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Old 03-03-2014, 11:14 AM   #2011
Big Daddy
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Default 3.03.14

The Priceless Gift of Serving!
By Dan Britton
February 28, 2014

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

Set:
Most people think that serving is the same as service, but I believe that there is a huge difference between the two. Service is something we pay for or something we might come to expect at a restaurant or at a gas station. But serving goes deeper. Serving deals with heart issues, involves sacrifice and meets real needs. We don’t pay for serving, though it can be costly.

Christ did not come to give good service. He came to serve. Athletes are not required to give good service to their teammates, but Christian athletes are called to serve. Coaches who follow the greatest servant who ever lived also have the privilege of serving their teams, not just providing a service to them.

Christ desires that we become servants to our players, teammates, friends, families and communities. We are His instruments—His serving instruments! That might be hard to understand in a world where it seems everyone wants to be a leader, not a servant. But Jesus never told us to be leaders. Instead, He invited us to be servants, and He did so at a cost. He served us with the ultimate sacrifice—His life—so that we might come into a right relationship with our holy God!

That’s the most priceless news we could ever hear. It’s why leadership camps sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes are really servant camps; their one goal is for the young people who attend to meet the most amazing servant ever to walk the earth, Jesus Christ. If we ever hope to lead, we must learn to serve. How? From the One who came to serve that we might follow in His steps!

Go:
1. How can you serve your players, colleagues, friends and family members?
2. Who are some leaders who have modeled servanthood to you?
3. How has God gifted you to serve? How has He set you apart?


Workout:
Extra Reading:
Ephesians 2:10;
2 Timothy 2:21

Overtime:
Thank You, Lord of the Universe, for sending Jesus Christ to love and to serve the world so that my life might become an extension of His gift of service to others! Amen.

About the Author:
Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the Executive V.P. of Ministry Programs. In high school and college, Dan was a standout lacrosse player. He continued his lacrosse career by playing professional indoor lacrosse for four years with the Baltimore Thunder. He has coauthored three books, One Word That Will Change Your Life, WisdomWalks and WisdomWalks SPORTS, and he is the author and editor of eleven FCA books. He still plays and coaches lacrosse and enjoys running marathons. He and his wife Dawn reside in Overland Park, Kansas, with their three children: Kallie, Abby and Elijah. You can e-mail Dan at dan@fca.org.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:52 AM   #2012
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Default 3.04.14

Rebound!
By FCA Resources
March 03, 2014

Ready:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
–1 John 1:9


Set:
Carly was a tenacious defender, but couldn’t shoot well. One thing I loved about Carly was if the basketball was available, she would get it. Because most of her shots didn’t go in, she learned what most players don’t: stop pouting and go get the ball! Carly was queen of the court in our 11-man break drill. In it, whoever got the rebound continued playing in the drill. Carly stayed in one day for 11 trips up and down the floor. She got 11 straight rebounds. Not bad for only being 5’6”.

Mistakes happen. We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory; but too many people leave it at that. Sin defeats them, and they don’t rebound. Not everything we do turns to gold, so when we miss in life, we have to rebound and make the most of the next opportunity. When sin is the issue, we must confess our sin, receive cleansing from our Maker, and get back in the game.

Some Christians understand that not every “shot” in life will go in, and to be the best they can, they need to rebound. Making the most of whom God made us should be our goal. Any coach will say that great rebounding will always keep his team in the game. Let’s ask ourselves, are we good rebounders or just poor shooters who are stuck on why we missed in the first place?

Go:
1. Why is rebounding after a miss so important?
2. Why is confession of sin so important in getting back on track with Christ?
3. What can you do to be a strong spiritual rebounder?


Workout:
Romans 6

Overtime:
God, help me not to get distracted from the game of life by self-pity or pride. When I miss a shot, help me to be humble and confess my sin so that I can rebound and stay in the game. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Amen.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #2013
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Through the Motions
By FCA Resources
March 04, 2014

Ready: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
-Mark 12:30

Set:
I don’t usually listen to the radio in the car while I’m driving through the suburbs of Chicago. Typically I try to spend my time praying for FCA needs, Huddle Coaches, student-athletes and other family concerns. But one day, I decided to tune in for some music, and I was so glad I did. I heard a song that pierced my heart in a powerful way. If you listen to Christian radio, you’ve probably heard it. It’s the song by Matthew West called “The Motions.” The chorus goes like this:

I don’t wanna go through the motions.
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me.
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
“What if I had given everything?”
instead of going through the motions.


That hit me like a ton of bricks. God used the words to show me just how much I had been going through the motions in my life with Christ. Go to church, lead small groups, coach teams, work for FCA, yada, yada, yada… I was guilty as charged of going through the motions. So, when I got to my destination that day, I asked the Lord for His help in becoming a guy who did more than go through the motions of life.

It’s easy to slip up and get complacent. Work gets you down, money gets you down, life gets you down, and, one day, you wake up and look in the mirror and realize that you have wasted a ton of time not being your best. I’m sure we’ve all had days like that, but God desires so much more for us.

Today, if that is you, I challenge you: Don’t go through the motions anymore! Not as an athlete, a coach, a friend, a family member or a Christ-follower. It’s time for you to be what God desires you to be: a sold-out, fired-up, lover of Christ!

Go:
1. In what areas of life do you tend to just go through the motions?
2. What helps you get fired up for the Lord?
3. What can you do today to ensure that you will not just go through the motions in life?

Workout:
1 Corinthians 10:31
Philippians 1:27
Colossians 1:9-12
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:54 AM   #2014
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Default 3.06.14

The Playbook
By Gregory Robinson
March 05, 2014

Ready:
"Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: 'Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am proclaiming as you hear them today. Learn and follow them carefully.'”
— Deuteronomy 5:1


Set:
Like most of you, I grew up playing sandlot football on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. In my neighborhood games, we would regularly change the quarterback. This made for some interesting play calling, but very little success. Quite often the quarterback would say, “everyone go deep,” or “let’s just throw short passes and get first downs.” As we matured and began playing organized football, we understood the importance of a playbook.

God went to great depths to see that Moses and the Israelites were given a “playbook.” He instructed Moses to make sure God’s “plays” were learned and executed completely. How many times do we see a broken assignment in the backfield where the quarterback and running back are not on the same page. Someone did not learn that play correctly. Other times we see a wide-out, on third and eight, run a five-yard play. He didn’t follow the playbook.

God wants us to learn and follow His Word. To many times in my life I’ve called my own plays and always found myself in third-and-long situations throwing up a prayer. How about you?

Go:
1. Are you still calling your own plays?
2. Are you following God’s perfect plan for your life?
3. Are you spending quality time with the Lord in His Word?


Workout:
Extra Reading: Psalm 19:7–11; Proverbs 3:5–6; Galatians 2:20

Overtime:
Father, show me when I am calling my own plays, and may I always yield myself to Your will. Amen
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #2015
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I Love This Game
By Mike Duswalt
March 06, 2014

Ready:
What does a man gain for all his efforts he labors at under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
— Ecclesiastes 1:3–4

Set:
My son’s “fifteen and under” AAU basketball team scrimmaged a “seventeen and under” team and were losing badly. Although it was painful to watch, I noticed two distinct styles of play that greatly affected the outcome.

Our team’s guards repeatedly dribbled through obvious traps in the opponent’s defense. Our coach switched players, changed the offense, and diagramed simple plays to run, but often the player with the ball tried to dribble into oncoming pressure. Each player had different mechanical problems. One dribbled with his head down and another wouldn’t use both hands. Our coach spent all his time trying to correct mistakes.

On the other hand, I watched in awe as two skinny, six-foot two-inch, barely 170-pound boys with a three-inch vertical leap doggedly worked for rebounding position, fought through picks, and never stopped chasing even one loose ball. The older, better-skilled opponents outjumped and outran our younger, less-skilled team, and were determined to work as hard as they could. It was a wonderful testimony of two players who refused to give up. Their coach did not particularly acknowledge or congratulate them for their hard work, but I wanted to give them a standing ovation.

How are the struggles in this game similar to the ones we face in life every day? In our battles with the enemy of our soul, I pray that we would act like those two boys who fought under the basket and played their hearts out. We must use our strengths in whatever measure God has given us to make an impact for Him on those around us.

Go:
1. Are you losing the spiritual battles in life because of a lack of effort?
2. How can you gain new strength for the battle? Read Isaiah 40:1–31.
3. Who do you know that will go to battle with you? Reach out to that person.

Workout:
Extra Reading:
Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:23

Overtime:
Lord, please keep our paths straight and our focus on You. Grant us the courage to face the enemy headon, the strength to keep him at bay, and the wisdom to foresee his plan of attack. Amen.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:50 PM   #2016
cornerrat
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All.... Ratsy

ZZ .... (A3) 01973

Jesus Just Left Chicago....

Jesus just left Chicago
And He's bound for New Orleans
Well now, Jesus just left Chicago
And he's bound for New Orleans

Workin' from one end to the other
And all points in between

Took a jump through Mississippi
Well, muddy water turned to wine
Took a jump through Mississippi
Muddy water turned to wine

Then I out to California through the
forests and the pines
Oh, take me with You, Jesus

You might not see Him in person
But he'll see you just the same
You might not see Him in person
But he'll see you just the same

You don't have to worry
'Cause takin care of business is his
name
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:42 PM   #2017
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The Relentless Competitor
By Dan Britton
March 10, 2014

Ready:
"But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life."
- Hebrews 10:39


Set:
Competitors love to have goals, and they pursue them with everything they have. Nothing will get in their way! They will give their all—all the time. They will not give up or give in. And they will not give out. They are relentless.

“It’s hard to beat relentless.” – Jay Bilas

Relentless is everywhere these days. There is a Relentless energy drink, Relentless Nike running shoe, Relentless movie, “Relentless” country album, and even a Relentless steak and lobster restaurant.

As we unpack this concept of relentless competitor, there are several good one-word definitions of relentless:

•Unyielding
•Unbending
•Determined
•Never-ceasing
•Persistent

However, the opposite of relentless is to relent. Here are some one-word definitions of relent:

•Abandon
•Soften
•Relax
•Bend
•Weaken

One definition for relent even read, “To melt or dissolve under the influence of heat.”

Relentless means to be strong.

Relent means to be weak.

You could probably rephrase the verse to read, “But we are not those who RELENT, but those who are RELENTLESS.” God want us to move forward, be strong and not give up. As followers of Christ, we need to have relentless love, pursue relentless devotion and be on a relentless mission.

We also need to be a relentless competitor. A relentless competitor is one that has some grit and guts. He or she doesn’t buckle or fade. Or rust out or burn out. He or she has tenacity and fortitude.

Relentless competitors are able to absorb the inevitable criticism, obstacles, challenges, and setbacks and keep advancing. They keep their eyes on completing the mission and are willing to find creative solutions when things don't go as planned.

Relentless competitors understand that they are relentless leaders. Bill Hybels defines relentless leaders with these three characteristics:

1.Relentless learner
2.Driven to action
3.Deep, personal sacrifice

Busy leaders cover ground.

We need to advance and be driven to take ground every single day. Most leaders just cover ground but don’t take ground. One is a matter of staying busy, and the other is a matter of being strategic. Busy leaders are distracted by the tyranny of the urgent; they are often reactive and responding to the needs of the moment. They are frequently playing defense. Busy leaders maintain and manage, but rarely advance. Simply stated, they cover ground.

Relentless leaders take ground.

Relentless, strategic leaders remain focused on the finish line; they are proactive and align their time, energy and activity around the most important priorities. They are frequently on offense. They remove distractions and avoid interruptions. Relentless leaders move forward and take ground. God is calling us to take ground. Kingdom leaders are relentless leaders who are strategic, not busy. They are decisive, not hesitant. So the next time someone asks you how you're doing, let the answer be "I am strategic and taking ground."

Relentless leaders don’t cover ground; they take ground.

Go:
1.When do you relent? When are you relentless?
2.In what areas are you covering ground as a competitor? Taking ground?
3.Turn Hebrews 10:39 into a Relentless Prayer.


Workout:
Psalm 31:24
Galatians 6:9

Overtime:
"Father, teach me how to be a relentless competitor. I desire to take ground for You. Show me how to move from being busy to being strategic. I ask for Your power and might to compete relentlessly all the time. In Jesus' name, Amen."

About the Author:
Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the Executive V.P. of Ministry Programs. In high school and college, Dan was a standout lacrosse player. He continued his lacrosse career by playing professional indoor lacrosse for four years with the Baltimore Thunder. He has coauthored three books, One Word That Will Change Your Life, WisdomWalks and WisdomWalks SPORTS, and he is the author and editor of eleven FCA books. He still plays and coaches lacrosse and enjoys running marathons. He and his wife Dawn reside in Overland Park, Kansas, with their three children: Kallie, Abby and Elijah. You can e-mail Dan at dan@fca.org.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:21 AM   #2018
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One Thing
By Dan Britton
March 11, 2014

Ready:
"Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 3:13-14

Set:
Paul uses the phrase “one thing” to bring focus and clarity to his calling. This phrase appears five times in the New International Version of the Bible—once in the verse above in Philippians and four times in the Gospels:

In Luke 10:42, Jesus says to Martha, “only one thing is needed.”
In both Luke 18:22 and Mark 10:21, Jesus tells the rich man that he still lacks “one thing.”
In John 9:25, the blind man who was healed by Christ tells the Pharisees, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

As competitors for Christ, the one thing that God desires is for us to focus on Him. The FCA Competitor’s Creed states: “I am a Competitor now and forever. I am made to strive, to strain, to stretch and to succeed in the arena of competition. I am a Christian Competitor and as such, I face my challenger with the face of Christ.”

The one thing that we need to focus on as competitors for Christ is the fact that we have been created in the likeness of God Almighty in order to bring glory to Him on and off the field. Period. Anything else takes our focus off the Master.

Go:
1. As a competitor, what makes it hard for you to keep your focus?
2. As you examine your walk with the Lord, what is one thing that prevents you from keeping your focus on the Lord?
3. What would you describe as the one thing on which the Lord wants you to focus?

Workout:
Extra Reading:
Luke 10:38-42; 18:18-30; John 9:13-34

Overtime:
Lord, there are so many things that take my focus off of You. Please forgive me for those times when I have not fixed my eyes on You. Help me, Lord, to focus on You alone when I compete. I desire to glorify You in all that I do. Amen

About the Author:
Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the Executive V.P. of Ministry Programs. In high school and college, Dan was a standout lacrosse player. He continued his lacrosse career by playing professional indoor lacrosse for four years with the Baltimore Thunder. He has coauthored three books, One Word That Will Change Your Life, WisdomWalks and WisdomWalks SPORTS, and he is the author and editor of eleven FCA books. He still plays and coaches lacrosse and enjoys running marathons. He and his wife Dawn reside in Overland Park, Kansas, with their three children: Kallie, Abby and Elijah. You can e-mail Dan at dan@fca.org.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:33 AM   #2019
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Default 3.13.14

Solitude
By Roger Lipe
March 12, 2014

Ready:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. Simon and his companions went searching for Him. They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!”
— Mark 1:35–37

Set:
What do we do to quiet our minds and keep perspective about life? Where do we go to relax, reflect, and meditate? How do we stay true to who we are when everybody is praising our teams and us? The Scripture above explains how Jesus accomplished this.

Jesus had a unique quality in His life that most of us miss. He valued solitude over popularity. In quiet reflection, free from the flattering crowds, He maintained clarity of thought about who He was, His values, and His life goals. He knew that it is easy to pander to a crowd of flattering people. He was more concerned with pleasing His Father in heaven.

We can each carry a similar commitment related to our team. Let’s be more committed and responsive to our players and coaching staff than we are to the fickle opinions of fans and sportswriters. Let’s remember to value those who know us privately and their commitments to us. Let’s value them more than those who only know us from what they see on game day and in public. Let’s lead wisely and powerfully today and honor those who are most committed to us.

Go:
1. What do you do to quiet your mind and keep perspective about your life?
2. Where do you go to relax, reflect, and meditate?
3. How do you stay true to who you are when everybody is praising you?

Workout:
Psalms 41; Matthew 21:12–22; Acts 28:17–31

Overtime:
Father, please help me keep things in perspective when everyone is praising my team and me. Please draw me to moments of quiet reflection and solitude. Help me value those who are committed to You and to Your team. Amen.

About the Author:
Roger Lipe is a 17 year veteran of FCA in the southern 1/4 of Illinois.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #2020
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Default 3.17.14

External Perspective
By Richard Lazarou
March 17, 2014

Ready:
“You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result.”
— Genesis 50:20

Set:
It is easy to praise and worship the Lord when our team is scoring touchdowns, making three-pointers and scoring goals. But often we find ourselves in positions where things are not working out quite the way we would like. It is during the tough times that we have the greatest opportunity to reflect God’s light and love.

We have to understand that God looks at our lives from an eternal perspective. He sees our entire life as a portrait, totally complete, and that everything that happens in our lives is for His glory. As coaches we counsel our players on a daily basis, always trying to help them realize that what we are asking them to do is for the good of the team. We may ask a player to be a decoy on one play because we know the reaction it will elicit from the opposing defense. It might not enhance that particular player’s resume—it might even hurt it at that moment—but as coaches we know that the team will benefit. In the end, this is all that really matters. Often it is easy to give that sort of counsel to our players, but as believers, we cannot just be hearers of the Word; we must do what it says.

Go:
1. Can you remember a time in your professional or personal life where you were faced with adversity and had to sacrifice your pride for the good of the whole?
2. How can you reflect God’s perspective on a situation you are dealing with right now?
3. As a coach, how can God’s perspective help you deal with the players and coaches you have been blessed with on a daily basis?


Workout:
Extra Reading:
Job 2:10
Proverbs 3:5–6
Matthew 6:33
Romans 8:28

Overtime:
Heavenly Father, please grant me the wisdom that only You can provide, that I would have Your perspective on every situation placed in front of me. Give me the strength to react according to Your will, knowing that all things happen for good for those who love You. Amen.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:17 AM   #2021
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Double-Teamed: Break Through the Death Traps
By Steve Able
March 18, 2014

Ready:
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
- John 10:10

Set:
In basketball, guards are taught to face the basket, their teammates and their opponents. Many times, in order to rattle these guards, a defense will double-team them when they have the ball.

The pressure of a double-team can be relentless. If the defense can cause the guard to become insecure in his or her ball-handling ability, and if the guard's teammates seem out of reach for a pass, the guard will likely turn their back to the defender, the basket and their teammates. That’s when they become vulnerable. Once the guard turns their back, that's when "the thief" (the other defender) comes in from the blindside and attempts to steal the ball.

In our lives, pressure can cause insecurities to rise to the surface, and that's when we become vulnerable. When this happens, we've got to face these fears head-on. We have to break through the double-team, break through the traps of fear, shame, doubt, guilt, escapism (drugs, alcohol, vegging out), and even suicide. Break through these traps by facing the pressure head on. God says we can do it, and He even gives us the strength!

Jesus Christ came so that you could live abundant life despite these death traps and double-teams. Breaking through them, however, requires full-on faith. Don't give into the temptation to do it half-way. There is life-giving power that can be found when we face pressure and hard truths head on.


Go:
*Answer the following questions as they relate to all aspects of life: family, sports, school, work, health, etc.
1. What are some insecurities you face in this area?
2. What is causing you the greatest amount or most constant source of pressure?
3. What can you do to break this pressure, and face this challenge straight-forward, head-on?
4. Now pray about it and ask God for the strength to break through!


Workout:
Joshua 1:9
John 8:31-33
Romans 8:31
2 Timothy 1:6-7
Hebrews 10:36
James 1:12
Revelation 2:3

About the Author:
Family: Heather Able (wife), Micah Logsdon Able (son), Caleb Lincoln Able (son)

Born: April 22, 1975

Born Again: 1991

My Faith Story (short version): Growing up my family never went to church unless someone was getting married. We never talked about God. Then my sense of stability in life really got rocked when my parents divorced during my 8th grade year. Then I began to struggle with depression, bi-polar tendencies, suicidal thoughts, and many other frustrations and temptations. The things I enjoyed in life started to become less enjoyable to me. My relationships got messier and more painful. Then, one day on a pickup basketball court, a college student named Michael Logsdon told me about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He prayed with me, and invited me to church. The people at the church slowly began to become like a new family to me. Almost a year later, I finally began to understand God's plan, and decided to follow Jesus. Over time, as my understanding of prayer and God's word began to grow, my life changed in many ways. I know for sure I will live for God until the day I die. I know for sure I will spend eternity in God's mind-blowing creation called Heaven.

Schools: Hayfield SS, NoVA Community College, Hardin-Simmons University - BS Psychology, minor in Communication

Sports History: Grew up playing t-ball, soccer, basketball, bowling. Played no sports for my high school, but played 1 year (JV) of DIII Basketball at HSU (as a senior, a very humbling, but educating experience =). Have played a variety of sports recreationally, including some extreme and outdoor sports.

Other Interests/Hobbies: New experiences with my family, any sports/outdoor activities/competition, drama, critical thought & evaluation of everything, rapping, writing, art, photography, drawing.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:21 AM   #2022
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Default 3.20.14

Be Set A Part
By Carissa Dahik
March 19, 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.”

About the Author:
Carissa Dahik is a marathoner and triathlete. She volunteers with FCA Endurance as the Huddle Leader in Chicago. You can contact her at carissadahik@yahoo.com or visit the Huddle’s Facebook page
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:14 AM   #2023
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Humble Champion
By Michael Hill
March 21, 2014

Ready: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding.”
-Isaiah 40:28

Set:
How many times do we see football players cross the goal line and do some sort of celebration? Either they try to bring attention to themselves through some crazy stunt, or they point to the sky in order to bring attention to someone else. In those situations, we Christians get all excited and say, “Look! They are giving God the glory.” Maybe they are, and maybe they’re not. The only person who knows for sure is the one with his finger in the air.

These days it seems like even humble acts are brought under the microscope. Even players who seem humble, or intend to be, wind up diving into pride. It’s hard to be humble when everybody around you is feeding your ego.

It’s no different for coaches, either. If you are a coach, can you honestly say you have never looked at a losing program and thought, “I could turn that program around and win a state title in no time flat”?

Just like every other coach, I’ve been turned down for my share of head coaching jobs. The first one was at a large high school in a large city. I saw the talent walking the hallways, and I knew I could win a title in four years. When I didn’t get the job, I was bitter, and I thought the school just didn’t know who I was. In my mind and heart I thought it was their loss.

In a couple of years, I was turned down again by a large school in the suburb of a large city. This time, though, my prayer throughout the interview process was that God would put HIS coach in the position. I didn’t get the job, but I did serve as an assistant to the coach who beat me out. In my heart, I had total peace because I knew that God’s will had been done.

I wish I had read the last line of the FCA Coach’s Mandate a lot earlier in my career. It says, “Coach with a humble gratitude as one privileged to be God’s coach.” If I’d had that mindset, it would have taken away a lot of bitterness and helped me to be focused in the right way.

When we look at coaching or competing as a gift from God, one question comes up. As sinful men and women, who are we to take any glory from God? Compared to God, we are a lot less important than we think we are. Today, if you struggle with pride in your position, remember the words of Isaiah 40:28 and keep in mind who is God and who is not. We’re privileged to be HIS coaches and athletes.

Go:
1.What is the true reason you participate in sports?
2.Who is truly responsible for your athletic ability?
3.How do people know you are a child of God?

Workout:
•2 Chronicles 7:14
•Psalm 90:2
•Proverbs 16:18

Overtime:
“Father God, today we thank You for allowing us to be a small part of Your greater plan.”

About the Author:
Michael Hill is a former FCA staff member and head coach. He lives and teaches in Haysville, Kan. In his career, Michael has been blessed to coach college and high school football and spend years as a high school cross country coach.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:13 AM   #2024
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The Prize
By Patrick Mayden
March 24, 2014

Ready:
“Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
-1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Set:
All through the NFL playoffs, I spent much time scanning the various channels and listening to the experts’ analytical approaches to each matchup: who was going to win, who should win, who won't win and why it was important to win at all. When it comes to what is truly important, I think of the FCA Coaches Mandate, which offers a different take on importance.

After reading this, the concept takes on a different meaning, depending on where you are in your life and your faith. Read it here.

I coach football myself, and one thing I dislike is the "importance" placed on the score. The kids I coach are in the 8- to 10-year-old range. My emphasis regarding what truly matters is not so much the score as what it says in the mandate: "Be satisfied not with producing a winning record, but with producing winning athletes." Looking at everything in life—including competition—is about seeing it through the eyes of a Christian.

Today, keep in mind that when the clock hits 0:00 and the game is over life continues. Keep in mind 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and compete in such a way as to win the eternal prize.

Go:
1. What is important to you in competition?
2. Do you value earthly victories over eternal ones?
3. What does it look like to “win” for Christ in athletics?

Workout:
Matthew 6:19-21
Matthew 6:33
Philippians 3:13-14
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:48 AM   #2025
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Default 3.26.14

The Four Core
By Dan Britton
March 25, 2014

Ready:
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…”
- Philippians 1:27 (NIV)

Set:
The Final Four was and always will be one of the most exciting sporting events. Even if you are not a basketball person, it is awesome to watch March Madness as it narrows down 68 teams into four core teams. This makes me think about FCA's Four Core. Not four core teams but four core values. FCA's desire is that all our relationships will demonstrate a steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word through our values of integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.

Core values are simply the way we live, the way we conduct ourselves. They are our attitudes, beliefs and convictions. When everything is stripped away, what is left? It should be integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence. The Four Core are so powerful to me that I have made them my personal values. So, I have to ask you, what are your values? What guides you? Let me share with you the Four Core, which are even better than the Final Four!

INTEGRITY
We commit to Christ-like wholeness, both privately and publicly. Basically, live without gaps. In Proverbs 11:3, it says that integrity should guide you, but a double life will destroy you. We need to be transparent, authentic, honest and trustworthy. We should be the same throughout, not someone different when the competition of the game begins. You are the same when no one is looking. It is not about being perfect, but, as coaches and athletes, we need to be the real deal.

SERVING
We model Jesus' example of serving. In John 13:12-15, Jesus gives us the perfect example of serving when He washes the disciples' feet. He then commands the disciples to go and do to others what He has done to them. How many of your teammates' feet have you washed? Maybe not literally, but spiritually, do you have an attitude of serving just as if you were washing their feet in the locker room? We need to seek out the needs of others. Be passionate about pursuing people who are needy. And the last time I checked, everyone is needy.

TEAMWORK
We express our unity in Christ in all our relationships. In Philippians 2:1-5, Paul encourages us to be one, united together in spirit and purpose. We need to be one team. Not just the team we play on, but on God's Team! We need to equip, encourage and empower one another. Do you celebrate and hurt together as teammates? We need to be arm-in-arm, locking up together to accomplish God's work. There should be no Lone Rangers.

EXCELLENCE
We honor and glorify God in all we do. In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul writes, "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. " The "whatever " part is hard, because it means everything we do needs to be for God, not others. We need to pursue excellence in all we do, including practice, games, school work, lifting weights, etc. God deserves our best, not our leftovers.

It is tip-off time for the game of life. How will you be known?

Go:
1. Why are core values so important? How can they shape and mold your life?
2. What are your core values? What would others say your values are?
3. As you review the Four Core, which ones do you identify with the most with?
4. If you had a Four Core, what would they be?


Workout:
Proverbs 11:3
John 13:12-15
Philippians 2:1-5
Colossians 3:23-24

Overtime:
"Lord Jesus, I want to live and compete with integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence. It is a high standard, but I know that with Your power and strength it can happen. I want all my relationships to be known for things that are of You. Search my heart and reveal to me my values. I lay at the foot of the cross the values that do not honor You, and I ask for Your forgiveness. The values that bring You glory, I lay them at the foot of the cross for Your anointing."

About the Author:
Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the Executive V.P. of Ministry Programs. In high school and college, Dan was a standout lacrosse player. He continued his lacrosse career by playing professional indoor lacrosse for four years with the Baltimore Thunder. He has coauthored three books, One Word That Will Change Your Life, WisdomWalks and WisdomWalks SPORTS, and he is the author and editor of eleven FCA books. He still plays and coaches lacrosse and enjoys running marathons. He and his wife Dawn reside in Overland Park, Kansas, with their three children: Kallie, Abby and Elijah. You can e-mail Dan at dan@fca.org.
Become a WisdomWalker! WisdomWalks.org
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