Let’s Set the Captives Free!

Those of us who are not enslaved are so happy to hear about Jesus, who came to set the captives free.  Just imagine how much sweeter His message will sound to the millions who are literally, physically enslaved the world over!

Churches are increasingly participating in the fight against human trafficking, and they should be. Jesus came to set the captives free, so that’s what the church should be doing. Jesus asked people what they needed and then met those needs. That’s what the church should be doing. Our love comes from Jesus, who died so the slaves could be free.

I’m Happy!

As I’ve described, my first few years as a professional athlete were filled with struggle. I wasn’t very happy. Now I’m so happy with my job! I’m happy because I do it with an attitude of loving my neighbor as myself. I get to play baseball with the understanding that I’m playing to serve God and my neighbor, and there is freedom in that.

After I first met Dave Batstone and joined up with the Not For Sale Campaign, we started brainstorming ideas to connect baseball and modern abolition.

Continue reading

Your Neighbor is Hungry!

When I first started learning about the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself mentality, my spirit grabbed it. I mean, I was really excited. I said, “This is it!”

But then when God started teaching me about poverty, I really started digging. I’ve been researching poverty ever since. Poverty is a whole world of interconnected causes and consequences. The more I learned, the more I understood poverty’s complications, and the more I understood how people get trapped in it. And I could feel myself shifting.

I used to look at a homeless guy and say, “Man, you know what, how about you just go get a job. Shave, and go get a job at McDonald’s. It’s not that hard.” That’s how I used to look at it. I had no compassion. Continue reading

Know Your Neighbor’s Needs

The first great commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. The day I realized that these are not two commandments, but one single commandment, was a day of revelation for me. It took me a few years of searching to see it, but when this realization came home, then BAM! I thought I knew all I needed to know. I was so excited to get started. So I founded an organization called Generation Alive.

Initially, it was about training young people to lead, and to dream really big. That’s why I started Generation Alive. I said, “Okay, you know, I have to figure out some way to love my neighbor as myself. I want to love on young people. I want to tell them to dream really big.” So I got this huge idea to start a non-profit. I hired a guy to serve as Generation Alive’s director. We got into a couple of schools, and we talked about dreaming big. It seemed like it was going well, but nothing ever really caught on. Generation Alive was failing. Continue reading

A Gospel of Sustainment

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” John 4:13-15

Last time I said that Jesus Himself would work to distribute the One World Futbol, because it’s unpoppable. Why would I say that?

When you visit a poverty-stricken community, the first thing you notice is also the most obvious thing. They can’t afford anything. In many parts of the world, people have grown so poor that they really can’t even afford to eat. Their voices are silent.

How we can help them? Whatever we decide to do, the results need to be sustainable.

Jesus’ whole concept was sustainment. Continue reading

The Hole in Our Gospel

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Recently, a reader asked if I’ve read The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S. I have read the book, and in fact, it was the subject of my very first blog post!

Stearns’ basic point is that there would be a humongous hole in our Gospel if you pulled out all the verses where Jesus talked about justice, poverty, the poor, and helping the orphans and widows. Stearns also says that this is basically what Christians have done. Continue reading

You’d Be Amazed at How Much You Can Do

I definitely feel very blessed to be in this country and to have the resources that we have.  But we cannot take it for granted.  A lot of people in this country don’t really think about this, but it wasn’t our choice to be born here.  We got to be born here, and we should be thankful we were born in this country.

It wasn’t somebody else’s choice to be born in Uganda, where a baby’s mom has no breast milk because she doesn’t have the nutrients to create the breast milk.  In places like that, babies are born and immediately do not have, and it wasn’t their choice.  And that is why we have to help out.  We create peace in the world and love in the world when countries with the luxury of having, give.

I mean, to me, that is it.  You look at the early church.  Everybody sold all the extra things they had and shared the proceeds to make sure that everyone who didn’t have, got what they needed.  The richer Christian with two houses sold one house, so that the one with no house could have what they needed.  These people understood the concept of love.  They understood the concept of pure love, not fake love.  Not the kind of love where you say “I love you,” or “I love that group of people,” but you don’t do anything.  Sure they talked about love, but they gave. Continue reading