Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 - Stop Dribbling With Your Head Down!

When I step on the court again next week to run some hoops clinics, I will emphasize that ball handlers keep their heads up so they can see the floor. I will hold up fingers and have them call out how many I am holding up, while the players are dribbling to insure that they are looking up. Bottom line is that good players need to see the floor and know when their teammates are open and react to it with the open pass…

Great players not only see who is open and react to it, but they do it much faster than the average player. It is said that a great athlete will see an opening and actually react to it in less than half a second…

I spend a lot of time in these weekly devotions encouraging us to Go MAD (Make A Difference.) In order to do that we have to do the following:

Get our heads up and see the floor! How can we “Go MAD” if we are unaware of the needs around us. We need to be aware of those around us and ways we can pour into their lives! True ministry is not so much about programs but more so about people!

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith.

When we see a need we need to jump on it quickly!

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 - Ball Hogs and Bystanders

We all know the type… the “ball hog” that loves to put up shots… while his teammates are standing there watching (and complaining.)

The same holds true in organizations (especially churches and schools) where certain people tend to have their hands in a little bit of everything… serving on multiple committees… leading the boosters…. etc. And typically there are grumblers and complainers standing by calling them “ball hogs” just not in those terms. Often these “ball hogs” are accused of trying to “run the show.”

Can I just say as a coach that I would rather deal with a “ball hog” over a “bystander”! At least the “ball hog” is active and trying to make a difference. The “bystander” is typically more of a spectator than a player. (And complaining is sin! See Philippians 2:14)

Again our call is to Go MAD… (Go Make A Difference) in your world. Be different in your world. Be committed to the “game plan.”

Was reminded yesterday of the cool description God gives of Caleb:

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.

How cool would it be for God to call you (and me) “different” and state that we followed Him “fully”?

I want to be a “ball hog” with the Gospel taking every shot I can get! Heaven forbid I become a complaining “bystander”!

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 - The Clock Is Running Out!

Here it is late Monday night and I am feeling the pressure of the clock winding down… I typically write and post devotions on Mondays but today has been an exceptionally busy day of preaching/teaching, games to attend, etc. Now the clock is running out as it is already after 11pm.


The reality is that I can write and post this after midnight and still have it in before midnight CST which is my normal clock… or even write it tomorrow and ask forgiveness for being late. (And the fact that I am able to catch the last quarter of the national championship football game on TV may slow me down a bit.)


In sport it is very common to approach the end of a game and feel pressure; typically called “crunch-time.” And when the clock for a game hits double zeroes it is game over and you win or lose. But even there teams that lose often say, “Get ‘em next time.” When a game is over teams are already looking to the next game; and if a season ends saying, “Just wait till next year!”


Part of my busy-ness involves a 2-week Bible class I am teaching at a Christian school. As I have been going through the introduction of the class I have hitting fundamentals of the faith. We have hammered the clarity of the Gospel and making sure we get that right! We have emphasized that once a person has believed on Christ as his Substitute (Savior) [See John 3:18], he is commissioned to share that truth with others while there is still “time on the clock.”


What is heavy on my heart right now is the need for believers to make the message of Christ’s death and resurrection the message of first importance in life. [See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4]


Why is this so important? Because in a person’s life there is not another “game” or “season”; when the “clock hits double zeroes” a man’s fate is determined! Hebrews 9:27 says that we only die once and then comes judgment.


Let’s get busy as time is running out…


(In football time seems to be running out on Oregon in the championship game… but I am going to post this before midnight!)

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015 - Game-Changers (Difference-Makers)

It’s a new year… and I am betting you have at least thought about resolutions even if you didn’t officially write them down. We all think about what it is we feel will make us feel better physically, emotionally, and maybe even spiritually.

May I encourage you this New Year to commit to having a game-changer mentality?

Let me describe a few different types of players for you:

I have coached some players that to be honest didn’t even want to get in the game. They were content going through the practices for the exercise and camaraderie of the team; but when it came time to step out on the court in the game they weren’t so eager… and when facing really strong opponents seemed to be hiding on the bench. (Many Christians love the spiritual exercise and camaraderie of the church but shrink when it comes to really getting out into the game of life.)

Then you have those players that get in the game and just stand there. (I am reminiscing about times spent yelling onto the court. “Move!”) They tend to run to a spot and stand with their arms at their sides, not in a ready position. Or maybe they just go through the motions and run the designed pattern of the play while not even looking at the guy with the ball to receive a pass. In the sports world I would tell the players you have to “show”, or in other words make sure your teammates see you if you expect to get the ball. (May I just lovingly scream something to Christians? “MOVE!”)

1 Corinthians tells us to always be abounding in the work of the Lord… (15:58)

James tells us that if we know to do good and don’t do it, it is sin… (4:17)

Some players are very dependable. They will learn the plays; they will make the designed pass; they will take the shots that are designed for them; they will box-out for rebounds; they will go where they are supposed to go and do what they are asked to do. They feel they understand their purpose on the floor; but it is easy to be a player that does this and lacks passion. Often these players struggle when the game is not going as planned. (To the believers that are faithful… Thank You! But do a self-check. Are you just going through motions or are you driven and passionate about the game of life?)

Then there are the game-changers that step on the floor fully intending to disrupt the opponent’s plans and fully intending to change the course of the game. They make hard cuts and call for the ball; they dive for loose balls; they don’t just box out but instead pursue rebounds; everyone knows they are on the floor…

When the opponent grits his teeth and proclaims, “I’m gonna bust you up!” They respond with
“Go for it!” (I love that scene in Rocky 4! – Or the quote from Rocky Balboa that said “’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!”)

Rocky is an example of the “whatever-attitude” I mentioned earlier. What I don’t mean by that term is a passionless apathetic person… but instead the opposite. The “whatever-attitude” of a game-changer is this:

“I am so focused on my goal… whatever you do to me… whatever life does to me… whatever the enemy does to me… I’m moving forward and making a difference!”

The Apostle Paul had this… through beatings and imprisonment he had joy and contentment because he had purpose and passion! He had a “whatever-attitude”!

In Philippians 1:12 he states that all the bad stuff that had happened simply helped further the Gospel. He states that some were against him and even using the preaching of the Gospel for selfish gain and to add harm to him (vs 16.) But then he gets to the attitude… in verse 18 he asks, “What then?” (In other words… what I am going to do about this bad stuff that has come my way?) And he answers that he will rejoice because Christ is being preached!

I could spend multiple weeks just talking about Paul’s attitude that is displayed in this book but it is summed up in his statement in vs 21: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

He was sold out and all in to his goal of sharing Christ! He was a game-changer… everywhere he went… wherever he was chained… whatever came his way… he shared Christ!

Are you sold out and all in to your goals? What are your goals? Do they at all reflect the Apostle Paul’s pattern for living?

This year let’s disrupt the enemy’s plan!
This year let’s commit to sharing the Gospel… whatever comes our way!
Lets’ be game-changers!
Let’s Go MAD (Make A Difference)!