FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Moving From Consumer to Investor

with Jeff Kemp | June 14, 2016
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In football, a blitz happens when the defense has an all-out attack on the quarterback once the ball is snapped. Former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp shares a game plan for facing the blitzes in life.

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  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

In football, a blitz happens when the defense has an all-out attack on the quarterback once the ball is snapped. Former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp shares a game plan for facing the blitzes in life.

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Moving From Consumer to Investor

With Jeff Kemp
June 14, 2016
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Bob: What do you do when circumstances in your life have you discouraged? When things aren’t going the way you hoped they’d go? Former NFL quarterback, Jeff Kemp calls those moments, ‘the blitz’; and he says every man has to be ready to face it.

Jeff: I’m at training camp in ’92 and it’s not going well, I’m not getting many repetitions, not many opportunities – no receivers are open when it seems like I’m looking for them in the pre-season games. Practice is going poorly and I’m kind of complaining to Stacy on the phone and she says, “Oh Jeff, it sounds like you’re just kind of stuck in your situation. Maybe you should look for someone else on the team who’s going through a tough time and try to encourage them and reach out to them.”

She was saying, ‘Take your eyes off yourself and put into practice the “facing the blitz” strategy of blessing others, even while you’re in a blitz.’

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, June 14th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.


There are some solid strategies you can use to get ready to face the ‘blitzes’ that will come your way in life. We’ll hear those strategies outlined today from Jeff Kemp. Stay tuned. 

And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us.

I know you played basketball, did you ever play football at all?


Dennis: Flag.

Bob: Like…

Dennis: Flag football.

Bob: Just flag. Just…

Dennis: Our school was so small Bob, we could not afford…

[Bob laughing]

Bob: Flag foot…

Dennis: …the cleats or the…

Bob: You played sissy flag football?

[Bob laughing]

C’mon! That’s what it is!

Dennis: Well, Bob, what team were you on?

[Dennis laughing]

Bob: I was…I was a member

Dennis: The third team! That’s what you…you want to talk about me?

Bob: I was a member…

Dennis: “I was on no team…”


Bob: I was a member of the Nipher Junior High School…



Dennis: What? What was it?

Bob: Nipher. Nipher Junior High School.

Dennis: As in ‘knives’…

Bob: No…

Dennis: …that slash people?

Bob: No, it’s N-I-P-H-E-R. Nipher was a guy’s last name. Nipher Junior High School.

Dennis: That…that’s comforting.

Bob: I was on the football team for Nipher Junior High. I was the third string fullback.

Dennis: I bet you didn’t lose a lot of games.

Bob: We went 0 and 5 that year.


We were 0 and 5 that year. But I played football and we had helmets and pads, not sissy flags.

Dennis: Line up right now! I’ll take you on!


We don’t have anything going on here in the studio today…

Bob: Neither of us were in the same league with Jeff Kemp though, were we?

Dennis: No, we weren’t. I actually have a great question for you to start the broadcast out. Who do you think was the quarterback in the Old Testament that faced the greatest number of blitzes? 

Bob: The quarterback?

Dennis: Yes. It’s a metaphor.

Bob: You’re use…


Dennis: Yes. It’s a metaphor. You know they didn’t have…

Bob: Quarterbacks…

Dennis: You knew they didn’t have the NFL back then!

Bob: They did not.



Dennis: You’re a student of the Bible.

Bob: So the biggest number of blitzes? I mean, you immediately think of Job, don’t you?

Dennis: That’s it! I was just was thinking about it.

Bob: Yes.

Dennis: He faced a ton of blitzes and at the end of his life he made some profound conclusions – and I’ll make them at the end of this broadcast.

Let me encourage me right now to listen to a guy who was in the NFL for eleven years. The son of Jack Kemp. His name is Jeff Kemp. He’s a Vice-President here at FamilyLife, is making an impact in a lot of men’s and women’s lives around the country, helping to rebuild marriages and families and he’s a good man.

He’s written a book called Facing the Blitz that is an authentic look at how you handle touchdowns and how you handle getting crushed underneath a blitz.

Bob: There are people who are out to sack you and Jeff talks about how you can get ready for that and how you can recover from it when it happens. Here’s part two of a message from Jeff Kemp.


[Recorded Message]

Jeff: The strategies in football are pretty obvious. You’ve got to have blocking adjustments, receivers make sight adjustments, quarterbacks change their drop, you throw the ball to a different spot, you might audible at the line of scrimmage. Here’s some of the game plan for facing blitzes while they’re happening – and they’re not easy while they’re happening.

Sometimes you look back and say, “Oh my gosh God, You were working and I didn’t even realize it.” but the more you can carry out His game plan, right in the blitz, the faster you get through it, recover from it and turned into a blessing in other people’s lives.

The person who faces cancer, is the person who counsels and helps other people with cancer. The dude who got kicked out of the league is the guy that encourages other players. So here’s the game plan.

#1 – A long-term view is how you face the blitz.

You take a long-term view, not just one weekend, not just one week, not just one month or year…not even ten years – look at eternity. How is this going to set a legacy for my kids – my grandkids?


How am I going to shape my little league team’s character not just the record this season? A long-term view lets you face blitzes.

#2 – A willingness to change – a willingness to adapt…to audible.

If you’re a talker like me, maybe you need to start listening. If you’re proud – never apologize – time to humble yourself and apologize. Be willing to change.

Like the husband who was in a situation that’s shocking. He comes home, finds his wife in an affair with his best friend. Shock. Horror. He pulls away. Takes a day or two away to think, ‘What in the world has happened?’

This man, who has a long-term view, and doesn’t just say, “I’m going to get rid of this wife and get rid of this marriage right away.” doesn’t just think, ‘She better stop what she’s doing.’


He actually asks the question: “What did I do or what did I not do that let my wife fall out of love with me to where she’d be vulnerable and to fall into bed with my friend?” He turned the question around and said, “How can I change?”

Now that may sound crazy but let me share with you the results of that type of thinking. By asking that question he was convicted that he, as a little league coach, a Boy Scout leader, a hard working career dude, with a bunch of friends and social life but very little dating or conversation or prioritization of his wife, was responsible for letting his wife fall out of love with him.

She was responsible for the sin of the affair – there’s no excusing it and he didn’t need to excuse it – but he didn’t say one word about it and he came back to her in humility and said, “I’ve been thinking about myself and I realized that I haven’t been prioritizing you and I haven’t been choosing you. I’ve been too busy with other things, and I want to ask you to forgive me.”


What do you think happened to her? She melted! And the Holy Spirit took over. He didn’t need to be her conscience. She knew what she did was wrong and she never wanted to get out of her marriage in the first place. She just wanted to be loved and her husband hadn’t been paying attention to her.

She humbled herself, confessed her sins, said, “Let’s go to counseling. Will you take me back?” They got through counseling, they got strengthened, they turned their life to Christ and they stayed together and they have a stronger marriage now than the vulnerable one before because that man faced the blitz with a long-term view and a willingness to change.

I’d say he wasn’t a fool – he was a wise man. He doubled down his investment in his marriage by looking at himself, not blaming his wife. If we want to blame them, we can but our marriage only gets worse and we never conform to the image of Christ. We don’t end up representing Jesus like we’re supposed to. God’s ways are paradoxical to the world – they’re upside down – but they actually work! And they give a great testimony to Him.


So, #1 – Have a long-term view.

#2 – A willingness to change.

#3 – Focus on others rather than yourself.

I’m at training camp in ’92 and it’s not going well, I’m not getting many repetitions, not many opportunities – no receivers are open when it seems like I’m looking for them in the pre-season games. Practice is going poorly and I’m kind of complaining to Stacy on the phone.

She’s back in Seattle and I’m like, “Oh babe, I don’t know if I’m going to make the team! I can’t find a house to rent, I’m not getting any reps, just not going well, I don’t have a good feeling.”  She says, “Oh Jeff, it sounds like you’re just kind of stuck in your situation. Maybe you should look for someone else on the team who’s going through a tough time and try to encourage them and reach out to them.”

She was saying, ‘Take your eyes off yourself and put into practice the “facing the blitz” strategy of blessing others, even while you’re in a blitz.’

It’s not easy, but it gets you through the blitz faster. So I look for a guy named Siran Stacy. He’s a rookie out of University of Alabama.


All the veterans are making fun of him and he’s not doing very well, he hasn’t learned the system yet, he’s homesick. I started going to lunch with him, having dinner with him, encouraging him, praying with him – we became friends. He made the team! I got cut.

It didn’t change my circumstance but it changed my outlook and changed my heart. It helped me get through a very tough summer.

After my last message, two guys came up to me and said, “Did you know that Siran Stacy, who’s in Alabama, was in a car accident, and he lost his wife and three children?” He turned his life so completely to Jesus Christ that he’s using it in ministry. He’s remarried and has had more kids and he goes around and he shares the Gospel all over the place – Siran Stacy Ministries.

God, Bless Siran; bless his marriage. Bless his children. Help him continue using his blitz for Your blessing!

He has turned the most horrific, terrible thing – I didn’t even know this part of the story –


but there was a summer way back when, when he was discouraged and kind of alone, and in my blitz, my wife coached me up. She said, ‘Reach out to someone else.’ And it helped me get through that summer, and it might have made a little, tiny mark on him, who one day handled the blitz way better than any of us could ever imagine. 

There are three questions that I want to urge you to ask. I put these in the book, Facing the Blitz. Because the things I just said –

A long-term view.

A willingness to change.

A focus on others.

Those are easy to say, right? Come on! Doing that in the middle of the heat, when the blitz is on you? It’s hard!

Number one – those who overcome blitzes and really transcend and succeed like Christ calls us to be overcomers – they can answer this question:

Am I a lone ranger, a solo artist or am I a team player? Do I walk through life with other men? Am I a candid, open, and transparent? Am I accountable and trustworthy?


Can someone else…know that I will share and give confidence to their issues?

Men, you need a buddy, you need a mentor, you need a couple guys – two or three – maybe a small group of six guys. I have walked through life since the NFL, both in the NFL and since, with men the whole way. Christian men, we should have better friendships, more fun, more brotherhood than anyone in the world.

If you think you’ve got to look good to have a good brother, you’re missing the point because we all know we’re not good – only Jesus is good! Lay out your crud! Tell them your problems!

Tell them what you’re stressed out over! Tell them how you lost your temper at your teenage son. Tell them how you messed up with your wife. Confess your challenge with pornography or the temptation that some other woman or visual images are offering you. Put it out there and a true brother’s going to respect you more and then it’s going to make stronger against that sin. You’ve got to have that teamwork and that brotherhood.

So, Number 1 is: Are you a team player or are you going to do it solo?


Number 2 question is – Are you a consumer in an American consumption society, that tells you it’s all about you, and you take that into your marriage and your parenting and your job, trying to get, get, get – or are you an investor, like Jesus Christ? Philippians 2 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility of mind consider others more important than yourself. Don’t just look out for your own interests as a consumer, look out for the interests of others.

Invest in the kingdom by investing in other people. Do what is best in their interest – that’s what love is. Willing and doing what is best for someone else, at a price to yourself, that’s what love is. It’s not a bunch of ‘touchy-feely’ feelings.

Feelings come and go. Love is action, it’s a verb. Be an investor, not a consumer.

In the NFL, there’s a great picture of investors and consumers. They teach quarterbacks in the summer, to throw the ball to a one-foot diameter of accuracy –


not below, above, behind – right here. Serve the receiver to help him catch the ball, run for first downs, get touch-downs, make him look good. But they teach the receivers, “If you can touch it you must what?” [Audience answers]

So the receiver’s job is to make the QB look good and the QB’s job is to make the receiver look good. They’re both supposed to make it easy for the other guy. It’s not easy to do that.

Sometimes you’re in the pocket and they’re hitting you in the jaw, you’re just chucking it somewhere near them, he’s making an amazing catch, he’s going up high as an investor, catching it here, [slaps chest]. His ribs are getting blown up and there’s he going to miss five weeks and the coach says, “Don’t worry, miss those five weeks, we’ll put someone else in there for you. We need that first down.” because he’s an investor in the team.

But if you told wide receivers, “Man, you’re number one. You’re an American. Everything revolves around you. All the products should satisfy you. You’re a consumer. You deserve perfect passes…” It’s third down, eight yards to go. Receiver goes across the middle, ball is thrown behind him, free safety’s approaching, strong safety’s chasing. He thinks, “If I reach back here I going to get squashed, that might hurt.”



“Might shorten my career.” “I’m supposed to get passes right here, one foot diameter of accuracy.” See the ‘consumer’ mentality? He pats it down, waits for one of these, they don’t get a first down, they don’t get a touchdown, they don’t go to the playoffs, they don’t win a Super Bowl, guy is out of the league pretty soon.

The consumer mentality kills men. It kills teamwork. It kills marriages. Guess who’s guilty of a lot of consumer in his life? I got a little survey in my book. I’m not going to go through the whole thing but it has a few questions like this, it’s a ‘Consumer Marriage Quiz’.  

Do I focus more on my wife’s faults than my own? Do I scope out or look at women at the gym, when I’m traveling, on tinder, on websites, movies, porn or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition that hardly has any swimsuit? Do I focus more on becoming a better husband or do I focus more on her becoming a better wife? How often am I focusing on her not meeting my needs instead of how I’m not meeting hers? Too many ‘yes’ answers and you find out you’re a consumer.


There’s an answer to all this: Facing Blitzes is all about turning to Jesus Christ, abiding in Him, with a long-term, heavenly view, a willingness to get conformed to the image of Christ and try it differently. Change. And focus on blessing others and the way you bless others is by being an investor not a consumer.

If you want to be a leader, men, your biggest area of leadership is apology because you’ve got a lot of things that you mess up in, but when a man initiates the apology and he says it first and he doesn’t say, “I was…40% wrong; can you apologize for your 60%?”


“I was wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” That’s an apology. Show her some action.

Date your wife. Pray with your wife. If you can’t get more than 20 words out, or 10 words, pray with her every day. 10 words. Pretty soon God will be blessing you guys, you’ll be praying a whole bunch! Intimacy in marriage come from praying together.


Here’s a good little reminder of how to shift the switch from consumer to investor:

Every morning, or before you come home from work – because when we come home from work I know we’re thinking, “Man, I know what I want tonight. A good meal, a little ESPN and a nice little romantic time in the bedroom with my wife afterwards.”

And every one of my thoughts is as a consumer. Not a single thought about, “How was her day?” Did I remember that doctor’s appointment? Oh, she had all those girls she was meeting with today. How’s her day been? What can I do to help her? Anything I can do in the home?”

Come home as an investor, men, and the value of your wife will start to grow even more. You’ll be in a longer time horizon, and you’ll have way more of that sexual enjoyment in the long term, but you won’t be such a short term consumer who keeps torching it because you’re focusing on self.

Guys, let’s be investors through Jesus Christ and whether it’s with our wife or in any situation, don’t take an argument or a negative thing – even if it’s cancer or illness or something else –


don’t take it through those little temporal, short term frame of mind. It’s a blitz, and God can use it for good.

Romans 5:3-5 is your game plan. Persevere towards Christ; character look towards Christ. Hope in heaven long term; and more of God’s love that spreads when we go through things the right way in blitzes.

Let me pray for us. God, I thank You that You gave us this time to look again at Jesus who took the ultimate blitz and won our victory. He looks upon these men right now – some of us are thinking, ‘Dang it, I’ve not been doing well. I’m kind of rotten.’ And Lord, You’ve wiped that shame out of him. You do use guilt to drive us back to You in repentance, but you will not shame us – that’s of the devil.

Lord, help us face the blitz, with the enthusiasm that says, “Jesus, only You can carry me through this, but I want to reflect You in this.” I want to trial to triumph through the power of Christ.

Bless these men.


Make us better lovers, better investors, better ambassadors for Jesus. It’s in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


Thanks guys.

[End Recorded Message]

Bob: We’ve been listening to part two of a message from Jeff Kemp, talking about how we face the kind of real life blitzes that come our way. Already had somebody call in, complaining about the sissy football comment I made about…

[Dennis laughing]

Dennis: You’re going to make it again?

Bob: …you playing with flags, and they said, “If Dennis played flag, then he never suffered any head trauma from… What about you, Bob?”

[Dennis laughing]

Dennis: Some of our regular listeners may want to debate that!

Bob: And I’m thinking, I didn’t suffer any head trauma either, because you had to actually get in the game and be hit in order to suffer head trauma!


Dennis: You got hit in practice though, I can tell.

[Bob laughing]

It was…it was serious.

You know, what Jeff was talking about though, he’s just talking about coming alongside guys who do face a tough culture, a tough world; not that women don’t, they do,


but we’re trying to encourage men today specifically to face their blitz, and when they get sacked, get back up! That’s what Job did.

If you look at the story of Job, I mean, it really is no laughing matter. He lost his family, his job, his wealth, his health – it was all taken away from him. At the end of it all in Job 42, Job answers the Lord and says,

“I know that you, God, can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;

Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Frankly, when we get blitzed,


maybe what God’s trying to teach us, is maybe He’s trying to get us to come to the end of ourselves as men and yield and just say, “Ok God, I give!”

What my dad used to call it when I wrestled with him and he would never really hurt me but he would say, “Say calf rope, son, say calf rope!” He’d bend my arm back behind my back and, I don’t know where that came from but it was a sign of…

Bob: Instead of “Uncle!” it was “Calf rope!”, huh?

Dennis: Yes, it was “Calf rope”. It was a sign of surrender. Well I think…I think Jesus encounters us through our job, through our relationships, through things that we’re not naturally skilled at, and it’s a blitz. It’s circumstances we can’t get on top of.

We’ve got to decide who’s going to be our master. Are we going to be the master or are we going to turn to the King of kings and Lord of lords and say to Him, “Calf rope! I give up.”

Bob: Mm-hmm.

Dennis: “I surrender.” I’ll tell you what, at that moment, that’s when God meets you and takes all your failures,


all…everything you’ve done, the successes as well, and turns it into something that can be used for His purposes.

Bob: There really are only two choices you face in life. Am I going to live a self-directed life or someone else is calling the shots. Is it going to be God who calls the shots in your life? Are you going to live according to what the Bible says?

We’ve got on our website at a link that says, ‘Two Ways to Live’ and it really spells out for you the implications of both those paths. I’d encourage a listener, if this is something that you’ve been thinking about, if you’re not sure what path you’re on spiritually, if you’re not sure where your life is headed, go to and click the link that says, ‘Two Ways to Live’ and find out more about what it means to live a life that is directed by God instead of a self-directed life.

While you’re on our website, look for information about Jeff Kemp’s book, Facing the Blitz.


We’ve got copies available in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. You can order from us online at or you can call 1-800-358-6329 to request your copy. Again, the number is 1-800-“F” as in Family, “L” as in Life and then the word “TODAY”.

We have got a couple of anniversaries to acknowledge today. We’ve got some listeners who tune into FamilyLife Today on WSEW in York, Maine. They got married on this day in 1985. Thirty-one years together today for Steve and Bunny Crowell. So congratulations to the Crowells.

Also Kendall and Tameka Smith in Cibolo, Texas are celebrating 14 years of marriage today. They have been to the Weekend to Remember® a couple of times and we just want to say ‘Happy Anniversary’ to the Crowells and to the Smiths and anybody else who is celebrating your anniversary today.


We think anniversaries are a big deal and so we like to celebrate them.

This is our 40th anniversary as a ministry, in 2016, and we’re spending our time by looking at all of the ways that God has used FamilyLife in the lives of hundreds of thousands of couples over the years.

You’ve been a part of that if you have helped support this ministry, and many of you have, I know, many of you have made donations in support of FamilyLife Today. We could not continue – couldn’t do what we do – if it weren’t for folks like you who share our vision to see more couples celebrate more anniversaries throughout their lives. We appreciate those of you who join with us.

If you’d like to make a donation today, go to, make an online donation there, or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to make your donation over the phone. You can also mail your donation to:

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Now tomorrow we’re going to talk about what more purposeful – or more intentional parenting might look like. Rather than parenting in the moment, what does it look like if you’re parenting with a long-term perspective? We’re going to hear from Brian Houseman tomorrow, hope you can join us for that.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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