Published March 2, 2010

Shelia Shares....
"Thumbs Up!"

Christian comedian and singer, Tim Lovelace, is a warm delightful person and special friend. I appreciate his way of seeing God-like traits in people in everyday situations. In the following piece written by Tim Lovelace, be encouraged. God is on your side.

- Shelia

March "Gladness"

It's that time of year when folks who love basketball are ready for the big college games. The championship playoff is called March Madness. Gospel singing sports enthusiasts will have their buses equipped with chips and dip. They will try not to holler so much that they strain their throat and gizzard before their concerts. I'm not really sure where the gizzard is located, but who wants to strain it? However, telling a sports fan not to get excited during a game is like telling a hungry alley cat to take it easy in a seafood restaurant…it's not going to happen! There are many Gospel singers that love sports. Jeff Stice is Kentucky Blue through and through. Mark Trammell will pull for the Arkansas Razorbacks in every sport, including hog calling. Harold Reed is always pulling for those Tar Heels of North Carolina, and a lot of people know that those Tennessee Lady Vols are incredible, but what they don't know is the two ladies screaming the loudest at a game are Debra and Lauren Talley.

Speaking of North Carolina, here is a little trivia for you. The basketball player that many people consider to be the greatest to ever play the game wore a North Carolina Jersey in college. That player is Michael Jordan. What a lot of people don't know is that although he made the high school team his freshman year, he was cut from the team his second year. Wow! He could have quit. He could have said, "I am just not good enough for this sport." But he went home and practiced and made the team at the next tryout. God gave him talent, but that talent had to be developed.

Last night I was privileged to watch a basketball practice of newcomers to the game. It was the Upward Basketball team of first and second grade girls. If you are not aware of Upward sports, it is a Christian based sports program for kids with an emphasis on character. Most of you know whom I especially went to see. You guessed it, my daughter, Gabrielle Rose. Many of you have told me how much fun it is to watch a child or grandchild from the sidelines… You were right. As she started her practice shots, she looked over to see if her mom and I were watching. When she made a basket, she glanced our way and we gave her a thumbs up, to which she responded with a return thumbs up.

This morning I was thinking about how God cheers for us. To a new Sunday School teacher who is a little nervous, God is giving you a thumbs up. To a young pastor who is a little overwhelmed, God is on your side, giving you a thumbs up! To that singer or musician who tried out for a group and did not make it, if God has truly called and equipped you, don't lose heart…thumbs up!

Remember that our Father has never missed a game. He is intently watching and is so proud of you. He wants the very best for His child. So to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, my fellow team mates…Thumbs Up!

By the way, if you want to know who my favorite team for this March is, I am glad to say that it is the first and second graders of East TN called the Lady Bears.

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