Ben Zobrist: Learning to Trust God Through the Ups and Downs (Gospel Light Minute #125)

Ben Zobrist
Ben Zobrist

He is a professional baseball player for the Tampa Bay Rays. His versatility on the field allows him to play most positions except pitcher and catcher. He has been second baseman for the Rays since 2009. In 2009, he earned a trip to his first All Star Game in St. Louis. While there the Baseball Writers Association of America named him MVP of the Rays for that year.

Growing up as the son of a Baptist preacher in Eureka, Illinois, he played baseball since he was eight-years-old. He became a Christian at an early age and as he grew older, his faith in God increased. After no scouts looked at him when he graduated from high school, he thought his career was over, but God had other plans for him. Soon God opened up doors for him to play at Olivet Nazarene University, and then at Dallas Baptist University where he played shortstop.

During the in-between times when he was uncertain of his baseball career, he said, “I wondered why God allowed this to happen and I started to have lots of doubts. But God allows things to happen the way He wants, and we need to accept it joyfully and to love Him through things that don’t happen the way we would like in life. The Bible says: ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ Being sent up and down in both 2007 and 2008 was a great lesson for me. I had a prideful and wrong attitude about success. God was saying to me, ‘Keep working, keep glorifying Me; wherever you are, don’t grow weary in doing good for in due time, you will reap.’ I am learning to enjoy the experience God put me in at the moment and glorifying Him in that.”

His former teammate Brian Shouse said of him, “Ben is the kind of player you would want on your team…he plays hard, he wants to learn and improve, and he has a great attitude. He is a very active Christian and he looks for ways he can help and encourage others in life. He has found peace and joy in his life through his faith in Jesus.”

His name is Ben Zobrist.

Carlos Baerga: How Giving his Life to Christ Saved him from Losing his Family and Destroying his Life (Gospel Light Minute #97)

Carlos Baerga
Carlos Baerga

He is a former Major League Baseball player who played from 1990 to 2005. He spent most of his career as a second baseman, before moving to various positions later in his life. He has played for the New York Mets, the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox, and Washington Nationals among others. He was selected to the All-Stars three times in 1992, 1993, and 1995 and won the Silver Slugger Award two times in 1993 and 1994.

From the time he started playing, he had rapid success in baseball. He said in a CBN interview, “My career was going way up, and that was the moment that I really forgot about God — the God who gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues. I used to be a super star. Everything was so good for me that I wanted to keep living that life.” All of his wanting for more got him just that – more drinking, more partying, more women. Little did he know, however that getting more also would cost him his family. He said, “I almost lost my family. I didn’t know the damage I was doing to myself. When you walk without God, you can be hurt at anytime.”

After several heart-to-heart conversations with a close friend, he finally understood that there was no place else to turn and rededicated his life to Jesus Christ. He said, “We’re human. We go through those moments in life that we forget about God. We think that we are Superman, that we can do things without Him. We have to realize that we cannot do anything without Him. He’s the best feeling that you can have in life. When you put everything in God’s hands, there is nothing that you can not do. He gives you the life, He gives you everything. Thank God I still have my family with me.”

Now that he is retired, he seeks to help other baseball players get on the right path with God. He said, “[The guys playing now] are the ones that need to know the words of God. Right now what I’m trying to do is to talk to the guys more about God. You know, that’s the second chance God gave me. We are here for a reason: to spread the words of God.” His name is Carlos Baerga.

How Hard Times Led Mariano Rivera to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #62)

Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera

He is a baseball pitcher who has played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. He has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees’ closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in saves and games finished. His awards include five American League Rolaids Relief Man Awards, the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player Award, and the 2003 AL Championship Series MVP Award. He is the only reliever to win both a League Championship Series MVP Award and World Series MVP Award. He is regarded by baseball experts as one of the most dominant relievers in major league history. Continue reading “How Hard Times Led Mariano Rivera to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #62)”