A Movement to Bring Joy to the World

In April 2012, I published my first book, To Stir a Movement. It describes my coming of age as a baseball player, and as a man. It explains my passion for loving my neighbor as myself.

You might ask, what movement? Who is your neighbor? How do you show your love?

The movement I have in mind begins with awareness. It begins with the awareness that people all over the world, our neighbors and God’s children, are suffering. It’s the awareness that we are called to help.

This is awareness that goes much further than just knowing the world has problems. We all know the world has problems. I’m talking about a much deeper awareness. It it a profound awareness that you can help. You can make the world so much better.

How? Well, you can take part in ending the hunger crisis. Or you can play a role in ending the water crisis. You know what? You can help provide homes and families for orphans. You can even help end human trafficking, and restore the lives of its survivors. It’s true! You can do this!

And when you do, you’ll discover an awareness that goes deeper than anything you imagined. An awareness deeper than knowing. Deeper than doing. You’ll discover the awareness of the joy that you just created in someone else’s life!

You see, when you help someone, you give them joy. They feel joy because of you. Because you helped them. That joy is nothing less than the love of Jesus. That’s the awareness I’m talking about!

In 2010, two young women went to Uganda on my behalf to help build a well in a village in the south. Generation Alive, the youth organization I founded, built this well in partnership with Living Water International, a water charity headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Those two young women sent me pictures. I got to see what happened the day they busted the well. As clean water poured out, the kids were standing under it. They were washing themselves in it. This was clean water and they were rejoicing. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Now 90% of the diseases in their village are history. All it took was good, clean drinking water.

Here’s a video of the dedication of the well:

Look at the faces of those kids! Look at the joy that’s on their faces! That’s just for water! It’s the same water that’s in my toilet bowl, and these kids are actually rejoicing in it. This is so awesome! We flush our toilets every day and we don’t even think twice! Right? When do you flush your toilet and then rejoice over the water that’s in the bowl?

If I wanted to, I could go to a restaurant and say, “I don’t like this water, I’d like a different kind. Bring me the one in the blue bottle.” It’s that easy for us. We can actually choose our drinking water based on brand, or flavor, or bubbles. In Uganda, we’re talking about kids that are rejoicing because finally, they have water that simply isn’t dirty. Finally, their water won’t make them sick.

When those two young women from Generation Alive walked through the village, people rejoiced just to see them. The kids latched onto their legs and held their hands. They danced and sang for them, and they said, “We thank you so much! You’re a part of our lives now!” All we did was help them, but it earned us an invitation to speak into their lives. My girls got to sit with them. They got to talk with them. They just got to love on them.

That’s the cup of love. It is fabulous. It’s the love of Jesus!

And that’s what stirs this movement. It’s the love of Jesus. Give it a shot! As soon as you help create joy in someone, you’ll know. You’ll know by the way it fulfills you. You’ll know by the way that your spiritual hunger gets fed. You’ll find out that there’s something inside of you that craves Jesus.

Those who have Him want more of Him. You know why? Because He’s awesome.

See you Friday.

The Holiness of Success

Sometimes people wonder what keeps me focused on social justice. They ask me, “What makes you do all this for other people?” Well, I do it because I care about other people. I love them, and I love the God that created them. It’s the same God that created me. He saved my life! So I want to help save others.

I’m focused on success for the same reason. I focus on success because I want to achieve something, not only for myself, but for those who do not have. I’m talking about those who do not have food, or clean water, or a mom and dad to love them, or even basic freedom.

I’d love to see that same approach to success take root in the world on a global scale. Continue reading

The Antidote to Misery

A lot of baseball players are millionaires, but even so, we can experience misery. We can buy two, or three, or four cars. We can buy boats. We can buy houses. But we figure out pretty quick that money doesn’t make things joyful. And if you don’t know how to use it, it can give you more headaches. Continue reading

Fulfilled by Work

Last time I suggested that working to earn money and achieve our goals is important, but that we as human beings need something more. Let me put that into perspective. Americans aren’t the only people to work hard, but we are among the few who are able to achieve success from our hard work. In some countries, people never make more than two or three dollars a day, no matter how hard they work. They never work their way out of poverty because they literally can’t. There’s just no way to do it.

There are so many people out there in the world who work just as hard as we do and will never, ever, ever, be able to make more than two or three dollars a day, unless something changes. You can help. Continue reading

Why Do You Work?

Why do you work? If you work because you need a paycheck, or because you want to make tons of money, I understand.

And maybe you also work because you’ve set goals. You have said, “I want to achieve something great. At my job, greatness comes with a raise or a promotion, so that’s my goal.” You work hard for your goals. I really do understand that.

Suppose I say to someone, “You have to work hard if you want to become the president of your company.” And they say, “Yeah, I want to do that.”

Then I would ask, “Okay, why?’ Continue reading

To Stir A Movement

The movement I have in mind begins with awareness.  It begins with the awareness that people all over the world, our neighbors and God’s children, are suffering, and we are called to help.

The awareness I’m talking about goes much further than knowing the world has problems.  I’m talking about awareness that you can help alleviate people’s suffering and pain.  You can take part in ending the hunger crisis, or the water crisis.  You can help free slaves and provide homes and families for orphans.

This awareness reaches even deeper than doing something to help. It goes deeper than donating or volunteering.  Continue reading

Satisfy Your Soul

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We did not choose to be born in America. We could have been born in Uganda or Haiti. Imagine that! I respect that I was born in America.

But we weren’t born here because we’re lucky. We were born here because we are blessed.

We are blessed to be born in a country where we have freedom and prosperity. We are blessed to have the opportunities that freedom and prosperity make possible. I know some people think we’re not prosperous. We hear a lot of concern about the economic crisis. But unless you’re making less than four dollars a day, you’re making more than 90% of people in the world. Continue reading