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  • I have had the privilege to meet a lot of top notch people in my time serving with Hockey Ministries International. There are many incredible people involved with this ministry, and one of those people that instantly comes to mind is Bill Butters. Mr. Butters has made a powerful impact in the hockey community and beyond working full time with HMI. Over the course of my time with HMI, I have come to greatly appreciate the Bill Butters legendary on-ice bible lesson.


    The lesson starts with Bill selecting one camper to help him demonstrate the drill. He asks them to provide an example of a good hockey stance. Knees bent, stick in front of you, sturdy, head up, balanced, and ready for anything. He then proceeds to give the volunteer a hard shove, but because of the solid stance, the player hardly moves. Bill then asks the player what a poor hockey position looks like. Without delay the volunteer relaxes, stands up, and is immediately sent flying through the air as Mr. Butters hits him with another forceful shove. Yard sale is a good way to describe the young player as they lay sprawled on the ice.


    The lesson proves a very important hockey point. A proper stance in hockey is a fundamental skill. Power skating is a very important component to the on-ice program at HMI and a large part of this program is teaching kids this foundation in order to be successful hockey players. Without a solid hockey position, you are going to be knocked around. You will also constantly be hearing your coach bark, “Bend your knees!” To be the best player you can be, you must develop the foundational skills and that starts with good body position.

    A solid foundation is needed in more than just hockey. It is needed in all parts of our life as well. The bible talks about where we can find a good foundation in Matthew 7:

    “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”


    Without a proper foundation the storms in life will surely send you crashing. So often today we see people turning to God in times of tragedy and confusion. Despite all the things in the world like money, fame, power, success, friends, and even family, there is nothing as solid and sure as Jesus Christ. All the other parts of our life are like sand which will not support us when the real storms hit. In Christ, we find our footing in any kind of storm. When one builds their life on this rock, rather than the sand, they know their foundation and how to react when the storms come.


    What we desire to teach at these camps is to always have that solid foundation. And I’m not talking about on the ice. No matter the circumstance, have Christ as your solid foundation. That way, when difficulties arise and unexpected challenges are faced, you won’t lose balance and end up sprawled on the ice. No matter what you face within the rink and out of the rink, your feet on solid ground gives you great safety and purpose in your life. So, bend your knees and get sturdy to face life’s greatest challenges on a solid foundation found in Jesus Christ.


    Until next time,
    The Intern

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