Tag Archives: Basketball

More than sports

Tonight is the celebration time for our Upward Sports league here in Ontario. The last 11 weeks we have been practicing and playing basketball or cheer leading with a huge group of elementary kids. All of our coaches and referees are volunteers from our church and our community. They give a lot of time and energy to their team to make the experience great! Our goal is to use the sport as the avenue to share what we believe is the most important thing: God’s love demonstrated through Jesus. We love the sport- but the sport is not the only thing we are after.

I have a confession though. During the season, I can get a little too into the sport and the details of the league, and forget that it’s the moments beyond the sport experience that really matter. That is generally when God orchestrates a moment to remind me that this is so much more than just basketball or cheer. One of the those moments happened last week at the last game day.

IMG_2214We have a young man on our coaching team named Jeremy. Jeremy is a guy with special  needs. A few years ago, he started helping coach and has been a part of the coaching team since. During the off season he will stop those who he knows involved with Upward and ask when practices start! He is so excited about basketball!

This season he was part of the Liberty team, a 4th-6th grade girls team. It is really fun to see him at practices and games on the sideline cheering and coaching. And he is very faithful to come to practices and games! He even got a group of friends to come watch his game one week. That was pretty awesome.

So last week was our last game day and Coach Jeremy had something IMG_2208special for his team. He brought every player a homemade card with a message from “Assistant Coach.”


IMG_2209I got to watch as he handed out each card to each player- he even brought candy to give them. Each card was handed over, on purpose, to each girl from his team… It was a cool thing to watch. Each of the girls smiled, said thank you, and beamed as they read their cards from Coach Jeremy.

It made me think again that this is so much more than just a sports experience. We are creating a place where Jeremy can be part of a team; a place where kids can build friendships with a guy like Jeremy; a place that, hopefully, shows God’s love no matter what walk of life we come from.¬† It has got to be more than just basketball and cheer… This is why I like being part of Upward Sports. When we do it right, it helps facilitate (through sports) an atmosphere that pushes us into what really matters in life.

It Is Time

It is high time that I start writing again. It has been an embarrassingly long time since I posted anything of worth. But I decided that needs to change.  In a week, we will enter the season of Lent. As I am really excited for the season, my goal is to post a few thoughts along the way.

In the meantime, enjoy this awesome video that came to my attention today. It totally made me say, “What?? No way.”

Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 14

It’s the final week of practices and last game! Amazing how quickly it goes. Thank you for praying. Here are the final requests, March 5th to the Celebration evening.

March 5- The witness of players and cheerleaders at home and at school

March 6- Everyone to remain healthy

March 7- The ministerial staff

March 8- Enthusiasm & positive attitudes to remain strong

March 9- Spirit of Christian community to develop

March 10- (Last Game Day) Excitement for Celebration Night & seeking hearts

March 11- Preparation for Celebration Night

March 12- Safe travel for our special guest, Dave the Horn Guy

March 13- Celebration Night

Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 13

Upward request for the week of February 27th.

Feb. 27- Children in second grade

Feb. 28- Children in third grade

Feb. 29- Children in fourth grade

March 1- Children in fifth grade

March 2- Children in sixth grade

March 3- (Sixth Game Day) Halftime message & seeking hearts

March 4- Follow-up efforts to be fruitful

Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 12

Upward request for the week of February 20th.

Feb. 20- Work assistants on Saturday

Feb. 21- Final practice to go well

Feb. 22- Players and cheerleaders with difficult family situations

Feb. 23- Church maintenance crew, Todd & Dean

Feb. 24- Families of our pastors

Feb. 25- (5th Game Day) Halftime message & hungry hearts

Feb. 26- Children in kindergarten and first grade.

Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 11

It’s the middle of our Upward season!Here are request for the week of February 13th.

Feb. 13- Parents who are not involved with their child’s league

Feb. 14- Team host families

Feb. 15- Opportunities to share Christ with nonbelievers

Feb. 16- Church members to reach out to those without a church home

Feb. 17- Upward Gives Back Day– Food & clothing drive

Feb. 18- (Game Break) Physical and spiritual refreshing

Feb. 19- Players’ & Cheerleaders’ parents

Upward 100 Days of Payer, week 10

Daily prayer request for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. Week of February 6th.

Feb. 6- 2nd-3rd grade parents

Feb. 7- 4th-6th grade parents

Feb. 8- Save travel to and from games

Feb. 9- A spirit of sportsmanship among all participants

Feb. 10- Consistent prayer among prayer partners

Feb. 11- (Fourth Game Day)Those presenting halftime message & hungry hearts

Feb. 12- The witness of coaches at home and at work