Shannon and I are knee-deep in preparing for the first Saturday of games coming up Jan. 8th for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. We met today for a few hours to prepare the devotion part of the season. This part, even though it should be a joy to work on, has in all honesty, been the most difficult and frustrating part of the ministry.
Originally, we sought out a devotion commissioner to take on this responsiblity. At each half time of each game, some sort of devotion is presented to the players' family and friends watching. Last year, we could not find a devotion commissioner so we threw something together, and by God's grace, it ended up coming together perfectly. We tried again this year to come up with a devotion commissioner, but again, no success.
So Shannon and I came up with idea for this season: "What's Your Story?" I got the idea from the contemporary Christian artist Matthew West, who wrote an entire album based on his fans' letters and their stories. I love the idea of sharing our life stories with others. But we were stuck on how to convey this to the audience.
So today, Shannon comes up with this great idea of making a short introductory video to show at the first game, with clips from coaches and other leadership sharing where they are in their lives now, and then encouraging our Upward families to share their stories throughout the season.
Talk about God providing at the time of need! We were about ready to throw up our hands in defeat and frustration. But God provided some needed encouragement for us. We are so excited to see where this theme leads us this season.
God can use our "stories"-- our struggles, our victories, our lives--- to help others in their time of need. I can't wait to hear some of the stories in our community... and to hear how God worked to use their circumstances to further His kingdom.
Will you pray for the Upward ministry? I know that God can work in the hearts of those families, especially those who have not accepted Him as Lord of their lives. And any prayers for Shannon and me would not go to waste either!!! To keep our eyes on the reason for this ministry, to perservere, even when we are tired, frustrated, and have to drag our kids to the Upward office at church time and time again so we can do some work.
Thank you, friends! We will keep you updated on how God is working through Upward in our community!
"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal ." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18