It’s Time for October Ball!

Here comes the Judge with a bat instead of a gavel.

At last it is October Ball
when the Boys of Summer shine.
Forget what happened back last spring.
The Fall means playoff time!

The Judge is ready to hold court.
His Yankees are in tow.
And then there is that Mariner
whose name is Julio.

This is the very time of year
when baseball fans appear
who for six months were MIA
but now are perched to cheer.

Excitement builds. The Series waits!
But what two teams will play?
October Ball will find us hooked
as we watch day-by-day.

Check out…

Lessons from the Fall

Fan favorite Jim Ryun failed to qualify for his event in the Munich Olympics

Fifty years ago this week,
a runner (fouled) would fall.
And though he would appeal, he was denied.
Jim Ryun failed to qualify
to mine Olympic gold.
It was a test by which his faith was tried.

This Munich moment would define
Jim’s character and more.
Who tripped him on the track he would forgive.
So too the IOC top brass
who recognized their error.
Jim learned wounds can’t be licked to truly live.

And live he did. Jim Ryun ran
for Congress. And he won.
The “Kid from Kansas” gave his faith some feet.
Committed to a Christ-like cause,
Jim took his laps in stride
while learning from life’s setbacks and defeats.

Perhaps we, too, can learn from him
when tempted to give in
when others trip us up by their mistakes.
May we, like Jim, refuse to quit
forgiving as we go
while proving what is stretched need never break.

Going, Going, Gone!

Vin Scully, the beloved Dodgers play-by-play announcer waves goodbye

Dodger Blue is feeling blue. 
The broadcast booth is dark.
The man who brought the game to life
has sadly left the park.

He rounded third on Tuesday night  
and safely slid in home.
His well-lived life brought joy to ours.
But now we feel alone.

The prince of play-by-play has died.
Vin Scully has moved on.
That warm and winsome voice we loved 
is going, going, gone!

Peace to his memory!

The Master’s Palm Sunday

Amen Corner at Augusta National Golf Course

There’s no green jacket
for this Master’s Sunday.
But there are green palm branches
waved by those in the gallery
who excitedly realize
the significance of what they are part of.

In “Amen Corner”
the tulips and azaleas trumpet their praise
as creation recognizes the glory of this holy moment.
It is a thing of beauty to behold.

The Champion joyfully acknowledges their cheers
as he drinks in the adulation of those
who line the fairways
that lead to the final flag.

It’s a surreal scene.
A sacred snapshot.
Men and women.
Old and young.
Followers and critics alike.
They all watch the drama
playing out before them in newsreel-like fashion.

But this victory procession
doesn’t lead to Butler Cabin at Augusta National.
Rather, it serpentines through
the cobblestone streets
of an ancient city.

The spontaneous parade
ends at an impressive Clubhouse
where (ironically) today’s Master
conferred with the local professionals
comparing scorecards decades previously
when he was but a boy of twelve.

But now is years removed
from his bar mitzvah.
The Scriptures read that day
have been fulfilled this day.
And yet,
all is not what you might imagine.

Vendors tables topple.
Angry words are spoken.
The rules committee is confronted
by the One signing autographs.
The Hero departs.
The crowds disband.

As the parade ends
a week begins
that will culminate
in what appears to be a tragedy.
This Master’s celebration
morphs to sorrow.
This Master’s glory portends more.

Weeping with Those Who Weep

Who can you comfort today?

While slaloming through daily commitments,
other’s expectations
can get in our head
and crowd out our confidence.

As a result, we miss a gate.
We make mistakes.
We question our competence
and replay our regrets.

We temporarily forget that CHAMP
is spelled with an A and not a U.

We long for a shoulder to cry on
and hear someone who believes in us
remind us what we are capable of.

We need to know we’re not alone.
We need to realize that others understand.

And once we realize that the thrill of victory
and the agony of defeat is a common to our race,
we need to be at the finish line (or before)
to comfort those in pain.

Who can you comfort today?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15