The First Practice

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My first high school football practice, as a freshman, was to begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The head football coach had a meeting with his team the Friday before to give us our football equipment and tell us what to expect. He told us to be there at 6:30 a.m. to get dressed and be ready to run out the door of the field house at 7:00 a.m. sharp. There was no compromise in the coach. We had to do things his way not our way.

I was nervous when I got up Monday morning and did not get much sleep. Since I would be walking to the football field that morning, I would need to leave before the sun was up. Being freshmen, we had heard the coach was a tough taskmaster, he yelled a lot and that he would demand great effort on everything we would be doing at practice and if we didn’t pay attention like he wanted, he would make us do up downs forever.

That nervous feeling I got that first morning of football practice. I have felt that same nervousness numerous times through out my life, like when I left home to go to college. I felt it when I went to my first job after college. I felt it when I called my wife for our first date. I felt it when my wife said it was time to leave for the hospital to have our first child. I bet you have experienced the same thing over and over in your life also.

When is the last time you felt nervous about something? In most situations where I felt nervous, I was not in control of any of them. When you join a team you are no longer in control. How you respond to the situation is under your control.

We love to be in control of our situations. When you joined the football team did you try to change what the coach wanted you to do? (Sure some of the guys tried to get the coach to stop making us do so many up downs, but that didn’t help us any.) You must conform to the football coach’s way of doing things to be transformed from a bunch of individuals into a football team.

When we join God’s team we need to treat it just like joining a team. Yes, you will be nervous the first time you walk in to a church worship service. But we need to accept God for who He is and that we are the ones that will need to adjust our lives accordingly. God does not change and our transformation may at times be painful. (Just like football practice.)

Let me encourage you to rejoin God’s team today. If God knew Jeremiah before he was born, God knew you before you were born also and He has been seeking to find you your whole life.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.

Do Something New

Could you imagine football today if things had never changed from the early days? We would still have the wedge offense, and some coaches in the early days thought the forward pass should be illegal.

Things continue to evolve in the game of football, as they should. Imagination and creative thinking has brought us new formations, new schemes, new thoughts and ideas.

In Psalms 96:1 it says, “Sing to the Lord a new song.” In football we constantly are thinking of new ways to play the old game. In your spiritual life are you doing anything new and different?

Spiritual growth must have a foundation of routine and discipline. We need to read the Bible and pray daily; just like a football team that needs to lift weights every week of the year. But in that spiritual routine we need to interject new thoughts, ideas, places, books, etc.

Some Christians use the same Bible for years. How about getting a different version of the Scriptures? You might read a very familiar verse, but take away something completely different. Do you always pray in the same place in the same way at the same time? Do something different for a change. Go to the lake, get out in nature and pray. Go to your church sanctuary or visit another church sanctuary by yourself and pray at different hours of the day or evening.

Do you go to the same worship service, at your church, every Sunday? Get out of your comfort zone and go to another one, once in awhile. Maybe you need to go to a different church, just to visit, to get a new perspective. Lots of churches have evening events such as a traveling singing group or revival services with a visiting pastor.

Keep your spiritual foundation intact, but don’t bore yourself or your God with your worship, where you have it all memorized and it is no longer worship, but just another thing to accomplish, on your agenda this week.

 

 

Joseph’s Way-The Call to Fatherly Greatness

For the past several weeks I have been reading the book Joseph’s Way-The Call to Fatherly Greatness ‘Prayer of Faith’ by Devin Schadt  The book is set up to be read in a daily devotional style, just a few pages a day. Let me share a quote from the book today with you:

“Keep in mind that these reflections on humility and fortitude are for the purpose of preparing you to build the domestic church, a home wherein you, as the spiritual leader of your family, will lead your family to union with God. Your family’s holiness should continually be your primary focus and chief proximate end, second only to your own personal holiness and pursuit of God.

Within you also, my dear brother, exists a terrible battle between your fears and the longing for conquest, especially the conquest of your disordered self. If you desire to become a true man, aspire to the challenge of conquering something apparently greater than yourself: your fears, your doubts and your past. Beware, my brother, for fear, if not properly transformed into trust, will become a power greater than yourself, evolving into an alter ego which will subdue your interior being, crushing your desire to become a valiant, holy defender of the domestic church and instead deforming you into a coward who knows not the grace and power of the resurrected Christ.”

10 Reasons to Join the Track Team

Found this great article  10 Reasons to Join the Track Team. Next is a quote from the article:

Every year, I attempt to recruit our best football players to the sport of track & field.  Track does not sell itself.  This article will focus on how I recruit athletes to the Plainfield North track program.  Some of the things we do will not be universal.  Hopefully this article gives track coaches some tools to promote your sport.  Hopefully this article will help athletes and their parents to develop a balanced approach to athletic participation.  The only adults promoting specialization are jackasses who benefit from specialization.  All true educators promote balance.

Plenty of Room

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Playing slow pitch summer time softball after high school is a great outlet for competitive athletes. Personally, I started playing at the age of nineteen and quit at forty. The pitcher on our team was fifty, when I quit playing, and he gave me lots of flack for hanging up my cleats at such a young age as he used to put it.

One summer night, as I was playing center field, a long fly ball was hit to my right. I thought I had plenty of room to make the catch. As I hit the warning track with my feet, my first thought was to stop running so hard, but the rover on my team yelled out, “You’ve got plenty of room!” So I kept running. As I raised my left hand to catch the ball I collided with the chain link metal fence at full speed.

When I came back to my senses, the rover was standing over me saying, “Are you okay?” I said to him, “No, I am not okay and I thought you told me I had plenty of room?”

How close can you get to something before it hurts you? How close can we get to sinful things before we get burned? Is there a warning track in our lives that tells us beware trouble is close at hand? Sometimes our friends tell us, “Its okay, don’t worry about it, everyone else is doing it.”

We do have a built in warning track within us. Those of us who believe in Christ it is our conscious and the Holy Spirit. Those who don’t believe in Christ have something also that the Bible says is clearly perceived.

Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Proverbs 3: 21-23 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

The Truth about Men and Church

One of the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.” Jesus responds, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

In my own life, my parents taught me the following night time prayer as soon as I could talk, “Now I lay me, down to sleep. If I should die, before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to keep.” This prayer ‘Now I lay me’ was written by Joseph Addison and was in ‘The Spectator’ a daily publication in England that only survived for about a year in 1711. The prayer has lasted a lot longer than the publication and I am so glad it did.

My job as a Dad is to teach my children to pray. The first prayer my wife and I taught our kids was, ‘Now I lay me.’ But we also pray at each meal that we sit down to eat, which is usually supper. Now when you pray for the meal you can also add in some other things. Here is how that might go, “Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the opportunity to be here together as a family. We miss Sam and Evan and we pray for your blessing upon them and for a safe return home. Please bless the food that we are about to partake of, to the nourishment of our bodies. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”

Dad your job, which was given to you by God the father, is to take your kids to church and to teach your kids to pray. Research shows that if Dad does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in fifty will become a regular worshipper. A link to the article I took that quote from is at the end of this article.

When I first read the article it made me angry. I feel as though I am on the front line fighting against the enemy and too many men are slipping away to go golf, watch the NFL, get drunk, sleep in or whatever else they do instead of going to church and teaching their children to pray.

“Our Gracious Heavenly Father, I come before you today with heavy heart. After reading the article below, I was convicted in my soul for the times I have bailed out on my fellow man that stayed engaged in the fight. Please forgive me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and give me the guts to stand and fight against the enemy, satan, and to tell him, ‘Over my dead body, will you ever get my children.’ In Jesus precious name we pray this in expectation of it, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.”

The Truth about Men and Church

Father Kapaun

I saw this video recently and thought you might like to see the quick five minute story of a great American hero who happened to also be a Kansan.

I think we still raise young men in Kansas, just like this today.

(The pronunciation of the name of Father Kapaun  the speaker uses in the video is correct.)