Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Image is everything?

If you have watched the Olympic games, you certainly will have picked up on the fact that many athletes and even the country of China strive to create a wonderful self image. Athletes put on shows before and after competing in order to bring a picture of greatness upon themselves. China itself has worked very hard to bring a positive picture upon their country. Image. Image. Image.

From digital enhancement to cheating, people have been using these Olympic games to produce an image which at times isn’t even a clear picture of reality. These tactics are no different then the enemy himself. Satan disguises himself, lies, cheats, and deceives to make people believe something different than reality.

On the flip side, you have Christ who presents himself completely accurately and perfectly only by presenting the Truth. He came as he was. His focus was not to glorify Jesus as man but to simply bring glory to God.

What a beautiful sight it would be to see these wonderful, historical games played for the glory of God rather than the glory of man.

Romans 14:11, “It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "

Brian Conklin
Omaha Metro FCA

Friday, August 15, 2008

Testimony of a Gator

Check out this powerful, Gospel-centered testimony of Susan Yenser. Susan plays basketball for the University of Florida. You will be blessed if you take the time to listen. She is sharing her testimony at a UF FCA huddle meeting.

Josh Reynolds
Central-Northeast Nebraska FCA

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Treasures in Heaven

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch the best tennis in the world. I took a few days vacation and traveled to Cincinnati, OH to watch the quarters, semis, and finals of the Western and Southern Financial Open. This event is one level below all of the grand slam tournaments so all of the top players in the world were there.

It was very interesting to observe and take in these four days worth of tennis. Everything from the ESPN Set covering the event to Rafael Nadal warming-up on the side court, to the things that were said both during and after matches.

Probably the most interesting thing that I saw happen was in the final match between Andy Murray and Novac Djokovic. Andy Murray was serving and was about to win his first major tournament and was very visibly nervous. At one point after he had won a point, he walked up to the ball boy who had picked up the ball he had just won the previous point with and asked for the same ball back for the next point.

This made me think about superstitions in sports. Most of the time superstitions are selfish in nature and are in an attempt to glorify man through his own selfish gain rather that achieve the goal that God has for us in sports which is to know Him, glorify Him, and become more like Him.

Jesus said this in Matthew 6 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Instead of man glorifying superstitions, try to find something visual when you compete that can remind you of the goal of knowing God, glorifying Him, and becoming more like Him. For me, when the service line runs into the singles line on a tennis court, it reminds me of a cross and what Jesus did on that cross to save me from my sin. That motivates me to glorify Him in all that I do because I don't deserve that. What can you find to remind you of Jesus in the midst of competition?

Nate Lewis
FCA-Area Representative
Western Nebraska

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Art Monk on Display

CJ Mahaney at Sovereign Grace Ministries has some great thoughts on Art Monk's induction in the NFL Football Hall of Fame. It is well worth the read.

Josh Reynolds
Central-Northeast Nebraska FCA

Monday, August 4, 2008

"God taught me the game of football."

This was what NFL Hall of Fame's Raymond Berry once told my friend Nebraska receiver's coach Ron Brown at an NFL training camp years ago. What he was saying is that, greater than all his learning from being a great player, or from great coaches who mentored him, or from his own experiences as a coach was the wisdom he gained from the Word - Jesus Christ.

King David said something very similar in Psalm 119:99-100 when he said, "I have more insight than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed your precepts." Kings had to know all about finance, justice, administration, science, war and so on. They had mentors and advisors to teach them, but for King David his learning ultimately came from the Word as he sat at the feet of the King of kings.

Coach Berry went on to tell Coach Brown that he would pray in the midst of games in order to get his counsel from the Lord on how to lead his players through the game. Wes Neal calls this the principle of "chattering" - having a running conversation with God during the game. When we do this, we are putting our confidence in God, and not in ourselves. Besides, who knows more about you and your sport than God? Let the glory be God's by learning how to do your sport God's way and not man's way!!!

Chris Bubak - FCA-Nebraska State Director

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Coach's Influence

This week, the Nebraska FCA staff had the privilege of attending the NSAA Coaches Clinic in Lincoln, NE. With the estimated 2200 high school coaches in attendance, God provided us with some incredible opportunities to build relationships with coaches, to encourage and minister to them with the Gospel, and to begin cultivating in many of the Christian coaches an understanding of “Doing Sports God’s Way”.

Throughout the clinic, I was constantly reminded of the influence of the coach and the importance of reaching the coach with the Gospel. Sadly, coaches are often replacing fathers as the primary teacher and role model in young men and women’s lives. Fortunately, God has blessed the sports world with many God-fearing Christian coaches. It is so critical for these coaches to make the connection between their coaching and their faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:2 says, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” As coaches are faithful with teaching and proclaiming the Gospel and the glory of God through sports, we will see a reciprocal effect over the years in how athletes and coaches begin to view sports. As coaches obey God’s command in Ephesians 5:1, to “be imitators of God…”, imagine the eternal impact this will have on the kingdom of God!

Let’s commit to praying for and encouraging our coaches to coach “God’s Way”!

Josh Reynolds
Area Director
Central-Northeast Nebraska FCA