU found themselves down 31-0 at halftime. Coach Gary Patterson took his team into the locker room at halftime and made some proper adjustments. He changed the defensive scheme. He instilled within his team the attitude that it was never over until it was over. Then he turned to his inexperienced quarterback, Bram Kohlhausen, whose father had recently died. The coach looked into the young man’s face and said, “Your dad has passed away, but he is watching. Can you imagine if you came back? Can you come back? Can you go out there and win this football game?” By the time halftime ended, the TCU players practically broke the locker room door down trying to get back on the field.
The result of those adjustments was amazing. The Ducks didn’t score again in the third or fourth quarter. Kohlhausen led his team to tie the game at 31. Then, in triple overtime, he himself — who had never played in a major college football game — scored to complete the greatest comeback victory in bowl history.
All because a coach didn’t give up when he met stiff opposition.
Everybody Needs to Rebuild Something
Who among us has not had a need for a new beginning — to rebuild something? Maybe it’s a relationship. A business. A church. Pastors often face rebuilding tasks: helping those they lead mend relationships or start over after failures or rebuilding a church that has fallen on challenging or difficult times.
When we were pastoring the good and godly people at First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, I made it my practice to pray by name for five families in the church every day. A couple of weeks before I would be praying for a family, they’d receive a card letting them know I was praying for them by name and asking them for any specific prayer requests I could offer. (Pastor, as an aside, it’s amazing how these prayer requests helped provide focus to my own preaching preparation.) Day after day, month after month, I heard about a child’s life marred by drugs; a marriage on the verge of collapse; businesses ruined.
Everybody, it seemed, at some point or another needed to rebuild something. Taking your people through the study of Nehemiah will help them as they recognize their own need to rebuild and how to get started and carry it on to completion. These are timeless principles that are tested, tried and true.
It’s Never Too Late for a New Beginning
We wrote The Nehemiah Code: It’s Never Too Late for a New Beginning with those who need to rebuild in mind. Hearing that the walls of Jerusalem remained in disrepair, Nehemiah asked the king of Persia for permission to go rebuild the walls. By employing several key principles of Rebuilders — get started right, build a team spirit, let go without letting up, understand YAC (yards after contact), never cut what you can untie, and finish strong — Nehemiah led the Jerusalem to rebuild the wall in 52 days.
Anybody needing to rebuild their lives, their communities, their churches, their businesses, their families or anything else can put the same principles to work in their own situations. Even if the life, business or church has been in ruins for years, remember, it’s never too late for a new beginning!
— O. S. Hawkins, author of The Nehemiah Code: It’s Never Too Late for a New Beginning
How To Use This Book
This book and the accompanying small group video Bible study will help anyone in your church who needs a new beginning. O.S. Hawkins, bestselling author of the Code series, draws on the book of Nehemiah to show how each of us can begin again when we look to God for help. Whether we have suffered broken relationships, integrity missteps, devastating loss, or any other setback, it is never too late to rebuild our lives!