Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Heart of Champions

We witnessed some beautiful lessons this week during a state all-star T-ball tournament. Even though some of the tiny teams were not victorious as to the score, each of them were winners. No losers dimmed the shine at this event.

Our family was among those celebrating the championship with awards for MVP and team sportsmanship. And it’s always a wonderful thing to win. But even more important than winning this time, were the principles practiced in the process.

You would have been proud of all several hundred of these six-year-old athletes.

They gave the games their all and seemed determined to please their coaches and we fans. They honored the referees’ decisions and they focused on the goal of personal best for the team’s sake. They took a knee when any player was injured and they shook hands as both the victors and the defeated. And some shed tears at the loss.

We watched the losers learn from their experience and return with a more determined attitude to win. And we watched them never give up. They played with heart to the end.

The young boys were privy to watching adults compliment their team’s opponents for a game well-played or children well-coached. Families modeled togetherness as they cleaned up the dugouts and the seating areas so the next group could enjoy fresh surroundings. And with each game played, little boys took another step forward into manhood.

This tournament demonstrated the results of patience, hard work, practice, team play, fair competition, firm guidance and family support.

And as we saw it, every child was a champion.

Game on!

Chase Wesley Anello

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For the Love of the Game

Nothing warms the heart more than to see children surrounded by supportive families.

My husband and I spent yesterday with sister and brother-in-law at their grandson’s T-Ball tournament in Mulberry, Florida. Five men coached the Wesley Chapel team to two victories as parents, siblings, grandparents and friends cheered them on from the sidelines. It was a beautiful sight!

The young boys learning the skills, rules and sportsmanship required for baseball were also able to experience the thrill of competition, and of winning and losing graciously. This ball park was a classroom of sorts.

Reflecting back on the time we’ve invested in the sports of our own four grandchildren — soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis and cheerleading — I am reminded once again of the value of sports and healthy physical activity.

May we never lose the joy of being part of the game!

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Thankful for a Faithful Mother

Dorcas Roberta Spooner married Robert Vernon Christensen after only six days of dating when she was 20 and he was 25. Their marriage produced three daughters and lasted until death (his, at age 42 from complications of diabetes, when she was only 37) do they part. I believe this was when the young widow began to draw on her own heritage of faith, established by her parents, Claude A. and Cora Esther Spooner.

Today would have been my beautiful mother’s 89th birthday. Before she died of cancer in 1995 at 70, her spunky spirit was still full of life and an even stronger faith. What a gift to we three girls to know our mother is now eternally in heaven with Jesus.

What a gift to have watched God answer her prayers for help in raising daughters alone, for help with provision and protection, and for help in teaching them how to be productive citizens. What a gift to watch her seek comfort, courage, and strength in the stories and wisdom of the Bible. What a gift to hear her sing and be taught by her the songs of our Christian faith.

Her love for The Lord has inspired me to trust God in every situation and with every need, and to rejoice in all things, even in the hard places.

And for that, I am forever grateful. Thank you, Mom, and Happy, Glorious Birthday!


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Fatherhood – Three Local Dads Share Their Joy

My own earthly father died when I was 12, but my sisters and mother never doubted his love for his family. I don’t know much about his personal faith because we weren’t regular church attenders then. But I do know he was a good man with strong principles and a joy I will never forget.

I thoroughly enjoyed the responses of these three dads who attend Plant City Church of God. I think you will also. Simply follow the link and flip to page 24 where you will meet Brent, Nate, and James.

Feel free to share your thoughts about a father’s influence on the spiritual development of their children.

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