Category Archives: Sports

NBA MVP Curry shining light for Jesus, on and off the court

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By Michael Ashcraft and Mark Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

Stephen Curry, who picked the lock to Cleveland’s defense to win the NBA championship, likes to point people to “the Man who died for our sins onStephen Curry the cross.”

Curry was named the NBA 2015 most valuable player and led the Golden State Warriors to the championship, but he said worldly prizes don’t compare with Heavenly ones.

“I know I have a place in Heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top,” Curry told Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

LeBron James seemed to be willing his way to the championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers, without two of his supporting stars who were injured. Curry was floundering with low points as the finals initially favored the Cavaliers 2-1.

Then Curry, 27, started dropping his trade-mark, high-arched three-pointers. When double-teamed, he would make miraculous passes. And for the rest of the finals, the Cavaliers played a futile game of catch-up as the Warriors won each of the next three games to clinch the championship.

Curry was 13 when he accepted Jesus as his Savior. “It was a big decision that my parents couldn’t make for me,” he said. “It’s been a great walk since then. He means everything to me.”

With Christian humility at the MVP ceremony, Curry showed up void of all the mad-dogging swagger of other superstar ballers. He credited his wife for being his “backbone” and his parents for teaching him that studying and washing the dishes were more important than basketball.

“First and foremost, I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game,” said the 6’3”, 190-pound point guard. “I’m His humble servant right now, and I can’t say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game.”

Steph – as he’s called by his teammates – was raised in Charlotte, NC, the son of a 16-year NBA veteran. He had a brother and a sister. His mom was something of a Christian disciplinarian, keeping the sports-obsessed boys on track with firmly established priorities.

“How we did in school growing up was important,” he said. “If we didn’t handle that business, there were no privileges. I remember sitting out my first middle school game because I didn’t handle my stuff at home. That was a pretty embarrassing moment if you go to your first middle school game and you have to tell your fellows, ‘Hey, I can’t play tonight. I didn’t do the dishes at home.’ That lesson taught me there’s more to life than basketball.”

His rise to prominence was unlikely. He was told he was too short, too lightweight, not physical enough. His high school had only moderate interest in his play. But Curry ignored the criticism and focused on what he could do. He developed an exquisite sharp-shooting touch that eventually silenced critics and left opponents shaking their heads.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

His Under Armour gear is trade-marked “4:13” from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Curry 4:13 shoes

At Davidson College in North Carolina, he led the Wildcats on consecutive NCAA title runs. After his junior year, the Warriors drafted him in 2009.

In the summer of 2013, Curry joined a mission trip to Tanzania. He donated 816 mosquito nets to African refugees to fight against malaria. He calculated the unusual number of nets by multiplying by three the number of three-pointers he had scored the previous season.

Not only does Curry lead his team on the court, he leads them off the court with his Christian example. Most of the players are Christians. They attend chapel before every game. Their devotion to Christ is so note-worthy that the San Jose Mercury News called them “choirboys.”

“The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room,” he told Breaking Christian News. “It’s allowing us to reach a lot of people, and personally I am just trying to use this stage to share how God has been a blessing in my life and how He can be the same in everyone else’s.”

The ever-cool, baby-faced three-point-maker keeps improving, looking to extend his basketball legacy and all the while shine his light for Jesus.

“Basketball has always had a special place in my heart,” Curry said. “And being saved is a great feeling. There are so many things we have to overcome in this life. Jesus, through his work on the cross, has paid the ultimate price for us. I’m proud to be a child of God.”

Individual Curry photo courtesy of The Associated Press; “4:13” shoes from Godreports.com.

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Communities of faith to converge for TogetherLA; Tebow hits links for charity

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Tim Keller

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Feb. 26-Feb. 28watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017 movie online now

In Los Angeles: Key leaders from non-profits, churches, businesses, and communities in the Los Angeles area will convene beginning Thursday, Feb. 26 forTim Keller real-time collaboration, prayer, networking and strategic partnering. The free gathering is set to take place at West Angeles church of God in Christ, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles.

Dr. Timothy Keller, lead pastor of Manhattan’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, is the slated main speaker for the three-day conference as well; all other speakers will be active leaders in the Los Angeles area. Speakers include Bishop Charles Blake, Dr. Barry Corey, Mark Labberton, Mayor Aja Brown, Efrem Smith, Caitlin Crosby, Tim Chaddick, Albert Tate, Larry Acosta, La Verne Tolbert, Michael Mata, Tom Hughes, Father Greg Boyle, and many more.

For more information, go to www.togetherla.net or email connect@togetherla.net.

March 15

In Ponte Vedra, Fla.: Tickets for the annual Tim Tebow Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic are still available online. The event will take place at TPC Sawgrass inTebow Foundation Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Gates open at 9 a.m., with shotgun starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for 18 and under.

March 22-March 29

Aboard Freedom of the Seas: Back to the Bible Canada, a world-wide ministry based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, will hold its second annual Bible Canada/Laugh Again ministry cruise. Author, speaker, and humorist Phil Callaway will serve as a special guest for the voyage. The seven-day cruise will leave you smiling, refreshed, inspired and renewed in your walk with Christ. To register, http://www.laughagain.ca/cruise-2015/.

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Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy announces 23 Blast Bowl viewing parties

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Special to Inside The Pew

LOS ANGELES – Super Bowl-winning coach and All Pro Dad national spokesperson, Tony Dungy, recently announced the 23 Blast Bowl in

Mark Hapka, left, and Alexa Vega

Mark Hapka, left, and Alexa Vega

conjunction with the family-friendly drama – currently the No. 1 sports movie on iTunes and available now on DVD and digital HD.

Dungy said in a press release that “23 Blast” is “a powerful movie about football and perseverance. The whole family will enjoy!”

Unlike the Super Bowl where sides will be taken and lines will be drawn, Dungy encourages everyone – families, teams and groups – to come together for their very own 23 Blast Bowl viewing party and discussion regarding the topics addressed in the film.

The event offers an entire night of inspiration that is simple to organize and implement in three easy steps.  Participants may buy the DVD at the local retailers or online at 23Blast.com, invite a group over to watch the film at their convenience and complete the night by using the free downloadable resources to begin a deeper discussion on the topics addressed in the film.

All resources for the 23 Blast Bowl can be found at 23blast.com/Bowl and include the official 23 Blast Bowl Event Guide, 23 Blast

Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy

Discussion Guide, 10 Ways For Children to Overcome Obstacles, 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child, 7 Signs of a Humble Athlete, and 6 Ways Your Kids Know You Believe in Them.

“23 Blast” features the story of blind football player Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka), a typical teenager growing up in a small town in Kentucky, who is a local hero on and off the field. In 1997, in the prime of his youth, Freeman is unexpectedly stricken with an infection that destroys his optic nerve; he becomes blind overnight. Under the influence of parents who love him, a physical therapist who challenges him, a coach who inspires him, and a best friend who he cannot bear to leave behind, Freeman shows us what true bravery is by competing on the gridiron, helping his Corbin High School team advance to the state playoffs.

Depicting a story of hope triumphing over despair, of courage and faith overcoming fear and of victory prevailing over adversity, “23 Blast” is designed to encourage and uplift audiences.

Distributed by Ocean Avenue Entertainment, Inc. in association with Toy Gun Films, the DVD features a multi-part “behind-the-scenes” Featurette with Dylan Baker, The Travis Freeman Story, descriptive audio for the visually-impaired, bloopers reel and discussion guide, among others. Having been featured in USA Today, The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, NBC’s Today and Dateline NBC, Freeman’s story was the winner of Heartland Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award for Narrative Feature.

In addition to Hapka, the film stars Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova), Alexa Vega (Spy Kids, Nashville), Max Adler (Glee), Bram Hoover, Kim Zimmer (Guiding Light, One Life to Live), Becky Ann Baker (Men in Black, Freaks and Geeks, A Simple Plan) Timothy Busfield (Field of Dreams, thirtysomething), Dylan Baker (Anchorman 2, Spiderman 2 &3, The Good Wife), and Fred D. Thompson (Sinister, Law & Order, Die Hard 2).

“23 Blast” is written by Bram Hoover and Toni Hoover, directed/produced by Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2 & 3, 13 Days) and produced by Gary Donatelli and Toni Hoover.  Executive producers for the movie include Daniel Snyder (owner of the Washington Redskins), Misook Doolittle and Brent Ryan Green.

For the latest news and updates regarding “23 Blast,” visit www.23blast.com.

Shape what your Father gave ya!: Dove Foundation gives seal of approval to exercise DVD

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Kristy McCarley is not one to question God, but she still finds it hard to believe that she – a woman with two engineering degrees and aThe Shazzy Fitness team of Vira, left, Kristy, Apollo, and Leslie sport red shoes in honor of the blood Christ shed for us. limited choreography background – has produced two well-received exercise DVD’s.

Two years ago, McCarley, founder and CEO of Shazzy Fitness, decided to create a family-friendly exercise DVD’s for the masses. In August, she reaped the benefits of sacrifice and obedience when the Dove Foundation recognized Shazzy Fitness by giving it a seal of approval.

“I wanted the music to be fun and for people to get excited about fitness,” McCarley said. “Shazzy is good for people who want to do something good for their body and for their spirit.”

The Dove Foundation described Shazzy Fitness’ Christian hip-hop dance workout videos as a “wonderful workout that not only exercises the body but the mind and soul alike.”

Furthermore, in August, the workout DVD was the top seller in the fitness category for Shazzy’s distributor, Total Fitness DVD’s.

“The fact that an independent faith-based video is leading all other secular dance fitness video sales is just incredible and so very humbling,” said the creator of the fat-burning (cardio) and dance DVD.

The invigorating choreography from Apollo, Leslie, and Vera mixed with the sounds of award-winning Christian hip-hop offerings from Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Breezy Brown, E.Dot, and Jai have won over parents and exercise enthusiasts.

“One thing moms said is that they can do it (Shazzy Fitness) with their kids,” said McCarley, who is a wife and mother of two girls. She decided to create a Shazzy Fitness to bring family-friendly exercise DVD’s to the masses.

McCarley said Shazzy is short for Daniel’s Babylonian name, Belteshazzar (Daniel 1:7).

According to the company’s website, “The Hebrew prophet, Daniel, is a model of the power of faith. Despite dire circumstances, Daniel never let fear override his commitment to God. If Daniel were alive today, his hip-hop nickname just might be … ‘Shazzy.”

McCarley, a longtime professional in IT management, was laid off from her job in late 2011. Instead of finding a job that replicates her Kristy McCarley, center, works with the guys from her production team, ECG Production, on video editing.background, she opted to take a not-too-distant memory from 10 years ago and make it a reality.

“During a ‘spin’ class, a Kirk Franklin song was played. I had never heard that type of music in an exercise class,” McCarley said. “I just enjoyed how it made me feel not just during the class but after the class. It made my soul feel good. It made difference to me; it made a lasting impression. We need more of this.”

She wanted to do a live class in the Atlanta area, but she figured it would limit visibility. At the suggestion of others, she decided to produce a DVD.

McCarley pumped up her pursuit. She did her research, found a production company – ECG Productions – and choreographers to make inspiration a reality.

Diversity in the video is important to McCarley. The video’s participants vary in age and race.

“Christian hip-hop transcends race, gender, and age” she said. “Everybody can do this; it is not just for one group of people. Plus, good music is a universal language.”

McCarley said her organization is also aggressively seeking churches, schools, dance studios, non-profits and community organizations that are interested in becoming Shazzy Fitness ambassadors – meaning they are interested in partnering with them to bring their faith-based dance classes to their communities, events, and dance studios.

A question that consistently pops into the mind of the self-professed reluctant entrepreneur is, “Lord, what are we doing?”

“This is purely a walk of faith,” McCarley said. “I remember you can do all things through Christ. There are days when I ask myself, ‘How are we gonna make it?’ The only answer is Jesus.”

Learn more about Shazzy Fitness at www.shazzyfitness.com. Also, follow Shazzy Fitness on Twitter and Facebook.

One-hour documentary to chronicle Jim Harbaugh’s mission trip to Peru

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Jim Harbaugh holds one of the locals' baby.

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

SAN FRANCISCO – For the first time since San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has made his annual pilgrimage to Piura,Jim Harbaugh holds one of the locals' baby. Peru, camera crews have been allowed to follow him.

On Sept. 2, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is set to premiere an exclusive, one-hour documentary that chronicles Harbaugh’s annual mission trip.

The first airing of the documentary, slated for 9 p.m. PT, titled “Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America,” will take an inspiring look at the humanitarian side of the San Francisco 49ers head coach.

The documentary is narrated by Comcast Bay Area’s Dave Feldman and produced and edited by Sean Maddison.

According to a press release provided by Comcast SportsNet, for eight days, the missionaries helped at the parish of Santisimo Jim Harbaugh talks football with children in the Piura. Sacramento with its daily community outreach programs and ministries for the people of Piura – a small town almost 600 miles north of Lima. Sixty percent of the population lives in poverty and 20 percent is in extreme poverty.

The documentary reveals Harbaugh’s dedication to his faith in God, his craft (coaching and playing football), and helping others.

“It’s beyond rewarding; it’s a chance to do something good,” Harbaugh said of his recent mission trip. “You can pretty much help someone from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed.”

Along the way, impromptu games of “Peruball” – a combination of football, rugby and soccer – seem to break out everywhere Harbaugh goes, a game where the rules to evolve each day and with each person who plays it. Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, taught groups of Peruvian boys about American football, put them through running and catching drills, and thenJim Harbaugh kicked off games of “Peruball.”

The group of humanitarians included Harbaugh’s older children – Jay, who works on the offensive coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens (coached by Jim’s brother, John), James Jr. and Grace – Feldman and numerous volunteers.

The group built houses, visited the sick and elderly, delivered food packages to an orphanage, worked the rice fields, and attended daily Mass with the locals.

Harbaugh first learned about the mission trip through friends at St. Raymond Catholic Church, his parish in Menlo Park, Calif., and has made the annual trip since 2009. An American priest, Father Joseph William Uhen, has been the pastor of Santisimo Sacramento since 1993 and coordinates the charitable efforts for his parish.  The parish’s outreach includes a women’s shelter, an orphanage, a drug rehabilitation center, a hospice facility and a tuition-free Catholic school for children in kindergarten through 11th grade.

“Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America” re-airs later that evening at 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m., and Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.  All times listed are PT. Visit CSNBayArea.com for additional air dates and times.

Rutherford: Three spiritual lessons from the Tour de France

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By Dudley Rutherford
Special to Inside The Pew

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would one day ride 60 to 70 miles on a road bicycle for fun, I don’t think I wouldDudley Rutherford have believed you. But years of playing basketball and golf had finally caught up to me, causing major damage to the meniscus cartilage in my knee. I could hardly walk after playing in a game—that’s how bad it had gotten. Then a good friend of mine recommended that I try cycling as a way to stay in shape and maintain the competitiveness I love about sports, but with less strain on my knees. So I joined the cycling ministry at Shepherd Church, the congregation I pastor in Los Angeles, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Now that I’m an avid cyclist, the Tour de France takes on a whole new meaning for me. I’ve always admired the strength and endurance of the athletes who compete, but now I have a deeper understanding of the passion and intensity of the sport. Of course, I would never be able to race at the speed of the professionals, but as I was writing my latest book, Walls Fall Down, about the seven-day victory God gave the Israelites over Jericho, I got to thinking about what believers can learn from the Tour de France to obtain victory in our spiritual walks.

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul actually compares the Christian life to race in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Here are three biblical lessons we glean from the Tour de France on how to be victorious whether we are facing a personal battle or striving to accomplish something extraordinary:

Race with purpose: Every cyclist in the Tour de France has one goal: to win (or help his team leader win) the race. These athletes do not put themselves through months of painful training for the purpose of taking a leisurely bike ride in Europe or aiming to come in 57th place. No, their mission is to be the best. Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali proved his dominance in cycling to the world on July 27  by winning the annual race. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul writes, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? RunVincento Nibali in such a way as to get the prize. “From the moment you decide to become a Christian—from the very second you put your faith in Jesus Christ—your race begins. And it’s not sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s a lifetime journey that takes commitment and perseverance. It ends when you die, or when Jesus returns in glory (Matthew 24:30). Until that day comes, your purpose in life as a believer is to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:36-39) and to make disciples as Jesus did (Matthew 28:19-20).

Practice self-discipline: Can you imagine the extreme physical training and the strict dietary regimen that would be required to prepare one’s body to cycle across the nearly 2300 miles of terrain for the Tour de France? How many people would be willing to sacrifice time, energy, junk food, and hobbies in order to dedicate his or her entire life to a sport?

Paul writes, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). The apostle ran the Christian race with purpose and was intentional about rejecting worldly, temporal vices so that he would not be disqualified from the ultimate prize of eternal life.

As I wrote my book Walls Fall Down: 7 Days Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge, the Lance Armstrong doping scandal had erupted in the media. After convicting him of using performance-enhancing drugs, the US Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from cycling. Armstrong later stated that he broke the rules because of the culture of drugs in cycling—that by using performance-enhancing drugs, he was simply operating on a “level playing field.”

In sports and in the Christian life, there are no shortcuts. We will not be victorious by impure means or by trying to fit in with the culture. We simply must follow the guidelines God has set forth in His Word, the Bible, and win the race the good old-fashioned way: with integrity, commitment, faith, and self-discipline.

Focus on the eternal rewards: Every cyclist in the Tour de France dreams of getting to wear that iconic yellow jersey—the coveted prize awarded to the champion. In many other sports, the winner receives a trophy. In the Olympics, it’s a gold medal. In the Apostle Paul’s time, it was a crown, which was just a wreath made of wild olive leaves. He writes, “They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (v. 25). Paul is pointing out that, in any competition, the culmination of all the hard work, sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears produces a winner, and that winner receives something that will not last forever. However, when we run the Christian race and keep our faith in Jesus through life’s various trials, we will receive the crown of eternal life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). We will spend an eternity with our Father in Heaven where there will be no sorrow, pain, death, or disease (Revelation 21:4).

God has wonderful things prepared for those who love Him! The Tour de France is an incredible event showcasing some of the greatest athletes in the world. But the Christian race has far greater implications. So run your race with purpose. Don’t be distracted or led astray by the things of this world. And keep your eyes fixed on the prize: the crown of eternal life. No other prize is better. No other victory is sweeter.

Dudley Rutherford is the author of Walls Fall Down and the senior pastor of the 10,000-member Shepherd Church in Porter Ranch (Los Angeles), California. You can connect with Dudley on Twitter @pastordudley. Visit www.WallsFallDownBook.com for more information.

Jenkins: Don’t allow pain to distract you from your purpose

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By Dave Jenkins
Special to Inside The Pew

It is almost incredible how professional athletes can play even when they are in tremendous pain from an injury. In most New York Knicks forward Willis Reedsituations, only extreme pain or injuries can stop a professional athlete from their true purpose, which is to win a championship.

The spiritual point to this is, there are some Christians who have obvious pains in their lives and there are some who have undisclosed pain in their lives. There is the pain of a life-threatening disease such as cancer. There is the pain of a marriage that is not going well. Or there is the pain of a business that is failing. There are the more secret pains such as depression, an unreported rape, a child that is rebellious, or the poor grade in a class.

Our challenge then is will we allow the pain, no matter what type it is, to distract us from our God-given purpose? Will we give in to the injury of failure or poor self-esteem or will we move forward in faith? If we don’t give into the pain, we may have an iconic moment such as Willis Reed had in game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals on May 8. Reed played in the NBA championship game for the New York Knicks despite a severe leg injury. He went on to win most valuable player in 1970.

So the question is how was the future Hall of Famer able to move past his pain and stay focused on his purpose? What are the leadership lessons that we can learn from Reed about not allowing our pain to distract you from your purpose.

Leadership Principle 1: He thought more of the team did he did of himself.

When pain hits us it does not impact us only, but it also impacts those around us. We may have been the direct target of the pain that has been inflected on us, but our family and co-workers, church members are targeted as “collateral damage.”

But how could he play basketball when he could barely walk? He could run the risk of damaging his leg and prematurely ending his career by playing. Reed had to make the choice between following his pain or focusing on his purpose. His decision was to focus on his purpose, which was to help his team win.

We have a choice, let the pain tell us to run and hide or we can face the situation and help not only ourselves but our team (family, co-workers, business partner). Fathers, mothers, pastors and teachers; there are people whose lives are impacted by how we deal with our personal pain.  Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Leadership Principle 2: He had prepared for this moment and did not want to let it get past him.

“I wanted to play,” Reed said in 2010 of his decision. “That was for the championship, the one great moment you play for all your life. I didn’t want to have to look at myself in the mirror 20 years later and say I wished I had tried to play.”

In Esther 4:14, Mordecai, the adviser/uncle to Esther reminds her that she was the possible solution to the pain that the Jewish nation was suffering. Her accent to the position of queen at the time was not a matter of chance, but God’s timing for her. Mordecai said. “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

You were made a leader for such a time as this. You were married for such a time as this. You were made strong by God for such a time as this. You were pushed from your comfort zone by the pain to move you to a greater call.

Leadership Principle 3: He did not give up hope.

Reed had to miss game 6 of the championship series because of his leg pain. His team lost game 6 during his absence. It would have been easy for him to give up and say, “We lost game 6, and I am not sure if I can play in game 7.” Instead, he kept searching for a way to play; he kept hope alive that he would be there for the final and deciding game.  Many times the pain that we go through is simply the transportation to get us to our destination. In Isaiah 40:31, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, They will walk and not be faint” (NIV).

Leadership Principle 4: He knew the importance of showing the opposing team he had no fear. 

Because of his leg injury, no one knew for sure if Reed would play in the game. The rest of his team had gone out to warm up whileDave Jenkins Jr. Reed remained in the locker room. Just moments before the game started, Reed left the locker room and headed to the basketball court. When his team and fans saw his unexpected entrance, everyone went wild with excitement; that is everyone with the exception of the opposing team, the Lakers. When Reed came to the court, the entire Lakers team stopped what they were doing and watched in unbelief as Reed went to the table to check-in for the game.

The Lakers may have thought that Reed would not show up for this game given the pain he was in. There are people who doubt you and the enemy who hates you that needs to know you have no fear of dealing with the pain. The haters need to know that you will not allow the pain or the fear of pain keep you for your purpose. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” When the other team sees that you have no fear, it will put fear in their hearts.

Leadership Principle 5: He remembered previous times that he had to overcome obstacles to get the victory.

Too often when things don’t go well or when we encounter pain, some believers want to give up. Reed knew that pain was a part of the game. We have to remember that pain is a part of life just as it is a part of sports.

Overcomers deal with the pain and the setbacks that this world gives them because they stand on the promise of Jesus. We don’t give up on the hope that is within us.

However, we have a word of encouragement from Jesus in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Dave Jenkins is an ordained minister and leadership and relationship teacher. Jenkins, a former chaplain for the Allen (Texas) Police Department, is a graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, La., and earned a master’s of Christian leadership from Criswell College in Dallas. He also received advanced counseling training from Amberton University. Jenkins and his wife, Phyllis, are hosts of their own weekly family relationships show, “Marriage Monday,” on KGGR 1040 at 5 p.m. CST. Follow him on Twitter at @IamDaveJenkins and “like” him on Facebook (IamDaveJenkinsJr). Learn more about his ministry at www.davejenkinsjr.com.

 

Jenkins: Clippers owner’s comments are more than just racist

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Donald Sterling

By Dave Jenkins
Special to Inside The Pew

When you look at the comments that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made concerning his team and minorities, IDonald Sterling think that you have to look at them as more than a racist comment.

Mr. Sterling in one voice recording managed to insult, demean, and marginalize three groups of people.

One group of people he disrespected where the players on the team. Not just the ones that are currently on the team, but any future players, Black or non-Black. When Mr. Sterling states that he gives them food and money for cars, he is negating the fact that these players were not given anything, but earn it on the basketball court. They earned it from the long hours of practice and sacrifice to develop themselves into top level athletes who can easily do what most of us, including Mr. Sterling, can only dream that we can do.  Maybe we should look at how much money the U.S. government gave Mr. Sterling in the form of tax abatements and write-offs that allow him to have a net worth of over $10 billion. The Bible says that a man’s gift will make room for him. These athletes have worked hard so that their gifts can get them into the NBA and earn commercial endorsements.

The other group of people Mr. Sterling impacted was NBA fans everywhere and Los Angeles Clippers fans in particular. For Clippers fans, the experience of a playoff run was overs-shadowed and tainted by the words of Mr. Sterling. This year, the ClippersDavid Jenkins Jr. have a legitimate shot at going deep into the playoffs. However, Mr. Sterling comments have removed the spotlight from the hardwood court and placed the attention in the public court of opinion. It was to the point that the opposing team, Golden State Warriors, seriously considered not playing Game 5 of the series. Can you image the aftershocks in the sporting world if the Warriors had boycotted the game? If the boycott had occurred you can truly say that the Warriors understood Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Mr. Sterling’s comments have also insulted women. I am not going to address the motives of why his girlfriend recorded the conversation, but it is evident that Mr. Sterling has control issues when it comes to women. A man has to be very insecure to want to control who a woman communicates with and at what level, even to the point of trying to determine who she can be seen with and where. Women are not objects to be controlled, but people with their own thoughts and goals. As a man, you have to be comfortable with your relationship with a woman, in order for both of you to enjoy what you have. If a man has to control every aspect of a relationship, then affection has been replaced by contractual agreement, Song of Solomon 1:16: “My beloved is mine, and I am his …”

Dave Jenkins is an ordained minister and leadership and relationship teacher. Jenkins, a former chaplain for the Allen (Texas) Police Department, is a graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, La., and earned a master’s of Christian leadership from Criswell College in Dallas. He also received advanced counseling training from Amberton University. Jenkins and his wife, Phyllis, are hosts of their own weekly family relationships show, “Marriage Monday,” on KGGR 1040 at 5 p.m. CST. Follow him on Twitter at @IamDaveJenkins and “like” him on Facebook (IamDaveJenkinsJr). Learn more about his ministry at www.davejenkinsjr.com.

Shields of Strength to share God’s word at Sochi Olympics

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

An athletic ministry and a Christian jewelry company have found the perfect way to put Christ on the minds of the athletes who arePhilippians 4:13 taking part in the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Shields of Strength, along with Athletes in Action (AIA), a ministry of Cru (formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ), will minister to coaches and competing athletes by providing spiritual, emotional, and mental support in the multi-faith center of the Olympic Village.

Team member and Olympic Chaplain Carl Dambman has been ministering to Olympic athletes in both the summer and winter games for the past 33 years. He said a dozen AIA staff and volunteers will distribute the shields to athletes who are seeking God’s word.

“The world’s eyes are on heroes of the sports fields, and we want to strengthen and encourage them as people watch them relying on God as their Creator, their Savior, and the One who gave them the talents to perform,” Dambman said.

“If the Shields of Strength can help them in their walk with the Lord, then we’re all for partnering with whoever wants to lift up Christ.”

Kenny Vaughan, founder of Shields of Strength, said that the company has donated over one million of the three million shields they produced to individuals, the U.S. military, churches, and ministries such as AIA. Both Vaughan and Dambman find that the organizations’ new partnership works well.

“Our missions align well because we can give them a tool to help them share Christ through a one-on-one relationship,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan said he understands the fear and pressure that Olympians experience during competition. While trying to win a U.S. Nationals for the water ski long jump, he described a comparable feeling that he was insufficient.

“The unique thing about an athlete, especially in the Olympics, is that they are prepared for pressure,” he said. “But until that momentJoshua 1:9 when you should be disciplined, it’s then when you find yourself saying, ‘God I need you.’ Right then is when you’re even weaker than you realized.

“Athletes in competition think if they have enough courage, they can overcome fear. But really that thought is the trap of life. And it’s not courage, but love that overcomes fear. It’s the courage to love that makes us courageous. That’s the message of God’s word, and Athletes in Action is taking advantage of this opportunity to share that truth.”

During his time of doubt and fear, Vaughan’s girlfriend (now wife), Tammie, wrote scriptures on his ski equipment, which, through God’s power, found their way into his heart and eased his fears. This led Vaughan to inscribe verses onto dog tags and wear them underneath his shirt.

From that first shield, Shields of Strength has grown to also include women’s jewelry and other accessories, like key chains and athletic tape. Seventeen years later, the company hopes that the shields can help Olympians as they face the same trials during competition.

“Love doesn’t always guarantee a win in life; it just ensures we compete with all we have and that gives us a better chance to win,” Vaughan said.

According to Vaughan, the shields have be found on the battlefield and the football field, providing encouragement as a simple reminder to new and established Christians alike.

Learn more about Shields of Strength at www.shieldsofstrength.com.

TBN to host annual pre-Super Bowl special featuring player interviews

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Special to Inside The Pew

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, is the biggest game of year; and, on Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. CST, the Trinity Broadcasting Network will get viewers ready forSuperBowlNYNJ Super Bowl XLVIII with a two-hour faith-and-football special from New York City, featuring on-the-field interviews with members of both the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as appearances by NFL and other sports greats, along with impacting stories about how faith in God has made a difference in the lives of athletes.

Hosted each year by former NFL player Mike Barber, TBN’s annual Super Bowl pre-game warm-up has featured impacting interviews with many past and present NFL legends, including Kurt Warner, the late Reggie White, Joe Theismann, Aaron Rodgers, Aeneas Williams, Roman Phifer, Don Beebe, and Adam Vinatieri, to name just a few.

Slated for this year’s TBN pre-game special will be segments featuring both team quarterbacks – the Denver’s Peyton Manning and Seattle’s 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year Russell Wilson – along with Super Bowl Media Day interviews with other game-changers such as Seattle’s Chris Maragos, Clint Gresham, and Russell Okung, and Denver’s Jacob Tamme and Joel Dresson.

“We’re excited about this year’s lineup for TBN’s pre-Super Bowl show,” Barber said. “This program is about more than just football. It’s men talking about how Christ has made a difference in their lives, in their families, and even in how they approach the game. This is going to be a life-changing show for our viewers.”

TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch said TBN’s annual Super Bowl pre-game “Praise the Lord” show is one of the network’s most popular and anticipated specials.

“We’ve been hosting this for the past fifteen years, and the list of past guests and participants reads like an NFL ‘Who’s Who,'” he said. “This year’s Super Bowl is sure to be one of the most exciting in history, and we’re looking forward to connecting with some of the players at TBN’s special pre-game warm-up.”