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.