Surrender: One Word 2018

My One Word for 2017 was "faith."  God couldn't have put a better word in my heart when I chose that last year.  For 2018, I prayed that God would keep building on my faith and place a focus in my mind again.  For the past couple weeks, no word felt right as I tried to pick one word for this year.  But today, God gave me my word for 2018: Surrender.


As I think of the ways that God tested my faith last year, I'm very aware that he may call me to surrender in uncomfortable ways.  To be honest, it scares me a little bit.  But whatever he has in store for me and my family in 2018, I want to surrender it all to Jesus.  

I felt that "surrender" was the right word tonight while I was listening to the song "Gracefully Broken" by Matt Redman.  You can listen below.

The lyrics say, "Here I am, God, arms wide open! Pouring out my life, gracefully broken...I surrender."  I know there are so many areas in my life that I have not surrendered to God.  I'm excited to see how God changes my heart over the next 365 days and draws me closer to Him!  I ask that you pray for me as I strive to surrender my thoughts, my actions, and my life to Jesus.  Here's to 2018...Happy New Year!


2017 - FAITH (Read More)

2016 - PERSISTENT (Read More)

2015 - SERVE


See Jesus In Me

My desire as a coach is for people to see Jesus in me.  Through the way I work, the way I behave, and the way I care, I want Jesus to be at the center of it.  My heartbeat is to see those around me grow closer to Jesus because of the way I live.

However, I'm really bad at it most of the time.

My work becomes focused solely on wins & losses.  I work a certain way for certain hours, so that people will give me their approval.  I do what I do because I want the praise and glory for myself.

My behavior lacks character too often and I fall victim to Satan's attacks.  I allow my feelings to dictate my actions, which often leads to sin.  I behave the way I do because I'm prideful and want to do what only makes me happy.

My care for others is non-existent  because their needs are not more important than my own, obviously.  I focus on what I want and lookout for me, myself, and I.  I lack the care that I need to have because I'm selfish.


I've been struggling lately to be a light; to be the example that God created me to be.  He called me to coach and he enabled me to have the opportunity to impact young men and other coaches.  I'm passionate about fulfilling that call with the gifts that God has given me.  I want to embrace the responsibility that I have because I know the impact those with the same calling had on me.  So here's what I'm going to do:


I believe that prayer is powerful and God desires to have that communication with us.  As a coach, I need to make this a daily occurrence with intentionality throughout the day.  However, I'm really bad at praying.  I don't do it enough and more often than not I fail to do it well.  Please pray for me to grow stronger in my prayer life!


God's word is powerful.  It speaks truth and breathes life.  I need to dig deeper into the word of God and find out more about what he is all about.  I'm really good at reading it on a surface level, but I desire to dive deeper and grow closer to God.  


I want to do more.  Not because I think it will earn me favor with God, but because I want to impact people.  I want to genuinely love them and show them who Jesus is by the way I live life.  I want my words to speak truth and I want my actions to display love.  I want the gospel to resonate with the people I come in contact with every day, so Jesus can do a work in their life.

I want people to see Jesus in me. 

3 Keys To Unlocking More Potential

When we hear the term “potential,” we tend to connect it to who we could be and what we could possibly achieve.  As a life-long athlete and former college basketball player, I also used to view potential as something I was supposed to reach on the court or in the classroom.  My whole life, I remember my teachers and coaches telling me certain steps to take in order to reach that ever so high mountain top of potential. A place I could finally look down and exclaim, “I made it! I have reached my potential and there is nowhere else to go from here!”  As I thought about it, though, I began to question the whole methodology of reaching one’s potential and I actually began to disagree with it in a way.  Now, from my experiences I believe that God has more for us to achieve every waking second we’re alive on this earth.  I believe our potential must be grounded in who we serve and how we serve day in and day out.  If we decide to serve ourselves every day then we will see very little progress being made.  If we serve with no genuineness then our lives will have no real value to them.  As a follower of Christ I know where my potential comes from, but I also understand the value that my God can keep adding to my potential due to my faithfulness and obedience.  With all of this said, God has placed three keys on my heart that I believe if truly applied to our lives we can unlock more and more potential every single day.


The first thing people think of when they hear the word “give” or “generous” is money.  It scares people.  Because people want to keep what is theirs and use it for their own livelihood.  The amazing thing about it though is that living generously does not have to be about money at all.  Giving of your time and talents can be used just as much or more by God if our hearts are in the right place.  Living a life of service to others I believe draws us closer to Christ because Jesus was a servant himself here on Earth.  Living generously allows us to put ourselves to the side and serve others.  This obedience gives us the opportunity to be truly used by God which begins to take our potential to another level.

Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
— Matthew 5:42


No matter how old you are or how successful/unsuccessful you may be, God always has more for you in your walk with Him.  We as Christians should never be satisfied and think that we have arrived. There is always more to improve.  Placing a ceiling on your potential portrays the image that God can no longer take your impact on the world to new heights.  We have a duty to never become complacent in our lives especially when there is a great amount to be done every day.  Don’t limit yourself due to what you think you can’t do, but live every day with a passion that shows the limitless power of God.  Not only are we impacted by this, but others around us who need help are affected by this as well.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
— Ephesians 3:20


When we are consistently honoring the authority God has put in our lives then God is going to bless that behavior.  Honoring the authority that you may not even agree with or get along with still honors God which draws us closer to him.  God has placed the people in authority in your life for a reason and we have an obligation to humble ourselves before them.  Also, one of the key aspects of learning how to be a leader is learning how to follow the correct way.  Showing honor to your parents, teachers, coaches, supervisors, and anyone else for that matter unlocks tons of potential in our lives.  For example, in the Bible we see the story of Daniel and how he is faced with a choice to stop worshipping God and praying to Him.  Something we tend to overlook is that through the whole story Daniel never stops respecting and honoring the king.  Daniel continues to respect the very authority that is telling him to turn away from God because he understood that God had placed that king there for a reason.  Did Daniel listen to the king’s orders? No! But Daniel never disrespected the king all the while standing up for his Lord and Savior.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
— 1 Peter 5:5

A Simple, Yet Powerful Story

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
— Matthew 6:33

Ed Schilling is an assistant coach at UCLA and owns a simple, yet powerful story about his coaching career.  He talks about his experience going from a high school coach at Logansport High School in Indiana, to a D1 assistant at UMass and a Final Four appearance, to the youngest NBA assistant with the New Jersey Nets - in the span of only 310 days!  It seems crazy to think about, but Coach Schilling expressed that his heart change to seek God with his whole life was the foundation of his journey.  

Coach Schilling always speaks with prodigious passion and captures the hearts of those he comes in contact with.  Every time that I hear the story of how Jesus Christ worked in his life, I leave feeling so blessed.  He is a man who committed himself to seeking out the kingdom of God and was given awesome opportunities to glorify his Savior!  Early on in his career he was always chasing something that didn't satisfy, but he finally made a decision to seek Christ and found himself very content coaching high school basketball in Indiana.  Through his pursuit to know God, his life changed.  Not only did his career begin a wild and crazy journey, but he experienced the power of the gospel in his life and the lives of those he was around.  His story is truly remarkable and exemplifies the life we have in Christ!

This year, Coach Schilling was the recipient of the "Barnabas" Award given by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which honors a basketball coach who best exhibits a commitment to Christ, integrity, encouragement to others and lives a balanced life.

The Cross & Why I'm Thankful


Why am I thankful?  Because of Jesus.  Because of the cross.  

"Jesus did not instruct his disciples to concern themselves with the details of when and where.  The disciples primary goal was to be exulting in and proclaiming the good news of His death and resurrection." 1

17 years ago my life was changed by the gospel when I understood my sin and how Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave.  7 years ago my life was RADICALLY changed by the gospel when God opened my eyes and my heart to serve Jesus with my life.  You could say Jesus took me to a new level.  

I don't know what tomorrow will bring in my life or the lives of those I love.  I will never know that.  But because of the cross I know that whatever comes will be better than I deserve.  Before I knew of Jesus on the cross, I was deserving of death and was heading that way .  After the cross, I was still deserving of death, but now had a Savior in Jesus who conquered my sin and death when he rose three days later!  I never want to move on from the cross.  I never want to move on from grace.  I always want to have joy at the cross knowing what Jesus did for me.  He is too good.  


This song below will give you goosebumps.  I'm so thankful for the cross.  I'm so thankful for the gospel.  I'm so thankful for Jesus!

1. Excerpt from "The Cross Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney

The Victory is His

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
— 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 defines "Victory" as, 

vic-to-ry [vik-tuh-ree, vik-tree]

  1. a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.
  2. an engagement ending in such triumph.
  3. the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest.


Although we often associate the term 'victory' with the sports arena, the true victory was won at the cross of Jesus Christ.  I constantly assess myself as a coach and ask the question, "why do you coach?"  Obviously, there is a passion and desire to win championships, develop the skills of my players, and to reach the highest level of success that is possible.  But if the wins, success, and reputation among my peers is the only place I'm finding victory, then I have truly lost.  When I break it down to the fundamentals, there are three reasons I coach and they are the only things that will make an impact for eternity.

1. Discipleship within a basketball program is key.  I want to disciple our players to the best of my ability to ensure that they are growing in their walks with Jesus and that they are winning off the court as well as on the court.  Our players should graduate knowing that I cared about them as more than just a basketball player.  I will only be successful in this if I am being discipled as well.  Finding mentors to help me grow and hold me accountable is a key in achieving success in these areas.  If no one is coaching the coaches, then we are in trouble. (Matthew 28:19)

2. Proclaiming the gospel to the nations is essential.  Throughout the season it is vital to not only be visible in the community, but also to have a presence around the world.  Our team was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico this season and use basketball to glorify God.  Obviously, trips across the ocean may not be a common occurrence, but we still need to make efforts to share the gospel with others.  If we aren't telling non-believers about Jesus, then we are failing in our call as coaches and as human beings. (Matthew 5:16)

3. Glorifying Jesus Christ in all we do is the umbrella over it all.  We were put here on this earth by a marvelous Creator and he deserves all the praise we have to offer.  We can praise him through our preparation, attitude, and actions.  God the Father sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sin, rise up from the grave, and give us victory.  He gave us victory because he won the battle over sin.  He gave us victory because he sits triumphantly at the right hand of God the Father.  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

It was the ultimate sacrifice.  According to the Bible and the definition given to us by, we really do have victory in Jesus!  We can worship Jesus by the way we coach, the way we live, and by the legacy we leave.  Next time you think about victory and winning a championship, check your heart and make sure that you are doing everything for the glory of God!

Do This Every Day!


That's right.  Die to yourself.  This isn't a phrase that we usually say to someone, but it should be one of the first things to cross our mind each day.  I'm talking about the ability to humble our hearts by intentionally getting rid of the selfish desires we have.  The apostle Paul is a great example of this discipline in humility.  In 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul makes it known to the church at Corinth that, "I die every day!" 


Dying to yourself may be the most important thing you do each and every day.   As humans, our tendency is to be self-centered and focused on how we can make our own lives better.  In fact, our basketball program has been focused on dying to ourselves and placing others first so that Christ can be glorified.  Serving others and humbling ourselves is what we're talking about!  It's an imperfect process, but one that we are all in together.  We need to die to self so that we can be alive in Jesus.  

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
— Philippians 1:21

As a basketball coach, it is vital that I wake up every morning and remember to die to myself.  Having a spirit of humility is what will allow me to make the greatest impact on those that I'm surrounded by.  It's not easy, but I'm ready to fight it!  When I sense by heart becoming selfish and arrogant, I need to die to myself and pursue Christ.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends of faith - and that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
— Philippians 3:8-11