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Losing to the glory of God

The Lady Ambassadors lost the championship game rather decisively. We were tied until 5 seconds after the opening tip. Our opponents were simply superior to us. They were older, stronger, more experienced, better players with better coaches. The final score was 71-23. It was a great opportunity for us to lose to the glory of God! I believe that we did just that.

Despite several injuries and losing a player to fouls, our girls finished the game hustling and trying their best on both ends of the court. I believe that kind of effort when victory was hopeless glorifies God.

The girls maintained a respectful attitude toward the referees, the other team, the other team’s coaches, their own coaches, the tournament officials and one another. That kind of self-control glorifies God.

When the final buzzer sounded and the other team’s celebration reached a crescendo, our girls were weeping out of disappointment, discouragement and probably embarrassment. Yet, instead of immediately consoling one another they stood on the court and clapped for the victors. God was glorified in that.

After the game, in our team meeting, the girls were reminded that basketball is only a game. It’s a great game and one that is loads of fun to play, but still, just a game. They were encouraged to remember that the Lord had enabled them to place second in the state in their league and to be grateful for that. Within 20 minutes expressions of gratitude began to flow freely. I believe that glorified God as well.

We had a great year. It is hard to end on a loss, even when that is the only loss of the season. But I got to be around another great group of girls and great parents. Since we only had three true high schoolers (a freshman, a sophomore and a junior), if all the girls come back the team should be much stronger from the first practice next year. It ought to be a great season.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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