Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 - 5-Second Rule

What is God calling you to do today? I have spent the summer preaching and teaching on the commission to missions that Christ gave us. I have over and over discussed the fact that believers should follow the game plan of sharing the Gospel (Mark 16:15) and making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) as laid out in Acts 1:8 (sharing locally, nationally, and internationally.) I have shared that I cannot tell people where they should give or serve; but I can dogmatically tell people that God has called them to be givers and doers. (James 1:22) I even wrote about this idea here in our weekly blog (July 22, 2013 – Manifest Destiny.) Basically I have tried to “put the ball in each believer’s court.”

So the question is: why write about it again? Simply put, I have dealt with too many talkers and too few doers. I have a unique perspective since I not only share in churches but also direct a support based ministry. I regularly hear of people’s plans to give or to serve; and I regularly find myself waiting and wondering if they are going to act upon those promises. I regularly hear believers talk of their plans to do great things for the Lord, only to come up with excuses for inactivity.

In basketball once the ball is in your hands there is a 5-second rule, instituted to keep a continuous flow to the game. Basically you only have 5-seconds once the ball is in your hands to create some action (either taking the ball out or when closely guarded) by moving the basketball.

So back to the initial question: what is God calling you to do today? The “ball is in your court.” I will tell you something I tell my own kids: “Delayed obedience is disobedience!” It is time to do something with “the ball”!

James 4:17 Therefore, to him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Here is an added bonus from Clay Burden (InBounds Ambassador) who is leaving for the Dominican Republic tomorrow: “’Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9 NIV) Thank you Brad Hamersley For the verse this morning! I truly believe that God called me to the Dominican so like the verse said I need to "be strong and courageous". Thank you everyone for the support and prayers! My prayer today is that someone is debating on doing something bold for The Lord and sees this verse!! Be strong everyone and know god is with you!”

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 - Move Those Chains

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” Pat Riley
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” Billie Jean King

One thing I often remind players is that they should always strive to leave the gym as better players than they entered the gym… Being one’s best demands growth and commitment…

Often when I am preaching in a Sunday service I remind folks that we need to leave changed – in other words experience growth and greater commitment…

I would never tell athletes, “if you’ll train once a week you will achieve greatness.” Yet that is what many rely on for spiritual growth… (and on top of that it is an hour in which most simply sit back and listen instead of being actively engaged.)

Simple questions today:

Have you had any time alone with God today? Have you been in His transforming Word?
Have you actively sought opportunities to serve others (and in doing so serve Jesus)?
Have you taken a look in the “mirror” to determine if you are growing?

I read a great analogy on the FCA Relentless devotional on YouVersion… It described this idea in football terms. (Fitting for the beginning of football season)

The writer, Jimmy Page from Wisdom Walk Sports, challenged us to “move those chains!” In other words let’s make sure we turn our shoulders up field; churn up some turf; and gain some yardage! If you are staying still or moving backwards there is a problem…

Colossians 1:For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,  the forgiveness of sins.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013 - Relentless (I'd Run Through A Wall For You!)

I love it when the Lord pounds home a truth by having a common theme running through His servants…

This week as I vacation with the family we attended church in southern Florida; this morning I had my usual morning “Time Out w/ God” and then signed up for a 31-day devotional that FCA has put out called “Relentless” (Day 1 is really good); and all summer I have been hearing from and teaching a basic Biblical truth:

What motivates you to be your best?  What motivates you to serve God even in the midst of hard times?

As a coach I am reflecting on players that always brought a smile to my face – the guys that maybe were not the best skill players I have coached but had the heart/motivation to give their best. I think of a guy named Jon Sperling in Indiana: I picture him running out the back door of the gym in practices to puke and then returning for the next sprint we were running. I picture a guy in NC named Kevin Lamm who would regularly volunteer to guard the other team’s biggest, baddest player (even though Kevin is not a big guy in basketball terms.) These are guys that would try to run through a wall for their team and for their coach. They were not motivated by the scoreboard or by end of the year awards. They maintained the same maximum intensity when we were winning or when we were losing (sometimes losing big!) These guys were “relentless.”

These guys are examples of true team players. They cared about their team; they cared about their coach. I’d like to think it is partly because they know their coach cared about them. You see the reality is that I would try to run through a wall for them (and still would to this day.) I regularly teach about the fact that a coach is always on his team’s side – always wanting the best for them!

I then relate that to God and the fact that He is on our side! That is the message I heard yesterday in church and this morning in the FCA Relentless Devotion:

2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the love of Christ compels us…” That passage goes on to talk about our service to God. Verse 15 says “…that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

So back to the question of what motivates you… Are you a good team player? Are you willing to even face obstacles with the same relentless zeal to serve God?

God, today I vow to serve You in spite of what the scoreboard might say! You have loved me with an undeserved (and unfailing) love! I can’t ignore it; just tell me what You want me to do… even what You want me to run through! I will be relentless!

For the FCA Relentless Devotion Plan go to and search for it on the “Plans” tab…

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013 - Road Games (There's no place like home)

This summer has been extraordinarily rough as far as travel is concerned. In the past 8 weeks I have traveled over 8,000 miles and slept on sleeping bags, cots, bunks, etc. And the summer is not over; there are still a couple thousand more miles to go over the next 3 weeks…

I’m not complaining! This has given me an opportunity/blessing of being able to share the Gospel with many… and to see many say “Yes” to Christ as their personal Substitute (Savior)!!!!! I have had the opportunity/blessing of teaching/sharing the Word of God (His Playbook) with those traveling with me and seeing their minds/lives transformed!!!!!

In the sports world it is said that it is good to have a “home court advantage”; I do agree that the travels cause me to appreciate my own bed… but in reality for us as believers, there is no “home court” this side of Heaven. We are now “citizens” of Heaven, “members of the household of God.” (See Ephesians 2:19) We are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (See Hebrews 11:13)

These thoughts were prompted by my own schedule; the fact that my oldest son is moving away for 9 months; and from a post on Facebook from a friend that is presently in Costa Rica with her family and will then move to the Dominican Republic as missionaries… She was admitting to some homesickness and reflecting on the places she has called “home.” Her conclusion was that this fallen, sinful world is temporary and her comfort is in the eternal…

Yes it is hard to live in the hostile environment of opposing “gyms”; but remember our hope for the future… and remember that we may be “on the road” but we have a “home crowd” cheering us along…

“…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Is the road at times hard? Yes
Do I grow tired? Yes
Will I stop? No; too much to do before my time is through! I’m gonna bust it until I hear the buzzer sound!

What about you?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Clay Burden - InBounds Ministries Ambassador to the Dominican Republic

Clay is preparing to leave for his GAP year in the Dominican Republic! (Flight is August 27)
He will be in a missions-immersion program while also extensively studying Spanish and Bible...
We at InBounds are so excited as he is our first recipient of the Ambassador Scholarship...
I am excited as my oldest child is busy about the Lord's work...

Clay with his dear friend Sarah
at a recent outreach in St Louis
Please be in regular prayer for him in his outreach and his studies... Pray for God to be molding him into the man he wants to be... Pray for his finances to not be a concern... Pray for direction for when he returns home (since he will not be here visiting colleges)... Pray for full healing of his knee that has been such a thorn in the flesh... Pray for his momma (and daddy) who will have their oldest living overseas...

How you can help beyond your prayers...

Although most of his GAP costs have been raised (praise the Lord), there is still some of that bill to get covered...
There is still one round-trip ticket that will need to be purchased for second semester....
Plus we are trying to keep his monthly support at simply $5 per day (his main meals are covered in GAP costs)...

Therefore we are still raising finances (around $2500 more)... which can be sent through InBounds Ministries via the donate tab on this blog or via hard mail to 452 Patterson St Troutman, NC 28166 - just earmark it for Clay... (If you intend to give toward these needs please let me know; that allows me to plan our fundraising efforts more effectively.)

Some have also expressed a desire to send care packages to Clay. I know he will greatly appreciate that... yet the mail in the DR is not dependable. Therefore if you plan to send a care package please contact me for instructions and I will set you up to mail it to the SCORE Int'l offices and they will have a team deliver it for you... therefore letters are better via internet.

Clay, it's time to Go MAD young fella! (Go Make A Difference!)