Lately I’ve been describing the lessons I learned from God while I was a young, frustrated, underachieving professional baseball player. The lessons He gave me were sacred. They were about focusing on Jesus. They were about making a vow that I would not live for myself. And they concerned the greatest lesson of all, which is also the greatest commandment of all:
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
Last time I told you about a day in 2006 when I read these words and had a conversation with God about them. God told me, “Learn to love your neighbor as yourself within baseball, and then promote that. That’s success, Jeremy. There’s your success.” I knew, right then, that I had the answer to one of life’s biggest mysteries. Continue reading
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
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
My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
Happy New Year! Last time, I promised to describe the meaning that the Book of Proverbs had for me in the 2012 postseason.
During the playoffs, there were a lot of guys playing through injuries, including me. We were all tired. And we had to use everybody in the playoffs this year. There was a new guy every day. And that was huge for us, for the whole team. There was a lot of weight on everybody’s shoulders. We didn’t rely on just one guy to carry us. We relied on everybody.
I relied a lot on knowing and hearing God. Continue reading
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!
My postseason story in 2010 was about praying for forgiveness and praying judgments off of my teammates. My 2012 postseason story was quite different. Now God was elevating me. He was allowing me to pitch the best I’ve ever pitched in my career. My manager, Bruce Bochy, kept putting me into games in key situations, and I kept executing in those situations.
And the thumb on my pitching hand was sprained! It hurt so much! And yet, when I needed it to, the pain went away. I know adrenaline was a factor. I know there are a lot of different ways that doctors can explain what happened with my thumb. But I truly believe that God grabbed my thumb and took the pain away, right when I needed Him to. Continue reading
This year’s postseason was a little different for me than the 2010 postseason. In 2010, I wasn’t as much a part of the postseason as I was this year. In 2010, I was definitely part of one big game, one of the biggest games of my career. It was really cool to be such a big part of that one situation and that one game. But this time around, I was in almost every game, pitching in very big situations. It felt like I was always there, in the seventh and eighth innings, with the game on the line.
In Game 5 of the Division Series in Cincinnati, I pitched a scoreless seventh and got us out of a jam. I walked up into the dugout because I was going back out for the eighth inning. A line drive came right at me into the dugout. Did you see it? I fell down the dugout steps avoiding the ball, and sprained the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) of my thumb. It was a pretty good sprain. I couldn’t throw a curveball! I couldn’t even grip the ball the way I wanted to. Continue reading