Let’s Talk Amazing…

Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18-19

Some things in life are just amazing… The Golden State Warriors and their fans today have one idea on what that might be. Today’s Scripture offers four more that King Solomon classifies as ‘more than amazing’. I think he really wanted to land on the last one especially. 😉 You tell me.
1. The sight of an eagle in flight. There is  such dignity and grace, power and purpose that a soaring eagle brings. It inspires like no other winged flight does.
2. How a snake moves so deftly. With no legs it moves so well and is so agile. It is a hit-and-run artist at its best.
3. How a boat stays high on the seas. Nothing seems to stop a boat’s buoyancy other than a leak. Nothing from the outside seems to bring it down.
4. The way of a man with a woman. A woman’s influence on a man is profoundly mysterious and simply amazing. There’s a way about a woman that really moves a man. She is amazingly powerful. A good one, the right one, can launch a thousand ships. 😉

Let’s pause on the last point for a moment… Since this is amazingly true, let’s be careful about who and what we get ourselves into. Knowing that we can get beautifully ‘smitten’ by a woman also means that we can get powerfully ‘bitten’ too.  That’s why Billy Joel and countless others have written the contrasting love songs they have.

LORD, help us as men to get our women-wisdom right. Lead us to safe harbor and real reward. We want to experience amazing victory on this important front. May we soar above, move deftly, keep our head above water, and find our way. We want to win the war here. Thank you by faith for Your strong hand to guide us to a good ‘promised land’.

Simply Amazed,
Coach Mo

Like Joe

Photo Credit: Coach Mo

Photo Credit: Coach Mo

Dedicating this one to my Dad and praying for the ‘Joe’ in all of us to rise and come forth…

“Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the Kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” Mark 15:43

When a great value forms deep within you or a big vision becomes clear, things happen. Focus sharpens. Life gets more purpose driven. Motivation mounts and personal productivity climbs. Boldness, courage, and fearlessness all stir and strain to elevate. You practice better, play harder, compete better. You love well. It all generates a beautiful upswing.

The value and the vision that formed in ‘Joe’, as seen here in the text, was the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom grabbed him, moved him. God’s Kingdom set in, took root. He ‘waited for it’ to shape his each new day. It lead Joe to go against the grain and take some radical identity steps. He became a Kingdom Man and it made all the difference in the world. The waiting moved him.

Let’s pause for a second… What does it mean to ‘wait for the kingdom of God’? I suggest it means to:
• long for God to show up on earth, in hearts, in me.
• trust God’s rule and reign in my life.
• live fearlessly before others.
• make bold asks of self and others.
• work hard for that kingdom now, believing all the labor will be worth it.
• let the King and Kingdom define me, becoming a Kingdom Man.
• do whatever needs to be done with Jesus, for Jesus. He is the King.

You waiting for a King and a Kingdom? Letting God’s kingdom define you and your life?

LORD, I wait for you. I long for you. I hope in you. I labor for you. I serve you. I purpose to be Your Kingdom Man.

Like Joe,
Coach Mo

Where’s Your Focus?

Photo Credit: Coach Rose in action with one of his teams "TRP!"

Photo Credit: Coach Rose in action with one of his teams “TRP!”

Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Coach Rose is one of the founding members and contributors to this site, “The Team Huddle.”  He was also the opposing coach of the high school that I used to attend and I remember him distinctly as a man and coach who not only enjoyed his craft of coaching but most importantly loved the Lord.

In today’s article, Coach Rose will share some his thoughts about his personal life, coaching career, and what him become the man that he is today. It is our hope and prayer that the following commentary will be a blessing and encouragement to you today!

My coaching career began many, many years ago, in 1976 (Far longer than I would like to admit!) Over my 35 year coaching career, I coached high school boys’ baseball, and basketball, girls’ softball but mostly boys and girls soccer. I started coaching at a small Christian school in Connecticut the same year I graduated from The King’s College (Briarcliff Manor, NY). I remember the nervousness I had as I started with the 18 or so young men. There were many questions I asked myself during those weeks leading up to that soccer season. Would the players respect me? What skills should I work on the most?, etc.. The main one however was, how do I motivate my players and what should our goals be?

I had played many different sports as a youth under many coaches. It wasn’t until college, however, that I was privileged to play under Christian coaches. Hearing the devotions they (and the older players) presented, gave me more wisdom as to player motivation. Also, about that time, a Christian author and coach (Wes Neal) came out with a book called: “Total Release Performance” which basically introduced the concept for athletes of competing in athletic competition with Christ as your focus and giving everything you had (practices, games, etc) for him and NOT worrying about pleasing anyone else but Him with your performance. (Of course this is a very simple breakdown of the content of the book. To get the complete picture and process, I suggest you buy the book -especially if you are a coach!) Though the book was written in the 70’s, the philosophy for athletic competition and participation is of course still the same today. It is based on Col. 3:23 which says, “Do everything heartily as unto The Lord, not as unto men”. I don’t think I would be amiss in saying that “pleasing men” is the focus of most coaches and players when they compete.

My first teams would yell “TRP” (Total Release Performance) as their opening game chant after we prayed in our huddle just before heading onto the field. (One funny story with this: my 3-year daughter at that time asked me one day why we yelled “1,2,3 Champagne” in the huddle!?) apparently what we were yelling was hard for others to understand, so that gave us the opportunity to explain to them what TRP was all about.

I would tell my players in tough games, under tough circumstances, “If Christ could leave heaven and live among us and suffer and die an agonizing death for our sake, the very LEAST we can do is compete wholeheartedly in all we do for Him. Whether playing an away game that your parents can’t attend, or playing during cold or rainy weather, or when your boyfriend (or girlfriend) has  broken up when you’ve or you failed an important test, when you step on the field, your job is to be totally committed to giving your absolute best effort for Him.”

Over the years, this became not only my athletic and coaching philosophy, but my life’s as well. Though totally applicable and perfect for sports, it should be the goal of ALL we do in our Christian walk also. (When my kids were young, we took that chant concept and would yell, “1,2,3 Family!” before we all headed out the door to school and work! My 2nd daughter has kept that tradition with her two and four year old boys, yelling “1,2,3 Family” and then “Go Jesus” before they tuck their boys in at night.  :).

Keeping Christ and HIS ultimate sacrifice for us as the focal point of our life should be our purpose in our daily walk as well and by doing everything, “heartily as unto the Lord”, we can glorify Him and also see and follow His will for our life.

Is this your life’s philosophy? Do the circumstances you have from day to day, affect your service and testimony for Him? My prayer for you today is that you can learn to live and perform in all you do for Christ and not for men!

Winding Up Dead

Photo Credit: Andrew Kuchling via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Andrew Kuchling via CC Flickr

“A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.” Proverbs 21:16

Here’s a tough one for today…

What does it mean to ‘stray from the path of understanding’? I’ve gotta know this answer so I won’t wind up dead…or as good as dead. I don’t wanna kill a season, a life, a godly dream or great opportunity. This question deserves good pause and a solid answer.

For starters, here’s what I believe it means, what it looks like to stray from the path of understanding:
• pursuing dangerous relationships, ones based on flesh not spirit, lust not love. (Don’t play one on one here.)
• making life decisions based on feelings more than facts and faith. (Push feelings to the curb instead.)
• freelancing my way along without solid principles or smart plans to guide my moves. (Sometimes freedom becomes foolishness.)
• thinking freedom brings reward, not discipline that does it. (Truly, the fruit of discipline is freedom.)
• avoiding maturity and responsibility, believing that’s for older guys, other men. (Maturity and responsibility are timeless virtues.)
• living largely unsure of what to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to in life. (Setting good definitions and wise boundaries always produces wins.)
• spending on what I want now more than patiently saving for later. (Live for eternity. Invest there.)
• seeing my time/talents/treasures as mine, without spiritual implications or social responsibility. (Steward my gifts.)
• seeing my body the same way, as mine. (Is it not the temple of God too?)
• seeking an end to the flow of good advice from others, believing this slows me down or keeps me from being my own man. (Wisdom never take shortcuts.)
• running through a stop light that says, “Nothing good ever happens past midnight.” (Too often that line is true.)
• viewing pornography as innocent and ‘safe sex’ as safe. (It’s all lethal.)
• believing it’s better to learn from experience, from one’s own mistakes, than from the mistakes of others. (The wise man learns from others.)
• shelving prayer, Bible reading and church attendance for the same reasons. (My experience should lead me to God, not away from Him.)
• thinking that good is evil and evil is good. (Wear the right glasses.)
• thinking that developing pride is more important than cultivating humility. (It never is.)
• living in disobedience before God, thinking I can get away with it. (I never can.)
• following what the world says, how it defines success, instead of what God’s Word teaches. (God’s way is best.)

What do YOU think ‘straying from the path of understanding’ means, what this looks like? Whatever you come up with, you better make sure you’re both right and steer clear. God says you could wind up dead otherwise.

LORD, help us to see straight and stay on the path of understanding. Hedge us in. Going astray could cost us dearly. We want to win for You and through You and live.

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo