Hoody time

Today is a a glorious day. The first time this year it truly feels like fall. Yes, it’s cold, gray, rainy and wet. However, this is the first time this year I can go to my closet and pull out a glorious item of clothing known as the hoody.

I truly do love being able to wear my hoody. It means that the perfect time of year is here. Not so hot that I am sweating like a mad man, but at the same time, not so cold that I’m freezing and have to put on another couple of layers and a jacket. No, a hoody means I can be active, a little cool, but snug and warm as well.

For some reason the hoody makes everything better from wanting to be outside playing in the leaves with my kids, to even the desire to be out watching football. Yes, I do love my hoodies.

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back on campus…

It’s one of my favorite times of the year, the start of the new school year.  While I must admit when I was a student this was not the case, now that I am working with FCA I absolutely love it.

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On the middle and high school campuses, it’s exciting to touch base with all our coaches and sponsors, most of whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months.  Being able to share with them some ideas we have for their huddles and hearing their excitement and ideas is a huge blessing.  While most of these schools have been in session for about a month now, the FCA huddles are really just now gearing up and so the excitement they have is great.

Also, being able to get back on campus at EKU has been another exciting season of ministry.  Getting to hear what God has been doing in the lives of our student-athletes over the summer and building new relationships with new students is awesome.  Also, getting to plug back into ministering to the coaches on campus is a blessing too.

In all these areas of ministry we are excited to see how God is going to work during the 2018/2019 school year.  It is definitely good to be back on campus!

a topic that I love…

This morning I am off to give a presentation on something that I love, Sports Ministry.  If you have followed this blog or know me at all it’s something that I am truly passionate about, love to talk about, blog about, and it’s the career that God has called me to as I serve with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In my personal opinion it is one of the best ways to reach our world for Christ and crosses more cultural and social barriers than almost any other form of ministry.

sports minToday, I am going to actually be sharing on a couple of topics, first of all the need for sports ministry and why we should be using it to reach our students.  Most of the reasons I am sharing about I have blogged about on here before.  Things like the fact that we live in a sports crazed culture and that over 17 million students K-12 grades are involved in school and community sports.  Also, I am going to be sharing about how we need to be using sports ministry as a way to reach coaches, because of the influence our coaches have.  Another stat that I recently got was also that almost 80% of our students are now unchurched.  By doing sports ministry we have an amazing opportunity to bring the Word of God to these students for the first time ever!

My 2nd topic that I am sharing on today is on how to prepare a chapel talk for speaking to a sports team.  I will be sharing tips on how to prepare and also some do’s and don’ts about preparation, presentation, and follow up.  The opportunity to go into a team practice or pregame routine and share a devotion/chapel with them is so amazing that it is something that we can not afford to not do well.  Whether that be how we communicate the Word and break it down for them, or just respecting the coaches time parameters.  As mentioned above about 80% of those we share with in a team chapel situation are not attending church so we must do our chapels well for Christ.

Please pray with me as I share in more detail about these topics this morning.  Also, if you would ever like to discuss anything with or relating to sports ministry please let me know!  If you are looking for a practical way to serve the Lord that reaches all kinds of people, you should definitely look into plugging into a sports ministry!

learning at home…

140913.jpgToday, starts a big journey for our family.  Not only is my little boy going to kindergarten for the first time, but we have decided to homeschool my daughter this year for the 2nd Grade.  Don’t worry, we don’t have the jean jumpers and the protective bubble to keep her safe from the outside world.

In truth, there are several reasons we have decided to homeschool this year, the main reason being her physical health.  At the beginning of the year, Maeven was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  She has done an amazing job of adjusting to her new diet and making changes needed for her to feel better.  However, we found that in the public school setting we just really couldn’t keep her from getting “glutened.”  So often the kids are rewarded with food that contains gluten, given treats with gluten, or kids just bringing in food from home with gluten.  So whether she ate something she shouldn’t or just got cross contaminated, Maeven was constantly getting sick.  After several cases of strep throat, the flu, and other issues arising from having a compromised immune system we knew that something had to be done.

So this year we have decided to homeschool her.  My wife and I have made the decision that homeschooling will be a year by year and kid by kid decision.  More than anything we want to give her a chance for her gut and immune health to heal up well.  Also, it gives us a chance to pour into her Biblically in her education.  Already, in the 1st grade last year she was hearing things I didn’t hear until I was a teenager.  So this year, we get to really make sure what she hears during her educational hours in Christ centered.

My wife and I are excited to have this opportunity and nervous at the same time.  Please keep us in your prayers as this new journey starts today!

Book Review: The Simplest Way to Change the World

thesimplestwayThis summer the small groups at our church have been going through a book called, “The Simplest Way To Change The World,” by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements.  The tagline of the book is “Biblical Hospitality As A Way Of Life.”  The main point as you can get from the tagline is that we need to make hospitality a way of life so that we can reach our neighbors and those in our spheres of influence for Christ.

The amazing thing about this book is the fact that as I read it, there were no mind blowing new concepts that I had never heard of before.  It’s all simple practical advice from a Biblical perspective on the need to reach others for Christ through hospitality.  Yet, with the simplicity of the advice and easy to read writing style, I found God really convicting me about how I do hospitality with those around me.

While my home is not anything extravagant, I often do view it as my refuge and place of just getting away from the world.  After a long day, sitting by myself in the recliner watching TV sounds so good to me.  However, my home is a gift and a tool that God has given me to invite my neighbors and the students we work with into, to build relationships, and share the Gospel.  It’s a tool to use for building up and encouraging fellow Christ-followers.

One of my favorite chapters had to do with how we can do hospitality within the rhythms of our lives.  There are certain things we are already doing on weekly, monthly, and even annually that we can invite others to be a part of.  All we have to do is invite!

If you are looking for a book that will help you reach those in your neighborhoods and circles of influence, I definitely recommend you check out “The Simplest Way To Change The World.”  It really is simple Godly advice that can help you make a huge impact for Christ.

a great summer study…

truecompThis summer Erin and I were blessed to have a weekly Bible Study in our home for the student athletes at Eastern Kentucky University.  We got off to a slow start with a lot of the athletes going home for the first month of the summer.  However, by July many were back and for the rest of the summer out living room was overflowing with students.

Each week we would dive into one of the devotions is the “True Competitor” devotional that FCA puts out.  The lessons in the study are designed to help us realize where we are in our walk with Christ and also what needs to happen for us to grow closer and fully committed to Him.  What I have loved about the study is that while it is very simple and easy to understand, no matter how long you have been a Christ-follower, it goes deep and really makes you think about what areas of your life need work and to be fully surrendered.  I also love the fact that it really did foster some great discussion with our EKU athletes.  Getting to hear what God was/is teaching them and their hearts for Christ was truly awesome.

Last night, we actually wrapped up our summer Bible study and I have to admit that I am a little sad as I will miss the weekly deep dive with the students.  However, we are getting ready to launch our weekly meetings on campus and I can’t wait to see how they take what we studied this summer and really apply it through out the school year.  Please keep praying for our students and also I highly recommend you check out “True Competitor” for yourself.

thank God for camps…

summer-camps-bannerI had the privilege of growing up at a camp where my parents still serve.  It was a great experience getting to meet people from all over the country and sometimes  from around the world.  I also had access to horses, paddle boats and canoes, bb guns, archery, hiking trails, and best of all the camp gym anytime I wanted.  Of all the great things about camp as I look back now, the most amazing thing was getting to see the way that God used camp to change people’s lives.

At camp, I was able to see people removed from their comfort zones and away from all the distractions of life.  Then while at camp God began chipping away at all the baggage they carried and revealing their need of Him to them.  Year after year I, saw what a powerful tool for change the camp setting was/is.  Personally it was also at camp where I first felt called to go to Bible School and into ministry at the ages of 14 and 16.

While I am no longer working at my parents camp, God has blessed me with the amazing  privilege of serving with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  This summer, I got to help at basketball camps, wrestling camp, and our FCA Leadership Camp.  Each time, I saw kids coming for various reason like loving a sport or wanting to hang out with friends.  But even more amazing, I once again saw live changed for Christ.  At Leadership Camp over 500 students heard the Gospel and 30 gave their lives to Christ.  Once again, God took students out of their comfort zone, chipped away at the baggage, and they emerged as Christ-followers.

If you haven’t had the privilege of seeing the way God works through camps, I encourage you to make it a priority to do so.  If you are young enough find a good Christian camp and go.  If you are older find a Christian camp you can work/volunteer at.  If you want to know some great FCA camps let me know and I’ll point you in the direction.