Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am Second - Matt Barkley

My friend and former teammate USC quarterback Matt Barkley recently had the opportunity to record his "I am Second" testimony. Check it out, He is a solid young man sold out for Christ and grounded firmly in His love!

Keep up the good work Matt!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Edison FCA

245 students showed up for the last FCA Huddle at Ediosn High School last week! The room was packed and the student leaders have done a great job reaching out to their campus! It was "FV Nerd Day" on campus in honor of the Bell Game the following night, so everyone was dressed up and having a great time! The leaders led a great game of "sit down if" and then student leaders Bri Emerzian got up and shared about her relationship with Jesus! She shared about how becoming a Christian does not always make things easier, but it provides a Rock and a Hope! Also, thanks to all the parents and youth pastors who came to support and serve at the huddle!

Huntington Beach FCA

About 65 students filled into room I-5 last week to hang out at HBHS FCA. We were blessed to have pizza and drinks provided by Hope Chapel, as well as the support of many other parents and youth pastors.The students led a fun Game and then Pastor Jim Gane from Crosspoint Baptist Church shared a message about the hope of Jesus. It was a great huddle!

Marina FCA

Marina FCA last week was awesome, with about 65 students showing up to have fun and hear the word. After gorging themselves on pizza, the students watched as 4 of their peers competed in a game of "empty the tissue box" where the fastest person to pull all the sheets of paper of the box using only there elbows wins. Then the students had the opportunity to hear the word from Crosspoint Baptist Youth Pastor Nick Fisher. He shared about being strong in the Lord and the need of having a relationship with Him!

Check out some pictures from the day...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time to sack mocking Tebow

November 7, 2011 by Gordon Thiessen
Filed under Sports In Focus
Making fun of Tim Tebow for his on-field performances is one thing, but piling on the Broncos quarterback when it comes to his outward displays of Christianity is another.

For the second week in a row, Tebow took taunting from rival fans. Oakland Raiders’ fans held signs that read “Welcome to Hell,” directed at Tebow during the pre-game warm-ups.

Last week, Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch mocked Tebow’s prayer pose, which became an internet craze known as Tebowing, after sacking the quarterback in the second quarter.

After I posted a blog about the “Tebowing” phenomenon, I was contacted by ESPN columnist Jemele Hill. She interviewed me about Stephen Tulloch openly mocking Tebow’s prayer pose. Since I had written about Tebow in my recent Sports In Focus article for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she wondered what I thought about him being ridiculed for his faith.

She concluded her column by saying, “Prayer is a sacred component of any religion. Making fun of someone else’s spiritual connection is on par with ridiculing them about their family. You don’t have to be a Christian to get that, just someone who understands the concept of respect.”

Thankfully, she wasn’t the only sportswriter that opposes mocking someone’s faith.

AOL FanHouse columnist David Whitley wrote, “I believe Tulloch wasn’t trying to mock God. But this wasn’t your garden-variety NFL taunt. Unlike Ray Lewis’ pregame dance, kneeling in prayer is universally accepted as a religious expression. Perhaps the ultimate show of reverence and humility.”
Being mocked for one’s faith is nothing new. In fact, the best-known evidence of this was Jesus being mocked at the cross.

“And the soldiers led him away inside the palace, and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15:16-20)

While many sermons and Bible writers discuss the physical suffering in this passage, it is the ridicule of Jesus that I want to focus on. The crucifiers saw Jesus as a joke. In fact, historians tells us that one of the things that people did in that day was taunt those who were mentally deficient. They teased and they mocked those who were considered the “village idiots.”

The soldiers who mocked Jesus treated him as the village idiot, a lunatic who in a deluded way thinks himself to be a King and whom the Jews also try to pass off as some threat to Caesar.

So how should Christian athletes respond when they are mocked or persecuted for their faith? While persecution is not something we should pursue, when evil is spoke against you for Christ’s sake, realize that it carries with it the blessing of God. Matthew 5:11 teaches, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” In fact, the next verse teaches there will be a great reward in heaven for those who are persecuted in this way.

Mocking or taunting is nothing new in sports or life. Make it your goal to glorify God when you score a touchdown or when you’re mocked for your faith. Nothing pleases the Lord more than an athlete or coach who desires to please Him with their attitude and actions regardless of the circumstances.

Gordon Thiessen has served on staff with the Nebraska FCA since 1986 He has also founded Cross Training Publishing ( He has written Team Studies on Character and edited The Athletes Topical Bible. He is married to Terri and has four grown children.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sowers FCA

The 1st Sowers FCA of the year was a ton of fun, about 25 students showed up to hang out! We spent time playing some fun games and then heard a short message about God's Love. The students were challenged to invite their friends to come next time and find out about how much God loves them.

Check out some pictures from the afternoon...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Edison FCA

EHS FCA blew up on Thursday with well over 220 students in attendance. The student leaders at Edison continue to do a great job reaching out and extending invitations to FCA and creating a fun and welcoming environment! Leaders Madison Strobel and Melissa Balding led the "Oreo Cookie Game" and 1 student completed it in what had to be a world record. The game consist of placeing an oreo on your forehead and then getting it into your mouth without using your hands, definitely an FCA favorite!

After the game leader Lisa Ross got up and spoke to her peers about Jesus! She shared about how each one of us has fallen short of God's glory and made mistakes, and for that we become spiritually dead...but through Jesus we are given life! It is always a great thing when a student can get up and share his/her heart with their peers!


Over 75 students showed up to participate in the second huddle of the year for HBHS FCA. We had a great time hanging out, eating pizza , playing games and hearing the Word from Pastor Eric Oleson (God's House). Student Leader CJ led the students in a modified version of Rock-Paper-Scissor called Bear-Flick-Chuck Norris. Leader Susannah Oleson then introduced her Father Eric and he taught the students about the importance of having a relationship with Jesus and why we really need Him!

It was a fun day at FCA and the leaders are very excited about what God has in store for the year!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marina FCA

Marina FCA was awesome yesterday! About 75 kids showed and were blessed by the words of Pastor Eric Nelson from Calvary Chapel Westgrove. After the leaders lead a game of Charades, Pastor Eric, brought the word and stayed with the FCA theme "Why:" The Cross. He shared about the importance and meaning of the cross and how it affects who we are.

It was a great huddle and we were so blessed by the group of parents who showed up to provide pizza and snacks for the students! Thank you to all who are praying and supporting the huddle at Marina HS!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Edison FCA

Edison High School FCA had it's 1st meeting of the year today and over 180 students showed up to make it awesome! Everyone was excited and the leaders did a great job getting the word out to theirs peers. We also had 8 youth pastors represented from 4 different churches! SO cool to see the body of Christ working together!

We had a great meeting, with pizza and fresh baked cookie for all the students! After getting setttled in the students were welcomed by a group of leaders who shared about their different youth groups and then we jumped into the "Who am I" game. Then after the game FCA president Riley Mailman shared about FCA...he shared this verse from Ephesians with them...

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,18 may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

He shared with the students that hopefully throughout the year the students will come to grasp the LOVE that Jesus had for them! Here are some pictures from today...


Huntington Beach High School FCA

Huntington Beach High School FCA kicked off with a bang on Wednesday! About 85 students packed into Mr. Johnston's classroom to check out the 1st FCA meeting of the year! We had a great time playing the "Who am I" game and then talking about what FCA is and what we will be doing throughout the year. God is good and it is so cool to see a room jam-packed with kids who want to find out more about Jesus!

We will meet again in 2 weeks, but in the meantime here are some pictures from the day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marina FCA Kick Off

Yesterday at Marina high School 105 students packed into the Coach Marshall's portable RM. 241 for the first FCA meeting of the year! It was awesome to see all the students come together at the meeting! Pizza was provided by Calvary Chapel Westgrove and was a huge blessing to the hungry students. As is custom on the first meeting the leaders introduced themselves and then leader Ben Drolet lead the group in a fun game that got everyone talking and sharing funny facts about themselves. After the game our speaker got up and shared about "Why Jesus?" It was a great message and a great way to kick off the school year! God is good!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Athletes Bible...

I think it is important to consider some commonly chosen Bible passages and assess their application before selecting other Scripture choices that may make a lot more sense during a game. Here we go...

Three passages that athletes should trade out for something better
Theologians call the convenient application of a Scripture passage to our personal circumstances or interests “prooftexting.” Some teachers may do this deceptively, but most believers do it lazily or accidentally. Understanding the context of a passage helps us keep a check on our prooftexting and challenges us to apply the verse to our lives as it was meant to be applied, not how we would like it to be applied. Desiring to be more careful with our Scripture application, then, let’s look at three passages that may need to be phased out of use by Christian athletes.

Click here to continue Reading this article...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heart of an Athlete - Devon Kennard

 Devon Kennard
Defensive End
University of Southern California

“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
As a junior at the University of Southern California, Devon Kennard is familiar with the difficulties that come with being a collegiate student-athlete—both common (position changes and injuries) and unique (coaching changes and university-related NCAA sanctions). But for this starting defensive end, who is in full pursuit of Christ, the challenges have only deepened his faith and fueled his passion to lead his teammates and USC fans closer to the Lord.

STV: What has it meant to play football at tradition-rich USC? DK: It’s been an honor. Growing up—and even now—USC is the school for so many people. The brand we wear on our helmets is unlike any other. It’s my hope that those of us on the team who follow Christ present ourselves in the right way. His is the image we want to portray to people and to the community.

STV: How have the recent NCAA sanctions against USC affected you specifically? DK: I feel like God has definitely tested me in many ways. I’ve only been here for three years, and I’ve experienced things many athletes never have to face with coaching changes and NCAA sanctions, as well as position changes, injuries and surgeries. Through it all I have tried to give Him the glory because He’s led me through it. I truly believe He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11.

STV: How do you bring the Lord into the game?

 “...we need to realize that our time is now!”
DK: I don’t go to a game—home or away—without my Bible. I like to read Ephesians 6 about the armor of God, and I go into every game knowing that I am protected by Him.

God is the One who has given me the skills to be in this position, and I thank Him for that. It’s easy for athletes to build themselves up when things are going well. But, as Jesus said in Matthew 23:12, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” I want to remain humble because otherwise I know I will be humbled.

STV: How has FCA made an impact on your faith? DK: FCA creates an environment where Christian athletes feel safe. We do the same things, live the same lives and are dedicated to Christ. It is relieving to know there are other guys on the team who have the same goals and who are trying to walk in faith. You don’t feel like you’re fighting the battle alone.

At USC, we do our best to reach out to our teammates. Last season after every Thursday practice, a group of us prayed on the field, and, toward the end of the year, more and more guys started coming. We looked at it as a definite positive that they wanted to be a part of it.

A lot of people my age tend to put their faith aside. They try to live the college life and do the college thing, but we need to realize that our time is now! There’s no point in waiting. Having FCA on any campus is important because there are people who need it—Christian athletes who need that outlet or who are on the brink but don’t have anything connecting them to Him. FCA can really help fill that need.

About the Athlete:
School: University of Southern California
Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
Year: Junior
Position: Defensive End

Notes:• 2009 Pac-10 All-Freshman first team ( and The Sporting News)
• 2010 Pac-10 All-Academic second team

FCA Quote:
“Devon has stood out as a leader both on and off the field. We’ve gone through multiple Bible studies together, and it is evident that he has a passion for Christ and for strengthening those around him.” – Matt Barkley USC quarterback FCA Huddle Leader

Friday, July 15, 2011

FCA Football Power Camp 2011

WOW, what a week! Yesterday marked the final day of our OC FCA Football Power Camp. For 4 days 60 campers and 20+ coaches took over Lebard Football Stadium for a time of football and worship! We were blessed by great coaches throughout the week that included players such as; Josh Gage-UW, Kyle Negrete-USC, Matt Barkley-USC, Robbie Boyer-USC, Bryce Butler-USC, Mike Willis-APU, Chris Rix-Florida State, Jason Jacobi-Chapman, Jared Hall-Bethel, and many more...

The boys, ages 8-13, had a blast and grew both in the game of football and in faith! Mission Hills Church Youth Pastor, Danny Bowers was our Camp Chaplain throughout the week and did an awesome job of sharing about God's Power, God's Strength, and God's Victory. He really connected well with the campers! I was blessed by all the coaches and helpers who volunteered their time to come out and make this week a huge success! I am already looking forward to next year.

FCA Sports Camp Rewind...

What an amazing week! The 682 campers that invaded UCLA for the week had a blast. Check out the video below. Miles McPherson delivered great messages all week, and the Katinas were awesome! The highlight by far though was this...132 athletes gave their lives to Christ for the first time and 398 athletes rededicated their lives to Him.  That means 530 of the 682 athletes that stepped foot on UCLA’s campus last week made a new commitment to the Lord.  Praise God! That my friends is what it is all about!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Technical issues...

Blogger is malfunctioning on my computer and not letting me post. hopefully the problem will get fixed and I can return to updating you all tomorrow! Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camp Update - day 2 pictures

As promised, pictures from day 2...

Wrestling Coaches and Huddle leaders planning the week!

Women's Soccer staff prays together!

Surf Clinicians might have the toughest job all week?

Ackerman Hall just waiting to be filled with rowdy campers

Surf Clinician Dave Allee & OC Director Greg Brown

Handing out Camp Staff shirts...we are official!

Jared & Kelly Hall with some awesome huddle leaders!

Camp Update - day 2

Today was another great day of preparation and prayer for FCA Camp 2011! The entire camp coaching staff and their families arrived today to complete the Staff piece to the camp puzzle.

As the coaches arrived this morning and got all checked in FCA staff were hard at work completing the preparations needed for the following day. My part of that was to drive the U-Haul down to Anaheim with Tony Gomez and pick up the wrestling mats (how I love LA traffic)! The huddle leaders completed their training and are now ready for the 692 campers that will arrive tomorrow morning to participate in camp! Good work Colin Sinclair, Jared Hall and Marina Mayer for training preparing and loving on these college students who have volunteered a week of their summer to make an impact for Eternity in the lives of all these campers!

In the afternoon the entire FCA Camp 2011 Staff convened for the Welcome Meeting, the first of many to come. After that the athletic staff got together to pray and prepare for the 7 practices, over 4 days, that will be taking places. Some notable Head Clinicians include Mike Sheppard (Football) - QB Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Jose Campo (Wrestling) - Champion Wrestler and Renowned Coach who also had his book "Wisdom from the Corner" published recently! We are blessed beyond words with an incredible coaching staff!

The day finally concluded with an awesome commissioning ceremony, that brought to life the reality that all the hard work and preparation is now over and camp is really beginning! It's Game time...who's going to be a Game Changer?  

The Camp Bible that every staff and camper receives!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Camp Update - day 1

Today was the first day of on site prep at camp. Core Staff and huddle leaders arrived to begin preparing and training for the arrivals of the campers on Wednesday morning. The day began for me and Jessica earl this morning as we awoke @ 5:30am to pack up our truck and get out of the apartment in time to pick up our camp U-Haul rental by 7:30am. After I got the U-Haul Jessica headed up to camp with the kids and i met a few of our other staff people at the warehouse to load up all the sports equipment, t-shirts, and about 3,000 pounds of bibles! WOW!

Once here we spent the day unloading and getting the equipment shed and training room set up.... on the other side of things the huddle leaders (college athlete/camp counselor) were having a bit more fun! They spent the day bonding, playing games and preparing their hearts spiritually for the week ahead of them! Then tonight the were treated to a Westwood favorite...Diddy Riese! Needless to say, today was tiring but rewarding! It is great to be a part of all the behind the scenes hard work that go in to making this an awesome experience for the Kids.

I will have Pictures everyday starting tomorrow...I promise!

Please Pray for;
The huddle leaders as they prepare to influence the kids for Christ, The staff to be willing and ready to serve with a humble attitude!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

GameChanger - FCA Sports Camp Updates

Tomorrow camp staff will head up to UCLA for our 2011 FCA Sports Camp to prepare for the 692 campers that will show up on Wednesday. I will be providing an inside look at FCA sports camp with daily updates and pictures. Check back each day this week, Monday June 27 - Sunday July 3, to see how God will use FCA Staff and volunteers to make an impact in the hearts of kids from all over the West Coast!

Check the Blog for Daily Updates this week!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Edison High School FCA student leader Riley Mailman, has started a Movement to reach teenagers for Christ! Riley has a gift and passion for Jesus, which he has translated into loving others and sharing Jesus with them! Pray for Riley as he reaches out. Check it out at 

Here is an excerpt from his website...
"I am Riley Mailman, a normal teenager and the founder of In November 2009, I felt compelled to reach out to other teenagers to share the life-changing love of God. Many topics will be discussed on this blog, and I encourage you to take part in the movement. In the end, we all need one thing, and His name is Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hollwood Hero, Clayton Kershaw - STV

Check out this awesome article about LA Dodgers Ace 

Clayton Kershaw

(Click on Picture for Story)