“March Madness” By Pastor Joe

“March Madness” By Pastor Joe


March Madness officially begins this week - selection Sunday is today. Our local favorite team will be playing in this tournament which last about three weeks. March Madness consists of the 68 best college basketball teams in the nation, competing against each other based on strength of schedule and end of regular season record. The Wisconsin Badgers are one of the tournament favorites. Actually, Wisconsin has another team that should make the playoffs: Marquette University which is located in Milwaukee. In 2019 I told everyone from the pulpit I had officially begun to support the Wisconsin Badgers football team and that same week they played the Minnesota Gophers who upset the Badgers! My track record is not good for supporting the Wisconsin teams. Thankfully I will never be a fan of the Green and Gold so you can’t blame me for any future losses. During this next 21 days of basketball playoffs, I’ll be rooting for various teams, even teams I normally don’t follow. Hopefully the Wisconsin Badgers go very deep into the tournament, it makes for good conversation especially when the discussion turns towards eternal matters. The Badgers are a much better team than their current national ranking, but you never know what happens when playoffs begin. What does this have to do with anything of eternal significance? Life is a journey from beginning to end and the Scriptures tell us not only to run the race to participate in the tournament of life, but to win! The following verses speaks clearly to what we as Christians should be doing. “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT This passage speaks volumes to me, especially since I enjoy athletic competition. Our hope as a local church is that we offer multiple eternal training opportunities; such as: Sunday worship service, Sunday School, Adult Bible Study, Corporate Prayer, specific ministries for men, women, youth, children and much more. Hello Teenagers - youth group led by Brandi Tintes will be starting up in the near future. Now is the time to get involved, or recommit to one ministry opportunity other than Sunday morning . We are very cognizant of how many scheduled activities happen throughout the week. Yet anyone who thinks their spiritual life will maintain a healthy state with just exercising once a week knows it takes a deeper level of commitment. How many times a day does the average person take in natural nourishment? I’m hungry right now just thinking about this subject. We are 5 weeks away from celebrating Easter and part of our Easter activities this year will include an Easter Egg Hunt. Make sure you grab flyers which are soon to be printed and share the details on Facebook! Whatever we can do to invite friends with children, let’s do it. Easter Sunday morning will be filled with great worship and a very strong gospel message. Another way to help is through “word of mouth” advertising which is very important. Your friends need to know what’s happening at Hawthorne Assembly over the next two months. Whether it’s through a personal invite, handing out flyers, putting up a poster in your town or a notice on Facebook, your efforts help us reach out into our harvest field throughout NW Wisconsin and points beyond!

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