Saturday was a great kick-off for our 2018/19 CSports Basketball season! Thank you all for your dedication and spirit! Not only was it a nice day, buy the smiles and laughter brightened the gym all day along with the cheers and encouragement from the parents and coaches. I saw the looks on the faces of children who scored their first goal. I saw intensity in the efforts. While there were some questions which are expected on the first game day of the season, there was cooperation between coaches, referees, and rec staff. That is not something we take for granted but are blessed with each week! Thank you!
A few reminders for coaches and team parents: Please remind players to be in their full uniform for each game day. Please ask parents to not allow kids to bring basketballs from home. Our schedule is very tight as we try to adhere to the schedule. Between periods, halves, and games there are instructions being passed along, devotions being delivered, and announcements being made. Bouncing basketballs are very distracting. The halftime devotions and pre-call-out announcements are vital to our ministry and program. Please encourage everyone to pause their conversations and to control younger siblings who want to run and play during these times. There may be a person (or persons) in the room who needs to hear exactly what is being said and noise and activity may be the devil’s way of keeping them from it! Please don’t just ignore what is being said during these times. There will be plenty of time for conversation.
Please emphasize the importance of keeping valuables out of sight in the cars in the parking lot. Thieves, especially as we near the holidays, love to go through crowded parking lots looking for purses, cell phones, iPads, etc. A busted window and lost valuables will ruin your weekend! Also, please encourage all families to not block emails from our church. We have a program which puts any email that goes out from a ministry out to everyone on the list. I know that can be annoying as I am on some lists myself, but if you block the church emails you will miss very important announcements from recreation as well.
Every time we begin a new sport I like to encourage and equip coaches with materials and opportunities to bless the lives of the children assigned to them as well as the parents who have entrusted their most cherished gifts to them. CSports is a developmental sports ministry that offers all of the benefits of being “in the world” without being “of the world”. We see videos of youth coaches and parents fighting at games while their children hide under benches and cry. We see kids who excel at a skill and never come off the court and others who are made fun of and sit the bench. This is a bad beginning to a child’s spiritual foundation and a dangerous value system to teach a child who is learning and developing their skills and talents and who will one day be a parent/coach themselves. Teamwork and sportsmanship are vital for players who will one day be leaders on their teams. Also, the underlying fact that you don’t hear often is that we are playing a game. The guy (or coach) on the other team is our opponent for that game, not an adversary. This world is so full of arguing, protesting, accusations, and the lack of cooperation that we almost have to screen the national news from our children. Titus 3:9 tells us to , “Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” While we have to courageously stand for our Christian principles and values, anger is rarely any value; especially if it involves a 2nd grader stepping on a line or a 5th grader double dribbling. The podium outside our gym entrance has on it the verse from Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” We count on this and base our methods on it. Many times the way grows foggy and we have to make quick decisions, but the Spirit is always there.
Working in the ministry is always a blessing because we know that God has called us to do things within His will. Still, we have those “human moments”. Last week I had taken part in a funeral for a gentleman who was a husband, father, and grandfather (as I am). While I sat up front, led music, and listened to the words of scripture and memory, I saw the tears in the eyes of the family members. Young grandchildren cried because they lost their “Pawpaw”. It broke my heart. Often during these times I see the faces of my own family members in my mind as they will one day bury me. With that sad state of mind, I drove home to change back into my Rec Min clothes and saw that my daughter and youngest grandson were at my house. I rushed in, greeted them fondly, and hurried to change clothes. As I was changing, I heard from my bedroom my daughter in another room on our piano playing and singing “Joy to the World” to my grandson. That was all it took to revive my spirit. There IS joy in the world! The world and the people in it have reasons for Joy and must embrace it. Our families, our nation, and our Lord are daily blessings. God expects us to “shine the light” from these blessings every day as we touch the lives of others. Working, volunteering, playing, or just sitting around the house we must feel and acknowledge the reality of our faith and blessings and share it, if only through our smile, assistance, or cheerful greeting.
Remember this week we have practice on Monday and Tuesday, then are closed until next Monday. Have a great Thanksgiving and we’ll see you on the court!
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6