Friday, April 29, 2011


This is not another "How the Pittsburgh Pirates
Ruined Baseball in Western Pennsylvania" blog.
There are plenty of them out there, written by
me and others.

This is about 10-under youth baseball.
The first REAL baseball in youths life.
No more tees to hit off. No more coaches
pitching to you. Yes, some of the rules
are restrictive (4 outfielders, only can
steal third base, everyone on your roster
present for the game hits in the lineup...
just to name a few).

But it's baseball. A kid your age
pitching to you. You're first taste
of strikes zones, walks, hit by pitch,
stealing a base...

It's beginning to look like the game
Abner Doubleday put together.
(Minus the DH of course... blah!)

I have been looking forward to the
10-under (minor league) baseball
for a few years. Don't get me wrong,
tee-ball & coaches pitch are fine,
they're just... well, psuedoball.

So as we entered into lasts nights
season-opener (yeah, rain pushed
this back a bit) I was excited.

A little nervous how my 9-year-old
would respond to strikes zones and
fastballs and bean-balls. Really,
I was nervous about him taking his
first ball of his body while batting.

He did splendid. Struck out twice,
but went down swinging both times.
What are you suppose to do when
you've only had 3 practices up until
game time due to... well, you know
what... drip, drip, drip.

He fielded a ball cleanly in the outfield,
relayed it to second base just fine.

My worries were ironed out during his
second at-bat when he received his
first HBP (hit by pitch). In fact,
he backed up a step after taking the
blow, and then stepped back into the
batters box ready for the next one...
missing the whole point that when
you get hit, you take first. I guess
it should be explained at some point
that that's what happens when you
get beaned.

My fears and anxiety rode easily away
on the 30 mile an hour wind of the
night... but my perception of how
10-under baseball would be better
took a blow.

Pitching. Unless you've got a kid
that age who's got the natural ability
to throw strikes... well, for any parent
going to watch 10-under ball...
be prepared for walks, aka base-0n-balls.

If tee-ball is about picking dandelions and playing
in the dirt... and coaches pitch is about enduring
kids who can't catch/hit/run... 10-under kid-pitch
is about the WALK... 3 hours of them.

Then again, if we're talking about walks,
maybe this is about how the Buccos ruined
baseball in Western Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Random April ThoughtS"

From the Laptop of Randomness:

"If you think you've figured it out,
wait until the children come home."

"Grass doesn't care of the temperature.
It only cares about the sunshine and rain."

"Life is like an egg... hard-boiled."

"The other side of the pillow isn't really
always cooler, it's just that your head
is always a little warmer."

"Why do today what you should have

done yesterday?"

"Dandelions are not part of May flowers,
they're just a weed."

"I'm not snoring, I'm dreaming about chainsaws."

"Stay home, hug your wife, kiss you children.
Save gas like that."

"I love the part of spring when the trees actually
start to cast a fuller shadow."

"I don't do laundry because I like it. I do laundry
because other people don't want to see me naked."

"What is luck? It's where your lack of faith
meets God's grand plan for your life."

"Pizza. No matter how it's made, it's still
better than
(name your least favorite vegetable here).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Move V-Day To April"

I hereby suggest that Valentine's Day
be moved to April 14th. Yeah, we can
keep the 14, but the month has got
to be changed.

Last night, as I watched out the window,
I was privileged to watch the interaction
of two cardinals.

The male, in all his red glory, was visiting
our bird feeder. Hopping on the ground.
Flying back into the tree in which our
feeder hangs.

It was only after a few trips from the
ground to the tree that I realized what
he was doing.

He was eating a few seeds, then he would
fly up into the tree to feed one to his
mate. It was as if they he kept giving
her a kiss... a peck of sorts.

It was a beautiful display... truly it was.

The cardinals are in full court mode...
as are many other birds...
watching the robins and sparrows gather
materials for their nests...
watching the rabbits do the same...
watching the pigeons strutting about, almost
wild turkey like, in full "impress the
ladies mode"...
watching as the doves dancing together
in, always alert, yet fully focused on
each other...

It is a marvel to behold... and a solid sign
that spring is here, and the newness of
spring is marching full forward to the
next phase of courtship.

Forget February 14th. A hallmark
holiday in the middle of the doldrums
of winter... the black and white...
the deep freeze... and over the last few
years, the snowiest of snowy months.

April 14th. Spring. Rain. Flowers bloom.
The dance of the birds at the feeder goes
from surviving to courtship...
from death to life...
old to new.

It is a beautiful picture embedded into
His creation of all that He gives freely
to us.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 NIV

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"My King"

He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing
Love so amazing

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

His body the bread
His blood the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth trembled
And the veil was torn

Love so amazing
Love so amazing, yeah

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

All our hope is in You
All our hope is in You
All the glory to You, God
The light of the world

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

Chris Tomlin 2008

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Just A Man"

I only write this for one simple reason...
and the only reason this fellow would
allow me to share...
all Glory belongs to God!

There is a man I've known awhile...
an ordinary chap... a 40-hour work
week kind of fellow. Faithful to his
family, loving in his own, certain way.
A little rough around the edges...
a stick to his convictions type of guy.
Steadfast in his walk.

He is an encourager... spends countless
hours writing cards to folks... A man
who recognizes the gifts God has
given to him, and uses them...
Always the encourager.

5 months ago, he was attending just
another Sunday morning service at
his church. For reasons he didn't know
at the moment, he began searching
over the sanctuary... and finally
spotting a face he did not recognize.
Uncomfortable where he sat, and
motivated by the Spirit, he recognized
the call to approach a young woman
he did not know, and decided to be
faithful to the Spirit's voice to interact.

As the service concluded, he frantically
could not find that face. And as the people
began to exit, he dashed for the lobby
in hopes to find the one he was directed
to encounter.

Finally spotting his intended audience,
he dashed out the lobby door to engage
the one he was called to encourage.
A short encounter with the first time
church goer revealed the searcher
God intended to grab hold of.
After asking if he could give her his
number in case she had any questions,
she agreed... and the first meeting ended.

The following week, he scanned the church
and did not see her.

The next week, he received a call in the
middle of the week. She called.
Wanted to thank him for stopping her
and talking with her. Explained to him
that she had not come back the second
week due to the fact that she works
2 Sunday's a month. So he asked
her if she had planned on coming back
the following week, and if she was to
come, he invited her to sit with him
and his wife.

She did.

And for several months, 2 Sunday's a month
she came, sat with this man and his wife.
She shared with him and his wife things
about her life... building a relationship.

Two week ago, this man's pastor called him
at home. Not a startling development, but
phone interaction between the two was
not how the communicated best.
The pastor told this man that a young lady
had called to meet with him and the pastor's
wife. She had questions. And so they met.

And so for the first time in her life see saw
the open arms of Jesus... and she lept into them.

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?
Only servants, through whom you came to believe—
as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow.

The man who plants and the man who waters
have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9 NIV

Now I know this man would claim nothing more
than what God has said through Paul in 1 Corinthians 3.

It's not this man's story... it's a story to God's glory.

But how awesome it is that the God of universe
who doesn't need us for anything, would privilege us
to be apart of his work?

I want to model my life after this man...
faithful to the voice of the Spirit to
go beyond fear and doubt
and to act.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"February, March, May, June... What?"

Welcome to the overlooked and underused month of April.
It's just... April is like a bridge from somewhere
mysterious (March) to somewhere pleasant (May).

Now, yes... April hosts Easter from time to time.
I do know people who have been born in the
month of April, and married in the month of

Setting those things aside... April is just... well...
It's just there... it's the average looking girl/guy
at the party. You don't really see them,
unless they run into you.

Did you know that April statistically has the
highest suicide rate?

Do you remember Oklahoma City?

How about Columbine?

Tragedies, all of them.

April also has baseball's return...
which means nothing any more in

April is... well, it's April.

It's "Good-bye March... come soon, May."

"Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool."
Proverbs 26:1 NIV