Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
- Get it by Thursday, January 25 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Frank Pastore stepped onto the mound in Dodger Stadium to throw another fastball—something he'd done thousands of times since childhood. But this time was different. The batter connected and the ball came rocketing back to the mound, shattering not only Frank's pitching elbow—but also his dream of getting “rich and famous” through Major League Baseball™.
As he walked to the training room, Frank found himself asking a God he didn't believe in, “Why is this happening to me?”
There was no answer—at least not then.
It was this injury that sent Frank, a lifelong atheist, on a journey that would change not only his mind but also his whole life—as a husband, father, friend, and troubled son.
We all know the pain of shattered dreams. We've all wondered how to pick up the broken pieces after a crisis. We've all wondered, “Where is God?” when life hurts so bad.
This is a story of how the fragments of broken dreams can be reassembled into even bigger and better things. A story of how, when life's disasters and difficulties knock us down, they don't have to destroy us.
This is a story that shows how all of us can come to know we're in God's good hands.
Even when we're shattered.
|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
For the past six years, Frank Pastore has been the host of the most-listened to live Christian talk show in the country, heard weekday afternoons in Los Angeles from 4-7pm on 99.5 KKLA. For the past 31 years, he's been happily married to his bride Gina, and they've got two adult children, a boy and a girl, and one grandson, Michael. For seven years, he pitched in the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds, before going to seminary at Talbot, and then later on, he did another master's degree in political philosophy at Claremont Graduate University. He's logged over 150,000 miles on his motorcycle (he gets to ride to work every day)... And maybe you've seen him on the food and travel cable channels for his exploits at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo? For the past 21 years, until just recently, he's held the world-record for eating their steak faster than anyone else, in just 9 and a half minutes - a 72-ounce steak!
Read an Excerpt
SHATTEREDSTRUCK DOWN, BUT NOT DESTROYED
By FRANK PASTORE ELLEN VAUGHN
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Frank Pastore
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOUT OF THE BLUE
It was a clear blue day in Dodger Stadium, perfect for baseball. And my life was perfect too.
At age 26, I'd been pitching for the Cincinnati Reds for five years. I had a beautiful wife, a young son, and a baby on the way, a decent fastball, and the cars, condos, and cash of the good life in the fast lane. My dreams had come true.
I was cruising to a 3-1 victory, with two outs in the eighth inning. I threw a 2-1 fastball on the outside of the plate, something I'd done a thousand times before.
It's odd how life can change forever in the blink of an eye.
My pitch was 91 miles per hour. As Dodger Steve Sax swung and connected, the ball's impact exerted roughly 8,000 pounds of force on the bat in a hundredth of a second. The violent collision compressed the ball, changed its direction, and packed it with kinetic energy. Rocketing through the air at about 132 miles per hour, the baseball covered the 60 feet 6 inches from home plate to the pitcher's mound in less than an eighth of a second. I didn't even have time to blink.
As the ball blurred toward my head, I instinctively threw up my right arm to protect my face. If I hadn't, the ball would have split my forehead, and it's unlikely I would be writing this book, since I'd be dead.
The ball exploded against my right elbow like a hammer hitting a glass bottle.
There was an eerie silence in the stadium. All eyes, including mine, turned to watch the replay on the big video screen in left field. People gasped as they watched-again and again-the destruction of my precious pitching arm.
For the crowd, it was like a NASCAR wreck, a type of gruesome entertainment. For me, it was a bad dream unfolding in slow motion. As I cradled my elbow in agony, I could push the bone fragments around like broken pieces of a cookie in a plastic bag.
But of course the game must go on. As Tommy Hume, the Red's relief pitcher, made his way in from the bull-pen, my mind was as jumbled as the jigsaw pieces of bone in my arm.
"God!" a voice inside me screamed. "Why would You let this happen?"
And that made me madder still. Prayer was for weaklings and losers. The fact that my pitching elbow and my dreams were both shattered had nothing to do with God. I didn't believe in God. I was raging at Someone who didn't exist.
Chapter TwoTHE GREAT ADVENTURE
It's a long way from that day in Dodger Stadium to today, and you may be thinking that the last thing you need right now is a tome full of fond sports memories from a pro athlete, now geezer, reliving his few glory days on the field.
Believe me, if that's all there was to my story, I wouldn't bother writing it.
But this story was worth writing-and hopefully you'll find it worth reading-because it's really about what happens to all of us at some point. Pitching arms get randomly whacked. Careers end. Accidents, illness, and death destroy lives. Loved ones betray us. Relationships rupture. Kids break our hearts. We mess up. Life can be so hard, and sometimes the difference between what we want and what we get almost kills us.
So this is a story about brokenness and how sometimes the things you fear most can actually change your life for good. That's what happened with me-not just with the shattered elbow that eventually ended my pro sports career, but also in all kinds of ways over the years. Each shattering broke me apart ... and then God put the pieces back together again, better and stronger than before.
I wish He would do His work in some other less painful way. I wish life were easy.
But it's not. Anybody who cheerfully tells you that you just "receive Jesus" and things will go smoothly and prosperously is either lying or has never read the Bible.
Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't trade my worst day as a Christian for my best day as a pagan. I've found the Christian life to be the greatest adventure I could ever have imagined, a journey so full of passion, power, and just plain fun that I cannot fathom why anyone would choose to believe anything else.
That leads to the second reason I wrote this book. I travel and speak a lot at conferences; I receive tons of e-mails in response to my daily radio show. A lot of people, particularly men, share their experiences with me, which has led me to believe that many Christians never get the big picture about their faith. They are satisfied with far too little. They think of Christianity as something like this: Jesus died for my sins, I received Him, I'm going to heaven when I die, and till then, I'm supposed to sin less.
Well, I'm all for sinning less, believe me. But the purely personal lens of faith misses so much! It reduces the great drama of the gospel down to me, me, and me: It's all about my salvation, my sanctification. It's Christianity for narcissists.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is about the ultimate victory of real, robust good over sick, twisted evil. It's about justice for those who can't speak for themselves; it's about peace with God and peace in relationships with other human beings. It's about right racial relationships and the care of God's green earth. It speaks to economics, philosophy, government, and law. The big gospel vision informs everything from our birth through our dying breath; it encompasses eternal dimensions we can't yet perceive.
The Big Story is not about what leads the daily newscast or gets the buzz on talk radio. The real story is the cosmic battle between good and evil-a conflict in which we are invited to participate.
The gospel is a lot bigger than fire insurance-you know, making sure we get to go to heaven when we die. It's a lot more than just getting saved, great as that is. Sometimes, as I said, we're satisfied with far too little. We need a bigger perspective of what the kingdom of God is all about. Let me give you an illustration.
A long time ago, when our son, Frankie, was three and I was pitching for the Reds, I had an off day during spring training in Florida. I took Frankie to Disney World. I had talked it up for days, telling him about Mickey and Minnie and the monorail and all the cool rides and Disney characters. He was pumped. I strapped him into his car seat and drove toward Orlando, getting more and more excited every minute.
"Are we there yet?" he kept asking.
"Not yet," I'd say. "Almost."
We finally rolled into the big parking lot. I pulled Frankie out of his car seat and carried him to the tram that took us to the gate. We bought the tickets, got our hands stamped, and pushed through the turnstiles. We'd finally made it to Disney World.
If you've been there, you can visualize it. As you pass through the turnstiles, there's a large patio area with two tunnels, one on either side, leading into the park. There are beautiful plantings and bright flowers, and if you're lucky, some of the Disney characters are entertaining the crowd.
Frankie's eyes were huge. He looked up and saw the big Mickey Mouse face made out of flowers on the hill. Just then, the Disney World train pulled into the station just above Mickey's face. The engine spouted plumes of white-cotton smoke into the azure sky. The whistle blew.
Frankie loved trains. He was so overwhelmed by it all that he was on overload, like a T1 data line plugged into a 286 computer chip.
I grabbed his hand, thrilled about what the day had in store for us.
"Come on, buddy," I said. "Let's go!"
He didn't move. My normally compliant son locked his little legs and stood there in rigid defiance. Tears squirted out of his eyes.
"No," he said, slowly shaking his head from side to side.
I knelt down and grabbed his shoulders. "Frankie, listen," I said. "This is just the beginning of Disney World. There's tons of cool stuff inside. C'mon, buddy!"
He didn't get it. As far as he was concerned, we'd come all this way to arrive at this special place. It couldn't get any better than this, and here was Dad, ready to leave. He was gonna stand his ground.
I understood. But since I outweighed him by 200 pounds, I picked him up and started through the tunnel that would take us to Main Street.
"I don't wanna go!" he screamed. "No! No! No!"
People were staring. Frankie was crying and beating his fists on my back, the most miserable little person in the "happiest place on earth!"
It was the longest 20 seconds of my life, but as we emerged from the tunnel, there was Cinderella's castle, its towers white against the blue sky. There was Goofy walking right up Main Street in his giant shoes. There was the Matterhorn roller coaster in the distance, with people screaming in joy as they rode the bobsleds. There was candy, hot dogs, music, dancing, bright colors everywhere-more than we could possibly take in.
Frankie's mouth was wide open. "Ooohhh!" he finally managed.
"Come on in, buddy!" I yelled.
And for the rest of the day, I took my son from wonder to wonder. Around every turn was a new adventure. Each ride we got on, each food we tasted, each character we met, Frankie would smile so big I thought he'd burst.
Despite all the sugar he ate that day, the little guy crashed right after sundown. He fell asleep on my shoulder, exhausted, a smile still on his face.
I've heard from a lot of Christians who think the whole point of Christianity is just to get saved, to get "in." They're like my son at the entry area of Disney World. They don't know there are adventures beyond the entrance.
And like my showing Frankie around Disney World, exploring new thrills at every turn, God wants to take us farther up and farther in to the adventures in His kingdom. Our experience won't be perfect until the ultimate restoration, when sin and death are banished forever. But life with the King in His kingdom begins right now!
When I was an atheist, I knew nothing of this adventure. I thought Christians were stupid and Christianity was a bunch of manmade rules. But when I learned the truth, what pulled me in was the big picture of it all.
This is a team I want to play for, I thought. This is worth fighting for. This is worth dying for. Magnificent. Awesome. This is what I've been looking for my whole life. I've got to be part of it.
My story begins about as far from magnificent and awesome as you can get. It begins under the less-than-tender care and tutelage of a sociopath who would have ruined me for life had God not intervened.
Excerpted from SHATTERED by FRANK PASTORE ELLEN VAUGHN Copyright © 2010 by Frank Pastore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Chuck Colson ix
Acknowledgments: With Gratitude xiii
1 Out of the Blue 1
2 The Great Adventure 3
3 Fat Kids Can Dream Too 9
4 Life in the Witness Protection Program 14
5 No Crying in Baseball 17
6 Getting Jumped, Part One 24
7 Becoming a Catholic Atheist 29
8 Reinventing Myself 36
9 Dreams Come True 42
10 Stanford Man Is No Curry Fan 49
11 Real Men 53
12 Johnny's Little Sister 61
13 Mom's True Love: A Boy Named Dude 64
14 Robert Ludlum Would Have Been Proud 67
15 Bonnie and Clyde 76
16 What Happens When Felons Sign Your Marriage License 85
17 Animal Magnetism 94
18 One Pitch from Humility? 99
19 Other Things I Learned from Johnny Bench 104
20 Getting Loose 108
21 Reds, Greens, and Life in the Fastball Lane 112
22 Forced to Hang with the Christians 117
23 The Smallest Guy on the Team 122
24 The Case Against Christ: No Problem 126
25 Surrender in the Men's Room 133
26 End of a Dream 138
27 Why We Are Not Friends with the IRS 149
28 Wondering as I Wandered 156
29 When the Bluebirds Sang 161
30 Getting Jumped, Part Two 166
31 Sitting on My Bucket 171
32 Shattered Mirrors 178
33 Getting Recycled 185
34 A Divine Conspiracy 190
35 From Bucket to Broadcasting 193
36 Fun, Fast, and Real 200
37 Losses, Gains, and Breaking Chains 206
38 At Peace with the Pieces 215