As 3 billion people tuned in around the world to watch the Olympics begin, I found myself becoming enraged with the commentators who repeatedly told the world that Nathan Cheng just performed his worse program of his life when it mattered the most. They repeatedly showed the world replays critiquing all his mistakes. They’d blown him up to be our greatest hope, only to blast him because he messed up just like most of the other skaters did.
I spend a great deal of time helping people who are trying to heal from being shamed and blamed and dishonored. And my own shame and blame issues get triggered when I see how common people and our young, talented athletes are treated when they mess up.
I am so thankful that God sent Jesus to take care of our sin and shame. When we believe and follow Jesus, His once-4-all sacrifice on the cross covers all our sins. He daily clears the ice making it fresh for us to practice, risk, and make mistakes each day. He keeps track of all our efforts, but when the score card is eternally kept, we get green marks instead of red. His blood covers our sins. He took all our sin and shame upon Himself on the cross. How I thank God for His marvelous gift of grace. We get what we least deserve but need the most!
Despite all the fake news, conflicts over social media, and politically slanted news, I love how God broke through all the barriers to get the glory after Sunday night’s Super Bowl. The Patriots and world may have been stunned by the performance of the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, but what I found to be most stunning was the intentionality of the Eagle’s head coach, Super Bowl MVP back-up quarterback, and touchdown game winning receiver who all prepared for the moment when they gave God the glory for everything!
It makes me wonder how prepared am I to tell God stories when people expect me to tell them what they want to hear. Is my character God-shaped and refined enough so that people will recognize the Spirit of God living in me when I get have an opportunity to communicate with them?
Dear Spirit-Driven Community:
After 10 years of inter-generational soccer ministry, we are taking a break from soccer in order to free up time and resources to begin investing in some new passion-based ministries. We’re currently praying about starting a woodworking club and a racquet sports club. If you enjoy building or getting engaged in a lively game of table tennis, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Our mission is to impact the world for Christ through sports and passion-based ministries. Rather than becoming larger, we’ve discovered high impact occurs more up close with people than in larger gatherings. So as we transition our ministry to increase our disciple-making impact, we ask that you would join us in prayer as God draws the hearts of His people to Himself.
Thank you for your investment over the past ten years of Spirit-Driven Soccer. It’s been a great adventure. Many lives were drawn to Christ. Family and friends came together to enjoy the game of soccer. Spiritual seeds were planted. Lives were changed around the world through your giving. I want to personally thank all our players, refs, coaches, fans, and sponsors for being involved and for making a difference in my life and in the lives of so many people. I want to thank my family for their faithful help and support. And I want to thank Ashland University for hosting Spirit-Driven Sports.
May the good Lord richly bless you.
Special “Thank You” to all who contributed to making our 10th year of Spirit-Driven Soccer a success:
AU Rec Center Staff
All participants and sponsors for our Gift of Goal mission
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 email@example.com so we can share it with the Spirit-Driven community.