SPORTSPASTOR


Snapshot # 1 – Jesus Heals a Paralytic
May 31, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: sportspastor | Tags: , , , ,

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV)
1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

Matthew focuses on things that Jesus does that point to his divine nature. First he sees the bold faith of the paralyzed man’s friends. He knows the thoughts of his critics. He shows God’s power to heal. The crowd who had witnessed the healing of the paralytic, praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” The Greek word for filled with awe is the same word for fear. When they realized that Jesus had the power to forgive sins they were filled with terror. This was the first time that this crowd realized that Jesus was God and that they were in the presence of God. Some esteemed him as God – meaning that they believed. The teachers of the law called it blasphemy and left the scene to begin to devise a plan to kill him.

Think about it. They came face to face with the truth that Jesus was God, the one who could forgive their sins. They either accepted and believed in Jesus or rejected him. What if we lived our lives in such a way that people saw Jesus in us so undeniably that they came face to face with the truth of God’s love in Jesus Christ? What if our lives reflected the character and nature of our Savior? Then others would see “evidence that demands a verdict.” Maybe God could use our witness to cause in their hearts and minds a crisis of faith that begs for them to see and believe or explain it away.

Just like the friends of the paralytic, we have a tremendous opportunity to bring our friends to Jesus. If any one of us has a friend who does not know Christ, or who does not care for Christ, or who is even hostile to Christ, it our Christian duty not to let that friend go. We must bring our friends into Christ’s presence. We cannot force people against their will to accept Christ. We cannot make people Christians, but we can do everything possible to bring them into Christ’s presence.

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Christians in Sports – Florida Quarterback, Tim Tebow
November 9, 2008, 7:05 pm
Filed under: sports outreach, sportspastor | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the Florida Gators. He was the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was the first sophomore to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Since Tebow won the Heisman Trophy, he has sought to spread his message of faith as far as possible. Winning college football’s most coveted individual award has provided him with a broader audience.

“Because of my name recognition and because of who I am, I’ve been given an opportunity to go places where most other people can’t go,” Tebow said. “I can go into prisons and speak, and no one will say anything. I can go into schools and speak, and they’ll love to have me. I can go to all these different places because of who I am as a football player. That’s a platform the Lord has given me, and I think it’s my responsibility to take advantage of it.”

Please take time to read the following article by Mark Schlabach who covers college football and men’s college basketball for ESPN.com. Read the full article, “Heisman provides Tebow broader audience for message of faith” here.

This inspiring article is full of quotes from Tim Tebow and details his experience of leading 120 inmates to trust Christ during a recent visit to the Gainesville Correctional Institute, a minimum-medium security state prison in Florida.



My Dreams Are Bigger Than Me

My dreams are bigger than me and I like it that way. My dreams will require divine intervention if they are going to be realized. My dreams are a vision that needs to be communicated to God’s people so that they can join in on the privilege of doing something that is greater than themselves. My dreams require responsibility, sacrifice, and teamwork. My dreams require prayer and perspective. My dreams are bigger than me and I would not have it any other way.

I listened to a sermon by Mark Batterson recently on the topic of courage. He pointed out that throughout history and throughout Scripture the people whose stories are passed down and stand the test of time are those about people who did something courageous. We don’t tell stories of those who chose to be comfortable rather than challenged. We tell the stories of those with a passion and zeal for life. We tell the stories of those who had dreams that were bigger than themselves.

Erwin McManus once spoke on the topic of passion and leadership. He pointed out that we follow people that are confident and passionate about the adventure that is in front of us. Leadership is influence. Often those leaders that are passionate are followed even if they are going the wrong way.

The Bible has tons of stories of people who made poor decisions and went the wrong way. We can learn from the mistakes of others. But we can also be inspired by those same men and women who realized if they were going to be successful in accomplishing God’s call on their future that they would have to ignore the doubters and pursue God ordained dreams that can only be accomplished if there is divine intervention. Dream big because God is big. Give him a chance to show his power and might and give him the glory when what you dreamed becomes reality.



JD Greear on Two Kinds of Churches
November 5, 2008, 7:28 am
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: , , , ,

Pastor Greear notes that “there are two kinds of churches–the kind where the church is an audience gathered to share in the personal fruitfulness of the pastor, and the kind where members are equipped to be fruitful themselves.” I have seen so many well-meaning churches limit their ministry to one main thing in the name of “Good to Great” and not in the name of Christ Jesus. These churches make it all about Sunday morning and forget that ministry also happens in the life of the believer Monday – Saturday. It is not about a Sunday Morning show centered around one charismatic leader. It is not about observation, it is about multiplication. Church leaders should equip the saints for the work of ministry. Go and make disciples – be a fruitful church that glorifies the Father (John 15). Read Pastor Greear’s complete post here.



Produced a Video for Preach It, Teach It
November 4, 2008, 11:27 am
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I spent the weekend working on a video for Preach It, Teach It. Take 5 minutes and visit the website and watch the featured video in the top right corner. It is a song of hope for those who are hurting. Have you recently lost a loved one? Is your marriage falling apart? Do you feel all alone? Does your heart break for the widow and the orphan? They are hurting and alone, too. Are you struggling with an addiction of some kind? Don’t miss this video. Consider giving this link to a friend that you know needs a word of encouragement. We all have challenging times in our lives when we desperately need to “Cry Out to Jesus”. Click here to visit Preach It, Teach It and see the video.



NBA TV, TNT, and ESPN 2008-09 Regular Season Schedule is a Slam Dunk

For those of you who love the NBA and those of you with Fantasy Football quarterbacks with injuries, it is time for the tip-off of the 2008-09 NBA regular season. Turner Sports enters their 25th season of broadcasting the NBA with a perfect double-header. Opening night features the defending champion Boston Celtics versus LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

If you are a night owl, you can catch the second great game of the double-header. The Portland Trail Blazers travel to LA to challenge the Lakers, a game featuring Greg Oden’s long-awaited NBA debut. A special one-hour preview show precedes Tuesday’s doubleheader.

Opening week continues Wednesday with ESPN’s national telecasts of Phoenix at San Antonio and a Staples Center home team showdown, Lakers and Clippers. TNT follows with a Texas two-step for the early game on Thursday, as Houston visits Dallas (I will be there for this one!). The late game features rising star Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets at the Phoenix Suns.

ESPN networks are televising 72 regular-season games, which include 29 games on Wednesdays and 35 on Fridays. The slate consists of 27 doubleheaders.

TNT is televising 53 regular-season games, including 47 as part of Thursday night doubleheaders and a tripleheader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. TNT also exclusively televises NBA All-Star 2009 festivities in Phoenix from Feb. 13-15, culminating with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15.

NBA TV will televise live studio programming six days a week from the new NBA TV studio in Atlanta. NBA TV will also broadcast 96 live games throughout the regular season — the most of any national network.

This is going to be a great season. Can Boston repeat as champs? Will the Lakers take it to another level? Be sure and find my recent post on the Celtics and Lakers (sidebar “Breaking Posts”) and vote for who you think will win it all in 2009.



Currently Reading: 11 (Leonard Sweet) and It (Craig Groeschel)
October 27, 2008, 7:31 am
Filed under: Life and Leadership, sportspastor | Tags: ,

“11: Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without” by: Leonard Sweet

As believers, our journey is just as important as the destination. And because relationships are essential to our walk through life, it is vital that we partner with people who positively impact our world. Dr. Leonard Sweet believes these essential people are found in the pages of God’s Word. Using eleven classic figures from the Bible, Sweet details key personal attributes that make up God’s Dream Team for your life. Readers will be encouraged to not only seek out such people, but to find their place with those around them.

“It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It” by: Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel, founder of LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK), witnessed a powerful presence from God that he calls It at work in many churches. What is this transformational force? How can you and your ministry get—and keep—It? Combining in-your-face honesty with off-the-wall humor, this lively book tells how any believer can obtain It.