Category Archives: Sports

Dear Katina Powell

Dear Katina Powell,

I am writing you an open letter for a simple reason. Because I want you to know who you are. I have seen the quotes and the different things you have said in your book Breaking Cardinal Rules. I know all about the situation that is going on with the University of Louisville, yet I won’t be addressing that right here. I simply want to write a letter to you.

You have mentioned unashamedly that you sent your daughters to strip and prostitute themselves. As well you have mentioned that you would go  to church on Sunday afterwards.

Most people read those things and were stunned. I read those things though and wanted to write you this letter to tell you something that is simple and true; You are valued and loved!

Your value is not found in your body. It is not found in your ability to pleasure someone sexually. It’s not even found in your looks or your ability to hustle. No, your value is deeper and intrinsic.

You have value because the God of this universe who created the sun, moon and stars created YOU in his very image! He spent time creating every detail of your being.

But not only did he create you with deep value, he loves and cherishes you. And his love for you is amazing because it’s not a love that is based on your circumstances or what you do for him. His love has no condition to it. It is a great love that swallows you up completely as you are.

That is amazing, isn’t it? God loves us in spite of our selves.

I write this to you because seeing the news and reading the stories about you and the other ladies who are considered escorts, are all loved and cherished by God. Each of you are special. And I want you to know that as the book has come out and it’s apparent that you were in need of money, which means you may be searching for something in your life, God is in the business of giving hope to the hopeless.

He saved me, a sinner from a life outside of him. My life of sin deserved to be punished. I was a wicked and evil person who deserved judgment for my life of sin. But he had shown grace on me. I found out that he loved me so much that he sacrificed his only son Jesus, to die a horrible death THAT I DESERVED! The cross was shaped for me and I deserved it. It should have been me suffering eternal death because I am the one who sinned. But Jesus died in my place! That is true love.

Now when God looks at my life, he sees the life of Jesus. That is GRACE. Getting something I didn’t deserve. Jesus took my penalty. Now I can live freely serving him. I am not chained down by sin any longer but I battle my sin. I learn to live my life in repentance. Repent means to turn away from(Go in opposite direction).

Katina, I don’t know you and I can’t assume to. You have had circumstances in your life that have brought you to where you are today. But what I do know is that Jesus does offer hope to new life. He sat daily and talked with all sinners like you and me. I wanna share a last story that I really believe encompasses how we have to come to God.

This is from the Bible. Luke 7:36-50

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

No matter our circumstance, God is a God who is ready to forgive and to give us new life that is in him. Katina, I pray that as I write these words, you would realize the hope in the Good news of Jesus. He can save you and give you a new life. A new slate. A new start.

That happens when you give your life to him. I hope and pray that this public letter makes it to you. I pray that this is received in love. I pray that you and the ladies you work with come to know the greatest lover of all. And I pray that like this woman and millions of others of people, you’d find new life in Jesus Christ.

God bless you Katina,
Mark Singleton

BTW,
There are some great God honoring programs that reach in the adult entertainment business. One of them in Louisville is Scarlet Hope.

As well, if you want to follow Jesus, connect with a good, bible teaching church in your area. If you need help finding one, please message my wife and I and we would love to help you find that. In West Louisville there is a good one called New Breed Church that meets in Shawnee High School.

Hey #BBN and #L1C4, Let’s enjoy this!

As a Louisville fan that has spent time living out-of-state and now am back living in my great state of Kentucky, I am many times conflicted. I desire so earnestly to see the demise of my rival, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. I hope for their consistent failure throughout the year. While living though for several years out-of-state, I became conflicted because Kentucky was still my home. I couldn’t write Louisville without writing Kentucky. Not only as an address but also as an aspect of identity that I hold to.

Throughout the years the enjoyment of the best rivalry in basketball has gotten better and better. Kentucky went through some ups and downs while Louisville began to stand again with the greats of college basketball. Rick Pitino brought Louisville, not only back on the map, but back to being a consistent contender.

Kentucky after some rough transition years brought in John Calipari. And he came with a vengeance. With the desire to not only bring Kentucky back to its former glory but to a platform college basketball had never seen since UCLA, complete dominance. And he has pretty much done so.

Louisville, Kentucky or both have been in the past four final fours. each have won one. Since 2009, Kentucky has won 3 conference tournaments and has 3 regular season championships in their conference. Since 09′ Louisville has won 4 conference tournaments and 3 regular season championships in their conference.

It doesn’t matter what other rivalries are brought forth. This is THE rivalry of basketball.

Because of that and the excitement of March Madness, I decided to do a tribute to both as they begin the tourney. This being such a special year for Kentucky, I know that it will only solidify good things for our state.

To the best rivalry in basketball, Enjoy!

The Cats

The Cards

3 Reasons I want LeBron to win (Though I’m not a fan)

nba.com

nba.com

LeBron and the Heat are down 3-1 in the NBA Finals.  They just got owned at their place for the last two games. If you are a heat fan, you are known to be walking out of the arena during both games.

I am a Kobe fan. This will disappoint many and I understand. Kobe complains to the refs too much. He is overtly known to be selfish and is not exactly a very friendly extrovert to many people. But what I like about Kobe is that his nickname, “Black Mamba” suits him well because he is never hesitant to attack.

With LeBron, I am a little iffy because I always criticize whether or not he has a killer instinct. In the recent years though he has put on a clinic. I have felt I have been watching great basketball that is rarely seen. Though I don’t want to be a fan, I have to admit, it’s been like watching a master artist redefining a role(Point Forward) and showcasing his abilities on a canvas no one has expected.

So I got 3 reasons that I don’t want LeBron to lose…

1) I’d like to be able to tell my kids, “I remember watching LeBron James…”
You see, in 1998 I remember watching MJ seal the deal with the infamous “push“. I love thinking about how I watched that live. I was watching the 2000 Olympics when team USA was struggling against France, Vince Carter stole the ball from a French player and jumped OVER him to dunk. I want to say that about LeBron. I can say that about Ray Allen game 6 last year.

2) This is why I watch basketball, is in hopes to see greatness.
It is an amazing thing to watch a great musician play his guitar. Or a great film made by a great director. There is something beautiful when we see things come together and someone does something that almost seems like they were made to do it. I want that to be LeBron, I want to watch it all happen.

3) Because he is not Jordan, he is not Kobe. He is LeBron.
I want to see him grow into his own. Be a player there has never been. A walking triple double. A willing-to-pass scorer. A player who can guard the 1-5. A guy who redefines the way to play.

This doesn’t mean that if he does lose that he is a joke. He has two championships, plenty of MVP’s and 5 Finals under his belt. And he still has plenty of time to accumulate more accomplishments. The difficult thing for him is that he has to deal with the stigma of how others defined greatness. And that is all of those championships Kobe and Michael have(Not even including Bill Russell).

As for now, I hope to see LeBron do it. I hope to see him defy the odds. Regardless, let’s enjoy watching a great player of the game.

The Real Loser of The Sweet 16 Game

It has been several days now. I didn’t want to write this post because it applies to me way too much.

Louisville, Kentucky is a basketball town.

We don’t have a professional sports team. The recent success of our football and baseball teams has helped to broaden the horizon for our fanship but Louisville is still a basketball town as much as Kentucky is a basketball state.

Living and growing up here there is one division that really separates people. Though there are some racial, socio-economic, territorial, religious and political lines that keep people divided, the largest line is the one separating our schools, UofL and UK(Why we spell them like that, I don’t know, it’s ingrained).

Some people have referenced this era of the Louisville/Kentucky Rivalry to be by far the best. Some people call it the Cal-itino era referencing the coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari. The clashes of teams have brought some amazing games and as well has happened to produce a national title and final 4 for each. As well UK may produce a national title this year to accompany their final 4 they have achieved(beating UofL in the process).

When UK lost in the opening round of the NIT, many UK fans were sick as they watched the Cards bring home a national championship last year. When UofL lost to UK in the recent Sweet 16 game many UofL fans were(still are) feeling that same sickness.

Why do we hurt?

You won’t walk into a home in the 502 area code and find a statue of Russ Smith or John Wall that people bow before daily and offer penance to. There will not be daily offerings given in their name for remission of sins. But something I have realized about my heart and life is that when I am not careful, these sports teams and athletes can easily become idols in my heart.

When my joy is found in the success of the University of Louisville/Kentucky and I am in despair when they fail me, they have become my idol. We don’t like to admit this and I have heard it before but my actions are my barometer, I was tore up to see Louisville lose to Kentucky. I was feeling sick, angry and disappointed. My idol was revealed Friday night and though I don’t want to admit it, it needs to be fixed.

What do we do?

The idol had taken a spot that should only be filled by Christ and him alone. It’s easy to say I won’t watch anymore basketball when it’s march and your team has lost. It’s harder to say, “Christ, I’m gonna fill my life with you and not get caught up in sports anymore.”

My good friend Jared Swopshire has taught me the most about this. He is a former Louisville basketball player that I always expect to be enthralled with all things UofL. Nope. I can talk to him about the team and stuff and though he loves those guys, he isn’t caught up in the hype of the seasons anymore. But ask him about a young man who wants to know Christ and he lights up with joy, excitement and passion that I mostly just show in the last 2 minutes of games.

All I will say now is that I am gonna strive to be that man that is no longer giving in to the idol of sports. I will learn to gladly turn the TV off and play with my kids in those last two minutes of the game. Congrats to each person with each team but I have realized the teams I need to be committed to, That is Christ’s Kingdom and my family.

Bradley | Marquez

Timothy Bradley has got critics.

Some would garner them as haters. Others would say he’s had a weak road with the exception of the controversial Pacquiao decision. Regardless, the boxing world hasn’t fully embraced Timothy Bradley as being as elite as he feels he is.

Juan Manuel Marquez has nothing to prove. He is a shoein for being in the hall of fame. He has had some of the more classic fights in the past 10 years especially with Pac-Man. He is undoubtedly at the latter years of his career and has not much left to prove.

Some primer for the fight…

Marquez…

Bradley…

5 Reasons to cheer for Robert Guerrero against Mayweather

I heard about Robert Guerrero several years ago when his wife was battling leukemia. I read his story and before knowing anything about his capability as a boxer, I knew that I was gonna cheer for this dude during his career.

The more I read about him and the more fights I saw I became excited, taking note of each coming fight.

I decided to list 5 reasons to cheer for Robert Guerrero on May 4th:

 

1) Robert Guerrero is a Christian:

BS25-FIGHT-01-WLI know. I know. In this Jeremy Lin/Tim Tebow period of sports where Christian guys get cheered or jeered, I still am a fan of seeing Christians excell in sports. The media overloaded when Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow announced they were christians. But I also know that it would be an absolute shame for these guys not to thank God for all he brings in their lives. You can’t blame them for having been authentically changed.

Guerrero is unashamed of his faith. Being a person of faith myself, I like that. His nickname is the ghost because he is extremely quick but also because of the Holy Spirit(Holy Ghost). His boxing trunks reference Acts 2:38 which tells of how to recieve the Holy Spirit.

 

2) Robert Guerrero is a devout husband:

znpzyx[1]I have been dissappointed to see many men who won’t completely show commitment to their wives or girlfriends. They act ashamed to be married or try to act like their on the fence about it in hopes that they can have side relationships or that they can jump ship when storms come.

Guerrero’s wife battled with leukemia in 2010 and through a bone marrow transplant was able to overcome it. Guerrero actually put boxing on the backburner because his priority was the wife he had known since middle school. I respect that kind of commitment.

 

3) Robert Guerrero is a family man:

His-wife-healthy-Guerrero-returns-to-ring-V01UGJ6G-x-large[1]To be a high profile celebrity, it is common to have many children by many different women and to write it off to your youth. There are few men who take the task of loving their wives and their kids. To see this unfold in today’s age is unfortuante and sad. The number of single-mother homes in america is at a all-time high.

That’s why seeing a man take care of his children is amazing. It is refreshing to see a man who is serious about being a father.

4) Robert Guerrero has sought the toughest opponents:

Berto was one of the top fighters in the world, till he met GuerreroBoxing is an amazing sport but unfortuantely sin rules all in this earth. There are politics with boxing like anything else. With that, there are many people who wondered if Guerrero(myslef included) would get the “big fight”. The amazing thing about Guerrero is that unlike many of his contemporaries who want just good records, he has fought the toughest opponent he has the option of consistantly. He has deserved this Mayweather fight because he has heavily pursured the best.

5) Robert Guerrero will win:

mcdmy5-b781018323z.120121023195701000gb11atc68.2[1]

Thankfully, I don’t have 1 million views a day on my blog so I can risk being wrong. But I honestly believe Guerrero will pull out this fight against Mayweather. He is at the prime of his career. He has become more powerful and his speed is at the top that it has been. I really believe that the southpaw from Cali will pull it out. You heard it here first.

Does Christianity make you fail? The Legacy of Manny Pacquiao

Pac-ManI’ve been a fan of boxing for a pretty long time now. I love boxing history and as a Christian believe that it is ultimately one of the best physical metaphors of the Christian life that people disregard. Most christians don’t enjoy talking about real spiritual warfare, but boxing helps make spiritual warfare understandable to me. I remember a couple years ago dealing with sin in my life and I was realizing that satan wouldn’t tempt me with huge things constantly. The temptations were slight and suttle enough that they were just bearable. The same would be said as if Satan was physically fighting us. He doesn’t go for an immediate knockout blow. He jabs us. He tenderizes us. And then when he’s softened us up enough, then he brings the strong stuff.

That stuff makes sense to me. It speaks my language.

When I heard that Manny Pacquiao had become a Christian, I was extremely excited. I was rolling over off the Jeremy Lin/Tim Tebow time-period, where it seemed as if some athletes who really stood up for their faith were excelling incredibly.

And even going into the Marquez fight, though I had heard about Manny’s conversion, I still wasn’t sure and was kinda pulling for Marquez. I didn’t get to watch the fight live but got on facebook right in time to see all the post about Manny being knocked cold. Immediately I found a clip online of the KO and was in shock. But of all of it, I wasn’t nearly as shocked with the outcome as I was of what came out. After the fight; the news articles, the postfight conference, the reaction of others, I saw a man who was humbly accepting it for what it was. I didn’t see excuses. I didn’t see bitterness. I didn’t see dissappointment. I saw a man who accepted it for what it was and moved on.

He deserved that win. He deserved the win the fight prior(Bradley). He outboxed both opponents. He was a Christian now and is standing 0-2. His own mother followed the fight up by saying that he lost because of his conversion from the Catholic faith.

Tim+Tebow+Jeremy+LinWith Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin, during their runs last year you saw 2 unexpected underdogs rise high on big public platforms and excell while standing firm in their faiths. With Manny Pacquiao, you see the guy who is supposed to win these fights lose, and lose bad while still standing firm in his faith.

Many people are blaming his loses on his conversion. His own trainer Freddy Roach voiced concern prior to the Marquez fight. What does this teach us?

If you are a Christian and you’re seeing this, aren’t we always supposed to be David defeating Goliath? Aren’t we always supposed to be victorious? Shouldn’t we always get to see the promised land?

I always wanna say yes but the truth is that God has a much bigger story playing out here then Pac-Man’s face in the ground. God has a redemptive plan that is going to be played through and in-spite of sports. Manny Pacquiao was face planted. There is no better picture of being defeated then that sight most of us won’t forget of Manny.

pacquiao[1]But we must remember, despite the Mayan calendar, this isn’t over yet. Manny may retire. He may go on to have that illustrious fight against Mayweather. He might just fight a couple more fights then focus on Politics and his faith. But one thing is for sure, God’s plan will continue.

I am not saying this in a way that lifts up Manny. But like Manny being face-planted, our savior was defeated. Unlike our savior though, Manny got up after a couple minutes. Our savior stayed down for 3 days. And in the process, he absorbed the wrath of his father in our place. He took that knockout blow. Unlike Manny though, our savior was perfect and had no sins. He seemed defeated but arose in three days.

Like Aslan in the Lion the with and the Wardrobe, he came back just as big and just as strong as he ever was.

I hope to see Manny back in the ring. I would love to see him bounce back from all of this. But I am not God. And I know that God has much bigger plans then, me or anyother boxing fans can imagine.