One Of Those Crazy Ideas

I play in a sport where we try to get kids to want to be like us.  But I’ve seen some of us.  And I’m not proud of some of us.  I am not proud at all.  Please, kids, do not be like some of us.

Of course there are other athletes that are great role models.  They are the ones you point out, and you turn to your kids and say, “If you want to be like a pro athlete, be like him.”

It’s not always easy to know which is which.  It can be really tough.  Do I want a kid to be like me?  In some ways, yes!  But in other ways, you know, no!  We change.  We learn, we grow, we mature.  I mean, I’ve sure learned!  But I’d rather see kids learn differently than the way I did, because I’ve learned the hard way.  I’ve done things I’m really not proud of.  In Kansas City, I attacked my bench coach, and it was on television.  Can you imagine?  If that’s all anyone knows about me, then I’d say to a kid, “Don’t be like me.  Not like that.”

But it would be really fulfilling to think that kids would want to be like me because I try to love others the way the King of Kings has loved me.  I would love for more pro athletes to embrace the love angle, the humanitarian angle, the justice angle.

Professional athletes have the ability to make a lot of money, just because people want to be entertained.  And this creates an incredible opportunity.  Because we can make a lot of money, we can do a lot of good.  Here’s an idea: what if more ballplayers got involved in humanitarian issues?  You know what that would do?  It would involve the fans! Continue reading

More on My Calling

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We’re called to all kinds of different ministries. We’re the Body of Christ! Some of us are hands, some of us are feet, some of us are eyes, some of us are ears, some of us are His voice.

Some of us do studies on the problems of poverty and slavery, and others come up with programs or ministries to alleviate those problems. If no one conducted those studies or created those ministries, I wouldn’t have even heard of the problems of the poor.

There are a lot of people called to help and they don’t even know it yet. I didn’t know I was called until three years ago. Continue reading

The Joy That I Feel

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I’ve spent years studying and asking God how to reflect the love of Jesus. I would like to help create joy in the best way that I possibly, humanly, can. That’s the very most that I can do, but that’s the very least that Jesus does. He loves us so much more than even that.

If you read the Bible, it’s all about loving your neighbor.  It’s about helping those who do not have.  People think the Bible’s a bunch of made-up stories that make this life sound great.  But I think it’s Truth.  I think it all points to Jesus, and it all points to what he came for. Not only did he come to die on the cross for us and save us from our sin, but essentially He came to fulfill us.

And part of that fulfillment lies in helping the poor.  I really truly believe that Jesus left it up to us to help with these issues in the world, because essentially that’s what He came for.  He said, “I came to rescue. I came to take people out of bondage and create joy where there is no joy.”

God has given me an opportunity to create joy in an awesome way. He has given me the opportunity to help REACH out to suffering people, and give them every possible chance to experience joy. I’m trying to do my best, by creating environments of joy in places where people suffer. But even more than that, I’m trying to do my best by helping young people participate in that too.

To me, there’s no greater way to feel Jesus than by creating joy for others. And that’s why I feel good when I go to bed at night. I lay my head down on my pillow and I feel great. This is my “best life now” scenario. I don’t have suicidal thoughts, because I’m enjoying life so much.

You can do the same by partnering with me in REACH. You can go to bed saying, “I just helped someone get rescued from slavery today.” Or you can say, “I just helped a village of 1500 people get good drinking water.” You can say, “I just helped build an orphanage that will put shelter over kids’ heads and give them positive opportunities to learn and to be leaders.” Or you can say, “I just sent 200,000 meals to a village in Uganda and fed them for a year.” Whatever! There are so many opportunities, you know?

There are so many opportunities for us to create joy. Creating joy is reflecting the love of Jesus. And when you do it, and you know that you’ve done it, man, that’s just an awesome feeling. You’ll receive the love that He gives. You’ll feel it. Why? Because you’ve replicated it.

I love my God with all my heart, soul, and mind. Because I feel his smile on my life, I’ll do whatever it takes to reflect that on others. I want to feel that so much! And I can feel His smile when I do something good for somebody. I can feel His love reflected back to me. That’s heaven. That’s the joy that I feel.

Next week I’ll tell you about the nuts and bolts of the REACH program. See you Tuesday.

Bags of Gold

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Again, [the kingdom of heaven] will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14-18)

Have you read this parable? When the master returned he generously rewarded the two servants who doubled their bags of gold. But it wasn’t a happy ending for the one that buried his gold in the ground. The master said, “You have done evil! I’m taking your one bag of gold and I’m going to give it to the guy with ten bags, because he’s multiplied his giftings.”

The very next thing Jesus talks about here is the sheep and the goats. He talks about those who saw Him hungry and fed Him or saw Him naked and gave Him clothes to wear. So to me, the parables of the bags of gold and the sheep and goats go hand in hand. We should invest the gold we’ve been given in order to feed Jesus and give Him clothes. The servants who invested the gold are the sheep and the one who buried his gold is the goat.

There’s a reason why we need to strive to make a quality investment with our life! Continue reading