Wounded Prayer

Last week, Jill asked how prayer fits with grace.  My podcast this week deals with prayer, and here’s Part I:

Next time, we talk about how prayer helps in the fight to end slavery.

Please keep the questions coming.  I love seeing them and I’m looking forward to offering some thoughts!  Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next Monday.

My First Tattoo: Solus Christus

When people see my tattoo, they ask, “What is that?” And I say, “It’s one of the Five Solas of church history.” And then they say, “What’s that?”

We’ve forgotten the Five Solae! In fact, I think we’ve gotten away from church history. We’ve forgotten where things started and we don’t remember who we were originally supposed to be. God created the church. It was designed to be the mystery of God. Continue reading

Christ is Freedom

cropped-wordpress_menforfreedom_1_cover_1102x3501

The anti-slavery organization Men for Freedom invited me to be their guest blogger for July! Here’s a preview:

So do I think Jesus would be the frontrunner in the fight against human trafficking and the rescuing of slaves? I am one hundred percent certain of it. It’s easy to be certain, because I know He’s come to set us free. The Bible says, “The truth shall set you free.” (John 8) Freedom is in Christ Jesus. If freedom is in Christ, then freedom is what makes Him. He is freedom.

Read the rest here.  I’ll see you Monday.

The Least of These

Throughout my baseball career, God has continually increased my role in Christian social justice projects. Due to my participation in hunger and abolition initiatives, and after I saw the joy expressed by Ugandan children over clean, clear water, I read about the judgment of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 with fresh eyes. And as I told you last time, this opened me anew to the simple truth of the Gospel. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you make that dedication to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the Spirit of God becomes alive in you.

That’s when the aroma of Christ will flow out of you. Continue reading

The Sheep and the Goats and the Gospel

I’ve been a Christian my entire life. I think I’ve read the Bible a few times! But as soon as I started to truly understand the joy that comes from loving my neighbor as myself, I read Matthew 25 and it was like I’d never seen it before! I’m sure I’d read it more than once. But it felt brand new to me. I’m sure you’ve seen it before too, but it’s really important to what I’m saying, so I want to spend time reading it again right now. Continue reading

Imagine the Success of Love

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Matthew 14:16-20

In the early years of my baseball career, I was not fulfilled. I was not fulfilled as long as I was just saying, “I’m a Christian,” and then going and playing baseball. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t understand my purpose for being here on this earth. I didn’t understand, because my purpose is not to be a baseball player. 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 Message of Christmas

Merry Christmas!  What a wonderful, holy day.  God gives us a child, to be our Savior.  God – who has everything – gives His Everything so that we might inherit everything!  LIFE full of LOVE and FORGIVENESS!

Thank you for reading, and for all your support. I’m looking forward to blogging for you in 2013, and I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting. And please remember those less fortunate. If you’re looking for a way to spread the Gospel of love, please visit our partners, and consider giving a gift. The amount doesn’t matter. Remember, it’s not how much the individual gives. What counts is how many individuals give!

I’ll see you here next Wednesday. Meanwhile, enjoy this awesome message about hope and expectation from Pete Greig, Prayer Director of Holy Trinity Brompton in London, England. This is a beautiful time to be celebrating our Hope. Remember, God loves you. He made you just as you are, and He gave you a gifting, and with that gifting you can change the world!

Finding Jesus in the Hearts of Kids

If you watched Saturday’s video, you’ll know that we had a Something to Eat event in early December. It was a huge deal for me. It was hard to be away from my family, and hard for my wife since she was alone with our three little boys. But I asked God, and God covered us, man. Her parents came to help, and she flew in to see me.

We had over 400 kids packaging meals that day, to send to Haiti, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. We held the event at Cesar Chavez Middle School, in East Palo Alto. The kids were middle school and high school age, plus there were some families that came in with their kids and volunteered to help. We had kids from the College Track program too. We had a whole spectrum. It was really cool.

There were four or five shootings just in the last month in East Palo Alto, and nineteen murders on the year. It’s a very high gang area. And so we saw something awesome that day. We saw these kids come out and show that they still want to love somebody. They showed that they want to find joy in something. This was Jesus. Continue reading

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I recently heard a story about a man who lost his family in a flash flood. All his children were killed, and his wife as well. He was the only one to survive. With everything taken from him at once, he said he was surprised by the grace he received. He said that without that grace, he would not have found the will to live.

I’ve never experienced loss like that. It must be devastating. I pray for protection over my family every day, because I don’t want to ever go through anything like that. I’m not sure how I would respond if that happened to me. Would I still believe that there’s a God? Continue reading