From Dan McClain…

1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

In Peoria Heights, up on Prospect there used to be a great little general store call Ben Franklin’s. In there you could buy everything from gifts, to sewing supplies, plastic swords and baseball cards. In 1986 my father took my older brother and me up to the store and helped us purchase our first pack of baseball cards. They were the big Topps triple packs wrapped in plastic. We took the cards home and opened them all up, figured out how many doubles we had and started organizing our new collection. Ricky Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Ryne Sandberg and many more favorites. Don’t tune me out here but my Father is a Cubs fan, so we were going to be Cubs fans. We had cable TV so WGN was channel 9 and when the games were on it was time to learn and be entertained. Soon after that we started going to the Peoria Chiefs games and watching many future Cubs earn their stripes.

I remember one time sitting with my Dad and watching a normal play work out right in front of me. Ground ball to the shortstop, he scooped it up and threw it over to the first basemen. Easy out. The action that I had never noticed before was that as soon as the ball was hit, the catcher was running down the first base side of the field and the second baseman was moving from his position to the second base. I asked my Dad why they did that and he started to explain to me a word called fundamentals. Fundamentals are the little things that players do that make all the difference. If the short stop over-threw the 1st basemen, the catcher would be there to back him up. If the runner tried for second, the second basemen would be there to take the catch. On that day and many others like it my father helped make me a disciple of baseball.

The word disciple is not normally the word people would use for sharing with another person your love for a sport or a team, but it fits. We as humans are, “wired” to be disciple makers. You are making disciples right now. If you have children, they are watching you. Even if you don’t have children the world is watching you and learning from your actions. Lets be honest, for most of us the idea of teaching our children about baseball seems much easier than making them disciples of Jesus, but God has given us no greater mission than teaching them about the truth of the Gospel and teaching them to share this truth.

John 21:15-19 (ESV):  15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”  He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”  19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

The first step in teaching your children and others about Jesus is not to get overwhelmed. Don’t scare yourself out of asking your children to pray with you, or sharing with a co-worker how God is working in your life because of the possible questions people may ask. You don’t have to have all the answers to every question.  I’m sure my dad didn’t know all the rules in the major league baseball handbook when he started to tell me the rules of the game. The best place to start is spending one on one time with your Father God. Let your own personal love and relationship with God overflow into those around you.

One great opportunity that is coming up this spring is Crosspoint’s mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico to support Isaiah 55 ministries. I have been twice, once alone and the second time with my oldest son Connor. This time Holly and all the kids are going. I look forward to sharing this experience with them. It is a wonderful blessing to get to go serve others. It is a wonderful chance to show my children material poverty and how the Holy Spirit is changing lives and on the move. I would like to encourage and personally invite everyone to join in the joy. It will cost you money, and time, but it will change your life. If you would like more information or if you have any questions please let me know.

God Bless!

And Go Cubs 🙂