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.

Ask Me and I’ll Help You

Continuing this week with my reflections on prayer:

Prayer is a really important part of our work to end human trafficking.  We have access to God, and God knows the best way to succeed in ending slavery forever.  We can ask Him, and He’ll help us.  So we should ask.  Success will come so much sooner!

Tough Love

When you talk about love, a lot of people will say you’re soft. But love is what saves people. Loving them. If you ask me, that’s pretty strong stuff.

Think of a person who has a mental illness. Probably the best healing resource is just to love on them. They still need other sources of help, but just to love on that person instead of shunning him is going to help him. Maybe more than anything else.

What’s the response to a person that doesn’t have water? Love on them! Get them water. Everybody should have clean water. When you do that, you show them that you love them. The best way to show your love is to help provide this life-giving resource.

There are a lot of things that God shows me, things that are not good. Continue reading

Tough Love

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Love has become “feminized.” When you talk about love, a lot of people will say you’re soft. But love is what saves people. Loving them. If you ask me, that’s pretty strong stuff.

Think of a person who has a mental illness. Probably the best healing resource is just to love on them. They still need other sources of help, but just to love on that person instead of shunning him is going to help him. Maybe more than anything else.

What’s the response to a person that doesn’t have water? Love on them! Get them water. Everybody should have clean water. When you do that, you show them that you love them. The best way to show your love is to help provide this life-giving resource.

There are a lot of things that God shows me, things that are not good. Continue reading

Why I Play

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It was an honor to be interviewed by CNN about fighting human trafficking through Free2Play. It went on CNN International. It went global. Now people in other countries can see that ball players are involved in fighting human trafficking. When you’re able to reach millions of people with one interview, then you’re making a big dent. It’s not the local news!

It all started when CNN contacted Dave Batstone at Not For Sale to discuss human trafficking. He told them about Free2Play, and how we’re trying to get more athletes involved in enlisting people in the fight against human trafficking. Continue reading

Dare to Dream

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I have so much to be grateful for today. I’m a member of an awesome group of guys with awesome fans, and we’re going to the postseason!  One of the ways I can show my gratitude is to use this incredible moment to inspire you to dream the biggest dream you possibly can, and then work for it.

A really big part of our energy and success lies in our ability to dream.  There’s a great line in the movie Grey Owl starring Pierce Brosnan, where the Ojibwe elders tell Archie Grey Owl, “A man becomes what he dreams. You have dreamed well.”

When moms and dads at the ballpark ask me for advice, I always tell them to help their kids dream, and dream big.  That’s what I did as a kid.  I didn’t know if I could be a professional ballplayer, but I dreamed about it anyway.  I could dream any dream I liked!  Back then, I had no idea what a privilege that was.  I’ve learned it’s not the same for everyone. Continue reading

The Love of Jesus

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Last week I blogged about the awareness that lies at the heart of the movement I want to inspire. It’s the awareness of the love of Jesus.

Like everything else, this movement begins and ends with Jesus. It’s a movement that begins and ends with knowing Him and His love. It’s a movement that begins and ends with following Him, and realizing His mission. Do you want to know what God wants you to do? Look at what Jesus did. Period.

What He did while He was here was redeem people. He had a relationship with them.  He loved on them. And that’s why when He spoke people listened to Him. He’d earned the right to have a voice in their lives.

So what did He say? He said, “The opportunity is to love God. To love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And to love your neighbor as yourself.”  Two commandments, that’s it! Just love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love others as yourself. Continue reading

Discipling the Young Generation: Part 2

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When I speak about the problems of global injustice to high school classes or youth groups, I see awesome things happen. For one thing, the kids lock in. Especially the kids that you think would not be paying attention. When you’re talking about modern slavery, they just literally stare at you. They’re not causing a scene, they’re not talking, they’re not in the back giggling. Usually in a group of adolescents, most of them will pay attention for about 20 minutes. But after about 20 minutes they’re like, okay, what’s next? But you can speak for an hour about issues of injustice and human rights, and you can literally hear a pin drop. It’s amazing.

Some of the kids come up to me afterward asking, “What do we do?” They’re so ready to act, but it’s new to them, and they say, “I don’t know what to do!” But they figure out a way to get it done. I think this young generation is so intensely focused by this because I think they finally say, “Wait a minute! I do have a voice!” Continue reading

Discipling the Young Generation: Part 1

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One of my favorite movies is The Usual Suspects. Remember the part where Kevin Spacey says the greatest trick Satan ever pulled was to convince people he doesn’t exist? When you consider how few people understand that slavery is still going on, I think that’s what’s happened.

It’s so weird to me. I talk to people about slavery, and they say, that’s still out there? And I wonder, how do they not know? There’s more slavery now than when it was legal! Slavery is a billion dollar a year industry, and there are more than 18,000 slaves traded in the U.S. every year. Continue reading

How Does God Speak to You?

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God is very relational, so one of the ways He speaks to me is through friends. My friend Mike King runs a youth ministry in Kansas City called Youthfront. He also runs Feed the Hunger. We send food to Africa, and we’ve been sending food to Haiti. The meals that we send cost 15 or 20 cents, and young people raise the money and package the meals for shipment. So the ministry is youth-oriented, helping young people to be aware of global poverty issues.

That has been my heart’s pride, that young people, especially this new generation of people 14 or 15 years old to 26 years old and even older, are really coming to understand more about global poverty and slavery. Continue reading