Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peace Beyond Understanding

Philippians 4:7

..."and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The verses leading up to this verse lay the groundwork.

Verse 4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Verse 5 says, "Let your gentleness be evident to all."
Verse 6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything..."
Verse 6 also says, " everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

What I realized for myself is that I am real quick to look at verse 7 and say that I want that! I want that peace that passes all understanding, but the groundwork has been laid before verse 7. These aren't just suggestions but these are marching orders for life. Obviously in and of ourselves these are impossible and we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead. But what comes first, the peace or the actions? IF we are rejoicing and have a gentle heart and are not anxious and have thankful prayerful hearts doesn't that sound pretty peaceful to you. And all that only occurs through the power of the Holy Spirit and realizing that our Savior did something for us that we could never do for ourselves.

- Andrew Kown

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 2 lays out a lot of wisdom regarding the Holy Spirit and the role He plays in a believer's life. Verse 7 says that "we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery." That really helps explain why we can make good points to nonbelievers, and they can look at us like we're crazy because the truth hasn't been revealed to them yet. Our joy and our passion can often come across as a mystery to them. Verse 14 says "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are as foolishness to him, nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." Wow! I feel so blessed to have these few things revealed to me. I mean who am I that He chose me? If you get a chance read the whole chapter there in 1 Corinthians it's very informative, and I pray that it would jump off the page to you as it just did for me.

Life update - so as for my client appreciation dinner; God tee'd a great opportunity for me to bless the food for everyone so I did, and I think it was well received (not that it really mattered, Romans 1:16). I was debating my decision all the way down to the end, and God gave me some helpful hints to make it happen as He always does. I feel really good about it so that's encouraging. Praise God for answered prayer.

- Ben (Jules)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't Waste Your Sports - Part 2

In Chapter 2 of Mahaney's book he asks the question, "what are sports really for?" The answer to this question is the answer to what everything in our lives are for and is found in 1 Corinthians. The passage is 1 Corinithians 10:31, "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

It is always important when interpreting Scripture to set the context of the passage or verse. The particular context of this verse was that it was written to Christians living in the pagan city of Corinth. The Christians that lived in Corinth faced a serious dilemma that caused a lot of controversy. The question was, now that they were Christians were they allowed to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols then sold in the market? Would the act of eating this meat be dishonoring to God? Paul's answer was that the meat was not affected by the sacrificial rituals; therefore, Christians can eat the meat. However, if Christians went to the pagan banquets where the animals were sacrificed and participated in the rituals, then they would be sinning against God and committing idolatry.

So according to Mahaney, the point is that "the important thing for the Corinthians was not the origin of their food, but the nature of their worship" (17). Consequently, Paul says "so, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

In regards to sports, many over the years have made an idol out of it. In baseball I grew up hearing about the "baseball gods," and referred to my favorite players as my "idols." In sports we hear words like curses, redemption, meaning, purpose, and hope. Naturally, many Christians would say that, as a result, we Christians should stay out of sports. But not so, according to Paul. Paul would say that sports are just another "opportunity for us to glorify God" (17). Like the meat issue in Corinth, the problem was not the meat, the problem was the heart of the person eating the meat. Like the sports issue in our culture, the problem is not the sport, the problem is the heart of the person playing the sport.

The question is: are you playing to glorify God?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Suffering with Jesus

Prepared works

"For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

So I looked up workmanship to get a better picture of the exact meaning and what stood out was this sentence, "the quality imparted in the process of making." Think about that for a moment..... God's qualities have been imparted onto us. Are we walking around in that truth? When you make something you can't help but have some of yourself rub off on it. That's exactly what happened with us. We were created in HIS image to do good works which HE prepped for us to do.

There is so much truth in the first part of that sentence, but the second part gets me even more. "Created in Christ Jesus to do good works, WHICH GOD PREPARED IN ADVANCE FOR US TO DO." I can't get pass this idea. I love it. It amazes me. It challenges me. It encourages me. It motivates me. It humbles me. I am so inclined when I do something to say, "Did you see that God, did you see what I just did?" And He is saying yeah I made all that happen. What an amazing God we serve. Not only is He revealing Himself to us, saving us, supplying us with life, keeping the universe in motion, being everywhere at once, (I could go on), but He is also preparing the works for us to complete through Christ Jesus.

My pastor said the following in regards to God knowing what will happen. He says, "Gods foreknowledge is not causative", simply meaning that just because God knows what is going to happen does not mean He causes it to happen. So if we choose to sit idly by and do nothing then God knew that was going to happen. If we choose to walk boldly into those "works" which He has prepared for us to do, He knew we were going to do that. All that said I believe and put my faith in God and am blown away at how amazing and infinitely unique He is.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable,

Andrew Kown

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Choice Is Yours

"We can respond to the difficulties of life by raising a clenched fist or on a bended knee; you choose." -Kenton Beshore pastor of Mariners Church Irvine California.

Philippians 4:11 NKJV - "For I do not speak in regard to need for whatever circumstances I am I have learned to be content."

In 1997 there were two deaths that people may remember, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. There was another death that hardly received any notice and it was that of Austrian Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl who died at the age of 93. Frankl was put in prison at Auschwitz where he became a common laborer not a noted Doctor. He was there a prisoner of the German army and over the the time he spent there he watched most of his family die (father, mother, brother, and wife). The Nazi's destroyed all of his life long research filled with many journals. Through all this Frankl learned that you can take all but 1 thing from people, the last of human freedoms and that is the ability for one to choose their attitude in any given circumstance. You can't choose your circumstance in life but you can choose your attitude and for many of us it starts with "Focus". What are you focusing on when you're in a bad mood? Are those thoughts resourceful or productive? Are you thinking about what "you" can and can't do as opposed to what Jesus can do?

Have you ever played with a guy who has limited talent and nobody would ever look at them or watch them play and mistake them for an athlete yet this person balls out? A hitter who just seems to get hits, a pitcher who just seems to get outs, a forward who seems to grab rebounds and make enough shots that the game is over and he is 10 pts & 10 rbs every night, Tebow, etc...? I think what allows them to get it done is belief. They are focusing on what can be, their physiology exudes confidence, and the meaning behind their opportunity is "another chance for me to dominate". In the Christian scene we can put more power behind that meaning by applying Jesus; "another opportunity for me to see Jesus do something amazing in me". At that point we're free to dream.

Take a moment to clear out your mind of your cloudy unproductive thoughts, now with a clear canvas dream about what amazing thing God can do in your current circumstances. Write it down, remind yourself of this daily, see it happening, enjoy it as if it was destiny. Now go live in pursuit of that accomplishment offering your effort up to the Lord to glorify Him. Praise Him everyday for the opportunity to chase down that thing that you want. This will truly help us to be excited and have joy in our circumstances which will help us reflect Jesus each day.

Note - the things you want should have a strong root of purpose and reason, wanting money or fame just because isn't going to work for you. However really finding a purpose that God can use behind these wants can work. Example - wanting to make an extra 20k a year so you can adopt and support an orphan.

- Ben Julianel

What is Your Treasure?

The following is from a Jonathan Edwards sermon titled The Christian Pilgrim (1733):

"We should not rest in the world and its enjoyments, but should desire heaven. We should above all things desire a heavenly happiness: to be with God and be well with Jesus Christ. Though surrounded with outward enjoyments, and settled in families with desirable friends and relationships; though we have companions whose company is delightful and children in whom we see many promising characteristics; though we live by good neighbors and are generally loved when we are known; yet, we should not take our rest in these things as our inheritance. We should possess, enjoy and use them, with no other perspective than we are ready to give them up, whenever we are called to do so, and to exchange them willingly and cheerfully for heaven."

These leads me to a John Piper quote from his book titled God is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself (2005):

"The critical question for our generation - and for every generation - is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever like, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?"

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13:44 ESV)

What is your treasure?

- Terry Evans

Sunday, April 15, 2012

True Love

In my mind true love is love that can withstand anything. Love that is there all the time regardless of circumstance. Our God, amazingly, loves us despite our sin and regardless of our circumstance. Our God is greater than words can describe yet somehow our faith should be modeled after little children. Our God is there in good times and in bad. If our relationship is strained it isn't He who moved, but I... Or we... We moved. He is constant.... He is omnipresent. I can't fathom that, and won't try. I have found amazing strength in Him, but also amazing tenderness.... I have found identity through a faith in Jesus, the living Son of God, who gave his life so that I may have an eternity with Him in heaven. I have found that I was a lost soul and am now a redeemed spirit that can be a force for Gods kingdom. Please God, grant me the strength to shed light even when surrounded by darkness. Allow me to be still and know that You are God. Allow me to never question your authority. Make me to unite my heart and rely completely on Your Holy Spirit. I praise You God and am unworthy of the true love that you have given me. I love you... Let it be so


Friday, April 13, 2012

The Law

"You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)

"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28)

"You shall not take vengeance or bear grudge against your sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.." (Leviticus 29:18)

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

Jesus Christ did not come to take away from the law. He elevated it. He took it to the highest level. Why? To show us no matter how bad we try, WE (our flesh) will never live up to it. As Paul says "put no confidence in the flesh." (Phil 3:3) Wait, wait, I have four different Bible translations that I've scribed out word for word. I have scriptures that spew out of my mouth all day. I'm dialed in!!! That's great. But it will NEVER be enough. That's probably the reason why your faith is more of a burden, than a blessing.

My point being it's absolutely beautiful to see how far off we are as people. To see our flesh for what it is, and how jacked up we are. Don't lose that!!! Because when you find yourself there, we realize how badly we need Jesus. Without Jesus, we have nothing. But with Him, we have EVERYTHING.

God is good.

- Blake Hawksworth

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shine like stars

"... in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life"
(Philippians 2:14-16)

The words of this verse are so powerful that they don't need any "breaking down"or commentaries. This is what we are called to do. If you have not done so recently I would encourage you to take a stroll through Philippians. Very encouraging and challenging book. So let's shine and hold out the word of life.

- Andrew Kown

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Don't Waste Your Sports - Part 1

What is it that drives you in sports? Is it the applause of the crowd? The adrenaline rush you get when you come through big in a clutch situation? Is it the approval of others? Are you driven in sports because your identity is wrapped up in your performance? These are important questions to ask if you are a Christian athlete.

For Mahaney, he was driven in sports as a young man by a "passion to be admired" (10). He said that "swimming was merely my stage, my opportunity to impress others with my athleticism. Each event was a platform for drawing attention to myself" (10).

I look back on my sports life and sadly I realize that much of it was spent drawing attention to myself as well. The problem with sports is not sports, despite what some might say. The problem with sports is the human heart. We have taken what God created to bring glory to Himself, and turned it inward. As Mahaney says, "sports are a gift from God. But as soon as you introduce the human heart, things get complicated" (11).

The good news is, those of us who have put our trust in Jesus Christ have been given a new heart, with new desires to please Him and bring glory to Him.! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away: behold, the new has come." Now that our identity is in Christ, we are free to play sports for Him and not ourselves.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Who's glory have you been playing for these last several weeks?

  2. Are you more concerned with what others think of you on the baseball diamond or how you are representing your Savior on the baseball diamond?

  3. Are you experiencing joy playing your sport or are you overloaded with anxiety and fear?

- Tyler Durham

Trip Lee Interview

Tim Challies has a helpful blog that I check frequently. Yesterday he posted an interview he did with Trip Lee. I thought that this question is especially helpful for those of you who are still in baseball:

How do you stay anchored in a local church in the midst of all the travel required in your vocation? How does your church remain part of your life as you travel?

It’s hard. When you’re on the road consistently, it makes everything about
following Christ alongside others harder. It’s harder to be home every Sunday,
it’s harder to build deep relationships, it’s harder to disciple young men, it’s
harder to be discipled by older men, etc. It takes commitment and
intentionality. Sometimes I have to cram all my relationships into 3 days of the
week, and it gets old. But I know I need my church, and I have a responsibility
to help build them up.
There are brothers who always know where I am,
they check in on me, and ask me hard questions when I’m home. I sit down with my
pastor every couple months, and he helps me plan out my schedule. I think
through how often I want to be gone, and whether or not I’m making it too hard
for myself. Plus my church is really a praying church. So they pray for me when
I’m gone, especially if I’m overseas or on a tour. I’m grateful for their
loving care.

Read the whole interview here.
- Tyler Durham

Am I a Boxer Beating the Air?

Hi everybody, my name is Brett Carroll. I know most of you guys, but wanted to thank you for this group and what a blessing its been in my life. I am also humbled to contribute.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
"Do you you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified"

This may be a battle cry verse in our christian walk, but something stuck out to me the other day. I love that Paul does not say there is anything sinful about running the race or competing to get the prize. As a male, this ignites my soul to lace up my shoes and run!! I love that God wired us like that. He placed Adam in the garden to cultivate and work. (genesis 2). Our world does not need "another passive" male. I realize that if Jesus is not on the throne than creation (money, sex, power, etc) becomes ultimately worshipped and always leaves us dissatisfied. We run our race chasing the wind. But when it's not ultimate in our lives, this gives us the freedom to run with joy and passion, transferring ALL glory to Jesus through whatever circumstance, trusting and walking with Him through it. If you are a current athlete, ex athlete, or have no athletic bone in your body, we realize we are creatures of habit. It takes time, discipline, patience, and hard work to hone your craft, whatever that may be. Over time you see change, good or bad, but you see results.

My question to myself and others: Is the same amount of passion put into "these" things, put into the spiritual man pursuing godliness.??? Jerry Bridges put it this way, in the book "Pursuit of Holiness".

"Any training-physical, mental, or spiritual-is characterized at first by failure. We fail more often than we succeed. But if we persevere, we gradually see progress till we are succeeding more often than failing. This is true as we seek to put to death particular sins. At first it seems we are making no progress, so we become discouraged and think, whats the point? I can never overcome that sin. That is exactly what Satan wants us to think. It is at this point we must exercise perseverance. We keep wanting instant success, but holiness doesn't come that way. Our sinful habits are not broken overnight. Follow through is required to make any change in our lives, and follow-through requires perseverance".

I don't know about you, but this encourages my heart, knowing that we are a work in progress. That is what's humbling about the cross because we don't have to earn God' s acceptance, but by His grace and mercy we are accepted and deeply loved. He went to the cross despite our performance. (rom 5:8) Therefore, we don't have to run our race without purpose or meaning. By God's transforming grace, we pursue Him to change us and mold us to be like the person He created us to be! Jerry goes on to say this:

The person who is discipling himself toward holiness falls many times, be he doesn't quit. After each failure he gets up and continues the struggle. Not so with the unrighteous. He stumbles in his sin and gives up. He has no power to overcome because he does not have the Spirit of God at work in him.

With God's word, prayer, and fellowship of other believers, we can live in a fallen world with a different perspective and hope!! Praise God!!....continue the run or start running!!

Jesus, thank you for your daily grace and mercy that is very undeserving. Thank you that we don't have to be boxers beating the air, but that b/c of the cross you have set us free to run with endurance and perseverance. Gives us the grace and desire to pursue you and godliness so that YOUR Glory shines through!! Every day is Easter in the eyes of the believer for taking upon my sin and giving me your righteousness!!! You have risen!!


- Brett Carroll

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Peek Into My Life

If you are in a rush skip down to the second paragraph, this is important.

My baseball career ended in 2009, it was a 9 year career defined by me coming to Christ in 2002 (first full season) and watching as God moved me around 5 different organizations from one group of believers to another. Most situations ended up developing into 10 man strong bible study groups where God was showing up in great ways, but there was some challenges along the way. I remember being on a team where I was one of the youngest guys and perhaps the only believer for a few weeks and some of the guys treated me foul. Looking back it was awesome as God brought men into my life for both them to disciple me and some for me to disciple them. That was my life blood (fellowship, bible studies, etc...), that was the way I felt alive as God used me and showed up in unbelievable situations. So as I got into business I instantly asked God "why and how will you use me here". I quickly saw the opportunity and started to pray to be used. Fast forward almost 3 years and here I am giving financial and business advice to men ages 40-70. You can imagine that being the youngest guy in the room doesn't help you however God has blessed me tremendously and given me confidence that this is no longer an issue. I can see that a lot of times they choose to do business with me because they feel this level of trust that they don't feel with most other guys/advisors (praise God because thats something that he has blessed me with). As I meet with all of these successful business owners and entrepreneurs it's obvious that any good sound financial advice I can give them won't heal what really is the void in their lives and that is their need for real fulfillment (which is only found in Jesus). Their businesses never can give them enough, its crazy, I have clients who are making crazy money yet they still lack that peace and joy. It reminds me where I need to place my hope. I pray that God will use me or somebody in these clients lives to reveal to them this Truth. The enemy wants me to believe that I must keep business and faith separate and he tries to scare me away with the idea that I might lose somebody as a client if they knew my faith (lies, lies, lies) and this could affect my ability to provide for my family. Proof reading that last line reminds me of how ridiculous that thought really is, pretty sure God in control of all that man...

So here is the reason for this post I wanted to give you all that background so you could give me the best most informed advice/council- I'm having a client appreciation event a week from this Saturday where the crowd will be 6 clients and their wives. Here is the roster - we have a man (62 years old) ) who's wife is a pretty devout believer and he has followed her lead but probably not made it his own faith yet, another man who is a conservative and displays Christian values as he almost 70 years old I've never met his wife. Another man who is perhaps the nicest guy ever but pretty sure he and his wife really haven't made a decision one way or the other, their comfortable. A fourth guy who is an atheist (one of my biggest clients) who mentioned in a meeting that his wife likes church and "believes in that deal". Then there is a couple who I have grown real close with and they know where I stand as a believer and they have their own beliefs (Oprah, everybody's in) and they referred me to another couple who is now a client and they are Jewish. So with all this said my question to the crowd is do I bless the food before dinner? "In Jesus name I pray, amen"? Please holler at me, I'm praying about this and need some Godly council. I believe this could be a great opportunity for God to show up in some small way.

- Ben Julianel

CHH Release

Trip Lee's new album "The Good Life" is out on iTunes. He is my personal favorite, and after a quick run through it's by far his best work. Enjoy!

- Blake Hawksworth

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bubba Watson Article

Thanks to Jeff Bajenaru (@jeffbaj) I found this article on Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) that I wanted to share with everyone fresh off his Masters win on Sunday. I briefly got a chance to meet Bubba at the Lecrae concert in Arizona this spring. Even during that brief time I realized then that this was a brother who loves Jesus and wears those fresh Godly lenses. He proceeded to later that night "go David" by getting up on stage with Lecrae to dance before the Lord with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14).

Click below to view the article:

To God be ALL glory,

- Terry Evans

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beautiful Prayer

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:17-18

First let me start off by saying that the power of prayer is unmatched. The power of intentional prayer like this...WOW. This prayer is so intentional and poignant that it pumps me up and challenges me at the same time. To pray this over yourself is one thing, but to pray it over others is even more profound. This challenges me at the core level of my prayers. What am I asking God for? Am I praying for others? The shift in my prayers needs to be towards praying that God would give me eyes to see and give me a spirit of wisdom and pray this over others as well. I want to know and comprehend the hope to which HE has called me. I don't want to tell him what my plan is for me because I am continually understanding that what HE wants for me is far greater than what I want for me. So my question is do we know?

Do we know HIM?




Well for me the answer is another question...... has God revealed those things to us individually? As I look back again at the verse the key words are, "may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.." I am continually learning that we can't boast in our understanding of the Word. Its God revealing Himself to us over and over. God is giving us that, "Spirit of wisdom and revelation" in order that we may know Him better. This all comes from a guy who just wants to know HIM better.

Be comfortable being uncomfortable,

Andrew Kown

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Don't Waste Your Sports

C.J. Mahaney has got a great little book called Don't Waste Your Sports. In the next several weeks I want to discuss some of the key points in the book. Even though the bible doesn't specifically discuss things like baseball, golf, football, etc., Mahaney believes that it is loaded with wisdom that applies directly to the athlete. The foundational verse that he uses is 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." He says that "this simple sentence is loaded with divine wisdom for every part of our sports, from practices to playoffs. So few words, so much wisdom." We will look at this verse in more detail in future posts, but to whet your appetite for the upcoming posts I want to leave you with several questions that Mahaney offers to athletes:

  1. Does your passion for sports exceed your passion for the Savior, your church, or your family?

  2. In an average week, how much time do you invest in sports, and how much time do you invest in reading Scripture and participating in your local church? [Of course for the professional athlete this needs to be put in context. Nonetheless, it is a question that everyone should consider.]

  3. What is your plan for consistently reading and studying the scripture? [Athletes are creatures of habit. I would recommend establishing a set time and place for your daily devotions.]

  4. Is it possible to be both competitive and humble at the same time? How so?

  5. What are some ways you currently encourage your teammates and your coaches? If you don't, what are some ways to begin doing this?

- Durham

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Scary Text

Hebrews 6:4 "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."

Wowday!!! That is crazy talk right there. I assume that many of you have been taught like me that "once in always in". This verse clearly states that some of those people who are in the faith now will fall away and won't come back to repentance. That's scary to me, that helps me to put my guard up and live with intense effort eachday to pursue the truth and seek His face. I want to know Him, I want to be in and stay in, I don't want to be lukewarm (Rev 3:16). Chapter 5 in Hebrews tees this "falling away" issue up nice. Check it out and be blessed.

How does this verse effect the verse that states that "none can be plucked from His hand". I'm not sure of the verse. Comments?

- Ben Julianel

Pride and Joy

“who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

As spring training comes to a close, I’m getting ready for the upcoming season with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Texas League AA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. I knew when I agreed to sign with the Royals that they were more than likely going to start me in AA, and so I stand ready to embrace this opportunity. However, I’m not going to lie. There is a part of me deep within that has despised the thought of going back to AA. It prowls within like a caged lion just waiting for an opportunity to break free and devour everything in its path. This part of me is that master of deceit which goes by another name... PRIDE! “Terry, you’re too good to go to AA! You’ve put up 4 good seasons and 2 All-Star seasons in AAA! You’ve played in the big leagues! You don’t deserve this!”

Get behind me pride! I refuse to let you continue to rob me of peace and joy. What if I decided to let pride reign? I wouldn’t be playing baseball right now because I wouldn’t have agreed to go back to AA. I would have missed out on what was my best and most enjoyable spring training of my entire career. I would have missed out on being apart of what I’m starting to believe is the best run organization in baseball. And I don’t know what God has in store for me during this upcoming season but whatever it is, pride would have caused me to miss out. Too often we miss out on the unexplainable peace and joy God has for us because we think we deserve better. The greatest place in the world to be is right smack in the center of God’s will. Man, if we could just get over ourselves and embrace the hand that God deals us (much easier to say than do, I know).

What if Jesus would have had this mentality? “Forget this cross, I don’t deserve this! I’m the Creator of the universe, forget these unworthy creatures. I’m God in the flesh, I don’t have to deal with this!” What would this mean for us? (I think you know!) Thank you Jesus for counting others more significant than yourself. Thank you Jesus for looking out for the interest of others. Thank you Jesus for not clinging to your equality with God and becoming one of us. Thank you Jesus for humbling yourself to obedience even when that obedience led to the cross. (Philippians 2:3-11)

May every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. With peace thanks to Jesus,

- Terry Evans