Christopher Southard, coach of the Palm Beach Atlantic University lacrosse team, starts each game by leading the players in a unison shout of “family” on the count of three.
Southard, who also serves as youth director at First Presbyterian Church in North Palm Beach, spoke about family during the chapel hour this week at PBA. To help illustrate his point, he showed photos of his lacrosse family and his own family, as well as video clips featuring his daughter, Jaden.
Sometimes family members have to say hard things to each other, he said. Also, family members forgive and support each other, he said. “We encourage one another to be obedient to the call of God.”
The Old Testament prophet Jonah was one biblical figure who demonstrated disobedience by fleeing from God, Southard said. However, Jonah found forgiveness when he later obeyed God’s command to travel to Nineveh to proclaim His word, he said.
Southard also discussed the cost of disobedience, noting that Jesus makes reference to Jonah’s plight in Matthew 12:38-41.
He also provided a shining example of obedience in the third chapter of Daniel, where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were delivered from King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace for obeying God’s command not to worship other gods.
Southard asked students to read Jonah 3:10 (NIV): “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”
He encouraged them take action by praying together in groups of three for 10 minutes each week on the third day of the week. “We’re going to pray that God will move in a mighty way” on PBA’s campus, he said.
Southard also asked students to support PBA’s No. 1-ranked lacrosse team, which is set to play Florida Gulf Coast University at 7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Field in Lake Worth for the Southeast Lacrosse Conference (SELC) South championship. Admission is free and open to the public.