Friday, January 13, 2012

Stretching for Spring - 1/4/12

Stretching for Spring - 1/4/12

Spring training is right around the corner. I'm looking forward to getting to throw something. I catch myself grabbing things and wanting to throw them. I started throwing on Monday. So far, so good. My shoulder is really strong! Now, I just have to get used to throwing again. Along those lines, I would really appreciate any prayers for healing for my shoulder! I have been watching videos of pitchers. I have been watching guys like Nolan Ryan, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, Tim Collins and am convinced that pitching is all about the legs. For a tall guy like me, there is a lot of leverage to be found, if only I can get my body in the right position to apply that leverage. Check out this picture of Nolan Ryan. I don’t use my legs that effectively. I won’t ever be Nolan Ryan, but I can learn from how he, and other great pitchers, do things. That's where flexibility comes in. I need to be flexible in my hips and legs so that I can get into a position to generate momentum and power from my lower half. But, this is tough to do if I am stiff and stand too tall. Just like great athletes in other sports, I have to get into an athletic position and generate power. So, bring on the hip and leg stretches.

I encountered James, a guy standing outside a grocery store, asking for 50 cents for food. How I deal with that situation has come from things God has taught me in the past. When I was in college, we were playing a road series and after dinner a few teammates and I were walking back to the hotel. There was a homeless guy asking for some money. I just ignored him and kept walking. One of the 4 guys I was with stopped and actually talked with the guy. He made fun of me to the entire team saying, “that when I saw the homeless guy, I walked quicker and ran away from him.” The whole situation really hit me hard. It was a serious low. We are called to love the poor and I just kept walking. Since then, living out what He calls me to do has been huge on my heart. I have learned a lot from my brother, and the homeless camps he visited regularly, about what I can do to serve those people when I encounter them. How loving them, not just providing for their needs, is huge. My brother says these people think that no one cares, that society doesn’t like them, that they don’t matter. As I read the bible, and books like “Same Kind Of Different As Me” or “The Hole In Our Gospel”, God has revealed His heart for the needy to me more and more. So, when I encountered James at the grocery store (I have practiced caring about every homeless person I meet, which turns out to be quite a few some times, maybe I look like a sucker, but I’m okay with that), I wanted to show him I care. I want to know his story as well as do more for him than give him the 50 cents he was asking for. It doesn’t do anyone any good if I care for the body, but forget the man. So, as we walked around picking up a few groceries, I got to know James. Deut. 15:7 “If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.” 1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent love for one another”

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