Letter to my grandson about Tim Tebow

Please consider reading this blog to your sons or grandsons who play sport. And forward it to someone you know who might want to do the same thing. Tim Tebow is a wonderful role model for children and teenagers who play sport. This letter is about the benefit of a good role model in a child’s upbringing.

Dear Jaden,
Although you are only 10 years old, you have the makings of a top player of football and basketball. I have watched you play, and I have played with you. As well as your natural skills and determination, you have the perception to know where the other players are. You also have leadership, the gift that will sometimes enable you to boost your teammates and steer them to a win.

Jaden, I don’t know if you watched the Denver Broncos play today, but even if you did I’d like to point out a few things about that game that may help you in your sport and in your life. The Broncos in their first finals series since 2005 played the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are a finals-hardened team and would be hard to beat. Denver had lost their last three games, when their QB Tim Tebow had played poorly and received a lot of criticism (see my earlier blogs about his previous successes

Pittsburgh led 6-0 after the first quarter, and Denver looked a bit lost. This was especially discouraging because in the past 10 games, the second quarter has been their worst quarter. Today was different. Tebow pulled the trigger, and launched a few spectacular bombs downfield, and most of them were caught. He himself ran in for one TD. As a result the score was 23-6 at half-time. No-one would have predicted this!

After half-time, the hardened Steelers came back, with their expected resilience (especially their tough QB Roethlisberger who had an ankle injury). Their best running back fumbled and turned the ball over. The Steelers QB threw several spectacular passes. And shortly afterwards Denver’s best defender dropped a sitter which would have been a turnover. At the end of regulation time, the score was tied at 23-23, and Denver had not scored since half-time! It didn’t look good!

Jaden, near the end of regulation, I actually bowed my head and prayed that God would produce a miracle that would allow Denver to win, because Tebow is such a good witness to the tens of millions that were watching this game. I suspect many other Christians were praying likewise.

In the middle of a screaming stadium, Denver won the toss, and received the ball. On the very first play, the Steelers defence made a mistake, and allowed wide receiver Demarius Thomas to get a few yards ahead. Tebow hit him in stride with a long throw, and the receiver kept running. As a Steelers defender cut across his path, Thomas stiff-armed him, and shook him off, then ran all the way to the end zone. Touchdown! An 80-yard score! Denver wins the game! It looked like a miracle to me!

Tebow threw the ball for 316 yards, and ran for 50 yards in an amazing performance. His passer rating of 125.6 was the highest in Broncos post-season history. Demarius Thomas caught 4 throws for a total of 200 yards (that’s an unheard of 50 yards per catch). At the finish, the Bronco players, and their fans were jumping up and down and cheering wildly. But while this was going on, Tebow knelt on one knee for a brief moment and gave thanks to God.

Jaden that’s the first learning….try always to give thanks to God for your sporting successes, which will be many. #1.

When he is interviewed, Tim Tebow makes sure he gives thanks to the other team players, and his coaches. He doesn’t praise himself. During the game he praises his fellow team players when they do good stuff, and encourages other players when the team is down. That’s #2 for you.

On the personal level, Tebow does not swear, does not take drugs, does not get drunk, and is a virgin. #3.

He tells anyone who wants to know that Jesus Christ is his personal savior and Lord. #4.

And he wants always to learn and improve his game, and seeks wisdom from other people and from God. #5.

Also, he wants to use his influence to help other people in need. To help someone to hope. He raises money to build a hospital in the Philippines (part of a missionary project). #6.

Tim is all these things, and he does all these things, and he is a hero in Denver right now. He is very COOL! #7.

As you progress though school and college, you will encounter drugs and heavy drinking and sex. Some of your buddies will try to get you into that stuff. Be strong, like Tim Tebow, and tell them you don’t have to do that stuff to be cool. Stand up and have the guts to be a true leader, and not a follower. You will find out that others will follow you. Feed the white dog, not the black dog.

Love you and pray for you,
Popper Ian

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers….

22 comments on “Letter to my grandson about Tim Tebow”

  1. Roger D Hartman says:

    Ian, That was a tremendous blog (re Tim Tebow) to your grandson. Very wise counsel. I came across an email about Tim’s mother, which is very heart warming. If I can relocate it, I will forward it to you. Keep the faith, baby! Roger

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thanks Roger, I do appreciate the feedback. And hope and pray that (with the Lord’s help) my grandson internalizes this advice.

  2. Bill Collier says:

    Well said, Dr. Palmer. Thirty-five years ago I had you and other natural science professors as my teachers. The impact of a Godly life on others cannot be overestimated. I was forever changed by that time of my life. Now I find myself in that same role influencing the lifes of students and others around me, and the past hangs over me in a very good and Godly way. Here’s to Tim Tebow and Ian Palmer, God bless them all and keep them safe and in the limelight.

    Bill Collier – Prof of Chemistry – ORU – class of 77

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thanks for the compliment Bill, and I do recall you in the classroom. I have fond memories of those 10 years, and I am delighted that you are now carrying the baton. I was truly impressed by my visit to ORU, and hope to return (you can give Dr G. a nudge on this. Ha!)

  3. Mary Ann Pollock says:

    What a beautiful letter to send to your grandson, and that is a letter that he can keep and look back on it when he is older and will think “what A wise Popper I have”. It brought tears to my eyes to think that his Popper would take the time in his busy life to write an encouraging letter to a little boy that loves you very much. Very well done Ian.

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thanks Mary Ann. We shall hope and pray that the Lord makes a way for Jaden to internalize this vision and “bind it on his heart”.

  4. Scott Sholar says:

    Ian, this was a very inspiring letter. May your grandson take this to heart.

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thank you Scott….I value your comment. May this blog reach and help other grandsons as well.

  5. Sheila Thompson says:

    So sweet, Ian. And very good advice. Your words paint a beautiful picture of the events and the heart of the matter. Good words for Jaden and for all who read it. Thanks and God bless you. Sheila

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thanks Sheila, we hope the words are and will stay meaningful to Jaden, who has tons of sporting talent.

  6. Gloria Moody says:


    What a great blog. Jaden is very blessed to have a grandfather like you, but above all to have our Father above watching over him. Jaden I don’t know you, but we hear alot about you. God has great plans for you and with your future. With God cheering you on and a grandfather like Ian. You are in great hands! Stand firm in Christ and you will do well!

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Encouraging words Gloria, thank you for sharing. I liked especially the phrase “with God cheering you on”. I think that thought right there can help all of us who forget that concept from time to time. To me, its what grace means. I heard twice an interviewer asking Tebow (before the game last Sunday) if his confidence was down after three poor games, and he said “No”….a surprising answer usually, but not if you genuinely feel that God is cheering you on!

  7. Neil Palmer says:

    Hello Ian,

    Being Australian, I don’t understand much of the American football discussion, but it sounds like a heck of a game! What a great thing to take the time to write such an encouraging letter to Jaden. The world has too much cynicism and negativity – and so many sports stars run their life into difficulties because of poor choices. Tim Tebow and Ian Palmer – Jaden is fortunate to have such role models.

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thank you Neil for your comment….it means a lot coming from you. Tebow is quite an inspiration, and the talk of the town over here. Denver goes up against the New England Patriots this Sat nite, and their QB is Tom Brady, who has been one of the top three QB’s the past five years, and is married to a supermodel! As with Pittsburgh last week, its hard not to predict the Patriots to win, but one has to wonder whether the arm of the Lord might touch the arm of the QB and create a miracle, as happened in the final 10 seconds of the game last week that Denver won.

  8. Robyn says:

    Even your cheeky Neice thinks you write well.

    Love you

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Now which niece would that be? All are cheeky to me. For the US readers cheeky means feisty. Seriously, without tongue-in-cheeky, thanks for your comment Robyn, its a nice compliment and its special coming from you. Love you back.

  9. Joyce Marie says:

    Ian, I always find your writing very interesting and factual. It appears you are a messenger to Jaden and I’m positive that your direction, faith and honesty are felt on all levels especially in the heart. He is so very blessed to have you in his life and all the love that pours out in your words. Staying in Faith, Joyce

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Thats an encouraging comment Joyce Marie, thank you for taking the time. My prayer is that Jaden takes the advice to heart.

  10. Christina says:

    You cannot imagine the good you are doing for your grandson! He’s so lucky to have you!! There’s so much hate and negativity in the world. You are showing him how much you love and believe in him. It does my heart good to read your letter to him. We all need someone in our lives who loves, accepts, believes in and inspires us. You are doing a great thing!

    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Christina, your words moved me. They are at the same time encouraging, and challenging. My overwhelming feeling (through tears) is that I have not done enough!

  11. Kim McGrath says:

    Dear Popper,

    thank you for writing a letter to me. I am glad we got to play tennis and basketball when we were in Arizona. I like how you teach me as we play. Mom said we both like to win. I have been doing very well in basketball. I think it is my new John Wall basketball shoes. I love you!


    1. ianpalmer4 says:

      Dear Jaden, thank you for posting your comments on my blog….it made my day! I hope I can get my knee better so we can play BB and tennis again. I’m glad you like the new BB shoes. Jaden’s skill + new BB shoes = more baskets! love you.


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