Wednesday, February 26, 2014
To fill the void I've coached a little, played a little softball, gone to MLB and MiLB games, cheered from the stands of Tee-ball and Cal Ripken League and now Babe Ruth games, and logged thousands upon thousands of hours watching games on TV.
With all that baseball, I still get giddy when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in early February; I still set aside time to read and watch games or highlights of the first game in Spring Training; I still consider Opening Day of the season one of the greatest days of the year; I still get a little sad when the final out of the last game of the World Series is recorded each year.
So strike up the band to play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and update the iScore app on the iPad. It's time for baseball!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Bush 41 had a 90% approval rating following the ground invasion of Iraq. But economic troubles turned the tide. He soon would have a 64% disapproval rating. The Clinton Campaign won the election in part by constantly resounding, "It's the economy, stupid." The banter deflected the discussion of Bill Clinton's morality (or immorality).
I'm reading articles today of a skirmish in Arizona between those who claim a bill awaiting the governor's signature is protecting religious liberty or encouraging oppression of homosexuals. The bill narrowly passed both chambers of the state legislature; the governor has until Saturday to sign it into law, veto the bill, or let it become law without her signature.
Homosexual America is weighing in. Corporate America is, too, as entities like Microsoft and the NFL hint or outright threaten not to do business in the state if the bill becomes law.
Conservatives are weighing in, too. Rush Limbaugh said the the governor is being "bullied" to allow the homosexual agenda to advance. But not all conservatives agree. John McCain (is he really a conservative?) is urging the governor to veto the bill.
"It's the economy, stupid." I'm concerned that the governor and many others in the state (like three state senators who voted FOR the bill but now oppose it since the economic threats began) will put the economy above religious liberty.
Remember when Southern Baptists boycotted just about everything they (we) considered immoral? Remember the beating administered by the media?
Those who side with the homosexual agenda are, in effect, threatening to boycott the state of Arizona if this bill passes. But where it the outrage?
There is no outrage because the media long ago stopped reporting and turned to social engineering. Admittedly, the conservative media does the same thing.
There is no outrage because the economic boycott furthers the agenda the media supports.
I have no way of knowing what the governor will do but my gut feeling is that she will bow to the economic pressure to support the homosexual agenda. If so, mark it up as another win for the advancement of homosexuality in our culture. That certainly has been the trend lately.
If the threat of economic boycott works in Arizona, expect it to be used more and more.
"It's the economy, stupid!" That seems to be a good argument to deflect attention away from morality.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
In an article about leadership in a small membership church, Lovett H. Weems, Jr. offers this principle:
Keeping sights on both the heritage and the future can be hard. You may know of churches (of any size) who are so much the same church they were a generation ago that they aren't reaching their potential for this or the next generation. Rarely is the cutting edge technology or methodology of one generation sufficient for the next. The same is true for the church.
Leading "in the middle." To be a leader is to live in the middle – in the tension between a future vision and the current reality. This tension is inherent if a leader becomes the steward of God's vision for the congregation. One cannot give in to the current reality and abandon the vision to which God is calling the church. Nor can one simply lift up the vision and ignore the realities. To be a leader means to stay with the tension. It also means to stay with the people. Remember, people in the small membership church often are people who are living on the edge – geographically, economically, theologically, and culturally. They know whether you are living with them or not.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The best-known example of his faith is found in Genesis 22. God had promised Abraham that he would bless all nations through Abraham's descendants. Isaac was a young teenager and was, in Abraham's estimation, the answer to the promise.
But God told Abraham to sacrifice his own son. And Abraham was willing to obey God completely. But with Isaac dead, how would God keep his promise? Abraham might have thought that answers to such questions were above his pay scale. Instead of question God, Abraham trusted God.
Faith and obedience and trust always go together. When braided like a cord, these three become the fiber of which godly men and women are made.
Isaac and the promise. Those thoughts must have filled Abraham's mind as he hiked to Mt. Moriah with his son, some wood, and fire.
But no lamb for the sacrifice. Even Isaac noticed. Rarely will you know what's waiting at the top of the test while you are still on the path.
God provided a ram for the sacrifice. Isaac was spared. Abraham proved faithful. God revealed himself as Jehovah Jireh - "The LORD Will Provide."
It is likely that God will call you to some task that will require faith. How will you respond? Faithful? or Faithless?
If you respond with obedience and trust, you will be found faithful just like Abraham. Let's pray for each other so that when the test comes we will be found faithful.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I'm praying today Terry's family.
Can you imagine a family not missing their loved one? A lot of reasons go into this, including love, memories, and responsibilities. Terry loved his family and they love him. They have terrific memories of hunting and fishing, traveling, and generations. And Terry was one of the most responsible men I've known. At home, work, church, or community, we could count on Terry.
There's no doubt about missing him.
I also like to think about Terry's legacy. What did he leave behind? Or better, who did he leave behind? Terry let behind a family of hard-working, fun-loving folks who are committed to each other and to the Lord. I can't think of a better legacy.
Billionaires are giving away fortunes to endow philanthropic activities. Terry's legacy is greater.
Athletes are winning gold medals and announcing retirement to the roar of the crowds. Terry's legacy is greater.
A movie star passed away this week and the celeb-shows tout her on- and off-screen achievements. Terry's legacy is greater.
What are you doing regarding a legacy? You'll leave one whether you try or not. People will look at your life after you're gone. We'll talk about you, too. What will we say?
May it be said, like it is of Terry McCallister, that I loved my family and my Lord.