Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Super Bowl of Faith (part 2)

Super Bowl 49
I don’t know which Super Bowl team you rooted for on Sunday but the guys I was cheering for were the team chaplains. For the last 18 seasons I have had the privilege of serving as volunteer team chaplain for the Fort Hays State University Men’s Basketball Team. (I also assisted the FHSU football team for 8 seasons from 1997-2004 and presently Dr. Jeff Burnett, Director of C3’s Encounter college ministry does so.) Yesterday in this blog we looked at the 20 year veteran Seahawk chaplain Karl Payne and today we will meet the New England Patriots Jack Easterby.

Easterby has only been with the Patriots one year after a three year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. When K.C. player Jovan Belcher committed murder-suicide, the Chiefs turned to Easterby for guidance.

According to ESPN.com, Easterby is treated a little different than most team chaplains. “The typical team chaplain is a pastor at a local church who volunteers to host Saturday chapel for 10 or so players who attend and is compensated with cash in a collection plate. In New England, Easterby has an office and it's near Coach Bill Belichick's. He hosts Bible study, works coaches' hours in his office counseling players and their wives. When he's not listening, he's texting. When he's not texting, he's writing players and coaches individual notes, recapping their personal goals and reminding them of how thankful he is to know them.” “The Patriots, since his hire, say they are not the same, no matter what the result of Ted Wells' investigation into whether the team illegally deflated footballs in the AFC championship game. Owner Robert Kraft calls Easterby a 'wonderful individual,'” and Tom Brady has told friends Easterby is one of the main reasons for the Patriots' success this past year. Safety Devin McCourty calls him 'a godsend to this team' who has 'helped create better men.'" Easterby refers to himself as the Patriots “Character Coach”. I like that title. From time to time I remind the FHSU Tiger players that athletics are a blending of the gifts that God gave us of body, mind AND Spirit and without being in touch with our spiritual selves we are out of balance and therefore cannot compete to the best of our ability. The same goes for you and me. We have all been recruited to participate on Christ’s championship team called the church. Each one of us are to get out of our seats as spectators and get on the field as players.

Your Character Coach,

FHSU Basketball
I’ve got 5 primo tickets for Thursday Nights FHSU basketball games. Email me at kyle@celebratejesus.org if you can use them.

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