Take a Risk!
A monthly publication from Risk Takers for Christ
Volume 10, Issue 10 October 2019
moving believers from the sidelines to the frontlines
Making Lemonade Out of Lemons
by Rev. Dale M. Glading, President
You know the saying, “When life hands you a lemon, make some lemonade,” right? Well, we made some lemonade recently and boy, was it delicious!
Our Risk Takers basketball team had been scheduled to play and minister at Marion Correctional Institution in Lowell FL on August 10th. However, the institution had to cancel, and we were unable to book another prison on such short notice.
Not wanting to go an entire month without conducting a large-scale ministry event, my son Chris and I put our heads together and decided to host a 3- on-3 basketball tournament right here in Vero Beach. The way things came together left no doubt that God was behind our change of plans.
First, the church gym that we use each week to host our Living H2O Initiative was avail- able on August 24th, the date we selected for the tournament. Next, after announcing the event at our Thursday night program and advertising it on Facebook, we had a full field of eight teams registered within 48 hours. From there, we simply had to recruit a few volunteers, buy some refreshments and prizes, and we were ready to go!
Did I mention that our local Chick-fil-A offered to donate 30 free chicken biscuit sandwiches for our players and volunteers?
Deanna, Chris and I set up the night before and then waited for the morning of the event to roll around. When it did, players started pouring in an hour before the first game and soon packed the gym. Before the on-court action began, Rev. Roger Ball, pastor of Freedom Church in Vero Beach, delivered a powerful gospel message, telling the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19.
Then, it was time to PLAY BALL!!!
And play ball they did, with seeded brackets letting each team know when they were playing and against whom. Two games ran simultaneously at opposite ends of the gym, one after another, with cheers echoing from the rafters. It soon became clear who the best teams were: two squads from Vero Beach High School, one from another local ministry, and one comprised of young men from our Living H2O Initiative.
The finals came down to the latter two teams and when the dust - make that, the sweat - settled, the winning squad was “Team Chaos.” Beau, Von, and Tiny all attend our Living H2O Initiative on Thursdays and so, I couldn’t have been happier with the results... and prouder of them!
Each player received a Risk Takers backpack stuffed with a Gospel of John, a basketball themed gospel tract, and a free breakfast coupon to Chick-fil-A. The first and second place teams also received new basketballs while the rest of the players were awarded Risk Takers thermoses.
As we packed up, I noticed that a good deal of literature - including several Bibles - had been claimed from our free resource table. That showed that the young men may have come to play basketball, but they left thinking about more eternal matters.
I am looking forward to returning to prison later this month as our Risk Takers basketball team is sched- uled to minister at Polk CI. And I can’t wait to report about how God moved at Avon Park CI on September 28th. However, it’s good to know that if God throws us another curve ball, we will be ready to catch it as best we can.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
Help… I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up!
by Rev. Dale M. Glading, President
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Sir Winston Churchill
As a kid, I remember watching the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. In case you’re wondering, yes, they were the Olympic Games that were forever marred by the slaying of 11 Israeli athletes by a Palestinian terrorist group.
Going into that year’s Olympics, one of the most anticipated events was the 1500-meter race. It featured Jim Ryun, an American, who was trying to better his silver medal performance from four years earlier. In those Games, he was done in by Mexico City’s high altitude, a bout with mononucleosis, and a world-class runner from Kenya named Kip Keino.
This time around, Ryun trained harder than ever, running 120 miles per week.Leading into the Olympics, he ran the third fastest mile ever, winning by an astounding 13 seconds. In other words, Jim Ryun was primed for victory.
However, with a lap and a half to go in the first qualifing race, Ryun tripped and fell, hitting his head on a railing and briefly losing consciousness. By the time Ryun regained his senses, he was in last place… and that’s exactly where he finished, despite his famous “kick” at the end.
Replays showed that Ryun was clearly tripped, but his appeal to be reinstated was denied. And so, Jim packed his bags and left Munich empty-handed.
“I was disappointed and angry,” Ryun said. “Angry at the officials as well as at myself. But right there in Munich, my wife and I made a promise to each other: We didn’t want our lives to end there.”
In a 2016 interview, Ryun tried to put everything in per- spective. “Four decades later, I can say that Munich really was the beginning of our lives. We had become Christians that spring, and the challenge of Munich forced us to grow up very fast. We developed a whole new understanding of forgiveness.”
“I had to forgive myself - I could have run the race a little differently and not tried to weave through the field to position myself to sprint for home, but I didn’t. I had to forgive the official who rejected my petition. It was a process that took years as I began reading the Bible, attending Bible studies, and visiting with those who had gone through similar situations of learning to forgive. I learned that forgiveness is not a ‘one time, done that’ act; it is a process of learning to accept God's sovereignty over all of life, viewing life and others from his perspective. It is a conscious decision to go forward and not live in the past.”
Since the 1972 Olympics, God has used Ryun’s faith and forgiveness in a powerful way. He and Anne started the Jim Ryun Running Camps, which are still going strong after 46 years. And yes, Jim was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by his fel- low Kansans in 1996, where he served his constituents for more than 10 years.
By getting back up after tripping and finishing the race, Jim Ryun demonstrated raw courage. And by forgiving himself and others,he demonstrated Christian maturity.
My friend, has life tripped you up? Get back on your feet and finish your race. Have you performed below your expectations and those of others? Forgive yourself and move on. God is not done with you yet. In fact, just like Jim Ryun, the best may be yet to come!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
Editor’s Note: To read Jim Ryun’s candid interview in its entirety, visit https://www.vox.com/2016/7/13/12077672/olympics-jim-ryun-track
TEAM10,000 Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary
In August 2018, we launched our TEAM10,000 and God has used it since then in a very powerful way. Thanks to our four charter members, monthly budget shortfalls have been offset and Risk Takers has been able to continue ministering to prisoners and at-risk youth without missing a beat.
Now, all we need is YOU!
TEAM10,000 was designed to make our most dedicated supporters aware of ongoing financial needs within our ministry. Each month, TEAM10,000 members are sent copies of our most recent financial statements - including our balance sheet and profit and loss statements - so they can pray and act accordingly.
Basically, Risk Takers operates on a $120,000 annual budget which includes three staff members and all of our ministry programs - including 12 prison trips per year, 100 Living H2O Initiatives, multiple men’s conferences and revival services, our daily devotional messages and our monthly newsletter. That’s a lot of “bang for your ministry buck!”
When our income meets our monthly goal of $10,000; we simply ask our TEAM10,000 members to praise God along with us. However, when we fall short of that goal, we ask them to pray for God to provide the necessary resources to keep Risk Takers operating at full speed.
Here is how one couple who are charter members of TEAM10,000 described their involvement...
“Through your ministries over the years you have touched the hearts and souls of thousands of inmates, parolees and at-risk youth. As we may have told you before, we consider it a privilege to partner with you prayerfully as well as financially.”
Please consider joining our TEAM10,000 today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up or for more details.
Upcoming Risk Takers Events:
- Oct. 12: Basketball at Polk CI, Polk City FL
- Nov. 9: Basketball at Zephyrhills CI, Zephyrhills FL
- Dec. 14: Basketball at Martin CI, Indiantown FL
We are booking now for all of 2020. If your church is interested in scheduling a Risk Takers Revival Meeting or a Dare 2B Daring Men’s Conference, please Dale Glading at 772.539.1826 or email@example.com.
Our Staff & Board Members
Rev. Dale M. Glading, President
Rev. Larry “Chap” Lilly, Vice President
Christopher Glading, Director of Programs and Publicity
Rebekah Bailey, Director of Communications
Trustees: Rev. Thomas Griffin, Michael Kelley, Steve Navarro, Dr. Matt Parris, Rev. Greg Sempsrott Advisory Council: Robert Bartosz, Steve Schoch
Take a Risk! is a publication of Risk Takers for Christ, PO Box 651421, Vero Beach FL 32965-1421. Excerpts may be published or reproduced providing proper attribution is given.