sports illustrated athletes

Broken in spirit is good thing but not defeated in spirit. I believe one can be knocked down so much one moves from broken to defeated. “I don’t care anymore” becomes their tune. Don’t go there. But broken in spirit suggests a major undertaking can be in the process. It says, I’m on my face, I’m desperate for change and I need help. Confession is good for the soul. Triumph occurs when you get to the point of standing on two solid feet again thanks to God.

After considerable thought I’ve come to believe those that are caught in drug or alcohol addiction cycle have become victims to defeat. Sure their are metabolic elements in play. Addiction is a complicated condition. Not a great place to be. Not easy to recover from continual trips to medical facilities without the hand of God.

I’m reminded of a colleague and friend Darrel Porter. He had a cocaine addition at one time, received treatment and finished a  very successful career in MLB. He became a Christian in the process and even spent years telling his story to many people. He died in 2002 at age 50 with overdose of cocaine. Found on a park bench. I really don’t know what happened. So, addiction is serious and I don’t make light of it. I do know that isolation from others and holding secrets can destroy a person.

During my MLB career I spent a lot of times on my face in prayer because of its pressure and stress while in the midst of working out my childhood wounds. The worst times is when I felt isolated and alone. There were games I can’t believe I made it through. I had to play while sometimes having a panic attack. Panic attacks are awful if you have experience them let alone in front of 30,000 people. By Gods grace I made it through those moments until I could get a handle on my issues. You can look at my stats during my career and tell where my hardest times occurred. We cannot help but be effected in our work when going through major personal struggles.

Life can be complicated with many issues needing some freedom. It takes discipline, tenacity, perseverance, prayer and those to walk with you to come out triumphantly. Isolation, pride and ego are killers, don’t do it, seek those who can walk with you, be open and vulnerable.

Freedom comes from God encounters. They stick to the soul like superglue. Real change occurs! God encounters don’t come unless you pursue them with all your heart. It’s a difference maker.

But it doesn’t stop there. One has to fight to keep from losing ground. The fight doesn’t end until death. We fight for our spiritual and emotional well being and we fight for our families health. The enemy of the world is real!

A close relationship with Jesus and staying in that relationship is where the power to overcome happens. He has overcome the evil one and it is the evil one who is out to steal, kill and destroy. Will power won’t work, it might for a while but has no staying power to freedoms ultimate pathway!

It is a great thing to be free and to realize we work out our freedom everyday. Daily stresses can creep in but if you stay on top of it, only small adjustments are needed.

The last 4 innings of the ‘85 World Series taught me a major fact. While the Kansas City Royals were leading the St. Louis Cardinals 11-0 in the fifth inning we knew we still had an opponent that was skillful and good, able to come from behind. I liken the last four innings of the 7th game of World Series to the Christian faith; we knew we had the victory but we had a very capable opponent. We still had to fight the last four innings to not give an entry point to launch a comeback. We won the 7th game 11-0 and the World Championship.

Emotional and spiritual freedom are a treasure. Nothing brings more peace of mind. One venue that offers an opportunity to start your quest for freedom is Overcoming your issues matters.