Display your faith?

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Michael Lorenzen, a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds got a new tattoo over the all star break.  Check out the video below.  How far will you go to show the world your faith?


Romans 1:16 –For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

If you are interested, watch a few other videos of Michael, it’s a great example of a young Christian living in the Lord.


What would #42 do?

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Over the past few weeks of lent, we have looked at parallels in the world of baseball and the world of Christ.  This week, let’s go back to one of the pivotal figures in baseball history, Jackie Robinson.  If you don’t already know, Jacki Robinson, #42, was the first African American to play in major league baseball.  Just as important are the stories of Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who signed him, forever breaking the baseball color barrier, and Pee Wee Reese, a team mate in Brooklyn.

In a 2013 article appearing on desiringgod.org, David Mathis recounts several stories of Jackie and the Amazing Grace he demonstrated in his first few years in baseball.  He describes the relationship between these two men and their faith below:

Many tellings of the Robinson-Branch story omit the importance of their shared Christian faith, but a few biographers have endeavored to draw this out.

Robinson was a Christian [and] his Christian faith was at the very center of his decision to accept Branch Rickey’s invitation to play for the all-white Brooklyn Dodgers. . . . Branch Rickey himself was a Bible-thumping Methodist whose faith led him to find an African American ballplayer to break the color barrier. . . .[A]t the center of one of the most important civil rights stories in America [lies] two men of passionate Christian faith. (Metaxas)

Branch’s strategy for de-segregation was “non-retaliation” — a precursor to the vision of non-violence to come later in the Civil Rights Movement. But it would not just do to try to follow Jesus’s pattern. Branch was looking for someone with deep faith and proven character. Nothing less than emotionally excruciating work lay ahead. When Branch and Robinson met for the first time to explore the possibility, Branch grilled him for hours and made him commit to three years of non-retaliation. Rickey . . . pointed him to the biblical account of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Rickey told Robinson, “We can’t fight our way through this, Robinson. We’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners. No umpires. Very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid many fans will be hostile.”

Hostile they were, but as commemorated in the statue below, teammates stood by Jackie during the hostility.  10 time all star and hall of famer, Pee Wee Reese, is as well known for his support of Jackie Robinson as he is for his playing performance.



As Eric Metaxas puts it in his book,Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness:

“The heart of the Jackie Robinson story,” says Metaxas, is that “he changed America by successfully living out, both on and off the baseball field, the revolutionary and world-changing words of Jesus.”

What made all the difference was both Branch’s recognition of the power of Jesus’s model of non-retaliation in Matthew 5:38–41, and Robinson’s grace-given ability to echo the almost superhuman pattern of Jesus: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

That is a model we can all strive for, both on and off of the field.


Hope’s Opening Day

Welcome friends to the first discussion topic in our Faith on the Field Lenten Virtual Community.  As we enter this season of Lent, we invite you all to join us to “live slow and notice” God’s action in our lives.  We will be talking about baseball, and about God, and hopefully the correlations we find between the affect they each have on us.  As we open the season of Lent, Opening day of the baseball season comes to mind.

A couple years ago, E.J. Dionne Jr., an opinion writer for the Washington Post wrote an article titled “Hope’s Opening Day” which captures that essence with the opening:

The obligations of religious toleration and pluralism require all who care not a bit about baseball to accept that opening day is more than the beginning of a sports season. It is a great religious festival.

It can’t be an accident that baseball always starts around the time of both Easter and Passover and, thus, “elicits a sense of renewal.” For the faithful, it means that “the long dark nights of winter are over” and “the slate is clean.” All teams, the exalted and lowly alike, “are tied at zero wins and zero losses.” This, in turn, means that the fervent cry “Wait’ll next year” becomes “prologue, replaced by hope.”

The faithful fan, who usually ends the season with defeat, (unless you are a Yankee or Cardinal fan), epitomizes the hope of rebirth with the dawn of a new season.  I’m reminded of Corinthians 15: 54-58:

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

162 games in the season, and every year, every team starts with a perfect record.  What are your thoughts about Hope’s Opening Day as we open lent?  To leave a comment, click the link at the TOP of the post.

Visit the field!

March 13th, 1:05 pm

Join us for a spring training game at Osceola County Stadium

Address : 631 Heritage Park Way
Kissimmee, FL 34744

See more at: http://www.osceolastadium.com/

Group tickets are under a covered section with shade for the afternoon game.  Tickets are $21 each and must be confirmed and paid for by February 21st to sit with the group.  Please make check payable to the church, with Baseball Game in the memo.

Sign up sheet will be at church.

Ideas for Lenten Discussions

Hank Aaron “God is His Strength” – https://www.guideposts.org/positive-living/inspiring-entertainment/sports/god-is-his-strength?nopaging=1


The Forgotten Sotry of Peter Norman – by Joe Posnanski – http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/36921250/the-forgotten-story-of-australian-olympian-peter-norman

Field of Dreams – http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/10/21/why-field-of-dreams-is-the-best-christian-parable-in-movie-history/34656

Baseball as a Road to God – Sexton – http://www.cleveland.com/books/index.ssf/2013/03/john_sextons_baseball_as_a_roa.html

Ernie Banks Outlook