Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Centering on the Gospel

I know that the likelihood of someone reading this is not as high today as it was two months ago. That's okay and here's why:

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have created a virtual world where people can bury themselves in something that isn't real, yet at the same time know what is happening anywhere in the world at any time.  It's all-consuming and I found out that in the end, it doesn't improve my quality of life.  The thought that I could be the first to know about tsunamis, baseball injuries, football scores, or drama between two people who are arguing over the unwritten rules of the Internet used to give me the perception that I was actually achieving something.  The perception is that being inundated with information is a good thing.  I finally decided that it wasn't.  I am what you would consider obsessed with baseball. Although the baseball season technically has ended, it never really ends for me. The baseball offseason is very exciting (especially for my team because they're daily improving their roster) and I can always know what is breaking in the baseball world in real time.  I decided that being baseball-centric and over-inundated with information is keeping me from where I need to be in my personal relationship with God.  What I need to be is God-centric.  So now I'm Facebook and Twitter free.  Baseball is great, but it needs to play second fiddle to God as well.

The following text was taken from chapter 8 of the book I'm currently reading, "To Live is Christ to Die is Gain" by Matt Chandler.

But our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)

Everywhere I go, everybody I meet wants new revelation. I can't think of a better way to put it than that. All of us, most of the time, want to know what's next, what's here, what's now. 
Have you seen the television commercial where the guy is having his big-screen television delivered to his front door, and at that very moment a truck goes by with an advertisement for a newer new television? His jaw drops. We don't want yesterday's technology. And we don't tend to want yesterday's news. The Internet is great at this-or terrible, depending on your perspective. It's hard to stay ahead of the curve on what's happening, so we log in and never log out. That's why we walk around with our heads down, noses to our phones. We don't want to miss anything. God forbid we not find out about something hours after it happened. Heaven help us if we have the oldest model of a particular vehicle.
This dynamic takes place in the church, too. By and large we don't want the old stuff. We want new stuff. We want new revelation, which is why, despite the fact that none of us has mastered the Scriptures, we say things like: God hasn't been talking to me lately." What we mean is: "God isn't giving me the direct hotline of insider info specifically tailored to me."
Our lamenting of God's "silence" while our Bible goes undisturbed is actually quite revealing.  We want new revelation while at the same time we refuse to be obedient to what we already know. We demand to be taught something new.
But it makes no sense to graduate on to an advanced class when we've never cleared the basics. In biblical terms, what we call the basics of Christianity-the gospel of Jesus Christ-is in reality both the beginners level and the advanced class! In the church, I think we often get the milk and the meat confused. We think end-times theories and other theological speculations are the meat, when it's the simple gospel that keeps offering up further depths of wisdom and insight throughout the Christian life. It keeps offering deeper wisdom if we will keep pressing into it.
This is why Paul comes full circle to the gospel at the end of Philippians 3. It's a "check" for us, a pause. It's meant to keep us from getting ahead of ourselves.

Consider this:
Let those of us who are mature think this way, 
and if in anything you think otherwise God will 
reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to 
what we have attained. (Phil. 3:15-16)

Paul stops. He puts this check in place in the text. Hes basically saying "Whoa. Before we talk anymore, let's remember what we've already attained. Let's remember that the main thing is the main thing. Let's hold on to what we've been given."
Here we find yet another reminder of the importance of what we might call "gospel-centrality." Why is it important to center on the gospel of Jesus Christ?
First of all, we should keep the gospel ever before our eyes because we receive Christ in the gospel, and we are told to fix our eyes on Him (Heb. 12:2). It's in beholding Jesus that we are transformed (2 Cor. 3:18), so it makes sense to keep our eyes fixated on Christ.
There's another reason we want to center on the gospel: because the gospel is where we find the power for the Christian life. Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:17, Ephesians 3:7, and 1 Thessalonians 1:5 all confirm this. Colossians 1 reminds us that the gospel is going forth into the world and bearing fruit. First Corinthians 15 reminds us that the gospel is not just what we received but the power in which we currently stand and by which we continue to be saved. And since we see throughout the New Testament that even our faith is a gift of Gods grace and that every imperative of obedience is attached to an indicative of the gospel, we want to stay focused on the gospel so we can follow God. The power to walk by faith in obedience is sourced in the grace of the gospel. So now then: in all our toiling and striving and straining and pressing, "only let us hold true to what we have attained." Or "hold fast," as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:2.
Clearly, centering on the gospel of Jesus is imperative for growth in the Christian life and the passionate pursuit of Jesus. Martin Luther says, "Most necessary it is ... that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually." Or, as Tim Keller says, the gospel is not just the ABCs of the Christian life but the A to Z.
As we conclude the third chapter of Philippians, we see Paul giving us essentially three ways to center on the gospel. These aren't the only means to gospel centrality, of course, but they are three primary and fairly practical ways, things we can implement or bring to mind with good regular reminders. The three means of gospel centeredness Paul highlights are these: engaging in discipleship, remembering our citizenship, and anticipating heaven.

Find the book here
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

Friday, October 4, 2013

Until Next Year...

The regular baseball season has ended and for the first time since 2009, so has the Rangers season.  While I'll still be tuning in to see who continues on in the playoffs and rooting for any team playing against the devil's advocates (a.k.a. St. Louis Cardinals), it won't be the same without my team.

Hopefully next year brings more of this:


And less of this:


Lance Berkman, it's been real and it's been fun but it hasn't been real fun.  Time to hang up the cleats.  Adios, Partner.

Until next year...



For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reason #3928494881 That I Love Jimmy Fallon

I'm a pretty big fan of Jimmy Fallon, as you may have picked up from the title.  He filmed this while (or possibly after) everyone was evacuating Manhattan Island on October 29, 2012.  It's fairly awkward, but completely funny.  Enjoy.



I may have more blog posts about Jimmy Fallon.  It could be a thing.

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.  Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes.  But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement.  Ecclesiastes 11:9

Monday, August 26, 2013

America First!

"God Bless America and no one else".  That's how the song goes, right?  Of course it does, or it should anyway.  It's even in the Bible, "Feed the needy and clothe the poor that live in America, and all the glories of Heaven will be yours".  You can find that verse right there in 2 Parentheses 2:65.

Calm down, I'm only being facetious.  I actually get very angered by the sentiment (or lack of) of some people.  Honestly, I do pray that God "blesses America", as the song begs.  However, I think it's very crude for people to think that the poor in America are as bad off as the poorest in the world and therefore think that no foreign aid is warranted.  It's a joke, really.

I feel sorry for the man in this picture, I really do.  But, just the fact that he lives in the United States means that he has a chance.  It means that he can go somewhere and people will help him.  As long as he's not dead, he can always chase the "American Dream".  It also means that millions and millions of people would trade places with him in an instant.  People don't cross our borders illegally because they want to live in destitution.  They want what all Americans have --a chance.


PEOPLE LIKE THIS:

This person doesn't care enough to show up for class, but the poor in Africa she's obviously got compassion for... 
#classy #notreally #losing


This guy knows what's up.



The charts below do a great job of showing just how little people know about the amount of foreign aid the United States gives of our federal budget.

It's amazing, really, how people's perception changes when a little facts are thrown their way.

Then again, there are still people who would rather donate to people like this:


Than to THIS:

Give me a break.

They may not have much, but they have Faith.

But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won't help him--how can God's love be within him ? Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God's side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.  1 John 3:17-19

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Fav of Mine

This is one of my absolute favorite songs.  Enjoy.  And go Rangers!!



"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Beloved Yankee, In Closing

Tuesday night was the 2013 All-Star game.  I generally enjoy the Home Run Derby more than the All-Star game because of all the big home runs --and I find it more exciting than a game that is horribly managed with players who generally don't care if their respective league wins.  This year, however, the All-Star game was pretty great.  The game was played as if it mattered --incredible pitching and defense, the way baseball should be played.  This year is also Mariano Rivera's final year in baseball, therefore it was his final All-Star appearance.  While I was hoping to see him pitch the ninth, the decision was made by Jim Leyland to have Rivera pitch the eighth inning.

I grew up hating the Yankees.  Now that I'm married to a woman who absolutely loves the Yankees, I must root for them when they're not playing my team.  It's still difficult, but I love my wife more than baseball so I sacrifice.  Having said that, I have never hated Mariano Rivera.  He is the most humble baseball player I think I've had the pleasure of seeing in person or on TV.  The game of baseball will be missing a piece of humble pie when Mariano is gone.



In "closing", here is another goodbye.  Tim McCarver has been in the broadcast booth for many, many years.  I enjoy his broadcasts with Joe Buck.  A loooooot of people really don't like either of those guys and are very crude about it in social media.  Well, they'll finally be rid of half of the Fox baseball broadcast team because Tim McCarver is retiring.  The following video is from the tail-end of the Fox All-Star game broadcast.  I thought it was great and hope you enjoy it.




"A friend is always a friend..." -Proverbs 17:17

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Politicians Close the Divide

The seemingly endless divide between politicians and their agendas tend to cause a lot of heartache and grief.  So many people get bent out of shape at the thought of one side getting their way while the other side of the political machine has to take a backseat.  I saw the following video earlier and it was, well, I guess I'll call it heartwarming.



I was actually awake and watching the Dodgers versus Nationals game late last night when Bryce Harper ran into the wall.  I had to rewind and replay it a few times because it was brutal and I'm a guy and we want to watch things like that over and over again.  I suppose that he simply didn't recognize that he was so close to the wall --but I commend him on the way he plays.  He reminds me of Rusty Greer.  If you don't know who that is, A) You're not a Rangers fan, even if you claim to be and 2) He endeared himself to the fans because he gave it his all (which ultimately cost him a longer career), like Harper.  I hope he's not down and out too long, he sure is fun to watch.

Disclaimer: The "heartwarming" comment above is in jest, bro.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Baseball is the Backstory

If you know anything about me, it's that I love the history of baseball.  It fascinates me.  I find it funny when people speak of the "vast" histories of the NBA or NFL --I scoff.  The story below precedes most modern sports while baseball has mostly remained the same great sport it was from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, which underscores why I love it as much as I do.

Van Meter, Iowa prides itself on tradition.  Heck, their town motto is "tradition with a vision".  I suppose that means that hindsight is 20/20 and they'll keep that in mind when deciding on whether or not to issue me a permit for a yard sale.  Who knows.  Sounds good though, I suppose.  In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure it's their way of boasting about a product of their little piece of heaven in Iowa, Robert "Bob" William Andrew Feller.

Better known as "The Heater from Van Meter", Bob was only 17 years old in 1936 when he began his major league baseball career with the Cleveland Indians.  He hailed from a farm where he learned his trademark "windmill" windup while throwing the ball around with his father Bill.  Feller was initially signed for one dollar and an autographed baseball (heckuva deal for the Indians!).  Upon completion of the semester he was supposed to report to a minor league baseball club.  At the time however, only minor league teams were permitted to sign amateur players, prohibiting the Indians from assigning Feller.  After a court dispute Bob was released from his contract then resigned by the club to a major league contract.


From 1936 to 1941 "Bullet Bob" had a stellar career including being the first pitcher to win 24 games in a season under the age of 21 and didn't have a single losing season.  He threw a no-hitter in 1940 and had more than 240 strikeouts multiple seasons in a row.  All this, and he hadn't even hit his prime.  His prime would be from 1942 to 1945 and involve an all-new uniform.

I told you all that, to tell you this: Bob Feller is one of many of the "Greatest Generation".  This generation survived the Great Depression only to be spun on their heels in 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  They expressed their grief by standing up for their country and going to war.  Feller was one among a multitude of players who left behind fabulous baseball careers to go blindly into World War II.  


Here is Bob's story in his own words:
I was driving my new Buick Century across the Mississippi River, across the Iowa-Illinois state line, when my world — everyone’s world — changed forever.
It was Dec. 7, 1941. I was driving to my meeting with my Cleveland Indians bosses to hash out my 1942 contract, and out it came on the radio: the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
The last thing on my mind right then was playing baseball. I immediately decided to enlist in the United States Navy. I didn't have to — I was 23 and strong-bodied, you bet, but with my father terminally ill back in Van Meter, Iowa, I was exempt from military service.
It didn't matter to me — I wanted to join the fight against Hitler and the Japanese. We were losing that war and most young men of my generation wanted to help push them back. People today don’t understand, but that’s the way we felt in those days. We wanted to join the fighting. So on Dec. 9, I gave up the chance to earn $100,000 with the Indians and became the first professional athlete to join the Navy after Pearl Harbor.
It was one of the greatest experiences in my life. You can talk about teamwork on a baseball team, but I’ll tell you, it takes teamwork when you have 2,900 men stationed on the U.S.S. Alabama in the South Pacific. I was a chief petty officer. I helped give exercises and ran the baseball team and recreation when we were in port. But I was also a gun captain — I was firing a 40-millimeter quad at eight rounds per second.
The Alabama was involved in one of the most important battles of the Pacific. In June 1944, we were supposed to shell the beaches of Saipan for two hours so that our Marines could land safely. The Japanese tried a surprise attack — but we were ready. The American Navy and Air Force, we had all the big carriers and battleships like the Iowa, the Wisconsin, the New Jersey, the Alabama, you name it, we had them all. Our pilots and gunners shot down 474 Japanese aircraft, sank three of their carriers and got several of their escort ships. And when the sun went down that night, it was the end of the Japanese naval air force. We made it look so easy, ever since they've called it the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.
We were involved in so many other important engagements, including some in the North Atlantic over in Europe. Our ship won nine battle stars, eight of them while I was on it. It was an incredible time for all of us.
I went on inactive duty in August 1945, and since I had stayed in such good shape, and had played ball on military teams, I was ready to start for the Indians just two days later, against the Tigers. More than 47,000 people came to see me return — there was such a patriotic feeling, with V-J Day so fresh in everyone’s minds. Even though I hadn't pitched in the major leagues in almost four years, I struck out the first batter. I wound up throwing a four-hitter and winning, 4-2.
What a great night ... I kept it up the rest of the season, too, and then had what many people call my best season in 1946, when I won 26 games with 348 strikeouts.
A lot of folks say that had I not missed those almost four seasons to World War II — during what was probably my physical prime — I might have had 370 or even 400 wins. But I have no regrets. None at all. I did what any American could and should do: serve his country in its time of need. The world’s time of need.
I knew then, and I know today, that winning World War II was the most important thing to happen to this country in the last 100 years. I’m just glad I was a part of it. I was only a gun captain on the battleship Alabama for 34 months. People have called me a hero for that, but I’ll tell you this — heroes don’t come home. Survivors come home.  Credit 
 I disagree with the last line.  Bob is a hero.  I don't think we have as many people that would put it all on the line as he did.  In all actuality, only one comes to mind.  But, I suppose that's why we're not the "Greatest Generation".

Bob went on to represent the Cleveland Indians for the rest of his life.  In 2009 Feller even pitched in the Old Timer's Game  in Cooperstown, NY, site of MLB's Hall of Fame.  At the time he was 90 years old and rumor was he could still get the ball up around 70 mph.  That's fascinating.  I probably can't get the ball anywhere near 70 and I'm in my prime!  In 2010 the Cleveland Indians "Man of the Year Award" (similar to other teams' Most Valuable Player) was renamed "Bob Feller Man of the Year Award".


Bob never forgot his roots, even supporting Van Meter in building a Bob Feller Museum.  The farm that was Feller's boyhood home remains, as does a red barn built in 1886 by his grandfather Andrew.  It is also a federally mandated historic site.  Feller once said that if he could relive any moment from his youth it would be, "Playing catch with my dad between the red barn and the house."

That sounds nice.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mommy Dearest

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than with a blog post dedicated to Good ol' Mom?!  The majority of the pictures below are from many moons ago --back when I was an angel.  An angel I tell you!  (haha, yeah... right)

 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you. ~Philippians 1:2-3 

 Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! 
Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 
Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:4-7 

 Keep your love for one another at full strength, because love covers a multitude of sins. ~I Peter 4:8

 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life. ~Ephesians 6:1-3 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing can separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord! ~Romans 8:38-39 

 Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~I Corinthians 13:4-7

 Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of a good report - if there is any virtue and if there is any praise- think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8 

How happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You will surely eat what your hands have worked for. You will be happy, and it will go well for you...May the Lord bless you from Zion, so that you will see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life, and will see your children's children. ~Psalms 128:1-2, 5-6


Who can find a virtuous woman? 
for her price is far above rubies.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
~Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  Thanks for all you have done and continue to do!!

And thanks to my wonderful wife Katie for the awesome redesign of my blog!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kiss Cam Gone Terribly Wrong

I'm not sure this is what the "Kiss Cam" inventor envisioned.  Funny, nonetheless.

Enjoy.




And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32

Monday, April 29, 2013

Choices We Make, Or Don't

credit: Jason Collins
Born: Dec 2, 1978
Height: 7' 0"
Salary: 1.352 million USD
Team: Washington Wizards (NBA)
Ever heard of him: No

He commands a relatively small salary in the NBA and his career averages in points, rebounds, and blocks convey that he will never be in the Hall of Fame, much less on an all-star team.  Before today I'd never heard his name.

His teammates, former teammates and others he's played against hold him in high regard as far as respectability goes.  We can agree that he's intelligent, having earned a degree from Stanford.  In his free time he loves to travel, goes to museums, loves his family, and he loves his country.

By now you've probably heard his name a multitude of times.  He may or may not become a household name (only time will tell).  However, his life is changed.  There's no denying that.  Today Jason Collins of the NBA's Washington Wizards announced that he's gay, the first openly gay man in one of the top four sports in the United States.  His life is changed because he can now openly express feelings that he's been suppressing for apparently a number of years.  He will also be someone for others who have the same feelings to look up to.

I can't think of too many people in my circle (liberal, conservative, left, right, Democrat or Republican) who will read this and not have some sort of issue with my thoughts and words.  So be it.  I didn't write it for them.

I want to, in effect, defend a large group of people's innermost secrets that I know virtually nothing about.  That sounds odd, I know.  I want to defend it because so many other people who know nothing about it seem to know what the problem is and how to fix it and where to point their crooked fingers.  I don't know what it's like to have feelings for a man.  I'm married to a beautiful woman --that's who I'm attracted to.  I can't tell you if it's a choice, or if people of any sexuality are "born this way".  I can tell you that it doesn't make any single person a bad seed.

I don't believe that because I am a Christian I am without sin, or that others carry a heavier burden of sin than I do.  James 2:10 "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it"  I believe in the infallibility of the Bible.  I do believe the Bible speaks clearly when it says in Leviticus 18:22, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable".  That means (to me at least) that homosexuality is a sin.  As I mentioned, I have my own detestable sins.  The bible says in Proverbs 29:11, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control".  Some may say that anger is in no comparison to homosexuality --I wholeheartedly disagree.  As the verse above states, I am accused of all the sins of the Bible.  Not just one concerning anger.  My anger can cause very real pain to people with whom I come into contact, and I hate that there have been times when I couldn't keep it under control.  Jason may not agree that homosexuality is a sin --that's for him to decide and take up with God.  It is for me to decide to, as the Bible states in 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins".

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Forty-Two

Some people think the 'B' stands for Boston.  Well of course they do.  With the Boston Red Sox being darlings of the fans for the past several seasons, of course any hat with that letter is taken for the 'B' in Boston.

However, that's not what the letter on my hat stands for.


This past weekend my beautiful wife and I went to the theater, as we often do, to see the newly released film '42' which is based on Jackie Robinson's autobiography.  We really enjoy going to the movies, especially when there's a movie that has anything to do with baseball.  I was so excited about seeing this movie from the very first time I heard about it.  I have to say, I was not let down.  While I thought a few of the scenes were a little over the top, I still think it may be one of my favorite movies in quite a while.

Jackie's impact on the game of baseball (and Civil Rights in general) cannot be overstated.  When Branch Rickey decided that Jackie should be the one to break the color barrier in the game of baseball, it was because he knew Jackie "had the guts not to fight back".  One of the scenes that was exceptionally painful to watch was when the Dodgers were playing the Phillies.  While Robinson was batting, Phillies Manager Ben Chapman hurled racial epithets of the worst kind for the duration of the at-bat.  I told Katie that "I would've had to kill some white folks" because I just don't have the spirit to ignore that kind of abuse.

And ignore it.  And ignore it.  And ignore it.  But that's just what Jackie did, all season.  He had to prove his worth with his play on the field --and did he ever!

Another scene that I thought was incredible occurred in the tunnel that leads from the dugout to the clubhouse under the stadium.  I'm not a proper movie critic, nor am I an acclaimed writer (despite what my mother says) and I don't feel I could correctly depict the scene so I won't.  I will say, however, that it was a very emotional scene for Jackie --and myself, my wife, the rest of the audience in the theater, and you if you'll go see it.

The last scene I'm going to mention is my favorite from the movie.  I feel like this scene made the movie for me.  It also brought me to tears.  Fortunately YouTube had it, so I'm able to share it with you...



I find it amazing, the impact Jackie Robinson had on the game of baseball.  His athletic ability was a huge help for the Dodgers immediately.  They reached the World Series in his rookie season only to lose to the New York Yankees.  He also managed to win the Rookie of the Year award, which I imagine is a huge feat given that the award was handed down by white men with a varying degree of racism running through their veins.  In 1955 the Dodgers, with Robinson playing second base, finally beat the Yankees for his only World Series victory.  Jackie played only a few more seasons, but the consequences of the things he endured live on without him.



April 15 of every year, Major League Baseball takes the day to remember Jackie Robinson.  Many players have a very real connection to him in one way or another.  In 2009, Ian Kinsler (my favorite second baseman) hit for the cycle and went six for six at the plate.  It was a very Robinson-esque performance --and on Jackie Robinson Day, no less.  Kinsler remembers his favorite player daily by wearing his socks high, like Jackie did (the only way baseball players should wear their socks, in my opinion).  Robinson Cano, second baseman of the Yankees, was named after Jackie.  Growing up, Cano was taught the game of baseball by his father and his favorite player was also number 42.  Because that number is now retired, Cano wears number 24 to honor him.

The 'B' on my hat stands for perseverance.  It stands for courage.  It stands for broken barriers.

And, it stands for Brooklyn.



For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. -2 Timothy 1:7

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blasphemy!

or Traitor!  or even Crackhead! or Sherlocks (Baker St Pub & Grill, where he, Josh Hamilton, had a relapse)!



Sure, easy to call him all these things.  I mean, why not?  He's on the other team!  He plays for the team we hate most, the Angels!!

Not to mention all those horrible things he said about all those passionate Rangers fans who have been tried and found faithful.  Those fans who've been at RBiA (Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) every season, no matter the temperature.  The ones who have suffered through the years when the Rangers didn't make the playoffs for over a decade, yet filled the stadium night after 100 degree night.  Those fans who chose meaningless baseball games over semi-meaningless Dallas Cowboys games.

Haha --yeah, right.

I must've been thinking of Chicago, or New York, or maybe Boston.  They're baseball towns.  However, this is Texas, home of the Cowboys (who play literally across the street, no less).  

It's according to this article that Hamilton said, “It’s one of those things where Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town...  So the good with the bad is they’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled, at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand like a really true, true baseball town — and there are true baseball fans in Texas – but it’s not a true baseball town.”

Here's what I got from that...  He's talking about people who have recently jumped on the Rangers bandwagon.  Those who became Rangers fan while he was with the team and got used to him hitting homeruns for the home team.  The article goes on to say that Hamilton's comments make him look spoiled --and not the fans, as he's stated.  I disagree with that notion.  His comments are called honesty, and it's something people are afraid of dealing with upfront.  

The Cowboys absolutely dwarf the Rangers in television ratings.  It's not even close.  So while the Rangers have gained a lot of momentum in the past few years, it still doesn't make the DFW area a "baseball town".  The Cowboys opener last year, according to this article, drew viewers at an 8:1 ratio versus the Rangers game on the same night.  However, if you're trying to argue that the DFW area is a "baseball town" as opposed to a "reality show town", you're in luck!  The Rangers had 110,000 viewers to Big Brother's 100,000 on the night of the Cowboys' home opener.  

You know what?  I'm a Christian.  I'm not perfect, I have my faults... Boy, do I have my faults.  I rely on God to guide me through many things.  I don't think I would be able to get through the torments that Rangers "fans" have cast on Hamilton.  I'm glad he is also a Christian, it's what has made him who he is today.  And it's what has helped him get through this weekend, as noted in this article.  Because he is a Christian, he is my brother.  I don't know about you, but I don't treat my brothers the way people in Texas, part of the "Bible Belt", are treating him.  I think it's disgusting.  I think it's appalling that his wife Katie felt the need to have security while she and her daughters sat in the very stadium that they called home for the past five seasons.



His jersey still hangs in my closet, and the autographed photo of him and I will forever hang on my wall.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35