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Old 09-12-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
footstepsfrom#27
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Default Paige: God answered with preacher QB

Paige: God answered with preacher/QB

By Woody Paige
The Denver Post
Posted: 09/12/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 09/12/2010 01:10:05 AM MDT
http://www.denverpost.com/paige/ci_16053931

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. It seemed like a typical, normal Saturday night live family football weekend gathering in a suite on the top floor of the hotel. Mother and father, hot wings, an uncle, a friend, three children, a college football game on the plasma TV, fried cheese, a son-in-law, peanuts, conversation and laughter. Except there was no alcohol or wild doings that might disturb anyone in the adjoining rooms.

In strolled another young man.

The group was celebrating the (possible) first regular-season game for No. 3 son, No. 15 quarterback.

Tim Tebow.

The man in the Gators golf shirt and the embroidered Tebow golf cap said: "He's my favorite player."

But the father, Robert Tebow II, also says: "He didn't want to play football. He wanted to play quarterback. I think he would have made a better baseball player."

Better than Heisman Trophy winner, member of two national championship teams, record-setting college quarterback, NFL first-round draft choice, rich and famous almost beyond belief?

"God always has had a plan for Timmy," Bob says.

In 1986, Bob, who was serving as a missionary in the Philippines, showed a film and gave a talk "in the mountains in Mindanao. I walked away that night thinking about the millions of babies being aborted in America, and I prayed: 'God, if you will give me Timmy, I will give you a preacher.'

"He gave us a quarterback."

Mom Pam adds: "Well, Timmy is a preacher too."

* * *

In Gainesville, Fla., the Plaza of the Americas is the quadrangle park for students on the University of Florida campus, where, in 1968, civil rights activists, Vietnam War protesters, folk guitarists, marijuana-legalization supporters and Hari Krishnas mixed, somewhat in harmony, to promote their causes.

As freshman Pamela Pemberton, an Army brat who had lived throughout the world, walked across the grass, her best friend pointed out a young man who was telling students about an upcoming Christian event.

The two Pam and Bob became friends at Campus Crusade for Christ meetings. "Our first time out was the Florida-Georgia football here in Jacksonville," she said Saturday night. They began dating in 1970 and, a year later, received their degrees Tebow in health and human performance, Pemberton in journalism.

On graduation day in 1971, Pam changed from her black gown to a wedding dress. It also was Pam and Bob's wedding day.

They moved to Oregon so Bob could attend seminary school. In 1976 Pam gave birth to the first of five children Christy and the family moved back to Florida. Bob became a pastor, and the Tebows, with two daughters and two sons, decided to become missionaries in the Philippines.

When Pam heard from Bob they should have another child a boy she winced, "I was 37," then agreed.

The Biblical Timothy was the son of Paul The Apostle. In Greek, the word Timothy means "honoring God."

In second Timothy, chapter 4, verse 2, Paul tells Timothy: "Preach the word; be instant in season. . . ."

"I don't think the scripture was talking about football season," Bob said to Pam on Saturday night.

The complications of Pam's pregnancy have become the stuff of legends and controversy. Doctors in Manila recommended she have an abortion because of her life-threatening illness (amoebic dysentery). But "I put my faith in God."

Timothy Richard "Tim" "Timmy" Tebow was born on August 14, 1987. Mother and child were healthy.

His brother Peter wore a Florida Gators T-shirt that day. A few months later, in his first formal photograph, Tebow was posed sitting, and a football was placed between his crossed legs.

Timmy put his left hand on the ball.

The youngest Tebow followed his parents and two siblings to Florida after an agonizing decision. Bob says: "We never influenced any of our kids about the college they would go to."

The six Tebows moved to Jacksonville when the youngest child was 3, and the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association was formed concentrating on churches and orphanages in the Philippines, with more than 50 Filipino pastors employed.

Bob and Pam resolved to teach their children at home, with emphasis on religious training, Christian and family values, "academics was third," then kids' specific interests. "We never pushed them in sports."

At 5, Tim began playing T-ball.

Soon he followed older brothers Robby and Peter into football. They became high school linebackers, and Robby went on to be named all-conference at Carson Newman College.

"We did pretty well with the home-schooling," Bob says. "All five got scholarships. All five graduated. All five are doing well."

Robby says everybody wondered about their "lack of socialization" as youths. "We had sports teams, church groups. We had plenty of friends. We didn't miss anything."

The oldest, Christy, graduated from Jacksonville University, then seminary school. She and her husband have written books for kids and live in Asia helping underprivileged families. She was the only missing Tebow on Saturday night.

Katie, who earned her degree from Florida, and minored in sports management, is married to a former Duke defensive end, and they have one daughter.

After getting his degree, Robbie worked as an assistant coach and an executive with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He now heads the Tim Tebow Foundation, lives in Denver and, Pam says, "takes care of his younger brother."

Peter graduated from Florida in 2008 and works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the school.

And the baby of the family graduated from Florida with an honors degree in family, youth and community services in December of last year.

He plays quarterback for the Broncos. But he may or may not be active today in the opener against the Jaguars. "Somebody told me right after Tim was drafted they'd be here for the first game. God works in wondrous ways," says Bob.

They nod when asked about the polarizing of people in regard to their son. "I think it started when he had the Bible verses under his eyes," Pam said. Bob added: "I think at the Heisman ceremony, when he didn't just thank God, he thanked 'My Lord and savior Jesus Christ.' "

Moreso, it was "The Commercial" that featured Pam and Tim during the Super Bowl telecast. Or even more so, its sponsorship by Colorado Springs' Focus on the Family organization. "We just wanted to tell our personal story," Pam said. "We've had so many millions of positive reactions."

She has just returned from an anti-abortion speech in Flint, Mich., and Bob attended the Florida Gators game in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon. As they convened at the team hotel, Tim joined them briefly before his team meetings. None in the room was far from home.

The Tebows' brick house is about 20 miles away to the west between Jacksonville and the town of Baldwin. The 44-acre farm, amid oaks and pines, with a barn and a lake and cows out back was where Pam taught the boys and girls Christianity, English and history, and Bob suggested strongly that the boys work daily in the half-acre garden, where all the vegetables for the Tebow meals were grown. "Our family believes in a strong work ethic . . . and manners."

Inside, Timmy Tebow's modest bedroom is as he left it. "He slept under a Gators blanket as a boy," Pam says.

The vibrant, personable, very smart and strong-willed couple Bob is 62, Pam 60 finally, reluctantly, shut down the pregame party.

The Tebows are like the TV Walton family, and it's almost as if Timmy is John-Boy, and everybody will say good night and turn off the lights.

In another room, on another floor, Tim Tebow, as he has before every game of his life, drank a glass of milk at bedtime.

Woody Paige: 303-954-1095 or wpaige@denverpost.com


http://www.denverpost.com/paige/ci_16053931
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:15 AM   #2
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Hey... We quote the bible in Oakland, too. Jeremiah 18:22

"May an outcry be heard from their houses,
When You suddenly bring Raiders upon them!"


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Old 09-12-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
epicSocialism4tw
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Love it.

I often pray that instead of TV preachers, that the American public will get to see the best people in the world as examples of Christians. Those people are missionaries.
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