Coach John Wooden 1910 – 2010

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Back in 1994, Coach Wooden was attending the First Christian Church in Santa Monica, CA. After the Northridge earthquake, that church building was red-tagged so Coach had to find another church. I will never forget the morning that he was walking up the sidewalk leading into the sanctuary at Shepherd of the Hills Church, the church where I serve. I said “Coach, what are you doing here?” and he said, “I’m looking for a new church,” and from that moment on, he and I became friends, where on many occasions we would get together to talk about spiritual things.

He loved to have me read the Bible to him, and oftentimes he would request a time of prayer. It was obvious that this incredible man was in love with the Lord, and it was quite obvious that he had walked with the Lord his entire life. I do not feel right about sharing the things that he and I talked about in private, but I will tell you that anyone who ever met Coach would recognize immediately that he was a man of love, patience, kindness and gentleness. Galatians 5:22,23, a very familiar Bible passage that tells of the “Fruit of the Spirit,” contains a list of things that are the by-product of having the Spirit of God inside of you. The Bible lists the following as “Fruits of the Spirit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I ask you, which of these characteristics did Coach Wooden possess? I would argue with you that he had all nine. ALL NINE of them. Find ONE on the list that he did NOT possess or show evidence of in his life.

It is quite obvious that Coach was a man who loved the Lord and who deeply loved his family. Please keep his family in your prayers during these difficult days and know that one day we will see him again in heaven, where we be together forever.



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