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.