Tonight we have our final middle school basketball games of the season. It’s definitely been interesting and rewarding/tiring at the same time. Last night we played our last home games and while we didn’t walk away with any victories, the guys who have stayed with us this season played hard and played as a team. I have no complaints about their efforts at all. The biggest thing with coaching has been getting the opportunity to know these students and hopefully show them that we care for them more as a person than as a basketball player. Yes there have been times of getting loud to motivate, but winning and losing have not been the main factors for anything we have done. Hopefully we have helped put these boys on the path to becoming quality young men. Please continue to pray for our students that the seeds Scott and I have planted will see some and hopefully all of them come to know Christ!
This week has been another interesting and exciting week of coaching middle school basketball. Our 7th grade team is on a roll winning 3 straight games! The boys have really came together and are playing hard. Our last three games have not only been wins but have also been blow out wins. Last night we had one of the most exciting games of the season for our 8th grade team. This game was a loss, but when you think of what happened it was truly an exciting game. Our team got off to a slow start with only three points in the first half and none of those coming in the 2nd quarter. At the end of the 3rd quarter we were down almost 30 points. In the 4th quarter the guys turned on their energy and came all the way back to tie the game. SMS scored with only 8 seconds left and we got off a good shot to try and tie or win the game, but it just didn’t fall. Even though it was a loss we were so very proud of the effort the boys finally put forth!
We have one home game and one away game left on our schedule this Monday and Tuesday night. Please pray for safety as we travel, but also for Scott and I as we have just a few more opportunities to share the love of Christ with our students this season. We want to be good stewards of the time God has given to us to reach our team. So please pray hard as many of the students need Christ!
Last night we began the 1st of 4 home games that will help draw our middle school basketball season to a close with only 1 road game remaining after them. This season has definitely been a learning experience on everything from working as a coach to learning how to work with the many emotional and maturity states that you can find a middle schooler in. God has definitely been good to us and helped watch over Scott and I as we work with the students. This week we had one of our students collapse after a game and need to be taken to the hospital for some treatment. Thankfully the students was just dehydrated and needed to work on eating better foods and more of them. We are also thankful for the safety God gave Scott and our student as they went to the hospital and back and for safety as I helped get the other teammates home.
Our team has shrunk over the season for a variety of reasons, but last night as we coached them it was exciting to see the guys who have stuck it out and how most of them are really starting to gel as a team. We don’t have as many players as most of our competition but for the most parts our guys are playing their hearts out and starting to really play good basketball. Last night our 7th grade team won their second 7th grade game in a row, which is huge for us.
As our season come to a close over the next week and a half, please pray for Scott and I as we seek to leave a lasting impression on these boys that will hopefully lead them to Christ. Pray that opportunities to share Christ verbally will occur and that in every situation our lives will reflect the love of Christ to our boys. And lastly, thank you so much for all your prayers over the course of this season!
Tonight I am going to be heading out with the middle school basketball team for our next away game. I have really enjoyed being able to work with the students this year and imparting what little basketball knowledge I have to them. I know coaching plays an important role in the lives of students and coaches have a great opportunity to impact students. That being said their are just some things that coaches can’t always get through to students. It’s something that I have seen a lack of in so many areas of our society. That thing is, self-motivation.
In basketball, as in life, you have to be motivated to succeed. You have to have that inner drive to want to get better, to excel, to reach your potential and see if you can go beyond it. As I have worked with our basketball players this year it’s been interesting to see how some kids are motivated and others just aren’t. Motivation really has nothing to do with skill level, as often very gifted people are lazy and don’t fully try to reach their potential. Their lack of desire and attitude hold them and their team back. Other’s who are quite lacking in skills, give you all they got and strive with all their might to get better and they do. This is a truth that we have tried to impart to our basketball players to just have that motivating drive in order to have success.
As Christians, I think we honor God with our self-motivation. God has blessed us each with many different gifts. And to seek to use those to their full potential bring honor to God is what we should be doing. Yet, so often as Christians I see people who are like many of my basketball players. Content to be where they are and not wanting to put in the work. If we are truly a child of Christ we need to never be content with a lack of progression in our lives. A lack of progression shows we are allowing God’s gifts to stagnate. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that staying in the same job position or ministry position is stagnating and dishonors God. We can stay in those same positions and be growing and moving forward. If we are growing in our walk with Christ and our gifts are leading others to Him, than we are not experiencing a lack of self-motivation in our gifts. If there is no fruit in our lives though, it’s safe to say we have become stale.
I encourage you today, to really seek what your gifting is that God has given you. Then seek to grow and use that gifting to bring honor to God. Don’t become content with where you are…keep growing and moving. Or else you might be like that basketball player who never progresses in their skills….
The past few days have been a whirlwind of multiple things going on. As I wrote last week, we just had our annual Woolly Worm Festival here in Beattyville. The Rec Center sold over 200 pizzas this weekend at the Festival and the center. With things being financially tight for us right now this was a huge blessing. In other news we were all blessed to survive the fried foods that we ate during the course of the festival as well!
The beginning of this week was also busy with middle school basketball games. Our team was not able to pull out a victory on Monday or Tuesday night, but there were many positives to take away. Keep praying for myself and Scott Brandenburg as we try to teach the boys to be more aggressive for the basketball and to pay attention to every aspect of the game, while at the same time trying to infuse a love of the game. Sometimes in coaching it’s a fine line between bringing out intensity and killing fun. Our guys need to have both and we
want to get them to that place. Also pray for us as we try to just be Godly examples as well and that we will have opportunities to share Christ!
Our family is doing well. Maeven is loving having her Meme and Pop living nearby in Winchester and enjoyed Sunday at their house playing in the leaves. Judah is teething and drooling like crazy, and on top of that he has learned to crawl and is always on the go. God has truly given us two great kids!
This weekend is going to be really busy with our annual Halloween lock-in at the Rec Center. Please pray for us to be able to have the chaperone’s needed and also that God will begin to work in the hearts of our students before they even arrive.
Things are busy, but it’s easy to see God working right now. Please just keep praying!
This past Monday we had our first game of the middle school basketball season as our Bobcats took on the Wolfe County Wolves. Unfortunately, we didn’t pull out a victory. However in all three games we saw lots of good things where our guys are starting to come together as a team. The sixth graders are really having to change their mentality from a shoot first little league mindset to a more team oriented hustle mindset. Through playing a team that had already reached that mindset the other night, I think our boys realize what they have to do and are ready to do it. Our 7th and 8th grade teams did really well and pushed the other team, but came up just short. I don’t think it will be long at all before they reach their first victory.
Tonight we are heading to Owsley County to take on the Owls. Hopefully the first game jitters and nerves will have passed and our boys will be ready to go! I will definitely post an update tomorrow.
No matter if we win or lose, I am thankful for this opportunity to work with our team. Please pray that through coaching I will be a Christ like example to the guys and that I will take advantage of any opportunities to show the love of Christ to the guys. Both Scott and I want to leave these kids with no doubt that we love God and care for them!
Monday, October 15th is a big day for the Lee County Middle School basketball team. It’s our first game of the season. After several weeks of practice and lots of running things actually begin for the team. Please pray for our team that we will have safety traveling and that our boys will play hard with good sportsmanship. God has truly given us a great opportunity to coach these boys and show them what Godly men should be like. Pray that we can reflect Christ well to our team no matter how well or unwell they may play. I can’t wait to see how things are going to go!