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OK! You all know that I live in Philly. I must admit that I am into the Eagles hype with respect to their chances at getting to the Super Bowl this year. AME folk, do you think the Eagles will make it? Say a prayer for the folks in Philly because we have been here before. (You know hope springs eternal.) Pray for sister Brooks in Philly and the Eagles.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004


Mary I am impressed that you know about football. I saw your subject and thought wow! Mary saw an eagle flying in philly. We have eagles flying here in the mountains, so I love watching them.

I do not know anything about football, I lamented to my director of men's ministry how sad I was that the cleveland browns were so bad, for when I was a child they were great with Jim Brown. He said pastor "Your browns are in Baltimore and our the RAVENS" now why didn't they tell me this before.

I have been crying over the wrong team. So as long as they are explaining your eagles, how are my Ravens doing, and who is this new cleveland brown team.

Mary I will root for your eagles. If they are good enough for you they are good enough for me! You go girl!

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

I don't know a lot about football, only the basics, but I enjoy cheering and screaming and doing all my old high school and college cheers during the games. My daughter and friends laugh so hard, but it's fun. (My ex-husband played college football and to this day I don't remember whether he played offense or defense.)

Around two years ago I ran into Donovan McNabb, the Eagles Quarterback, on South Street which is approximately one block from the church. I did not recognize him immediately, but I knew his face was familiar to me. So, I just looked at him for a while trying to put the pieces together and spoke to the young man and asked how he was doing and if all was going well for him. (I honestly thought he was a YPDer.) He responded "he was doing fine" ,smiled and then asked how I was. My daughter was with me and I said to her, "Luci where do we know that man from?" She said she didn't know. In the meantime he is listening to the conversation between my daughter and myself and just laughed to himself. When I got across the street it hit me who he was, and I shouted, "Oh no, that's Donovan McNabb." He just turned and smiled and waived. So I've been a dedicated Eagles fan ever since. I like polite young people. This young man was raised well and has a wonderful heart.

Remember your rah rahs for the Eagles.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

Odd, I don't recall Eagle celebrations last year when my Tampa Bay Bucs visited Philly in the championship game and closed the 'Vet' with a crushing victory :-) I still see Rhonde Barber running back that inteception thrown by Donovan. Ahh.........those fond memories. I'll be rooting for the Panthers and the Colts on Sunday. I give all kudos to McNabb in making that key pass to Freddie Mitchell on 4th and 26. Eagles made the key plays and deserved to win last week. I just want to see Tony Dungy be the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl. I suppose its safe to say that church attendance in Philly for Sunday afternnon programs will be sparsely populated. QED

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

I'm another die hard EAGLES' fan. Yes! We're going all the way Mary! I was at the game on Sunday. Generally speaking the EAGLES' are not great statistically, but make big plays when they have to. I'm hoping they go all the way! We've suffered enough. Bill I completely understand your need to reflect fondly on ancient history 'cause there is nothing to reflect on Sunday concerning your Bucs:) Come to think of it, they haven't played for a few Sundays :) Must mean last year was a fluke! I'm also rooting for cool, calm, cerebral Tony Dungy. But should my EAGLES make it and the Colts there is no question about where my allegiance is. "They that mount up on wings like.." Keep the faith Mary.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

Oh my it was fun to see Bill lamenting on the past. Tampa Bay oh yeah the Super Bowl champs, Last Year, also ran this year. Mary I am excited about the Eagles too. And I would love to see the Colts make it. (Didn't Dungy use to coach that Florida team also?) Poor Sister Denise, next year I will have to send you my pro football guide so you can keep up. God Bless you all and Go Eagles.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

Bro. Harold, thank you for helping a sister out with football. I can always count on you!

Now Mary I just spoke to my director of men's ministry and wow I had him on the phone, I asked what team is our church rooting for. He said the EAGLES. He also asked that a prayer request be put on the church prayer page for the EAGLES.

He also wanted me to tell you that our church stands with our first district sister Mary in rooting for the EAGLES! Bro. Dieter is a loyal football fan.

Bro. Harold, now that I am on the side of the Eagles, can you tell why they are so great?

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2004

Thank you Rev. Rogers and your congregation for rooting for the Eagles. The Eagles need all the prayers and cheers they can get.

Now, for brother Dickens. I am going to say an extra prayer for him because the brother is just wrong. First of all, his wife is from Philadephia, that makes his children (eaglettes) Philadelphians as well. So he knows he should be wearing his green on Sunday and eating a Philly cheesesteak along with a grape soda and Wise potato chips. to be an afternoon service and they are on duty, many times y

Just remember the 4 and 26. Eagles got it going on!!!!

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Oh, those faithful Eagle fans! Decades upon decades of having their teams tease them with the prospect of a champion only to unmercifully break their fans hearts with another playoff loss. If my sports memory is correct Philly hasn't had a champion in the Big Four Sports (football, baseball, basketball & hockey) since Moses Malone & sharp- shooting Andrew Toney (not Dr. J) led the Sixers to the promise land in 1983!!! The Flyers haven't won the Stanley Cup since a tooth-less center named Bobby Clarke was scoring goals in bunches. The Phillies haven't won since the World Series since the great 1950s infield of Tinkers-Evers-Chance and the poor Eagles haven't won an NFL Championship since "The Dutchman", Norm Van Brocklin, was throwing touchdowns at a record pace around the same time the US was ending hostilities in the Korean War. Yes, my wife is a native of West Philly and my inlaws are comfortably ensconced around that sprawling area know as Univ. of Penn extended. I enjoyed looking at the exceptional talents of former Eagles like Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Randall Cunningham and Wilbert Montgomery. It is also true that I have taken a recent journey down nostalgia lane in reflecting on my Tampa Bay Bucs. However, Parson Byrd, Mary and Harold are simply in denial by dismissing my informed remarks about the Eagles chances of victory this week :-) I have been a student of inferential statistics for a long time and I know that trends can not be rejected. Therefore, based on past performance, it is only logical for me to not root for the Eagles because to do so will contradict established theory and only add to the misery Eagle fans will have Sunday. Please note these views are not shared by Mrs. Dickens or our two children who for some irrational reason are die- hard Eagle fans :-) QED

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

OK brother Dickens. You have inferential statistics, but we got the Lord.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

It would be nice if the Eagles win because they would then play the Class of the NFL in the Super Bowl, The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS. That would make it a First District Championship. We won last week in 10 degree weather, we have won in snow and in the sun, home and away. Twelve straight, by the way. Go Eagles See you in Houston at the Super Bowl Bob McCain

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Yes brother McCain...the EAGLES shall see the new england patriots in Houston! :)

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

"Past performance is not an indicator of future performance" BUT FYI: Preseason Eagles 12 Patriots 24 Reg Season Eagles 10 Patriots 31

Just thought y'all would like to know!!!!

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Go Raiders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh that was last year...sorry folks...tell me again who's playing?

Oh the Philidelphia Eagles....well then that's way on the other side of the country...too bad all of our California teams are'nt represented. Good luck to all the teams and Mary especially to your Eagles.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Loving Life: Thanks for your encouraging words for the Eagles and their fans. It means a lot to us.v :-)

Brother McCain: Just remember the 4 and 26. That's all I got to say. Our office has already planned our Super Bowl Party! :-)

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Is this the same team that America's Team beat earlier this year?

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Loving life don't feel bad about the raiders, I just found out last week that my beloved Clevand Browns moved to Baltimore. O.k. news is a little slow getting here;-) But our sons of allen are standing behind sister Mary and her eagles who are going to win the superbowl.

Were the ravens even close?

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

Mary opines -

"You have inferential statistics, but we got the Lord." Now that's an interesting observation. If the Lord is partial to any football team it would probably be the New Orleans Saints. However, the ineptitude of that team in the Big Easy would even discourage the Allmighty. The N.E. Pats play a well-disciplined, mistake-free, ball control style. They are the consumate overachievers. Bellichek is an outstanding coach and probably gets more from his players than any other coach. He is deserving of NFL Coach of the Year honors. Yet, their 15 game winning streak will come to an end Sunday. Over the last two weeks Peyton Manning has played like a reincarnated Johnny Unitas (for those who don't know Unitas is one of the all-time great QBs). Panthers v Colts in the Big Game. Oh, Rev. Rogers, the Ravens actually won the Super Bowl 3-4 years ago in Tampa, FL. The city they moved from, Cleveland, OH, hasn't won an NFL championship game since the late 50s when a great running back by the name of James (Jim) Brown was trampeling over defensive players and a speedy receiver named Bobby Mitchell was catching touchdown passes. QED

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2004

i feel like I am in a lost episode of the twilight zone, the ravens formerly known as the cleveland browns won several years ago, and I did not know they were the real cleveland browns. I am going to write them and tell them now that I have found out who they are they will have to win the superbowl again so I can see it!

I remember as a child being forced to go to the cleveland indian baseball games in the early 60's they would take us out of school, they always lost, the teacher would threaten us by saying "if you keep talking I am taking you to see the cleveland indians!"

So the cleveland browns gave us joy.

Now for all the football fans, if you were going to use football or the superbowl in a sermon illustration, what would your sermon title be, and scripture.

And for sunday school teachers and superintendants what biblical principals can one share from football for our youth;-)

-- Anonymous, January 16, 2004

OK Bill....Dungy's out of it now. The Eagles are just on there way to the field. Do you have your green on?

-- Anonymous, January 18, 2004

Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch!!!!!! Now, that hurt. :-(

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

I will not rejoice in my predictions regarding the futility of Eagle football by saying "I told you so". I will not revisit Rush Limbaugh's critique about McNabb's "alleged greatness" even though Donovan was inept BEFORE the unfortunate injury. Neither will I request that all of the early Eagle supporters and bandwagon members bow down in abject humility to my football prowress. No, to do such a thing would not signal good sportsmanship and I could be rightly accused of not being a gentleman during another episode of Philly suffering and humiliation. I may not be a scholar to some but I take great pride in being a gentleman, first and foremost. Afterall, I have to comfort a dejected spouse, children, sister-in-laws, wife's cousins, wife's classmates, etc. Philly fans are Job-like in their struggles to understand why Divine Providence seemingly is opposed to their athletic success. My other prediction about a Colts victory fell short so Mr. Dungy will have to wait until next year to coach in a Super Bowl. Oh well, at least Bob McCain and those Patriots are in a celebratory mood. QED

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

My precious Donovan was NEVER inept. Rush was just jealous cause he realized he doesn't have it like Mc Nabb does. You know 20,000 pain pills can distory reality quite somewhat. We do need some half way decent receivers though. Oh well....

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

If I'm not mistaken, Rush didn't throw three interceptions or engineer an offense to a grand total of 3 points. McNabb is good, just not great. He isn't even the best black QB in the NFL. He ranks behind Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper, Mike Vick, and even Jeff Blake. He is tough and a threat when he escapes the pocket and begins to run but once you have him in the pocket he becomes very, very average much like Kordell Stewart. I understand your pain and agony but directing your "frustration" at Rush is only a diverionary tactic used to soothe the agonizing reality that your beloved underachieving Eagles will have to sit back and answer the annoying question, .....What If? Now since I happen to like you I'm willing to provide complimentary rehab service to you and other faithful Ealge fans like Parson Byrd, Bro. Harold and other bandwagon members who blindly became fans while rejecting my sage advice. Now kindly repeat after me: "I will read, believe and heed Brother Dickens sage advice when it comes to pro football. I will not doubt, debate or deny his perspicacious insight in matters pertaining to the Eagles because he even knows more than the sports jocks on the Philly radio station, WIP. I understand that Brother Dickens is a caring and compassionate person who is interested in helping me avoid disappointment which requires me seeing the truth about my beloved Eagles." Now, if you repeat this often, much like a Buddhist chant, you are on the road to a successful emotional recovery from yesterday's game :-) Ahh,.......it's so gratifying and fulfilling to extend help and assistance to others. QED

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

Bill opines:

I will not rejoice in my predictions regarding the futility of Eagle football by saying "I told you so". I will not revisit Rush Limbaugh's critique about McNabb's "alleged greatness" even though Donovan was inept BEFORE the unfortunate injury

Now come on Bill, you called Donovan inept. He is not inept. No one ever said he is the best but he is not inept. Do we call Dungy inept? No. He is not the greatest, but definitely not inept. In any event, Donovan's shoulders are big for a young man. He has the class of a chamption. So don't be hatin on the Big D. Yes, I am still an Eagles fan!

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

......and I will continue to be a fan of Philly cheesesteaks, Wise potato chips and Nehi Grape Soda :-) Three INT's and Three Points = ineptitude. My description of McNabb's performance on Sunday as inept is far more kinder and gentler than many of the comments coming from South Philly, North Philly, West Philly and your Jersey neighbors on the otherside of the Ben Franklin Bridge. QB's get too much credit win the team wins and too much blame when the team loses. Unfortunately, when you are the highest paid player in the league you will be judged by a different standard. This is not fair but criticism comes with the territory when you are a high-profile, high-price athelete. QED

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

Bill, where can you purchase a Nehi? I have not seen that on the store shelves since Hector was a pup. It's hard to find a Franks's grape soda in the city as well.

Actually, from what I see, the city is kinder to McNabb than you are. But that's ok...He's still the man!

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

You obviously haven't met some of the rabid Philly fans in Germantown, Mt. Airy, 56th & Market and Overbrook :-) The next time I'm in Philly (later this Spring) I'll treat you to a Nehi Grape Soda. Provided of course you have been faithfully repeating the meditational chants I developed for you earlier :-) QED

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

I just saw Grape Nehi yesterday....(yes in California)...where was I? Oh yes, I was in Fry's Electronic Store. I can also get them from Beverages and More...

About the Eagles, and Donovan:

It takes more than 1 man to win/lose a game. I saw three players that choked, coughing up 2 of those three interceptions. I saw defensive players that didn't give that extra 10% that is necessary in the road to the playoffs.

If you had put another QB in (Blake, Q, Culpepper, et. al., the score might have been 14-10). In fact, Detmer played several series and came up with bupkiss, Q.E.D.

It's not all on Donovan's shoulders (or ribs).....

And, I'm a COWBOYS fan!

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2004

Yes, Brother Bill, we are indeed in a celebratory mode up here in New England. Although there is little respect by the sports media, we are going to the Super Bowl with a T-E-A-M. There are few marquee players on the team. It is a completly team effort getting us there. Only 2 players made the Pro Bowl. However, Tom Brady our QB has had an outstanding season. He finished 3rd in the MVP poll behind Steve McNair and Peyton Manning. Yet, in two weeks he outperformed both of them with better qb ratings. Of course, the defense made alot of this possible but that is their role in teamwork. Manning and McNair will be watching on TV. as for the Eagles, they can be back into it with a few changes. There is a lesson in all this. All the qb's need protection. The are the head of the team on the field and if you eliminate or marginalize the head the body, the rest of the team goes down. This is much like the church. Protect the Pastor. Keep the Pastor covered with prayer. If the enemy sacks him, the congregation will not succeed in the Walk.

Football is only a game. It may be a metaphor but still a game. It has entertainment value but is not one of our purposes in our spiritual journey God Bless Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, January 21, 2004

Well Sister Mary, the Vince Lombardi Trophy returns to NEW ENGLAND with the Super Bowl Champions, Patriots. 15 wins in a row with the clincher on Sunday. At least it is a First District Championship. Two Super Bowl Championships in 3 years. Not too shabby. Perhaps now the Sports world will give us our props. Only two guys made the Pro Bowl but the TEAM concept prevails. I love the line from Drumline, "one band, one sound". The Pats use players in a lot of different positions. Defensive lineman Richard Seymore(6'6, 315) was a blocking back on a touchdown and linebacker Nkrable scored a touchdown on a pass reception. Some day, folks will have repect for us. It was a grand day. It's only a game but fun! Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004

Congrats to the NE Pats, citizens of Beantown, Bob McCain and all Pats fans. It was a great game, despite all of the half-time distractions/"entertainment" provided by Ms. Jackson :-) QED

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004

Congratulations to your team. My rahs went for the New England Patriots as well. Enjoy your trophy. Perhaps, one day it will get to Philadelphia, in the far far far far future.

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004

My goodness based on the prior posts, I am sure that our Bill Dickens will be trying to nominate Tom Brady for sainthood while he tries to commit Brother McNabb to football purgatory.

I have never seen such venom against a positive black man who has accomplished so much surrounded by so little. It is really sad the hate that was in the previous posts.

Sad, very sad.

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004

Harold opines -

"I have never seen such venom against a positive black man who has accomplished so much surrounded by so little. It is really sad the hate that was in the previous posts."

What has McNabb accomplished at the NFL level??? He wasn't even the best QB in Syracuse's proud history. That distinction goes to Don McPherson, who by the way is black but I digress. Now least some err, like our resident iconoclast, and hastily conclude that my assessement of Mr. McNabb rises to the level of 'venom and hate', let's examine what I really stated and you can make your own informed conclusion. I have saved you the trouble by going back and copying my exact words from prior posts under this thread. They are provided below.

1. "I will not revisit Rush Limbaugh's critique about McNabb's "alleged greatness" even though Donovan was inept BEFORE the unfortunate injury."

2. "I give all kudos to McNabb in making that key pass to Freddie Mitchell on 4th and 26. Eagles made the key plays and deserved to win last week."

3. "McNabb is good, just not great. He isn't even the best black QB in the NFL. He ranks behind Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper, Mike Vick, and even Jeff Blake. He is tough and a threat when he escapes the pocket and begins to run but once you have him in the pocket he becomes very, very average much like Kordell Stewart."

Now some may object to my use of "inept" in assessing McNabb's skills as a QB. That is perfectly fair game and just illustrates a difference of opinion. I arrive at my conclusion based on what McNabb has done since signing that mega contratct which at that time made him the highest paid player in the NFL. His statistical QB ratings do not place him in the top 5 QBs. He is not patient in the pocket and makes bad reads resulting in INT's at critical times. Do I have to bring back the fond memoroy for me of Rhonde Barber's pick in the 2003 NFL Championship Game? Most importantly, he does not win the big game. He has been the losing QB in the NFC Championship game for three consecutive years (twice being at home). I beleive and most football fans who closely follow the sport concur, McNabb's sub- par performance supports my conclusion of him being inept. He is a tough player who plays with pain. But, he's not a great QB because a great player makes other players around him rise to another level. Ineptitude does not meet the standard of venom and hate. I even have friends who are inept in certain abilities :-)

Secondly, as noted in point 2, I gave all props to McNabb for coming thru in the clutch and making that key play on 4th and 26. I believe this statement would suggest I harbor no ill will or hate toward McNabb. An observer driven with hate would not make such an acknowledgement. The standard of venom and hate has not been met based on the above evidence so therefore it must again be rejected.

Finally, as I stress in point 3, McNabb is NOT the best black QB in the NFL. I rank many who I consider to be better. If Harold, Mary and Parson Byrd wish to believe that Mr. McNabb is a top-flight QB they should express such views if that is their conviction. Yet, because I offer a dissenting opinion on McNabb's prowress (or the lack thereof) am I to be denied such an opinion? Who among us who really know pro football will reject my choices of Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper and Micheal Vick and take Donovan McNabb? I'm no big fan of Donovan, who happens to be black, but am a huge fan of McNair, Culpepper and Vick, who also happen to be black. It is a non sequitur for anyone to conclude, like Brother Harold, that my modest criticisms of McNabb translates into 'venom and hate'. Oh, and yes, based on Tom Brady's real accomplishments (Two Super Bowl Titles) compared to the fictional accomplishments of McNabb, I wouldn't hesitate having him as the QB on my team rather than Number 5. QED

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2004

Chill Bill drink a Nehi my goodness. Your vigorous defense in many ways proves my point.

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2004

That's strange, I thought my vigorous and logical defense proved MY point, not Harold's. Oh well, I might as well take up the offer for a Nehi. Better yet, since I'm now Methodist perhaps I can upgrade my beverage consumption and select something a bit more shall we say, mature, like a Heineken :-) Unlike my puritanical upbringing largely defined by Baptist do's and don'ts, I can drink with moderation as an AME right and not have to hear about my soul being in jeapardy of hell and brim stone :-) ?? I hope this question doesn't go unanswered like so many of my other interrogatories. QED

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2004

Perhaps some queries deserve to be new questions and not tags to some other issue.

Having said that, I do not drink, by choice. I don't like the taste. However, from my limited biblical understanding, it's not whether or not one drinks that is the sin. For if I use my teetotaler status and brag about as a sign of piety or a symbol of my righteousness I need to be reminded about the righteousness of man.

On the other hand, Peter did not eat forbidden food not because he could not but so that others might not be driven to sin, so perhaps some abstain for that reason. In Christ Jesus we have the freedom to choose what we will do and what we will say, if we want a strong witness we will avoid those activities that denigrate our character.

If your drinking is detrimental to your character drink up, but just remember there may be someone in your presence who needs to stop drinking but will drink because if they see you as a person of God, and you're guzzling a "Hiney" then in the warped mind of the addict, they will say it's alright.

Now put that green bottle down and do some work!!

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2004


Much of John Wesley’s ministry was to those addicted or recovering from alcohol. Therefore, one of the cardinal rules of Methodist Bands and Societies clearly states:

“No member of our society shall give, distill, drink or traffic in spirituous liquors; he/she shall not rent, lease or permit his/her house or property to be used for such purposes".

"Whosoever violates this rule shall be dealt with by the minister in charge as other cases of immorality are dealt with. If found guilty, he or she shall be censurable or liable to suspension according to his/her conduct".

This rule is found of page 343 of the 2000 Book of Discipline under Offences Chargeable to the Lay but it equally applies to the clergy since they too are members of the society and accountable to the Local Church Quarterly Conference to which they belong. Additional information may be found on pages 39, 40, and 41. Note specifically the direction: " To taste no spiritous liquors, nor dram of any kind, unless prescribed by a physician" (page 40).

Unlike our Anglican and Episcopal “cousins”, the rule applies to the elements of the Lord’s Supper as well, which clearly mandates that they be "unleaven bread and UNFERMENTED juice of the vine" (page 511). These rules are mandated for reasons, which Brother Gibson has amply stated above.

These rules should also be read at all Love Feasts and weekly Class Meetings as well, with the Class Leader and Pastor offering reproof of those who have broken them. Those who fail to be reproved are recommended to the Official Board for futher action or reproof (pages 78-79).

While I must admit that the actions of some friends and associates could drive one to drink, given the consequences involved causes me to weigh and reconsider it.:-) Therefore, coffee, tea, Coke, Nehi or Ginger Ale, among few other nonalcoholic ones are about the extent of beverages which we as Methodists are "officially" allowed to drink.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2004

Robert/Harold -

Thanks for the info. I'll remember all of the drinking prohibitions when I visit Harold's church later this year and request for a sherry (provided of course no sweet tea is available) :-) Didn't someone refer to Jesus as being a wine bibber in the New Testament? QED

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2004

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