To the world, I looked like a success. I had everything that's supposed to make a man happy. I had a successful restaurant operation. I had money. I had power. I had friends. I owned a piece of the New York Yankees. GQ even did a three page article on me.
But inside I was empty. I was into drugs. I was drinking. I was separated from my wife. My life was out of control. I kept trying to fill up my life with all the wrong things, and the more I tried to fill my life, the more empty I became.
My wife, Vicki never gave up. And after she came to faith, she and my children continually prayed for me, even though I had hurt her with my behavior
She invited me to attend a Christian dinner, and it was there that I heard a story about how God had a plan for my life. The message got through. Even though I had grown up Jewish, that night I prayed to receive Jesus as my personal Savior.
I entered rehab, and the first night I was going through withdrawal. I got down on my knees, tears streaming down my face, and I felt a great sense of peace. I knew I was going to be fine.
Not long after, I moved back in with my family. My son, who was 9 at the time, wrote a paper titled, "The best day ever" Daddy was home. And I understood that marriage is about commitment, and love isn't so much a feeling as it is a choice.
And the emptiness I had felt the attempt to fill up the holes in my life with things that were destructive was replaced with an understanding of the grace, the mercy, the love of God. His love has filled me.
Oh, I still strive to be successful in everything I do. Being a Christian doesn't mean that we don't do our best in fact Jesus would never want us to do anything half-hearted. But now I have a different motivation. Instead of trying to fill up my own
needs, now I've surrendered my own will, and I do everything as a follower of Jesus.
Being a part-owner of the Yankees is not only great it's also a privilege and an honor. It has been a dream come true and something that never gets old or tired. After the 1996 American League Championship Series victory over Baltimore, in Camden Yard, I took my wife and children out onto the field. No one else was there, except a couple reporters from ESPN. I remember how incredible it felt. I looked around thinking, "Thank You, God. Thank You."
There is so much I am thankful for. I am thankful for my family, and I'm thankful for being part-owner of the Yankees, but most of all I'm thankful that Jesus died for me and for my sins and being Jewish makes it that much more special. I have the Old Testament traditions in my heart and the Messiah's blood running through me.
Of course, there is one thing I am more thankful for than anything else. I have come to know the love of God in Jesus Christ, and He has filled me with His grace. And while the world may still look at me as a success, the more important thing is that when God looks at me, He sees His child.
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