Morgan Shepherd crashes, Josh Hamilton slips and rises

A very nice column on NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Morgan Shepherd. It was written pre-Aug.21 Bristol race, where Shepherd smacked the wall in qualifying, eliminating himself from the race. As anyone who has read this site twice, the team here are big fans of Shepherd and his efforts with Faith Motorsports and particularly thrilled for him as with the Bristol exception, he’s picked up the pace later in the season.

What I’ve found to be interesting about Shepherd is some of the folks he attracts around him. I’m a limited fan of the NASCAR circuit, but from what I’ve seen,  I probably wouldn’t want my younger children hanging out with Tony Stewart a lot. However, Stewart is one of the biggest supporters of Shepherd and his team and gave them three engines at the beginning of the season and buys all of their tires (a pretty big expenditure, probably approaching $500,000).

NASCAR’s oldest driver sees racing now much more as a ministry than a vocation. For proof, check out his website at www.morganshepherd.com.

Josh Hamilton
I get 95 percent of my stories via Google alerts that give you a small blurb about the story and a link. I received one Saturday morning that said, “Josh Hamilton will remain on ‘I Am Second’ billboards” The I Am Second campaign was a series of billboards placed throughout the nation, that cleverly linked up to, www.IAMSECOND.com.

To me, the headline indicated that they had debated pulling the Texas Ranger outfielder Hamilton, a recovering drug addict, from the campaign because he got drunk this past January and had some compromising photos taken with two females. 

In my opinion, Hamilton did everything right the next morning, including confessing to his wife, employer and Major League Baseball. So, when the pictures hit about seven months later, no one in his inner circle was surprised, except for the people who developed the campaign. But I loved the response to the questions about Hamilton.

“Leaders of I Am Second were impressed by how he owned up, and made a “pretty easy” decision to stick with him, said Nathan Sheets.

“We had him in the lineup before. We’re not going to take him down,” said Sheets, vice president of Plano-based e3 Partners Ministry, the group behind the campaign. “This isn’t about a bunch of perfect people.””

Nice insight there by Sheets, Christians are by far perfect people. Hamilton, who finished high school and then played professional baseball, came across like a theologian to me in a response to the Sam Hodges, the Dallas Morning News reporter who wrote the story.  “As a Christian, other Christians realize you are still going to make mistakes,” Hamilton said. “But as a Christian, you learn from and get encouragement from other believers. They don’t give up on you.”

Sadly, that isn’t always the case but happily, it seems like that’s the way it turned out this time for Hamilton. I think much of the primarily positive response to Hamilton was due to how he responded to the lapse.

Here’s the complete story from the Dallas Morning News and here’s a link to the I Am Second website.

FCA
This FCA Chapter says they’re looking for “Christians who love the Lord.”

Athletes die
This 14-year-old North Carolina athlete’s life revolved bringing others to know Christ. Sadly, here’s another story about Jake Logue, a defensive tackle who died in Tennessee, but his coach said, “He was also a great football player, but that really doesn’t matter much. He is a Christian and he is with Jesus. He’s in a much better place now.”

5K run
The Athletes’ in Action 5K in Mankato, Minn. is projected to have 100 runners this year.

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