Category Archives: Experience

Experience – valuable in sports and life

Three veteran pro baseball scouts, living in San Diego County, and all in their 80’s, scouted baseball talent for major league teams.  They have 150 plus years of experience among them.  An interview with a Union-Tribune writer revealed the changes in major league baseball since they started.  San Diego U-T, 6/9/17

A few points got my attention.  The first was their use of ears and eyes when judging prospects.  For example, where speed guns now tell how fast a pitch is, they listened and watched carefully as pitchers offered.  They could tell by the sound of the ball on its way and its impact on the bat how hard the pitch was.  They also learned that velocity itself could be misleading.  It didn’t determine the ball’s movement in the 60 feet, 6 inches between mound and plate.  The eyes could see that.

The second was the value of experience when youngsters are drafted.  Of course now that agents are involved, and they never have small sums in mind—they intend to get rich by getting rich off prospects who have never thrown a pitch at Busch Stadium or Wrigley Field.

While a player like Mike Trout, of the Anaheim Angels—oh, pardon me—the Los Angeles Angels—signed right out of high school, he’s the rare exception.  The trio of scouts noted the difference is vast between a senior in high school and a junior in college.  And the teams seeking to build through the draft fare much better signing the college kid.

They also noted the desire a young man had to learn.  Since being a student of the game is as important as being a player, only players who never stop studying the game last.

Experience in the Christian life is like baseball scouts tuning their eyes and ears to watch and listen as pitchers pitch.  No scholastic degrees rival it.  No lack of experience in a believer, however gifted, compensates for it.  No Christian, and no Christian leader, can ever stop being a student of the Master.  Service and learning go together and can never be separated.  Should we make service the all-in-all, we become shallow.  Should we make study the all-in-all, we become isolated.  But together…now that’s Christ-likeness!

Check out my E-books and website at:; 

Books at:  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley) 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at

Experience – some life . never fade

Dr. William Child stopped in Washington, D.C. on his way home to New Hampshire after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox.  He saw the glittering displays of Union victory everywhere.  He described it in a letter to his wife as an extended “illumination, fireworks, and one grand drunk.”

The memory he never lost, however, that remained fadelessly bright in his mind, came from Friday, April 14, 1865.  He decided to attend Ford’s Theater to see “Our American Cousin.”  He noted the President’s arrival a short time after the play began.  It continued for about an hour before a sharp pistol report interrupted the action.  When a man leaped awkwardly from the President’s box uttering a malediction, all eyes flew there.

Indescribable chaos supervened, accelerated by screams from the box, calls for medical succor from its inhabitants and efforts of helpers to force their way through doors the killer had blocked.

Everyone, including the doctor, thought the worst.  Doubts about the country’s stability stormed everyone’s mind.  Had the evil days of the French Revolution returned?  Had other government officials been harmed or killed?  Would bloodshed continue just when the guns had been silenced?

Some fifty years later Dr. Child related his experience to a granddaughter.  He said increasing age had made him an old man who had forgotten many things, but ONE remained glaringly bright:  the President’s assassination.  He could never forget the events of those few hours, April 14, 1865.  Civil War Times, May, 1996,    p. 43Most life-experiences remain in a memory package hidden in some brain cell, to be recalled only under particular stimuli.  But others burned their presence so deeply at the time that they remain, for good or ill, as points of delight or guilt, always present, never forgotten.  May the grace of Jesus Christ build so many such memories that our relationship with him stimulates continual joy and peace.

Check out my E-books and website at:; 

Books at:  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at  (Virgil Hurley)





Experience – personal needed in discipleship

Practice sessions in high school football and training camps in professional sports have a single goal:  get athletes ready for competition.  The same rationale applies to equipping military personnel for battle.  Whatever regimen is used goes only so far in readying players for game-time or troops for war.

And only battle proves the worth of military forces.  In fact, as American soldiers learned in WWII, training camps could only prepare them physically, not emotionally.  It could teach them to listen to orders, to obey orders, to use their weapons as manufactured, etc.  But nothing but fighting prepared soldiers for combat.  Determining the trajectory or nearness of artillery shells came from experience, not from books and classrooms.  Only experiencing the chaos of battle, its screaming shells, its concussive explosions, its whine of bullets far or near.  Of course, they only experienced, not heard, the bullet that hit them.  Citizen Soldiers, 161-162

Discipleship demands experience to prove itself.  As Paul wrote in Philemon 6, “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”  Note the conjunction between “active in sharing” and “a full understanding.”  As in, as we actively share our faith we discover the value of every good thing we have in Christ.

Be faithful to Bible study and persevere in prayer.  Both prepare us to serve.  They fuel our service.  They undergird all our efforts for Jesus.  But putting the preparation they provide into action is as necessary.  That action alone gets us accustomed to the acceptance, resistance, tolerance or rejection Christ’s call engenders as it encounters the unsaved.

If we have something to do for Jesus, DO it.  Something to say, SAY it.  If something to share about Jesus, SHARE it.

Check out my E-books and website at:;

New books at:  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Books also at  


Experience – values of personal

Nearly half of the 130 ships that sailed in the Spanish Armada in 1588 never returned to home port.  And, of 30,000 men aboard, two-thirds died.  The survivors often wished they had, for shipboard conditions afflicted all with horrible sufferings.  Crashes on the Irish coasts and subsequent imprisonments deepened their afflictions.  When one survivor later wrote an account, he said he knew that his experiences wouldn’t be fully understood by the readers; that a great gulf always existed between those who actually suffered and those who merely observed it in others.  Yet his witness would give a small detail of the infinite sufferings he had known, and it would be profitable to that end.  (David Howarth, Voyage of the Armada, 243, 207)

In John 9:25, the former blind man’s witness had that effect.  Something wonderful had happened to him, and he had to tell someone about it.  Thus, when encouraged by the Pharisees to deny Jesus’ role in his healing, he refused.  He wouldn’t argue theology with them, but he would argue personal experience.  There were things he didn’t know, and he wouldn’t speak of them.  But he wouldn’t be silenced about things he did know—and he knew he had been blind and that Jesus had been the source of his new sight.  That he would tell to anyone.

Like the blind man, we need not be ashamed of our personal experience with Christ, even if it’s denied or repudiated by others.  Obviously, superficial experiences can substitute emotional feelings for the rock-hard reality of Jesus Christ.  But if Jesus has changed us, it must be shown and told.  As long as our experience is biblically-based and spiritually-accurate, we never need be ashamed to express it.  Like the blind man, we cannot help but speak of what we know.  We won’t be silenced just because we may not know everything.