“The preacher man says it’s the end of time and the Mississippi—she’s a goin’ day. Interest is up and the stock market is down, and you only got mugged if you go downtown. I live back in the woods, you see. Just the woman, the kids, the dog and me.” Those lyrics are from Hank Williams Jr. a “Country Boy Can Survive.” During my high school football career, this song played every day as we suited up for practice. While I was far from a country boy (I prefer concrete and no bugs), that mentality and culture of doing it on your own is what I have tried to instill in the youth we serve. This past summer, we had 21 youth not just working to work, but earning money to help support the ministry. Then, something happened.
In late August, school started and my work force was cut by 75%. (Most of my boys are starting players for the Beaver Falls High School Football Team—the one that has buzzed sawed through most of the section so far. We are comin’ for ya, Quip!) Then, something worse happened. The State of PA legislature decided not to pass a budget, leaving us unpaid for over $100,000 for services we have already provided. Finally, an even worse situation occurred—politicians started talking. Here’s my struggle:
Pennsylvania currently ranks fourth in the nation in total revenues. (i.e. 4th highest taxes in the land) For grades K-12, our state is ranked 11th in per student spending and 7th nationally in the quality of education provided to its students with an 84% graduation rate. So, why would we need to stall the passing of the state budget in order to include more education funding at the state level? Instead, why aren’t they using more of the money earned by the multiplicity of fracking operations in the commonwealth—a veritable endless source of revenue? “Calling it your job don’t make it right, boss.”
Regardless, now I have to change my song. “Now I heard a cryin’ man is half a man with no sense of pride. But if I have to cry to keep you, I don’t mind weepin’ if it’ll keep you by my side.” If the Temptations were willing to sleep on a doorstep all night long, so am I.
I believe in this ministry and I believe in the people who work for this ministry. And I know that long after all the politicians reach their term limits, this ministry will still be here because it is built on the Word of God. So, I’m begging the people of God to help support the ministry at an even greater level during this critical time. Please know that I’m not asking for myself as, just last week, I cashed out my retirement and donated it to Tiger Pause so I won’t be a burden to you or the ministry. I want everyone to know that I’m all in. The Lord has blessed me with energy and the ability to work a second job. So, Matt Nance and his immediate family will not be hungry, unsheltered, or naked. But my Tiger Pause family needs you to, at least, pray. While some will wait on man, we will wait on the Lord so that everyone’s song will be Psalm 65:
Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer, to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.
Football, politicians, religion, and Cool Hand Luke. This will be an October to remember!