June 24, 2008

WOW… WOW!!

Posted in International Christian Tennis Association, Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:48 am by Scott Paschal

Through a God-sized series of unplanned events, one of the America’s foremost Christian businessmen, and his wife, have just offered my Christian tennis missions & academy students the opportunity to potentially relocate their tennis, missions, and discipleship training to one of his properties, which was originally designed as a corporate retreat.

This unique Florida based property has…

  • 2 tennis courts
  • Large heated swimming pool w/ deck
  • 6 hotel styled, fully furnished, luxury rooms; each complete w/ own air-conditioning unit & bathroom
  • Approx 7000′
  • 3 large living areas w/ 20′ ceilings & glass walls
  • Multiple storage rooms
  • Fully furnished
  • 20+ person dining table
  • On lake
  • On golf course
  • Billiard table
  • Ping Pong table
  • 14 car parking
  • Game room
  • 2 washers & dryers
  • 6 burner gas stove
  • Industrial style kitchen w/ two refrigerators and two ovens
  • Conference room
  • Sauna
  • 6 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, 1 additional shower
  • In wall hide-a-way guest bed
  • Fishing from back deck
  • Beautifully landscaped 8 acres
  • Safe, luxury gated community
  • Minutes from beach

The entire facility is large enough to comfortably host 20-25 full time ministry students and a house manager.

Additional homes in the gated community are available to house overflow students, plus… coaches, parents, guests, and me 🙂 .

Several years ago we were in negotiations to purchase/rent the Grenelefe Tennis Center in Haines City, Fl. The deal fell through last minute as a new ownership group bought the place.  I was pretty disappointed, and have been somewhat “gun shy” about new opportunities since.

This current opportunity is different as the ownership is steady and reliable, and God set up the meeting, not me.   The Christian founder of a billion $ corporation tends to be much more trustworthy than a group of 30-something year old non-Christian  business partners trying to make a fast buck.  As such, I find myself curiously excited at the present potential opportunity.

We have clearly outgrown our current location.  Though I love it here very much, I continually am forced to turn away students due to lack of space.  And turning away high-quality students is bad business and bad ministry.   It truly bothers me each time I tell a kid they can’t come.

So, God gives us an opportunity to possibly grow from 6-8 full time players to 20-25 full time players.  Plus, plenty of room for part time campers in local housing.

The potential in this situation means that more and more professional tennis players will be able to have a Christian home base for training. The impact from this could be world reaching for the Kingdom as the pro tennis player gains knowledge of Jesus and shares this knowledge with their fans, family, and country.

And more tennis teens from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as Eastern Europe & South America, will have opportunity to be grow and develop their faith and tennis in a positive, Christian environment that they currently do not have.

And so many more international students will learn about Jesus and take their knowledge back home.

And more kids will go to college on tennis scholarships and gain a new life and a new hope for a brighter future….

Let me now, though, make sure I clearly explain that we don’t yet have use of the property, and may never.  I want to make that clear to you.

Possibly nothing comes from it at all.

I don’t know what will happen, but what I do know is this unexpected opportunity looks good, the owner is genuine, and God clearly put us all together at an amazing time.

Please keep this in your prayers.  I’ll keep you updated.

God bless,  Scott Paschal

PS.  Facebook challenge update… I’m up to 107 friends!  Keep ’em coming and let’s roll the challenge number up to 150!

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November 29, 2007

Martina Hingis Cocaine Situation

Posted in Christian Tennis Academy, Christian Tennis Mission Trips, Christian Tennis Outreach, Christian Tennis Player, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, Love, Martina Hingis, melody snelen, rachel snelen, scott paschal, Scott Paschal Tennis, Sports Ministry, Teamwork, Typical Parent Visit to ICTA, WTA Tennis tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:42 pm by Scott Paschal

dscf7128.jpgAfter just 4 months with our new blog format, our ICTABlog family has about 500 dedicated readers. Nice.

My journal articles from the other site transfered over pretty well, so you will still have access to previous writings.

Often, I hear from you in the form of emails or phone calls.

(Pic of Mark with his mom and dad, who are church planting missionaries in Mexico. It was great having them stay a couple nights with us at my house while visiting Mark)

Here is a recent written comment from a Tennis Mom…

“Thanks for the stories and pictures and all that you do. I wish you guys were closer to Las Vegas where we live. I have two outstanding junior players Kristofer and Kimberly. Both are raised the Christian way. We do not belong to any church but as there mother I do the best I can. Of course I could use some help since teens do not always want to listen to their mother. It would be awesome to have my almost 14 year old son experience an environment that you provide for your players in Florida. God Bless you and please take care.” Gabriella

I really appreciate this mom’s thoughts. She’s right, too. Kids in tennis need to experience a high-performance tennis training environment that connects with their faith in Jesus.

In my view, I fully believe every junior tennis player in the world should have the opportunity to experience world-class tennis training, international tournaments, and Christian outreach. I’ve personally seen the life-changing impact this has on kids and their families.

dscf2912.jpgTennis needs positive, life-impacting stuff, right now.

(Pic of Rachel and Melody Snelen, ICTA Women’s Pro Tennis Team members, posing on a wall at King Herod’s palace in Cesaeria, Israel during an outreach.)

Speaking of positive and life-impacting, can I be controversial for a minute on the Martina Hingis situation?

Martina, your 12 years as a role model to the world’s youth have earned my respect. Your 12 years being known as an honest person on the WTA tour has earned my respect.

Your dedication to the game, your excellence in your broadcasting career, your passion in your comeback… all while proving yourself 100% free of any banned substances for 12 years of mandatory testing by the ITF is awe inspiring.

I fully believe, as you have stated, that you have never taken drugs.

Thus, my challenge to the ITF is this…

Prove to the tennis world that Martina isn’t the victim of a “modern day stabbing” by a jealous fanatic, such as Monica Seles’ situation. Instead of thrusting a knife into a player in front of an international audience, possibly criminals have become smarter?

Honestly, it would be simple to contaminate a player. How? Simply lace a pen with cocaine and have the player use it to sign an autograph.

Or add cocaine to the fuzz on a big yellow tennis ball and gently pat or shake it in front of the player’s face as you reach forward for her to sign… or sneeze a minute amount of a banned substance out of your hand in the player’s direction as you walk by…. or shake her hand with your contaminated cocaine hand….

Soon, an official ITF tribunal will formally submit its findings. Most likely, Hingis will be found “guilty” and punished. What is the checks and balances of the system? Really, almost nothing. The bad guys very well could win this one.

I’d like to see Hingis be able to take a lie-detector test at the very least and have that weighed in when the ITF tribunal evaluates evidence.

And… I’d like to see the urine tests of the people who make up the tribunal ;). Or to see mandatory drug testing for all ITF and USTA staff and coaches. Would be interesting to see how their lives change when they are forced to live daily with the knowledge they, too, could be easily and quickly contaminated by a common passerby with an agenda.

Tennis is a multi-billion dollar industry. Billions and billions. The money is huge and the stakes are high. Players are often in difficult situations…. What, if anything, is the ITF doing to truly protect them?

Shoot, even Tommy Haas recently was tested to see if he was poisoned in Russia during Davis Cup. The “official” ruling by the ITF after they studied the results of his blood test was that no poisoning happened, and they slammed the door shut. But, what fool would have used a poison that could still be detected in a blood test weeks after the poisoning occurred….

Has anyone ever heard of the Russian mafia, illegal sports betting, threats to athletes…?

Hello!? There is more to this multi-billion $ industry than Rafa vs Fed, and the latest Tennis magazine.

In life, all of us will go through different trials. Maybe we discover a loved one has cancer or a heart condition. Maybe we lose our income. Or possibly the guilty stamp will be placed on our lives without regard to innocence.

In those times, the hardest of times, where do you turn?

I turn to Jesus. I turn to a Savior I have researched for nearly 20 years and know beyond doubt is real. I turn to the one whose signature is woven in my DNA, whose intelligence can be seen in the placement of the earth in the sky, whose life and death and resurrection is proven beyond doubt…

… who has personally impacted me in a way that leaves me with no options but to listen and know He is God.dscf7117.jpg

(pic of Jon, who i’ve coached for 3+ years, and me during Thanksgiving dinner at church. nice 3D shades, Jon… not)

I have tough things happen to me. My testimony would leave you in tears. I had every excuse to go bad, to follow a bad life down a bad path.

But, like Martina, my earthly life was contaminated. Yet, not by cocaine, but by Christ.

My hardest time in life led me to my Savior.

The issue isn’t cocaine and did she do it or who “stabbed” her.

The issue is where will she turn? Who has her attention?

My prayer is Martina Hingis, like you and me, will rely on the only One who is truly reliable.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association