SPORTSPASTOR


Sports Outreach Ministry Summer Camp Report

We have reached the conclusion of what many are calling the best summer of sports camps we have ever experienced. God gets the glory for the 248 young people that attended the three summer sports camps and for the 44 children that trusted Christ. This includes the 13 campers that heard the Gospel and responded last week during the Baseball/Softball Camp. Baseball/Softball Camp director Coach C. and a solid group of coaches, assistant coaches, high school group leaders, and volunteers made sure that each child had a safe and fun time at the camp. We were blessed with the best baseball/softball fields in the area. Thank you everyone for your prayers this summer. We were so grateful that the church staff and the entire church body were praying for the sports outreach ministry all summer long.

I hope and pray that your church desires to reach your community for Christ. Each of you should look for ways to invest in the lives of the unchurched in your sphere of influence and invite them to your church. Sports are simply one of the most effective ways to reach out because they are a non-threatening way of connecting with people in your community through something as engaging as sports. It is also a way to invest in the lives of the children in your church and community and earn an opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Take a moment and think about how God could use you and your church to reach your community for Christ through sports.

Let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to be a resource for you.

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Pleasing God vs. Desiring God

Desiring GodWhen I read books, I have an orange highlighter in one hand and the book I am reading in the other. When I read books like “Desiring God”, by John Piper, I have a red pen in one hand and the book in the other. If the chief end of man is to “glorify God and enjoy him forever”, then we all need to return to the beginning before the fall and act like original sin never happened. Yes, we should bring God glory in everything we do and say, but to enjoy God focuses too much on man. The Bible says that we should please God. That to me is a little bit more reverent than enjoying God, your pal…your best friend. We can enjoy being involved in the building of His kingdom, as he uses us as an empty vessel; but to enjoy Him forever places too high of value in my opinion on fallen man. Colossians 1:9-10 says, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” This pericope suggests that it is more of a matter of obedience and grace than friendship and pleasure. Therefore, the chief end of man is that we might “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him!” If God created us for his glory, then we must focus more on passages like Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” We can worship God by setting aside our own wants and desires and submitting our will in exchange for His. This is what truly pleases God and brings Him glory. 2 Corinthians 5:9 says, “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” Pleasing the Lord should be the number one desire from the heart of every believer. In conclusion, Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Our Christian life is about our pursuit of God, not our pursuit of pleasure. Prepare yourself to be used by God when your primary purpose for living is to please the one that first gave you life. The least we can do is to offer our lives back to Him.



The Sports World Needs to Lighten Up

Apparently the media are as bored with the headlines they are writing as we are reading them. David Beckham makes his debut tonight, oh but wait, a bad ankle will limit him to five to ten minutes. Now America will be watching something else other than the over-hyped MLS debut of Brad Pitt in cleats. Sergio will enter Sunday at the British Open with the lead and every chance to blow it on the final hole like Jean Van de Velde did eight years ago at the same course. In addition, Sergio has a chance to break the title of “best golfer yet to win a major.” Who comes up with these angles on sports?!?

Kobe is not practicing for team USA for the first time ever, instead he is simply shooting around in between interviews about his indecisive nature on whether or not he wants to remain a Laker. He says that he does not want to be a distraction to the team and the reporters ignore his request and ask the same questions in 100 other ways. And now the poll of the day on ESPN is “Which accusations are most disturbing to you as a sports fan?” Your choices are Michael Vick’s alleged involvement in dogfighting or referee Tim Donaghy’s alleged NBA betting. These stories are accompanied by the question of where and when will the alleged “Steriod King” will become the MLB “Home Run King”. And will the commissioner, Bud Selig, be in attendance to observe the making of the largest asterick in Guiness Book of World Records history. Everyone is looking forward to the NFL season as a chance to see if anyone on the Cincinnati Bengals is out of jail and free to join Carson Palmer for the 2007 NFL regular season. Pac Man Jones… OK…you get the point.

It is time to hire Charles Barkley as the President and CEO of all sports and have him make decisions as to what is in the best interest of the game, regardless of sport. All of the commissioners will report to Sir Charles and the players and officials have to meet with Barkley one on one every time they screw up. The best part about interviewing Barkley about the state of sports as the new boss is that he would help every reporter lighten up. That is what the sports world needs.



2007 Summer Basketball Camp

The tag line for our ministry is: “Building Skills. Building Character.” I can say without a doubt that the 125 boys and girls that attended our 2007 Summer Basketball Camp learned skills specific to the sport and character lessons essential to life. Our character lessons for the Monday – Friday camp were on teamwork, excellence, discipline, sacrifice, and of course, character. The fundamental skills of passing, dribbling, shooting, defense, rebounding, and free-throws were taught by our coaches on Monday-Thursday and Friday was competition day. Every day the campers had the opportunity to participate in scrimmages and chalk talks.

There were special events that highlighted each camp day. On Monday, we had a basketball trivia contest where kids had the opportunity to win prizes. On Tuesday, we had the former Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Dallas Burn professional sports teams work with the campers. On Wednesday, the coaches played a full court game representing the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Aggies. Believe it or not, the Aggies won! And on Friday, Mavs Man, the high-flying mascot of the Dallas Mavericks closed the camp with a slam-dunk show.

What about Thursday? Well, it was the highlight of the entire week. Coach C presented the Gospel to the campers and 20 boys and girls responded to the message by trusting Christ as their Lord and Savior. Of the 20 young people, only 5 were from our church. This is a testament to the effeciveness of sports outreach ministry as a means of reaching your community for Christ. Cast the vision of outreach and evangelism and you will have no problem motivating people to join you in ministry. We were blessed with a wonderful camp director, rotation director, coaching staff, and group leaders. Without the help of these 23 volunteers and the volunteers that worked behind the scenes, a camp of this magnitude would not have been possible. Thank you to everyone for making the 2007 Basketball Summer Camp one of the best camps ever!



“Who’s Not” Winner: Terrell Owens
July 6, 2007, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Cycling, ESPN, mlb, Nascar, NBA, NFL, NHL, sports, sports opinion, sports talk, sportspastor, sportspastor 2.0

who’s not
I have been so inspired by ESPN’s “Who’s Now” contest that I have decided to post my own variation of the popular contest. My version is called “Who’s Not”, a post in which I with the help of some friends will rank the ultimate sports prima donnas by considering both on-field busts and off-field distractions. What will all of these athletes have in common? They lack character. It has been said that a person’s talent and abilities can take a person farther than their character can sustain them and that is the case for the winners of SportsPastor’s “Who’s Not” Awards. Please take these as tongue in cheek and also visit the real contest at ESPN.com “Who’s Now.” Be thankful that ESPN has created a contest to tide us over until preseason football begins. With no further ado, here are the brackets and winners:

Bobby Knight Bracket (people who throw stuff):
Milwaukee Braves Skipper vs. MLB Pitcher Kenny Rogers

Dennis Rodman Bracket (NBA Technical Fouls):
Rasheed Wallace vs. Ron Artest

Mike Tyson Bracket (Only Playing Because I am Broke):
Ricky Williams vs. Marion Jones

Jose Canseco Bracket (Substance Abuse or Amazing Feats of Strength):
Barry Bonds vs. Jason Giambi

Latrell Spreewell Bracket (There is no I in TEAM):
Terrell Owens vs. Randy Moss

Pete Rose Bracket (You can “bet” on the gap between talk and walk):
Pac Man Jones vs. Michael Vick

Bill Lambier Bracket (These athletes are often called dirty players):
Bruce Bowen vs. Todd Bertuzzi

Tonya Harding Bracket (These athletes are often called cheaters):
Floyd Landis vs. Tony Stewart

Final Four
Todd Bertuzzi vs. Pac Man Jones
Terrell Owens vs. Ron Artest

Championship

Pac Man Jones vs. Terrell Owens

“Who’s Not” Winner
Terrell Owens



Should College Gameday Debut at Virginia Tech?

The 2007 College Football season debut of College GameDay that is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. ET will be live from Blacksburg, Va., prior to the season-opening East Carolina at Virginia Tech game. This game will be televised on ESPN, immediately following College Gameday. Is this the right thing to do? Does this produce healing, pain, or ratings?

Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of production, said last week, “Virginia Tech is a special place and the community is one of the most respectful and passionate we have visited…” He continuted, “Our coverage will be considerate of the emotional day facing the students, faculty, and people of Blacksburg and the country.” Read More

What do you think about this move by ESPN?



Tiger Woods on a MacBook
July 4, 2007, 10:04 am
Filed under: EA Sports, Electronic Arts, golf, Mac, sports, Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods 2008, video games

Even though I have given up golf I would still like to play it on my computer. Weird, huh? Well, starting in late August I can! Check out this recent MacWorld article about EA Sports making video games for MAC, including Tiger Woods 2008:

Taking the keynote stage with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, EA co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon told attendees of the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that EA would return to the Macintosh beginning in July with four of its most popular franchises: Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars, Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In August, EA will ship Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. Read More

Now I will be able to write a blog entry and play 18 holes at Augusta in 45 minutes!