Category Archives: Stories of Faith

How Can Sports Impact Your Soul

Article I wrote for Christian Life News

How can you make an impact in sports? A simple question to ask, but not so simple to answer. I would bet those of you who are reading this have played a sport or two in your time. Maybe you were the star quarterback in high school; the ace on the pitching staff in college; or maybe you played professionally. The question I want to ask is: What do you remember most about your playing experience?

For me, the answer is simple…my teammates…the guys I went to battle with day in and day out. It’s about the memories I made on bus trips, the hotel, or in the dugout. We became family, brothers, at least for the years we were together.

The relationships we make in sports are hard to duplicate. There is something about the camaraderie. We’re all striving toward the same goal. We know for a fact those 25 to 30 guys have our back. They’d go to war for us, on and off the field.

It is one such relationship that I would like to highlight today. I played baseball collegiately, both in junior college and at a university. One relationship still sticks out in my mind, even to this day. It is a relationship with a young man who personified what it meant to follow Christ.

Being a Christian is not always easy, especially in an egocentric field like athletics. But it is in that world where the most unselfish people are easily recognized. That young man carried himself with an air of confidence that did not lend itself to selfishness. It was a quiet confidence; a confidence one has when he follows Jesus Christ.

I was like most athletes—selfish, ambitious, and filled with ego. I was in the game for only one reason—to make it all the way. My friend, on the other hand, played the game with honor. He played for a higher purpose—to glorify God no matter the outcome. Win or lose, he was the same. Something about him stuck out to me. I was interested in how he was different. He didn’t get into trouble, he wasn’t a demagogue, and he kept his nose clean and did his job when he was called upon.

He constantly invited me to Bible studies in his dorm room, offered advice when he thought I needed it, and listened without judgment. He was a shining light in the midst of my darkness.

It wasn’t until after college when I found myself hopeless that I began to search for the God he tried to show me all along. In my mid-20s I was at a crossroads. Without baseball, the game I loved, I became so depressed that I searched for a reason to live.

It was in the stillness of the night where God found me. A seed that had been planted six years prior came full circle. I cried out to the Lord, begging Him to show Himself. He did. He showed Himself in the people that I had met in my life that He planted along the way. He planted my friend and teammate. He planted my wife and our church-going friends. He gave me a spotlighted runway that I was too senseless to see in the first place. And without those people, who knows if I would still be here today?

So I ask you: How can you make an impact in sports? Simple. Be the guiding light in some young man or woman’s life. Show them the power of Christ through your actions, and maybe someday someone will write about you.

Give Thanks, Not Money: What Black Friday Doesn’t Give You

What motivates someone to get up at three a.m.? Or worse, camp out overnight to buy the latest and greatest gadget? Is it greed? Envy? Perhaps, it’s just the status of being the first one to own something new.

It is sad to think that Thanksgiving is known more for the day before Black Friday, than its true meaning. When I sat down yesterday to eat my turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and apple pie, I gave thanks to the Lord for everything He has given me. He has blessed me with my family, my health, a roof over my head, and money in my pocket.

But that money has to have meaning. It has to be used for something other than gathering stuff that will mostly likely be thrown away, collect dust, or break. It has to have purpose. Instead of going to your local store, think to yourself: Am I being the best steward over what I have been blessed with?

Now look, I’m not saying you can’t be generous on this disingenuous Friday. There are some who go out and purchase things for others who are less fortunate, and otherwise could not afford such luxuries. But the fact is: when people get into a fist fight in the middle of a store over the stupidest thing, we as a people, have a problem.

The problem starts with the heart. We naturally covet what we do not have. We think that new car, new house, or new T.V., will fill a hole. It is a lie that we all fall into. There is only One, who can fill that hole.

Nevertheless, instead of wasting your money on meaningless things today: be thankful for who you are, what you already have, and what God has gifted you with.

4 Ways To Help Your Fellow Man This Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving approaches, I began to ask myself, what am I thankful for? Nowadays it is so easy to wrap yourself up in your own world, and forget about those around you. We are a selfish race, and we as humans don’t often take time to look out for others.

Here are a few ways you can help out your fellow man. And with the holidays fast approaching, what better time than now?

  • Serve- Give your time. Why is time so precious? A simple answer, because you can never get it back. We are so inundated with jobs, kids, school, or whatever, that time, can sometimes become a crutch that we hold on to with a firm grip. Giving your time to help out a friend, loved one, or complete stranger, can fill a void in our soul that few other things can.
  • Prayer- It seems so simple, but praying for someone else is something I rarely do. There may be times, when someone sends out a prayer request, or friend says, “Hey can you pray for me and my family,” that I’ll send that request up to the Big guy, but it’s not something I find myself doing often. How about this? Pray for your country, your leaders. Pray for the people who are trying to keep terror out of our world. It may be a new concept to you, but think about how in need we are as a nation.
  • Invite- Chances are there is someone you can think of that has no family near them. Maybe it’s a friend, or colleague. You know they have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, don’t be the people who think: Someone else will invite them over, someone will take care of them. You take care of them. Invite them into your home, feed them, watch football with them, talk with them, chances are they are just searching for human interaction that they may not otherwise receive.
  • Give- There are people are out there that cannot afford to get their children something for Christmas. Find out who they are and help them out. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something small. No matter what it is, they will be grateful, and no child should feel unimportant, especially around Christmas. If you cannot find anyone who fits this profile, contact your local church, they will have organizations they partner with, for this very reason.

In closing, ask yourself how you can serve your fellow man this holiday season. By doing any of these four, or some combination of your own, you will make someone’s year.

Loneliness: Make Time For It

Loneliness. What does that word mean to you? Perhaps solitude, isolation, or seclusion, which are all synonyms of loneliness, but does that really explain the word?

To me loneliness means: Stuck in my own mind, with no one’s understanding of what I’m going through. No matter how many friends, family members, or co-workers one may have, it doesn’t mean they aren’t lonely or desperate.

It is disheartening that people are stuck with this feeling daily. It is so easy to judge by someone’s outward appearance, and think: man they’re beautiful, they must be happy. Or perhaps, those people have tons of money and everything anyone could ever want. To think this way isn’t accurate.

Without walking in someone else’s shoes, do you truly know what they are going through? The answer: NO YOU DO NOT. With all of the horrible things that are going on in our world it is easy to click off the television when the news comes on, or pass over the mass execution on the internet. We go through our lives with blinders on.

Wake up people. There are problems in our world, many we can extend a loving hand to. If we decide to take a leap of faith, we have no idea what might happen.

Why is it, that the hardest thing for people to give is there time? People ask for money, and we say “how much.” But when someone asks for quality time, by helping someone else out; they make up an excuse, it’s embarrassing.

When did our time become so coveted, that you are willing to lose friendships over it? Make an effort, and change people’s lives because of it.

My point of this rambling is: invest in those around you. You don’t always know what is going on inside of their lives. Step out of your comfort zone, and try to make time for the friends or family members in your lives. I guarantee they will thank you for it.