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Devotional

  • Slumps

    April 23, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    The Major League Baseball season is in full swing. Already, some ballplayers have started off with extremely high batting averages, and others have started off rather slowly. Only time will tell whether those hot hitters will taper off or if the slow starters will elevate their averages as the season progresses, but either way, it is likely that at some point during the season, they all will experience a slump.

  • Failing to Fail

    April 22, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    This was our time. My college basketball team had been in the middle of a rough losing streak, but now we found ourselves in a close game with a rival team on their court. This was our time.

    After a series of tough foul calls, we were still within reach--down by three with one minute to go. During the timeout, all my coach asked of me was to get open on the wing and skip it to my teammate coming off of a fade screen. No way could I mess this up for my team.

  • Surprising Strength

    April 21, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    Have you ever been nervous before a big game? Have you ever felt like quitting an event before you even got started? The first time I competed in the Boston Marathon, I didn’t think I belonged in the race. As I sat on the starting line, in my mind I was yelling at my coach, I don’t belong in this race! I’m not strong enough!

    However, one of the most amazing things happened to me that day. Although on the starting line I doubted my ability to even finish the famous Boston Marathon, 26 miles later I had won the race and broken the world record by almost seven minutes! I was stronger than I thought I was!

  • Second-Half Strong

    April 20, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    One of the worst feelings in sports is losing after having a big lead. Most of us have been a part of a game in which we got ahead early and then watched a victory slip away. We never see it coming because we become so comfortable with the position we’ve gained that we assume we’re not vulnerable and we slack off. Maybe we play around with the ball in the backfield, or we slow our pace. We might even quit completely or forget some of the fundamentals of the game because of how blind we’ve become.

  • Self Doubt

    April 19, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    There are times in coaching when we doubt our abilities to handle a specific match, tournament, or season. Doubt can come up from behind and tackle us after a string of bad games or hit us as after a single loss. We have seen potential in our players and ourselves, but we are unable to explain why the season is going the way it is. This is particularly difficult when we have a strong and personal relationship with our players. We begin to question our abilities to coach and lead our teams. Once we get to this point of self-doubt, it is hard to climb out, and that is exactly where God wants to get us so we will have faith in him rather than in ourselves.

  • Speed Bumps

    April 18, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    As athletes, it’s easy for us to find ourselves in situations that we never played out in our minds. Down by 10 in the fourth quarter against a team that didn’t stand a chance against us. Gripping our knee after tearing an ACL right before our senior season started. Left off the roster of the team we thought we deserved to be on. The list goes on and on. But it's how we handle these “speed bumps” of life that set us apart as Christians.

    Recently, I was faced with an unexpected speed bump myself as I found myself working on my second round of rehab from knee surgery. (My knee had decided it didn't want to comply to the demands of my coach and the sport I loved.) But having Christ at the center of my life was key in this situation.

  • Remembering Your Influence

    April 17, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    Two nights ago I was at the arena preparing our lacrosse team for the playoffs. After our team was finished, a team from another city arrived to compete for a championship game later that evening. It was a team from a city where I’d lived and coached five years ago. In fact, I’d actually taught many of the athletes on this team how to play lacrosse when the association first started.

    As with other teams I had coached in the past, men who had been boys when I coached them were greeting me as they came into the arena. Some stopped to share what they had been doing over the last few years. Through their warm conversations and solid handshakes, I was reminded of just how much of an impact we as coaches have on the lives of our athletes.

  • To Whom be the Glory?

    April 16, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    Do you remember the first time you scored in sports? Maybe it was a touchdown, a basket, a kill, a home run or a match point. For a lot of us, once it happened, we could hardly resist telling everyone about it.

    As we get older, the stakes seem to get higher—the significance greater. Game-winning goals, last-second stops on the goal-line, blocked shots, fourth-quarter buzzer-beaters, walk-off home runs…We’re not playing t-ball anymore. The plays we make as we age can win or lose games and even championships. And if we’re involved in successfully making those plays, it’s often hard to contain our pride. We want to ask people, “Did you hear about what I did?” or, “Did you see my [fill in the blank] play?” It’s so easy to bask in the glory of our own self-righteousness.

  • Strength on the Trail

    April 15, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    It was my first trail race. I had run many road races, all on smoothly paved roads, but this was going to be different. The trail I would be running was notorious for its uneven terrain, rocks, downed trees, protruding roots and mud holes. Say to any trail runner, “Potowatami,” and immediately they start spewing advice.

    Before the race, a running friend of mine suggested that I get a road bracelet. You know, the ones where you can have all of your emergency info engraved on a wrist band. “Great idea,” I thought. “Not only will I have my emergency info, but I can also include a Scripture verse to encourage me!”

    Not sure of which verse to choose, I asked my pastor to suggest one. He immediately responded with Philippians 4:13. It was perfect!

  • The Master(s)

    April 14, 2014

    devotional
    Set: 

    Playing the final round of The Masters yesterday was very fitting for golfer Bubba Watson. For him it was an opportunity to win The Masters for the second time in two years, while playing for his Master, Jesus Christ. Watson defeated Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt to win his second major championship. After his first win in 2012, he thanked his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and admitted he didn’t know what to say because as he put it, “I never got this far in my dreams.”

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