Sunday, August 20, 2006
Celebrities are Christians Too
I know that the title of this post seems, well, a little rude, but with all the crazy liberalness coming out of Hollywood, and the utterly insane comments and reporting coming from the media, I figured that I would share this little gem.

While looking through the Religion section of the Houston Chronicle on Saturday, I noticed this article on the front page. It made me smile, to see and read about 2 things I love to talk about...God and baseball! I found Lance Berkman's comments inspiring during an age when most Christian celebrities are a little "shy" about sharing their faith. I also found what he had to say somewhat reserved (he has been known in Houston and in baseball for making some pretty Yogi Berra-ish comments).

Aug. 18, 2006, 8:56PM
A heart for the game and a heart for God

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The Astros, aka the God Squad, have their own chaplain, a folksy gentleman as generous with wisdoms and Bible verses as a school nurse with Band-Aids.

During spring training, the 'Stros meet regularly for Bible study led by team funny man and slugger Lance Berkman.

On Sundays, the turnout at well-attended team worship services includes regulars Berkman, Andy Pettitte, Chris Burke, Morgan Ensberg and Adam Everett.

The other day The Chronicle's Claudia Feldman recently sat down with Berkman in the dugout at Minute Maid Park to talk religion, baseball and the connection between the two. He sandwiched the interview few minutes between a family birthday party, batting practice and a pre-game autograph fest with 50 children from Wesley Community Center and the Baytown YMCA.

Did the kids swarm you at the birthday party?

Nah. They were 5-year-olds. And little girls.

Is faith in God pervasive on the team?

I would say probably 15 of 25 guys - over half the team - are Christian. And we're the only major-league team with a chaplain, Gene Pemberton, (on the payroll). All the teams have baseball chapel. We have that, too, and I'm the chapel representative. The chapel leader is Kevin Edelbrock. He comes in on Sundays and leads chapel for us and also the visiting team.

What happens at the services?

Mainly, Kevin tries to relate to baseball. And he'll lead us in a lesson from the Bible - we go through a book a month. Right now we're on 1 Thessalonians. And we pray. If someone's parents or kids are sick, or someone's wife is pregnant, we pray for them. It's a time of fellowship. We belong to a church here, but during the season, we never get to go.

You were the leader of Bible study during the spring. How did it go?

We had five weeks of spring training so we studied 1 John, which has five chapters. We took a chapter a week. We didn't have homework - most guys would rebel against that - but they read on their own. We would try to figure out, ``What do you think this passage is saying? What is God trying to teach through his word?''

Growing up in the Austin area, was your family religious?

I like to say I overcame a drug problem. My parents ``drug'' me to church. For a long time, it was a religious ritual, but it had no depth, no meaning for me. There's a difference between knowing a lot of facts about God and knowing God. ... I guess you could say I was born again, or transformed from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive, when I was at Rice (University).

That's when I felt a true connection with God. There was no lightning bolt, but I felt that connection over a course of time. And people helped, my roommate and his sister, who became my wife. They were instrumental. They taught me the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.

Were you ever a hell-raiser?

I had that typical experience, a time of debauchery. I was doing things I shouldn't have been doing, and I'm not proud of it. But there was nothing to it; it wasn't lasting.

What role does faith play in your life?

It's most important. Most people want to compartmentalize their job, family and religion. But when you're a Christian, it permeates every aspect of your life. It's who I am, and it comes out in every arena.

Faith also helps me not get caught up in the hype of being a local celebrity. Some get a feeling of elevated importance. In 200 years, no one will know I played. I try to keep an eternal perspective.

How are faith and baseball intertwined? And do you ever pray for hits?

I'm not here to say I'm an authority on how God operates, but as for praying for hits, I'm not into that.

I think God cares about me - he cares about our struggles - but I don't believe that if I pray for a hit, he'll get me a hit.

If I'm in a slump, I'll bring that burden to him. You grow through trials. You learn from difficult times.

God didn't spare his own son, and he doesn't spare us.

Two teams pray for a win. God doesn't care about a baseball game or the World Series. He cares about individuals.

Every once and a while I run across things like this and I smile. It is good to know that there are celebrities, sports heroes, and other not-so-regular Joes out there that just happen to be Christians as well. If only the media would share more often, there would be a little more for us all to smile about.

  posted at 9:48 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home

About Me

I am JD
From Texas

My Complete Profile


Read It

Powered by

Latest Posts
  • I Need You To Love Me

  • Too bad I did not have a backup hard drive...

  • I'm Back....I think...No Really, I Am

  • The Lonely, Impatient Christian: Impatience

  • The Lonely, Impatient Christian: Introduction

  • I've Been Busy...

  • I Do What I Don't Want To Do..

  • Was Solomon plagiarized?

  • Ecclesiastes is depressing....

  • The Beginning

  • Archives
  • February 2006

  • March 2006

  • April 2006

  • July 2006

  • August 2006

  • September 2006

  • October 2006

  • November 2006

  • December 2006

  • January 2007

  • February 2007

  • March 2007

  • April 2007

  • May 2007

  • July 2007

  • August 2007

  • September 2007

  • October 2007

  • November 2007

  • December 2007

  • January 2008

  • March 2008

  • April 2008

  • May 2008

  • November 2008

  • December 2008

  • Blogs I Read
  • Angela Messenger
  • Gen-X Missional Wesleyan
  • Gloria Deo
  • Growing Vertical
  • The Ironic Catholic
  • Locusts and Honey
  • Loved Sinner
  • Mitch Lewis
  • Post-Methodist

  • Sites to Visit
  • Blue Letter Bible
  • The Loft Worship
  • Lark News
  • My Utmost

  • Blogrolls
    Methodist Blogroll [-]

    Worth a Read


    Sinai Summit
    by Rick Atchley

    Practice of 

Presence of God

    Practice of Presence of God
    by Brother Lawrence

    Mere Christianity

    Mere Christianity
    by C.S. Lewis

    Blog Design by:

    Image from:

    Powered by: