Hope you like these recent pics! Most are from yesterday. I'm really enjoying watching God work in the lives of these tennis missionaries which are invading my house, blessing my life, and claiming a spot in my heart here in beautiful Palm Coast, Florida!
Each young person has a really unique personality and each has come to really bond with the others, which is so rare in today's world! From these close bonds they learn trust and are willing to let others into their worlds.
Where are the students I'm working with this summer from?
Ukraine... Australia... USA... Trinidad... Samoa... and Mexico. The majority of my wonderful kids I've been blessed to coach and mentor have parents who are in ministry... pastors, worship leaders, church planting missionaries.
I am always amazed at the incredible difference between secular parents and Christian parents in ministry. The respect given to me, to their children, and to the other students by these rare individuals is so special and different. I'm blessed and my little Christian tennis academy is blessed.
God is blessing my upcoming plans as well. This is an important time in my life. When I began ICTA back in 1999, I gave myself 10 years to learn about ministry. To see if I could be used by God to make any kind of positive difference for the Kingdom. 8 years later I'm still in ministry and God has blessed every step.
I didn't know if I would last this long as I'm just like most of you, full of faults and have never been to seminary. I was pretty much an ignorant moron my first few years in ministry and spent a lot of time with my foot in my mouth as I battled my pride and my need to do it all on my own. Well, I lived through the first 8 years and have 2 years left.
As I said, this is an important time in my personal ministry. I've put off having a family, I've put off making $, I've really sacrificed everything that most people don't sacrifice... and now I'm heading into the home stretch.
What's the next 24 months going to bring? God willing some neat stuff. I'll keep quiet about it now but I would like to ask you to keep me in your prayers. Please also keep my family and my friends in your prayers. Satan seems to be somewhat concerned about me and has used his people for several years to attack my family and friends, and members of the ICTA Women's Pro Tennis Team. Your prayers are much welcomed in this battle.
For your prayers for me, I'd like you to focus on praying for me to remain effective in slowing down and letting God direct my steps. Satan's people attacking me doesn't affect me any more... my most pressing prayer need is for you to pray I continue to walk with Him with my eyes shut and my mouth closed, and to be able to continuously hear Him in my life and respond to His commands... especially when He leads me down paths that make no sense to my fish-in-a-bowl brain.
To wrap this up...I receive email near daily from people sharing how ICTA has made a positive difference in their lives... sometimes just knowing we're out there sharing their faith in tennis makes some people really inspired to do the same. Well, you people inspire me!
People have been led to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior from hearing the Gospel through ICTA's mission trips to famous tennis tournaments, my small tennis academy, our women's missionary pro tennis team. This is powerful and special and awe-inspiring. This tennis ministry is effective and is God-blessed and is God-driven and is God-inspired.
So for those of you who have wondered what I've been up to this summer and who want to know how I am doing... well, I am doing well and have 2 more years left and am more in love with Jesus than ever from going to war with Him... so, thanks for asking!
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