Strive for True Victory (CIF-SS Championship Video)

Recap video of Maranatha’s CIF-SS D-5 Girls Tennis Championship

Hey TD!

Last week, we had a post entitled, We Must Play. It’s a must read.  Well, along those lines, a few weeks ago, Sandra and I had the privilege of coaching the Maranatha High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team to a CIF-SS D-5 Championship.  It was a stressful but thrilling two weeks of intense playing, soul-searching, and figuring out how to be able to produce our best when our best is needed.  The playoffs are not for the faint of heart. Sports is a great revealer of things.  It has been said that when you play competitive sports, the real you comes out.

It is incredibly difficult to win a championship at any level; there is an incredible amount of focus, discipline, character, desire, perspective, and providence that must all come together for the desired result to occur; and even then, there are no guarantees it will.  So many others want the same thing, yet only one will be left standing.

I want to remind you that while only one team or one person can win the championship, it is absolutely possible for more than one to come out a champion.  Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome.  Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters.

We are grateful for God’s generosity and kindness to us in granting us the championship; but as I told our team, it comes with great responsibility of stewardship and giving credit to Whom credit is due.  Our theme verse was 1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  While our team really wanted to earn championship rings, we agreed that, more than for the ring alone, we are playing for the “King of the ring.”

Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome.  Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters. 

This was the first time in my years of coaching boys and girls tennis that both finalists were Christian schools, both bearing witness.  After the ceremony was over, a long-time CIF official made a point to come to me and let me know that it was the finest display of sportsmanship at the ceremony that he’s seen, and that that’s how high school sports should be.

Indeed, it has been an opportunity to give thanks to God and attempt to represent Him well.  If you’re interested, here are a couple of newspaper articles.  They don’t always include the faith aspects into their stories, even when you share it with them, but you can still catch the drift:

Pasadena Sports Now

Pasadena Outlook

TD’ers, none of us is going to go through the game of life smoothly.  We’re going to have bumps and bruises, successes and failures along the way.  My dad used to remind me that failure is the foundation of success.  He’s right.  Failure can be such a powerful teacher.  I’ve always told people that the mark of a Christian is not whether you fall (you will), but the manner in which you get up when you fall.

I encourage you all during this finals season to prepare well, think well, treat others well, put God first, love your family, live honorably and consistently inside and out, and trust Him. If you do, whatever the results, you will have earned true victory.  Amen.

Go get’ em! – Coach Arthur 🙂

 

 

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TD Fri. – “A TD Thanksgiving feat. Offerings 8”!

Hey TD!

This Friday is “A TD Thanksgiving feat. Offerings 8”! Woohoo! It’s going to be great time of giving thanks to our ever-so-gracious God through food, fun, fellowship, and Offerings 8! We’ll meet at the Hsiehs’ home at 6:30 p.m. to begin the festivities.

Potluck

Each small group member will bring primarily main dishes and sides, while one person in each group will bring drinks and one person will bring dessert. Let your small group leaders know what you’ll be bringing.

Offerings 8

The theme is “Engage!” and is an invitation for us to engage with God and one another creatively and artistically by giving Him an offering of music, art, writing, reading, recitation, whatever.  You may be hesitant or nervous about giving Him a public offering, but we encourage you take a risk and go for it.  It will not only be a blessing to others, but to yourself as well.  If you haven’t signed up yet, sign up with your small group leaders today!

I posted this interview last with the one and only Jill Carattini month, but it’s a great reminder as to why the arts are an important component to the Christian life and the Christian community.  I’d encourage you to watch it again and respond:

 

See you Friday! – Arthur

Guess Which TD’er is in the 2018 Ignition Student Conference Promo Video!

 

Hey TD!

Just a quick post to say, look who made it in the Ignition 2018 promo video – our very own TD alumnus, 2017 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST) champion, Josh Chang! Josh is one in a long line of YST champions from TD that have given their speeches at the Ignition Student Conference in front of thousands of California teens.

Are you wondering if you should participate in YST this year? See your friendly neighborhood TD counselor and they will help you figure out if it whether it will be a good fit for you. It’s not too early to begin thinking, praying, and planning for it, if you do end up planning to participate. YST is for 10th – 12th graders.

TD Vlog – “How the Arts Can Deepen Your Faith” w/Jill Carattini

Hey Masterpieces of God!

This summer, while at ReFresh with in Atlanta with some TD’ers, I had a chance to spend some time with dear friend, Jill Carattini, writer extraordinaire on the deeper spiritual life, managing editor of Ravi Zacharias Int’l Ministries’ (RZIM) Slice of Infinity, and curator of RZIM’s formal art gallery, Stillpoint.

Jill agreed to come on camera with me and share with you TD’ers how the arts can deepen and energize your faith, and help you to get a greater apprehension of who we are. It’s spiritually insightful and very personal and vulnerable, reflecting her journey, my journey, … and for many of you … your journey. Where she was is where many of you are at. It will be a worthwhile viewing.

With Offerings 8 coming up on November 16, I thought this would be a great time to give you some inspiration and perspective, so you can prepare to give a meaningful offering to the Lord. Enjoy! – Arthur

Pics/Video From TD Kick-Off ’18 – ’19

TD Kick-Off

Sandra awards the top 3 finishers in the “pssssssssss” game – Jason, Stella, and Anabell!

Hey TD!

Take a look at some photos, moving photos, and videos from last week’s TD Kick-Off, courtesy of Peter. Thanks Peter!

TD Kick-Off ’18-19 Pics/Video

See you at TD at 7:15 p.m.!

Called to Live Lives “Out of This World”

Hey TD!

In August, Robert wrapped up our year-long series, “Renew: Transforming Our Life in Christ,” by teaching on Romans 12:16-21. It’s a very challenging message to live lives that are “out of this world” in relation to the rest of the world.

Below are his mp3 message, two moving videos he showed, and an article of uncommon faith.

“Out of This World” (mp3) Rom. 12:16-21 – Robert

Christianity Today Article – Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable

 

Must Every Church Be Multi-Ethnic?

Hey TD!

Now that the new school year has begun, it’s a great time to think about our approach to the year ahead. Will you pretty much just keep plugging along as you did last year? Or is there a change in approach to life, to people, to church, to family, or to God that you’d like to see happen? If so, as I always say, success doesn’t happen by accident.

Or as Coach John Wooden used to say,

“If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Coach John Wooden

One area of my life that God has been working on over the years, and one where He has made a big impression on me this summer is the valuing, appreciating, and delighting in the differences and uniqueness of all types of people from all types of backgrounds, seeing the value behind nearly all stories and all experiences.  I have seen a fuller picture of God’s person and character in doing so, and have been pleasantly humbled in the process.

How is your perspective on those from other cultures and backgrounds? Are they “out there” in your eyes, or are they part of … you … and your family? Are they “out there” to be ministered to … or do we see them as one of us? Are we better staying within our own Chinese-American cloisters … or is our calling to not only mingle with, but do life with the brethren of all backgrounds?

The question has often been raised about whether our church is being biblical in being a Chinese church. It’s a legitimate question. Many from our church have not felt comfortable bringing non-Chinese friends to our church for obvious reasons. So how should we think about our church being mono-ethnic? Should changes be made? Or do are we doing fine the way we are, ministering to a specific demographic?

I found the above video from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to be fair, biblical, and desirous of God’s heart.  Watch it and let’s discuss this further amongst ourselves in the days to come. – Arthur