Sunday, January 13, 2008

Upward Basketball

A little over a month ago I remembered Daniel Glenn telling us last year that they had a hard time getting referees for Upward basketball. So at our Sunday school Christmas party I told Daniel that I wanted to help. I signed up for 2 games each of the first four weeks of the season. This past Saturday was the first week. I called 3rd grade girls at 8 and 9 a.m. I had a lot of fun doing it but felt that sometimes I was not being aggressive enough with what I thought was happening. Daniel was exactly right that it gets easier the more you do it. In my mind it is kind of like when you hear sports people talk about the game slowing down as a rookie goes along in their first season. I was definitely more comfortable in the second game than in the first, and I felt like I could see a lot more of what was going on.

In talking to Daniel in between games Saturday he told me that many of the kids that play Upward basketball are unchurched kids. They are friends of a child that goes to one of the churches in the league and have decided to play. For those of you who don't know how Upward works, each week the team practices one hour. For part of that hour there is a devotional. Then on Saturday the team has a game and at halftime and/or before the game there is another devotional time. For some of these kids this is the only "church" they have. Today in Sunday school class the teacher told us of a time when he was coaching Upward. He said that he had a group of boys that didn't really pay much attention, especially during the devotion time. He said at the end of the season he felt glad that the season was finally over but unknowingly God had used him to get to those kids and He used those kids to get to our teacher, because at the end of the year-end celebration over half of his boys had made decisions for Christ. I am always amazed at the way God works. Even when we think we are in a situation we would rather not be in, God can use us.

I am really glad that I have decided to take a few hours over the next month to devote to a program that is touching little ones. It won't be long before Cooper is that age and there will be others who are willing to take time out of their lives to help him and the others get to know God better or for the first time. Until next time...

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