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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Ready: Galatians 5:1

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Set:

Jesus came to this earth, lived his life without sin, was tortured for the claims he made to be the King of Kings, died a grueling and barbaric death, experienced complete separation from God and endured His wrath, descended to hell to conquer satan and evil, AND He rose from the dead…All so that YOU can experience freedom!

In our culture today an emphasis has been placed on self, and screams that we are free to be who we want to be, express ourselves freely, and do as we please. As athletes, we know this pretty well. We’ve been given a platform with our peers, and we train our body to perform, compete, and do things so our coaches, parents, teammates, and friends will see. However, we don’t always train and play for an “Audience of One,” especially when we’re not playing well or getting much playing time. During these times we tend to focus on ourselves.

In 1 Corinthians 7:23 it clearly states that “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”
If we really know and believe Jesus is everything; and understand and grasp the grace and love of God; we would live and play from that truth! We would live our lives asking God to lead and use us in our positions of influence, instead of inviting God to join our plans. We would live unashamed and unafraid of what people thought or how they would react. We would live our lives serving, loving, showing compassion, love, kindness and grace to those around us, our teammates, and at home. Imagine the influence we would have!

The only freedom that is available to live a life completely free of fear and rejection is: Freedom in Christ. Fear and God don’t hang out together. In fact, God’s perfect love drives out fear!

Go:

1. Where do you find your value and self worth?

2. What do you value? What do you spend your money on? Where and with whom do you spend your time?

3. What would God say about your relationship with Him? Is it great? Is it okay? Is it superficial? Is it non-existent?

4. Are there any adjustments that need to take place in your life?

Workout:

Ephesians 3:16-21, Philippians 3:8, Psalm 28:7 and Matthew 6:19-21

Overtime:

Jesus, we need you to powerful invade our lives and help us experience true freedom. We need you bind the lies that fill our minds and break the chains of criticism, comparison, and anger in our lives. Help us completely release the hurts, lies, anger and the feelings of "I'm not good of enough." 

We have everything we NEED in you. Transform our thinking and our minds to focus on you and your people. Teach us to value you and the things that are unseen AND bring you glory! Romans 12:2 reminds us: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

 

About the Author: Lindsay Long is the Varsity Women's Soccer Coach at Centennial High School.

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May 2013

Ready: 2 Timothy 1:6-7

“Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.”

Set:

Physicists refer to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Simply stated, in a closed system where there is no thermal energy, work decreases and disorder increases. In Kern County, we’d say it like this, “Stuff wears out, breaks, and runs down, unless you do something to constantly fix or maintain it.” That law not only applies to “stuff”, but to human beings also. We also die spiritually and emotionally if we don’t constantly invest and inject new energy into our lives.

“Keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you” can be related to the kindling that’s needed to start a campfire. The word “keep” refers to action taken on a daily basis, not a one-time event. I’ve always liked the word passion. Passion is the flame that caused Jesus to influence this world with God’s love. Christ was passionate about his mission. Inspiration has been said to be the fuel for passion. Jesus had a clear purpose for His life and He stayed passionate about His purpose by receiving inspiration through spending time with God through prayer. Think about that, if Jesus, the Son of God needed refueling, direction, wisdom, and strength by spending time in prayer, wouldn’t it be logical for us to do the same?

Go: 

1. So what are you doing to rekindle and keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you…your passion?
2. What kind of inspiration are you providing for yourself that will keep you pursuing your dream? (I.e. worship music, spiritual books, workshops, etc.)
3. Do you need to rekindle your relationship with God? Don’t wait for hardship to hit before you fall on your knees, turn to Him now.

Workout: 1 Timothy 5:5-6 and 2 Timothy 1:1-12

Overtime: Dear Lord, would you rekindle my passion to live for you in every area of my life? Today, I chose to live according to your Word. You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound judgment. Help me to serve the people I lead today with confidence, love and wisdom knowing that Your Holy Spirit lives in me.

About the Author: Steve Kennelly is the director of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Health Education Instructor at Delano High School. Steve is also an author and is passionate about helping others reach their full potential through writing, speaking, personalized coaching, and teaching. 

Feel free to check out his website:  http://stevekennelley.com

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April 2013

Ready: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11


Set: Over-Rated

I love coaching for many reasons, but there is nothing quite like being in that big match with a cross-town rival. You wake-up thinking about the match, anticipating that first whistle. I remember one particular season when we were supposed to be the team to beat. In the preseason rankings we were ranked 10th in the state and, needless to say, were pretty confident coming into this particular match. I have learned through the years to almost dread those high rankings early on because they almost always set us up for a fall. No matter how much we talk about the rankings not meaning anything, that we have to earn it on the court, it inevitably seeps into our subconscious creating complacency and arrogance. In addition, high rankings can create anxiety because we are expected to win and when we get in a close match against an opponent that we are “supposed” to be better than, a panic often sets in causing us to play to not lose rather than to win.

Well, this was one of those nights. As excited as we were for the match it seemed nothing could go our way. We began to panic on the court and even started turning on one another. We were hoping for our opponent to make a mistake rather than taking control of our own destiny. We lost the first two sets and by the third our opponent’s fans were chanting, “OVER-RATED… OVER-RATED…OVER-RATED…” Instead of firing us up, we crumbled being swept in three. We were devastated and humiliated. However, that loss was the wake-up call we needed. We had grown complacent and were resting on laurels that we had done nothing yet to earn. We had been blessed with great talent, yes, but talent without work and dedication accomplishes nothing worthwhile. We refocused and reset our goals for the season, going on to win a state championship. If it hadn’t been for such a painful and very public loss I don’t believe we would have ever accomplished what we did as a team.

Someone once told me to thank God for EVERYTHING. At times that is so difficult, but I have found both in life and in sport, the most painful losses often yield the most plentiful results.
As athletes, what are the dangers that come with being ranked very high?
How in life can we be ranked high in a dangerous way?

What are the consequences for God’s kingdom if we as believers are considered “over-rated?”

“… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28



Go: Think of a time when God allowed you to experience a loss or “wake-up call;” what were some of the blessings that happened as a result?

Workout: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

Overtime: Dear Lord, We ask for your forgiveness in the times that we rest on our God-given talents and fail to put forth the effort on our end to develop and use those gifts to your glory. We thank you for blessing each and every one of us with the talents that we have and ask that you help us to humbly serve you with them. We pray that when we may be put on a platform that we remember to honor you and to act in a way that would never cause believers or nonbelievers to say that we are over-rated, making you seem over-rated. Please use us despite our sinful and prideful nature and help us to graciously thank you even in our losses. Your plans for us are greater than anything we can imagine on our own. Help us to trust the process always keeping our eyes on the end goal to hear you say, “Well done.” In Jesus name, Amen

About the Author: Lean Slayton is the Varsity volleyball coach at Liberty High School