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

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