🙏🏼 7 GAME DAY PRAYERS FOR PARENTS OF ATHLETES 🙏🏼 🏈 🏐 🏀 ⚾️ 🥎 🏃🏽🏃‍♀️

I once read a bumper sticker that said “as long as there are tests there will always be prayer in schools.” 😂 Very true. But it’s also true that as long as there are sports to be played there will always be parents (dads for sure 😅) praying for wins! Haha. And prayed the right way, with the right heart, there’s nothing wrong with praying that. But our prayers should certainly not be limited to asking for wins.

1Thess 5:16 says “pray without ceasing.” Sports are no exception. Prayer is a way to humble ourselves, honor God, express our needs to Him, and have fellowship with Him. Prayer also gets us in the right mindset and helps us we things through the lens of Christ. We can never pray too much!

As parents of athletes we can make every game day an occasion for prayer.

HERE’S 7 GAME DAY PRAYERS FOR PARENTS OF ATHLETES:

1️⃣Thank God for the gift and stewardship of fatherhood

2️⃣Thank God for the great gift of sports

3️⃣Thank God for giving your child the ability to play and to play on their team

4️⃣Thank God for their coaches for shaping them athletically and as a people

5️⃣Ask God that they play their game in a way that reflects God in every way possible

6️⃣Ask God that your athlete and their team would end the game free from injury, but also free from regret. That they’d play with a great attitude and maximum effort

7️⃣Ask God to give you as a dad/mom a measure of His grace to keep you in the right frame of mind before and after the game.

Pray these 7 things before every game and wrap it all up “in Jesus name, Amen” and game days will never be the same.

As moms and dads we’ll always have a few regrets, because we’re human. But we’ll never regret time we spend in prayer. Maybe especially on game days. 🙌🏼

Dads of athletes — 🏈 🏀 ⚾️ 🏐

**Disclaimer: this is not an area that I’ve been anywhere near perfect. **Disclaimer #2: yes, this can sometimes apply to moms too 😉

Sports represent one of the greatest opportunities that we have as dads. But unfortunately they can also be an area where we blow it. Our kids love us and love sports but if we aren’t careful they can end up resenting us and wanting to quit sports 😢

Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not exasperate your children” It literally means do not wear your children out 😬Wonder why this command is directed specifically at dads??? 🤔😅 If you’re a dad of an athlete you should definitely know why! Obviously sports is not the only place where this command can be applied, but as dads we have a tendency to lose it a little when it comes to sports. One time after one of my son’s 4th grade basketball games I went on a rant in the car ride home. Somehow I ended up yelling about sacrifice, WW2 and Normandy Beach 😳 …to a 4th grader…over a basketball game. My whole family was just staring at me like I’d lost my mind, and I kinda had! 🤦🏻‍♂️

Avoiding exasperating kids is a constant struggle but a time when we can be especially exasperating is right after games. We want to say something and for most of us saying “hey buddy as long as you had fun who cares what the scoreboard says” 🙄 doesn’t cut it. So what do we do? We need something in between a berating and a participation trophy. 🎯

Here’s 5 postgame tips to avoid exasperating our child athletes:

  1. Tell them you’re proud of them, because you are.
  2. Tell them you love them, because you do.
  3. Give them a hug, because they need it.
  4. Tell them you absolutely love to watch them play.
  5. THEN, if you’ve done these 4 things and you still feel like critique is necessary, try and keep criticisms to the areas of attitude and effort. If their attitude and effort was good, no need for criticism 🤷🏻‍♂️ Here’s why—they already know when they mess up. And their coaches will help them with adjustments. Don’t let your time with them after the game become something they dread.

Dad’s, for the most part your kids want to please you. Your opinion and approval mean so much. Make the most of the opportunity to love, support and help them, not exasperate them.

We’re not gonna really get better at this without a change in our heart. The goal is to relate to our kids the way our Heavenly Father relates to us. He’s patient, loving, but also loves us enough to address our hearts (attitude) when needed. Dads, the closer we get to our Heavenly Father through faith in Christ, the better sports dads we’ll be.

Also, nobody’s perfect on this front. Our kids are kinda raising us too 😆 Give yourself some grace. It’s about direction not perfection. ✊🏼

It’s been 10 years…

It’s been 10 years since my friend and mentor Todd Wortham went home to our Heavenly Father. It was unexpected for us, but not to God.

Todd taught me the Bible but he didn’t just give me truth, he gave me himself. He shared his life. He gave me a picture of how life could be. Todd saw life as an adventure. He modeled living for Jesus Christ and believed God’s Word held real authority. He emphasized being intentional and living passionate with eternity in mind. He believed in grace and the power of God—Todd knew everything about me and still believed God loved me and could use me!

He stood up for what he believed in and he did it the right way. He was a proud Texan and a History buff. He loved the USA and had his grandfathers WWII flight suit on display in a case. He was a Dallas Cowboys fan and an Elvis fan (and impersonator 😂) He loved good music! He also had an eye and appreciation for good art. And anyone who knew Todd knew he LOVED to have fun. Laughing, crying, and then laughing till you’re crying were all commonplace with him.

MAN…I still miss him and think about him a lot more than you’d think!!! So many decisions I make and the direction of my life is because of things God used Todd to teach me. One time he told me to leave a vapor trail of the Holy Spirit’s work behind me wherever I went, he DEFINITELY did that himself.

The necklace I wear was his. He gave it to me on a week long hiking trip in the mountains in Colorado in about 2002. He shared with me that the necklace was a gift from his mother when he was a kid. He explained the story of the ichthus— it was a symbol used by Christians to identify one another during the time of persecution under the Roman Empire. The greek letters stand for Jesus Christ God Son Savior. Todd put the necklace around my neck and said “I want you to wear this with the boldness of Christ.” I can still hear his words and his voice so clear in my head. Today I feel a renewed commitment to that call to boldness as I reflect on Todd.

Today, I’m sad but mostly thankful. What a man! What a life! What a legacy! And what a great God we serve to have made Todd Wortham and blessed me and so many others through his life and example. I’m gonna see Todd again! One more quote from Todd and I’ll quit rambling. He once said in a sermon “I love living for eternal things!!! I have no regrets. None.” …Me too, bro. ME TOO.

I know…

Some act like the sky is falling but I know who hung the stars and named them. Some think their whole world’s coming to an end but I know the God of eternity. Many are paralyzed in fear by what the future holds but I know who holds the future. Times change, God doesn’t. He is faithful.

Regardless of circumstances I’ll be loving my family, teaching them about Jesus, and sharing that Good News with anyone that’ll listen. Till He comes back or I go to Him — “choose this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15

8 WAYS TO BALLE PRIDE AND CULTIVATE HUMILITY

Isaiah 66:2 — All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

From Sunday’s Sermon: 8 WAYS TO BATTLE PRIDE AND CULTIVATE HUMILITY + HELPFUL BIBLE REFERENCES

1. See your gifts as God’s gifts. (See James 1:17)

2. Brag on God, not yourself. (See 1Cor 4:7)

3. Read God’s Word (See Psalm 119:105)

4. Say “Lord willing” (See James 4:13-15)

5. Preach the gospel to yourself (See Gal 2:20)

6. Serve others in Christ’s name (See Philippians 2:3-5)

7. Remember that serving, not being served, is how God defines true greatness. (See Mark 10:24-25)

8. Pray (Philippians 4:6)

🚨🏈🙏🏼 THE EVENING BEFORE TWO-A-DAYS: SIX THINGS TO PRAY

Two-a-days for high school football start TOMORROW! My favorite time of year. I’m a big fan of the sport but also love how it brings communities together and all the good things football uniquely affords young men. If you love HS football and love the Lord, consider praying these 6 things, and more.

🙏🏼 God’s glory — We’re all gifted in differently. Football players have the ability to glorify God through the way they play and who they play for. Pray they play for His glory. 🙌🏼

🙏🏼 Relationships — Scripture teaches that we need each other and football can forge friendships like no other. Pray these young men form a team, a bond and a brotherhood. 🤝

🙏🏼 Life lessons — Hard work, sacrifice, selflessness, courage, commitment and the list goes on and on of the values and character building that football can bring. Pray they don’t miss the opportunity to learn things they can apply well beyond the playing field. 📓

🙏🏼 Gospel conversations — Football, especially in small town Texas, brings a whole lot of people together, a lot more than just players and parents. Pray that we make use of our time together to go beyond causal conversations and talk life, the Lord, eternity and Salvation. ✝️

🙏🏼 Coaches — Coaches go above and beyond in every sport, but football season can be especially taxing on coaches and their families. Pray for an extra measure of God’s grace in sustaining them, that families stay unified, and for a healthy balance that affords both the joy of a job well done, and rest when needed. Also, pray they not get worn out by parents and fans, like us 😅

🙏🏼 Safety — It’s a contact sport! Pray for a season free from injury. And especially in these hot months, pray for overall health of everyone involved. 🏥

I’m so ready and I know a lot of y’all are too! It’s gonna be a great season! All glory to Him!

TXHSFB #AG2G

Wednesday Wisdom: Romans 12:18, Matthew 22:39

News and social media look a lot like a really long episode of Jerry Springer minus the big bald dude to separate the crazies 🥴 (#kidsdontknow) But something I’ve observed— the deeply divided, mean-spirited people I often see represented on those outlets are NOT the people I encounter on a daily basis in our communities 🤨 Given the opportunity we get along pretty well!

I’m not saying that differences don’t exist, or that people arent really mad or that it’s all being made up. They sure look genuinely mad to me! 😅 What I’m proposing is that while we stay aware of some deep divisions in our nation we not overlook (and enjoy) some unity and good will among actual people in close proximity around us.

Here’s one of my concerns — that we try to emulate what we see on TV. We see 2 opposite sides depicted. We feel forced or obligated to take a side. THEN, we go looking for our opponent/perceived enemy in the people we know and have had a good civil relationship with up to now, and (at least in our mind) start villainizing them and working against them. The thing about looking for something? You tend to find what you are looking for, even if it wasn’t there.

But let’s assume it is there. Let’s assume that the bad ideology and position you saw presented on the news REALLY is the one held by your neighbor. They’re still your neighbor! We don’t relate to each other like 2 faces on a screen from a news network or 2 blue check marks on Twitter. We can actually talk to one another about differences, exercise patience, share life and think through things together. I’m in NO WAY suggesting we compromise truth or convictions. Stand firm! I’m suggesting we live with each other in a way that allows truth and our convictions to be communicated and received — not like many of the examples we see on TV and in News Feeds.

Hey, y’all know I’ve got a Bible verse for this 😆 Here’s a couple:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. – Romans 12:18

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:39

#WednesdayWisdom

Little Wonders

I dropped this young lady off at camp last Saturday and it sure was hard to leave her. I love her so much.

Tell y’all a quick story— when Casey was pregnant with Norah we went in for a sonogram, and in true Layman fashion we took Quinten and Trinity with us. It was a special time and a season of prayer for our then family of 4. Like many couples, we’d gone through some miscarriages and we were really hopeful for this baby girl. As the sonogram was being done on her belly, we were all huddled around Casey and then it happened. We saw little Norah come up on the screen. As we got our first look at our new family member, the song Little Wonders by Rob Thomas was playing on the radio there in the Dr’s office. I vividly remember telling Quinten and Trinity “listen to the words of this song” as it was so appropriate for the occasion. Here’s part of the lyrics

🎵 Our lives are made,

In these small hours

These little wonders

These twists and turns of fate…

Time falls away but these small hours, these little wonders

Still remain🎵

Fast forward to yesterday, on the long drive up to her camp, I was letting Norah DJ. One of the songs she played — Little Wonders 😊 She knows the story. And she knows how much that song means to me because she knows how much SHE means to me.

Today when I dropped her off I gave her a series of hugs and we both teared up just a bit. Two weeks. I’m glad she gets to do things like this. But I’m sure gonna miss her. She’s becoming a young lady but she will always be my Little Wonder.

#DadLife #mygirl #littlewonders