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Ground Rules from THE Playbook

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Published on: September 15, 2014

I host a radio show on Sunday mornings here in my hometown on the local affiliate of ESPN called, “Ground-Rules from THE Playbook with Rick Godley.” The show airs from 7am-8am. The station manager asked me if I knew of any ‘Christian’ sports shows that he could put on the station to ‘reach’ the lost. I told him, I didn’t know of one, but I would be happy to do one, (since I have nothing to do on Sunday mornings now that the true Holy Spirit opened my eyes ‘to want to’ obey the 4th commandment). My first show was the 1st Sunday in 2012, January 8.

Growing up in the New York metropolitan area, where there were 2 professional baseball teams (Go Mets 1969!), football teams, basketball teams, 2 hockey teams, I was a fan of sports. I would classify myself as an active fan, not a rabid one. Today, I consider sports for what it is: passive amusement. Many ‘die-hard’ sports fans forget what the ‘E’ in ESPN stands for: Entertainment!

The premise of ‘The Ground-rules’ show is to help the audience understand that there truly is a book that contains ‘Ground-Rules,’ that literally pertain to this ground we walk on! That if we obey the instructions, the rules, then ‘The Owner’ of the Team will bless us, not with a multimillion dollar contract, but with a ‘Life’-time covenant; which is guaranteed by His Word! It was sealed in the Red Ink of Him sending His Son down to ‘The Field,’ to teach us how to ‘play’ (live), and not throw the Rule Book out! Rather, He shows us that ‘The Ground-rules’ from the left-side of The Book (Scriptures), are NOT done away with. They are the printed words of The Way, The Truth and The Life!

‘The Owner’s Son’ wasn’t sent to start a ‘new team,’ Christianity! I can’t find that in The Playbook, can you? He didn’t come to make a way for us to be taken off ‘the field’ in the 4th quarter at the 2-minute warning with the game on the line to be ‘raptured’ up to The Owner’s Skybox for a post-game banquet.

There was a team in a town called Berea who even had the guts to verify what ‘Paul’ and Silas were instructing from the same rule book you and I have (The Left-side of the Book!). They opened their ‘play-book’ daily to ‘see if it were so.’ Proving, once again, that ‘Paul’ used the same playbook that ‘Jesus’ did! Neither came up with anything new! After all, if ‘The Owner’ changes not, then why should His Son, or His team?

The uniqueness of the show has developed over the years to include guests who share their experience when coming to grips with the fact that we all have been lied to (Jeremiah 16) by those who claim we are a ‘New Team’ with a ‘New Coach’ because a ‘New League’ began in Acts 2! In fact, in the rulebook in Jeremiah 6:16, we are instructed to ‘Walk in the ancient paths’ to find rest for our souls. Not a new one!

As you can see, Our Father (The Owner) has opened up an opportunity to share His message in a very fun and creative way. There are so many applications that can, have and will be made for future shows. I am excited to be part of this.

Currently, I live in North Central Louisiana, where we have 3 relatively prominent universities: Louisiana Tech, University of Louisiana @ Monroe and Grambling State University. Each one has had some success on the football field. Each one has tried to adapt with the times and ‘keep up with the big boys’ while accepting organized mediocrity as the new standard of excellence, where a losing season can get you into a Bowl Game!

Have you noticed how the sports world is now our moral barometer? Have you also noticed how we have devolved to creating a ‘game day experience’ rather than focusing on putting on a great game? After all it’s about the size of the stadium, field houses and facilities, the interaction of the digital ear piercing scoreboard, fun and exciting promotions, contests, tailgating, etc. – Let’s not forget the ‘Athletic Budget,’ cha-ching!

The Dallas Cowboys recently were valued to have a net worth of over 3 billion dollars! They haven’t won a Super Bowl in almost 20 years, and only 2 playoff games. What’s their incentive to put a winner on the field? Who cares, but have you seen their 60 yard Digital video screen inside their new stadium? Die-hard fans will still pony up and buy the tickets, the gear, talk the talk, be the authority cause they got an opinion and play in fantasy leagues! Wow?

I am going to give you the results of a recent study and how it measures success, would you be able to tell me what ‘team’ they are describing? When these ‘Coaches’ were asked if their organization was successful or not, here is their criteria they cited?

  1. Attendance
  2. Budgets (increase)
  3. Number of Programs
  4. Size of Staff
  5. Size of Facilities

Sadly, the results for these measurements for ‘success’ didn’t come from NFL Owners or Division 1 Universities. No, they came from a 2 year research project conducted by George Barna, research expert and founder of The Barna Group, on why modern-day American pastors and churches are so silent regarding political issues!


This is their criteria for success?

What’s even more revealing in the study is the following, “90 % of the modern Pastors said, “Yes,” they knew that the Bible speaks to every one of the key issues of today, yet less than 10% say they will actually speak to those issues.”


Did you get that? 90% of America’s pastors say they know that the Bible speaks to all of these issues, but they are deliberately determined not to teach these Biblical principles!

Caveat: Ultimate responsibility of Scriptural knowledge and understanding rests with me and you, the reader. Study to show yourself…Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.

That being said, my question would be, why keep feeding this system with your time and money? It seems like we don’t have much of either anymore. Just asking….

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15

What’s more important to you? Attendance, giving, the number of programs, staff or facilities; does size matter? As Barna goes on to say, “Jesus didn’t die for any of them.” Wow!

So it comes down to this, modern American pastors read ‘successful church’ books and publications, attend the “successful church” conferences’ and watch “successful church” videos, etc.

As I close, remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Get out of the rut of unrighteousness and begin to walk in the ancient paths! Your obedience could be the 1 in ten that will prevent Sodom and Gomorrah from going up in smoke. Prayer wouldn’t have saved the 5 cities of the plain, but 10 righteous people would have. Choose to be the 1 in 10. That kind of love covers a multitude of sins.

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