May 10, 2008

Moms’ Role in Junior Tennis

Posted in Christian Tennis Devotional Videos, Coaching Articles, ICTA Tennis Ministry, Junior Tennis, Scott Paschal Tennis, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:02 pm by Scott Paschal

ICTA Founder, Scott PaschalI’m not sure anyone has offered more influence on my life than my Mom.

Moms dream of their children when they themselves are children. How many of us have seen a little girl caring for her dolls? The love of motherhood starts early and lasts forever.

Who benefits from this? Me and you.

I’m currently in my 40s and at 6′ 3″ I weigh over 220 lbs. Yet, place me in a car with my mother driving and I know without a doubt that when she feels danger on the road and is forced to suddenly stomp on the brakes, her 65 year old arm will suddenly appear in front of me to keep me safe and sound!

Even though I’m wearing a seatbelt and the car has airbags, that arm will appear and there is nothing you and I can do to stop Mom from doing what she does best, which is to protect and care for us.

Now, it’s been a lot of years since Mom has driven me anywhere. But, you get the point.

Let’s look at a Mom’s role in the tennis development of her child.

Dealing with parents can be a “slippery slope” as Rick Macci, one of America’s top coaches, has often said.

Ask most honest high performance tennis coaches about what the worst part of their job is, and the vast majority will tell you that dealing with parents ranks at the top of the list.

I can vouch for that, as well. Unfortunately, I can also vouch that Christian parents are generally much worse than secular parents, or parents from other religions.

My personal list of horror story parents includes a married Christian Mom who lived through her daughter’s tennis, while at the same time was entangled in a lesbian love affair with her best friend. Daily, Mom and daughter would scream and cry on the phone. After a couple months of riding the roller coaster, I decided to no longer coach the player. Soon after, the Mom sent me hate emails claiming I am Satan.

Yet, though parents can be difficult, I can say I have great respect and admiration for the healthy, well balanced parents whose kids I’ve been blessed to coach.

Coaches worldwide attend seminars and workshops to learn how to best deal with the parents of their students. No one has really come up with a good answer. Basically, parents are people and people are flawed.

What I try to do is to educate the parent. Most parents want to learn, and they want their kids to have the parent’s best. In my experience, the vast majority of parents are ready and willing to learn.

As such, let’s take a look at what God’s Word, the Bible, says about parents… and since it’s Mother’s Day, let’s look at what God says about Mom, and particularly a mother’s heart!

The Importance of a Mother’s Heart

“Excuse me, sir. Do you remember me? I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to the Lord. I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for. So I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he will belong to the Lord.’ Then they worshiped the Lord there.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 (TEV)

1. A Mother’s Heart knows her children are a gift.

2. A Mother’s Heart understands the need for God’s help.

3. A Mother’s Heart wants what is best for her children.

* A Mother’s Heart on “Overdrive”

1. The danger of being over protective. (keeps children from becoming independent)

“It is like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)

2. The danger of being over indulgent. (keeps children from becoming mature)

“Discipline your children while You still have the chance; indulging them will destroy them.” Proverbs 19:18 (MSG)

3. The danger of being over involved. (children do not learn to look to and trust God for their needs-they look to Mom and Dad instead)

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mathew 19:5-6 (NIV)

* The Priority of a Mother’s Heart

1. A Mother’s Heart has unconditional love.

“So the Lord answers, ‘Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore?’ ” Isaiah 49:15 (TEV)

2. A Mother’s Heart demands proper respect.

“Respect your father and mother is the first commandment that has a promise added: ‘ so all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land.’ ” Ephesians 6:2-3 (NIV)

3. A Mother’s Heart teaches appropriate responsibility.

“Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” Proverbs 22:6.

4. A Mother’s Heart sets clear standards.

“Correction and discipline are good for children. If they have their own way they will make their mothers ashamed of them.” Proverbs 29:15 (TEV)

5. A Mother’s Heart protects from the world’s temptations.

“Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:21

6. A Mother’s Heart reveals a heart for God

“(Timothy) I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois.” 2 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)

7. A Mother’s Heart rejoices as their children accept Jesus Christ.

“I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in truth.” 3 John 1:4 (NIV)

Moms are a blessing. Being a Mom is difficult, at best. A mother of a high performance junior tennis player really must make a defined effort to focus on Jesus to be the center of her world. When this happens, everyone benefits.

My hope is this article will reach Moms, and educate Moms on what God’s Word promises and teaches will help both them and their children.

In many ways this article can be read for Dads and for tennis coaches.

Seldom do we hear in sports, and particularly tennis, about how God’s Word can direct and teach us to become better coaches, parents, and athletes.

May God use this article to reach as many as possible, to open eyes and warm hearts, to instill a willingness to see Him in all things, and to bring a humbleness and a kindness to our lives.

Thanks Moms for your hearts for us. You are a blessing.

“Her children respect her and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise.” Proverbs 31:28 (MSG)

God bless!

Coach Scotty

International Christian Tennis Association

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February 11, 2008

ICTA Christian Pro Tennis Team Journies to Nigeria

Posted in Africa Tennis, anastasia kharchenko, Athletes in Action Tennis, Christian Discipleship, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, Christian Tennis Ukraine, Coaching Articles, Cult Buster, Florida Tennis, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Tennis Ministry, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, IMG, International Christian Tennis Association, Junior Tennis, Leadership, melody snelen, Nigeria Tennis, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Missionary tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:16 pm by Scott Paschal

The ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team is preparing for a 2 tournament tour of Nigeria, Africa.

Leaving this Wednesday, February 13, this special five member Christian tennis team will fly to Atlanta and then on to Lagos Nigeria arriving in the morning. From Lagos the team will fly to Benin City, Nigeria where they will stay for 2 weeks.

I’m going, too!

We have started a blog for you to follow the action in Nigeria. Click here. dscf3856.jpg

In other ICTA news, I thoroughly enjoyed Sarasota, Florida this past week as my student and “adopted daughter” Anastasia Kharchenko competed in a tournament in which the winner receives a main draw wildcard into an ITF $25,000!

Ana competed well. She won 5 matches before falling in the final.

A highlight for me was Ana’s semifinal victory over Courtney Vernon.

dscf3863.jpgCourtney was #13 G18 USTA before going on to a celebrated college tennis career at USF where she reached a national ranking of #54 in Division 1 and went 20-0 last season.

Courtney has a career highest WTA ranking of 637, and has recent straight set wins over top WTA players, such as WTA #239 Melissa Torres-Sandoval.

Ana won her semifinal match against Vernon 6-1, 6-3.

The wildcard tournament was a grueling event for all the girls. In order to compete, each entrant had to agree to play 2 singles matches per day.

Competing at the pro level is often more difficult than competing at the junior level. Players put more into each shot, and the strategies and tactics are more advanced.

I was highly impressed with Anastasia’s focus, drive, and determination as she competed in 6 matches in 3 days.

dscf3884.jpgEach match was a learning experience for Ana.

I would study her strengths and weaknesses during the match, then after the match ended we would spend some time on court talking and discussing ideas on what she did well and what needed to improve.

Ana and I have a very good friendship and bond. This helps tremendously as she knows she can trust that I always have her best interest at heart.

Though the semifinal match against Courtney Vernon was fun to watch, I really enjoyed the final!

Even though Ana lost in straight sets, I had a blast watching her compete against Alexis Gordon. If you don’t know Alexis, think nationally ranked #1 NCAA D1 player in 2004 and a perennial top 15.

dscf3874.jpgAlexis played an amazing match against Ana with blistering lefty forehands that painted the lines and a consistent 115 mph serve.

I was particularly impressed with Alexis’ ability to bring her best game to the final. She played by far her best tennis against Ana.

Though Ana lost in straight sets and only won 3 games total, I counted over 20 deuces and felt Ana improved from the experience…

…especially considering Alexis has had literally thousands of high level tennis matches to Ana’s dozens… and the 8 year age difference.

Ana’s ICTA Pro Team co-captain, Melody Snelen, drove Ana to the event.dscf3883.jpg

They both stayed with a friend, who we’ll call Nancy, who is arguably one of the best tennis agents in America.

Nancy has over 20 years of experience working for IMG with some of the most famous WTA and ATP players in the world.

It is so great for Ana to have a friend and mentor like Melody. And it is so great for Melody to have a friend like Nancy who loves her and believes in her ministry.

The whole experience in Sarasota is a great warm up for the outreach and matches to come in Africa.  I had a great time in Sarasota and can’t wait for the flight to Nigeria!

I’m excited God is using me to mentor and disciple such great people as are on our pro tennis team. I realize this is such a privilege and cherish this season of my life.

Just thinking about God growing my big ICTA dream he placed in my heart nearly 10 years ago leaves me humbled and in awe. Now, ICTA is traveling to Africa on an outreach to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Wow. I’m beyond excited to meet as many players and coaches as possible.

I look forward to giving them Christian gifts and offering for them to join the International Christian Tennis Association membership.

dscf3859.jpgPlus, I so look forward to seeing what God has in store for His will in Nigeria. Please keep our missions outreach in your prayers.

The 5 member ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team is such a rare group of missionaries.

They love Jesus and yearn to reach the players on the WTA tour with His love and grace.

I’m fortunate to be their coach and grateful to be their friend.

Our little team is going to Africa… awesome!

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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.”

January 27, 2008

How To Become a Christian…

Posted in Bahamas Tennis, christian tennis, Christian Tennis Camps, Christian Tennis Devotional Videos, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, christian tennis sport psychology, Coaching Articles, Cult Buster, Cults, Demon Possessed, Faith, Hope, ICTA Tennis, ICTA Tennis Ministry, International Christian Tennis Association, International Tennis Ministry, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Tennis Ministry, Uncategorized, USPTA, USTA, WTA Tennis tagged , , , at 11:40 am by Scott Paschal

When Denise Met Jesus

by Scott Paschal, ICTA Founder

Wow, I really don’t know where to begin.

I’m so excited as I type this!

A native Bahamian lady approached me on the beach to sell me a t-shirt… and she left a Christian.

How wonderful to be used by God; to have Him work through me at such a random time to bring her to a new life in Christ.

I have the best feeling in the world inside of me. I even gave her my favorite Bible. Awesome!

If you have a couple of minutes, grab a coke or something and get comfortable.

I’ll back up a bit and explain how all this happened…

A few weeks ago, I was invited by John Ippolitto, my friend and the owner of Sports Group International, to assist in running a top I.C. U16 junior team tournament being held at an “All Inclusive” top of the line resort in the Bahamas. Team USA, Team Canada, Team Bahamas, and Team Mexico played their hearts out in this action packed adventure in team competition.

As I was given a week free for myself and a couple of guests at this amazing vacation destination resort, I invited two of my fulltime Christian tennis academy students, Marek Czerwinski and Joe.  Marek is #1 B18 USTA.  

Since we were going to be there for a week and would have plenty of down time after matches, ICTA decided turn this into a mission trip to reach the locals in Nassau.

Marek Czerwinski and Joe Beck, two of my academy students, came with me. Though Joe could only stay a few days due to prior commitments. Marek hit with the teams, and Joe assisted me in my daily responsibilities.

One day, while I was sitting on the beautiful beach writing an article, a native lady approached. As she asked me if I would like to buy a t-shirt, I felt compelled to share my faith. I politely declined to make a purchase, then I looked directly at her and told her I needed to ask her a very serious question. She stopped and waited.

I then asked her if she was a Christian, if she had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She said no, but that lately she had been attending church and reading the New Testament Bible.

I asked her if she believed in God. She said yes. Since she believed in God, I asked her if she believed the Old Testament was true. She said yes, and then she sat down on the white beach sand next to my chair. I seemed to have caught her interest. The weather was beautiful. Sunny, 80 degrees, light wind coming in from a crystal clear blue ocean. Her name was Denise and she was wearing a red hat and a red shirt. Denise carried a pleasant smile and a caring, patient attitude.

As Denise believed in the validity Old Testament, I then explained to her how the Old Testament was filled with prophesies of the coming Messiah. I decided to follow in Paul’s footsteps to help open Denise’s eyes…

I asked Denise if she chose the city where she was born? She smiled and said no. I asked her if , before she was born, she chose her family? She smiled again and said no. I asked her if it would be a miracle if, before they were born, someone could choose the city in which they would be born ,and also choose the family where they would come from? She said yes and laughed!

I then told Denise that God used his prophets to announce where the Messiah would be born, the exact city, in fact, and which family line He would come from. She nodded quietly. I then told her that I have located not just one or two, but 425 “Old Testament” prophesies which have come true in the life of Christ!

We slowly went through about a dozen of them. Denise’s eyes watered up under her dark sunglasses. I went on to further explain that the odds of just 48 prophesies coming true in the life of one man isn’t just 1 in 10 or even 1 in 100. The odds of just 48 prophesies coming true in the life of one man is 1 in 10 to the 157 power.

She couldn’t comprehend that so I explained…

“Imagine red poker chips side by side covering every inch of this beach. Then, covering every inch of this island. Now visualize every inch of land in America, Russia, and China covered with these red poker chips. Now picture all the land in the entire world blanketed with red poker chips laying side by side. Every bit of land everywhere on earth is covered with red poker chips.” She pictured this and smiled curiously.

“Now,” I resumed, “on the back of one of these red chips is a fat, white stripe. This uniquely marked poker chip has been placed somewhere in the world with the white stripe down. And there is only on chip like it!”

Denise nodded.

“Now Denise, I’m going to give you just one chance to find that marked poker chip. You get just one chance. You can go anywhere in the world to try to find this poker chip, but remember, you only get one chance and you can only choose one chip.”

Denise smiled and said she could never find he poker chip with the white stripe. She said it would be impossible to find it with one try on his beach, much less the whole world!

I laughed and said, ” Well Denise, those are the same odds of someone’s life fulfilling just 48 prophesies! The life of Christ fulfilled over 400!” After I said this I looked around and noticed a small crowd gathering in the chairs around us. They were politely listening.

Denise became very quiet. Her eyes were fixed on mine. She wiped away a tear.

I then asked her if maybe God was trying to reach her today? She said yes. As she believed in God I decided to go a step further. Like Paul, I had established the legitimacy of Christ as the Messiah by his fulfillment of the prophesies.

Now, like Jesus, I wanted to use God’s laws to open Denise’s heart to understanding the need for Christ. This way of ministry I learned from a terrific preacher named Ray Comfort.

I asked Denise if she feels she is a good person. She said yes. I asked her if I could ask her a few questions so we could see if this was true. She agreed.

I asked Denise if she had ever told a lie, no matter how small or how long ago. She said yes. I said me, too. I asked her what that makes her? She said a liar. I asked her if she had ever stolen anything? She said yes. I asked her what does that make her? She said a thief.

I asked Denise if she had ever used God’s name as a cuss word. She said yes. I told her that was blasphemy and it was very serious. Lastly, I explained to Denise that the 7th Commandment of God is to not commit adultery, but Jesus took this a step further and said that if we even look with lust we have committed adultery in our hearts. I asked Denise if she had ever looked with lust, even just once. She said yes.

I told Denise that by her own admission she was a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart.

I asked Denise that when she stands before God on her judgment day, would she be found innocent or guilty. She quietly said guilty, as tears streamed down her face onto the fluffy, beach sand. I asked her if she would go to heaven or hell.

She whispered, “Hell.”

Her eyes never moved from mine. I said, “Denise, do you really want to go to hell?” She said no.

I asked her if she knew what to do to be able to go to heaven. She said no. I then explained how Jesus paid the fine for her sins… breaking the ten commandments. That through the death and resurrection of Jesus, her sins could be forgiven.

I asked Denise if she would like to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She said yes. I asked her to pray. I told Denise she must turn from her sin life, believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross to pay the fine for our sins, and He was brought back to life the 3rd day.

This she prayed as she wept.

I asked Denise if she had a Bible. By now a crowd of people had gathered in the chairs around us, most out of curiosity. All were quiet and respectful. Denise said she did have a Bible and she pulled a tiny new testament Bible from her waist pack. It was well worn and about the size of a deck of cards. She stared at her Bible. I told her she needed to read her Bible daily and do what it says.

In my Prince shoulder bag I had bought with me to the beach, I had all my stuff… pencils, paper, books, sunscreen. I also had my favorite Bible. One of my ministry buddies in Alabama owned a Bible I really liked. In fact, I had liked it for a long time and one day I asked him about it. He said he loved it.

It had a soft, squishy, tan leather cover and was a good size to hold easily. His wife sent one to me a week or so later! I was thrilled and I carried this Bible with me everywhere. One day, when I am able to preach, I looked forward to carrying this Bible with me.

Well, I knew my favorite Bible was in my Prince bag as Denise looked at her worn Bible. I reached into my bag and told her I would like her to have my Bible. Though I kind of didn’t want to lose my Bible, I felt God was asking me to give it to Denise. She took it quietly and nodded.

She held it closely against her chest, then she placed it against her face. I saw the leather soak in a tear. I looked around and noticed others had tears in their eyes. At least 30 people had gathered around us. I hadn’t noticed so many. When she first came over it was just me and Denise.

What a wonderful moment in my life. To be used by God in such an unexpected time.

As you read this, please know I am not trying to bring attention to myself. I am not trying to brag or say, “Look at me.” Maybe a few years ago when I was less mature as a Christian, I would have done something stupid like that, but I’ve grown a lot since and I’m working hard to not try to be the center of attention, which, as the baby of the family and a tennis pro, takes some work.

I’m writing about this because I am so excited to see God work at such a random time. And I’m excited because I didn’t shy away from following through on His call.

I am so excited because this doesn’t happen to me very often.

The majority of my time is spent on a tennis court with my students or behind a computer screen building and maintaining what the International Sports Coalition on MSNBC has called “One of the top 100 sports ministries in the world.”

I work 90+ hours a week and seldom have the opportunity to evangelize in person. I coach tennis, I cook for hungry teens, I develop large scale mission trips which reach thousands, I buy and distribute 1000’s of Christian books and Bibles, I train and disciple missionaries… I do many things such as these as I feel I am called to be the support system to help my students evangelize.

Though I love to evangelize and know one day I will be a fulltime preacher, in this season of my life I am called to disciple others and raise the funds to send them into the world to follow the Great Commission.

So as “Mr. Computer” or “Coach Scotty” I seldom am able to have such an awe inspiring opportunity to reach someone for Christ one on one and at such a random time!

On this mission trip to the Bahamas, God opened many doors for ICTA. In fact, Marek and I are still in awe with what happened each day. Both of us watched God work in and through our lives daily to show us He is real and that He is faithful.

I was just sitting on the beach reading my new book by the Newsboys called Shine: Make them wonder what you’ve got; and writing an article for an upcoming newsletter. The weather was perfect, the water crystal clear, the sun was shining., the food at the resort was great… it all seemed so neat. Yet, as nice as it was…

it became so much nicer when Denise met Jesus.

God bless,

Coach Scotty

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written and published in January 2006.

December 28, 2007

Christian Tennis Devotionals Web Site Online!

Posted in christian tennis, Christian Tennis Devotional Videos, Coaching Articles, Cults, scott paschal, Tennis Devotionals, Tennis Ministry at 3:37 pm by Scott Paschal

Hope all of you had an amazing celebration of the birth of Christ.

My celebration included bringing you a new, exciting web site!

It is being filled with faith-filled, tennis related short stories!  Plus,  exciting videos from places I visit while following the Great Commission, impactful and effective devotionals, neat pics of tennis missionaries, and insightful Chronicle series into the miracles of Jesus.

Currently published are parts one and two of…

The Chronicles of the Spooky Naked Guy  

Click here to Visit New Site!

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association