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Old 03-03-2015, 04:08 PM   #2176
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A Father's Influence
Michael Stock

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“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction…”
- Proverbs 1:8a

Set
Have you ever been dumbfounded after the clock ran out on a crucial game and said, “What the heck just happened? Nothing went right”? Your team dropped passes, missed lay-ups, and messed up simple plays. It’s helpful to know in these times that regardless of the outcome in sports, God still has an ultimate plan for our lives.

In the summer of 2014 I was blessed to lead the first overnight FCA Sports Camp in Virginia. After months of planning everything was ready. There were 254 middle and high school campers, 30 college athlete Huddle Leaders, 40 college and high school coaches, and a number of FCA Staff preparing to arrive at the University of Richmond—the site of the camp—and I was in charge…or so I thought. As the clock ran down on our time before the camp, God reminded me that He was, in fact, the One in control.

As I pulled into the camp to welcome the core staff, I received a call that my dad’s health was failing fast due to pneumonia and other complications. I left the camp and drove to the hospital, and while alone with my dad that night I typed dozens of memories of him into my iPhone. Eventually I said good-bye to him for the last time, and as I walked outside, the embrace of those memories turned into anger. “Why God? Why this week of all weeks?! I have a camp to run! My staff is counting on me! I put all this work in, and now I won’t be able to run the camp!”

Just then, in a clear whisper I heard the Creator of the Universe—the One who knows us by name and when we will take our last breath—say, “Michael, dozens of campers are going to encounter Me for the first time this week, and your dad will meet Me face to face. Isn’t that enough?”

That was all I heard: a sweet, loving voice, and reminder from the Father telling his child that He was in control and that everything would be OK.

As tears filled my eyes, God spoke to me and confirmed that during what could be a chaotic time, He would help me to be there for my family and direct the camp staff to serve and love the campers. I was blessed to be with my family at Dad’s bedside and to have my extended FCA family pray for and reach out to me during the week of camp.

Praise God that my dad knew Christ before he took his last breath, and praise God that more than 100 campers made either first-time commitments or rededications to Christ that week. And as I look back now, I’m reminded that nothing is ever beyond God’s control or His reach. He can take whatever comes our way and bring it together with seamless perfection according to His plan, even if we can’t possibly see how.

Today, be reminded that whatever your situation, God is bigger. Listen for His assurance that He loves you and that He will guide you through.

Go
1. Think of a situation you thought was out of your control that God worked out for good. How can that encourage you to trust God?
2. Make a list of the ways your Heavenly Father has blessed you.
3. What is He saying to you today, and how will you respond?

Workout
• Job 38:1-3
• Proverbs 20:24
• Luke 23:39-43
• Romans 15:5-6
• 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Overtime
Dear Father, thank You for Your influence in our lives. Thank You for taking us by the hand, leading and directing us on the path You want us to walk. As believers and Your family, may we draw closer together and closer to You every day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:17 AM   #2177
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Etc.
Dan Britton

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"We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."
–2 Corinthians 10:4b-5


Set
As an athlete, I constantly struggle with my thoughts. I have thoughts of doubt, confusion, and pride—just to name a few. I wrestle with doubting my athletic ability and potential, my place on the team, and my acceptance from teammates. It is usually my mind that is the greatest challenge, not my physical ability. My mind runs wild with speculation.

My college lacrosse coach would post his daily practice plan before practice began. Based on where he would put my name on the practice plan, I would think better or worse of my ability. My thoughts would consume me as to why my coach had listed me in the order that he did—thinking that he had either moved me up or down in the rotation. I later found out that he had no real reason for moving the names around.

As competitors, we need to take every thought captive. The acronym for “every thought captive” is “etc.” What a great reminder from the Lord! Surrender every thought and make it obedient to Christ. This is one of the toughest challenges as Christian competitors. It is a daily battle not to let our minds run with incorrect thoughts. Every stray thought needs to be submitted to the Lord. We must not let others control our minds—only Christ.

Go
1. When it comes to competition, what kind of thoughts do you battle?
2. Why does Christ want you to take every thought captive?
3. How can you apply the “etc” principle to your competition? (Examples: writing etc on your shoe or posting it in your locker)

Workout
Colossians 3:1-4

Overtime
Lord, I need Your help. My thoughts often plague me. Free me from thoughts of doubt and pride—these are not of You. I desire to take every thought captive! When I compete, let Your thoughts be my thoughts. Amen.
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Old 03-05-2015, 03:14 PM   #2178
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The Off Season
Ashley Burns

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"Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching."
— 2 Timothy 4:2

Set
The goal of every coach is to have an outstanding team, but a winning team must train at all times, in season and out, even when it is inconvenient. A coach knows that training during the off season is just as important as training in season. A good team is comprised of athletes who are in shape, well trained, and in tune with the other players. Every coach knows that if a player is out of shape, hard workouts will cause injury and a severe loss for the team. That’s why there can be no slacking off between seasons. Even the best players have to practice year round.

The same principle holds true in our spiritual lives as well. We have to be prepared for the game of life whether we are coaching or not. On and off the court or field, our lives have to line up. To be prepared we must come up with the right game plan for training. We must persist in whatever we do, even when it is not convenient.

We train spiritually by guarding our hearts against sinful desires and replenishing them from the Word. We keep our minds in shape through constant focus and discipline. All our strength comes from God, so as we train ourselves under His coaching, we will be better equipped and stronger for whatever lies ahead.

Go
1. What can you do to train better spiritually? Is there anyone in your life whom you can train with?
2. What effects do you think enhanced training will produce in your life?
3. Come up with a game plan on how you can daily train and prepare yourself.

Workout
Extra Reading:
Matthew 24:44
Ephesians 6:10–18
1 Timothy 4:7–8
2 Timothy 3:15–17


Overtime
Father, I ask You to show me the ways that I can better be prepared for doing Your work. Help me seek You with my full heart, 100 percent of the time. I want to grow in Your Word even when I think I am too busy. Help me to give my best in season and out of season. Amen.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:52 PM   #2179
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Play the BUG
Dan Britton

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There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
–Proverbs 12:18

Set
Even as the words float off the end of my tongue, I realize I blew it. This kind of situation usually involves my saying negative words to teammates or others. It’s easy for me to become the cut-down king. It doesn’t take much—maybe just calling someone a name. Other teammates usually laugh, but those reckless words cut. They pierce like a sword and cause damage. Playing the cut-down game means going with the flow. I realize now that I want to play the BUG.

Instead of playing the cut-down game, God desires us to play the Build-Up Game. It takes effort and doesn’t come naturally. But when it’s played, it is awesome. It blesses so many people. A friend of mine once said that everyone in the world is under-encouraged, and I agree! I ask the Lord to show me ways that I can encourage teammates, friends, family members, and even people I don’t know. I want to build others up and show love through my words. I believe that the tongue can heal. Are you ready to play the BUG?

Go
1. Why is it so hard to build others up? What prevents you from blessing others?
2. Do you believe your words can heal? Has anyone ever healed you with his or her words?
3. What is one way you can play the BUG on your team?

Workout
Psalm15
Proverbs 16:21
Colossians 3:16

Overtime
Lord, I play the cut-down game way too often. Today, I desire to start playing the BUG. Teach me ways to build others up so that I can be a blessing. May my words heal, not damage—lift up and not pull down. I know people who need a word of encouragement. I pray for opportunities to bring life with my words. Amen.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:39 PM   #2180
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The Playbook
Ben Johnson

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"This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do."
-Joshua 1:8

Set
Major college and professional coaches are faced with intense pressure to win. What makes it even harder is when a coach is asked to replace a legend. Just ask Frank Solich who replaced Tom Osborne at Nebraska, or Jimmy Johnson who took over for Don Shula with the Dolphins. Neither man lasted more than six years after taking over for legendary coaches.

Joshua new a little bit about replacing a legend. Moses had led the nation of Israel out of Egypt, given them the 10 commandments from God, and crossed the Sinai desert only to hand leadership over to Joshua right before entering the Promised Land. Joshua had a tough task ahead of him replacing a great "coach."

Throughout chapter one of the book of Joshua, God gives him encouragement and clear direction on how to be a successful leader of the nation: meditation on the playbook. Reading, knowing, understanding and living God's Law would guarantee Joshua success in his specific role.

Are you struggling with confidence in certain areas of your life? Follow God's plan for Joshua and see if the same will not hold true for you, too!

Go
1. What could happen if you spent time seeking to understand God's playbook?
2. What could happen if you started to live out its instructions?

Workout
2 Timothy 3:16
James 1:22
James 1:25

Overtime
"Father, help me to recall the truths from Your Word. Allow them to transform my attitude, motives and actions to ones that honor You within the responsibilities You have given me."
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:21 AM   #2181
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Fundamentals for Success
Steve Fitzhugh

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Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.
-Matthew 7:24

Set
The foundation for success in any sport relies primarily on the mastery of fundamentals. Champion athletes spend time perfecting their skills by focusing on fundamentals. At times it may seem trite, but to error fundamentally could produce devastating miscues! It doesn’t matter at what level you compete, ignore the fundamentals and your performance will suffer.

Have you ever seen a wide receiver take his eyes off the ball and drop the pass even though it hit his hands? Have you witnessed an infielder looking foolish as a routine ground ball rolls through his legs and into the outfield all because he was more concerned with throwing out the hitter than securing the ball? Or what about a world champion sprinter standing straight up out of her starting blocks, anxious to win but forgetting the fundamental technique of staying low, and losing the race?

In the same manner, if we overlook the foundations of our Christian walk, the challenges of life could leave us humiliated. Reading the Word of God and conversing with our Lord through prayer are the one-two punch of Christian fundamentals. We must center our hearts and minds on the truths of God’s Word and pray His promises over our lives daily.

These practices will aid in our decision making, our pursuits, our passion and our purpose. And when the rushing waters of life come our way, though He may not build a bridge, He will certainly stand with us so the waters will not overcome!

Go
1. Can you remember a time in competition when you had a lapse in fundamentals and made an error? How did that make you feel?

2. Can you think of a talented athlete with tremendous potential who didn’t have a foundation deep enough to sustain success?

3. What commitments have you made (or will you make) to master the two biblical foundations of prayer and reading God’s Word?


Workout
Matthew 7:24-27
Luke 21:36
Acts 17:11

Overtime
Thank You, Lord, for Your purpose and will for my life. Give me the strength to commit to reading Your Word and talking with You daily. Allow Your presence to abide in me so I can take on any challenge that comes my way. Amen.
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:20 AM   #2182
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Give God Control
Joe Girardi

Ready
"Many plans are in a man's heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail."
- Proverbs 29:11

Set
I’m a big believer that God is in charge of your life. I believe this because I’ve seen how God has directed my path, even though I might not have been aware at the time.

So many times I was in a certain place, like when I played for the Chicago Cubs, and I thought that I was going to play there the rest of my career. Then I went to Colorado and I thought I’d be there the rest of my career. And then I went to New York. In the beginning, New York was very difficult. I didn’t understand why God put me there. But I realized over time that there was reason for everything He does, and ultimately, He’s in charge.

Many of the things that have happened in my life weren’t situations that I would have chosen for myself. But God has put me where He has wanted me to go, not where I wanted to go.

Solomon once wrote in Proverbs 29:11 that, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail.” Fact is, God’s plan is always much better than anything we could devise on our own. He always knows what best for us. That’s because He created us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

If you’re not sure if you’re in the right place at any stage as a coach, think about how your life would have been different if you hadn’t stayed where God put you. Think about all of the people He’s touched because of you. No matter what the circumstance, never forget that God is in control.

Go
1.Have you even been through a time when you questioned why God put you in certain place?
2.How did God reveal to you that He was in control and you were exactly where he wanted you to be?
3.What is one area of your life you need to let have God have complete control of?

Workout
Jeremiah 29:11
Isaiah 55:8-11
Matthew 6:25-34
Romans 8:28

Overtime
Father, thank you for taking control of my life and placing me exactly where you want me to be. Help me to see your plan for my life and trust you with the future. Amen.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:57 AM   #2183
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Are you really a Leader?
Ryan Rohan

Ready
Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He answered, “I will certainly be with you.”
–Exodus 3:11-12a

Set
I will never forget playing basketball my freshman year of college. I had just graduated from a Christian high school and was ready to impact all of my fellow teammates. While on road trips, I would have to stay in a room with two other teammates. During every trip, I would deliberately take out my Bible at night and do a quiet time, thinking that if my teammates saw me reading the Bible, they would ask questions. I thought by doing this, I was being a leader.

At the same time I was doing quiet times, I was struggling with sinful language. During practices, games, or just walking around campus with my teammates, profanity was always coming out of my mouth. I felt I had to be that way to get respect from my teammates and to be taken seriously.

As I look back on that year, was I really being a leader? Yeah, I was doing my quiet times unashamed in a room where my teammates could see me, but outside of that time I was talking, acting, and living just like they were. Why would my teammates want to change their lives and follow Jesus if I was living the same way they were?


Go
1. Are you choosing to be a true leader?
2. What are you doing to set yourself apart from everybody else?
3. Are you being a leader in FCA, but outside of FCA acting like everybody else?


Workout
Extra Reading:
Genesis 17:1
Deuteronomy 18:9-14
Psalm 15


Overtime
Lord, please teach me to be a godly leader. Be with me as You were with Moses, and speak through me that I may be an example of Your love and a witness to Your saving grace. Thank You. Amen.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:47 AM   #2184
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Is God Keeping Score?
By Derrill Martin

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“LORD, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.”
- Psalm 130:3-4

Set
As a young baseball player, I found myself on the losing end of a lot of games. Many times my team had the mindset of losers, and our attitudes showed that we had lost the game long before the seventh inning. We went through the motions to the finish, but we were defeated long before the end of the game.

Perhaps many of us live as if God were keeping score, as if He has His own scoreboard with everyone’s name on it. One side lists “Good Works” and the other “Sins/Bad Things.” Can you imagine if eternal life depended on being perfect or trying to make sure all our good outweighed our bad? We would be like my little league team: living in defeat with no hope.

As a believer in Christ, are you tempted to think God is keeping score—that you have to do better in order for Him to love you? We may know intellectually that we are forgiven, but let’s think about the way we live. It’s normal for us to try to “prove ourselves” in life, especially in athletics. Perhaps you play or played for a coach you could never please. Breaking news! God is not keeping score, at least not for those who have put their faith in Him and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 130:4 says, “But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.” Think about someone who showed you mercy. Maybe a coach or teacher who chose not to give you what you deserved. How did that make you feel? That is our God! If God were counting our iniquities, as the Psalmist says in verse 3, “who could stand?” We would suffer the ultimate defeat with no hope of eternal life! But Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

Why did Jesus die? Because we were hopeless losers, dead in our transgressions and sins, behind on the spiritual scoreboard by thousands of runs we could never erase. But God, in His mercy, sent His one and only Son to die in our place. We win! And the victory results in reverence or worship of Him. He wants our hearts and is merciful and compassionate to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now that you know it, go out and live like a winner in Christ!

Go
1. Can you think of an act of mercy you have received from a coach? How did you respond?
2. As an athlete or coach, have you ever been on a team with a losing attitude? How did ou break a losing mindset? What difference does a winning mindset make on your team?
3. How can we practically live in a winning mindset with the assurance that God has forgiven us and is not keeping score?

Workout
1Corinthians 15:57
Ephesians 2:8-10
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:23 AM   #2185
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Ready. Set. Stop.
Dan Britton

Ready
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Set
Competing is about performance. We prepare hard and we quickly learn there are two outcomes: perform or perish! As competitors, we step onto the field or court, set everything aside and perform our best! Regardless of what is going on inside, we are expected to play well. We train ourselves to not let the inside struggles affect the outside performance. We are still expected to compete at a high level.

The show must go on. Fake it until you make it.
We master this skill during competition, and we quickly learn how to apply it to everyday life. The performance mindset in sports becomes the way we do life. Life becomes a show. We want others to see us as better than who we really are. The front-stage (false-self) contradicts the back-stage (true-self). This battle rages within us daily, which creates an enormous amount of inner-tension.

Our life becomes a daily show to impresses others. The lie that drives us is the better the performance, the more they like us—and the less likely others will discover our true inner selves. Our prayer is that nobody will ever discover the pain, insecurities, weaknesses, wounds and sins in our lives. We keep it in the dark where it belongs. It must not make it to the front-stage.

If the back-stage is revealed, we think it will embarrass us and shock others.
The front-stage controls the back-stage. However, as long as the front-stage is in control, we will live in bondage. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot belts out it in his song, Free: “Come set me free. Inside this shell there's a prison cell.” Freedom is lost for the sake of protecting the back-stage. We think if the back stage ever becomes the front stage, it would take too much work, cause too much pain and bring too much regret.

We believe duplicity is easier than authenticity.
Performance-based living produces legalism and destroys grace-based living. Chuck Swindoll says it well: “Being real is a lot better than looking religious. Pursuing holiness is biblical. Acting all holy stinks.” Is there hope for the back-stage? The cure is found in pursuing wholeness of soul and letting the love of Jesus invade our hearts. This brings healing that is desperately needed!

The back-stage and front-stage is replaced by Christ’s stage.

No more pretending. Sacrifice your image and restore your heart. God does not need our performances to advance the Kingdom of God. But He does need our hearts. He wants us to pursue one stage--Christ’s stage. He loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay the way we are!

Ready. Set. Stop.
Stop performing. It’s time to get real and be honest about your back-stage. We all have one. Tear down the curtain and let Christ reign in your life.

Go
1. As competitors, why are we so good at performing in life? How does this possibly set us up for bondage off the field?
2. How would you define your back-stage? Do you feel like you are living in a prison cell? Why or why not?
3. Why do we think we would be embarrassed and shock others if the back-stage was revealed?
4. Are there sins in your life that you do not want others to know? If so, repent of them and God will forgive you (1 John 1:9) and confess them to a trusted friend for healing (James 4:5).

Workout
Romans 12:2
Hebrews 4:12
Titus 2:14
2 Timothy 2:21

Overtime
“Lord God in Heaven, I confess I have a back-stage. It doesn’t honor You. There’s some stuff that I keep from others. It is in the dark, and I know You desire for it to be in the light. My back-stage can glorify You only if it becomes Your stage. I ask that You would do Your work in my life to bring wholeness. In the name of Jesus, I pray, amen.”
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #2186
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Integrity of Heart
Roger Lipe

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“I know, my God, that You test the heart and that You are pleased with uprightness. I have willingly given all these things with an upright heart, and now I have seen Your people who are present here giving joyfully and willingly to You.”
— 1 Chronicles 29:17

Set
In this verse, Solomon had been experiencing the greatest time of his life. Untold riches and phenomenal success were part of his everyday life. Yet within that prosperity, Solomon said his heart was tested. He knew that God is delighted by “uprightness,” or integrity of heart, and he pursued those qualities.

To be whole, complete, undivided in our heart’s motives and desires is to have integrity. Does that characterize how we coach? Are our hearts full of integrity on our worst days? How about on our best days? Some of us are tested by bad days and others by good days. Some are tested by losing streaks and others by championships.

Let’s follow Solomon’s example as we approach competition today. Let’s lift a prayer of consecration to God. If we offer all we have and all we are with integrity of heart, God will be delighted by our upright nature. That would
make for a great day of competition and an even better life in Christ.


Go
1. When does it seem that God is testing your heart? Is it when you’re losing? Maybe it’s when you suffer injury.

2. When does success become a test for you? What sorts of success test your character?


Workout
Extra Reading:
1 Chronicles 29:14–19
Mark 14:1–11

Overtime
Father, test my heart and prove my character. Help me to coach my players with integrity of heart. Enable me to face both success and failure with uprightness and wisdom. Amen.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:22 AM   #2187
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Battling for Your Faith
Rick York

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No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13

Set
During a 2004 game against the Cubs, Alex Cora of the Dodgers fouled fourteen straight pitches before hitting a home run. That took determination, concentration, and an unwillingness to give up. Cora battled through tough pitch after pitch until he got one he could handle. Life is full of situations where it is easier to give up than battle until we get a pitch we can handle. How many marriages have been abandoned because one spouse wanted an easier life? How many athletes have been overlooked while new athletes were given time and attention? All too often, Christians have grown weary and given into sin, thinking, This temptation is too hard; I’ll get right with God later.

As Jesus contemplated His fate on the cross, He prayed, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mk 14:36). What cup has God given you that you are begging, or perhaps even demanding, that He take away? The Apostle Peter wrote, “You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 1:6–7). Will you live a life that says, “Not my will, but Yours,” or will you muddle through life swinging only at easy pitches?

Go
1. Have you accepted that suffering is part of the Christian life?
2. According to today’s Scripture verse, why is it always possible to resist sin?
3. How do you handle slights and mistreatment? What can the life of Christ teach you about this?

Workout
Extra Reading:
Matthew 16:24–28
Romans 5:1–4
Philippians 2:5–11


Overtime
Lord, help me to never give up on You. Give me courage to resist the temptation to quit. Help me live a life of faith that points others to You. Amen.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:17 PM   #2188
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Breaking Free
Lauren Holiday

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Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
-2 Corinthians 3:17

Set
In 2008, I made my first U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. I was still in college, and I was one of the youngest players on the roster. I was also replacing star player Abby Wambach who couldn’t compete due to an injury.

Then in 2012, I was chosen for the Olympic squad again, but this time I was considered a veteran with several major matches under my belt, including the 2008 Olympic gold medal game and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. While both situations were very different, they were also very much the same. There was a great deal of pressure that came with the job.

The pressure of high expectations can be difficult to manage. If you have a bad game, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. If you have a great game, you can be tempted to get prideful and unknowingly set yourself up to fall. The hardest part is playing free and not allowing the pressure to negatively impact your performance and steal your joy in the process.

In order to break free of the pressure that comes with expectations, there are some important steps that you must take. First of all, make sure that your confidence is in Christ—not in yourself. Secondly, understand that your identity is in Him. And finally, always keep in mind that your sport should be, as it says in Romans 12:1, your spiritual act of worship. Whatever talent Christ has blessed you with ultimately belongs to Him.

Those steps will help relieve the pressure from high expectations. They will also bring you true joy and allow you to give God the glory in everything you do.

Go
1. Describe a time when you felt pressure as an athlete. How did it impact your performance?

2. Of the three steps listed, which ones have you applied to your life? Which ones are difficult to walk out?

3. Read 2 Corinthians 3:17. How might inviting His Spirit into your athletic life bring freedom and help you better deal with pressure?


Workout
John 8:32
Romans 12:1-2
2 Timothy 1:7

Overtime
Lord, I want to break free from worldly expectations and the pressures that accompany it. Transform my way of thinking and fill my heart with the kind of joy that only You can bring. Amen.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:23 AM   #2189
Big Daddy
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Default 3.27.15

The Grass is Always Greener
Michael Hill

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” -James 1:2-3 (NIV)


Set
It seems like, in this day and age of the free agent, the pressure on our coaches to win is heavier than ever. Everyone is chasing the brass ring. More and more coaches just want to land that next big job. They are constantly looking at the green grass on the other side of the fence. Don’t get me wrong, I am an extremely competitive person, myself. I can’t stand to lose! It seems, however, that just like everything else, we have taken the “win at all cost” mentality to a very dangerous level.

I’m a coach, and I understand that we coaches are always looking to move up. You start out as an assistant and are so excited when you become a head coach yourself. You think you can build up a small-school program and then move on to the next division. You get that big-school assistant job and are looking to move into to your dream job: the big-school head coaching job.

The problem in this is that what we are basing our self-worth on (our status as a coach) will eventually leave us high and dry. I am ending my first decade in coaching, and I have yet to have a year either as an assistant or a head coach in which some problem did not come up. It might have been a difference in philosophy with another coach on the staff. It might have been that you didn’t push an athlete as hard as you think he should have been pushed. But, if we are not careful, the problem might outgrow the coaching realm. It might become a spouse who feels neglected from the work we put into our sport. It might become a child at home who never sees his or her father. Whatever it is, we must be prepared to know how we are going to face these challenges.

God desires so strongly that we turn to Him. If we do turn to God, He will see us through the storm. If we do not turn to God, we will constantly fight an uphill battle that, in the end, will cost us more than a win on the field of competition. We will lose part of our very lives.

Go
1. Where do you turn when hard times come?
2. How do you handle a rough spot in your life?
3. If you are in a valley right now, what are you going to do to get out of it?

Workout
Matthew 11:30
James 1:4
James 1:12

Overtime
“Father, help us to turn to You in our hour of need. Help us to look up when we feel down. Lord, help us to cry out to You in times of need.”
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