BALANCING SPORTS AND FAITH

Baptist and Reflector

kids-baseball-teamBRENTWOOD — Mark Moore, executive pastor at Third Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, has coached travel teams in baseball and knows firsthand the challenges of playing sports while maintaining a commitment to God and church.

He offers five tips on maintaining a healthy balance. [Read more…]

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BALANCE NEEDED BETWEEN SPORTS, CHURCH

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

teammates-baseballBRENTWOOD — Little Johnny has a travel baseball game on Sunday morning, sister Becky has a soccer game in the early afternoon, and older brother Ben has an AAU basketball game at the same time.

And, by the way, church starts at 9 and is over at noon. What’s a family to do?

For Derek Westmoreland, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Savannah, the answer is simple. Go to church.

“Your kids have to know that God is most important and that He comes first,” said Westmoreland, who has coached his sons’ baseball teams over the years, but is no longer their coach. [Read more…]

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KEEP YOUTH SPORTS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

baseball-and-gloveA few years ago I was umpiring a high school baseball game in Nashville. The home team’s catcher was really good — strong arm, could hit with power. He had the tools to play college baseball and perhaps even professionally.

Between innings we engaged in a brief conversation and I asked where he was going to play college ball. His answer stunned me. He said he was done with baseball after high school. Even though he had God-given talent and ability, he basically was burned out on the game. [Read more…]

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MONEY, NOT MORALITY, RULES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Before it Hits the PressIf there was any doubt what’s most important to Americans, legislators in North Carolina cleared it up.

On March 30 North Carolina legislators repealed House Bill 2, a law that required individuals in state buildings to use restrooms corresponding to the gender indicated on their birth certificates. See article.

Last year at this time people were praising the legislators for their courage in standing up for morality and Christian values. What a difference a year makes.

Legislators bowed to the pressure of the NCAA which had mandated the state overturn its restroom bill or lose the opportunity to host championship events in 2018-22. [Read more…]

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COACHING LEGEND KEN SPARKS DIES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Carson-Newman University coaching legend Ken Sparks died March 29 after a lengthy bout with cancer.

Carson-Newman University coaching legend Ken Sparks died March 29 after a lengthy bout with cancer.

JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman University coaching legend Ken Sparks died March 29 at the age of 73 after a lengthy bout with prostate cancer.

Sparks retired last fall at the end of the season after 37 years as head coach at Carson-Newman. He is the fifth winningest coach in college football history with a record of 338-99-2. His career winning percentage of .7699 is the fourth highest in college football history.

The C-N Eagles won five NAIA national championships under Sparks and played for it six times. After transitioning to NCAA Division II, C-N played for the national title three times. Sparks recorded 21 South Atlantic Conference championships and 25 NCAA or NAIA playoff appearances. He was inducted into several hall of fames, including the NCAA Division II and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fames. [Read more…]

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IT’S OKAY TO ADMIT MISTAKES; THEN MOVE ON

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

basketball-referee-sportsI have been officiating sports for more than 35 years.

I probably couldn’t have chosen a more difficult hobby or side job than umpiring baseball or refereeing basketball. Officiating is the only profession where you are expected to be perfect when the game begins and get better as it moves on. It’s especially hard when you know about 50 percent of the people aren’t going to like whatever call you make. But that’s part of it. You accept it or you find another hobby or side job. [Read more…]

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MARCH MILDNESS?: AMERICANS SHARE VIEWS ON SPORTS

By Aaron Earls
LifeWay Christian Resources

NASHVILLE (BP) — Thanks to wild buzzer beaters and unbelievable upsets, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has become known as March Madness. For most Americans, however, their attitude toward sports is more mild than mad.

170315sports1A study released from LifeWay Research today (March 14) found 52 percent of Americans describe their philosophy of sports by saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you play the game.”

“Most Americans want players to play the game ‘the right way’ and not potentially endanger others simply for the sake of winning,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “For example, with growing worries about concussions in football, safety concerns have caused many to reconsider their attitude toward sports.” [Read more…]

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FOOTBALL PRAYER LEADS TO EMPLOYEE TRAINING

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that students’ rights were violated when Eric Dill, student pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, Tenn., prayed over an injured student at a September 2016 high school football game in Chattanooga, Tenn. The student has since made a full recovery. WRCB-TV screen capture

The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that students’ rights were violated when Eric Dill, student pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, Tenn., prayed over an injured student at a September 2016 high school football game in Chattanooga, Tenn. The student has since made a full recovery.
-WRCB-TV screen capture

CHATTANOOGA — A public school system has agreed to update employees on applicable constitutional law after a special interest group complained of a Tennessee Baptist minister’s impromptu prayer over an injured player at a high school football game.

The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) will “provide additional training to its employees on the application of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in public schools,” HCDE attorney D. Scott Bennett told the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) Jan. 30. [Read more…]

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REMEMBER THIS: IT’S NEVER WRONG TO PRAY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

PrayHands-portraitChalk up another victory for political correctness.

A school system in Tennessee has to go to the time and expense of providing training to employees on the constitutional law concerning “the application of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in public schools” (see story here).

All of this is happening because a Tennessee Baptist youth pastor dared to do what’s right — pray for an injured high school football player. [Read more…]

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MOST CHURCHES HOLD SUNDAY SERVICES, SUPER BOWL OR NOT

Baptist Press

170126football1NASHVILLE, Tenn.— For churches that have Sunday night activities, most pastors say it’s still “game on” despite the big game next weekend.

According to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, 68 percent of Protestant pastors say their church typically has some activity on Sunday night. And among those pastors, almost 6 in 10 (59 percent) say they will continue as normal on the night of the Super Bowl.

“It is easy to think everyone is watching the game,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “but even during the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are doing other things that are important to them. For many, that includes attending church.” [Read more…]

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