Here's how good Evan Longoria is:

The Rays have a pitching machine that shoots out tennis balls up to 120 mph. Some of the balls have a black mark on them, some have a red mark. Longo can crank the machine up to 100 mph, then can call out what color is coming to the plate.

When he sees a black ball, he pulls it.

When he sees a red ball, he hits it to the opposite field.

When teammate Carlos Pena was asked him how he did that, Longo smiled in amazement and said, "I have no idea."

Planned Parenthood: "Every child, a wanted child."

Today I learned that Planned Parenthood uses the slogan: "Every child, a wanted child."

Under normal circumstances, I could agree with that. Every child is wanted when you consider the millions of families lined up for adoption, and are caught up in the waiting line.

According to PP, the phrase originated in 1928 Massachusetts, from proponents of birth control. Advocates claimed preventing conception through the available technology was acting responsibly (to which I agree). Eventually, married couples would be granted birth control methods to reduce the number of accidental pregnancies in marriages. And that is where their article ends. (http://ow.ly/2qi1N)

But what do they mean today?

By still using that slogan to include abortion, PP is saying, "every child, a wanted child - so let's identify unwanted children and kill them before they are born."

This. is. infuriating. Can we turn that slogan around?

"every unwanted child, a dead child"

How can anyone try to take the moral high ground on killing children?

According to America's Pregnancy Helpline, "In the USA, there are approximately two million infertile couples waiting to adopt, many times regardless of the child's medical problems such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, HIV infection or terminally ill" and only 1 baby for every 36 desiring couples are available.

Every child is a wanted child, and PP's use of that slogan is shameful.

U2 - North Star

Forty-five light years from home
is where you are & where I wanna be
Beside you

I'm looking for direction
the stars are your reflection
to the space between you and me

I can’t wait any longer for your love

The birds still singing for their rent
They fly above the government
It’s not a song of discontent
Our money now its nearly spent

Here I am, a space cowboy
Looking out for love and logic in the universe
yeah yeah

I can’t wait any longer for your love

& The day packs it in
& You watch as the sun goes down
& Pray that the night will come quickly

You hope - You pray
that the clouds leave the sky alone
There’s only one light that can guide you
Guide you home

I can’t wait any longer for your love

It’s like the silence and the shock
While the lights are barely shining
You want it - You got it
You take a lot of love inside...



We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success... The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see Him. (Mark 6:45-51)

... if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.

In the Bible clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. “The clouds are the dust of His feet” (Nahum 1:3).

Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child— a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows.

If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are… A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.

- Oswald Chambers, excerpts from My Utmost for His Highest
(July 28 - August 5)

"nobody, not even the rain," by e. e. cummings

somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

e. e. cummings

The Price of Vision

by Oswald Chambers...

"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord." Isaiah 6:1

Our soul's history with God is frequently the history of the "passing of the hero." Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died - I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? or - I saw the Lord?

My vision of God depends upon the state of my character. Character determines revelation. Before I can say "I saw also the Lord," there must be something corresponding to God in my character. Until I am born again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of my prejudices only; I need the surgical operation of external events and an internal purification.

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. "In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee." Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

Let's Go Rays

The last team to get no-hit twice in one season, throw a no-hitter themselves, and win the world series was the 1917 White Sox...

Can I Has That?

The new iPhone 4 drops this week! I have never owned an iPhone, but I want one so badly. Unfortunately, my phone is not due for an upgrade until May! To leave my contract and drop the old phone, which they game me for free and is pretty good at texting, would actually be kind of expensive due to my contract. So in the mean time, I can only dream.

from the WSJ:

An iPhone Snapshot

Positive Improvements

  • Higher-resolution display with 960x640 pixels
  • Improved built-in camera with flash
  • Front-facing camera and FaceTime video chatting software
  • Multi-tasking
  • Unified inbox for multiple email accounts
  • Improved battery has 7 hours of talk time
  • Folders for organizing apps


  • Multi-tasking is limited
  • AT&T reception gets mixed results
  • FaceTime video chatting only works with other iPhone 4s and over WiFi

How to Listen to a Sermon (1772)

How to Listen to a Sermon by George Whitefield

Keys for getting the most out of what the preacher says

Jesus said, 'Therefore consider carefully how you listen' (Luke 8:18). Here are some cautions and directions, in order to help you hear sermons with profit and advantage.

1. Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to know and do your duty.
To enter His house merely to have our ears entertained, and not our hearts reformed, must certainly be highly displeasing to the Most High God, as well as unprofitable to ourselves.

2. Give diligent heed to the things that are spoken from the Word of God.
If an earthly king were to issue a royal proclamation, and the life or death of his subjects entirely depended on performing or not performing its conditions, how eager would they be to hear what those conditions were! And shall we not pay the same respect to the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and lend an attentive ear to His ministers, when they are declaring, in His name, how our pardon, peace, and happiness may be secured?

3. Do not entertain even the least prejudice against the minister.
That was the reason Jesus Christ Himself could not do many mighty works, nor preach to any great effect among those of His own country; for they were offended at Him. Take heed therefore, and beware of entertaining any dislike against those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers over you.

Consider that the clergy are men of like passions with yourselves. And though we should even hear a person teaching others to do what he has not learned himself, yet that is no reason for rejecting his doctrine. For ministers speak not in their own, but in Christ’s name. And we know who commanded the people to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees should say unto them, even though they did not do themselves what they said (see Matt. 23:1-3).

4. Be careful not to depend too much on a preacher, or think more highly of him than you ought to think.
Preferring one teacher over another has often been of ill consequence to the church of God. It was a fault which the great Apostle of the Gentiles condemned in the Corinthians: 'For whereas one said, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos: are you not carnal, says he? For who is Paul, and who is Apollos, but instruments in God’s hands by whom you believed?' (1 Cor. 1:12; 2:3-5).

Are not all ministers sent forth to be ministering ambassadors to those who shall be heirs of salvation? And are they not all therefore greatly to be esteemed for their work’s sake?

5. Make particular application to your own hearts of everything that is delivered. When our Savior was discoursing at the last supper with His beloved disciples and foretold that one of them should betray Him, each of them immediately applied it to his own heart and said, 'Lord, is it I?' (
Matt. 26:22).

Oh, that persons, in like manner, when preachers are dissuading from any sin or persuading to any duty, instead of crying, 'This was intended for such and such a one!' instead would turn their thoughts inwardly, and say, 'Lord, is it I?' How far more beneficial should we find discourses to be than now they generally are!

6. Pray to the Lord, before, during, and after every sermon
, to endue the minister with power to speak, and to grant you a will and ability to put into practice what he shall show from the Book of God to be your duty.

No doubt it was this consideration that made St. Paul so earnestly entreat his beloved Ephesians to intercede with God for him: 'Praying always, with all manner of prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and for me also, that I may open my mouth with boldness, to make known the mysteries of the gospel' (Eph. 6:19-20). And if so great an apostle as St. Paul needed the prayers of his people, much more do those ministers who have only the ordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

If only all who hear me this day would seriously apply their hearts to practice what has now been told them! How ministers would see Satan, like lightning, fall from heaven, and people find the Word preached sharper than a two-edged sword and mighty, through God, to the pulling down of the devil’s strongholds!

This excerpt is adapted from Sermon 28 from The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield. Published by E. and C. Dilly, 1771-1772, London. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a British Methodist evangelist whose powerful sermons fanned the flames of the First Great Awakening in the American colonies.

Celibacy & Priesthood

The Pope defends celibacy for every priest & wonders why sexually confused pedophiles end up in ministry? 1 Timothy 4 says, "some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry," like the Pope.

There are roughly 1 billion Catholics. To care for that many people you need a lot of godly pastors. If you exclude men who want to marry & have kids, you have to take some less than healthy men to fill the ranks around the godly men called to celibacy.

- Mark Driscoll

These are bold points, and it reckons the question, is it right for the church to demand celibacy from its priests?

From a catholic friend of mine:

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

Does St. Paul contradict himself? Or was he warning against the dissolution of marriage in society in your scriptural reference?

You could say that in 1 Corinthians, he is merely speaking of an ideal, and not something that could actually be achieved in practice. But I would have to disagree with such an argument based solely on pragmatism.

My friend Rob argues Paul is being spiritually pragmatic, and that he is describing a literal spiritual gift, one of singleness, claiming "How can we know if we have the spiritual gift of singleness? Simply stated, do you want to have sex? If your answer is yes, you don't have it."

But to answer my Catholic friend directly, I have two thoughts. One answer could be in the purpose of 1 Corinthians. J.I. Packer writes:

"The purpose of 1 Corinthians, in large part, is to encourage Christians to attend the kinds of daily affairs that would be unimportant if Christ were returning within weeks or months… Like other NT writers, Paul considers all of time from the cross forward to be the "last days" (Acts 2:17, Heb. 1:2, James 5:3) and cousels Christians to live in the light of Christ's certain return at an unforeseen moment. Paul's point here is simply the form of this world, or its day to day affairs, is not eternal. Christians should prioritize their human relationships. material possessions, and worldly dealings accordingly."

But most of all, I see the key to understanding those verses to be earlier in the chapter. Back in verses 6-7, Paul notes:

"as a concession, not as a command, I wish that all men were as I am [that is, celibate]. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that."

Both marriage and celibacy have their own benefits, and should be considered, in Paul's words, "gifts." Paul recognizes his gift is not the norm, but his gift does not make him any holier than others. Note v. 28, 36 ("let them marry - it is no sin").

My friend responded saying

I agree with you that neither the gift of marriage or the gift of celibacy is "holier" than another. However, in the Catholic world, a priest is considered to lead a life of Christ in the sense that he must also live the lifestyle that Christ led. Christ was indeed celibate (unless you're a Dan Brown-er) so priests should be celibate as well.

Keep in mind that priesthood shouldn't really be a choice for men to make, but rather be a vocation, or calling, that can be just as holy as married life. It can also be just as sinful as married life can be.

I agree that a vocation is completely a calling on a priest's life, and that the men that answer that call are accountable to model Christ, but if I may ask though, where do you see in the scriptures that pastors are called to celibacy? I can see the interpretation in v. 7-8, or 32-35, but within the context of the chapter, this appears to me to be only an ideal (esp. considering v. 6 or 36). The scriptures even go so far as to prescribe elders and "overseers" to be "a one woman man" who can manage his family household. (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1)

I recognize the pragmatic situation, but just because something is fruitful in one man's life does not demand it of every person. Christ was homeless, and the early Christians sold all of their possessions for the sake of the church. Yet the call to be a Christian today does not require selling everything to give to the poor (i.e. the rich young ruler in Mark 10). In fact, the call of a Christian is often to maintain a level of wealth to be able to fund other ministries or missions (i.e. Joseph of Arimathea, who provided Christ's tomb to fulfill the prophecy 'He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.').

Furthermore, if you combine a call to marriage with a call to follow Christ, Paul writes in 1 Tim 5, "if a man cannot provide for his loved ones, especially his family, he has forsaken the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." The thought is slightly off topic, but I trust you can already see my implication that Christians and Leaders are not called to follow every command of Christ. But noting 1 Tim. 3 & Titus 1, before a man is called to be an overseer (pastor, literally bishop), he is a one woman man, managing his household with fiscal, moral, and spiritual responsibility. The same follows for deacons (elders). In order to ever be considered a leader, there is a presumed family. So where is an enforced celibacy justified here?

Now hear what I am saying. Does this mean a celibate man cannot be called to pastorship? I would say not, esp. in light of Matthew 19:12, when Jesus calls us to respect men who are called to give up sexuality for God (by choice or situation). Remember when the disciples asked Him two verses prior, "is it better not to marry?" and He said to them, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given." - asserting not all men are called to a celibate life, and this time by Christ Himself.

So some men are celibate for God, which Paul refers to as a gift, and we respect that. But it is never laid down as a requirement of man. If celibacy were truly a requirement of leading a life that exemplifies Christ, surely He would have told us!

Another Catholic friend affirmed to me,

the "scriptures do not call for celibacy, the ideal of a catholic priest to emulate Christ's life is to "act" like him. Christ never married nor does it say he had an intimate relationship with a woman. So the catholics priests, when ordained, vow to act as Christ did in all facets of life...celibacy is just one of MANY facets. It just gets the most attention because it is what sets a catholic priest apart from other christian ministers... it takes more of a commitment. Is it right?? That is the question."

And I would answer him, if the scriptures do not call for it, why make it a widespread requirement? My fear is that many men within the Catholic church are called to the priesthood, but are not called to celibacy, yet out of obedience to man-made religion and not god-breathed scriptures choose the priesthood, and suffer in ways they otherwise would not need to, if not for the fear of excommunication.

My Uncle John had this to say:

First, it must be noted that Judaism has no history of requiring celibacy in ministry. All Jewish men were expected to marry and have a family, in particular rabbis. The history of the early church shows ministers, pastors, and priests as married -- the apostles themselves were married! 1 Cor. 9:5 indicates while Paul was single, the other apostles had believing wives, and 1 Tim 3 has a requirement to serve as a bishop that he is "the husband of one wife." It has been already cited 1 Tim 4's declaration that forbidding to marry is rooted in a "deceiving spirit." Plus, the early church was not celibate. Clergy was generally married until the 4th century, and even then, the official declaration for priests not marrying did not come down until 1074, when Pope Gregory VII declared all clerical marriages invalid. The Catholic church's own history on this issue is rather sketchy.

He has a valid point when you consider the doctrine of perspicuity: That those verses in the Bible that are unclear should be interpreted in light of the passages that are clear. A look at the lives of the apostles, those who literally followed Jesus with everything they had, had wives themselves. If Christ wanted priests and pastors of churches to not have wives, He surely would have chosen single men!

The tradition is noble, but it is also a gift not all men are called to. To require a specific spiritual gift of all men in the priesthood is dangerous. Consider religions that demand all members to speak in tongues, and that if you cannot, you have not received the holy spirit (which is absurd). They point to event at Pentecost and claim that is the model for all churches. This is the model of a cult, taking one piece of scripture, and exploiting it out of context. For instance, consider 1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

The issue comes with that word "saves," and it leads to many false doctrines in some churches. To save here means "to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance," and NOT "to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment." Peter is exhorting here that it is not the getting wet that saves you, it is the faith in Christ. To believe it is baptism that literally grants salvation is false, and has become nothing but superstition. Jesus is the source of faith and salvation alone. Baptism is an appeal to God for a clear conscience, and an opportunity to recognize before God and man your new found life following Jesus.

Taken out of context, you get things like baptizing children, or baptizing in the names of other people to try and rescue those that have passed on as the Jehovah's Witnesses do. Neither ideas are found in the bible nor are they practiced by the early church. This is not much unlike a church demanding celibacy for any man called the priesthood, exploiting one thought in scripture, and demanding it of a widespread group of people.

What is God's Covenant?

God's response to our sin was covenant—saving, glorious, loving covenant. This is because God is, by nature of being Trinitarian, covenantal. As the Father, Son, and Spirit are a covenantal community as one God, so too they are graciously covenantal with the elect, despite the fact they are sinful enemies and rebels. . . .

When the Bible speaks of God's covenant with his people, it is explaining how our relationship with God is made by his provision and exists by his terms. That God deals with his people in covenant includes all of these glorious truths. Through covenant with God we enjoy a relationship with him that is akin to marriage and includes protection from Satan our enemy, peace with God though we declared war on him through sin, material provision in this life and the life to come, and a coming perfect kingdom as our home where Jesus will forever rule over all as our gracious covenant king. . . .

In a covenant with God there is no bargaining, bartering, or contract negotiations regarding the terms of the covenant. Neither is God's covenant something we must earn by our good works. It is always a gracious provision from the loving Lord to his people. The sovereign Lord of heaven and earth dictates the terms of God's covenants. It is God's covenant in that it is conceived, devised, determined, established, confirmed, and dispensed by God himself, who often says, 'I will establish my covenant with you.' This aspect of God's covenants reveals his sovereign rule as Lord.

Doctrine, Chapter 6. Covenant: God Pursues (pgs. 175–175),

by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears

A few famous people's thoughts on Jesus

A series of quotes of what some famous people have said and thought about Jesus. It's interesting to say the least.

  • Mahatma Gandhi: “I cannot say that Jesus was uniquely divine. He was as much God as Krishna, or Rama, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster.”
  • Adolf Hitler: “In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.”
  • Larry King was once asked who he would most want to interview if he could choose anyone from all of history. He said, ‘Jesus Christ.’ The questioner said, ‘And what would you like to ask Him?’ King replied, ‘I would like to ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.’
  • John Lennon: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock and roll or Christianity."
  • Carlos Mencia: “You know what, I became more Christian after I saw the movie [The Da Vinci Code] because, I, you know, as a Christian, I was like, you know, Jesus died for our sins he suffered. But now that I know that he’s married, I’m like, wow, did he really suffer. Poor guy.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: “Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.”
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Socrates died like a philosopher; Jesus Christ died like a God.”
  • Mark Twain: “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”
  • H. G. Wells: “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
  • Oprah Winfrey: “There couldn’t possibly be just one way . . .” [Lady in the audience: “What about Jesus?”] “What about Jesus? . . . Does God care about your heart or does God care about if you call his son Jesus?”
  • Malcolm X: “All white people who have studied history and geography know that Christ was a black man. Only the poor, brainwashed American Negro has been made to believe that Christ was white, to maneuver him into worshiping the white man.”

My God, My Father

My God, My Father while I stray
far from my home in life's rough way,
oh, teach me from my heart to say:
Thy will be done.

Though dark my path and sad my lot,
let me 'be still' and murmur not,
or breathe the prayer divinely taught:
Thy will be done.

But if my fainting heart be blessed
with the Holy Spirit for its guest,
my God, to Thee I leave the rest.
Thy will be done.

If Thou should call me to resign,
what most I prized never was mine.
I only yield Thee what is Thine.
Thy will be done.

Renew my will from day to day.
Blend it with Thine, and take away
all that now makes it hard to say:
Thy will be done.

And when on earth I breathe no more,
The prayer oft mixed with tears before,
I'll sing upon that joyful shore:
Thy will be done!

I've started learning to play a few worship songs for my family's weekly bible studies this summer! Evidently, my mom took a video on her iphone, so check out a video of my sister and I singing this song here.


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

- 1 Peter 1:3-9


"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

- 1 John 5:3


"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say: Rejoice!
"God wants you happy, but he doesn't do it with circumstance. He does it with himself. He does it with the gospel. He does it in-and-through circumstances. This is a call for faith - huge faith. That God is good, God is for us, God is using all these things for our deep happiness now, and our perfect, unsullied happiness in the age to come."
- John Piper
Let your reasonableness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things... practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

- Philippians 4:4-7

Rays' Zobrist signs 5 yr deal

or "I love the Rays front office."

Today, the Rays signed 2B/RF Ben Zobrist to 5 year deal
with $18 mil guaranteed through 2013
club options at $7 + $7.5 mil in 2014 and 2015

So why is this a big deal?

Last year, Zobrist was worth 8.3 Wins Above Replacement.
WAR calculates the total # wins a player adds to his team over the course of a season, comparing his performance to a "replacement player," or an average Triple-A call up.

For Zobrist to be worth $30 mil, he would need ~1.5 WAR per year! In reality, he will probably earn 4.0-5.0 WAR in the future, and considering 1 WAR is normally worth $4 mil, the money adds up fast.
Why $4 mil? an avg player’s true talent win rate can be found w/ a 3-yr weighted avg of their win values, then multiplied that value by .95 to factor in aging.
Do this across the mkt, the value can be expected to inflate to $4.5 in 2014, but in the name of conservatism, let's say $4 mil.

Note: those options hint that Zobrist could have gone up for contract arbitration after 3 years. This is a huge benefit to the Rays.

The scale for arbitration is 40%, 60%, 80% for each yr of play. Assuming year 1 is worth 5 WAR, and if he digresses 0.5 WAR a year, Zorilla is worth 17.5 WAR by the end of 5 yrs...
In $$$:
(20 x .40) + (18 x .60) + (16 x .80) + 14 + 12 = 57.6 mil

That's a $30 million profit!!!

This is assuming he would gather 2.5 WAR in 2015. Could he generate more? Yes! more than likely! That $30 mil is a minimum, and could go way up.

Great move. Go RAYS!