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Thread: Daily Devotional

  1. #2281
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    Push On

    BY KALLIE BRITTON
    JULY 19, 2016

    READY
    “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” – Romans 5:3-4

    SET
    When making the transition from high school athletics to playing lacrosse at a highly competitive level in college, I suddenly found myself thrown into intense workouts and grueling conditions. Some days I contemplated quitting because of how difficult training had become.

    One season, my coach required that we pass a physical fitness test before we were allowed to compete on the lacrosse field. If we didn’t pass, we couldn’t play. I remember feeling a weight on my shoulders and became very anxious and nervous of not passing. I ended up not passing my first time. I ended up not passing my second or third time either. It wasn’t until my eighth time that I finally passed.

    During that time I wanted to quit so many times. Yet, I didn’t quit and am so glad that I pushed onward. The lessons I ended up learning about myself during that time of stress and frustration was worth all the sweat, blood, and tears.

    When times get tough, we must push on and keep going; not only in athletics, but also in our walk with Christ. When you face trials and afflictions in your everyday life, what will be your response? Will you quit or will you push on and keep going? There are so many beautiful lessons God wants to teach us, but we must rely on His strength to get us through, knowing that our character is being built during the test.

    GO
    Has there ever been a time when you wanted to quit?

    What lessons did you learn from pushing on?

    Do you believe that God uses our afflictions to refine our character?
    WORKOUT
    Galatians 6:9

    Colossians 1:11

    Romans 12:12

    OVERTIME
    Father, help me to rely on and trust in You during difficult times. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  2. #2282
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    Sports Is Not Your God

    BY DUKES KNUTSON
    JULY 20, 2016

    READY
    "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me."
    — Exodus 20:1–3

    SET
    It’s interesting how we can take just about anything in life and use it for good or evil. James 3 illustrates how fire can be good or evil. It only takes a small spark to set a forest on fire and yet what is more soothing on a cold winter night than sitting before a crackling fire that radiates a comforting heat? Is fire good or evil?

    I have been blessed to coach high school athletes for eighteen years and have dabbled in sports journalism periodically for over thirty years. What I have seen is that sometimes we become so blinded by our involvement in sports that it becomes a “god” in our life. The Lord has clearly instructed us in the very first commandment torefrain from establishing “gods” in our lives that threaten His supremacy. Yet many of us succumb to replacing the Lord with sports. Are sports good or evil?

    For me, one of the rewards of FCA is that it incorporates sports into our relationship with Jesus rather than replaces it. Jesus is our Coach, and the Bible is our playbook! Daily workouts such as Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship continually build us up and prepare us for the ultimate game—life itself!

    We must take an inventory of the role sports plays in our lives and acknowledge that sports has as much potential to do “evil” in our lives as it does “good.”

    GO
    1. When have I allowed sports to become a “god” in my life?
    2. How can I encourage my players to become involved in sports but prevent sports from becoming their “god”?

    WORKOUT
    Extra Reading: Matthew 22:37–39; James 3:5

    OVERTIME
    Father, I thank You for the opportunities to live life to the fullest through the world of sports. I ask that You open my eyes to when sports becomes a god. I want You to be first in my life. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  3. #2283
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    Starting Five
    July 21, 2016
    Amy Cullum

    Ready
    "Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer."
    — Romans 12:11–12

    Set
    Many times we think about the starting lineup for an athletic team and how we as athletes work to make the cut. What about God’s starting five—not five people, but five direct commands from His Word.

    The verses above are commands from God. He starts the lineup by telling us to never be lacking in diligence. Diligence is a persistent and hardworking effort in doing something. As we continue on through the verse, we find the second command in the lineup is to serve the Lord. This is exceedingly important in the Christian walk. Verse twelve is especially direct. It sets three tasks we are to complete to round out the team. We are to rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, and be persistent in prayer. These three instructions are power-packed. They tell us to have hope, yet warn that we will face affliction. And through all these circumstances, which encompass much of our lives, we are to be faithful in prayer.

    As athletes, we often know the diligence needed to have a great game, yet also know the pain of injury. If we adopt these verses as the “starting five” in our lives, they will sustain us against affliction. God challenges us to serve the Lord with enthusiasm, be joyful in hope, be patient in times of trouble, and above all be faithful to communicate all of our needs to Him.

    Go
    1. What affliction have you faced that brought you to the point of believing in God’s faithfulness?
    2. How is your joy in serving Christ expressed when you are involved in athletics?
    3. Look up Ephesians 1:18–19 and Jeremiah 29:11. What other benefits are there for those who believe in the Lord?
    4. As a coach, which is the most difficult of these instructions to carry out?

    Workout
    Extra Reading: Acts 20:18–21; Hebrews 10:36

    Overtime
    Lord, help me realize that because of Your sacrifice for me, I can be joyful, no matter what trials I face. Thank You for allowing me to serve You. Thank You for the hope that can only be found through a patient, hopeful, and growing relationship with You. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  4. #2284
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    Media Day

    BY SARAH RENNICKE
    JULY 22, 2016

    READY
    But honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15)

    SET
    On Media Day for Super Bowl XLIX, reporters, players and fans packed University of Phoenix Stadium in preparation for the big game on Sunday. Players from both teams sat and fielded questions about the season, their team and the upcoming competition, as well as personal life lessons they’ve held to along the way.

    As I watched the conference, I mused on the fact that here was this enormous platform to support teammates, mention a love of the game, and even note God’s goodness. Some expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play, and others missed the mark. Whether or not these players want the attention, their job puts them in the limelight.

    Athletes are paid to play football, but with that task comes other responsibilities, such as press appearances and fulfilling media obligations. They’ve been placed on a pedestal of influence and can either make the most of ample opportunity, or let the moment slide by untouched.

    I wonder about you and your own Media Day. When the time comes for you to share how Christ has changed your life, what will you say? Everything? Nothing at all?

    When the chance comes to share your story with the world, or at least those in your sphere of influence, may you understand there are willing ears eager to hear about your God, and that you’ve been put in the exact place you’re meant to be to speak truth and love.

    GO
    Are you eager or apprehensive to share your faith with others?
    Do you see your life in sport as a platform that others are watching?
    How do you have the power over your tongue?
    Why is it important to speak what you believe?

    WORKOUT
    Psalm 145:18
    Proverbs 16:24
    Ephesians 4:29

    OVERTIME
    Lord, thank You that You say if I proclaim You before others, then You will proclaim me in front of Your Father. Help me to realize that I have a platform that people are watching, waiting to hear what I say. May my mouth be filled with sweet offerings to You, that others can know You and what I believe. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  5. #2285
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    A Healthy Heart
    Kerry O'Neil

    Ready
    “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”
    – Psalm 139:23-24

    Set
    Jill wants to be a starter, but Shay is more talented and plays while Jill sits on the bench. Jill would never tell anyone, but when Shay plays poorly or gets injured, Jill feels mixed emotions because it means more playing time for her. Eric likes his teammate Jamal, but when Jamal has success, Eric feels two things he is not proud of – upset that Jamal was honored and upset that Eric wasn’t. Sarah cares far more about how she performs than if the team wins or loses.

    None of these reactions should be part of a healthy team, but they are a reality. If you take an honest look into your heart, you may find that you have experienced some emotions that certainly do not belong in the heart of a Christ follower. In a Kingdom where Jesus commands us to love our enemies, isn’t it obvious that we should love our teammates?

    Why do you have these feelings you don’t want? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable – who can understand it?” Can that change? Yes. Pray the bold prayer of the psalmist: Search me…test me…see if there is any offensive way in me.

    With the Lord’s help you can be the teammate everyone wants to have. Your team can be life-giving, filled with players who accept their roles and celebrate the success of others.

    Go
    1. Have you been upset when a teammate gets an honor, wishing they didn’t?
    2. Do you get more excited with your personal success or team success?
    3. Do you have feelings of jealousy, rivalry, and selfishness?

    Workout
    1 Peter 4:8-9
    James 3:16
    Mark 12:28-31

    Overtime
    Father, change my heart to reflect You so I can love my teammates well. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  6. #2286
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    Brotherhood
    Ruben Hernandez
    8/30.2016

    Ready

    “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?”
    - Genesis 4:9 (KJV)

    Set
    As a coach, one of the things I find most amazing is how great it is when a group of individuals bond in true brotherhood. I’ve been blessed to coach youth football (best sport ever—I’m just sayin’), and at the beginning of each season we give our kids homework to help them understand this kind of brotherhood. We break it up over the first three weeks when conditioning is hardest on the body, mind and soul. It’s during these times that players (and coaches) either start to bond and get on the same page or fall away from each other. The homework itself is easy. We ask them to write down the definitions of several words (e.g. Prepared, Faith, Desire, Respect, Integrity, Accountable, Loyal, Effort, Attitude, Endurance, Humble and Brotherhood) and use them in a sentence. Then, they are to list a word with the opposite meaning. While each word helps to build the foundation of brotherhood, it cannot create it. Our job as coaches is to foster an environment in which it can flourish. As Christians, we are called to function in this same manner with our families, our churches, our teammates and, really, everyone God has placed in our path. It’s our responsibility to tend the souls, lead the hearts, shape the minds and follow Christ in order to achieve true brother/sisterhood—to be our brother’s keeper, so to speak. It’s a fallen world, so the task of achieving brotherhood can be both simple and difficult, but the fellowship of believers is essential to our Christian life. Some people say, “God and I have an understanding. I don’t need to be part of a local church.” But the truth is we are told in Scripture not to forsake the fellowship and assembly of believers. If we trust Jesus and lean on each other through life’s difficulties, a special bond will be created. In Christ we become true brothers and sisters. (P.S. On the homework, one of my players actually listed sisterhood as the opposite of brotherhood. I laughed. He’s only 10, so we cut him some slack.)

    Go
    1. Have you ever experienced true brother/sisterhood? Describe the situation.
    2. Is there unity on your sports team? If not, how can you help develop it?
    3. Do you have a group of brothers and sisters in Christ you meet with regularly?

    Workout
    John 15:10-17
    Hebrews 10:24-25
    1 John 3:11-18
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  7. #2287
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    What Are You Looking At?
    Hollis Conway
    9/202/16

    Ready
    "I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
    Where will my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth." –Psalm 121:1-2


    Set

    I was fortunate to be one of the best high jumpers in the world for many years. My best jump of 7’ 10.5” still ranks as one of the top four of all time. Jumping at a bar that high almost seems impossible when looking at it with our natural eye. In fact, most people won’t even attempt to jump because they are intimidated by its height. But for world-class jumpers, we’re never intimidated because we look through a different set of eyes. We often focus on a point high above the bar to guide us in the right direction. At times, we don’t even see the bar because our eyes are set on something much higher.

    As competitors for Christ, we cannot afford to be distracted or intimidated by obstacles in our way. No matter what the circumstances or how high the obstacle, we should not be intimidated because God is our help (Psalm 121:2). We must realize that true victory does not come by our own strength and ability; it comes through God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). He has made a way for us to become the ultimate competitor (1 Corinthians 15:57). All we have to do is set our minds on what’s above (Colossians 3:2) and take the jump.


    Go
    1. What obstacles intimidate you?
    2. What things/people do you have faith in to help you?
    3. How can God help you?

    Workout
    Romans 8:37;
    2 Corinthians 5:6-8;
    Philippians 4:13;
    Hebrews 13:5


    Overtime

    Lord, I pray that I will not be distracted by obstacles the enemy places in my way. I know that when I take my eyes off You and place them on things in front of me, I cannot compete at my best. But when I lift my eyes to You and trust in You, I am assured victory. Thank You for always being there for me. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  8. #2288
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    Change Your Mind
    Amanda Tewksbury
    (/06/2-16

    Ready
    “…but Christ is all and in all.”
    - Colossians 3:11b

    Set
    As my foot touched the line for what seemed like the 1,000th time that practice my mind sank into a deep misery. “Why are we doing this?” I thought. “My legs feel like rocks! This is torture!” Whether you’re an athlete who knows this battle or a coach who knows how frustrating it can be to motivate your players, I think we’ve all forgotten the “why” at times when enduring the hardships of athletics.

    The book of the Bible we call Colossians is actually a letter Paul wrote to a church in Colosse that was facing a hardship of its own. False teachers were persuading citizens that they still had to observe ceremonial Jewish laws to experience God’s fullness. As a result, the people were forgetting the “why” regarding their faith in Christ. Paul spent a majority of his letter reminding them that “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). He shared that they had already been “made alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13) and were “filled by Him” (Colossians 2:10). Paul summarized these and other truths in verse 3:12 by stating that as God’s chosen ones they were therefore to “put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).

    It’s easy to forget why we go through challenges and hardships, but if we remember how much they strengthen and teach us, we can endure them with courage and a Christ-like attitude. But it all starts with our thoughts.

    Every time we step on the court or field to compete for Christ, we have to think about what we’re thinking about. In his book “The Good and Beautiful God,” James Bryan Smith says, “Our thoughts about God will determine not only who we are but how we live.” We can start by actively thinking about Jesus Christ as our “all” and remembering that we are made alive with Him. When we think on these truths and believe it in our hearts, we can we can glorify Him and reveal Him to others making a dramatic difference in the lives of coaches and athletes.

    Go
    1.What do you think about most during practice and competition? Do you ever forget why you are out there during challenging moments?
    2.Describe what you think the ideal thought life of a Christ follower would entail? How can you move toward that as a goal?
    3.In what ways can you remind yourself and your team why you’re out there practicing and competing?

    Workout
    Romans 12:1-2
    Philippians 4:8
    Colossians 1:1-17; 3:1-3
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  9. #2289
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    Playing for the Lord
    Jennifer Ruddell
    9/08/2016

    Ready
    "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men." –Colossians 3:23

    Set
    As athletes, we play with the abilities God has given us. But what really drives us to play the game? For some it’s the praise of parents, coaches, and friends, or awards and medals. Often our self-worth and dedication to the game is driven purely on the thoughts, praises, and criticisms of others.

    One of the toughest parts of an athlete’s performance is to be mentally focused on the game. Letting outside praise and distractions guide us will often lead to inconsistently good or poor performances. To stay mentally tough, we need to remember the race set before us—the eternal race for God’s glory, not our own. This means playing with good sportsmanship, integrity, a competitive spirit, and using our talents to the best of our abilities. Focusing on Christ in sport takes a positive attitude and willingness to work harder even when we feel unnoticed. In some instances, that may mean being a team player in ways other than anticipated or hoped for; such as instead of making the winning point, we could become servants by helping our teammates improve at every practice or encourage them off the court.

    In the end, God gives out the rewards. Christ calls us to be competitors for Him. He loves us when we use what He has given us to be the best we possibly can—working and playing for Him, not for others.


    Go

    1. From whom do you seek praise?
    2. How does the praise of men affect your performance?
    3. What are some tangible goals you could set to better focus on playing for the Lord?


    Workout
    Matthew 25:14-30
    Mark 9:35
    John 12:26

    Overtime
    God, I know that I get caught up in the distractions and approval of this world. Father, help me to focus on You and the abilities You have blessed me with—to train, compete, and strive to be the best while competing for You. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  10. #2290
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    Game Ready
    Jenny Johnson
    9/09/2016

    Ready
    Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.
    –Ephesians 6:11


    Set
    Game day is here. Have I lifted enough? Have I practiced enough? Have I worked hard enough to be ready to compete tonight? These are all questions that run through our minds before we take the field of play. As we sit in the locker room readying for battle, the question we have to answer is, “Am I game ready?”

    Men and women in Scripture had to prepare for battle—many times against all odds and opponents. Noah faced jeers and taunting of neighbors and friends, and then the flood. Moses faced leaving the only family he knew to lead the Israelites. Job lost it all—possessions, family, and friends—but continued to follow God. Mary lived a quiet life, was approached by an angel, became pregnant, traveled to Bethlehem, and the rest is history. Many more prepared themselves to be “game ready” when God needed them to respond on game day. God prepares His people to stand firm against everything that comes their way.

    Undefeated opponent, ranked first in the conference, toughest team in the county . . . Will we be ready to play? Are we game ready? Coaches see to it that we are ready to take the field in sports, but who equips us for life? Are we ready for the daily battles? Following God and His Word will ready us like the men and women of old. Our worldly opponent is a crafty one, so we must be equipped for battle. Game on!


    Go
    1. What is your pre-game routine?
    2. What have you done this week to prepare to face your worldly opponent in daily battles?
    3. How can you be game ready for the trials and temptations of the world?

    Workout
    Extra Reading:
    Psalm 20:7-9
    1 Corinthians 16:13
    2 Timothy 3:16-17

    Overtime
    Lord, help me be fully prepared for battle. Teach me to put on and use Your full armor so that I can stand firm and resist Satan. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  11. #2291
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    God Given
    FCA Resources
    09/13/2016

    Ready
    "According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of faith."
    –Romans 12:6


    Set
    As I watch sports today, I get this feeling that too many athletes think they created all the talent they have inside. Jersey popping, chest beatings, and trash talking are all about prideful attitudes that lead to arrogant behaviors on the field. These athletes showcase their demeanor as much as their true talent. God has a better plan.

    When God gives us talents and gifts, He wants us to use them—not in some prideful, selfish, ego-driven way, but faithfully to serve others and bring Him glory. Romans 12:6 states that we all have different gifts and are to use them. Many people have gifts but rarely use them, and when they do, it is for their own glory, not God’s. Again, all gifts we have received are God-given, not man-made.

    Next time we see some prime-time player do his “thing” after a big play, let’s remember who he is giving the credit to for his gift. There is nothing wrong with having great gifts, but God’s desire is for us to serve others and use them for His glory. We must remember that God’s gifts fulfill their value when they are utilized for the benefit of others. So the next time we make a big play and want to celebrate, we need to stop and think of the One who gave it to us in the first place.


    Go
    1. If talent is God-given why do so many athletes take all the credit?
    2. What gifts do you feel God has given you?
    3. Daily, how can you use your gifts to serve others?


    Workout
    1 Corinthians 7:7; 12:4-6
    1 Peter 4:10-11

    Overtime
    Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me special, unique gifts and abilities. I pray that I would use them to bring You all the glory. Amen
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  12. #2292
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    Be Courageous
    Matt Cullen
    9/19/2016

    Ready
    Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
    - Joshua 1:9

    Set
    As an NHL player, I’ve never been quick to admit my fears, but I’ve definitely had them. When facing Edmonton in game seven of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, I was more nervous than I’d ever been in my athletic career. Leaning on God during that game helped me find strength to face my fears head on. We ended up winning the game and the Stanley Cup, a first for the Carolina Hurricanes.

    When our third son, Joey, was born, I dealt with a different kind of fear. I had just been traded to Ottawa, and we were in the playoffs at Pittsburgh. My wife Bridget went into labor, and I couldn’t get home in time for the delivery. When I got word that Joey was having problems with his lungs, I had to rely heavily on my relationship with the Lord to keep fear from creeping in. He gave me peace to trust that He was taking care of my son and that everything would be okay.

    Fear is a natural reaction and something we all have to face from time to time. But the Bible clearly tells us that we don’t have to be afraid when troublesome circumstances come our way. Joshua 1:9 encourages us that to conquer fear, we need to remember that God’s always with us, no matter what.

    The truth is that we only give in to fear when we fail to fully trust God. So instead of succumbing to our fears, let’s courageously acknowledge them and then take them to God in prayer. He will faithfully give us the courage to walk through any challenge we face within our sport, our health, our finances, our relationships and every other aspect of our lives.

    Go

    1. When have you experienced fear? How did you handle it?
    2. How is fear related to a lack of trust in God?
    3. Read Joshua 1:9. What are some of God’s characteristics that make it easier to overcome fear?


    Workout
    Psalm 23
    Isaiah 41:10
    Philippians 4:6

    Overtime
    Lord, give me courage when life’s troubles come my way. Remind me of who You are so that I can be courageous and capable of facing any trying situation. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  13. #2293
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    Dig In
    Dan Britton
    9/21/2016

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    “The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; he sleeps and rises—night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he doesn’t know how. The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because harvest has come.”
    -Mark 4:26-29

    Set
    Question: Would you rather have one incredible sports season filled with recognition and awards, or five average seasons filled with good, solid consistent performances? How we answer that challenging question reveals how we are wired as competitors. Are you the type of competitor who looks for the next big opportunity or who digs in right where you are? In the sports world today, we see players jump teams mid-season, coaches leave great programs for bigger paychecks, and even entire teams change cities. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, doesn’t it? That is why we are quick to pursue the next big, great opportunity.

    One of my personal core values is consistency. It is a daily gut-check to make sure day in and day out I show up and am committed to engaging where God has me. I have to keep putting my “hand to the plow” and not looking back (or around). God can use us greatly if we commit to staying put. We will grow where God has planted us if we just give it time. We have our own personal agendas and are so rushed to make a move or change the current dynamic. But God is looking for a few good athletes who will dig in and be consistent. He wants the faithful not the flashy. He wants someone who sold-out, not a sell-out. Persistent, not prosperous. Patient, not popular.

    I talk to many athletes and coaches who say they want to be used by God, but they never seem to experience God’s move in their life. Come to find out they switch schools, switch teams and switch cities before God can start a mighty work through them. They don’t take the time to develop relationships and dig into the powerful community that God wants to give them. In Mark 4:26-29, the farmer was committed to doing the work day and night. He was willing to pay the price, and he reaped a great harvest. It just takes time.

    I’ve seen this in my own life, and I am continually amazed how God can use someone like me in the way He has. I went to the same high school and college for all four years, played for the same professional lacrosse team my entire pro career, have been on staff with FCA for 18 years, dated my wife for nine years before we married, and Dawn and I have been married for 18 years. In each season of life, I saw God show up powerfully through an unwavering, steadfast commitment to where God had planted me. Sure, I had opportunities that looked bigger and better, but I just kept showing up. And so did God!

    Here’s my challenge to you: Commit for the long haul. Don’t bail. Be faithful. Dig in and make a difference. Sink your teeth into something, and be a competitor who is marked with consistency. Just start where you are and stay after it. You will be surprised what God can do with a commitment.

    Go
    1. When was the last time you committed to something for the long haul? How did God use you through that experience?
    2. Are you more prone to digging in or taking off? Why?
    3. How can God use you in your current situation (team, school, community) if you are willing to dig in?
    4. Andy Stanley defines big faith as being “when our faith intersects God’s faithfulness.” How does that hit you? How does that apply to digging in?

    Workout
    Galatians 6:9
    2 Thessalonians 3:13

    Overtime
    Lord, develop consistency in me. I want to dig in and be counted for the long haul. You have planned to do a mighty work through me. I know You are able. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  14. #2294
    Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2016 Big Daddy's Avatar
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    Cold Feet
    Michael Hill
    9/22/2016

    Ready
    "Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God."
    –Philippians 4:6


    Set
    How many times, as athletes or coaches, have we been nervous before a big game? Maybe we were getting ready to play the big school rivalry game. Maybe it was a playoff game. Maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend was in the stands. Maybe we just get nervous in front of big crowds. We all handle these situations differently. Some of us get sick to our stomachs. Some cannot stop talking or moving around. Others come across as unfazed. These athletes seem to know the secret to remaining calm under pressure.

    God not only tells us how to remain calm, in Philippians He gives us a command. We are not to be anxious about anything. If we worry about what is about to happen, we are going against His direct command. Worrying shows a lack of confidence in God’s sovereignty. If that were not enough, He tells us what to do when we do get a little nervous: pray and talk to Him. In the pressure of the big game, or in any life situation that makes us anxious, we need to pray to the Father who has everything under control.


    Go
    1.What do you do when you are nervous or anxious in your sport?
    2.What are three practical things you can do to remind yourself of the promises of God when you are nervous?

    Workout
    Matthew 6:25-34
    Luke 12:22


    Overtime

    Lord, You alone are in control. Your Word tells me to be anxious about nothing. Help me lay my worries and burdens at the cross each day. I trust You completely and know that You desire what is best for me. Thank You for always being there for me. Amen.
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

  15. #2295
    Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2016 Big Daddy's Avatar
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    Whose Glory?
    Malachi Behrens
    9/26/2016


    Ready

    “Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”
    - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

    Set
    If you are a subscriber to ESPN the Magazine, you are undoubtedly familiar with their annual “body issue” in which professional athletes from various sports pose unclothed to highlight specific parts of their bodies. After seeing their latest body issue, I was taken aback and was admittedly a little appalled that these athletes—some of whom are the best in their sports—were sending what I thought was a very self-focused message.

    The bar in sports continues to be set higher and higher. Athletes, whether on the professional, college, or high school level, are constantly looking for new ways to get an advantage, especially physically. And just like with ESPN the Magazine, the media has become an influential part of this and can often be used in a negative manner.

    As Christians, God specifically says in 1 Corinthians that our bodies are a holy temple and that we should honor Him with them. This can be difficult to do in the athletic scene, as the mark of perfection is always moving. If we pursue it, we’ll never achieve it, as there is clearly no limit. Instead of focusing on perfection for personal glory, which will always be just beyond our reach, the only way to “measure up” in any sense is to remember the whole point of competition: bringing glory to God.

    As so much of the world bears down, it’s easy for us to lose this focus on the cross of Christ and to make it all about our glory instead of His. Just like the professional athletes in the magazine, we all, through sports, have a stage that is set and an audience who is watching every move we make and everything we do. They look up to us whether we like it or not. The only way for us to equip ourselves to make wise choices and bring glory to God is to prepare our minds and bodies to battle against the pitfalls of the world.

    How do we do that? By investing time in our relationship with Christ: studying His Word, praying, and simply spending time with Him so that our hearts are prepared in the moment to give Him glory. Whether that relates to how we train and treat our bodies or simply how we conduct ourselves on the court or field, we need to keep the ultimate purpose in mind in all things: doing all things for Him, not for ourselves.

    Today, remember why you compete. Remember why you train. It’s not to be idolized for your appearance or ability; it’s to bring glory to God and show Him to the world.


    Go

    1. Are there things in your life that you do for your personal glory instead of God’s?
    2. How would God’s Kingdom be built if you sought to bring God glory in all things?
    3. Think of five specific ways in which you can bring glory to God in your sport and then do your best to carry them out.


    Workout

    Isaiah 42:12
    Ephesians 6:10-18
    Philippians 1:11
    Don't waste your at-bat.....

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