Sunday, August 31, 2008

Devout Heisman winner declines spot in 'Playboy' lineup

By Tim Murphy, Religion News Service

One year after winning college football's highest honor, University of Florida star Tim Tebow was pulled from consideration for Playboy's pre-season All-American team because the magazine conflicts with his Christian beliefs, a school official confirmed.
Tebow, who last year became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, comes from a family of missionaries and is a devout Baptist. Assistant Sports Information Director Zack Higbee said he chose not to nominate his quarterback for the Playboy spread based on what he knew about Tebow's spirituality.

"I've been working with Tim since his first day here and I know his priorities and his family," Higbee said. "He has that trust in me to make the decision."

As a teenager, the home-schooled Tebow made annual trips to the Philippines, where his father, a minister, runs an orphanage. This year, he went on separate missions to the Philippines, Croatia, and Thailand.

Read the entire article in USA Today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ELAINE BREEDEN - Olympic Swimmer

Born: Nov. 18, 1988
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
College: Stanford University

Event:•100m and 200m Butterfly

100m Butterfly: 58.03
200m Butterfly: 2:06.75

Event Career Highlights:
USA Swimming National Champion – 100m and 200m Butterfly (2005)
200m Butterfly NCAA Champion (2007) – NCAA Record
1st Place, U.S. Swimming Trials in 200m Butterfly (2008)

“My faith has grown so much through my involvement in swimming. God is continually teaching me to rely on Him for everything and proving that if I put His Kingdom first, everything else will fall into place. My goal in swimming is to use the gift He has given me to build relationships and minister to teammates.”

Ryan Hall, Olympic Runner

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2009 All-Star MVP, JD Drew

A quote from JD Drew in Sports Spectrum Magazine:
"I'm just a really simple guy. I come from a small town and a small family. Carrying myself in a Christ-like way is something that's very important in my life. The plan of salvation is so simple, but so many people miss it because they think they can work their way to heaven. That's what I did. I abided by the law and did the things it said. But the simplest thing to do is just to ask God to forgive you and accept His Son [Jesus Christ] as your Savior and believe it with your heart. That's something I didn't do until I was 16."

Josh Hamilton's Story, in his own words

There are many articles about Josh's story. This is the best I've seen. It's the story told by Josh himself, and it is a story of hope for the hopeless.

I'm proud to serve the God of second chances.

"I'm Proof that hope is never Lost"
by Josh Hamilton (ESPN the magazine)

Here's a bonus clip. Prior to being selected to the all-star team, Josh had a dream about home run derby. The dream wasn't about hitting 28 HRs in one round, it was about getting to share Christ on a huge public stage. Here is a little clip where Josh talks about the dream with Harold Reynolds.

Harold with Josh Hamilton on

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Josh Hamilton's Story on Rome

If you don't know the story, here is a clip from Jim Rome.

Josh Hamilton's Home Run Derby

I've always said what makes a great story is great adversity. America loves stories like Josh's, and last night everyone that watched home run derby was introduced to this great American Story. The greatest thing about what Josh is doing is his humility and honesty throughout all of the attention. He's always giving God the glory.

Josh belted 28 home runs in his first round last night hitting against his 71 year old summer league coach from high school.

As balls disappeared into the New York night last night, heads were turned not only from the power of his swing, but from the power of God in his amazing story.

Well before Yankee stadium was announced to play host to the 2008 All-Star game, Josh said he had a dream about the home run derby. He said, in his dream he didn't remember hitting the balls over the fence, he just remembered having the opportunity to tell everyone about what God had done in his life.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Camp completed

God is good. He was faithful to provide us with an incredible experience up at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

415 campers enrolled. Over 100 coaches and counselors volunteered. The weather was perfect. The food was...mediocre, but the experience was memorable.

The truth from God's word was shared and kids responded to the gospel. It was good. Let's pray for the kids that have expressed a desire to submit their lives to God's plan.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The pride, The athlete & The bully

In a book called Season of Life a high school football coach explains what it means to "be a man" in today's society. He answers the question, what makes someone masculine? He says when we are young, the boys that are good at sports are esteemed as "masculine." Then as we become older, the young men who draw the most attention from the ladies are seen as the most "masculine." As we become older men, masculinity is defined by how much money we are worth.

Athletes, in my observations both as an athlete and as a high school teacher, are for the most part proud, arrogant, and self-centered. (generally speaking. There are exceptions, of course) They've got it all! Right? Athletic ability and maybe some attention from the opposite sex. That's "being a man." That's "masculine." Our culture is building in our athletes the very thing that God despises, PRIDE. I cannot tell you how much the word PRIDE is used in athletics. The word is in every slogan, chant, and speech. It is printed on handouts and painted on locker room walls.

The result: This pride reveals itself in the way of bullying or belittling those they perceive as "weaker" or "less masculine."

Never have I been more disgusted with pride, then in the PE locker rooms at my high school where I taught. I witnessed so many of my favorite students suffer from the belittling comments and the humiliating treatment that came from some of our athletes. It broke my heart.

Christian athlete, you are not acting like one of His sheep when you conduct yourself with pride. What a great opportunity to be different, to be salty. Stick up for the bullied, invite in the outsiders, serve others, and humble yourself. Serve God by acting like Jesus, not acting like a jock.

1Cr 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

1Cr 8:12
But when you thus
sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

Mat 25:40 Jesus said:
"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Read David's prayer to God concerning the proud in Psa 10:1 - 18

I welcome other scripture that applies. Post a comment if one comes to mind!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Josh Hamilton: The real reason for his success

A little background info on Josh's story if you are unfamiliar: In 1999, Josh (right out of high school) was the first overall pick in the MLBaseball amateur draft. Two years later, injury and an addiction to drugs had him out of baseball, separated from his family, and living with his grandmother. While using drugs at his grandmother's house, Josh placed his faith in Jesus. A few years since, Josh is probably the brightest star in baseball right now, he's back with his wife and kids, he has beat his addiction to drugs, and he's crediting God for it all every time someone asks about his incredible comeback.

It really is a great story.

Let me first say I love to watch Josh play, and I root for him in the box scores every day I get a chance to check out some scores. I think he is genuine, and I know God is using him for the Kingdom. That being said...

Be careful with confusing his conversion for the real reason Josh is a superstar in the big leagues right now. What is the real reason he's so dang good? Because he's extremely talented. I've heard people say that going into the draft as a high school athlete, Josh had more talent then any scout had seen since Alex Rodriguez.

Common sense would tell us that even someone with this kind of talent would struggle to have success while injured and/or strung out on drugs. Common sense would also tell us that if this player got cleaned up and healthy, he'd probably be pretty stinking good. That is what has happened. Josh did not receive unbelievable baseball abilities the moment he prayed to Jesus.

Should God receive the credit? Absolutely! God gave him great athletic abilities, put him in an environment where his talent was nurtured, and finally God gave Josh victory over the things that were disabling him (drugs & injuries).

The reason for this post is not to diminish the Glory of God in what Josh is doing, but to say, "be careful" to those who've become infatuated with this Christian man's success instead of his faith.

Be careful that you don't start to believe that a true faith in Jesus will make you hit home runs, hit for average, make sick plays in the outfield, and dominate pitchers. God doesn't change your genes when you place your faith in Him. If you were 5 foot nothing before Jesus, you'll probably still be 5 foot nothing once you've met the Savior.

God can do all things, I got it, but remember that He is carrying out His will for us and not granting us our wishes like a genie in a lamp. God's will for your life may include success in business, success in sports, or popularity, but it also may involve cancer, poverty, or persecution. In fact Paul says we should expect to suffer as Christians.

I think especially in sports, people are open to hearing about God because they are looking for an edge. They want good fortune, good luck, and God's favor on the field. It doesn't work that way.

You may be like Job, and have everything taken away from you for the purpose of God proving Himself to be "all you need." You may be like Solomon, and have all the riches and power imaginable for the purpose of God revealing that all of this "stuff" is vanity and unable to satisfy us apart from God. Either way, God is all you need.

God is at work in Josh Hamilton, and He has chosen to use baseball success to bring God glory. God is at work in many others that are bringing God glory by persevering through cancer, depression, learning disabilities, persecution, bullies, slumps, losing seasons, abuse, broken homes, and poverty.

Faith in Jesus is acknowledging that He is all you need. Faith in Jesus is not a rabbit's foot that will bring you good luck.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

2 Tim 3:1-5: Avoid such people

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

Is this you? Are these the "Christians" that you are comparing yourself to.

Unfortunately it is the case almost everywhere that there are people calling themselves Christians who's lives are in opposition to what Jesus taught. It is dangerous to compare yourselves to these impostors and let yourself be influenced by their ungodliness.

You might think...
  • it's OK to watch this movie or go to this web site because "so-and-so" does it and he's a Christian.
  • It's OK to treat people this way because "they" do it, and they're Christians.
  • It's OK to talk trash on the football field and act arrogant because my "friends from church" do it.
  • It's OK to talk back to my parents or coach because most of my "church friends" do.

Hopefully you can see the danger in surrounding yourself with such people. Paul was warning Timothy of those in the church that lived a double-life. He told Tim to avoid these people.

In 2Ti 3:13-14, Paul goes on to tell Timothy, "while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed,"

Over time it will become clear the impostors around you are standing on sinking sand as their lives go from bad to worse. Make sure you are not being deceived by them or with them. As Paul says continue in what you have learned, and not in what you have witnessed in these impostors.

Compare yourself to Jesus, follow Jesus, and follow those that are truly following Him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Baseball Camp - Flagstaff, AZ

June 29th-July 2nd
Location: NAU for housing and dining, Flagstaff High School baseball field
Transportation: Included from Phoenix or Tucson
What you get: 6 practices over 4 days, all meals, dorm rooms, t-shirt, FCA Bible, and FCA Lanyard
Speaker: Darren Carrington, current pastor at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Darren is a former NFL safety and will be sharing a message of hope and inspiration in our 3 evening programs.

Baseball Staff:

Bill Berger, Head clinician: Coach Berger was an All-American 2b for ASU in 1972. He was drafted and signed with the California Angels. Bill coached high school baseball in the Arizona for 26 years at Coronado, Saguaro, and Desert Mountain. Coach Berger was inducted into the Scottsdale Sports Hall-of-Fame for his excellence on the baseball field as a player and coach.

Doug Jones, Pitching coach: former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who had a 16-year career from 1982, 1986-2000. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, and the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs . His 303 career saves ranked 12th in major league history upon his retirement, and his 846 career appearances ranked 21st. He held the Indians' all-time record for saves with 129 until Bob Wickman broke it in 2006. A changeup specialist. He was elected to the American League All-Star team 3 times (1988, 1989 and 1990) and to the National League All-Star team twice (1992 and 1994).

George Arias, Infield/Hitting coach: Arias was drafted by the California Angels in the seventh round of the 1993 draft after graduating from the University of Arizona. He made his Major League debut in 1996. Coach Arias was a power-hitting infielder that had success at the college level, the major leagues, and in Japan.

Clay Klavitter, Catching/Hitting coach: Clay is currently the head varsity baseball coach at Cortez High School. Clay brings a wealth of knowledge of hitting and catching to our camp and we are excited to benefit from His passion for coaching baseball and His passion for Christ. Clay was drafted twice out of Glendale Community College and signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1990.

Huddle Leaders are college baseball players that will coach on the field and lead small group discussions off the field. Each camper will be assigned a huddle group made up of 10 campers and a leader.

Cost of Camp: FCA is a non-profit organization who's camps are run by volunteers. All of our coaches and huddle leaders are in Flagstaff for the purpose of serving the kids. FCA does not pay the camp staff, but does pay for the expenses of each coach and his family to come up and stay with us at NAU. Between the cost of transportation, meals, rooms, coaches, families, speakers, guests, t-shirts, Bibles, and the use of NAU's facilities the cost is $395.

Scholarship: Partial scholarships are available to athletes that need assistance. Don't let money be the reason that you don't attend this camp!

Information: or contact Brian at

Legacy Builders- for coaches

I am interested in getting a study going in the east valley or Phoenix. If you are a coach and are interested, please contact me at

If you are in AZ and would like to host a coaches' clinic for your league or school, FCA would love to help put something together. Contact me at

I've seen the fruit of this ministry in AZ and I would encourage all coaches to find a study in your area. Got to the Coaches' Ministry Website

Friday, June 6, 2008

Be Kind

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Eph. 4:32

"And the Lord's servant* must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone," 2 Tim. 2:24

A reminder to be kind to others today. your parents. your teammates. your coaches. the other team. the officials (umpires, ref, judges, etc.) strangers

Some simple ideas: Smile, open doors for them, say thank you, compliment them, listen. Say hi to a stanger today with a smile on your face.

Even those that are mean, frustrated with you, rude, confrontational, impatient, and/or disrespectful?

Yes. especially those. Prov. 15:1 "a soft answer turns away wrath"

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Selflessness: putting down your thing and picking up His thing.

Ask yourself what God wants you to pick up. What do you need to put down in order to pick it up?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Clay Dyer, pro bass fisherman

At the end of this great piece, Clay says something profound. The man who was born with no legs and no arms says that whatever he's doing, whether it be eating or anything else, if he knows people are watching him, he wants them to be thinking, "I want what that guy's got."

I don't know if Clay is a believer in Jesus Christ, but that comment sums up what a Christian's life should be about.

My pastor preached a sermon the other day on being content with the circumstances that God has placed you in. He said if we want to share our faith with those around us, we should start by living content with where God has us. People should look at our reactions to normal daily life, see how we are satisfied and content, and think, "I want what that guy's got." From this point on, evangelism is easy. It's giving the answer to..."what that guy's got" that is so appealing.

Athlete, your slump, your bad game, or your bad play can be an opportunity to "be different." When others panic, worry, frustrate, or quit, you will shake it off and continue to compete. Maybe people will think to themselves, "I want what that guy's got."

Josh Hamilton and wife to hold Q&A session

Outfielder to discuss recovery with fans after Sunday's game
By T.R. Sullivan /

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton and his wife, Katie, and Baseball Chapel representative John Dee Spicer will be speaking with fans and answering questions after Sunday's game with the Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. [read more]

Friday, May 30, 2008

AZ FCA Summer Sports Camp

The Flagstaff camp is coming soon!
June 29th - July 2nd.

This truly is an experience you will never forget. Every day, it seems I have a parent or player tell me about the life-change that occurred at FCA camp.

Speaker: Darren Carrington, played 8 years in NFL and in 2 Super Bowls. Currently, the high school pastor at the Rock Church in San Diego, CA. Awesome gift to connect with young kids, we are blessed to have him!

Boys-Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Wrestling.
Girls-Basketball, Volleyball, and Softball.

Staff Includes:
Vic Shealy, UNLV Football coach
Ray Perkins, Former NFL
Russ Pennel, U of A Men's Basketball (penciled in)
George Arias, Former MLB Infielder
Doug Jones, Former MLB Pitcher
John Petty, Cal. Baptist head wrestling coach
R.C. LaHaye, Grand Canyon Univ. head wrestling coach
Dan Payne, former Northern Arizona Univ. head wrestling coach
Trent May, Grand Canyon Univ. head women's basketball coach
Jill Mahoney, Grand Canyon Univ. women's basketball coach
Mark Lumley, Baylor Univ. softball coach

Plus college athletes: ASU, UofA, NAU, Cal Baptist, Grand Canyon
Plus great high school coaches from around Arizona.

See what you get:
6 on-field practice sessions over 4 days
3 nights stay in NAU dorms
3 evening programs
Panel Discussions
Buzz groups
Huddle groups (lead by college athlete)
All meals included at dining hall
Transportation from Tucson and Phoenix provided
FCA Bible
Camp T-shirt
New relationships
Unforgettable experience!

Students Ages:
7th graders through seniors in High School

Scholarships Available:
Don't let money get in the way of you going to camp. Applications are available for special cases of need for financial assistance. Cost of camp is $395

See more about this camp:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lightchaser Photography

"From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God." Romans 1:20 NLT

Do you ever doubt God's existence? Sometimes you need to just stop and look at the creation that surrounds you and know that there is the creator and that He is... amazing...powerful...creative...organized...beautiful...brilliant...wonderful...

Be blessed by Rick Furmanek's Light Chaser Photography. He captures God's creation in a way that makes me love God more, to put it simply.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clean it up!

"Clean it up!" My coach used to yell this at us when we were playing a little too relaxed. It was his way of reminding us that we were sloppy, and our little mishaps needed to be "cleaned up." Our focus would get off and therefore we would not be sharp. We would miss balls that we shouldn't, we would make mental errors, and we would just get sloppy. Every team experiences this.

Christian, God's Word calls you to clean up your life, to stay focused on Him, to stay sharp so you don't slip. Evaluate your life to see if your decisions and behaviors reflect a faith in God.

Be careful, though. Some, who don't understand the teachings of the Bible think that God requires us to clean up our lives before we can come to Him. You hear people say things like, "Oh I can't go to church, they'll kick me out of there" or "I've got some issues to take care of first."

1 Timothy 1:15 says, "Christ came to save sinners..."

Christ did not come to die for those who were clean. He came for those who were unclean, and those who recognized that no matter how hard they tried, they could not clean themselves up. In fact, if you read the Gospels (Mat., Mark, Luke, and John) you will find that the people Jesus had the most conflict with were those who thought themselves to be clean (The religious leaders). The truth is that we have all sinned. (Romans 3:23) and that we are all in need of Christ's cleansing.

The encouraging thing is God wants to clean us up. Our responsibility is to respond to Him by believing. With believing, or faith, comes salvation."Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life." John 6:47

Don't be mistaken, though "Christian." There is a false teaching out there which has been named "easy believism." Easy believism is where people say they believe, but there is no evidence in there life that they truly believe. If you truly believe that Jesus is God (who He said He was) there would be a dramatic change in your life. Your faith would be evident by the way you live your life.

God's Word does call us to "Clean it up!" The good news is, He gives us the power to turn away from unrighteousness (sin) once we believe and surrender our lives to Him.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I just listened to Pres. Bush's speech at Arlington Cemetery. He said something that I think is good for us to reflect upon. This isn't an exact quote, but I believe it is close. He said something along the lines of...

The cost of freedom is being purchased with the lives of those that are living for a cause greater than themselves.

This is God's definition of love, laying down your life for another. Today we remember those Americans that have truly loved our country. I am thankful for those men and women that have put their lives on the line to serve our country.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us,"
1 John 3:16

We are commanded to love one another as Christ loved us. How did He love us? He laid down His life. We should daily lay down our lives for others. This doesn't always mean literally dying a physical death for others. Putting your interests aside, literally sacrificing your wants, your needs, your pride, and your will for the needs, wants, and interests of others.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

Friday, May 23, 2008

Arguing your faith

Faithful men and women, I can remember many times in my life when my faith was the center of an argument with one of my unbelieving friends. I look back at some of those disputes and cringe.

If you are living out your faith, discussions with your friends will happen. These discussions are truly great, and are what we pray for, but also have the potential to be explosive and become argumentative. I encourage you to be gentle. Read 2 Timothy 2.

in 2 Tim 2:14 Paul encourages Timothy to remind Christians "not to fight about words; this is in no way profitable and leads to the ruin of the hearers."

Again in v. 16 he continues with... "shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness."

v. 23 "But reject the foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. v24 The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness." (ESV: "in humility correcting those who are in opposition")

I love that he says "instructing" "correcting" and "teaching" with "gentleness" and telling them not to "fight," use "idle babblings," or "foolish and ignorant disputes"

It is good that you have passion about defending your faith. But consider this, your friends will not "come to their senses" through a heated argument.

2 Tim 2:25 "if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, v. 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil,"

If they are convinced, it will be because God convinces their heart. You nee to trust Him. When those conversations come up about Jesus, instruct your friends out of humility and gentleness, don't get caught up in things that don't matter. Bring it back to the gospel. If they get upset, be patient.

Carry on Christian.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pujols hurts Padres

I saw a kind of "genuine moment" the other night when Pujols hit a line drive off the the face of Padres pitcher, Chris Young. Albert almost immediately joins Padres first baseman, Adrian Gonzales off to the side to pray right there in the infield.

The camera then takes some close up shots of concerned players. I thought it was interesting that they focused on Josh Bard (believer), Albert Pujols (believer), and Tony Clark in the dugout (believer). I swear the camera went back and forth between these three for about six or seven shots. Then, manager Buddy Black calls for some help escorting Chris off the field and Tony Clark is the one to jump out there and help his teammate.

Later that inning, Albert slides home on a play at the plate and takes out Josh Bard's left leg. What in the world is going on?

Chris Young fractured a nasal bone and Josh was put on the 15 day disabled list for a high ankle sprain. Things definitely could have been worse.

Andy Pettitte: Putting His Faith in Telling the Truth

He said he volunteered that his father had supplied H.G.H., even though Pettitte had withheld that from the Mitchell investigators. He and his wife had prayed about it, and came up with Romans 13:1-5, in which Paul spoke about a Christian’s relationship to civil government: “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” the entire article in the New York Times

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mark 10:45

In Mark 10:45 Jesus said...

"for even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve."

In Mat 25:31-46 Jesus said...

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’


I found a blog that was interesting to sift through. The blog lists Christian celebrities and professional athletes. It is called Jesus Christ Superstars.

It is hard not to lift these professional athletes to a high level of faith just because we want to believe that our hero on the field can be our hero in the faith. I think as Christian athletes we want so badly to find that perfect stud athlete with a solid testimony, so we can show our teammates that it is cool to be a Christian. You must be careful. This is definitely something I'm learning right now writing this blog and pointing to so many different athletes who profess to be believers. I ask myself what if this dude isn't for real, and I'm promoting him or her as a "hero in the faith."

Christian athlete, your biggest hero should be Jesus. There will be many people in your life that will bless you, encourage you in the faith, and inspire you, and I don't think it is wrong to have a level of admiration and respect for them. Christian, don't be quick to claim a hero in your sport because of his or her wwjd bracelet or because they thanked Jesus after sinking the game winning 3 pointer. Also, don't forget that they are still men and women who will struggle with sin. Don't let your faith be devastated when they do fall in the public eye. Pray for those Christians that are in the spotlight, that their testimony would be strong, and their lives would be a witness to the greatness of our King.

One more IMPORTANT point, God is not dependant on stud Christian athletes to make Christianity look cool and therefor draw the lost to the Lord. God is the biggest and coolest stud you will find. If your friends see Jesus, that's enough. Pray that your friends would see a true picture of who Jesus is. Pray that God would let them see how amazing and how different He is than everything else in our life. He is the one hero that won't disappoint.

Sharing the Victory Radio

I've added podcasts to the bottom of the blog. Check it out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Did you know?

Jackie Robinson is a hero. I wish I could have seen him play in person.

Did you know that Branch Rickey, the owner that broke the color barrier by signing Jackie, was also one of the original founders of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes back in 1954?

An excerpt from an article in Gale, CENGAGE learning

Before he decided on Robinson, Rickey, a devout Christian, and president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had searched nationwide for the ideal African American man, one talented enough to play on major league teams and well-enough adjusted within himself to withstand the attacks sure to come in the racially prejudiced setting. Rickey had scouted Robinson with the Monarchs and was impressed enough to meet with him for a personal assessment.

Rickey interrogated Robinson extensively for three hours on August 28, 1945. In a dramatization of hotel, restaurant, and game situations, he glared at Robinson, shouting demeaning words and phrases while observing his reactions. At the end he quoted the Biblical passage that advises turning the other cheek. Satisfied that Robinson met the tests of ability, stamina, and tolerance, Rickey exacted a promise of extreme patience and forbearance for three years, then offered him a contract. On October 23, 1945, Rickey made the historic announcement that Jackie Robinson, a black man, would play for the Montreal Royals, the minor league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Satchel Paige gave a ringing endorsement of Robinson as the best possible selection for "The Noble Experiment."

I love this kid

Fifa's World Player of the Year. Ricardo Kaka.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2 Timothy 1:7

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."

Paul (Timothy's coach in the faith) is writing to Timothy from prison. Paul knows that the one thing that can hinder the use of Timothy's gifts is fear.
I often find myself forgetting that God has given me His spirit and that it is one of power. When I feel weak I need to be reminded that my God is strong and He has given me all the power, love, and self-control I need to handle any circumstance.
How do I face the fears that seam like Giants in my life?

Living in the Spirit of God. Setting my mind on the things of the Spirit.

Christian athlete, you should not be fearful, undiscipline, or un-loving in your sport.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How do you know you are saved?

My high school football coach used to tell us before film session, "gentlemen, put on your thick skin." He was preparing us to hear the truth about how we performed. He didn't want us to be so offended and hurt by his feedback that we would miss out on the truth of how we needed to get better. Coach had a choice, protect our self-esteem and let us fail to learn from our mistakes, or tell us the truth, wounding our spirit, but enlightening us to the truth so that we would know how we could become better.

Christian, put on your thick skin. Hear the truth of this tough message. Take time to be silent and evaluate your life. There might not be a more important message that I could forward on to you than this.

Do not play this video if you have less than an hour to devote to this. The sermon is 48 min. and you are going to need some time to digest this after viewing it. Do not play this video without first praying that God would prepare your heart and reveal His truth. Do not play this video with "thin skin." Listen.

Competitor's Creed - Part 3

I do not trust in myself.
I do not boast in my abilities or believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the power of God.
I compete for the pleasure of my Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.

This is my favorite part of the creed. It makes me want to put on the uniform and go compete for my Lord. We as athletes have been coached to "have pride," "believe in yourself," and "rely on your teammates," to "represent your school," and to "make your parents proud."

The creed poses a challenge. It probably goes against everything you know in your sport. I love it, and I hope that you also get excited about the opportunity you have to compete for the pleasure of your Heavenly Father.

Let me leave you with a movie quote that first got me fired up about competing for Christ. It is from the movie Chariots of Fire.

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

Monday, May 12, 2008


You've probably seen this one. This story never gets old, though.

What a movie this will make. It was obvious to me that this kid was someone that everyone was rooting for. As I look back at all great sports movies I've watched through the years, there's always the character or characters that you are dying to see succeed. What is it about these players that makes us root for them?

Here are a few common denominators: determined, unselfish, resilient, underdog, and kind. Rocky, Rudy, Remember the Titans, Miracle, Hoosiers, etc..

As Christians, we should possess character traits that people are drawn to. Love, Humility, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Self-Control, Discipline, Unselfishness, Perseverance, Teachable, Trustworthy, and Positive (not complaining).

Christian Athlete, are people rooting for you or against you? Picture your movie, are you a likable character? I'm not saying that you should live and compete with the motivation of being liked by men, but I do believe if your life resembles Christ, you will "fall into favor," people will like you.

As a 12 year old, Jesus is accidentally left in Jerusalem by His parents. They find the boy 3 days later in the temple in the midst of the teachers "listening to them and asking them questions." In this time it says in Luke 2:52 that Jesus increased in favor with men (and God).

Jesus's ministry didn't begin until he was around 30 years old. This is when people began being offended by who He claimed to be, but when he was just a young man, living out godliness, He was well liked. Your life should not offend people (the truth that you share about Jesus will).

Tim Tebow's Prison Ministry

The following is an excerpt from an article at (click on title to read more)

This is what it's all about. God giving you talent, and you using that talent for His kingdom. I suggest reading the article.

Heisman provides Tebow broader audience for message of faith
By Mark Schlabach

In the four months since Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, he has sought to spread his message of faith as far as possible. Winning college football's most coveted individual award has provided him with a broader audience.

"Because of my name recognition and because of who I am, I've been given an opportunity to go places where most other people can't go," Tebow said. "I can go into prisons and speak, and no one will say anything. I can go into schools and speak, and they'll love to have me. I can go to all these different places because of who I am as a football player. That's a platform the Lord has given me, and I think it's my responsibility to take advantage of it." read more

Friday, May 9, 2008

Goodness on the softball field

It is just good. I don't know what else to say.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Competitor's Creed - Part 2

I am a Competitor now and forever.I am made to strive, to strain,to stretch and to succeed in the arena of competition.I am a Christian Competitor and as such, I face my challenger with the face of Christ.

listen to the full competitor's creed by clicking the link at the bottom of the side bar.

Ricardo Kaka

Unbelievable skills. Great T-shirt. I gotta believe that the Lord enjoys watching this kid score goals.

Tom Brady Interview

Tom Brady has it all. Right? This is evidence that we are foolish to chase success for the sake of money and fame.

Competitor's Creed - Part 1

I am a Christian first and last.I am created in the likeness of God Almighty to bring Him glory.I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.I wear the colors of the cross.

Listen to the full competitor's creed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the side bar.


I heard a great story today about an FCA staff member's father that just passed away this week. One of our staff members shared that he was getting mentored by this guy shortly after being saved.

He walked into the man's house and there were stickers all over the house on various pieces of furniture and appliances. The stickers had the letters IDBTM. He asked his mentor what the letters were. He said, "It doesn't belong to me."

What are the things that would crush you if they were taken from you? Your possessions are His. Your talents and abilities are His. Your athletic career is His. Your life is His. Your every second, minute, hour, day.

As a Christian we submit our lives to God's will. Athlete, read God's word, pray, and listen. Ask God to convict you of possessions that you are gripping too tightly. Ask God to align your desires with His will.

May I suggest putting the letters IDBTM on your spikes, wrist tape, glove, hat, or gloves.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Around the Horn

Three Christian baseball players break it down. Great article.
Click Here

Honoring God

How do you honor God in your sport? Here are a few ideas: This is not a complete list

1. Have a good attitude. "Do everything without complaining or arguing," Phl. 2:14
Do you complain about referees, umpires, officials, your coach, your teammate, the weather, or your opponent?

2. Practice and Play with an effort that would please Christ. "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but {only} one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win." -1 Cor. 9:24
Are you just out their playing or are you competing to win? God's word does not tell us to win, but to give a winning effort. Do you give a winning effort in practice? in your games? Do you get lazy at practice or in the game? Do you think that pleases God?

3. Use your God-given skills as a tool for His kingdom. Be an example to others of what Jesus would have played like if he played your sport. "I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it." -1 Cor. 9:23
Are people turned off to Jesus by watching you compete or are they drawn to learn more about Him? Are you committed, loyal, teachable, positive, joyful, humble, patient, discipline, and a good teammate?

Monday, April 21, 2008

1 John 2:17

"The World and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:17

What are the desires of this world? Money, Appearance, Prestige, Success, Power, etc.
What about the world of sports? Hits, Strike outs, making the team, winning, awards, championships, scholarships, drafts, pro. contracts, etc.

Scripture says these things are passing away. All of these things are temporary.

Christian athlete, my question to you is: will you be devastated when it does pass away? Are you wasting your time playing for the temporary or are you playing your sport focusing on what is eternal, "the will of God"?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, you have been given abilities for a purpose greater than championships and scholarships. Discover what God's Will is for you in your sport. Pray that He would make clear to you your purpose for playing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Colorado Rockies

Baseball's Rockies seek revival on two levels (click on Title to read entire article)
By Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY

On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

More Dwight Howard

Up-hill Battle

uphill battle

Jesus never said it would be easy. In all of our walks, there are times when we look (with our eyes) at what is happening around us and we get frustrated and discouraged. We ask ourselves if we are making a difference. We need to be reminded that God is using us despite what we see. He doesn't promise that we will see the fruits of our ministry, but God's word says that what we see does not matter. Don't get discouraged, God has promised to renew you every day.

"Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Christian kid that can touch the rim with his noggin!

Howard, indeed, is not a typical teenager. A 6-foot-10 power forward with the game that could make him the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, but with an evangelistic spirit that he hopes will "raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world."

The NBA arena, as is his want, will be his pulpit after he declared for the draft on Wednesday.

NBA scouts are believers in his game. But will NBA fans buy his message?

Read more of Darren Rovell's article at by clicking the title below.
On a mission from God

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Having a goal or destination makes you purposeful. If you know where you want to be and you are focused on that destination, your actions will reflect how badly you want to achieve this destination.

In sports it has been clear to me as both a player and a coach that your actions (both as individuals and as a team) are closely linked to your vision. If a player (or team) has a clear vision of who he wants to be, his actions will reflect his passion to reach that goal, mission, or vision.

This relates to our walk with God as well. You will follow whatever you cast your gaze upon. Growing up my eyes were on my sports so my actions reflected a love for competition and training first and a love for Jesus second.

I regret not having the goal of being an athlete competing for Christ. For you, Christian athlete, I encourage you to start thinking of the impact you could make for God's kingdom through your sport. Let that motivate you to achieve a new level of success in your sport.

If you don't have your eyes fixed on Christ you will not follow Him. You will forever be an athlete first, and a Christian second.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers

Hamilton welcome addition to Rangers
Five-tool center fielder credits faith for renewed success
By T.R. Sullivan /

The growing feeling in the desert is Hamilton could be on the verge of the kind of player the Devil Rays had envisioned when they made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. That was before Hamilton's perilous plunge beyond personal purgatory, first with injuries and then the death-like grip of an insidious drug addiction that had him on the brink of complete self-destruction.

There was a point where most people felt comfortable saying they would never expect to see Hamilton on a baseball field again. They were wrong. Giving all credit to his family, his support system, and renewed and unswerving faith in God, Hamilton is back in center field where he belongs, and not the gutters of life.

"It's like He's standing beside me, plugged into me," Hamilton said. "I'm not one of those guys who talks about God because it sounds good. It's because He changed my life. One thing I keep in mind first thing in the morning is no matter what I do, the Man upstairs already knows what will happen.

"All I can do is play to the best of my ability and have fun. If I strike out or make an error, I will know in my heart that I at least did my best. That's the way I looked at it last year whether I went 4-for-4 or 0-for-4."

Here's a video interview with Josh:

Mike Sweeney, DH, Oakland A's

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Mat 5:16

My friends and I went to a K.C. Royals game one night while we were spending the summer in Kansas City. The game was delayed because a couple groups of stadium lights were out. Players and coaches were just kind of standing around in their dugouts. Some were talking to guys on the other team, some were sitting in chairs facing the crowd watching the fans, others retreated down into the clubhouse to relax, and a few actually walked around and chatted with some of the fans.

My friends and I were enjoying watching the interaction probably as much as we would have enjoyed the game if it were being played. One of my friends pointed out one of the Royals players and said, "That dudes a Christian." I asked him how he knew that, and he told me, "Just look at him."

We focused in on this one player for the remainder of the delay. He took some time to chat with fans and he took a trip to the other dugout to talk with some of their guys. He wasn't doing anything that would make him obvious as a Christian. He smiled a lot and he seemed genuinely interested in everyone that he was chatting with, whether it was a little boy in the stands, a teammate, or a player from the opposing team. There was definitely something different about this guy as we compared him to the other players. It made me think: if someone was watching me, would they guess that I was a Christian?

Later that summer my friend showed me an FCA: Sharing the Victory Magazine and pointed out Mike Sweeney from the K.C. Royals. That's our dude, he was a Christian.

As I read Jesus's sermon in Mathew chapter 5 and I hear, "let your light shine before men..." I always think of Mike Sweeney of the Royals. He stood out. He was shining before men.

Video of Mike Sweeney's last game in Kansas City.
Video interview with Sweeney at A's spring training camp.


Are you an athlete that is a Christian? or Are you a Christian that is an Athlete?

Which of these labels do you identify with?

The "athlete that is a Christian" probably goes to church, prays, reads the Bible, and is probably even known around the locker room as a Christian, but rarely takes the principles of Christianity onto the field or court. During the competition, this athlete looks pretty much the same as everyone else out there.

The "Christian that is an athlete" lives out his or her faith on the field. Integrity is on the mind, glorifying God is the heart's desire, the focus is God-given through prayer, the prayers are to be different (salt and light), the language is encouragement, the intensity is inspired by God, the style of play is unselfish, and the body language is a mixture of intensity and joy.

Unfortunately 17 of my 18 years of being an athlete I played as an "athlete who is also a Christian."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What is the focus of your life?

Is the focus of your life making the team? winning a state championship? getting into college? popularity? friends? money? girls/boys?

The scripture says that the focus of your life should be Christ. Pursue Him first. Christ is the only thing that will not disappoint you. Everything else is incapable of fulfilling you and will someday come to an end. Christ offers hope that is forever. He is the one thing that will satisfy your soul.

Let me encourage you to play your sport and live your life with an eternal perspective. This means you are constantly evaluating the things in your life and asking the question, "Does this matter in eternity?"

Pursuing a state championship is not bad, nor is working hard to receive a scholarship. Those are both great things to shoot for, but they should never be your primary goal or focus. Fix your eyes on Christ and pursue His prize. The state championships and scholarships may just come, but your hope is not wrapped up in being satisfied by such things.

Playing with an eternal perspective means, at the end of the day, what happened on the field mattered in eternity. What does this look like? You can dedicate every play to Jesus, striving to be excellent because you know He is watching and He wants you to play excellent. Win or lose, you can glorify God while you compete like a champion, play with integrity, and lead courageously. At the end of the game you can be confident that your dedication to glorifying God on that field has honored your Father in Heaven and has earned you eternal rewards in Heaven.

I believe you will find your athletic experience more enjoyable when God gives you real joy in the midst of your competition!

"One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before
Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and {that} your joy may be made full." John 15:11

Lessons from Olympian Ryan Hall

Ryan says some amazing things in this video. He has provoked some questions that I have for you. These are questions that completely changed my perspective on my sport when I was playing college baseball. I encourage you to really think about these questions and answer them honestly.

Does your sport compete with God?
Is your main focus winning, or the pursuit of being the best?
What is your motivation?
Do you worship God when you compete on the field?
Do you play for His pleasure?
Do you feel the joy of the Lord when you compete?
Is your field, your sanctuary?
Do you get so distracted with the competition, that you leave God on the sidelines?
How often do you talk to God in between plays?

Prayer for Players

Father in Heaven, give me words to speak that will encourage and challenge the athletes that come to this blog. Help them to see your glory and the hope that is in your son, Jesus Christ. I pray you would change hearts, and motivate young men and women to play their sports for your honor, glory, and pleasure. Inspire them with your love to share the Gospel with their teammates and friends. Help them flee from sin in their lives and let their lives be witnesses to your power on the field and off the field. Give them a heart of a champion that desires to compete for you. God, I pray that people would watch these young men and women play their sport and notice a difference in them. The difference is you Lord. Do a work. Use this blog to communicate who you are, who we are in you, and how we should compete as Christian athletes.