Nelson Cook who established Coaches of Influence (COIN) 30 years ago in Los Angeles USA writes a monthly letter to the many coaches at professional, college and high school levels and the current correspondence touches the spot.
It has been my privilege since 1984 to have been hosted innumerable times by Nelson Cook in my years in sport ministry, the most recent was in 2009 where I addressed coaches over breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
This is another of those Christian ministry movements where one person has a vision for a ministry area that had been untapped and gathered support to engender the dream and saw how God unleashed his 'touch' upon the evangelism.
There is a growing number of these 'niche' ministries that highly specialise into a people group and coaches are a vital people group in the American culture who both influence the life of high schools, colleges and professional teams, but have a huge input into the lives of their charges.
To this extent Nelson Cook's vision grew its feet and with the Lord's blessing that this ministry is now a light on the landscape and this is Nelson Cook's latest letter to his coaching personnel:
In a recent Nelson Cook newsleltter to his coaches he wrote:
Reaching ...Encouraging ...Strengthening - R â E - S
Thinking about the path of life I've been on and am on today.
= Dead - in trespasses and sins
= Path - I walked according to the world, flesh, and devil
I walked according to the price of the power of the air (Satan).
I walked according to the spirit working in those who are disobedient (easy to be that when you hang out with those people)
I lived in the lusts of flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and mind (garbage in, garbage out)
By nature I was a child of wrath and subject to God's anger (I deserved anything God allowed in His anger)
BUT GOD ...
we interrupt this downward spiral to hell Â¼ to bring you GOOD NEWS!
GOD ...who is RICH in MERCY (us NOT getting what ALL of us deserve) even though we were dead because of our sins.
GOD ...gave me LIFE (born again, trusting Jesus Christ)
Path I am on TODAY. (I will quote from the New Living Translation)
God saved me by HIS GRACE (God's unmerited favour) when I believed and I can't take credit for this; IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD. Salvation is NOT a reward for the good things we've done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are (those who believed) God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in CHRIST JESUS, so we can do the things HE planned for us long ago.
If you are a believer, consider where you've BEEN and where you WERE headed ...(old path).
NOW your new PATH is a GRACE GIFT of GOD because you BELIEVE what Christ did for you.
ALL the religions of the world can be summed up in TWO LETTERS ... DO (you have to do things to earn God's favor; whatever your god is).
Christianity is summed up in FOUR LETTERS ... DONE! Christ did it all. What we have is choice ...believe it or not! If we believe, we will do what He planned because we LOVE HIM. It's what we get to do not what we have to do. What a privilege!
All of this comes directly from Ephesians 2:1-10.
NOW, believer ... what will you do about it? Share the good news with someone this week and see a new PATH for someone to begin. Acts 1:8 ... you will be My witnesses. Hallelujah!
Onward and upward,
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html