As a young person growing up in the Midwest, the most important thing to me was playing whatever sport was in season and spending quality time with my family.
I loved playing catch with dad and mom or kick the can with my sister. I also enjoyed tennis, golf, and swimming as well as other outdoor sports such as snow skiing.
I made a lot of friends through sports, and like most people, I wanted to be accepted and admired in all areas of life. I shined on the athletic field, and that's where I received a lot of recognition.
I played T-ball and some organized baseball up to my freshman year in high school but did not make the varsity team until my junior season. I quickly developed into an excellent ball player and received all-district honors both my junior and senior years.
That led to a four-year college baseball career at the University of Houston where I became a Second Team All-Southwest Conference selection my junior year. I went on to graduate with a bachelors degree in sports administration.
Then in 1991, the Oakland A's made me their eighth-round draft choice. Having the opportunity to play pro baseball is a great experience, and I feel very fortunate to be successful at such a high level.
One of the most common questions athletes are asked is, "What's it like to be a professional?" It's exciting, and in baseball, if you make it to the majors, you can certainly make a good living.
Although it's a lucrative and highly publicized business, I discovered long ago that a career in professional sports isn't the answer to life. No amount of money or notoriety will ever completely satisfy your inner desire for lasting contentment and peace. The search for fulfillment in life never ends until we find the Author of Life - Jesus Christ.
Through high school and college, I felt a growing void in my heart. As hard as I tried to fill this void with sports, friends, women, money and recognition, I still wound up feeling empty on the inside. Something was missing, and I could tell from my own problems and the problems of others that there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing.
Then a friend on the baseball team asked me to come to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. He didn't ask me just once, but six straight Sundays! I politely declined until I didn't have a reason to say no. I'm glad I went because I discovered that Jesus Christ was the answer to life and that He would fill the significant void I had on the inside. He did that and much more when I invited Him to take control of my life December 1, 1988.
Since that time, God has truly blessed me in many areas of my life. As I continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ, He has helped me become a much more loving and caring person. It's my desire to honor Him in everything I do, and that means keeping Him at the center of my life, taking care of my wife and trusting the Lord with my future - in or out of baseball.
Best of all, knowing Jesus Christ has given my life meaning and purpose, and I know for sure that I will spent eternity in heaven when I die or when He returns. The Bible says that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ." And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
I'd like to ask you some questions. Are you sure that you will spend eternity in heaven? Does your life have meaning and purpose? Are you experiencing real joy and peace inside?
If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.