Friday, December 26, 2014

Doc's "Letter to My Younger Self"

DEC 19 2014

Dear Doc,

I’m writing you this letter from the future — many, many fastballs and curveballs from where you’re standing now. It may seem farfetched now, but in the coming years you will achieve your greatest dreams and be forced to confront a lot of pain and darkness. I can’t shield you from all the mistakes and errors — these are the things that will shape the man you ultimately become — but here’s some guidance about the journey you’re going to embark on.

When you’re a 13-year-old in Tampa Bay, a man will tell you that one day you’re going to play for the New York Yankees. His name is George Steinbrenner and you should listen to him.

If Mr. Steinbrenner offers you a small stake in the Yankees several decades later, maybe think twice before turning him down out of respect for your friendship.

On that note, your agent will approach you about becoming an early investor in a fast food chain called Checkers. At the time you might assume that it won’t be able to compete with Burger King. Maybe reconsider that decision as well.

$2,400 a month is not a good deal for an unfurnished, windowless basement apartment in Port Washington in 1984. Find a place closer to the stadium — you can afford windows, man.

I can’t believe I have to tell you this, but the reason fans are following you to the grocery store is because you decided to put a strip that says Mr. Dwight on the windshield of your Z20 Camaro. You’ll remember this car as the one with the bunny rabbits painted on both sides. Oh, and the big fuzzy dice. Try to practice a little discretion. The jheri curl, large medallion and gold teeth you’re rocking won’t do much to help you blend in either. Your teammates won’t say anything to your face, but you better believe they’re talking about you.

Take a moment to thank the Lord that social media will not exist during your playing career. The entire ‘86 Mets team probably would have been locked up.

You’re too stubborn to listen to me on this, but your arm isn’t indestructible. The damage you do to your body off the field will eventually catch up to your performance on the mound. Trust me when I say that those 150 pitch shut-outs will add up quickly, so try to take care of yourself.

There is one pitch that will forever haunt you. It will happen during the 1988 NLCS with your team up 4-2. In the 9th inning, you’ll walk John Shelby on four pitches, and then face Mike Scioscia. The guy is not a home run hitter but you should respect him as a veteran with a lot of experience. Everyone in the stadium, including Scioscia, knows that you’re going to throw a fastball. With your first pitch, your instinct will be to try to throw it over the middle to get ahead on the count with a quick strike. What you should do is throw it low and away.

Read that last line again. Throw it low and away.

Everything will come much easier if you always remember that the media is not the sole judge of your successes and failures. If you think you pitched a good game, that’s all that matters.

I should tell you that the biggest challenges you’ll face in your lifetime will not relate to baseball. Baseball is something that will always come naturally to you. You’ll struggle with the things that don’t come as naturally.

Someday your father will pass away, and when he does, going to the ballpark will start feeling like a job for the first time in your career. At that point, take some time away from the game to reevaluate what’s really important in life. If you don’t allow yourself time to emotionally recover, the wins won’t bring joy and the losses won’t bring disappointment. That’s when you know it’s time to retire.

Eighty percent of your drive will come from your desire to make dad proud, while the other 20 percent will be for you. Do your best to flip those numbers around, otherwise his absence will cause you to spiral. There are steps you can take to stop this decline, but you’ll have to discover them the hard way.

Your yearning to be liked should not define you as a person. Not everyone has your best interests in mind.

Drugs and alcohol are only a false sense of security. Neither thing will fill the void you feel. Unfortunately it might take you a few missed Christmas Days with your family to learn this.

You will want to try to fix your issues on your own. This is how you think a man handles his problems. It isn’t. Being a man is about reaching out for help when you need it. If your curveball isn’t working, you’ll know how to fix that. If the control on your pitches is off, you’ll know how to fix that. But you will face a lot of hardship because of your inability to realize that you can’t fix yourself.

Finally, please know this: I love you. It’s going to take you a long time and a lot of pain to realize this, but accepting it will go a long way towards healing. The journey will be trying, but it ends in a good place.

Keep getting those Ks,

Dwight ‘Doc’ Gooden

Gooden is now a spokesman for (@PinkTieOrg), a Long Island-based charity dedicated to fighting breast cancer. He is also the president of Best of the Best Sports Management, where he works alongside his son, Dwight Jr. But first and foremost, he is an involved father and grandfather to all of his children and grandchildren.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why Jesus?

Why Jesus?

You can know God personally. The Creator of the universe made you and
wants an intimate relationship with you. The way to know the Father is
through his Son: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). How can you meet Jesus for yourself?

Who is Jesus?

The most important question in human history is the one Jesus asked his followers 20 centuries ago: "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15).
Muslims believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life,
ascended to heaven and will return to our planet at the end of
history--but they do not believe that he was divine. Many Buddhists and
Hindus view him as an enlightened teacher. Many Jews see him as a
brilliant rabbi.

How did Jesus see himself?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mark 5:18-20

This commentary or exposition (I don't know the better word to use... Simply Google-ing might work, but its VERY late. Ha!) really made broadcasting the following important to me because of the powerful description and deconstruction of what was a confusing passage. I had always know this story, but when I slowed myself down in reading the verses of "Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon, Mark 5:1-20" some of it didn't seem to flow with how Jesus had worked previously in Mark. Like I said, I've read this passage before and reading back over it didn't change what I originally thought about it in my heart and head.

What it did for me was paint an even grander, beautiful picture of this miracle. Jesus worked such an amazing thing here that Mark took more time describing this one exorcism than usual. This commentary/exposition was a reminder to myself that what I can't comprehend or understand about my own life and its direction doesn't always need my own understanding. Its a reminder to trust God and to trust His plans for my life. God's in control and that's an awesome thing! Furthermore, God desires me, wants a relationship with me and always loves me! I am going to continue to stumble and struggle with life's temptations and my own desires, but God always loves me and always will. He's going to be with me even when he seems to be "on the other side of the lake"and I'm sometimes left in places that "begged him to depart." He is with me (you) always.

Below is copy and pasted from - Reference:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia ministries has produced "Forgotten Christmas."  Take a moment to view the video, then let's continue our conversation.

It's estimated that Americans will spend $400 billion on Christmas this year.  Forty percent of the toys given in December will be broken by March.  Fifty percent of us will spend more than we can afford.  A third of us will take six months to pay off our Christmas spending.  And 20 percent will have trouble making their mortgage or rent payment in January because of Christmas spending.

The commercialism of Christmas continues apace.  Kmart aired its first Christmas ad last September.  More than a dozen major retailers will be open all day Thanksgiving for Christmas shopping, rendering Abraham Lincoln's vision of "a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father" less relevant than ever.

How do we balance the holiday of Christmas with the holy day of Christ's birth?

Paul instructed Timothy: "As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17, NRSV).  Here we find two truths in apparent conflict.

On one hand, we are not to confuse prosperity with purpose.  Paul warns that riches are "uncertain"—the Greek word describes a foundation that could crumble and cause the house to collapse.  Hebrews 13:5 warns us to "keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have."  1 Timothy 6:10 adds that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils."  Ecclesiastes 5:10 predicts, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money."

On the other hand, God "richly" (plousios, abundantly, extremely) gives us what we have for our "enjoyment" (apolausis, pleasure, profit, advantage, joyfulness).  Our Father has "plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).

A way to harmonize these truths is to use our material possessions for eternal purposes.  From Abraham and Barnabas to today, the Lord uses wealth for his glory and our good.  According to the Gospel for Asia video, one percent of what we spend on Christmas gifts would provide clean water to over a billion people in South Asia and a Bible to everyone in the world.  By giving that amount to ministries, millions could hear about the first Christmas for the first time this year.

How can we make Christmas less commercial and more spiritual?  Please share your thoughts in our comments section.  And ask the Lord how he wants the holidays to be holy days for you and your family.  Mother Teresa was right: "It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you."

- Written by Jim Denison