Monday, April 5, 2010

Is Little Butler's big moment NCAA history in the making?

The image of the late North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano frantically scrambling for someone to hug after his sixth-seeded men's basketball team upset Houston to win the NCAA championship in 1983 is one of the greatest moments in tournament history. In 1985, Villanova played in a classic. As a No. 8 seed, the Wildcats knocked off a Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown team to win the tournament. Twenty-five years later, Butler is on the brink of giving America a story for the ages.

"We're on a big stage now playing against the best teams in the country," Butler reserve Zach Hahn says. "That's something we've always wanted our whole lives. I think we're prepared for it."

Butler is the smallest school to reach the men's final in 40 years, yet it looms large here with the backing of the city's fans. Lucas Oil Stadium is 6 miles from Butler's north-side campus.

While Butler's big moment makes NCAA history, the biggest moment in history was the resurrection which Christians celebrated this past weekend. This week's Sports in Focus study wraps up with the Servant that conquered sin and and death. It can be downloaded here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

“Outdo one another in showing honor.”

This past basketball season, I coached the Nebraska Christian Girls' basketball team. Following the season, the Golden Rod Conference awarded both our boys and girls teams with the "Sportsmanship Award." The award considers player, coach and fan conduct along with team management. Before I committed my life to Christ, this type of award would have meant very little to me. However, after repenting of my sins and receiving Christ into my life in college, this type of award has become very important. Every believer in Christ is called to be a witness for Him -- no exceptions! Both our message and our actions are important witnesses for Christ. A philosopher once said, “Show me your redeemed life and I might be inclined to believe in your redeemer.” We should also have holy competition among believers. Below is a blog written by Stephen Altrogge that makes this point. -- Gordon

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."
(Romans 12:10)

There should be a holy competition among God’s people. A competition of showing honor to one another.

We’re called to outdo one another in showing honor. Half-hearted, irregular attempts don’t cut it. I’m supposed to outdo you in showing honor, and you’re supposed to outdo me. What a wonderful competition.

Kings are honored. People respect them, serve them, and consider their interests as most important.

I’m called to treat you like a king. To go over the top in honoring you. To honor you far more than I honor myself. It’s a holy competition.

What would it look like if I made a concerted effort to outdo my wife Jen in showing honor? How would that change the things I say about her, do for her, and care for her? What would happen if I outdid the members of my small group in showing honor? What if I tried to beat my friends in showing honor to them? What would change?

It would be glorious. Let the games begin.

Written by Stephen Altrogge