Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baylor coach ready for Sweet 16 & a chance to share his faith

Scott Drew, Baylor University’s arm-waving, ever-smiling, ever-positive head basketball coach, has led his Bears to heights unimaginable, but he says he isn’t able to do the miraculous or the mundane without his faith in Jesus Christ.

Drew was interviewed just before Baylor would play in its first-ever Sweet 16 game. “I wouldn’t be in this spot without the Lord. With all the attention this week and last, I know I need to stay in the Scripture and stay humble. I just want to deflect the light on myself or individual players to Whom it belongs, that is God.” His pastor had this to say about Drew’s perspective on sports. “I will always remember when we lost to Texas two years ago by a single point at home, just a devastating loss, and the next morning I’m walking past the nursery at church and there was Scott, on his knees, playing with the kids as a volunteer worker. Name me one other coach in America who would do that after a gut-wrenching loss.”

Genuine worship is the supreme service a Christian can offer to Christ. This week's Sports In Focus that can be downloaded here, focuses on the importance of true worship, without which everything else we might do in His name is empty and powerless.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiger Woods will return at The Masters

Tiger Woods will end his self-imposed “indefinite break” from golf April 8 by making his long-awaited return to the game on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. One sportscaster compared Tiger’s return to Muhammad Ali’s return to boxing after being banned for several years because he evaded the draft. While many golf fans and broadcasters look forward with eagerness to Tiger’s return, how much more should believers look forward to Christ’s return? You can download this week's Sports In Focus lesson about the second coming of Christ here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Importance of a Good Example

During the Boys' State Basketball Tournament, I was reminded of the importance of a good example that each coach sets for their team. Whether it was Coach Paul Beranek and his team's repeat championship or the teams that didn't win a championship, each coach was likely a good example to his players during the season or it's doubtful these teams would have qualified for the tournament. This past weekend, I came across a recent blog by Dr. John MacArthur on being a good example. You can download the entire lesson here. This is part of the lesson...

I was profoundly impressed by an item I saw buried inside the sports pages recently. A high school basketball team from Rockville County, Georgia, had easily won the state championship, rolling over all their opponents. A few weeks after the championship game, the coach, studying the team’s grades, noticed for the first time that one of his third-string players had failed some courses. The youngster was academically ineligible for the basketball team. For the rest of the story and the lesson you can download it here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

White Knuckles and Gold for U.S. Bobsled Team

The sports switch did not worry Steve Holcomb. When his son, Steven, changed winter sports allegiances from Alpine skiing to bobsled, he knew both were inherently dangerous and vastly time consuming and offered little return. It was the timing that irked Steve Holcomb. Holcomb had just sent a tuition check to the University of Utah shortly before Steven made the decision. With a shrug, Steven told his father he was leaving for Europe the next day to fuel a passion and chase a dream. Then, Steve Holcomb fumed. Now? “Probably a good investment,” Holcomb said, watching his son compete from near the finish line at the Whistler Sliding Centre. “It was money well spent, poorly.” On Saturday, long after bequeathing what turned out to be a friendly donation to the college, Steven Holcomb can offer a refund in gold. Holcomb piloted USA-1 to the first gold medal for the United States in the four-man competition in 62 years. How could this sports story from the 2010 Winter Olympic games be used as a parable to teach a spiritual truth or moral lesson? For more on how sports can be used as a parable, download this week's Sports In Focus lesson here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony

The 2010 Winter Olympics began with dazzling performances by a star-studded cast of Canadians. The Wall Street Journal estimated the cost around $40 million to produce the opening ceremonies. Canada was the last country to march and 50,000 people erupted as the ”athletes” emerged. Can you imagine the thrill? By contrast, the entrance of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem for his coronation was without pomp, splendor, and pageantry. For more, download this week's Sports In Focus study here.