Saturday: Coffee with God ~ 7/14/2018

1) Read Scripture: Mark 2

 2) Answer Questions:

 ·       What section or phrase stood out to you in you in Mark 2?

·       What does the section or phrase that stood out to you say?

·       What does the section or phrase that stood out to you mean?

·       How can you apply what you just read to your life today?

 3) Coaching Application:

 I’m not a college coach, but I’ve always thought coaching at the college level would be fun.  As I am not a college coach I don’t have any experience in recruiting someone to come and be a part of my program.  As I read through this passage of Scripture the thought occurred to me that Jesus was probably the greatest recruiter of all time.  He would just walk up to someone and say “follow me” and they would.  Putting together a 12-man roster was nothing for Jesus.

 Regardless of whether or not we are recruiting student athletes to play for our team, we have a responsibility to help God, by using our gifts and talents, to “recruit” people into the Kingdom of God.  Like with coaching we can do this with our words, but I believe our actions and the way we live our lives speak volumes as well.  As followers of Jesus, trying to replicate Him to others, our faith experiences, knowledge of how Jesus lived His life, and following the leading of the Holy Spirit help us to engage others in opportunities to follow Jesus just like the first disciples did.

 When we interact with the young people on our teams we have a great responsibility and opportunity to teach them all kinds of life lessons, and important fundamentals and strategies of the sports we love.  We also have the opportunity to, as the Spirit leads and gives us wisdom, to encourage them to follow Jesus.  We are not wanting them to follow us, but rather we are encouraging them to follow Jesus.  We are God-bearers and we point the people we connect with in life to God. 

I’m also reminded here in this passage of the authority in which Jesus spoke.  As I read His words I can’t help but consider the respect He was given simply because of the boldness and authority in which He spoke.  This strong communication, plus earning the respect of His followers by how He lived His life helped Jesus draw people to Himself and to connect them to the Father.  As coaches I’m assuming we can follow Jesus’ lead in speech and how He lived His life as we interact with and share life with the athletes we have the privilege of coaching. Do we speak with authority? Do we live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God and in rhythm with the life of the Spirit?

 4) Prayer:

 ·       Thank God for your time together.

·       Spend time praying for those things that are on your heart and your mind.

 5) Song of the Week:  Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns


Saturday: Coffee with God

1) Read Scripture: Today’s Scripture is Mark chapter 1.

 2) Questions:

             A) As you read, which phrase, or section stood out to you?

            B) What does the phrase, or section say?

            C) What does the phrase, or section mean?

            D) How can you apply what you’ve read and learned to your life today?

 3) Coaching Application:

 As I read Mark 1 two passages encouraged me as a person and as a coach. 

 The first passage is Mark 1: 16-17, and the phrase “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

In all of life we have opportunities to witness to people and share Jesus with them.  In coaching we have opportunities to do this with athletes, parents, other coaches, administrators, game staff, referees/officials, media, and fans.  I’m reminded this morning of this responsibility, and am encouraged to look for opportunities to do this.

 While sharing about Jesus with our words is important, but as coaches our actions may be even more important in how we share Jesus with others.  In our actions as coaches how do we communicate and share the love and testimony of Jesus? Are we mindful of the impact that everything we say or do has on those around us?

 The second passage that stood out to me this morning comes from Mark 1:35-39, and starts off with the line, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”  I think Jesus took this time out of his busy for a couple of different reasons but his primary focus during this time was communing with God.  This is a good practice for all of us.  Practicing the spiritual disciplines of solitude, silence, and prayer on a regular basis helps to keep us grounded in Christ, remember our calling and ministry, maintain our relationship with Jesus, and remember that above all else we are God’s children. 

 Let’s take a look at our schedules and make sure there is time for us to go “off to a solitary place” and spend time with Jesus.  As we work with and have influence and impact in the lives of other people these times are critical.  We have to practice self-care and take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and relationally so we can be the people we are supposed to be for those we are called to spend time with.

 4) Prayer

             A) Thank God for your time together this morning.

            B) Spend some time praying the things that are on your heart and mind.

            C) Pray for God’s blessing and favor to be in your life this week.

5) Worship Song of the Week:


8.9.17 ~ Matthew 4:12-17

Matthew 4:12-17

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
    a light has dawned.”


17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

For the sake of this blog all of my posts will relate to coaching sports teams, even though this passage of Scripture (and all Scripture)  is useful in all areas of life. Just because I write with a certain audience in mind, doesn’t mean you can’t take this Scripture and let the Holy Spirit transform another area of you or your life.

I think the Holy Spirit is a good member of the Trinity to remember when we read and study Scripture.  I’m going to share my opinion and thoughts, but ultimately the Holy Spirit is our guide and our Present Teacher.  When we study Scripture let’s make sure we pray and ask the Holy Spirit to come and teach us and help us to relate what we read to our lives.

There are two things from today’s passage that I want to mention.

As someone who needs his quiet and space, I appreciate that Jesus needed his space as well.  In verse 12 we read that when Jesus heard about John he withdrew.  Elsewhere in Scripture we see Jesus either withdrawing, or going off by himself (or with his disciples) to pray and spend time with God.  In today’s Scripture we see that Jesus withdrew to Galilee.

We aren’t told what Jesus did there, but we do know of the different places he lived and visited.  Part of the reason for his withdrawing was to fulfill a prophecy, and I have to believe that another reason was to just get away and rest.  As coaches I think modeling rest to our athletes is a good idea.  Of course you have to be under the belief and understanding that athletes, no matter their age, can’t train year round without taking breaks.  As coaches we can model rest in our own lives by how we scheduled periods of rest into a balanced routine, and we can also schedule rest for our athletes during and out of the season.  If we don’t our bodies and their bodies will break down and we won’t be able to “perform” at a high level.

I think that Jesus’ withdrawing also shows that He knew Himself well enough to know what He needed to do to recharge.  I know in my life there needs to be a good balance of activity and rest.  Even in busy seasons of life this is possible, and we constantly need to be reminded that it is okay to take care of ourselves and slow down every once and awhile.  Or slowing down might just be for a moment, but sometimes a moment is all we need.

In verse 17 we read that Jesus began to preach “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Another thing I like about Jesus is that His message never changed, from the beginning to the end of His earthly ministry.  Jesus knew His mission, He knew what the task at hand was, and He set out to do it.  I can appreciate Jesus’ unwavering pursuit of His mission, as He desired to reach people with the grace, hope, and love that we experience through our salvation  in Him.

A couple of things here. 1) As Christian coaches we have the same message to share as we point the people in our spheres of influence to the hope and truth of Jesus Christ.  This is pretty simple and everything in our life, including our words and actions, can point others to Jesus. 2) Jesus never wavered in his message.  I wonder how this relates to us as coaches?  I think this might mean that when we have a philosophy that we believe in, stick to it. I also think this means we are consistent in what we teach, how we discipline, how we encourage, how we interact with players, how we treat the officials, and more.  Consistency is important as we work with and seek to have a positive influence on the lives of young people.

I know here in Idaho that fall sports seasons are getting started in our public and private schools around the state.  My prayer is for there to be opportunity for young people to experience the greatness of sport and sportsmanship, while learning and having fun, building relationships with their teammates, and learning about Jesus or growing in their commitment and relationship with Him.  My prayer is similar for coaches.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great day.

Wednesday Devotion ~ Matthew 4:1-11

Our Scripture reading for this week is Matthew 4:1-11, the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness before after He was baptized and before He started His ministry.

There are several nuggets for us to glean as followers of Christ and as coaches.

We learn in this passage that we, like Jesus, are to “stand strong” in the face of temptation.  When we are faced with temptation let’s remember to lean on God, and not turn our backs on Him.  The “tempter” will visit us, just like the “tempter” visited Jesus, and like Jesus we need to be ready to combat these attacks.  Jesus used Scripture to do this, and provides for us an example of why know Scripture in our soul is very important.  We may need to quote Scripture to refute the advances of the evil one, or at least utter the words “away from me Satan!”

I read that Jesus was a person of integrity and convictions.  Jesus did not go against what He knew to be true in God.  As coaches we are role models and are to set the example for the athletes entrusted to our care, just like Jesus did with His disciples.  We recognize a great need to have integrity as we coach our teams, making sure our yes is yes and our no is no, and making sure we don’t say anything we aren’t willing to follow through on.  I recognize the need to be willing and able to only ask and expect of our teams what we ask and expect of ourselves.  Let’s make sure we are modeling our moral integrity and convictions of faith and belief.

Jesus was focused on the eternal value.  He could have given in to the devil’s pleas on chosen a different path, but instead He looked at the eternal significance of what He needed to do and instead chose to honor God and focus on eternal value.  As we keep our focus on God and as we work with the athletes on our team as Christ-centered coaches we need to focus on the eternal ramifications.  The young people we coach are either already brothers or sisters in Christ, or potential brothers and sisters in Christ, and we need to interact with them as such.  We must understand that in the process of coaching we can’t say or do things that will harm the opportunity for our athletes to know the love of God.  We have to focus on the eternal, everlasting life with Jesus Christ.

To be sure we will be tested in our coaching and life endeavors as well.  I know I have been and will continue to be.  While I often don’t respond the most appropriately in times of trial and temptation, I believe my heart is in the right place and my goal is always to respond like Jesus has taught us.  Good think our learning is a journey and takes time to figure all of this following Jesus stuff out.

The other thing I see here as I wrap this post up, is Jesus’ utter dependence on God.  As follower of Jesus we need to do the same, as Christian coaches we need to do the same.  We, like Jesus, must have total dependence on God!