In order for an athlete to be all he or she can be, one of the criteria is to sometimes look down, to sometimes look around and to often LOOK UP! Coach teaches his basketball players that successful ball handling means LOOKING UP.
Sportmoms do the same . . . we LOOK UP the most reasonable price for our purchases, we LOOK UP the next game address on our GPS, we LOOK UP an illness or injury on the internet, we LOOK UP in amazement at some of our athlete's accomplishments, (add your own LOOK UP list here!) and we, at some point, may LOOK UP to our own child as they grow right past us in stature as well as knowledge!
Jesus came to bring us into a LOOK UP relationship with our Creator. This often involves considering what we carry into the present, the condition we find ourselves in at the present, and ultimately the condition we carry with us into our future.
LOOK UP for the PAST: Do you carry un-resolved or a difficult-to-understand condition from the past? This could be in your physical body, in your memories or a spiritual issue that you constantly war over. Christ came to heal whenever, wherever and however - even on the Sabbath - which "was against the rules" (as the old Mary Had A Little Lamb rhyme goes). On that recorded day in history there was a woman present who was so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn't even look up...and she had been afflicted with this for the past eighteen years! She looked up to Jesus for healing even though she couldn't physically look up to Him. Here is the account . . .
"When Jesus saw her, he called her over (and said) 'Woman, you're free!' He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God." Luke 13:10 TM
Jesus understood her need and gave her the ability to LOOK UP with her body as she had done in her spirit. E.E. Cummings, a beat poet from the sixties, put it this way. . .
"To understand is to "stand under" - which is to LOOK UP . . . which is a good way to understand."
LOOK UP for the PRESENT: Where ever we find ourselves right now, whatever our circumstances Jesus is there to meet us. Paul the Apostle was changed for life because he followed the command from a respected Jewish leader to LOOK UP! Here is the account . . .
"And that's when I met Ananias, a man with a sterling reputation in observing our laws—the Jewish community in Damascus is unanimous on that score. He came and put his arm on my shoulder. 'LOOK UP,' he said. I looked, and found myself looking right into his eyes—I could see again!" Acts 22:12 TM
LOOK UP for the FUTURE: What is held in the days and hours to come? We may ask, "Can I count on you, Lord?" Abram, who would be called Abraham, was taken aside by the Lord and given this LOOK UP advice . . .
“LOOK UP into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” Genesis 15:5 NLT
Oh, what an amazing impact Abram was to have on our world for it was through his lineage that the Son of God would come to us and the birth of a the nation of Israel would be accomplished. It was in LOOKING UP to the heavens that his future was revealed.
This LOOK UP business is important for every part of our lives - past, present and future! May we find ourselves in the LOOK UP mode as we seek answers to our life-induced situations.
Blessings . . . as you LOOK UP and LIVE!
Click on the "BEHIND THE BENCH" blog at theabove tab to read about Coach's BASKETBALL EYES.
NOTE: Your comments are welcomed - just click on the word Comments at the top of this post and enter your response.
©2010 SPORTMOMS & MORE | 11964 Elemar - Portland, OR 97224
This time of year we are busy preparing for Christmas, There are the holiday gift purchases, the just-perfect decorations and always the special events. Getting ready for something - and being ready when the time comes - is not negotiable ... especially in the world of sports.
Adequate preparation can mean the difference between a winning or losing season. It means a PREP TIME that includes giving 100% at all practices, adjusting to a new set of team mates, and fitting into his or her role and responsibility within the team. These preparations contribute greatly to both a productive and wonder-filled season.
Serious preparation leads to solid performance. Athletes want to be at the top of their game during the competition that is soon to be upon them. They know that much of the season's results will depend upon pre-season preparation. As Sportmoms we too know the importance of PREP TIME and have perhaps spent years taking to heart the words from Proverbs 22:6 . . .
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
This call to un-compromised PREP TIME is the challenge that came to us when we became parents. Another version of this verse puts it this way -
"Point your kids in the right direction - when they're old they won't be lost." The Message
We have invested precious PREP TIME in our children honing their skills teaching compatibility and the acceptance of new and different challenges during their younger and formative years. Now it is paying off in their tomorrows on the courts and fields of athletics. As expressed by noted Bible Study Leader and author, Beth Moore . . .
"The wonders God wants to do in all our tomorrows are prepared for in our today's."
Christ Jesus was sent as a baby in a manger spending 33 years in PREP TIME walking this earth readying himself and the world for the winning moment. This moment came on a cross when your sins and mine were erased by the sacrifice of His blood. Our tomorrows were forever changed because of that day.
We are now engaged in a PREP TIME called living. What happens, what we learn, and how we respond are all a part of the practice plan for eternity. Believing this, we can move ahead with confidence in our wonder-working God who holds all of our tomorrows safely in His hands.
"Who compares with you among gods, O God? Who compares with you in power, in holy majesty, In awesome praises,wonder-working God?" Exodus 15:10b The Message
Blessings ... as you live in wonder during God's PREP TIME!
CLICK ABOVE ON "BEHIND THE BENCH" TO READ ABOUT JANET'S LOST CELL PHONE SAGA!
©2010 SPORTMOMS & MORE | 11964 Elemar - Portland, OR 97224
Each Tuesday between Thanksgiving and Christmas we are considering ways to "LOOK UP". Last Tuesday we considered LOOK UP with a focus on FAITH. Today our emphasis is on INSIGHT.
Insight is having clear perception. It requires disciplined patience and a willingness to get at the heart of a matter.. It is "looking at" something in an effort to discover what isn't readily seen. It's seeing into the forest at each amazing tree , , , peering through the blinding obvious to the often hidden gem.
INSIGHT for what's ahead, followed by the foresight to get it done leads to great accomplishments. Coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State once said to a player who had the foresight to pursue college football but lacked the necessary insight to use his abilities effectively. . . "Son, you've got a good engine, but your hands aren't on the steering wheel."
It was our second daughter's birth and Coach had arrived at the hospital to take us home. As often happens, the releases weren't quite ready so the wait became longer than expected. Under normal circumstances this would have been fine, however there was a particular Ram football game on T.V. that was about to begin and Coach really wanted to see it. After a few minutes of fidgeting and complaining about the delay I offered this astute insight, "Look up." There, right above his head, was a television. With a flick of the switch the game that he wanted to see was there for him to view. Sometimes we simply need to look beyond what we expect in order to attain our goal.
Since our lives can get caught up in massive amounts of movement that lead to little or nothing...insight is a necessity. Having a purposeful reason behind our busy-ness will lead us toward the yet unseen goal ahead. Thomas Carlyle once wrote, "Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight."
Insight allows us to see far enough ahead to arrive safely at the place we are going. God's Word challenges us to do just this . . .
"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV
Insight is seeking that which is obscurely hidden - it is to be desired and pursued.
" ... make INSIGHT your priority ... searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt." Proverbs 2:1 The Message
"Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. LOOK UP, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective." Colossians 3:1 The Message
Blessings . . . as you look to Christ who provides the life-giving gem of insight.
For a peek into where Janet is click on her "BEHIND THE BENCH" blog. To comment on this E-votional go to the word "comments" at the top right corner of this entry.
©2010 SPORTMOMS & MORE | 11964 Elemar - Portland, OR 97224
Deadlines, schedules, required attendance, fun things, not-so-fun things, want-to-do, have-to do, need-to-do ... we struggle trying to keep the important things in first place while the URGENTS invade our world through what a friend calls a ring of the phone, arrive via text or email, beat at the door, or grab you around the ankles. This is the season when our Sportmom heads swirl with the "how-am-I-ever-going-to-get-it-all-done" question. So as we step into December, it is a grand time to make 2 lists and check them twice... that is the side-tracking URGENT list and the on-track IMPORTANT list.
Coach has always been excellent at wading through the U-I maze. Perhaps the ticking of the ever-present time clock during his fast-paced basketball games has honed his skill. It seems that discarding the unnecessary urgent pressures put on by others is a breeze for him. For me? Not so much! It takes constant and focused effort to keep the important at the top of my list.
Years ago a Pastor's wife named Ann Ortland told of her experience with this U-I syndrome in her book Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman. Her conclusion was that we must learn to "eliminate and concentrate". I've never forgotten that challenge and it comes to mind again as we weed out the pressures that crowd the important. Charles E. Hummel in his book The Tyranny of the Urgent cites this passing comment made by an experienced factory manager -
"Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important things."
While we are on a roll with the wise and esteemed, here is Lucille Ball adding her two-cents-worth. . .
"I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do."
The idea of separating the URGENT (brought on by un-caring and invading forces) from the IMPORTANT is referred to in scripture as "order". The Prophet Isaiah proclaimed this word of the LORD -
"It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.” Isaiah 48:13 NLT
Let's "call out" what is IMPORTANT just as our Creator did and "put our house in order" during these next few weeks. May these words spoken by Paul to the Church at Colossi be also said of us . . .
"I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs, and impressed with the solid substance of your faith in Christ." Colossians 2:5 TM
Now make your lists asking is this an URGENT unnecessary-right-now interruption or an IMPORTANT part of today's purpose. Then go forward with the IMPORTANT allowing the orderly spirit of the Christ child to reign in your heart this holy season.
Blessings . . . as you call out the important. ©2010 SPORTMOMS & MORE | 11964 Elemar - Portland, OR 97224