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Dearly beloved 

Take the shot!

Take the shot, please! This is what I was screaming for the last hour before it all led up to the big moment.

    I have the Great honor of being the head coach of the Highland Highschool boys junior varsity basketball team, and it has been lots of fun getting to spend time with 11 more youth in the community three times a week. 
 We have quite a few talented players on our team but there is a common theme, they all play basketball a little scared, and they are so nervous about missing a shot that they won't shoot the ball at all. We had our first game of the season last night and we started the game losing 15-0 because we were too scared to have fun and play basketball. At halftime, the team talked it out and we figured it out, we came all the way back and tied the game with one minute left. The other team scored a free throw which put them one point ahead, we had a chance to win, one of our best players, who was also playing the most scared had a chance to win the game as he shot the ball with one second left and as the buzzer went off and the gym sat on the edge of their seats we watched the ball bounce not once but twice on the rim and fall out resulting in no basket and a one-point loss. I was so proud of those guys' win or loss.
 As a church our 6th value is “going out on a limb”, this is the encouragement of taking risks. Where is the fruit located on the tree, it is out on the branch where it's riskier and as a church, we want to be fruitful and that calls for some risk. So as I am constantly preaching to these 11 boys every week to shoot the ball and take the risk. Now if I am going to be doing that then I should be living it out in my own life because I want to be a pastor that takes risks and practices what I preach. We want to swing big and take big shots because so what if you miss or fail, keep on going and trust in God.

Pastor Clay