Monday, September 18, 2017

September 18, 2017 - Getting On The Right Team

Today’s world of travel ball has created a new mentality for players; they realize that it matters who they surround themselves with for teammates… The basic idea of travel ball involves putting together the strongest team possible. Players no longer just play for their local club team (or even their local high school) but instead will travel to be a part of the most stacked team they can…

I do see a great lesson in this mentality (although not sure I agree with it for sports.) Yesterday at a church service the pastor was speaking on relationships and talking about the 12/3/1 principle. He talked about how Jesus intentionally surrounded Himself with 12 guys; had 3 that were more of His inner circle; and 1 of them was His best friend…

It was not that Jesus avoided the crowds or ministering to others, but that He showed us that we should choose good teammates! And, at times, get away from the negative ones…

The pastor gave a good example of this: Matthew 9:24b states, “And they ridiculed Him.” In other words, the crowd was full of naysayers, of “haters.” Do you every find yourself surrounded by negativity? There will be “haters” that don’t get your vision… or are jealous of your success… or simply are angry at life. These are people that tear you down instead of building you up.

Good “teammates” are those that encourage and build up… those that are headed in the same direction and get your vision in life. I regularly try to encourage us to be intentional in our outreach… to Go MAD (Make A Difference)! Yet in the midst of it, we need to make sure that we have a good team around us…

When it came time to get the job done, Matthew records that Jesus got busy “when the crowd was put outside…” (Matthew 9:25a)

Make sure you are on a solid team! Choose your close friends wisely! (And maybe use some wisdom and realize that some need to be “put outside.”

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017 - Run Through A Brick Wall

Yesterday I preached at a church in Lanexa, VA. It was my first time at this church and therefore the folks there did not know me at all. I gave my typical introductions about my family, InBounds Ministries, Statesville Christian School, etc. Yet the main thing I shared in the intro was about me…

I was talking about the importance of perspective… how some would see me as kind and caring… while others would maybe see me as very straight forward (abrasive.) How I had to remember that not everyone took to my bluntness (or the looks I call my “Coach-Face”.)

I explained that as a coach, my players needed to know that they could trust that I was on their side… wanted them to win… and then they would be willing to listen even when I was “barking” at them a little bit… (even those times when I felt like going “Bobby Knight” and throwing a chair across the floor…) In fact, some became not only willing, but desired to follow whatever I said… This is how I would describe a player like that: He will run through a brick wall for me!

Then there were some players that simply never took to my coaching style as they felt they knew more than me – or – that I wasn’t on their side.

I’ve written about this many times, and I remind us all again this week, that God is on our side! He is for us not against us! A right perspective of who He is will lead us to a willingness and desire to honor Him. I shared the following statement with the church yesterday:

“When we see God for who He is in relation to who we are, we cannot help but love Him because He first loved us… and if we love Him we will obey Him… obeying Him means serving Him…. serving Him is done through serving others… therefore how well we love God is evidenced in how well we love others!”

Yet along with our perspective of who He is, it is important to evaluate ourselves… Do you love Him? Are you obedient to His Word? Are you serving Him by serving others? Are you willing to “run through a brick wall” for Him?

If not, I think it comes down to your pride and/or a lack of truly understanding who God is…

Proverbs 10:8 The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.