The Power of US!


In our last newsletter Why We’re Here, we shared why AIA repurposed athletesinaction.org. One reason was to provide encouragement and material to help believers impact their world with the light of the gospel and make a difference in the lives they touch.

The body of Christ is also in a historic position. Today, over two billion people have smart phones. We can reach them directly with unfiltered material, but as always, it’s up to the body of Christ to take the message to them.

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How does this work?  On November 23, 2016 athletesinaction.org posted “7 Habits of a Grateful Athlete.” The post was seen 20,000 times. It has also been reposted a few times, because it contains timeless material.  Two weeks ago, a few people shared the post AND why it resonated with them,  some on Facebook, others by email.  The difference was their testimony about why the post was meaningful to them.

Here are just two examples:

“I had this article emailed to me this morning by a close friend. It’s a short, but powerful read on “Grateful Athletes”. If you have a free moment, take a minute to read it. These are some of the exact things we’re trying to teach to all of our wrestlers from Kindergarten through Seniors every day. For those of you who don’t know who the lady is in the photo, that is Helen Maroulis. She is the first US female to ever win a gold in Freestyle wrestling, which she did this last summer in Rio.”

“Grateful athletes.  This article touches on a lot of the conversations the coaches touched on this weekend.”

This process happened over and over because the post was relevant to them and they took a moment to share it with their family, friends, and coworkers.  The post has been shared 13,000 times and seen over 109,000 times.

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That is the power of US, the body of Christ working together to impact our world by sharing God’s word and wisdom as we live our lives.  Join the team by following us on Facebook or visiting athletesinaction.org.

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world!  Thank you.screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-3-56-54-pm

On the family front, please pray for Karen’s family.  Karen’s father went home to be with the Lord last month.  You can read the piece written by Karen on Facebook by searching Paul Gohmann, Sr., 1931.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following: February 2017 Newsletter to print a hard copy newsletter.

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Why We’re Here


It seems we are constantly bombarded with news of immoral, destructive actions by famous sports personalities. As believers in Christ, we wonder how to respond and how we can discuss these issues in a way that reveals the light of Christ.
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People usually get this news digitally, since 72% of Americans get their news on mobile devices. Half those people will read at least a portion of an article’s content. Then those questions come to mind.

aia-digital-bottom-menu-nov-2016Just like you, Athletes in Action (AIA) has been witnessing our culture’s moral decline and its impact. In late 2014, God gave AIA the vision to make a difference in today’s digitally-driven world by assisting the body of Christ to have a relevant answer that will bless everyone, thus drawing people to God’s ultimate answer, a personal relationship with Him! Read more about this initiative at athletesinaction.org/about and athletesinaction.org/its-time.

Early in 2016, athletesinaction.org was repurposed to be a light for Christ on the world’s digital hillside. (Matt 5:14-16) AIA publishes daily devotionals and a weekly Under Review piece addressing a relevant issue in the world of sports like:

Why Athletes Underperform for Coaches Who Use Fear

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(10/30/16) While fear used to be the sole driver behind Halloween, over the decades it’s become an event that ranges far beyond simple boogey-man tactics.  

Depending on your age demographic, halloween is an opportunity to dress up to get as much sugar as possible, give away as much sugar as possible, or, on college campuses, an opportunity to dress up vixenly to garner attention from the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our sports culture today, I would argue that fear is often still the primary driver at every level of play among coaches trying to motivate performance. It’s really time for this to change….  Read More

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Each piece on the website prompts readers to think more deeply, share their thoughts, read other relevant material and get biblically sound help.

Karen and I are both part of a small team of staff who are contributing to this effort. In just nine months, athletesinaction.org has had over 500,000 digital conversations with people from over 200 countries!

As a partner in our ministry you are reaching the world! Thank you.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following: November 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

23 Changed Lives


In addition to leading AIA’s Team Blogs, I had the privilege of serving with the Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp (UTC) this summer. Erin, our director, captured our team experience:

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“My team would arrive around 7 and I’d lead them in a staff meeting and prayer time, work on all of the logistics for the day and watch the Lord do His thing in these athletes’ lives until very late into the evening. My whole staff team operated on very little sleep and poured themselves into these athletes all week. I was reminded that all of the planning and hard work that went into this week was worth it. Twenty-three athletes made the decision to trust Christ as their Savior for the first time and are committed to go back to their teams and apply the principles they learned throughout the week. #UTCXenia!”
Over three months, 72 stories were published about the HS UTC. You can witness what God Xenia High School Ultimate Training Camp .

Family News

Walking Ellie to AlterThis summer has been quite eventful! Our family witnessed two big events for Ellie and Elizabeth.
On July 30th our family celebrated the marriage of Ellie to Austin. God blessed their day with great weather at the outdoor wedding in Mt. Sterling, OH.

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A few weeks ago, we rejoiced as Elizabeth started a new chapter in her life, one that’s exciting for all students, but exceptional in Elizabeth’s case.

Elizabeth at OU

Most of you know Elizabeth suffered from an extremely bad concussion and missed a year and a half of school. Through much prayer, God’s grace and very a talented concussion medical team at the University of Pittsburgh, Elizabeth is now attending Ohio University. Praise God!

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.

Click the following:   Sept 2016 Newsletter to  print a hard copy newsletter.

You can impact Olympians!


Would you like to be a part of the 2,500-member prayer team who intercedes for Olympians by name?

Allyson Felix

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Prayer team members will be sent the names of five Olympians along with information about their sports and their countries. Click here to join.

There are many ways AIA will be impacting Olympic athletes in Rio this summer: we will have chaplains available to minister to and pray with athletes, we will hold chapel services, and we will distribute our new Struggle and Triumph sports Bible and our new Struggle and Triumph film which is available in 25 languages. You can see and share the 34-minute film for free by downloading The Jesus Film app on your mobile device. This high-quality film features the stories of four Olympic heroes from four different countries who have grown in their faith in Christ through the struggles they have faced.Struggle and Triumph image

Another free resource we have produced is the Struggle and Triumph devotional series available on YouVersion Bible app for mobile devices and pc’s. You can share this 33-day devotional series with young athletes and anyone interested in the faith stories of Olympic athletes. Karen edited these devotions and wrote some of them, too. Because of your partnership with us, we are able to serve the body of Christ. We appreciate you!

Family News

Elizabeths Davidson GraduationThis is a very exciting summer for us. In addition to our regular work of managing AIA Team Blogs (Rick) and writing and editing (Karen), Rick is also blogging with our Ultimate Training Camps for high school students and Karen is discipling and coaching interns who are preparing to serve with AIA for the next year.

Austin and Ellie EngagementIn family news, we rejoiced to watch Elizabeth graduate from high school, which is a miracle we continually thank God for; we are preparing for Ellie’s wedding to Austin Church; and we recently learned we will be grandparents to Erica and Parrish’s first child.

Please review our prayer page  and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  AIA Newsletter July 2016 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

Discover your “why!”


Why do we work, play, or do anything?

There’s a motivation for everything we do, whether we are conscious of it or not.

In three minutes you can watch how AIA is helping hundreds of athletes and coaches every year to discover their “why.”

During this project, many on the team discovered their foundational rock which they will build upon for the rest of their lives.

Can you imagine helping someone discover their why, their foundational rock of life?  Now imagine this being your job!  That’s our privilege.

Please share this post so others can learn about opportunities with AIA.

If you are on Facebook, please like our ministry page and start following Athletes in Action’s Ao1 page. You can partner with us by sharing AIA’s ministry with people in your network.

Learn more about Athletes in Action or our ministry.

Principles Matter


Deverin had decided to play basketball for the glory of God, but now he found he couldn’t play at all.

Christian athletes often struggle to combine Deverin in AIA jackettheir faith with their sports. Deverin, a lean, 6’9” basketball player is no exception. When the opportunity arose to put basketball and his new faith together by going on a tour with Athletes in Action, Deverin wasn’t sure he wanted to, but a persistent AIA staff member convinced this former atheist, now a new Christian, to apply.

“I had not counted on God capturing my heart during training camp and changing me.”

During training, Deverin learned The Principles, AIA’s curriculum giving athletes a biblical framework in which participation in sport is an opportunity to worship God. Each of the five principles focuses on a story from the Bible and applies it to sport and competition.

As he competed, Deverin experienced the power of Principle #1: Audience of One, which emphasizes how to worship God while participating in your sport. He learned that God alone is worthy of worship, especially on the ball court where his performance becomes a thank you gift to God.

Determined to be a witness to his teammates on his campus when he returned from the AIA tour, Deverin began to apply The Principles. Then, unexpectedly, he injured his shoulder, a devastating blow for any athlete. But God did something totally unexpected. Rather than use Deverin’s stellar performance on the court, God used his injury and inability to compete to reach Deverin’s teammates.

As Deverin recovered, Principle #4: Hurtin’ for Certain took center court. This principle focuses on God’s purposes for our trials. Because Deverin trusted in God‘s sovereignty, the door was wide open for him to share his faith with his teammates. Then things started to change on his campus. First, his teammates started to attend campus Bible studies, then other athletes from other sports teams, until the group went from 20 to over 200 athletes by the end of the semester.

In Deverin’s own words, “The trip with AIA made me realize what living your faith looks like…It taught me to be humble and surrender myself to God.

Your prayers and support allow us to serve!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page  (latest news on Elizabeth’s condition) and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  Nov 2014 to  print a hard copy newsletter.

She needs your prayers


Biff, Oct 2014 Newsletter, ResizedImagine walking when your brain’s ability to process sensory input lags behind, like when audio and video are out of sync on your TV. Imagine an unstable world where focusing the words on a page is nearly impossible and you have no down dial for volume or brightness; where there are unrelenting headaches, dizziness and nausea, and your heart constantly races 50% faster than normal because your nervous system is just trying to keep up.This is the life our 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth has lived for the past two years since suffering a concussion playing field hockey.

Since then she has endured testing and treatment from many doctors and therapists and has tried meds, therapies and treatments we had never even heard of. The past several months have been filled with appointments and exercises we are to do with her. At this point, school is nearly impossible for her since she can’t read, use the computer or concentrate for more than a short time without worsening her headache. She needs your prayers.

On Monday, October 13th at 5:00 p.m. we are inviting a couple of pastors from our church to anoint Elizabeth with oil and pray with us for her. Would you join us on that day through prayer and fasting for her? You can fast from a meal, all your meals or anything else you are willing to fast from. Jesus said that some things are only accomplished through fasting and prayer. We are not trying to persuade an unwilling God, nor are we attempting to obligate Him by the number of people praying or because of our fasting; we are crying out to a loving Father who created and knows Elizabeth and has good plans for her.

Please pray for:

  • complete healing of Elizabeth’s brain
  • Elizabeth to allow God to use this trial for good in her life
  • wisdom for the doctors and therapists treating her now
  • the provision and direction to seek further treatment for her

Your prayers and support allow us to serve!  Thanks!

Please review our prayer page and support needs and lift up our ministry to the Lord.  Click the following:  Oct 2014 to  print a hard copy newsletter.