Brokenness

Part 5 of 7
By Pastor Dave

          The third way brokenness can come is through prayer. George Mueller called prayer “prevailing prayer.”  Prayer brings us closer to him and brings us closer to his presence and his ways. For in him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).  Brokenness will come this way when we seek him in prayer, wait on him in prayer, cry out to him in prayer, and worship him in prayer.  It will come by talking to him or sometimes in silence, but always desiring his presence in prayer.  Talk to God and ask him to reveal himself to your heart.  It is not an A, B, C, D procedure.  It gives meaning to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). [Read more…]

Brokenness

Part 4 of 7
By Pastor Dave

          The second way brokenness can come is through preaching or hearing the word of God in any form.  It can be on Sundays, Bible studies, radio, conferences, or anyway it feeds us from another source where we listen.  I learned a great principle early in my Christian journey that helped me.  “If a man is preaching from the book, and my eye is on the God of the book, and my heart is open to the book, I will always get something from the book.”

          We live in an entertainment society with many silver tongued orators.  If we are not careful we will focus more on the person delivering the message rather than the message being proclaimed, which is Jesus Christ.  Christ’s centric preaching is a must whether the message is easy to swallow or not.  I may honor the message but I worship the God of the message.  My instruction, growth, and brokenness come under conviction when my ear is tuned to God and nothing and no one else.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (James 1:23, 24).  That is what I needed to learn from God’s word. [Read more…]

Brokenness

Part 3 of 7
By Pastor Dave

          Brokenness would come to me in five ways.  The first way is instead of just reading his word, I sought for the God of his word.  My prayer many times is reveal yourself to me, search me, oh God, show me your glory, and open the eyes of my understanding.  This put the scriptures in a whole different light for me.  As I started to read, it seemed as normal as any other book or study, but as my heart sought him and waited for him, his word would begin to open up, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast.  His word was convicting, exhilarating, challenging, and provoked more questions and a desire to go deeper.  At times there were life altering principles, powerful thoughts, and convicting statements that drove me to my knees and created brokenness in my life showing me who I really am and crushing me. [Read more…]

Brokenness

Part 2 of 7
By Pastor Dave

          Human beings are arrogant, prideful, and stubborn by nature.  The brokenness which is brought on by God’s law, God’s word, and God’s Holy Spirit is the only hope for us wayward human beings.  This brokenness always leads to the cross as a starting point.  Life and healing begins at the cross.  Have you started your journey this way at the cross and tasted this brokenness that I speak about?  If you have, that is great.  If not, you will not understand the brokenness that comes after the cross if you do not know of the brokenness before the cross.

          When I was saved, I fell in love with Christ and what he did for me on the cross.  I was glad to be free from that terrible feeling of brokenness and helplessness of my wretched state.  I soon realized that brokenness was something I would leave at the cross forever.  That brokenness that brought me to the cross of Christ for salvation would be the tool to shape and mold my character to become more like the Christ who I embraced at the cross.  This would become a continual story of brokenness as I would yield my spirit to the Holy Spirit who now dwells within me. [Read more…]

Brokenness

Part 1 of 7
By Pastor Dave

          Brokenness may be the missing ingredient in the modern church today.  I believe it can sweep across groups of people or a whole church and then we would consider that a revival like the early revivals in America or the Welsh revival.  I believe it must be approached individually between a soul and his maker.

          My first real brokenness came to me on the night I was saved.  My eyes were opened and my heart was broken over my sin.  There seemed to be no one else there except me and God.  My eyes were opened to a glimpse of who God is and who I was in my sorrowful state.  All the excuses, blame shedding, and bitterness I carried seemed to be exposed as if I had no where to hide.  It was at that moment I realized that I was the one to blame for my circumstances, not God.  It was not only sobering but crushing.  It was not the fact I was caught in sin but the fact that I had sinned that was so troubling.  I was a mess.  I was an offense to God and I felt his disapproval as the scriptures were read to me that night. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?  The weight of these scriptures broke me.  My heart cried, “Is there any hope for me?” [Read more…]

Play 7

Part 5 of 5
By Pastor Dave

            Life is like basketball.  There are so many options, so many ups and downs and so many decisions to make.  We need the Law of the scriptures to bring us to Christ which is like Play 7.  Even after salvation we learn certain basics – pray, read the Bible, go to church.  Call it the fundamentals of our faith like the fundamentals of basketball.  We also need the principles of Scripture (open man, open spot, open shot) to help us to think scripturally and make the right choices and seek God’s will.  But to only know the Scripture is what the Pharisees did best.  They could quote Play 7 and therefore, had the right form but they did not understand how to apply the principles of the scripture of judgment, mercy, and faith. Therefore, did not understand open man, open spot, open shot.  As Paul said, having a form of Godliness, which is needed, but they lacked the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). [Read more…]

Play 7

Part 4 of 5
By Pastor Dave

            Once I had a player that was in a terrible shooting slump at the end of the season.  His name was Troy Young.  The slump was so bad that in a tournament we won, a coach in the bleachers criticized me for letting him shoot and miss so much.  I knew Troy was a good shooter but he had lost his confidence.  We were heading into the state tournament the next week and I thought if I could let him keep shooting he would work out of the slump.  I knew I would really need Troy in the tournament.  To move on to the state semi-finals, we had to beat a team that was 19-0.  We were heavy underdogs.  But with 45 seconds left, we were only down by five points.  I called a time out and one of their players came over and thanked us for the nice try but insinuated that it was all over.  His insult galvanized our team in the huddle.  I called for a full court press.  I challenged the guys that I did not think it was over and we were not done yet!  When we put our hands together to break the timeout, we looked into each others eyes.  I knew I had gotten through because it was as if we were one together.  What happened next is the stuff of legends!  We immediately stole the ball and scored and now we were down by 3 points.  They inbounded the ball and would you believe we stole it again, got fouled, and hit both free throws.  Now we are only down by one.  On the inbounds we stole the ball a third time, needing one more basket to win.  Open man.  Open spot.  Open shot.  The ball was flying around the perimeter as the clock ticked down.  Ten, nine, eight, seven, six. I was yelling “Get it to Ron Filer”, who was our best shooter, averaging 25 points a game that year.  Five, four, three.  It was not possible to get it to Ron but the pass went down on the base line about 12 feet from the basket to guess who?  Troy Young, my player who was in this terrible slump.  Two seconds. One second.  I watched him release the ball then I turned and saw the score clock go from one second to zero.  When I looked back I knew I would know the outcome of the game.  If Troy made it we would win, and if he missed we would lose by one.  We would be eliminated from the tournament.  The prideful player’s prediction in our huddle would come true. Troy took the shot and hit nothing but net.  We won and moved on to the state finals.  My faith in him paid off.  The lesson learned was that he had the courage to take the open shot.

To be continued ………………..

 

Play 7

Part 3 of 5
By Pastor Dave

Open Man

            It is not about us!  We need to be looking ahead; one or two passes ahead.  There are good shooters in the game of basketball, but the great player can not only shoot but looks first to pass.  They are unselfish.  God has a lot to say about living our life unselfishly with humility.  When I coached, anytime we played a “one man team”, we won, because those teams are so one dimensional.  The first way to grow in this area is to think of others and not yourself.  A team is successful as each player looks to make his teammates better.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:4). [Read more…]

Play 7

Part 2 of 5
By Pastor Dave

Open Man

          No matter what position the player played, I would encourage our players to be looking to pass and looking one, two, or three passes ahead.  In essence they had to look ahead to where they thought the game would go next.  They needed to see not only who was open, but who was moving to get open.  Then get the ball to the open man as quickly as possible.

Open Spot

          Once the pass was made, the next priority is to move ahead to the open spot on the floor.  Pass then move.  You are trying to move to the open spot so you will be the open man your teammate can pass to.  Do not stand around watching the guy with the ball.  Get to that open spot so you have a greater advantage over your opponent.  This also can be done when you have the ball.  You dribble to the open spot.  The closer you are to the basket, the better.  Let me give you an example.  We were practicing a Play 7 type of play and our shooting guard came to me and said, “I have a question.”  I said, “What is it?”  He said, “When we do our play the whole lane to the basket opens up.”  I said, “Yes.  What is your question?”  He said, “Do I continue to do what the play says to do or should I drive to the basket and score?”  I said, “What is your goal?”  He said, “To score.”  I said, “Then forget the play; drive the lane and score.”  He was afraid to think for himself but that is just what I wanted him to do.  [Read more…]

Play 7

Part 1 of 5
By Pastor Dave

                When I coached basketball, I came to the conclusion there are two concepts in coaching. One is Play 7 and the other goes like this: open man, open spot, open shot. Play 7 is a diagramed play or an offense that has a repeating rotation.  Some coaches win or lose on this system and if the players change anything in the play, they will end up on the bench.  With Play 7, the coach does all the thinking and the player does very little.  I watched a coach use Play 7 again and again in a game.  After the second or third time the opposing team started stealing the ball.  They new exactly what would happen when Play 7 was called.  Woe unto those players if they did not execute Play 7, even though the other team kept taking the ball.  I could hardly watch. [Read more…]