Thank you for joining us here at Faith Matters. This week has been a little nerve racking, not in a bad way, but just on pins and needles. My wife and I are trying to buy a house and for anyone that has ever gone through that process it can be draining. I don’t want to share all of the details just yet because I feel there is a sermon brewing with how all of this came about. So in the coming weeks ahead I will have to explain how God told us no, and then not yet, and then yes. Until everything with the house comes to pass please be in prayer with us that God will allow us to get this house so that our family can continue to grow and we are able to use it to minister with others.
Let us open up in prayer, Heavenly Father you are so good. I love it when you challenge my own faith to go deeper, Lord I pray that you will continue to use me as a tool to direct people back to you. Lord let my words be encouraging to those who hear, let my thoughts remain pure and pleasing unto you, I pray that today anyone listening will be uplifted and receive You, in Your name I pray, Amen.
Before we dig into this message too far, I want to give you a definition of the word dream.
- a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
- the sleeping state in which this occurs.
- an object seen in a dream.
- an involuntary vision occurring to a person when awake.
- a vision voluntarily indulged in while awake; daydream; reverie.
- an aspiration; goal; aim:
- a wild or vain fancy.
So when I say the word dream or dreams, what do you picture? What will it take for you to achieve your dreams? For some of us we probably haven’t thought about our future dreams, goals, or aspirations since we were much younger. My parents always tell me that I am the dreamer in the family. I see things differently than other people, I don’t just see what is before me, I also see the possibility of what is to come.
Here is something that I found on the urban dictionary with the word D.R.E.A.M. broken down:
D – Dedication/Desire
R – Responsibilty
E – Education
A – Atitude
M – Motivation
You Need DESIRE, Will Power To Achieve Act Grown Up Take On RESPONSIBILTY Go To School You Need EDUCATION Keep A Positive ATITUDE With You Set A Goal To MOTIVATE Yourself
By now I am sure you would like to know why I keep talking about dreams in such a manner. Just recently my son mentioned to me again about baseball and that I should have never stopped playing. My dream about playing baseball in Major League Baseball was crushed many years ago, but sometimes I do like to ask myself what if?
As a child I grew up in San Diego, California and I loved to watch and play baseball. You would think my favorite team would be the San Diego Padres, but my favorite team was actually the Atlanta Braves. The reason is actually quite simple, due to the time zone on the East Coast the Braves games always started 3 hours earlier so I could actually watch them before it was bed time. I would have the TV on almost every day enjoying the baseball game and yes I was doing my homework at the same time. The commercial breaks gave me plenty of time in between to finish all of my homework before my parents got home.
My friend Joey and I loved baseball so much that we would play it in the street outside the front of the house. Don’t worry we didn’t use a real baseball because we would have broken a bunch of windows so we replaced it with a tennis ball. I can remember many countless evenings that we would be outside playing until the sun went down. So growing up I played baseball every year on the local league until one day came the big day when I was finally able to try out for my high school baseball team in 9th grade. I was really excited but really nervous at the same time.
Here was my big chance. Now my whole life I always played first base but when I was going to try out I realized that they already had that guy picked and so I if I wanted to make the team then I would need to try a different position. I tried out for Right Field instead, I knew every position like the back of my hand, I knew every rule in the book, I knew when to throw to which base, so I was pretty confident that I could handle this. I did well in my tryouts, did everything they asked me to do in the field. We went from one drill to the next, I caught the ball, I threw the ball, and I was excited for the next part. Now came time to show if I could hit the ball.
Now I was one of the few people that could bat left handed and right handed. I did very well from both sides of the plate, but right handed was my strongest side. The coach pitched one ball after another and I was able to show them I could connect with no problem. Now came the last pitch, he threw it right down the plate and I gave it my best swing, I made contact, not just a normal hit, but this ball kept soaring up and up, and landed over the fence into the tennis courts. I was excited, I was able to show them my home run skills in tryouts.
The next day is when they announced who made the team. We were all there at the beginning of practice waiting to hear our names called. One by one the coach called out the names. He said those dreadful words “last but not least…” my heart was racing with anticipation, but the last name called was not me. It hurt, I won’t sugar coat that, I was the only person that hit a home run, I did all my drills, I didn’t blame God, but I couldn’t understand it. As I walked home I had plenty of time to cool off on my two mile hike with my back pack from school and all my baseball gear.
Sometimes when we feel defeat, it isn’t really defeat, it just appears that way. We must remember what the word of God says:
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
I went to school the next day, asking my friends who made the team because in the heat of the moment I couldn’t remember everyone that made it and I found out that one of my friends Ryan made the team. I was excited for him but yet upset at the same time. You see, he wasn’t very good, frankly he was big, slow, and not good at all. I couldn’t understand why coach picked him over me. But I did find out why in the end and then it hurt me even more for doubting. I found out that my friend Ryan was diagnosed with Cancer and this could be his last year alive.
This whole time I was so caught up in me me me that I was blinded by the reality that was at hand. Do you ever get that way when you think it is all about you? It is like a snowball effect, it starts out small and innocent, but then we get wrapped up in it and nothing else matters but self. I let my anger blind me.
James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
So that was my 9th grade tryouts for baseball and then my parents received orders to move to Charleston. So for my 10th grade tryouts I had to convince people that have never seen me play baseball that I could play. I did make the team and played on our junior varsity team for Summerville High School. I didn’t get to start but I did make my impression on the team.
Let’s fast forward to my 11th grade tryout, you would think since I played on the JV team that I would make the varsity team right? Well not so, sometimes politics come into play and there is nothing you can do. I just shook my head and said well God, if you don’t want me to play baseball then I guess I am done. Once the season was over a coach reached out to me and asked if I wanted to play on the American Legion team, which if I understood correctly is where the all-stars from the high schools play during the summer. In my mind I was like okay, thank you Lord, a second chance. I played, I had fun, and I would definitely do it all over again.
I saw all of this to tell you this, just because one door closes doesn’t mean that you should give up or toss in the towel. God has a unique way of directing our paths. I can clearly tell you today that the main reason I wanted to play professional baseball wasn’t just because I loved the game, it was also because of the money. I am pretty certain that God knew that and was steering me away from my own self destruction.
Now my oldest every now and then asks me why didn’t you keep playing? I have to remind him that if I did he wouldn’t be here today. I love the game, but that wasn’t where God wanted me to be.
If you have a dream I am not saying to stop trying to chase it, but I am saying does your dream line up with what God has in store for your life? Are you chasing your dream because of your own desires or what God has placed in your heart? You see, when you are a little kid and everyone asks you “what do you want to be when you grow up”, nobody ever tells you that what you want may not be what God wants. I think they left that out of the textbooks in school.
I am not bitter about my baseball experience, I do wonder sometimes if the Altanta Braves would have drafted me, a left handed first basemen, I would have played well alongside Chipper Jones. But that was then and this is now.
Today God has given me a burning desire to reach the lost. I cherish every moment, every thought; every tweet that I feel led to post on social media. I feel like God has given me my own niche in this world and as it develops even further I thank Him every day for His grace.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to listen to my own personal testimony. My life goals and dreams may be different than yours, but I pray that you have found out what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In Him we are found, In Him we are made whole, in Him the weak are made strong. I pray that the words spoken today have touched your heart, don’t let the flesh take over what you are trying to accomplish, when you lose control cry out to The Lord, and let Him bring you back to the playing field.
If you would like to contact me you can do so on Twitter @KNGMusic or on our website at http://www.KNGMusicMinistry.com Thank you for stopping to listen, we greatly appreciate your time and we pray that you have been blessed. Have an awesome day in The Lord.