June 5, 2008

Roger Almighty: The Worship of Roger Federer

Posted in ATP Tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, ICTA Tennis, Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:04 pm by Scott Paschal

ICTA Founder, Scott PaschalRoger Federer is arguably the best tennis player in tennis history.

Without question, Federer has been the best player over the last 4 years. Not only has he been an amazing player, but he is someone who seems in his own way to work hard to be a positive ambassador for the sport.

Ask junior tennis players who they want to be like when they grow up, and you often hear them reply, “Roger Federer!”

As kids, most of us probably had our sports idols. Me, I thought Roger Staubach, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys was amazing.

But, as I grew older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve come to realize people who compete at a high level in their sport, while achieving fame and fortune, are not necessarily worthy of being role models.

We tend to treat celebrities with a type of reverence. I guess it’s human nature. For some reason we readily give these sports idols the reigns to our life, and the ability to influence our history.

Do you want to know how many top 100 ATP players regularly have sex with multiple partners… nightly!? I can name a couple. Should these men advise your son… or daughter… on life lessons?

Scotty w/ Athletes in Action Trainee and ICTA student, Chris.

Chris is leaving soon to play college and is embarking in a life of Christian ministry. What a treasure and a joy to have had Chris as a part-time academy student, and full time friend, these last 6 years.

I remember a few years ago when Federer split with his coach. He said he didn’t need one. So, kids worldwide decided they, too, didn’t need coaches. To be “cool” they decided they were experienced and aware enough to develop themselves into top 10 ATP or WTA players.

Unfortunately, the kids, and the parents who supported their decision, were wrong. And we have an entire generation of junior tennis players coming up who are woefully underdeveloped.

In addition, this generation of junior player learned to believe they were superior in knowledge to tennis coaches.

As incomes dried up, and reputations were damaged… how many good coaches did we lose to this, both now and in the future?

And from this how many kids were robbed of the mentorship and accountability structure provided by a caring coach? Among the most influential people in my life have been the men of God placed in my life who have taught me not just sports, but have taught me about life.

Sure Federer gave several coaches select roles at certain tournaments for short periods of time, and even had coaches here and there for weeks at a time.  But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m concerned that his overall public theme about coaches and mentorship is damaging.

I don’t know where I would have been without my coaches.

Those coaches in and of themselves by their examples and deeds have taught me how to have a relationship with my Creator, and how to live within an accountability structure, and how to plan and achieve goals, and so much more…

So, to the kid who worshiped Roger Federer and dumped his or her coach, I have to ask if they can see now their choice wasn’t such a good one. And to Roger Federer I would ask if he realizes the difficult impact his choice has had on junior tennis development and beyond….

In addition, kids are highly aware Federer isn’t married, yet travels with his girlfriend worldwide, shacking up in hotels and playing married?  Thus, kids believe it’s cool to do the same….

Honestly, I find it hard to believe she is the one who wants to stay unmarried. She has helped him earn millions of $ for years, and obviously loves him.  And Fed  probably doesn’t want a huge, public breakup where she is left with nothing.  Or a “forced” marriage from pregnancy….

Just get married, Fed.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this the message you believe should dominate the hearts and minds of your sons and daughters?

Should sex outside the bonds of marriage be promoted so outspokenly by one of the world’s highest profile athletes? Does this undermine God’s plan for marriage?

Do you feel good about Roger Federer’s highly publicized actions possibly guiding your children away from God’s views on marriage and sex and family?

Sure, he has his foundation which helps people. And without question, he strives to remain humble and approachable. I think we all really, really like him, right?

That said, I’m not questioning his likableness. Nor am I judging him.  I make mistakes and am the first to say I am not a good person.  I am simply asking you if Roger Federer should be an object of your child’s worship.

Or should you work to replace Roger with Jesus in your child’s heart?

Now, as Roger Federer sees his amazing career slowing, what will be his legacy? Sure, he will be known as among the tennis’ best. But, I’m asking what his real legacy will be.

What will be the Kingdom impact he will have for Christ?

If you are an atheist reading this… you probably want to puke.  Understandable. This may seem ridiculous to you.  That’s ok, your belief that nothing created everything seems ridiculous to me, too

Scott Paschal in Normandy

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Campus President, Emma Hustad, in Normandy, France w/ ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, and ICTA Women's Pro Team Captain, Rachel Snelen, during 2007 ICTA foundation-laying outreach to Roland Garros

That said, a big question comes up when I talk with kids. I ask, “Who is your idol?”

I listen to what they have to say. Then, I ask them if they understand their choices in life have a huge impact on the direction and growth and quality of not just their tennis, but their lives. And not just their lives, but the lives of others?

Instead of giving my opinion on who they should idolize, I ask them to look at the Bible for guidance.

Like Roger Federer, Scott Paschal is flawed. I have my daily struggles, and I’m the first to say if God hadn’t guided me into Christian ministry, I have no business being here with my life story.

Additionally, I’m not an expert on what every kid should do. But, I am someone who looks to God’s word when I see something I need to improve in my life. Especially when organizing my life priorities!

That said, a question I ask myself is, “Who or what rules my life?” Is it tennis, family, career, ministry friends…?

What about you?

Who sits on the throne of your life?

Is it Roger Federer or Maria Sharapova? Or someone or something else? If so, let’s take a look at what God’s word says.

Jump Down… Off of Your Throne

“(The people of Tyre and Sidon who had sought an audience with Herod because they had been quarreling with him). On the appointed day King Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man.’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an Angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” Acts 12:21-23 (NIV)

(Pretty gross, huh? Eaten by worms and died! Notice the order here. First eaten, then died. Not too pretty for a King….)

KEY QUESTIONS: “Who or What sits on the throne of your life? What is my priority?”

1. Is it self?

2. Is it success?

3. Is it stuff?

*A Man Called Doubting Thomas

“Jesus said he was going to Bethany and be with Lazarus even though the disciples warned him that some of the Jews tried to take his life the last time He was there). Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of disciples, let us also go that we may die with him’ .” John 11:16 (NIV)

“Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it’.” John 20:24-25 (NIV)

1. Didymus means twin.

“Thomas (called Didymus)….”

2. Thomas had the courage to go and die with Jesus.

“…let us go that we may die with him.”

3. Yet Thomas lacked the faith to believe in Jesus.

…I will not believe it.”

*Our Personal Struggles with Duplicity

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify you hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

1. In some ways all Christians are two different persons

“I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.” Romans 7:22-23 (LB)

2. Our greatest struggle is within

“So you see how it is: my new life tells me o do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.” Romans 7:24a (LB)

3. The danger is falling back to our selfish, carnal nature.

“Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature?” Romans 7:24b (LB)

*Hopping Off of the Throne

“Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” Romans 7:24-25 (LB)

1. First, I must determine who or what sits on the throne of my life.

“So why do you call me ‘Lord’, when you won’t obey me?” Luke 6:46 (NLT)

2. Then, I must replace whatever is sitting on my throne with Jesus.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of man who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

3. Third, I must determine that Jesus Christ will be all of all of my life.

” Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hands into his side, I will not believe it’. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God! Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” John 20:24-29

Closing Thoughts: A Wise Person Once Said…

“If Jesus Christ is not your LORD of ALL He is not your LORD at ALL!!

Can I say something that I think Roger Federer would be the first to agree with?

Federer is just a man, a regular guy with regular struggles. A guy who happens to be a celebrity. He isn’t in any way, shape, or form an answer to or a replacement for… Jesus.

Junior tennis players are a solitary bunch. They seldom benefit from a team atmosphere. Mom and Dad dedicate weekends to tournament travel. Attending church is forgotten. Sunday’s are dedicated for tournament semifinals and finals.

Scott Paschal in Africa

My student, Anastasia Kharchenko, and I spoke to the media/TV daily about Jesus while in Africa. Ana won 11 matches in a row to win 2 ITF Pro Circuit events in 2 weeks, which gave us a large platform to share our faith in Christ.

The family bond is filled with discouragement and pain and envy and emptiness….

I have seen so many divorces, eating disorders, heartaches, etc. caused from Christian families who believe in Jesus, but do not follow Jesus, and have placed tennis as their purpose of worship.

I am well aware of the spiritual battle parents and junior players are entrenched within. As I’m contacted from people worldwide, I work to bring them back to a singular focus on Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, with nothing added or taken away. Just Jesus.

Invading my life/house right now, and eating all of my food :), are my amazing tennis and missions academy students representing 7 countries. My heartbeat is to teach them to focus on Jesus as their source of purpose.

These kids, and their parents, are a point of encouragement for me as I seek His Kingdom. I treasure this time in my life. Yet, the kids and their families are not what I ground myself in. I strive to base my life in God’s word, to gain Kingdom principles.

Sure, tennis is important. But, tennis is simply the tool God has given us to share our faith and resources. Tennis is not the source of life or happiness. Tennis is just a tool, a Kingdom tool for following the Great Commission as written in Mathew 28 of your Bible.

My prayer is tennis fans and players worldwide would begin to understand the importance of placing Jesus on the throne of their lives. Tennis worshiped is destructive. Tennis as a Kingdom tool is constructive. Jesus must be clearly placed in view and made known as the source of life within your world view.

ICTA Women's Pro Team member, WTA ranked Anastasia Kharchenko, in Africa after winning match. Each precious child received free Christian gifts from ICTA.

When this happens, life begins to come into focus. And you will see your reason.

Roger Federer will soon be gone from the pro tennis scene. Another generation of kids will flock to worship another tennis great.

Federer will be old news to them. His ways, on and off the tennis court, will no longer be relevant.

That said, today please consider who and/or what is guiding your life. Consider the eternal consequences of your choices. Are you choosing to follow a trend? A sports legend? Or Jesus?

On the tennis court, Federer is mighty.

Yet, as amazing as he is as a tennis player, he is simply a person like you and me.

Jesus Christ is the only One worthy of worship.

He is the One that it is an honor to serve.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

Advertisements

April 28, 2008

How to Kick Satanic Tail 101: Scott Paschal’s Rediculously Raw Look @ What Should Be Obvious to Every Christian

Posted in Africa Tennis, Athletes in Action Tennis, ATP Tennis, Benin City Tennis, Christian Discipleship, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Devotional Videos, Christian Tennis Outreach, Cult Buster, Demon Possessed, Faith, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Tennis Ministry, International Christian Tennis Association, International Tennis Ministry, Nigeria Tennis, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Serena Williams, Serena Williams Nude, Sex Slave Trade, Sexual Abuse Tennis, Spooky Naked Guy Chronicles, Sports Ministry, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry, Tennis Missionary Training Class, Uncategorized, Venus Williams Pregnancy Scandal, WTA CEO Larry Scott, WTA Tennis tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:59 am by Scott Paschal

As a teen, I had a few pretty straightforward questions…

“Why did my Christian parents divorce?”

“Why did my Christian dad commit suicide in my car during the weekend of my 17th birthday?”

“If God is so good, why is my dad dead?”

“Why do Christians talk about how great Heaven is… but no one wants to die!?”

“Why do Church kids treat me like crap?”

As my young life was being pounded, I asked these questions to people at my church.

(pic of me in Benin City, Nigeria w/ friends during ICTA Africa Outreach)

I quickly learned church people had no idea what to say. Mainly, they would give me blank, troubled, or dirty looks.

I was hurting and needed someone to step up to the plate and go to bat for me. I needed real, authentic answers.

Unfortunately, the people I spoke with had not been educated in spiritual warfare or the defense of Christianity in any substantial way, thus were at a loss to know how to guide me.

I was a lost, confused, hurting kid doing what he could to find answers… I didn’t turn to drugs, sex, alcohol… I turned to the church, and I was terribly let down.

I thought the church could help me uncover the answers, instead the church helped me uncover its own lack….

Can I say something raw here?

Do you, personally, have any idea why you are Christian?

I mean, do you have any real facts about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, or; are you simply a “believer” because your parents, friends, or pastor basically led you down that road without giving you the opportunity to question anything?

If that was the case, what if your parents had taught you to howl to a full moon and drink gopher blood to celebrate the birth of the Goomba god?  See my point here, right?

If you are a follower of Christ, thank God! I am so glad and thankful.

But, honestly, just being a “follower” isn’t enough, and it’s not getting the job of advancing His Kingdom done.  You’re in the middle of a spiritual war…

By knowing Jesus, you will understand the spiritual battle you are in, whether you currently see it or not.

And that is what this blog is all about… learning powerful aspects of how Jesus teaches us to advance His Kingdom on earth.

Most of you who know me have a clear understanding that I tend to wear my thoughts and emotions on my sleeve.

Much as it was easy to read Andre Agassi’s emotions as he played tennis, so it is with me in ministry….

In 20+ years as a tennis coach and nearly 10 years as the founder of a sports ministry, I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff, really bad stuff.

Basically, I’ve seen Satan running unchecked in tennis worldwide, and, as I began preaching and speaking to churches and groups, I’ve seen Satan masterfully taking control of the church as well.

That said, this fool, without a formal seminary education, or really any formal ministry schooling at all, is going Martin Luther on some satanic “Christian habits” which are trying to keep your eyes shut, ears closed, and hearts cold.

With the tenacity of Nadal, the raw honesty of Agassi, and the serve of Sampras, I hope to wake and shake up those people God places in my path. If you don’t like what I’m writing and teaching, honestly, I don’t care. I’m not doing this for your approval. And, honestly, you might be part of the problem….

The following is a summary of what I’m going to try to explain in How to Kick Satanic Tail 101. The full scoop will be laid out in its entirety over at ICTADevo2008 , when I’m finished writing The Spooky Naked Guy Chronicles.

For now, tell your friends that I’m beyond sick and tired of Christians who have no idea, first of all, of why they are even Christian; second of all, they aren’t being taught squat about how to not get blown to bits in the spiritual war; and thirdly, refuse to take their heads out of the trendy “Christian sand” in fear of offending someone heading straight to hell.

Below is the outline I’ve created to help get those interested in advancing His Kingdom and being successful in the Spiritual War better prepared to follow the Great Commission as written by Mathew in chapter 28.

How to Kick Satanic Tail 101:

The Nature of the War

Two Opposing Kingdoms

Satan’s Headquarters

Battle of Angels

The Weapons and the Battlefield

The Basis of Our Victory

Our Defensive Armour

The Full Armour of God

The Girdle of Truth

The Breastplate of Righteousness

The Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel

The Shield of Faith

The Helmet of Salvation

The Sword of the Spirit

The Unprotected Area

Weapons of Attack

Taking the Offensive

The Weapon of Prayer

The Weapon of Praise

The Weapon of Preaching

The Weapon of Testimony

Preparing for the Battle

The Leader

The Passion

The Strategy and Tactics

The Plan

The Wounded

War Zone

Clarity

Purpose

Focus and Intensity

Defections

Injury & Death

MASH Units

Victory & Defeat

My hope is someone somewhere will benefit from my efforts to bring this outline to life.  The longer I’m in ministry, the more I see the vast need to equip Christians to understand spiritual warfare, or what I tend to call it… the Battle of the Great Commission.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

March 20, 2008

Pain on the Journey to WTA Tennis Fame?

Posted in Africa Tennis, Athletes in Action Tennis, ATP Tennis, Benin City Tennis, Billy Graham, Christian Discipleship, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Player, Demon Possessed, Faith, Hope, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, Junior Tennis, Leadership, melody snelen, Nigeria Tennis, scott paschal, Sex Slave Trade, Sexual Abuse Tennis, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry, Tennis Missionary, USPTA, USTA, WTA Tennis tagged , , , , , , at 11:12 pm by Scott Paschal

What do you personally do when you see someone being harmed illegally?

Let’s say you see someone totally defenseless being hurt… maybe a baby in a locked car with the windows up on a hot summer day..dscf3959.jpg. and the car’s engine is off. What would you do? Be honest.

(Anastasia Kharchenko (WTA) and “Lucy.” Harmed by tennis coaches. Both now have voice!)

Would you walk by and pretend you saw nothing? Would you call the police or emergency rescue for help? Would you bash in a window and allow the heat to escape? Be honest.

Most decent people would want to help.

But, what about those people who refuse to help. Sicker still, what about those people who receive some sort of enjoyment from seeing others hurt. And, what if the people who refuse to help or the people who gain enjoyment from the pain of others are in positions of power?

Unfortunately, this type of sickness is happening all over the global tennis industry. I know because over the last nearly decade I’ve compiled a list of graphic abuses forced on under age children in tennis by Satanists, homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles, famous tennis coaches, atheists, tennis academy owners, pro tennis players….

In tennis, there are people who are in difficult situations worldwide. You’ve often heard me speak up about under age kids being harmed.

You’ve heard my opinions and you’ve seen me back up my words with action. Change is happening in tennis… as you can plainly see from my last blog entry about how the WTA is now finally demanding criminal background checks on all WTA player coaches…

… which won’t even come close to fixing everything and isn’t nearly everything I wanted, but it is a start and does send a global message throughout women’s sports….

You’ve seen me screaming from the rooftops and soapboxes in places worldwide. Honestly, though, who gives a rip what I say. I’m obviously a nobody. I’m just one voice in millions of tennis voices. In no way am I THE authority on anything… nor is my opinion greater than yours.

The real question is, what does the Bible say?

What does the Bible teach us about those who are helpless. Has God given us any clues as to how He wants us to protect and preserve the rights of the abused.

Let’s take a look…

” The people who lived there were powerless; they were frightened and shunned. They were like grass in a field or weeds growing on a roof when the hot east wind blasts them.” Isaiah 37:27 (TEV)

nigeria-trip1-031.jpgHow do we recognize the face of a powerless person?

Again, let’s look to the Bible… and notice the guy from Cyrene…

“The soldiers led Jesus away, and as they were going, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, who was coming into the city from the country. They seized him, put the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23:26 (TEV)

(Melody Snelen being cheered up by local Nigerian youth in Benin City after losing 2 hr match to eventual Finalist, Nowack. All here are faces of the abused. Melody now has voice!)

Back in Jesus’ day, people from Cyrene most likely had black skin, thus were basically considered less than equals to the locals. Notice the guards took Simon because they could see he was not local (of their status)!

1. The powerless are many times considered second class citizens

“… a man from Cyrene who was coming into the city from the country.”

2. The powerless many times have no one to protect them.

“… and they seized him…”

3. The powerless feel they are trapped and have no way of escape.

“…put the cross on him and made him carry it…”

Who are the powerless around us?

“Jesus said, ‘I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to see me.’ ” Mathew 25: 35-36 (MSG)

1. Many children around the world… born and the unborn.

“But if you give these children a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of a lake with a millstone around your neck.” Mathew 18:6 (MSG)

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

2. Those discriminated against… by minority, race, social status.

“Don’t look down on me because of my skin color…” Song of Solomon 1:6 (TEV)

“You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10 (NIV)

3. Those that are trapped due to illness, low income, or abandonment.nigeria-trip1-406.jpg

“Destruction is certain for those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor, the widows, and the orphans of justice. Yes, the rob widows and fatherless children!” Isaiah 10:1-2 (NLT)

(Rach and Mel w/ local physically handicapped Nigerians trying to stay alive in 3rd world conditions)

” ‘At that time I will put you on trial. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the aliens living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 3:5 (NLT)

Bringing hope to the powerless.

“God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT)

1. Reaching out to the powerless with compassion.

“You insult your maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.” Proverbs 14:31 (MSG)

nigeria-trip1-011.jpg“When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NLT)

(Ana w/ Nigerian youth after winning qualifier match for the first of two ITF Pro tournaments she won in Benin City)

2. Speak out for the powerless with conviction.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those who are perishing. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:8-9 (NLT)

3. Standing up for the powerless with courage.

“Your job is to stand up for the powerless, and to prosecute all those who exploit them.” Psalms 82:4 (MSG)

Truth to stand on…

There is only one person who can truly set people free.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for you and me.” Romans 5:6 (NIV)

The challenge: Will we be willing to respond to those God places before us?

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

January 31, 2008

The Lost Art of Discipleship: A Christian Tennis Missionary Stands Up Old School

Posted in ATP Tennis, Christian Discipleship, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Camps, Christian Tennis Devotional Videos, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, christian tennis sport psychology, Coaching Articles, Cults, Faith, Florida Tennis, ICTA, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Tennis Ministry, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, International Tennis Ministry, Junior Tennis, Leadership, Parent Coach Relationship, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Sports Ministry, Teamwork, Tennis Athletes in Action, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Instruction, Tennis Ministry, Tennis Missionary, Tennis Missionary Training Class, Tennis Week, Tennis Week Magazine, USPTA, WTA Tennis tagged , , , , at 1:46 pm by Scott Paschal

chris-ana-018.jpg

ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, and his "adopted" daughter from Ukraine, Ana! Scott is Ana's legal guardian.

I’m pretty convinced discipling is a lost art in Christianity.

Discipling, real discipling, takes commitment from both the student and the teacher. And commitment in today’s buffet of quick fix lifestyles is rare.

Most of you who know me also know I’m pretty old school. But, that’s old school in my work ethic and commitment, not necessarily in my teaching styles.

It’s old school in that when I became a follower of Jesus, I read the Bible and worked to do what it said.

As I grew in my faith, I remember finding the Great Commission where Jesus commanded his followers to… “go and make disciples of all nations… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you….”

I began changing inside. My purpose in this world was brought into clarity. One of my first reactions was to question why not one church I had ever attended had mentioned the Great Commission.

chris-ana-004.jpg

Ana reached #1 G18 Ukraine and #5 G16 Europe. She has earned a WTA ranking and competes worldwide on the ITF Pro Circuit.

The Great Commission of Christ is at the end of the 28th chapter in Mathew’s letter for those of you clueless, of which, after nearly 10 years as a front line missionary, I believe are most, as was I.

As I read it, Jesus didn’t ask, he commanded.

Many people in the world today don’t like that. They most likely don’t want to be commanded, nor do they much appreciate me pointing out their lack. Jesus to many is usually some mix of religions, ideas, and Bible verses which, when combined, makes a person feel good. Their life revolves around them, they do what makes sense to them, and they cannot be commanded.

I understand. I really do. There is a big question of “What is truth?” in the world, today.

Let me give you an illustration of the confusion faced by today’s youth (and adults!) living in a postmodern world. Let’s say you are trapped and injured in a burning building. Smoke is everywhere. A fireman busts into the room! He see you are trapped under a heavy board, sees your leg is injured, and tells you he is going to save you. What is your normal reaction to this? Probably relief, right!? Sure. That is what my generation would say.

But, let me add to the scenario. Let’s say that as the fireman begins to walk over to you, another fireman rushes into the room. He tells the first fireman to stop! Then, he looks directly into your eyes and warns you that the first fireman is actually the arsonist who started the fire! Instantly, the first fireman points directly at the second fireman and says, “No, don’t listen to him! He’s lying! He’s the arsonist, not me!”

chris-ana-014.jpg

Winning a Florida jr tournament.

This is the delima, as I see it, that today’s generation of kids are facing.

They don’t know truth.

And the adults around them don’t know how to reach them with truth.

I think God has given us the answer, very clearly!, to truly reaching this lost and confused generation.

I recently spoke to several friends of mine who are in Christian ministry, heavily, about an important subject. I’d like to share one conversation with you which pretty much reflects the direction of the other conversations.

A friend and I were talking one evening and I told him the main problem in Christianity, as I see it from the view God gave me, is people really don’t understand the Great Commission. He listened politely and intently.

Before I spoke further, I asked him if he knew about the Great Commission. He said sure. I then asked him to tell me where it was in the Bible. He said he knew it was in Mathew, but wasn’t sure exactly where. I asked him if he could quote the verse to me. He couldn’t.

Since he couldn’t tell me where it was and he couldn’t quote it, I asked him what he thought the whole thing meant… in a nutshell. He explained it basically meant to go “win souls”…. I then asked him what the word “disciple” meant. He explained it basically meant a Christian. I asked him about what he thought “to disciple” meant. He replied he believed it meant to go win souls, basically make people Christians.

I hear explanations like his a lot from Christians who are not full time missionaries….

I listened politely to his answers on the topic, as I had many times before to many different people, then I felt God calling me to teach… so I did. It’s important for Christianity’s front-line missionaries to reach out to our Christian leaders and guide them into having a strong understanding of the Great Commission.

chris-ana-003.jpg

Ana's life has radically changed since she became a Christian here at ICTA.

It’s important to teach you, too.

As you can obviously see, I’m not much of a writer, so lean in and hang in there with me while I try to hit the right keys on the keyboard so this makes some sense….

In his Great Commission, Jesus didn’t command his followers to go make Christians.

He said go and make disciples. There is a huge difference between the two in terms of obedience, expectations, pressure, preparation, and ultimately, a successful outcome.

The Greek form of the word “discipulus” means pupil. Pupil, as in student. You can also chew on “discipere,” which means to grasp intellectually, analyze thoroughly.

Jesus is saying… “Go and make students….” He is saying to go invest your life’s knowledge of him in others.

Jesus then goes on to say, “… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It takes time to teach someone how to obey everything Jesus commanded. Oftentimes, it takes more than passing out a Gospel tract or going on a prayer walk, both of which are vital to seed planting, but not so good when it comes to the real need at hand as pertaining to discipling. True discipling, or teaching, takes time and commitment, which most have spent the vast majority of their lives avoiding.chris-ana-015.jpg

As a follower of Christ, I know I can’t make anyone a Christian.

What I can do is to teach about Jesus. That is where the missionary part comes in. I teach, the Holy Spirit leads them to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

A person following the Great Commission shouldn’t set out on their journey thinking they are going to “win souls” and “make Christians.” You can’t.

If you believe you can, you are quite possibly falling into the lie Satan believed and taught. That is, you can be God. Your mission trip, though filled with hope and expectations, will most likely fall apart, and lots of people on your missions’ team will become angry with each other. Generally, few you meet during your outreach will come to know Christ, and few, whether they accept Christ or not, will become disciples of Christ’s work.

Yes, I said “whether they accept Christ or not, will become disciples.” You do not have to accept Christ to be a disciple or pupil of his life’s work. The hope and prayer is that through teaching pupils, they come to an acceptance. But, that, in all ways, has nothing to do with you, except that you are teaching.

chris-ana-002.jpgThe part my friend mentioned about “winning souls” and “making Christians” is a pretty common theme here in America. It kind of resonates with our competitive culture….

To many Christians, going on a mission trip is like attending a NCAA football game! It’s about winning.

Church people, especially the Baptists down south (of which I am one), love their sports… NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA… and they love competition. Winning and competing is a culture. But, does that competitive “winning souls” singular focus enhance or take away from missions? My experience with church people on missions is that it takes away.

Mission trips are seen as a football game, not training camp. Church missionaries are often like the “weekend warrior” who blows out his knee playing tackle football with friends, though he does no athletic training in preparation during the week…

Churches and mission leaders often keep a scoreboard of just how many points they’ve scored as they busily try to rack up souls during their big 1 or 2 week long game.

But, is this what Jesus meant in his Great Commission. I submit that it is not.

Though often well intentioned, the focus of church people towards missions is often misplaced. Successful missions outreach, in my experience, is not about “winning souls,” but I will say it can be about competition.chris-ana-012.jpg

That is, competition within oneself and with a team in preparation for excellence. Competition isn’t negative! In fact, properly channeled and purposefully planned competition can be seen as a necessity.

As a coach, I see strategies… strengths and weaknesses. As a follower of Christ, I see the same.

This Sunday, the NFL’s Super Bowl is being played! Coaches have planned, trained, and strategized every day for a year, or years, to get to this point.

chris-ana-001.jpgWhat I would give to see churches and pastors train for missions with such intensity and passion as is accomplished by the coaches and players of professional sports!

Pastors can be seen as the coaches, congregation and missions teams as the players, church support staff as the trainers….

All with an intent to share Christ and to make Satan seen as the opponent on a daily basis!

With strategies and tactics being devised and implemented daily, weekly, yearly by the church within their congregation until every Christian dripped with knowledge, and missions became like breathing the air at the summit of achieving the victory deemed impossible.

If I were coaching Team Satan, I’d spend my time and resources manipulating Christians into not offending others, and I’d force Christians into the closet. I’d make sin cool, I’d constantly split churches, I’d batter the confidence of pastors.

I would know the best way to extend my team’s time in the game would be to slow or stop the spreading of the Great Commission.chris-ana-008.jpg

If I were the coach of Team Jesus, I’d focus on instilling knowledge in my players about the facts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The entire team would learn about every known tactic Team Satan uses to win.

Our playbook, the Bible, would be proven valid beyond doubt and be studied constantly. Spiritual amour would be a lifestyle. Then, we would hone our skills in practice games locally in preparation for reaching the world.

If the focus in missions is on “winning” souls and “making Christians,” I fully believe we will find our efforts continuing to be relatively useless.

The church must get past looking at the Great Commission as a win or lose proposition. Yes, prepare like a champion. Yes, work fervently with amazing passion and excitement, as you truly are working for the God of the universe which, to me, is the definition of joy.

Yet, keep site of the fact that all pro sports teams practice much more than they ever play. Preparation is a main determining factor in success or failure. Missions is not about winning and losing. Missions is about obedience to following Christ’s command as laid out in Mathew 28.

chris-ana-005.jpgIn addition to attending a mission trip, possibly consider creating a mission life!

Jesus to me is clear… he tells us to go out and teach others about him. The coach in me, the missionary in me, and the ministry founder in me clearly understands the need for high quality preparation and a dedication for excellence.

My hope is that the ICTABLOG becomes a beacon for education and change.

Our ICTABLOG readers are like a whose who list… pastors and ministry founders; pro players, tennis coaches, and juniors; tennis industry executives from nearly every tennis clothing and racket company in the world; television and magazine founders and employees; employees from every section of the United States Tennis Association; ICTA members from over 1800 cities in over 60 countries including political leaders, industry executives, military leaders…

… you folks are literally the movers and shakers of the world. Your spheres of influence are large. If you choose to purposefully follow the Great Commission, either by discipling someone near you daily, or by attending a mission trip to a foreign country, or by founding a ministry… if you all discover the lost art of discipleship, the world will change.

Discipling others takes time and commitment. Most in today’s postmodern culture are afraid of both.chris-ana-006.jpg

Not me. I’m old school. I’ve got time because my time is Jesus’ time. My life is his. I took Galations 2:20 seriously.

When Jesus gave me my house and told me to keep the door open for the missionaries and travelers he sends my way, I make sure the door is open. My life is not my own.

All I have in this world is testimony to the fact I have nothing. My health, my ministry, my reputation… are not mine, but his to do with as he needs for his will to be done through my vapor life on earth.

I’m called to build and to disciple. This has included investing my life, my home, my money, of which I own none but am simply a manager of, towards investment in helping those God sends.

The joys and sorrows of investing in people brings the highest highs and the lowest lows. The Judases ordained by God to be in inner circles are very real, as are the Peters and Jameses. Discipling brings satanic attacks and miracles from heaven.

Yet, through it all, God gets the glory and I build up treasure in heaven whilechris-ana-007.jpg learning to walk in obedience and faith.

Personally, I feel incredibly grateful God sent people from 14 countries and 15 US states to the discipleship focused ministry I founded, International Christian Tennis Association, full time for me to invest in.

God has sent me on mission outreaches nationwide reaching over 1,000,000 in attendance at pro tennis events, and allowed me to preach internationally. And God created a missions team comprised of pro tennis players with a heart to reach and teach others about Jesus, the Savior of mankind.

God has brought me friends, and enemies, both of which have been specifically commissioned by him to grow and develop me past my every dream and expectation.

My prayer to you is that today God would begin a great work in you to open your life to discovering the lost art of discipleship.

That pastors will find even greater passion towards missions, such as NFL football coaches have towards competing in the chris-ana-017.jpgSuper Bowl, yet for a reason so much greater. That Christians realize they don’t need to win, but to simply share.

Today’s world needs a strong focused Christianity able to train the world in all that is Jesus.

Today’s postmodern generation of youth needs a big dose of Old School to pick ’em up and carry them towards Jesus.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

Mathew 28: 16-21

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

December 19, 2007

John McEnroe Speaks

Posted in ATP Tennis, Christian Tennis Player, International Christian Tennis Association, John McEnroe, Leadership, Russian Mafia, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Gambling tagged , , at 8:07 pm by Scott Paschal

Mac, are you reading my blog?

If you are, pick up the phone and call me… 386 793 0557.

Our conversation will stay private.

For those of you just waking up to the fact that tennis is a multi-billion $ global industry in which potentially massive corruption exists, you need to know that John McEnroe recently threw down to the international media about the possibility of the Russian mafia having infiltrated pro tennis.

christian-tennis-association-128.jpg

ICTA Founder, Scott Paschal, with Ultimate Impact Tennis Academy students

Yep, he actually said Russian mafia…

Like he would know.

(Ana, Josh, me, Emma, and Newb at Christian event)

Not that he’s wrong, but in his sheltered, celebrity-type world he has no idea who he just hacked off.

Like I would know, huh?

So, why did I ask if JMac drove in and gassed up at my blog? Isn’t this just supposed to be some churchy e-place?

It was recently brought to my attention that Mac’s statements were almost word for word what I had written in a recent article.

Is this pure coincidence? The probability is pretty low given the wording and the timing, but it is a possibility. I really don’t know.

What I had written was, again, to help open the eyes of a distracted tennis public towards “swept under the rug” aspects of tennis. Tennis can be a dangerous, dark place no matter where where you sit in the food chain.

For example, take a look at this up to the minute piece of news I received while most in America are asleep tonite…

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian tennis star Anna Chakvetadze was tied up by masked robbers who broke into her home Tuesday and stole money and goods worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, her father said.

Six assailants approached the home before dawn, tied up a maid in another building and forced her to hand over a remote control enabling them to enter the house through the garage, Dzhamal Chakvetadze told NTV.

“They started to beat me, and I resisted. They hit me over the head with, I think, a pistol butt. It was dark,” he said, taking off his cap to show his bruised scalp. “They took out a pistol and told me my child was at home — reminded me — and they told me to hand everything over. I did.”

Police and Tarpishchev said the assailants tied up Chakvetadze and her parents, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. Tarpishchev said the 20-year-old player “tried to resist but it was useless.”

NTV said the robbers took about $106,000 in cash, as well as jewelry and other goods worth about $200,000. End AP report

Watcha think Mac? How safe is your place?

Over the years, I’ve labored to bring public awareness to many tennis issues.

Issues such as…

  • pro players abusing anti-depressant prescription drugs (these powerful drugs keep players from getting nervous before and during matches, and FDA warns these drugs can make young users suicidal),
  • rampant sexual slavery by Russian coaches towards female players (culturally accepted/expected),
  • Eastern European and S. American coaches forcing their female players into eating disorders, etc….
  • and, as the public is now learning, gambling in tennis.

Check out this stat… well over $1,000,000,000 (1 billion $US) was bet on the 2007 US Open alone through just one online gambling shop, Betfare.

Most tennis fans had no idea. Why? Because global tennis industry leaders interested in cashing in on your ignorance want you looking at Federer and Sharapova and Nadal….

They don’t want you to see the corpses of teens who committed suicide from abuses endured while trying to become pro.

Or learn about the mafia potentially manipulating billions of $. Or discover the devastated lives of girls forced into eating disorders… or to discover the legions of homosexual and heterosexual pedophiles posing as tennis coaches. Or to discover the depth of organized crime, particularly as it pertains to financing and developing its own players and coaches!

dscf7107.jpg

Scotty w UITA student, Rand, at Florida junior tennis tournament

And folks, you have NO idea the pressure young Russian players, their coaches, and families are under to succeed, particularly when they are being financed by organized crime.

(ICTA B14 Team member, Rand, and I at a tennis event)

So, back to gambling and the 2007 US Open…. add in the French, Aussie, and Wimbledon… Masters Series… WTA stuff… Davis and Fed Cups… you get the 4-5 billion $ gambling picture, right?

And that number could be projected for just that one online gambling web site!

Let’s bring in possibly 30-50 other major online gambling sites worldwide… and maybe, just maybe someone will understand the potential corruption involved.

Whatever or however, JMac has no business talking about any country’s mafia. He is as soft and as sheltered as they come, and he has little concept of the criminal element he just threw down at. I appreciate his concern, but there is a big difference between a little Christian pastor type guy like me working to bring attention to a huge problem I was introduced to firsthand in tennis, and JMac shouting “whack me” from the rooftops.

The people reading my blog are like a who’s who list, particularly over the last 6-8 months. Nowadays, when I scribble something here it grows legs and gets moving. My hope is grassroots work would begin to bring awareness to topics.

I would venture to say that John McEnroe is now a target. JMac, you don’t want to be a target. McEnroe, himself, might be fairly safe, but possibly someone he cares for may take the wrath intended for him.

Mac, you should have said “organized crime,” if anything, and, more importantly, should have considered speaking through someone else, such as the ATP or ITF.

dscf1881.jpg

Ultimate Impact Tennis Academyfull time player/missionaries at breakfast.

How do I know this? I’m Italian.

I have Italian family.

I know things.

And I’ll leave that at that.

(Rand, Brendan, Dea, Mark, Emma, and Rachel getting lunch in my kitchen)

The Russian mafia, Mac, isn’t a ridiculous Sopranos TV episode. To them, you’re basically trying to “steal” money from one of the most highly organized criminal elements in the world.

Let’s make a guesstimate, and I’ll keep the numbers low. Let’s say 20 billion $US was bet on tennis globally in 2007. How much of that could be corrupt? 3 billion? 3.5?

So, if you are in organized crime and some loudmouth blows the whistle on your $3,000,000,000 territory, what do you do next?

Getting the loudmouth may now be a priority.

Ok, I guess I’ll wrap this up now. You got the point. Mac, give me a call.

Possibly now the reader may have some type of understanding what a pro player may feel when confronted by organized crime. The fear, the loneliness, the insecurity. And there isn’t anything the ATP or WTA can do to protect the player. Nothing.

Just ask Chakvetadze….

The answer to the problem will have to start with bringing morals and standards back into tennis. Strong, healthy, faith-filled personalities are less approachable and less fearful of harmful influences . More organizations like the International Christian Tennis Association need to be developed.

Christian pro players need to stand up and be heard. The current trend of only showing your faith by the way you live your life isn’t cutting it, guys. Never has, never will. This cowardly way may be popular and trendy, but that doesn’t mean it’s effective. No one knows your true lifestyle. How do you sit, stand, walk, eat, pay bills, and drive like a Christian?

dscf2361.jpg

Scott Paschal and full time student, Mark, from Mexico.

The Bible says to use your voice.

Mathew 28 says… “Tell people what you’ve seen and heard.”

(Mark and I after church. Mark is a full time student training with me for 3 years)

Jesus spoke to people. He used his mouth, guys, to form words.

He didn’t just project his thoughts into brains… he spoke.

So, speak.

Don’t be afraid of being judged. Just speak of your faith. You don’t have to be perfect, either. Just speak.

Once you speak, the word of God will begin reaching people. Kids need you to open your mouth like a man and talk about Jesus.

JMac, it’s time for people to stand up for something bigger than the “integrity” of the sport.

You really want to make a difference?

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

August 7, 2007

Bryan Brothers and ICTA’s Melody & Rachel Play at Legg Mason Tennis Classic In Washington, DC!!

Posted in ATP Tennis, Bryan Brothers, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Player, Cults, Fellowship, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, Legg Mason Tennis Classic, melody snelen, rachel snelen, scott paschal, Teamwork, WTA Tennis at 2:54 pm by Scott Paschal


Mike Bryan and Melody with Bob Bryan and Rachel

Hello there. This is Scott Paschal, founder of the International Christian Tennis Association, http://www.christiantennis.net. I’d like to update you on our latest ICTA Mission Trip.

Here is a great picture of Bob Bryan and Rachel (lt) with Mike Bryan and Melody (rt) taken in Washington DC at a US OPEN SERIES tournament called the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

Bob and Mike played main draw men’s doubles, while Rachel and Melody played main draw women’s doubles. We’re doing some research to see if this was the first time in history twin guys played the same tournament as twin girls! Rach and Bob played against each other for fun during the event.

This famous professional tennis tournament was played July 28 – August 5, 2007 at the
William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park and benefited the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.

In prayer, the International Christian Tennis Association made the decision to send the ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team to compete in this fabulous event. Rachel, Melody, and Emma Hustad represented the team, which is the first and only of its kind in the history of tennis. The entire trip was God-blessed from the first minute until the last.

I’ll touch on a few of the highlights here, but know we are preparing an entire ICTA Video production to share this God-blessed mission trip to the largest audience possible in hope of inspiring people worldwide.

God placed these wonderful women reached some of the most famous ATP men’s players in the world with one on one conversations about faith.

They had the amazing opportunity to room for the week with a really special player (who was not a Christian!) and feel God work.

Rachel and Melody were offered professional coaching by a famous tennis players… for free. He is a Grand Slam champion and both girls are excited at the opportunity to be able to call him anytime, meet him at his home, and learn from his vast knowledge.

Rach and Mel lost in main draw doubles. But, the positive of the loss was the match was competitive as the sister  twins played the #1 seeds, who are top 100 WTA players and compete in Grand Slams. Their new Grand Slam Champion friend feels with his help they could more strongly compete at this level. As their many injuries over the last 2 years are healing… I am excited to see God continue fulfilling the dreams the twins have had since childhood!

The connections the girls made throughout the entire event have been astounding. Everyone noticed them and God blessed the entire trip.

What’s next for the ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team!? They are flying to Israel on Friday.

So exciting for ICTA to send a team of professional athletes to share Christ and serve hard in Jerusalem. I’ll write more on this upcoming mission trip soon.

God bless,

Scott Paschal
ballboy4jesus@yahoo.com
386 793 0557