Judgment and Blessings

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:37-38

There’s Jesus telling us not to judge, but judgment is such a basic part of being human. Baseball is full of judgments. The media illustrates that better than anything. If you’re doing well, the media tells you you’re great. And if you’re not doing well, the media tells you that too. Not only do they tell you you’re bad, they tell you why you’re bad. They tell you why you shouldn’t be there, and why you should be traded. They even question why the GM signed you!

Every baseball player is paid based on a judgment. I’m paid based on a positive judgment. And if they make a negative judgment, I don’t get re-signed. We’re full of these judgments. It’s a normal human thing. Continue reading

Free2Play on Facebook

In her comment on my last post, Cathy wrote, “Maybe some of us will be reminded to worship, and act, each time you come to the mound.”  Thank you Cathy!  I pray that some of you will remember to pray for me, and I have a wonderful way for you to act each time I come to the mound.  Join me in using my pitches to free slaves!  There’s a Free2Play app on Facebook designed to help us fight slavery together. Opening Day is right around the next corner! Let me show you how fun and easy this app is to use.

When you click this link to the app, you’ll see the following screen:

Free2PlayMain

If you like, you can explore the features of this page and watch my 2.5 minute video about Free2Play.

Then go ahead and click the large orange button that says, “Get Started!”  That takes you to this screen:

Free2PlayPage2

Check out that black box that says, “Let’s start a roster!”  All the instructions you will need are embedded in the app.  They will walk you through the simple steps you’ll take to get started.  Pick me for your roster!  I’ve pledged to donate $250.00 per strike out, and $250.00 per save or hold, to Free2Play.  Won’t you join me?  Pledge a dime or a dollar, and add it to my $250.00, and together we’ll free our neighbors in slavery.

You’re not restricted to choosing players who have pledged to Free2Play. You can draft any player to your team! Use your baseball smarts to build your roster, and challenge your friends to play with you. This is similar to fantasy baseball, it’s just as much fun, and it’s an awesome way to love Jesus, in the way of Matthew 25.

If you do choose players who have pledged, your pledge is added to theirs, and they are encouraged by your support. That’s something to think about!

Don’t be afraid to give a penny, if that’s what you want to do. Combined with my pledge, your penny has power! Your pledge encourages me to make my pitches! Just remember that your little bit, joined with everyone else’s little bit, becomes a lot. Together, we can do a lot of damage to slavers and to the trafficking industry.

Have fun with this, and let me know how your roster is doing.  See you Monday.

The Answer Part 2

What I do for a living, which is play baseball, is not my calling. Your calling is also not the same as what you do for a living. No matter what we do for a living, we share the same calling. We are called to love our Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Baseball is not my calling, but it is my gifting. When we go through life, we have to understand that our gift, the thing that we are gifted at doing, is not our calling. It’s what we add to our calling. We use our gifts to love our neighbors as ourselves.

God showed me that. Continue reading

The Answer

I told you last time about the vision and the vow. The vision is Jesus, and the vow is that no man shall live for himself. But even with that figured out, I was still feeling pretty confused about how to make that happen within my baseball career. I was struggling, and I was failing, and I just couldn’t put all the pieces into place. But an answer was coming, and as promised, here it is.

In 2006 I was traded to the Colorado Rockies. I had a pretty bad year there as well, so things weren’t improving. I was thinking, “I’m not even going to have to quit baseball. They’re going to fire me. I’m going to get released and I’m going to have to find something else to do.”

But in that off season as I was reading scripture, I saw Mark 12:28-31 with new eyes. And everything changed for me. Continue reading

The Vision and the Vow

When I left off last time, I was pitching for the Royals and living in a spiritual wilderness. During that year, someone handed me a book called The Vision and the Vow by Pete Greig, the guy who started a 24-7 prayer movement in Europe. The book has its roots in Greig’s seminary days, when someone asked him, “What is the vision?” Greig said, “The vision is Jesus,” and then he wrote a long poem about it on a coffee house wall.

I really enjoyed this book. I was saying, “This guy’s figured it out, man. This is great!” But I was still trying to figure out how I was going to use baseball to go into the world and preach the Gospel. As a baseball player, how could I promote the vision of Jesus? Baseball, as you know, is a very selfish sport. Continue reading

Inviting Myself In, Part 2

You know, as a baseball player, when you initially get to the game you think, “Alright! I made it to the major leagues! I’m a success. I finally made it. It is my calling to be a major league baseball player, and here I am.” In 2002, when I was 22 years old, this happened to me. I made it to the big leagues with the Kansas City Royals.

The Kansas City Royals have had a lot of disappointments in recent years. They weren’t a very good team when I played for them. But do you know what? They gave me a shot. And I learned a lot of things while I was in Kansas City, things that would stay with me and become a profound part of my spiritual life. But that came later. My initial thought, after making it to the big leagues at 22 years old, was, “I did it.” I was excited. I was pumped! I knew that we were losing a lot of games, and I didn’t even care, because I was in the big leagues! Continue reading