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Grace Covenant Church
Gadsden, Alabama
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A Real U-Turn
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
I remember as a boy liking certain baseball players. One that I for some unknown reason appreciated was Darryl Strawberry. I thought he was a good player and was amazed by his strength and ability. At the time, most of the players I liked the most were from my team, the Braves (with the above mentioned exception, along with Ozzie Smith and Nolan Ryan). I remember being saddened when I heard the Strawberry was addicted to drugs. I reminded me that heroes shouldn’t be put on too high a pedestal.

Just today though, I read an article that reminded me of something else: God’s grace can change even the stoniest heart, and retrieve the most lost of causes. Darryl Strawberry is no longer in baseball. He’s in a profession that he said gives him more happiness than anything he’s ever done: he’s a pastor. In an article in the Washington Post (discovered by Dr. Gene Veith), Strawberry gave an interview of his new life. Tell me if this doesn’t remind you of someone in Scripture.

“The two-story, four-bedroom house sits on a corner in this planned bedroom community, and when the muscular 6-foot-6 man welcomes you inside, there is no evidence that Darryl Strawberry the baseball player ever existed. There are no pictures of Strawberry in a Mets uniform. No trophies. No plaques. None of his four World Series rings. Nothing from his eight all-star games. None of his 335 home run balls.

‘I got rid of it all. I was never attached to none of that stuff,’ says Strawberry, 51. ‘I don’t want it. It’s not part of my life anymore.’ Darryl Strawberry the outfielder and slugger from the 1980s and ’90s is no longer. But Darryl Strawberry the ordained minister is very much alive in this town 30 miles west of St. Louis. ‘I’m over ‘Strawberry,’ he says. ‘I’m over Mets. I’m over Yankees. I don’t want to exist as Darryl Strawberry the baseball player. . . .That person is dead.’”

As I read the article, I was struck by how much he sounded like the Apostle Paul. Saul of Tarsus too was a superstar in his own right. He was trained at the feet of an amazing master. He likely saw himself in the tradition of Phineas, the priest who killed a man and his harlot for fornicating near the tabernacle in the book of Numbers. He was the true definition of anti-Christ (opposed to Christ). But he gave it all up when he was struck down on the way to Damascus by the Lord Himself.

Paul said in Philippians that all he had before he counted as dung (read rubbish, manure, fill-in-your-own-synonym) for the sake of Christ. He left everything behind. He had to if he was to gain Christ. Darryl Strawberry did the same thing. He gave up all his stuff from his glory days. All the rings, the memorabilia, everything because it’s trash compared to Christ. That’s not his life. It makes me wonder what things I have that get in the way of obeying Christ completely. How about you? What do you value more than the Lord of glory? What needs to be put on the trash heap in order to free yourself to serve your King?

Category:  Pastor Matt's Blog

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Prayer resources
MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
This is the list of prayer resources I spoke of yesterday in the afternoon sermon. The Book of Common Prayer (Anglican) Matthew Henry’s A Method of Prayer (Reformed) John Haberman’s Morning and Evening Prayer for All Days of the Week...
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Is she our mom or our babysitter?
SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
“‘He cannot have God as his Father who does not have the church for his Mother,’ said Cyprian, nearly two millennia ago. Perhaps if Protestant churches began acting more like dutiful mothers instead of fun babysitters, there...
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In (partial) praise of labels
MONDAY, JULY 08, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
Labels are odd things. There are some labels that people love, like non-judgmental Christian. Other labels are not so popular, like “fundamentalist,” “homophobic,” and “right–wing extremist.” Many...
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Making melody in your heart to the Lord
MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
I’ve recently come across several excellent Psalm-singing sites. These two sites are without instrumentation (here and here), and this one features Psalms being sung with instruments. These sites allow you to hear Psalm-singing at its best.
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Living pro-life
FRIDAY, MAY 03, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
Rachel Jankovic is quickly catching up to her dad (Doug Wilson) as a fantastic writer of practical theology. She has several books out, one of which Amanda and I have read and learned much from (Loving the Little Years). In this article at...
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The problem of evil and the hope of God
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
This is a sermon I gave a couple of years ago. With the bombings in Boston, it was a reminder that we will never escape the problem of evil and that we need to face it honestly and accurately. This is a time when Christians are posed with the...
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Have you heard one?
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
“Many Americans have complained of too many hellfire and damnation sermons in their past, but Bradford was one of the 112 individuals in our generation who had actually heard one.” – Doug Wilson, Evangellyfish
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A word on behalf of “Easter”
MONDAY, APRIL 01, 2013
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
As one who enjoys defying received wisdom from the ancients, here’s a blog post on the origin of the word “Easter.” As you might guess the author, Dr. Tim LeCroy, doesn’t hold to the “Easter is a pagan term”...
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Evaluating the Radical Movement
Posted by: Grace Covenant Church | more..
Matthew Anderson recently published an interesting piece at Christianity Today that evaluates the radical movement. For those unsure of what that is, Radical is a book published by David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, in Birmingham,...
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