My Open Prayer
All wise and eternal God, I come to you acknowledging that you are a GOOD and gracious GOD, you are a sovereign GOD and you make no mistakes, Lord. I know that you are capable of doing anything but FAIL and for that I give you praise, honor and glory. I bow my head to you with a heavy heart, not for myself but for a kid I don't even know.
Lord, as I read the news about Natalie Achonwa and her season ending injury, by tearing her ACL, my spirit became extremely saddened. Throughout this tourney, I've watched this kid play and became quite the fan. Not because of her statistics but because of the way she played and carried herself, I really don't know if this young lady is a believer, but I stand in the gap, pleading on her behalf.
Father, I come to you asking that you be a pillar of strength for this young lady. Father, as the days ahead approach there will be times when all she can do is cry, so I pray for courage, to surge ahead despite not wanting to, to not allow this to discourage her from her purposes in you. I pray that you could use this time to be glorified through her injury. I pray that she can be a light and a vessel to her teammates, I pray that when they see her and the strength that she displays that they would see your reflection. I pray that her attitude during this time will mirror that of Christ. When Christ experienced sadness he came to you, I pray that this incident causes this young lady to become closer to you, to become more intimate with you, to seek your face in the midst of something difficult. Father, in your word you tell us that you have not given us a spirit of fear, so as the enemy tries to creep in and instill fear about the uncertainty of her future, I pray that the Holy Spirit would comfort her and remind her, that she is soooo precious, that she is child of the most high God and that she belongs to you, that in this time, you and your grace is more than enough. I pray that during this time that you would enlarge her territory in other aspects of her life. I pray that she knows and understands that her identity is not wrapped up in the game of basketball, Father God I pray that you would open her spiritual eyes and allow her to see and understand spiritual truths behind this whole situation.
Father, you are to be praised and glorified far more than I can express with words, But, I thank you Father because you've allowed this young lady to shine bright on such a stage as the NCAA women's basketball tournament. But more importantly Father, I thank you, that in a time of uncertainty and while hundreds of thousands of people were watching, her FAITH in you didn't waiver, that at the same time she stated her and her family believe in the power of prayer. Glory to you, God Almighty. I thank you, because I know you will be a God that heals, a God that heals her not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I thank you, that you will be a God that will provide for her during this time. I thank you, that you are Jehovah Shalom, and you will provide her peace during this time. Lord, I thank you because you've already answered these prayers.
Lord, I thank you for what you are teaching ME through all of this. I thank you that I've been learning about how you speak to us. Lord, today I read scripture from Luke 22:31-32 "Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat, but I have PRAYED for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back strengthen you brothers." As Jesus prayed for Simon, so by the prompting of my spirit, I pray for Natalie, Lord. I pray as the enemy tries to break her, I pray that you be her source and that her faith not fail her but that her faith indeed strengthens her.
Lord, I claim that you have already received my prayer!
In Jesus name,
A GREAT weekend of women's basketball!!!! The top two #1 seeds took care of business, as we all expected. Uconn got tested a little, which may be good for the next coming rounds, probably the first time they encountered some adversity all year long, they handled it by just wearing down on the fearless BYU team...just too much of everything for Uconn. ND took care of business, Baylor got sweet sweet revenge in a big way....should be great elite eight matchup between the Fighting Irish and Lady Bears.
I failed completely in my Stanford bracket. Both Stanford and North Carolina advance to the Elite Eight. Sad for my Lady Lions but proud of what they accomplished this year. Now I'm looking forward to seeing a high scoring game between Stanford and North Carolina. North Carolina struggled with post play by S. Carolina and now they play the top post player in the NCAA. Stanford on the other hand did an amazing job in guarding Maggie Lucas, now they have another dynamic scorer at the guard position, let's see how this plays out.
And how about that kid from Maryland???? Alyssa Thomas???? She was just amazing...she literally willed her team to an Elite Eight ticket, and now she'll go up against Louisville and their feisty defense along with Shoni Shimmel who enjoys playing the game and plays with a flash that not many can match. Looking forward to this match up as well.
The funs begins tomorrow....here are my FINAL FOUR picks
Dance on Ladies......Dance on....
Final 8 advance to Sweet 16
Okkkkkkk....so it seems as if I was completely off base on my Lincoln Bracket, even starting from the first round of games. St.Joes beating Georgia(who would have thought???), BYU beating NC State....did any of you women analyst pick this upset???? And is BYU or Depaul the cinderella team of this NCAA tourney. Depaul takes down #2 Duke, even though I had Duke advancing I'm totally in shock about them losing, I just didn't see them being a complete team missing two important links, Gray and Jones were two important contributors to this years team and a big reason as to why they were ranked so high. Now, I really thought JMU could pull off the biggest upset of Texas A&M, I was completely off base.....A&M came to play and took care of business. This bracket is all over the place, a #1 seed, #3 seed, #7seed, and #12 seed, it's probably been done before just didn't expect it to be done this year. So here are my Elite Eight picks....
UCONN Vs BYU...sorry BYU but your fame stops here....Uconn has too much of everything.
TEXAS A&M Vs DePaul...I'm not sure about this game but I'm picking A&M
My Stanford bracket turned out just as I expected, top four seeds made it to the sweet sixteen. An impressive NC team came out and handled Mich State from the gates. DeShields left no doubt that she IS the freshman of the year, she scored the Tar Heels first 9 out of 12 points, and she came ready to play defense, too bad Michigan State freshman Powers got in foul trouble, I was looking forward to watching the two perform on the biggest stage. Michigan State stayed close in the first half before NC blew it open in the first two mins of the second half(i went to bed soon after, so i'm not sure what went down after that). I'd be CRAZY if I didn't mention how extremely proud I am of my LADY LIONS...they came out and HANDLED Florida in all aspects of the game. The senior class really went to work and led by example, way to finish strong at the BJC(has anyone seen that Maggie Lucas kid???? She wears #33, I know someone else who wore that number at STATE...(**inserts cough(me)) Stanford took care of business, it seems to me that they are on a mission and doing it so quietly, and now they are off to their home court to play in the Sweet Sixteen. Here are my picks....
S.Carolina Vs. N. Carolina...although I like NC, I don't think they have enough experience in the big games to win this one...a team full of Freshman and Sophomores...maybe next year
Stanford Vs. Penn State.....Stanford may be the better team and they have arguably the best player in the country on their team. But on any given night in this tourney anyone can win, PLUS I never bet against my teams. Once a Lady Lion always a Lady Lion....Dance on State
The Notre Dame bracket proved right for me as well...all the teams I thought would make it made it without any hiccups...let's get straight to it. Here are my picks
Notre Dame Vs. Oklahoma State....Notre Dame is also on a mission, they have tunnel vision, not just the final four but a champion ship...I don't see that mission stoping yet.
Baylor Vs. Kentucky....Odyssey Sims is doing what she's been doing all year long...SCORING. Now, Kentucky has already beat Baylor, but I think this time Baylor Takes care of business.
Lastly, the Louisville Bracket with one major upset. LSU takes down WVU. Those Tigers are playing much more inspired basketball now than they did in the beginning of the year. But now, with one starter out they go on the face Louisville, who like Stanford is also quietly taking care of business and demolishing all opponents. I don't see that changing here Louisville advances to the Elite 8.
TN Vs. MD.....I don't see Alyssa Thomas having a repeat first half like she did against Texas and if thats the case I think TN may be in trouble here...I'm calling my first upset of the Sweet Sixteen MD takes TN
Louisville Vs. LSU....I just think Louisville is playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Let's see what shakes out in the next couple of days. The games have been fun to watch and keep track of...Blessings to all the teams left and remember.....win pretty, win ugly, win big, win by 1...the only thing that matters is to......
SURVIVE and ADVANCE