From the Rec Min July 15th, 2019

               What a great week! Thankfully, the weather held off for us to get games in Thursday and Friday. Then, on Saturday, activities were inside as we hosted a Ronnie Arrow Basketball Camp. Our CSports Flag Football Celebration was held in the gym Sunday afternoon and, although attendance was light – probably due to the weekend weather threats – the atmosphere was great! Several of our high-spirited staff and leaders enjoy loud responses from the audience and they got it! The players did a great “thank you” parade for the coaches, the video was entertaining, and we were blessed to meet and hear a word of inspiration from our brand new Minister of Discipleship here at Christ United, Rev. Bobbi Lassiter. Being the mom of young, prospective CSports children, she was right on target in thanking parents and volunteers and relating how important it is that we direct this next generation in and into Christ centered activities. It is very easy for us to discount the things we do with and for our kids as so many of the activities seem continuous. Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, amen.” (may be where Randy Travis got the phrase)   What we do in His name, pursuant to His calling, will have greater results than we will ever know. The response cards we received from the Celebration attendees showed that, among the small crowd in attendance, 6 adults and 12 players accepted Christ as their personal Savior during the season. 22 adults and 13 players said that they grew closer to Christ during the season. This is just one indication of the influence you have had so far this season through your dedication, your mentoring, your presentation of devotions each week, your encouragement, and your representation of the true purpose of this program. Thank you for being the engine that keeps us running!

               We are in our last week of Flag Football. We hope the weather cooperates. Soccer evaluations are next week. Mrs. Rose always needs coaches and team parents!! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the fields.

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

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From the Rec Min July 1, 2019

               Happy Monday C-Sports family! I hope you all survived the storms over the past several days. I’m sorry we had to cancel games but the safety of our players, families and staff must always be our greatest concern. We actually did have one staff member injured during the storm Thursday but, thank God, she is fine. Somehow the lock to the rec storage shed was lost during the scramble to get things put away Thursday. Several people looked all over for it as it must have flown off the door when the wind whipped it open. I looked for it twice myself. This morning, before going to the lock store we use to get a new one and a bunch of keys made to it, I went back out there again. I had been looking maybe 10 minutes or so, sweat running down my face, and finally I said out loud in exasperation, “Lord, where is the lock?” I promise, no exaggeration, I then looked down and it was lying at my feet on top of the pine straw we keep in front of the shed. I guess God sometimes sends a reminder that He’s watching everything we do.

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               My wife and I were blessed to spend a couple of days at the beach with friends this past weekend. Though I was still in touch via phone with family and work, I used the time to relax and recoup. I have a hard time relaxing when I know I have things that need to be done, but I tried. I had recently read the story of the two wood cutters who entered a contest to see who could chop the most wood in a day. One of the cutters chopped non-stop. The other took a break every couple of hours. When the contest ended, surprisingly, the cutter who had taken the breaks was the winner. When asked how that could be, the winner explained, “During my breaks I was sharpening my ax.” There is a message there. Maybe a couple of “rained-out” games presented a needed rest for many of us. I was able to use my time to reflect, to appreciate, and to quietly commune with God, my Creator and Savior. That is my equivalent of “sharpening my ax”. We read in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” In life, whatever we feed grows and whatever we starve dies. That is especially true of our spiritual lives.

               Welcome to Mobile, Alabama! It is going to be sunny and hot, rainy and murky, cloudy, windy, all in the same day. When we find ourselves changing plans due to the weather, let’s use that time to feed our spirits with prayer, Bible reading, and even in conversation with family members without electronic devices in our hands or laps. God’s mercies are new and exciting every day. Let’s expect and enjoy them!

               Thank you all for the tings you do to make this ministry produce Godly results. Have a great week and I’ll see you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

From the Rec Min June 24, 2019

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               Good rainy morning! I’m very thankful that the rain held off this morning until morning VBS carpool was over! Thank you all for another great week of C-Sports Flag Football! I’m hearing great things each week about the fun, learning, and just the general spirit that is so prevalent out on the fields. In all of our activities we are challenged daily by worldly values and habits and, through C-Sports we have proven that God’s instruction and assurance is stronger than the world’s influence. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When I speak to groups about our programs I describe our ministry as “In the world but not of the world.” When I see so many coaches, Team Parents, and field volunteers at work I am reminded of the passage in 3 John 1:5-6 that says, “Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers [and sisters], even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.” Thank you for all you do!

               This morning I was excited to see Rev. Bobbi Lassiter helping with VBS in the hallway. She is our brand new Pastor of Discipleship and will be our Celebration speaker on July 14th. Please begin reminding your team families to be at the Celebration Sunday, July 14, at 3:00pm.

               I hope the weather allows us to have practices and games this week. Mrs. Rose will be using all of her heavenly influence to keep it dry in the afternoons! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

From the Rec June 17, 2019

               Good morning staff and volunteers and welcome to the 2019 CSports Flag Football season! Those of you who have been with us a while know that each Monday after games I send a brief message reflecting on the practices and games from the week before. It is our job and blessing to equip and encourage the many volunteers in this and other sports activities. Our staff is relatively few in number and we very much realize that all of our Spirit led successes are dependent upon our volunteers who have been led to lead and serve. From my staff and I, THANK YOU! From the Holy Spirit, HERE WE GO!

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               God likes children! The openness to new things and genuine trust in authority are unique to children as are the expectation and acceptance of unconditional love. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:3, “Unless you change and become like little children you will never see the Kingdom of God.” He was speaking about the love, trust and submission we need to display. Waaay back in Deuteronomy 6, we adults are told to “Love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” and to tell it to your children “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up.” Flag football had not been invented in Moses’ day. Had it been, I am convinced he would have added, “and as you coach and mentor” to the verse. This is what we do. We must first absorb the love and assurance from the Holy Spirit (you can’t give what you don’t have) and then pour it out on the players and families assigned to us as we teach rules, techniques, skills, sportsmanship, teamwork, and the word and love of God to them for the next five weeks. When you answered the call to serve, you became life changers…world changers. Future generations will one day hear your words as recalled by the young ones you are teaching today. Rejoice in it! Take it seriously!

               Please let Mrs. Rose know of any questions you may have. Remember the rules of sportsmanship and guard your instincts to shout disagreement if a call is missed by our volunteer officials. Your players are learning how to coach your grandchild one day 😊. We have several new staff who are helping with the sports so please make a point to meet them and welcome them to the world of CSports.

               See you on the field!

 

In his Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min May 13, 2019

               Thank you all for a great season of CSports Baseball. It sure didn’t end as we had hoped but, even though I tease Mrs. Rose about controlling the weather, we live in Mobile and it can get crazy! Coaches please try to contact team members who have not received their trophies. Otherwise, bring them to the rec desk. We begin CSports Flag Football evaluations tonight. Mrs. Rose still needs coaches! Please prayerfully consider continuing your service in this ministry! As Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” While it feels good to finish a task (or season) we must take a deep breath and continue serving. Many of you are old timers in this ministry and have coached several sports for years. Thank you!! Please help as mentors to the new folks who come in just as you did years ago. Show them the spirit we are looking for to lead these young athletes and help them become what God has created them to be. Yes, it’s a task and a blessing all at the same time!

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               Thank you for the great effect you’ve already had on this next generation in our community and thank you for what you will do in the future! May God bless you and your families richly as He has blessed us through you!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min May 6, 2019

               One more week! You got it in you?? Thank you all for a great day of baseball Saturday and a wonderful turn-out and spirit at the celebration on Sunday. Due to a large church function Sunday evening our CSports Baseball Celebration was held in our sanctuary rather than in the gym where we usually have it. While set-up was a little different, I enjoyed having our worship activity in view of the big cross which is so evident in our sanctuary. The Holy Spirit is always with us when we gather in His name, but it just felt right to be in a primary worship venue of our church. We were blessed with the usual welcome video from our Lead Pastor, Dr. Couch, we enjoyed a presentation by our Children’s Ministry Puppet Team, and, as always, celebrated with the banner parade with all of the players circling the area with their banners thanking the coaches. After the season video it was time for the speaker. We had scheduled Mobile’s favorite News Anchor (retired), Mr. Bob Grip, who had communicated with me several times and was anxious to be with us, but I received an email from him on Friday that his wife had passed away that morning. How tragic! I heard a collective moan or sigh when I announced it which told me that he and his family would be in the prayers of many who were in attendance. In his place, I spoke about what speakers who agree to speak at our celebrations each season ask me before they come. “What am I supposed to talk about?” “What is the nature of the occasion ?” “How long shall I speak?” Every time I tell them to feel free to speak about their own faith in Jesus and to encourage all of the parents and volunteers telling them their efforts are important and fruitful. I told the crowd at the celebration yesterday that children develop their character and many of their values and beliefs during this young period of their lives. They learn from us, good and bad. They see more than they hear. They learn what makes us happy, what makes us sad, and what makes us angry. They are influenced later by friends and the media, but during this early stage, parents, teachers, coaches, and other mentors are their guides. We are teaching our children how to raise our grandchildren some day. We are modeling for them how to treat others and even how to talk about others when they are not present. Proverbs 20:11 tells us, “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” We are the ones who light their paths through all of the experiences of life…until they get older and the world takes over. Will they have the strength of spirit, the solid foundation, the faithful assurance, the knowledge of God’s word, the self-esteem, and the consistent support and encouragement from their families and mentors to face the challenges and to teach the next generation the things they were taught by you?

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               The response cards from the celebration yesterday indicated that 15 adults and 18 players accepted Christ as their Savior during this season. 48 adults and 37 children indicated that they grew closer in their relationship with Christ during the season, and one player asked to speak with a minister about his faith. This is a pretty good start! Our church’s stated purpose is to Love God, Love People, and Change the World. Everything we do is a result of this directive. You, the people who have accepted God’s call to serve, are the instruments by which this part of the world (our community) will be changed for his glory. Thank you for all you do!

               Coaches, please try to get trophies to any players who missed the celebration. We hope for good weather for this last week of baseball! See you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min April 29, 2019

               It was good to get back into the swing of things after the Easter break. I was out of town at a family wedding but was in touch by phone at times throughout the weekend. Thanks to all of you who helped to make it a great day for Baseball! Please – please – please be sure to remind and encourage all of the families on your teams about the 2019 CSports Baseball Celebration this coming Sunday at 3:00pm. In the past there have actually been families who have told us they didn’t know about the event even though it was in their parent info packet and, hopefully, announced at each practice for the past month. The Celebration is a big part of each sports season. We will be in the sanctuary this time so please get here early to come find a seat.

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               Last week, as well as days prior to Easter, I enjoyed watching the annual and traditional movies I have seen so many times. One of my favorites has always been The 10 Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses. As I watched it a week or so ago I thought of you folks who run our programs. Moses nears the Burning Bush and is told by God that he has been chosen to lead His people. His first reaction reminded me of so many times I have been asked, or even felt a call, to do something out of my routine or comfort zone. Moses, however, is talking to God when he says, in his own way of course, “Are you kidding me???. I can’t do this!”   So many of you were hit with the request/calling when Mrs. Rose told you we needed coaches, team moms, etc. A favorite phrase I recall from my father is, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” Hebrews 13:20,21 tells us, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” We may make that Mrs. Rose’s benediction after each coaches meeting. When we answer the call, God will give us the mindset, the words, and the assurance we need to do His will. This process comes in many ways from volunteering for a program to parenting, to taking a job, making a decision, advising a friend, etc.    But…here I am again “preaching to the choir”.

               Thank you all for what you do to make this ministry effective. See you Saturday AND Sunday!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

 

From the Rec Min April 15, 2019

Thank you all for another great week of CSports Baseball. The weather worked out just right giving us a good game day before the nasty stuff hit that night. Again, I was grinning the whole day seeing the players hitting, running, catching, and throwing while their families and fans cheered. I love the spontaneous “spirit tunnels” formed at the end of each game. If your younger teams or leagues don’t automatically do this, please start! The kids love running through the tunnels hearing the cheers. Granted, the older kids probably won’t be as excited.

               Pre-game prayers, devotions during practices, and just the general environment where we celebrate that we are all really on the same team are how we work each week to get better. One day, when the players reach school ball age, the competition will be serious and we want our players (or alumni) to have instilled within themselves the spirit of sportsmanship. Teamwork and a good grasp on what “playing” is about is important. Such a foundation will make players the natural leaders on a team as well as a good parent and coach one day.

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               I love the passage in Ephesians 8:10 which says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I’m not sure where I stand on the “meant to be” issue as I know God gives us freedom to choose our direction in life. Still, I know He has a purpose for each of us to become and to produce as we grow, mature, and influence others. I don’t believe it is an accident that each of you has been given responsibility over areas of this ministry. You change lives every time you communicate with one of the young ones (or even older ones), when you direct them, compliment them, or correct them. God has expectations for each of us and, just as we should be doing in our jobs, homes, and social circles, we should be attentive. We should strive to be better, learn about each other so as to better communicate and serve each other. Lead in word and deed.

               What a joy it is to be God’s child and to share in the joy He brings to our ball fields and community. This is a Holy Week! Go to services and concerts. Experience the word and season of Easter. Remember, no games this coming Saturday. Plan for Team Service Projects. Celebration Banners will be created soon. Be preparing your families for the CSports Baseball Celebration in our SANCTUARY (not gym this time) on Sunday, May 5, at 3:00pm. They need to be here by 2:45pm to get a seat and fill out a response card. Thanks for all you do for this ministry! See you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min April 8, 2019

               Thank you all for another wonderful day of C-Sports Baseball! This week we got to share the day with our church’s Easter Bazaar on the campus. I drove by early in the morning and then had to go participate in a funeral, but when I returned, games were still going on and there were a number of our families circulating among the children’s activities at the Bazaar. I love it when people from the church can see our sports programs in action and I also love it when our church can display our many family oriented activities so that the C-Sports families can come meet and enjoy! A big thanks goes out to Mrs. Rose and staff from our youth and children’s ministries for handling a potentially dangerous situation early that morning prior (fortunately) to the time families began to show up. We are a big church with a wide open campus and occasionally we have to come together to protect people and property.

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               I was reading some of the prophesies in Isaiah recently and saw the one I’ve referred to a number of times. It begins in Isaiah 11:6 saying, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat…” and ends with, “and a little child will lead them.” There are great prophesies throughout the Book regarding God’s plan for the redemption of His people, but I enjoy taking out of context this passage where it refers to a “little child”. King David was a little child when he was anointed to be king. Jesus, Himself, came to us as a little child. I’ve made many references before about the children who play on our ball fields and in our gym and how many of them will one day “lead”. It may be a family, a work crew, a school, a community, a CSports team, or whatever, but whatever happens 30 years or so from now… these little children will be leading. I often hear our fears expressed regarding the government, the church, society in general, along with “fun” things like school or team rivalries. Our children and the ones we coach hear us and will use our comments to shape their own perspectives. Teaching that “the other team is the enemy” or speaking in a negative tone about our leaders (true or not) must come with the responsibility of explaining to the children the reality and basis for such comments. When we favor a team it isn’t necessary to be negative about other teams. We may applaud the courage of an elected official who will put themselves in front of a potentially hostile crowd to stand for what they believe whether we agree with them or not. Trust me, I’m very opinionated, but I respect leaders, referees, people who will make decisions. I try to remain humble, speak and display what I believe to be true and righteous, and model humility for my kids and grandkids. Still, I want to be courageous. I want to lead from wherever God puts me in my life. But, wherever that may be, I want to be a peacemaker.

               What brings hundreds of people to our ball fields each Saturday?  “Little children”, that’s what. What brought so many people to our Easter Bazaar Saturday? Same answer. I find that there are very many times and places in which I find myself following, indulging, entertaining, nurturing…well…being led by little children. Let’s celebrate this reality and go full force in the direction God has set us. As the song says, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me”…with me teaching the future leaders about faith, love, humility, courage, grace, mercy, and service. Thank you for all you do for this ministry and for the future of this community!

               See you on the field!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6