As I noted last week, it’s January, and that means part of my Saturdays are spent in gymnasiums … one in my church, and another in the public high school across the street. Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season is underway here, in Midland, Texas. Volunteers are helping the program in a lot of different ways … as coaches, referees, time/scorekeepers, and delivering devotionals to the fans during halftime breaks … I’m one of the volunteers doing the devotionals, and here was my presentation for today, inspired by the fact that bad news here, in my part of western Texas - a motor vehicle accident that claimed ten lives, and effects of the continuing decline in oil prices - made it into national headlines this past week …
Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you so much for being here today, rooting for your kiddos, and all the youngsters on the court ... another good day of Upward Sports here in Midland. And that's good news for our community.
You know, I used to make my living as a news editor, reporter and photographer, here in Midland and Odessa, and across West Texas. I'm not in that business any more, but I still follow the news closely ... Reading the newspapers, watching television and visiting websites.
Sometimes, that can be depressing ... terrorist attacks in Paris, airline crashes in Indonesia, and politicians in Washington bickering like children.
And, really, you don't have to go to the other side of the world for troubling news. Is it me, or is the local news filling more and more with stories of crime, and auto accidents, and fires, and hardship?
It's not a bad world we live in ... it's a good world ... BUT, it's a good world where bad things DO happen, and who can blame people for being cynical, depressed ... even afraid? I know this ... and you know what? God knows this, too. When our minds and our hearts are troubled by the bad things going on around us, when we're afraid, God has our back ...
In the Book of Isaiah, we read ...
"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous hand." – Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
And remember ... GOOD things happen, too. Has anyone seen that report about those two young men who climbed up the sheer cliff face of Capitan, in Yosemite, with nothing but their hands and feet? Wow! And there are a lot of good people, and a lot of good things happening under this roof, in this gym, right here, right now. Let us all look for ways to do good, and to encourage others to do good, around the world and right here at home.
Thank you, everyone, enjoy the game!