Nelson Cook the founder of Coaches of Influence in Los Angeles has been ministering to athletes and coaches for well over thirty five years and has hosted me on many occasions and invited me to address athlete and coaches' meetings and various men's functions.
Initiating his athlete ministry with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Dallas Texas, where I first was introduced to Nelson Cook on one of my first US Study Tours on Sports Mission, he relocated to Los Angeles twenty years ago to establish a highly specialist ministry to Christian coaches – professional, college and high schools.
My last visit was in 2009 where Delma and I were his guests for an entire week where we went from venue to venue, college to school, breakfast meetings, luncheon and dinner meetings speaking of the Lord Jesus' Salvation and His input into the our lives at every level.
Nelson Cook sends a regular devotional letter to his coaches and I have regularly reprinted these in this daily Christian Today column. This is his first for 2013.
“Moneyball and my everyday life” - by now most people have seen Brad Pitt play the part of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s, in the movie Moneyball.
There is a part in the movie where Beane is talking to his scouts and saying, “There are rich teams, there are poor teams, then there’s 50 feet of crap, and then there’s us.”
This statement says a lot about us and life in general. How do we see ourselves, family, our job, team, facilities, salary, etc.? Are we content? Contentment is a heart issue, not a circumstance issue.
Years ago, someone did a survey on the beautiful people, “Hollywood” A-lists, and asked, “Is there something about your appearance you don’t like and would change?” Every one of them pointed to a flaw and area of discontent.
Contentment starts on the inside and grows out. It’s a process. Apostle Paul said that he has learned to be content in all things. Why? Because our loving Father God has placed us where we are, with what we have, in order to accomplish His ultimate purpose … our maturity.
Nelson Cook continues - “I am learning … like you. I have my circumstances that cause me great struggle, but I am anchored to Christ.
Nelson's list of some ingredients to Contentment:
1. Thankful heart – In everything give thanks. Recognise what we do have rather than what we don't.
2. It comes from having our needs met, not necessarily our desires. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
3. Our circumstances – Give us a chance to learn to become content. Our experiences and those of others allow us to grow.
4. Remember – I can do all things through Christ. It is He who strengthens me. We may not have the best of everything, but we make the best of everything we have.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of your faith. Do that and you will be moving onward and upward in your daily life of contentment.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at