Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- The difference one year makes..........

As I sit here on New Year’s Eve with Lora and Lucas watching college football I couldn’t help but reflect on what 2011 has meant to me and my family. Most of you reading this know the journey we’ve been on but I felt the need to summarize.

This time last year (and most previous years) I take the end of the year to reflect on personal goals that were achieved. Things such as my training miles, workout schedules, races completed, business success, and ways to improve for the next year.

This New Year’s Eve I can’t say that any of those things have really crossed my mind. I will always be trying to improve health and athletic wise but I really don’t have much of a clue on how my “total” accomplishments were achieved. The reason? 2011 was a life changing year for me and my family.

In February I was contacted by an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) ministry leader in Atlanta and was asked to go to lunch. As we met it was expressed to me that God had opened the door for me to enter full time sports ministry as the Director of Baseball/Softball ministries in Georgia. As most of you know baseball has always been a passion of mine and the opportunity to minister to coaches, kids, and parents through this platform was exciting. I knew the consequences would be walking away from our insurance business where I had felt comfortable for the past 12 years. As I went home after the meeting I knew that Lora and I needed to do some SERIOUS talking and praying. As I have stated on several occasions I believe that God seems to speak to our wives quicker than most of us men ( or at least they listen better than we do..ha). This conversation was no different. Lora and I sat down, I explained my meeting with FCA and her response was, “you should have been doing this years ago”. I knew at this point it was time to start praying. It took us 4-6 weeks but it became very apparent that God was working in our lives and it was time to take the leap. So in May the journey began and steps were taken to follow God’s lead.

I could type for hours about how God placed so many people in my path that have been such a blessing but I will simply say this. I can’t thank all of you enough for your support, prayers, encouragement, and the same excitement that I had for what God was doing through the game of baseball to reach the world (you all know who you are). I couldn’t have done this without you. A special shout out to my family, friends, my baseball board members, and of course Lora and Lucas.  I love you all!!

Since entering the sports ministry world this past summer I have been blessed to meet some awesome people, was part of 150 person baseball mission trip to the Dominican, seen young men lead to the Lord, coaches rededicate their lives, and hearts opened to become strong in their faith. The idea that God has chosen me and my family has been humbling to say the least. As I travel around Georgia and Atlanta area I have found that God has given me a voice to speak the Gospel/Truth and give coaches a different perspective on how to approach the game. You see…..a coach has more influence on a group of people in one year than most people have in a lifetime. The goal… them see that and make an impact on young people’s lives.

As 2012 is about 2 hours away I would be honest if I told you that I’m really not ready for 2011 to end. God used this year to change our life forever and I couldn’t be more blessed. However, knowing what He did in 2011 I can only be excited about what’s in store for 2012. My prayer is that all of you have a blessed 2012 and that you too find what it is that God is calling you to.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

14 yr old FCA baseball player making a difference....

I want to wish everyone a safe and happy new year. I pray that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and are now preparing for 2012 and what God has in store for us.

I wanted to share this article that was written about a young man that is part of our FCA Baseball ministry. I meet Logan this past June at a pre mission's trip meeting/practice. I ministered along side Logan while we spent 7 days in the Dominican Republic on one of our FCA Baseball mission trips. As I read this article I couldn't help but think of this passage.
12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

For those looking to give to a ministry prior to year end we would love to have your support.

By His Power,
Mike Roby
FCA Director of Baseball/Softball
ROMANS 12:1-2

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from FCA Baseball/Softball

On behalf of everyone associated with our FCA Baseball/Softball ministry we want to wish you and your families a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
As we approach December 25th our prayer is that all of you will have safe travels and be able to enjoy time with your families.  May we also take time to really celebrate what Christ & His birth means to all of us.  We look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for 2012!
Luke 2:8-12
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
By His Power,
Mike Roby
FCA Director of Baseball/Softball
ROMANS 12:1-2

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spoiled vs. Expected......

The other day I was flipping radio stations because I am just not able to listen to Christmas music 24 hrs a day (don’t judge me..ha). As I stopped on a station that I normally don’t listen to I was intrigued by the question they were asking listeners, “are our children (or your children) overly spoiled?”. I began thinking which ended up lasting all day with several conversations with others. I pondered whether or not my child is spoiled and even bigger, are we spoiled as a society. After talking to some close friends and wife here is what God showed me.

Are we and our children spoiled? Absolutely! As I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to difference countries and some third world countries I have concluded that God has clearly shown me that we are all spoiled. The simple fact that we have running water, air condition, heat, and electricity is more than most in our world even THINKS about having. When you compound that with this time of year and the money that we spend on our children, family, and friends it becomes so clear that as a whole….we are spoiled. But I believe that we need to take it one step further which might open your mind to a whole new idea.

As I spoke to several friends throughout that day and we discussed this topic there was one common theme that I heard over and over. That theme?? EXPECT. We talked about how our children walk into certain store’s and EXPECT to walk out with something. How many of you (I) go into Wal-Mart to grab a household item or grocery item and because our children are with us and ask for a $1-$5 item we grab it because it’s cheap and it keeps them happy? How about when we come home from work or school and EXPECT that our electricity will be on? Our TV to turn on? Our toilet to flush? Our shower/bath to produce water? I think you see my point. We EXPECT these things to happen because that has always been our expectation. If we walked into our homes and none of those things happened we would be upset (and don’t say you wouldn’t). We would call our utility company, service provider, repair person and “demand” that our service be restored……because it would inconvenience us.

As a follower of Jesus Christ my prayer is that fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will see our everyday treasures as a Blessing but my fear is that we view many of our treasures as expectations. When we EXPECT than we lose focus on whom and why we have everything that we have.

Psalm 33:12-13, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind.”

Ezekiel 34:26, “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.

So, for me the radio station’s question is bigger than just are our children spoiled. The question is have we as a society and body of believers become so spoiled that it has become expected? I hope you agree that God’s blessing is more than we deserve…..and therefore our expectations should simply be to give Him praise for the things we have daily and minute by minute.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

11 yr old team minsters to homeless

Hey everyone,
I mentioned yesterday that one of our ministered teams had done a ministry project in downtown Atlanta.  Below you will find a note from our coach and a few photos.  I'm convinced that God is using these baseball teams/players to reach our communities.  Thanks again for your commitment!
Mike Roby
This past Saturday our team headed down to Atlanta to join several churches in passing out food and clothing to the homeless.  Even more important, we had the opportunity to pray and minister to them.  The event touched our hearts and made so many of us in attendance feel lucky to have the “basics” that God has provided us.  Many do not know that we have 25,000 homeless people in the city of Atlanta alone – so the opportunity to earn a jewel in our crown is very close to home.

My hope is that our players and parents alike will give thanks to the many blessings God provides us with and do everything we can to spread his word and share our good will.  

God Bless you this Christmas!

Mike Nardella
11U FCA Redhawks

Monday, December 12, 2011

10u FCA Softball

I am excited to announce that the south side of Atlanta will have their first FCA softball team.  Coach Darby Steele from McDonough has felt the call to start a 10u FCA travel softball team.  These young ladies will be ministered to through their coach on a weekly basis.  Not only will they learn the game of softball and compete in Atlanta area tournaments they will also be involved in weekly devotions/bible studies.
Darby will be holding team tryouts on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 from 2-4pm @ the Salem Baptist Sports Complex in McDonough.  Registration begins at 1:30pm and tryouts are of course FREE.
This will be a 10u (2001 B) team.
For further info please email Coach Darby Steele.  Her email address is:
By His Power,
Mike Roby
FCA Director of Baseball/Softball
ROMANS 12:1-2

Friday, December 2, 2011

Coaches Clinic

On behalf of our baseball board of directors and myself we want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  As you spend time with your family and friends our prayer is that you will also take time to thank our Lord for the blessing He has given us.  Without Him nothing is possible.

We are excited to launch our first coaches clinic for 2012.  Attached is the brochure/flyer for the Jan 14th clinic which will be held in Lilburn, Ga.  Last year this clinic had 160 coaches attend from every level of baseball.  If you know someone that would benefit from this please feel free to forward.  Not only will these coaches learn about the game of baseball but more importantly they will learn about the game of LIFE and God’s game plan.

For those of you on the south end of Atlanta don’t worry.  We have a clinic coming in February for you as well.  That info will follow in the next few weeks.

By His Power,
Mike Roby
FCA Director of Baseball/Softball

Happy Holidays!

Hey everyone,
First I want to say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all of you.  As we take time to spend time with our family and friends over the next few days, may we also stop and spend time giving thanks to God.  Without Him there would be no blessings.

As most of you know this has been a crazy year for me and my family.  God has completely changed our path and we couldn't be more grateful.  I am thankful to all of you for your patience as this new journey has caused me to take a step back in our endurance team/ministry.  I look forward to seeing what God does in 2012!

Lastly, after speaking with several of you it appears that our schedules during December is jam packed.  We have decided to move our season ending fellowship to January.  We hope to have a date within the next week or two.  Hopefully this will allow all of us to have a little more "free" time after Christmas to really enjoy getting together and not be rushed. Talk soon!

By His Power,
Mike Roby
FCA Director of Baseball/Softball