Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Josh Hamilton: Making Good Decisions

Heard this talked about on "The Dan Patrick Show" podcast; looked it up and in a era where we are bombarded by athletes and celebrities who are making terrible decisions .... Josh Hamilton stands apart from the crowd!

A bit of background - Josh Hamilton's struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He finally got clean after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt. Hamilton says he hasn't used drugs or alcohol since October 6, 2005. When giving a brief summary of his recovery Hamilton says simply "It's a God thing." He does not shy away from telling his story, speaking to community groups and fans at many different functions. He frequently and publicly tells stories of how Jesus has brought him back from the brink and that faith is what keeps him going. His wife Katie sometimes accompanies him, offering her perspective on his struggles as well.

To go along with the provisions of MLB's drug policy, Hamilton provides urine samples for drug testing at least three times per week. Coach Jerry Narron says of the frequent testing: "I think he looks forward to the tests. He knows he's an addict. He knows he has to be accountable. He looks at those tests as a way to reassure people around him who had faith." Hamilton approaches the plate at Texas Rangers home games to the song "Until The Whole World Hears" by Christian group Casting Crowns. In late 2008 Hamilton, among other celebrities appeared in testimonial videos called "I Am Second" in which he shares his story of recovering from drug use with the help of his faith in Jesus Christ.

Hamilton confirmed he suffered a in early 2009. Sports blog "Deadspin.com" posted photos of Hamilton shirtless in a bar in Tempe, Arizona with several women. According to reports, witnesses saw Hamilton drinking, heard him asking where he could obtain cocaine, and heard him reveal his plans to go to a strip club later that evening. The photos do not show Hamilton drinking or taking any illegal drugs.

Although this news did not break until August 2009, Hamilton revealed that he had informed his wife, the Texas Rangers, and Major League Baseball the day after the incident occurred. Hamilton called a press conference on August 8 to discuss the photos. Regarding the incident Hamilton said "Obviously it was one those things that reinforce that I can't have alcohol. I got away from the one thing that kept me on the straight and narrow and that was my relationship with the Lord. That should always come first. Hopefully some good will come out of this. It just crossed my mind that night, 'Can I have a drink?' Obviously I can't and this reinforces that. Since that night, I have not had another thought like that. I know it's something I shouldn't do because it leads to other things."

Here is the latest article from the Dallas Morning News on Josh Hamilton following the Texas Ranger's clinching a spot in the MLB playoffs ...

Rangers' Josh Hamilton celebrates title dry and in church

01:35 AM CDT on Monday, September 27, 2010

Josh Hamilton managed to day dry when the Texas Rangers celebrated the franchise's first division title in 11 years, drenching the visitor's clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum with champagne and beer.

The slugging outfielder, who battled drug and alcohol addictions early in his career, dressed quickly and quietly in a nearby trainer's room after the Rangers ended the Angels' three-year hold on the AL West title.

He had to convince a few teammates to not pour bottles of water on him, explaining he had other postgame activities in mind. It was church day in Oakland and Hamilton planned to join some of the Athletics in sharing stories of their faith with fans.

"So it would be kind of hypocritical of me to come in here and douse myself with alcohol and smoke cigars and then go out there and talk about Jesus," Hamilton said.

(From wire reports)

Notes From Pastor Steve: 1. The Background info. was used from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia with some edits by me. 2. Main article from the Dallas Morning News.

No matter how you feel about athletes and celebrities playing the "Jesus Card", you have to tip your hat to Josh who seems to really be trying to put feet to his faith.

Pastor Steve

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Just got a comment from "Big Bro", who really is my Big Bro asking the definition of "Balderdash" as in my random blog title "Bits and Balderdash".

According to Dictionary.com: "Balderdash" - noun
1. senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.
2. Obsolete. a muddled mixture of liquors.
Origin: 1590–1600;  of obscure orig.

Two things: 

1. I had the first definition in mind as I'm using the word balderdash.

2. Truth be told ... I stole the "Bits & Balderdash" from another blog by "the voice of the Minnesota Vikings" Paul Allen @ KFAN in Minneapolis, that he  calls "Bits and Boredom". Not wanting to completely clomp on his originality I changed it for my blog.
Remember ... the definition of original is forgetting where you heard it first!  

I'm OUT!  (oops, that is Jim Rome's tag line!)

I remain, 
Pastor Steve 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bits & Balderdash

Preaching Through ... : I just finished a series preaching through the books of 1st-2nd-3rd John. I decided I would preach a series from the Book of Ruth, started my background and research and quickly realized that if we were going to really understand Ruth we must have a working knowledge of the Book of Judges. The narrative of Ruth takes place in the times of the Judges. So I shift gears and begin to do background and research on the Book of Judges; however, again I quickly realized that if we were going understand Judges we needed to have a working knowledge of Joshua! You guessed it on Sunday September 12th we began a study of the Book of Joshua! All I wanted to do was preach through Ruth and now I'm looking at sometime next Summer or Fall before I get to it. Oh well, more prep time!

FBBC Homecoming: On Friday September 17th Lynn and I attended the homecoming dinner at Faith Baptist Bible College. We had a wonderful evening seeing folks that I have not seen in years. The fellowship was incredible and the meal was very good. We got to have supper with Susan and spend time with both Philip and Susan. Miss having the kids around the house!

The Truth Project: I had the opportunity to attend the facilitator training for the Truth Project. The Truth Project is a DVD-based small group curriculum comprised of 12 one-hour lessons taught by Dr. Del Tackett. This home study is the starting point for looking at life from a biblical perspective. Each lesson discusses in great detail the relevance and importance of living the Christian worldview in daily life. I am really looking forward to guiding friends and neighbors through this really challenging worldview truth check.

Check out this video:

Community Day @ IRBC: On Sunday September 19th the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp opened the doors and invited the general public of North Iowa to come and enjoy the grounds that God has blessed for over 60 years! The Camp was open to the public from 1:30-5:30 PM with a chapel service beginning at 5:30 for all who like to attend. There was a lunch served of hamburgers, brats and hotdogs with all the trimmings; people were able to try the zip-line, climbing wall, bumper boats, and a myriad of carnival style games and events. 640 visitors plus staff & volunteer workers attended and 275 stayed for the service at 5:30! On a personal note: I got to help run the grill from 1:30-3:30 and was also asked to preach in the 5:30 service. Great day - great fun - great fellowship!

Pastor Steve

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let Them Know - NOW!

Over the past year I have been exercising my gray matter over a topic that to bring up is to run the risk of seeming self-serving. But after reading/studying the Book of 3 John and word written to and about Gaius.

Here is the deal ... We need to let people know about their impact on our lives before their gone.

All of this began last fall when my friend and mentor, Tom Hammond was tragically killed in a car accident (from our earthly perspective). I realized that I had never taken the time to let Tom know the impact he had on my life and how thankful I was for his ministry.

Just last week I was told of a Bible college professor, who in his twilight years is wondering if his life and ministry ever really had any real impact in the lives of the many students that have sat in his classes over the years.

My encouragement to myself as well as all of you is to let those who have impacted your life simply that, that they have touched your life and your thankful!

One more thing before I close ... Ever been to a funeral of someone you knew as an acquaintance and when the funeral was over you though ... "I wish I'd known them better."

Why is it that we have many folks around us that we "know" but we really have no clue who they really are!

Let's take a bit of time and really get to know folks. Who they are and what they really enjoy.

Here is the key: Say thank you and get to know your friends better!

For what it is worth...

I remain,
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bits & Balderdash

Here are a few quick hitters - sorry for the long delay!

Daniel & Maggie: Daniel has accepted the call to go to Calvary Baptist Church in Grinnell, Iowa. He is the assistant pastor with his emphasis in the area of youth ministries. We moved the kids on Labor Day and needless to say they are very excited and a bit overwhelmed as they begin this new chapter in their life!

Elijah & Benjamin: The boys are awesome! Elijah has learned to give a knuckle bump and the other day Daniel told me he gave Benjamin a knuckle bump on his hand and then one on the nose for good measure! What a riot! Both boys are doing great and are really growing and changing!

Susan: Susan is at college and beginning to get into the flow of her classes. the really big news is ... she got a job! She will be working at the Ankeny Christian School in their day-care/after-school program. The ACS is only about 3 blocks from the campus of FBBC so Susan is able to walk to work for the first few week before the weather gets too nasty.

Ministry @ Clear Lake: The ministry here is moving along well. We were very blessed to have two young men baptized on the last Sunday of August and then last Sunday evening we welcomed 6 new people into our church family! What a blessing to hear the testimonies of how God work in peoples lives drawing them to himself!

More to come soon ... I hope

Pastor Steve