Category Archives: Sports

Billy Graham Speaks on Love


Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
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But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Love Despite Ourselves

The Bible teaches that all our righteousness—falling short of the divine standard as it does—is as filthy rags in the sight of God. There is absolutely no possibility of our manufacturing a righteousness, holiness, or goodness that will satisfy God. Even the best of us is impure to God. I remember one day when my wife was doing the washing. The clothes looked white and clean in the house, but when she hung them on the line they appeared soiled and dirty, in contrast to the fresh-fallen snow.

Our own lives may seem at times to be morally good and decent; but in comparison to the holiness and the purity of God, we are defiled and filthy. In spite of our sins and moral uncleanness God loves us. He decided to provide a righteousness for us. That is the reason that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross.

Daily Prayer

My life is like a gray pall beside the whiteness of Your purity, Lord Jesus. Cleanse me this day.

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Debt: A Biblical Exploration – Part 2 of 5


When we go into debt we are subject to the decision of those who we borrowed from. Whether be financial institutions or people who lent the money, we quickly find ourselves losing things we hold dearly due to our inability to manage our finances. Not only do we become slaves to our debt, but we find our selves also in a servitude to the wills and desires of our creditors. God teaches us to that he has blessed us and has given us everything we could possibly need to live a debt free life.

2 Kings 4:1 NKJV – A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord . And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”

Nehemiah 5:3 NKJV – There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”

Psalm 109:11 NKJV – Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder his labor.

Isaiah 50:1 NKJV – Thus says the Lord : “Where is  the certificate of your mother’s divorce, Whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is  it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.

Deuteronomy 28:44 NKJV – He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

Deuteronomy 28:12 NKJV – The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

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Blaming God….


Prayer of David, psalm 51
Prayer of David, psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we make bad decisions, sometimes we tend to blame God.  He is all powerful and certainly He can run things without a hitch, but there is this other thing called “free will.”  We want to have the ability to do our own thing, but if we accept the free will and make a decision that is ill-conceived, we reap the consequences.

Today, I read this devotional “Embracing Eternity” for August 18th and felt I had to share this article on the subject.  I encourage all of you to comment and use the rating graphic to let me know what you think of this article.  For me, it brings back memories of my family telling me (in hard times) that it was better to be happy than to be rich.  How Proverbial!

August 18: Restored Trust

Today’s Reading: Psalm 51:5-12

Restore to me again the joy of your salvation. Psalm 51:12

EVERY DAY we hear of friends who are going through tough times. We know people who have lost a great deal of money due to the downturn in the stock market. Friends have lost jobs in layoffs and corporate bankruptcies. Others are going through health problems. Just last night we prayed for the family of a man who had died from heart failure, leaving three small children for his wife to raise alone.

Often in the midst of these dark days we call out to God for help. We ask him to get us through our troubles and to restore the things we’ve lost. We plead with him to restore our fortune, our health, our business, our marriage, and our sense of peace. And we believe that God has the power to do so, yet often he remains silent.

Sometimes it is because we are asking the wrong question. Maybe what God wants to do is to restore us. To redeem our heart, not our money. To rebuild our relationship with him, not our bank accounts or portfolios.

Several years ago our family went through an extremely trying situation. Some poor investments had taken away much of our retirement money, and at the time it felt extremely unfair. We had to drastically change our plans for the future. We reminded the Lord that we had been faithful with our tithes and offerings, that we had worked hard at staying obedient to him, that the plans we had made came through a great deal of prayer and petition, and that we were certain we were in his will. We struggled to understand what God was trying to teach us and began to pray earnestly that he would restore the money we had lost. We claimed the promise of Joel 2:25, believing that God would restore to us “the years the locusts have eaten” (NIV), yet he only allowed things to get worse.

Then one day as I was praying, God spoke to my spirit saying, What I want to restore is your trust in me. Suddenly the money we had lost seemed irrelevant. I had allowed our distress to shake my faith in God as our provider. I had forgotten that he knew exactly what he was doing, even though things seemed out of control. He is now rebuilding our retirement account, but more important, he has restored our peace of mind. Our future is always secure in God’s hands; it’s our trust in that truth that needs refreshing from time to time.

Reflection

How do you handle trying situations? Do you find yourself pulling away from God or drawing nearer to him? How does God want us to respond?
Embracing Eternity: Living Each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven.

Steroids and all that …


Steroids
Steroids (Photo credit: gjs)

I do not know what to do or think about the baseball scandal having to do with steroids.  I know that a few times in my life, I have been prescribed steroids for ailments I had.  I was given notice about their dangers, etc.  But I needed them to get better, or at least that is what the doctor said.  Taking them when you do not need then, for me is foolish.

But I cannot help but wonder, what about professional athletes who are injured?  Do they not require steroids to get better from certain ailments?  And what if that particular steroid was prescribed for good reason?  How does the testing mechanism distinguish between steroids taken for healing and steroids taken for cheating?  I suspect that the testing has no way of making that distinction.

Therefore, I think that there is a touch of unfairness in the system of testing that Major League Baseball (MLB) has established.  I am under no delusion that most of the cited infractions are justified, but our legal system is based upon the notion that it is better to let several people go unpunished than to convict one innocent person.  And to be realistic about this, am I the only one on this planet who believes that MLB has been high-handed in this matter?

There is enough blame to go around and the mud-slinging has to stop, but there is a certain amount of responsibility to be assigned to the club owners, who hired these guys (some of which had histories with steroid use) and now try to get out of long term contracts with these same players.  Did they not contribute to the problem?  And what do we do about sponsors who gave money to tainted players to endorse their products, whether it be beer, automobiles or shaving cream?  Aren’t they trading on the ill-gotten fame of the tainted player?

The problem with this whole mess is filthy lucre!  Anything for a buck.  As long as baseball enjoys the exemption from anti-trust legislation, they should be accountable for complicating the game with all this money.  We cannot get all the way back to simpler times, but having a realistic salary cap and having revenue-sharing between the large market clubs and the small market clubs would be a good start.

Take the profit out of cheating!  

Bring honor back to the game.

Fantasy Baseball- Ten Ways it will Drive You Nuts!


Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the first time I have participated in fantasy baseball. After three years of Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, I thought it would be fun. I found out it is hard work and very time consuming. Here is a list of my frustrations that come with the satisfaction of managing my own team:

  1. Setting the lineup– day games on east coast will be earlier (by the clock here. I am not always ready to set my lineup prior to 10 am pdt. If I find out a player I usually start is not in the lineup, I need to swap them out about breakfast time. Thankfully, baseballpress.com can furnish lineups ahead of time (usually). If I let it go, I get no points for a player that does not play. This is a disadvantage in the competition, for those of you who are not familiar with the format.
  2. Disability List– sometimes a player will go on or off the disability list and I will not be informed until just before game time. I am not willing to have my eyes glued to my monitor at over twenty different starting times to monitor changes. Furthermore, in my league, you can only have one player on the DL at a time. I can replace a player on the fantasy DL. I had four players on the DL in real life and I had to carry the others on the bench. I even had to field teams with less than nine players because of this. Since the rankings give points for runs, RBI’s, HR, etc. If a player is out and I cannot draft a replacement, I have a disadvantage over my competitors.
  3. Fantasy vs Favorite Team– when you have players playing against your favorite team in real life, you are torn with emotion. Do you root for the home team to crush all competitors? Or do you hope your player does well enough to get points for you, but not well enough to win the game. This is heart wrenching.
  4. West Coast Late Games– How long do I have to stay up to figure how I did today. Fantasy baseball does not really have instant rewards.
  5. Absentee Owners– Some fantasy owners/managers obviously do not monitor their team very well. (OK, I guess they have a life outside fantasy baseball. Good for them!) I have proposed trades that go on deaf ears for a week or more. Common courtesy dictates some sort of response, don’t you think?
  6. Official Scorers and changed stats– sometimes, the official scorer will make a change in scoring, changing a number of stats. For instance, if an error is changed to a hit (or vice versa), then the following stats could be changed and it could affect your standings: batting average, RBI, WHIP, ERA, and possibly others that I haven’t figured out yet. When it’s over, it should be over.
  7. Starting Pitchers– baseballpress.com does a good job of telling me who is supposed to pitch, but sometimes it changes due to injury, promotions, demotions, suspensions, of the whim of the real life manager. If my pitcher does not pitch, I cannot get points. The same is true of relief pitchers, but even harder to manage.
  8. Roster changes– If someone gets sent down to the minors by his real life team, you have no recourse but to replace him on the open market. This could be waivers, free agents, trades, whatever…another waste of time. The really good players are already taken, with few exceptions. This is especially egregious to me when they are being sent down for a “rehab” assignment. Do I keep them on the bench? Or do the dance with the free agents?
  9. Limits on activity– There are limits on how many games each position can play and on how many innings a team can pitch. If you exceed this number, you cannot accumulate any more points. For instance, there are days when only a few teams are playing. If you have players on these teams, you want to play them. But you are only allowed 161 games per position, so you have to make it count. If your player goes 0 for 5 and scores no runs or RBI’s, that was pretty much a wasted opportunity. There is a team in my league that leads all teams in wins, saves, strikeouts, nearly all pitching categories. But this team also leads in innings pitched. Out of a maximum 1400 innings pitched, they already have pitched over 1419. They are over the limit and the season is only half over. No further stats are allowed for the pitchers, which is half of the total points for standings. They should be easy to overtake in the second half of the season. Just another thing to keep track of.
  10. What am I going to do– I am going crazy wondering what I will do in October when this league is over? I could do fantasy football, it’s only one game a week. Maybe I’ll get a clue during the four day break for the all-star game. One can only hope!