IllinoisHighSchoolSports.com  

Go Back   IllinoisHighSchoolSports.com > Extras > Prayers/Condolences/Thoughts

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-30-2014, 04:19 PM   #2071
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 6.30.14

Finding Strength in the Lord
6.30.14
Clint Dempsey

Ready
“He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless… those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
– Isaiah 40:29-31

Set
I began playing soccer in kindergarten and quickly discovered that I loved it, especially the feeling of scoring a goal. My parents had started me in the sport to help me learn good people skills. Little did I know that the sport I loved and the skills I learned would later play a role in my relationship with God.

I grew up going to church with my grandmother every Sunday. Through her, I learned that faith was important. When I was twelve years old, my life took a turn that would change me forever. My sister died and I was faced with questions about why things happen and what role God played in it all. For a number of years, I struggled and put distance between God and me. But He was faithful and patient and provided gradual healing and strength.

In college, I joined a team Bible study. God’s Word brought me peace and a desire for a relationship with Him. I found that questioning Him and searching for answers through Scripture helped me grow and gave me direction. Now my faith in Christ is what gives me confidence for the future. I know that through both good times and bad, He is faithful and will watch over me.

Today, I pray for strength to walk the road before me. I play to the best of my abilities and am thankful for the many opportunities and amazing success He has given me. Through it all, I want to do right, not make mistakes, and live a life that pleasing to Him.

God provides strength, even when circumstances seem impossible. In Genesis, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many generations, but for years his wife, Sarah, was unable to bear children. Even as he approached one hundred years old, Abraham “did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God” (Romans 4:20 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] ). Abraham’s faith was rewarded when God honored His promise and Sarah, at age ninety, gave birth to their son, Isaac.

Go
• What promises of God do you struggle to believe while you compete in your sport.
• When you face adversity in your season, how do you respond to God?
• What else or who else besides God do you rely on to give you strength?
• Take some time to read through the passages below and refer to them often in your challenges.

Workout
• Genesis 15-21
• Matthew 6:33-34
• Ephesians 6:10
• Philippians 4:13
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-01-2014, 07:12 PM   #2072
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.01.14

Peace In The Midst of Chaos
7.01.14
Tim Howard

Ready
“Peace I leave with you. My Peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
- John 14:27

Set
Having spent the first ten years of my life with an undiagnosed case of Tourette Syndrome—a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable physical and verbal tics—I did not experience a lot of peace. Yet even though my life often felt chaotic, I knew I could always count on one person to provide calm and stability—my grandmother.

Nana’s sense of peace was powerful because it came from her faith in the Lord. Through her, God revealed His love for me as well. It wasn’t long before I followed in her footsteps. I wanted the same kind of faith and peace she had, and that is exactly what God gave me.

Living with Tourette’s is not easy, but God has blessed me with the gift of athleticism and has done some powerful things in my life through the combination of these two gifts. He has helped me in my long-term success as a professional soccer player in the English Premier League and U.S. National Team; and He also has shown me ways to use my position as a professional athlete to encourage others with Tourette Syndrome.

Today, I am blessed to be living my dream. Yet, if my soccer career went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. That probably sounds crazy to most people, but that’s the kind of peace Christ gives. It is rooted in His love and it surpasses all understanding.

The disciples once learned a lesson about peace during an eventful boat ride. In Mark 4, they were crossing a lake with Jesus when a severe storm arose. The disciples feared for their lives, yet, among the chaos, Jesus slept calmly. When they woke Him, Jesus commanded the wind and the sea to “be still!” and there was peace. That is what He can do in our lives. Among our storms and our chaos, Jesus provides peace.

You can experience this same sense of love and peace, too. All you have to do is ask for it.

Go
• When do you struggle to find peace as a competitor for Christ?
• What are you not believing about God in those times?
• Read the passages below to discover the peace that only Jesus provides and ask Him to help you believe Him.

Workout
• Mark 4:35-41
• Galatians 5:22-23
• Philippians 4:6-7
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-02-2014, 10:14 PM   #2073
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.02.14

It's All About Heart
Dan Britton
7.02.14

Ready
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.'"
-1 Samuel 16:7


Set
It takes heart to play sports. Coaches fire up their teams by saying, "Go out there and play with all your heart. Leave it all on the field!" Skills and talents are important, but playing with heart separates the great athletes from the good ones. When my daughter looks at me while she is playing her basketball games, I pound my hand on my heart. It is my "secret" sign to encourage her to play with heart. Playing with heart is all about drive, passion and desire.

The Bible talks about the heart all the time -- more than 540 times! The Lord even told Samuel that He looks at the heart, not the external stuff. God looks at the internal -- the heart. As athletes, we need to not only play with our hearts, but also we need to have hearts that are sold out to Jesus. We know what it means to give our all on the field, but do we know what it means to give our all when it comes to loving God?

Here is an easy HEART acronym to remember how to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength:

H: HUNGRY Heart. Do you have a committed heart that is fully His? A hungry heart that devours the Word of God and that prays continually?

E: EXPECTING Heart. Do you expect great and mighty things from a great and mighty God? Are you asking God for more? Do you expect spiritual breakthrough in your life?

A: ABUNDANT Heart. Is your heart full of God's love? Is it overflowing with thankfulness?

R: REAL Heart. Are you the real deal? Is your heart a HOT heart (honest, open and transparent)?

T: TEACHABLE Heart. Is your heart soft? Are you teachable? Are you a "know-it-all" athlete or a "teach-it-to-me" athlete?

Remember, it's all about HEART!

Go
1. Are you an athlete who plays with heart?
2. Why is the heart so important when playing sports?
3. Looking at the HEART acronym, what one do you do the best? Which one needs the most work?
4. How can you play and live every day with HEART?

Workout
1 Chronicles 4:10
2 Chronicles 16:9
Proverbs 28:13-14
Isaiah 43:18-19
Colossians 2:6-7


Overtime
"Lord, I want to play and live with heart. Make my heart soft and sensitive to Your leading. I hunger for You. I am expecting awesome things from an awesome God. Grant me an abundant heart that overflows with thankfulness. A real heart that is transparent. A teachable heart that is open all the time."
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-08-2014, 01:51 PM   #2074
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.08.14

Evaluation
7.08.14
Steve Conner

Ready
"Guard your heart above all else,
for it is the source of life."
–Proverbs 4:23

Set
As athletes, we know we have to train hard to be any good. Everyone is more capable in one area of their sport than others. Most of sport is taken up in training, where one assesses and develops skills. We may know people whose talent seems to come effortlessly; but to be at the top, we need to exert a lot of effort. Great athletes measure their skills and work hard to improve both their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe we are strong but slow, have great hand-eye coordination but are too cautious. We have good upper-body strength but are prone to leg injuries. Athletes push themselves meticulously because they have a goal and desire to accomplish it.

The writer of Proverbs reminds us that we also need to cultivate our spiritual life diligently. Many athletes can push themselves physically, but don’t consider working out spiritually. Our spiritual life needs maintenance. In the New Testament, Paul encourages us to take a sober look at our lives to assess how we’re doing.

We need to look over our spiritual lives with the eye of a good coach and set some spiritual goals. We may have a goal to run 60 miles a week or train all the major muscle groups once a week. Goals that are not written down are merely a wish. Spiritual discipline is the same: assess how we are doing; perhaps ask a good friend or pastor for help; then write down some goals.

Go
1. Have you assessed your spiritual health lately? How are you doing?
2. Do you have someone in your life who can help you stay accountable to your spiritual goals? If not, think of someone you can ask to help you.

Workout
Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:22-32

Overtime
Lord, help me to enjoy the process and product of Your training. Bring people into my life who will encourage me and keep me accountable in my spiritual training. Amen.

Devotion from A Sporting Guide to Eternity by Steve Connor. Used by permission.
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-14-2014, 09:35 AM   #2075
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.14.14

Little Guys
July 14, 2014


Ready
Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
— Romans 16:10


Set
We don’t often hear of Apelles or the Christians who lived in the household of Aristobulus. Most of us read quickly past these names and never give much thought to who they were or what their role was in the church at Rome. Yet, to Paul, they were important enough to be mentioned in his letter to the Romans. This tells us that in Christ’s service, the “little guys” are as important as the “all-stars.”

Many have considered the 1927 New York Yankees the greatest collection of super-stars in the history of baseball. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earl Combs, Herb Pennock, and Waite Hoyt are all in baseball’s Hall of Fame. What about their teammates? What about Julie Weva, Joe Giard, Mike Gazella, Ray Morehart, John Grabowski, and at Collins? Not only have they missed the Hall of Fame; they’re not even household names. We all remember the “greats,” but the “little guys” also have their place. They may be pinch hitters, or maybe even substitutes who sit the bench; but it also takes those little-known players to win a pennant.

Many of us play a minor role on a team. What we contribute is vitally important to their success—even if we’re not all-stars, super-stars, or a Hall-of-Famers.

Go
1. How do you see yourself? A main player or a bench warmer?
2. God believes in you, and you are important to Him. Do you see that?
3. How does this truth encourage you?


Workout
Romans 16
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #2076
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.15.14

Change Your Mind
July 15, 2015
Amanda Tewksbury

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.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-17-2014, 08:20 AM   #2077
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.17.14

Be Set Apart
Carissa Dahik
July 17, 2014

Ready
“So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”
- 2 Timothy 2:21

Set
For years social psychologists have been studying “crowd” or “mob” psychology in which they study how a group’s mentality differs from that of the individuals within the group. One theory that has emerged is the idea that people react differently in a group than when they are on their own. For instance, during criminal incidents, research shows that if there is a large number of people around, men and women will be less likely to intervene because they think someone else will assist. People take their cues from others in the area and think, “If they are not getting involved, neither am I.” And that kind of group thinking takes place every day.

Whether we are athletes, coaches, teachers, students, family members, church members, friends or coworkers we are all part of some kind of group. Being part of a group has great benefits, but problems arise when we abandon our personal beliefs, standards or codes of conduct.

Luke 14:34 (NIV) states, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?" As Christians we should be different. That makes many of us uncomfortable because doing anything different immediately sets us apart. Have you heard the saying, "Don't rock the boat"? People usually get uncomfortable when someone doesn’t conform to the group’s behavior, even if it is something positive.

Instead of just rocking the boat, though, I think we need to get out of the boat. This can be done with the little decisions and actions we take every day. For example, putting away the equipment at the gym even if you just found it that way. Picking up a piece of trash instead of walking by it because you weren’t the one who littered. Returning the shopping cart to the appropriate area in spite of the fact others don't. Talking to the student who is ignored even though everyone is watching.

We need to stop making excuses for going along with the crowd. The Bible calls us to a higher standard. Romans 12:2 instructs us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world. Instead of going along with what everyone else is doing, we can show them a better way by rocking the boat and living out our faith in Christ. Even if it makes us different.

Go
1.Is being popular more important than doing what is right?
2.Would those who know you best consider you a leader or a follower?
3.What are some ways you can set yourself apart and show Christ to others through simple actions?

Workout
•Matthew 5:14-16
•Matthew 16:24-25
•James 1:22-25

Overtime
“Lord, thank You for relationships. Prompt me to do what is right even if that means being different. As I step out of the boat, help me to keep my eyes on You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 07-18-2014, 09:16 AM   #2078
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,376
Default 7.18.14

Going, Going, Gone
Dan Britton
July 18, 2014


Ready
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
–2 Corinthians 4:18

Set
When five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe retired from competitive swimming at the age of 24 he said, “breaking records wasn’t as inspiring as it should have been.” As a teenager, Thorpe splashed into the swimming scene and swam to 13 world records from 1999 to 2002, becoming an international star after dominating at the Sydney Olympics.

Even with all the success, he realized the medals, titles, records, and accomplishments did not last long. The fans went home. The cameras were turned off. And Ian was left with an empty feeling that success cannot fill. The external stuff fades quickly. It is never enough.

It sounds crazy to focus on the unseen. If we can’t see it, then why did Paul encourage us to focus on it? He knew that world records do not last. As competitors, God desires for us to do our best for His glory. Whether it’s breaking 13 world records or just playing pick-up basketball, God wants us to play for Him. What are our motives? To win titles? Break records? Get trophies? Or play for Him?

Go
1. What have you won in the past that was significant at the time, but now is no big deal?
2. Why is it so easy to focus on the seen? Why is it so hard to focus on the unseen?
3. What are three ways you can keep a focus on the unseen?
4. Who is a great example in your life who focuses on the unseen?

Workout
Proverbs 23:4-5
James 4:13-14

Overtime
Lord, I desire to compete for You alone. I am resolved to focus on the unseen not the seen. Help me to remove things that blur my vision. Too often I dwell on the external stuff. Show me that all I need is You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Let all the glory be Yours. Amen.
__________________
Don't waste your at-bat.....

Pastor Augie's Blog
Big Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2000-2010, IllinoisHighSchoolSports.com