Follow by Email

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Domincan Republic

Kevin Malone, former General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, invited me to come to the Dominican Republic to be the morning platform speaker for about 200 baseball players. Kevin is involved with a ministry called SCORE, that travels to third world countries sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ before, during, and after conducting baseball clinics for those less fortunate. There are coaches and players involved in this ministry who come from high school teams, college teams, and professional Major League teams.

I have to tell you that my heart has been so moved and touched by the ministry of all these baseball players who have taken a week out of their life to come to the Dominican to invest in the children of this island.

Today I served on just ONE of five teams and we travel to a different village everyday.

Today we had over 300 children show up for a clinic. We literally got off the bus on a little street and walked down this narrow alley, which opened up to this large baseball field. By the way, one out of six players in professional Major League baseball come from the Dominican Republic, and now I know why. These young people have a HUNGER and a PASSION to play the game of baseball and they play it all the time.

When we arrived at our particular village today, a former coach from the University of Kentucky shared Christ, and MOST of the people there wanted Jesus to be their Savior. I handed out a baseball card that had a Christian testimony on it from Albert Pujols and then we divided up the children into stations, and I helped with the outfielders.

I have to tell you my MIND raced as I thought about the NUMBERS of people that I know that would be so blessed by doing this short term missions project. My heart broke for the poverty that I saw in the Domincan. I LONG for Jesus to bless this nation with godly leaders, and we discussed that ONE DAY, perhaps one of those children who committed their life to Jesus may lead a revival among the Dominican people.

May God burden each of out hearts to do whatever we can do to make a difference in the world.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Championship Year

As many of you know, I have been coaching the Hillcrest Middle School girls' basketball team that my daughter plays on. Recently, the VARISITY Coach, Debbie Haliday, who played at UCLA and is also the school's athletic director and has a daughter on the team, wrote this article and thought I'd share it...

"There's just something really pure about their faces. I love watching them play...practice or game, it's really the same. They play with desire, but desire isn't even quite the right word. I heard today that when they come out of the locker room they always all touch the poster that is entitled, "Effort." How great is that? Maybe it is about effort. They really do work very hard, all the time. But even that description falls short. It is effort maximized, from the heart. Actually, I think the word is earnest...they play with earnest desire.

I don't know if you can teach earnest. I've watched their coach for years and he is certainly demanding of full effort. They drill, and drill, and drill. It is basketball at its most fundamental best. These are 12 and 13 year old girls who don't shy away from any hard thing their coach asks them to do...and he asks, every day. If anyone could teach earnest, I'd say he could. Even so, it's more along the lines of him drawing it out than teaching it... which of course is an art in and of itself.

Effort, desire, earnest hard work... some might think these qualities are in short supply in "kids these days." But I get to see it every day. I walked through the gym today and they were playing a game, the score was 19-2 when I arrived. Every one of the girls on the court was hustling hard, hands and feet and legs flying everywhere. The other team tried to drive into the key and landed in a trap. The ball got tipped away, a quick pass to the point guard followed by three long legged dribbles and a hard pass to a girl sprinting from the left side led to a layup in about four seconds. The whole bench exploded in applause. It was awesome!
Similar scenarios happened over and over again, no matter who was in the game. And the same look was on all of their faces. That pure, earnest, desire, love of the game, and effort on the poster expression that is so captivating to me. It is sport at its best in my opinion, and I'm very thankful I get to watch. "

If you would like to read more articles regarding faith and sports, check out this website:

It's a great encouragement to both parents and children involved with sports!

It has been a phenomonal year with these girls, and they just won the League Championships! They've worked really hard, and it's been FUN!!! A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE GIRLS!!!

Also, a BIG THANK YOU to Stewart Uy, who came out to take pictures at three of the girls' games! To view more of his great photogrpahy skills, you can visit his website here: