Category Archives: Sports Stories

Does God Care if We Win & How We Win?

On Nov.2, 2014 there was a brawl at Texas Motor Speedway involving NASCAR crews, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon. Much can and has been said about this but Denny Hamlin, who has had his struggles with Keselowski said this in an interview:
Does God Care if We Win & How We Win“If you ask me do you want a championship trophy or do you want the respect of your peers, I will take the respect from my peers because that trophy, they can’t put in my casket,” Hamlin said. “What’s the fun of a NASCAR [championship] party that nobody shows up to?”
As a Sports Chaplain, I do not hear Denny’s perspective very often in this “win at all cost” society. I think that Brad probably has garnered more fans as a result of his attitude and driving because this perspective of competition has been ingrained in so many. Last week I prayed with a team before a basketball game that “the competition would play their best and we would play our best” – there were not a lot of coaches or players saying amen at that point. One great reason Sports Chaplains are in the locker room – to give another perspective, hopefully one from above.
I love winning – love to compete. Winning is so much more fun that losing. But God teaches us when both happens. I do believe that God cares who wins and who loses. If he doesn’t care – tell me what else God doesn’t care about. Winning and losing affects lives in drastic ways – just ask any coach that could lose his job if he does not win this season. Does God care about his job and family? You betcha!
God is there when we win and when we lose – and that is not just a comment about sports.

Submitted by Ken Cross

Invitation to Super Bowl Breakfast

By George McGovern, Chaplain, NY Giants & NY Yankees

With the Super Bowl coming to NYC, I’m involved with the planning of the AIA Super Bowl Breakfast. This is an NFL-sanctioned event scheduled for Friday, January 31 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.

This outreach, in its 27th year, features the presentation of the Bart Starr Award to a current NFL player, voted on by his peers, for outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. Bart Starr, who hasn’t missed a SB Breakfast in 27 years, will again be at the event to personally present the award. Past winners include Jason Witten, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Curtis Martin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Mike Singletary.

Please join me along with Bart Starr, Justin Tuck, Brent Jones and other NFL greats for an inspiring morning. Eric Metaxas, NY Times Best Selling Author of Bonhoeffer and George Martin, NY Giants 1975-1988 and member of Giants Ring of Honor, will co-emcee.

The program will highlight the character and faith that exist among many of the NFL coaches and players. It is not designed to be a “prayer breakfast”. Rather, it’s designed for those who are intrigued by the idea of a faith component to life. The various elements of the outreach will help attendees to process that idea for themselves. If you have a friend or relative at this place in his life, the Super Bowl Breakfast would be a superb event to assist in the journey.

Tables are assigned on a first come, first serve basis!
Follow this link to view your invitation as well as program details. I hope to see you there!

http://www.superbowlbreakfast.com/invite

 

Invitation to Super Bowl Breakfast

SB Breakfast Invite PhotoBy George McGovern, Chaplain, NY Giants & NY Yankees

With the Super Bowl coming to NYC, I’m involved with the planning of the AIA Super Bowl Breakfast. This is an NFL-sanctioned event scheduled for Friday, January 31 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.

This outreach, in its 27th year, features the presentation of the Bart Starr Award to a current NFL player, voted on by his peers, for outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. Bart Starr, who hasn’t missed a SB Breakfast in 27 years, will again be at the event to personally present the award. Past winners include Jason Witten, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Curtis Martin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Mike Singletary.

Please join me along with Bart Starr, Justin Tuck, Brent Jones and other NFL greats for an inspiring morning. Eric Metaxas, NY Times Best Selling Author of Bonhoeffer and George Martin, NY Giants 1975-1988 and member of Giants Ring of Honor, will co-emcee.

The program will highlight the character and faith that exist among many of the NFL coaches and players. It is not designed to be a “prayer breakfast

What are your favorite sports memories?

From our sister ministry, the Church Sports Outreach, written by Bob Schindler. This is a great question to ask as you talk to those you are called to serve. Last night, I was with a Sports Ministry Leadership Team of 5 men and 2 women. To kick off the meeting, the Sports Ministry Leader asked this question, “What are your favorite sports memories?”

While it took a little time to “prime the pump,” once things got rolling all the eyes lit up and the emotions began to flow. Joy, sadness, laughter, and good-humored harassment all spilled out as the group told of spectating historic events, participating on a memorable team, or making a spectacular play.

As the meeting moved on, I reflected on what just happened. I had been with this group before and the community I just observed was somewhat unique. It made me wonder what enabled this special event to take place.

“Sports tap deeply into our hearts – for all who participate.” This is the conclusion I came to.

I realized that what I witnessed was a rather unique opening of their hearts with one another and a sharing in those experiences made possible by the realm of sports.

When I got home, I picked up the July 22, 2013 Sports Illustrated that I hadn’t read yet. In the Leading Off section in the front of the magazine was an article titled, The Tweetest Things.

SI.com senior editor Richard Deitsch tweeted about how cool it would be to have a picture of one’s greatest moment. Within hours hundreds of photos came pouring in, and among the shots of graduation, child births, and family reunions were a trove of sports scenes.

The article then included some 15 pictures with captions explaining these memorable moments. I found myself moved by the stories of complete strangers as I read over these captions.

It was the same experience – Sports touch our hearts deeply.

This is why sports make such a great Bridge and a great Laboratory.

By the way, what are your favorite sports memories? We’d love to hear from you by either commenting in this blog or emailing your stories to bschindler@csosports.org. We’ll be sure to pass along those that are shared.

In the meantime, next time you are in a group or just with someone else, how about asking this question, “What are some of your favorite sports memories?” and see what happens?

Submitted by Ken Cross

 

 

What are your favorite sports memories?

sports

From our sister ministry, the Church Sports Outreach, written by Bob Schindler. This is a great question to ask as you talk to those you are called to serve.Last night, I was with a Sports Ministry Leadership Team of 5 men and 2 women. To kick off the meeting, the Sports Ministry Leader asked this question, “What are your favorite sports memories?”

While it took a little time to “prime the pump,” once things got rolling all the eyes lit up and the emotions began to flow. Joy, sadness, laughter, and good-humored harassment all spilled out as the group told of spectating historic events, participating on a memorable team, or making a spectacular play.

As the meeting moved on, I reflected on what just happened. I had been with this group before and the community I just observed was somewhat unique. It made me wonder what enabled this special event to take place.

“Sports tap deeply into our hearts – for all who participate.” This is the conclusion I came to.

I realized that what I witnessed was a rather unique opening of their hearts with one another and a sharing in those experiences made possible by the realm of sports.

When I got home, I picked up the July 22, 2013 Sports Illustrated that I hadn’t read yet. In the Leading Off section in the front of the magazine was an article titled, The Tweetest Things.

SI.com senior editor Richard Deitsch tweeted about how cool it would be to have a picture of one’s greatest moment. Within hours hundreds of photos came pouring in, and among the shots of graduation, child births, and family reunions were a trove of sports scenes.

The article then included some 15 pictures with captions explaining these memorable moments. I found myself moved by the stories of complete strangers as I read over these captions.

It was the same experience – Sports touch our hearts deeply.

This is why sports make such a great Bridge and a great Laboratory.

By the way, what are your favorite sports memories? We’d love to hear from you by either commenting in this blog or emailing your stories to bschindler@csosports.org. We’ll be sure to pass along those that are shared.

In the meantime, next time you are in a group or just with someone else, how about asking this question, “What are some of your favorite sports memories?” and see what happens?

Submitted by Ken Cross

 

 

Tour Stars on Golf and God

With the U.S. Open this week, I thought you might find this video from CNN interesting. It includes 2012 U.S.Open Champion, Webb Simpson, 2009 British Open Champion, Stewart Cink, and fellow PGA Tour players Keven Streelman, Ben Crane, and Aaron Baddeley speak about how their faith in Christ impacts them as professional golfers.

I especially like what Ben Crane said – “It is not like a Jedi mind trick that if I act like ‘Hey this (my golf game) is for God.’ then I will play better, but in actuality if my heart is right I am more at peace and life certainly works better from there.”

He makes it clear that what is important is the status of my heart in answer to the question – “Am I here to bring glory to me or to God?”
 

 

Tour Stars on Golf and God

With the U.S. Open this week, I thought you might find this video from CNN interesting. It includes 2012 U.S.Open Champion, Webb Simpson, 2009 British Open Champion, Stewart Cink, and fellow PGA Tour players Keven Streelman, Ben Crane, and Aaron Baddeley speak about how their faith in Christ impacts them as professional golfers.

I especially like what Ben Crane said – “It is not like a Jedi mind trick that if I act like ‘Hey this (my golf game) is for God.’ then I will play better, but in actuality if my heart is right I am more at peace and life certainly works better from there.”

He makes it clear that what is important is the status of my heart in answer to the question – “Am I here to bring glory to me or to God?”

 

I Disagree With Tim Tebow. Don’t Hate Me.

tim-tebow-300x191Allow me to explain.

I read this article detailing Tim Tebow’s recent speech at Liberty University and I came across this one line:

“In the end, football is just a silly game. Greatness comes from serving.”

Is it possible to say “Amen” and outwardly sigh at the same time? If so, that’s what I did when I read this quote.

Before I go any further, I must acknowledge my own ignorance when addressing this quote. I don’t know the greater context in which it was uttered. Nonetheless, I think you’ll see my perspective stands up.

On the one hand, I fully affirm that true greatness does not come directly from football. Tebow is right to point this out given how prone we all are to make sports an idol. Undoubtedly, his inspiration for saying this comes from Luke 22:24-27 and Mark 10:45. Amen to all of that.

Where I disagree is where Tebow says that football is just a silly game. Tebow does a disservice to the intersection of sports and Christianity when he says this. As I’ve written before, when you say something like this, it creates a false dichotomy. Behind that saying is a belief that says, “Some things are important and some things are not. Football is not important.

There are No Sports Heroes

Even if Oscar Pistorius is found to be innocent, the words of Al Mohler below are still relevant (bolding mine):

From the most recent Baseball Hall of Fame vote to Lance Armstrong and now Oscar Pistorius–it’s been a bad season for sports heroes. These cases may be truly extreme…but they do indicate something that Christians should always know in advance–and that is that human beings are never entirely heroic…there is always a dark side…every single human being, including these sports stars, are sinners. There is a human drive for heroes, a need for the heroic. At the same time, we need to be very careful that that understand of heroism does not reach unbiblical proportions.