"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!

How deep the Father's love for us

How deep the Father's love for us,
how vast beyond all measure!
that He should give His only Son,
to make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss;
the Father turns His face away
as wounds which mar the chosen One
bring many sons to glory.

Behold! the Man upon a cross-
my sin upon His shoulders;
ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there,
until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life:
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything-
no gifts, no power, no wisdom;
but I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
but this I know with all my heart:
His wounds have paid my ransom.

-Stuart Townend