What an amazing response we had over the weekend as people and registration forms for Spirit-Driven Soccer poured into our home. The overflow continues to pour in through the mail and visits. New teams are being formed and so many new players are being recruited. But the best part of Spirit-Driven Sports is the missional outreach that has been occurring through our soccer teams. Mark Wallace, coach of the Mansfield, Ohio green team told a follow up story from their $100 Kingdom Assignment from last year that impacted the lives of 90 at-risk youth. Can’t wait to share the story and pictures from their outreach. If your team has a story from your Kingdom Assignment, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share it with the Spirit-Driven community.
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t look like the team that scored 51 points against the Indianapolis Colts last week. In fact, the Steelers couldn’t even convert a first down in their first three offensive possessions against their rivals the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco threw a long touchdown pass, and it looked like a long night for the Steelers. The Steelers quarterback got sacked three plays in a row, and when it’s 3rd and 39, you know you’re in trouble.
Entering the scene: One pumped up James Harrison. Harrison had retired from the NFL after a short stay with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was overweight and out of shape, but what a force behind him. He played with so much intensity that he charged up the entire defense and turned the game into a nightmare for Joe Flacco. Ramping up the defensive pressure also energized the Steeler’s offense, and Big Ben threw 6 more touchdowns setting an NFL record 12 touchdown passes in 2 weeks.
Being a lifelong Steelers fan, I was elated when they crushed their division rival Ravens sending them to last place and taking sole possession of first place. But the best part of the Sunday Night Football was the postgame interview with James Harrison. The broadcaster tried to figure out how in the world an old, retired, out-of-shape defensive lineman could regularly blast past one of the strongests offensive lines in the NFL and supercharge his entire team, Harrison said, “God”….”It was only God.” Now if you remember some of the cheap shots he had following his amazing 103 yard interception return in his last Super Bowl, you may wonder, how can such a “bad dude” come to Christ? I don’t know the whole story, but what I do know is that God uses the most unlikely grace recipients, like us, to change the world and to bring him glory.
In the middle of the Steelers vs Ravens game, we received a phone call with more stories of dramatic conversions. Four unlikely grace recipients from the Ashland High School football team gave their hearts to Christ over the weekend. Yes, God is still in the business of drawing rebels back to him and making them warriors for the kingdom of God. If you think you’re beyond hope, take a close look in the mirror, you could be the next story of dramatic conversion in our sports world. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.
I love to write down words with high impact. This morning I came across these words: Life isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon we must run with endurance. And we need a focal point: fix our eyes on Jesus. Jesus was a marathon Man who endured the cross. The Bible is our playbook for life. Every day we need to sit with Jesus and His Word-to cease striving, just sitting and reflecting with Jesus on life. In order to run the race with endurance, we need to develop three winning attitudes: be in prayer, be humble, and be in the Word. These three attitudes equip us to run the race with endurance.