Inside Pitch Magazine, March/April 2019

Intentional Walk: More Words to Live By

By Keith Madison
Baseball is a game and it’s supposed to be fun, right? But, there is a lot of self imposed pressure and also pressure from outside sources…athletic directors, parents, fans and media. It’s good to know where to go for wisdom, direction, motivation and encouragement. The Bible is more than a book of rules to live by, it’s also a book of wisdom, direction, motivation and encouragement. January’s Intentional Walk, “Words to Live By,” was so well received that we decided to share “More Words to Live By” from some great competitors:

Matt Bragga: Led Tennessee Tech to the Super Regionals in 2018 prior to taking his aggressive, high energy style of play to Rice University.

Have I not commanded you—be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

This verse is so powerful! Strong and courageous just speaks to me as a Christian and gives me a warrior-like mentality. I also love wherever you go. As our family and I were deciding on moving to Houston, a friend of mine sent this verse and that part (wherever you go) gave me great peace to know that it all is good.

Steve Springer: Former Major League infielder, author, motivational speaker and “mental” coach. Currently runs Quality At Bats ( Springer was previously interviewed in an Inside Pitch feature article:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).

I used to sign baseballs with John 3:16 under my signature, hoping they would look up this verse.

Gary Gilmore: Led Coastal Carolina to a national championship in 2016 and has notched 927 wins as a head coach.

“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will not cause pain.” And God granted his request.(1 Chronicles 4:10)

I pray this prayer everyday trusting God will answer! I especially prayed this during our national championship run in 2016. God answered by allowing me the opportunity to share my faith during and since the College World Series.

Mark Brew: Directed his first seven Lee University teams to the NAIA World Series appearances before leading them in the transition to NCAA Division ll.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline.(1 Timothy 1:7)

I think this verse is a great challenge to Christian coaches and athletes. We have an unfair perception from some that we are soft or timid due to our faith. God does not guarantee His followers and easy road. However, He has equipped us with a “spirit of power” to meet those challenges both in our spiritual life and on the field.

Casey Dunn: Only 43, Casey has already garnered 456 wins as a head coach at Samford University.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you. (1 Peter 5:6)

As a player, and now as a coach, I always want and expect things to happen right away. This verse reminds me that if I live my life for the Lord and put my trust in Him, He will put me in the right place at the right time.

Kevin Malone: Former General Manager of the Montreal Expos and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might! (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

This verse resonates with me because my parents instilled a great work ethic in me. They taught me to do things right. For example, if I was walking the trash out, it wasn’t acceptable to just roll it part of the way down the driveway…I was expected to roll it to the curb and make sure it is facing in the right direction to make it easy on the gentleman picking up our trash! Christ wants us to take pride in all that we do from the simplest to hardest tasks we face. Always finish empty for the Lord!

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