Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! We are made holy and righteous by His grace!

Alaska, AnchorageEaster Lily and black background.For the next little while, I’m going to be blogging about grace. But you don’t have to wait until the end of the series to hear my conclusions. I’ll tell you right now! When you become a part of God’s kingdom, you are holy and righteous because God says you are. You are His precious sons and daughters because that’s who He says you are.

The Consummation of Love
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
1 John 4:17-19

Live in grace. Live in grace every day. People around you will smell the aroma of Christ coming from you. It’s the smell of peace and happiness, and that comes from knowing you are His. You are in Him and He is in you. That is your identity!

He made you that way because He loves you.

God loves you! So don’t be afraid. See you Thursday.

How Do You Evangelize?

How do you evangelize? I do it by trying to reflect the characteristics of God. When I’m around people, I do what I think He would do. I feel joy around them, I’m happy, and I encourage them. I love them! These are all the things that I think Jesus did when He walked the streets with us.

A lot of times when people get around athletes, they think we have big heads, so they don’t try to talk to us. And sometimes we can’t talk to them. We have to focus on doing our jobs! But if I don’t have anything to do, I try to say hi to people in the ballpark. I’m especially focused on the kids. I want them to know that we are human beings like them. I shake their hands and encourage them. I give them high fives. I let them know that I’m real, and I make sure they know that I hope the best for them. Sometimes parents ask if I have any advice, and I tell them to let their children dream. I think they should all dream really, really big.

I try to reflect Christ in a way that’s positive. I’m not necessarily out there telling people that they need to accept Jesus as their savior. When you’re representing a sports team, it’s not really appropriate to do that. Since I don’t always talk about God, I want to make sure that I exemplify the characteristics of Christ as much as possible. That way, people might follow me into other circles, where I do talk about God. Then we can have a dialogue.

When I talk to kids at community functions, I try to do the same thing. For example, I work with kids at a homeless youth shelter, and all I want to do is love on them. So I try as hard as I can to make sure that the characteristics of God positively ooze from me. I try to have the aroma of Christ 2 Corinthians 2:15. Through the aroma that I put off, I want these kids to feel good about who they are.

And I want them to come ask me what makes me different. If they do, then I tell them that I’m trying to reflect the love that I’ve been given. That’s the love of Jesus, my Savior.

He died for me, and He gives me pure joy. I try to give that joy to them. I try to give that joy to you!

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

Why Did You Feed Me?

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

I would like to encourage you to think about your purpose in life. It took me a few years to figure out mine. Perhaps I can save you some time! After a lot of frustration and failure, and many conversations with God, I learned that my purpose for being on earth is to love my neighbor as myself. This is a mentality that will change your entire life. Continue reading

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

To be a peacemaker is to know when to bring peace.

Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker. That’s what He came for. Obviously He had zeal and passion. In the marketplace outside the Temple, He flipped tables and made whips out of rope. There wasn’t a lot of peace when He was doing that! That was chaos! But that was a different situation.

Jesus created peace in most situations. Where there was chaos, He created peace. Even when there was chaos in nature, He created peace. One night the disciples were out in the boat when a storm came up. The boat was flooded and they were about to drown. Continue reading

Peace Where There Is No Peace

To be a peacemaker is to know when to bring peace.

Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker. That’s what He came for. Obviously He had zeal and passion. In the marketplace outside the Temple, He flipped tables and made whips out of rope. There wasn’t a lot of peace when He was doing that! That was chaos! But that was a different situation.

In most of the situations that Jesus walked into, where there was chaos, He created peace. Even when there was chaos in nature, He created peace. One night the disciples were out in the boat when a storm came up. The boat was flooded and they were about to drown. And Jesus got up and calmed the winds. He calmed the storm and He calmed the waves. That’s what He did. His aroma was peace.

Believers need to make sure that we bring peace with us wherever we go. Continue reading

A Stench in the Air

I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that I’m justified by faith. But I go even one step further. I try to live as Jesus would live. I try to walk as Jesus would walk. I don’t do it to perfection like He did. I fail all the time. But I try. The disciples showed us how to live. When you don’t live the lifestyle of Jesus, when you don’t show your faith through your works, then that’s not Christianity.

I know that’s a very strong view, but I believe it, man. Our view of Christianity has been tainted. So many people are angry at Christians because of all the different things Christians have done, whether it’s rioting, or being haters of homosexuality.

Think of that Westboro Baptist Church, the wackos from Topeka. They go around protesting at military funerals, and they think that’s the life of Jesus? That’s not the life of Jesus. I don’t even want to be labeled in the same group as them. If they’re calling themselves Christians, then I’m not one. Continue reading