KKK Plus 17

maxWhat thought comes to your mind when you think of a K or a series of them?

  • If you are a fan of the Kansas City Royals, you probably think of Kauffman Stadium when you think of a K.
  • When most people think of KKK, the Ku Klux Klan comes to mind.
  • The KKK plus 17 may have never entered your mind until today.

 

The 20-K club is one of the world’s most exclusive groups, and it consists of just 4 members.  The 4th member was added last night in an amazing performance by Max Scherzer–he struck out 20 Detroit Tigers last night!  When Scherzer trotted off the mound last night, he walked into the record books, and his name now appears alongside of Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens (who recorded 20 K’s twice).

While Scherzer’s 20 K performance gained him admission into an exclusive club, it’s not the most significant membership in the world. The one of most significance is not entered by performance, but through a person—Jesus Christ:

Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  ~Romans 10:13

The K in the case of Romans 10:13 is the Kairos.  The ancient Greek’s defined the right or opportune moment in which a person could do something or make a change as their Kairos moment.   The present is always the Karios moment to join the “whosoever” club:

“Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring (Proverbs 27:1).”

The Courage to Say: I Need Help

Bronx, New York 9/25/15 CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts on the mound after Melky Cabrera #53 of the Chicago White Sox scores on Alexei Ramirez RBI double during the second inning in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2015 (Paul J. Bereswill)

When you combine his 6’7” dominating physique with his left arm that chucks a baseball with the heat and intensity of a flamethrower, CC Sabathia can be an intimidating presence.  This fierce competitor with the heart of a champion made a public statement yesterday admitting he’s  been beaten.

Sabathia will not be going on the injured reserve list, he will be going into a treatment program for alcohol rehabilitation.  Sabathia said:

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series . . . It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.”

Kudos to Sabathia for being honest with himself, so he can be truthful with others.  He’s not alone in this battle.  As many as 1 in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or an alcohol related problem.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to the one that CC Sabathia is facing, I encourage you to take three immediate steps:

  • Resolve to make the necessary changes.
  • Assess your peer group: Are they good friends who have your best interests at heart or are they just drinking buddies?
  • It is highly unlikely that you can whip this on your own, so seek professional help.

For those who are on the outside looking in, I remind you of the words of Paul:  “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).”  When your friend or family member asks for help, be willing to listen and to encourage him and he takes the first steps towards sobriety.

Step Up To The Plate and Take A Swing

pMLB2-19389877dtThis is the time of year when some guys go into some sort of a sports-like-hibernation.  Football season had ended, and they blankly stare at the TV screen yearning for the next kickoff.

Not me, I love the game of baseball, and I watch several games each week.  My fondness for Americas’ game is due to the many memories of my dad and the times we spent together on a baseball field.  He coached, his boys played, and the family rotated from one field to another playing and watching games.

Weather permitting, I played baseball almost 7 days a week. My buddies and I would ride our bikes to a designated field or park and choose up sides and the game was on.

There were usually 3 or 4 of the boys who were the best of the best, and all the other boys wanted to play on their team.  You wanted them to pick you because your odds of winning were much better when you were on their team.

While I was reminiscing about this favorite summer pastime, I thought of John 15:6.  Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

The greatest All Star of all times has chosen you to play on His team. He promises to equip you and empower you to accomplish His will.

The game has begun, so why not step up into the batter’s box and take a swing or two?

Baseball, Peanuts, and Superstitions

Take-Me-Out-to-the-Ball-Game-logo-FINAL-285x300During the Royals and Giants game on Wednesday night, I started eating roasted peanuts that were salted in the shell. When the 5th inning came to an end, I went to the cupboard, grabbed the peanuts, a soda, and returned to my chair. I popped the first peanut in my mouth and almost immediately the pop returned to the Royals’ bats.

If I was truly superstitious, I would eat from this same bag of peanuts for the remainder of the World Series. Baseball is a sport that is noted for its superstitions. Wade Boggs was one of the more superstitious players:

• He had to eat fried chicken before every game.
• On the nights he was in the lineup, he had to take batting practice at exactly 5:17.
• When he warmed up for a game, he would field 150 groundballs—not 149 or 151.
• Before he stepped into the batter’s box, he’d write CHAI (Hebrew for LIFE), in the dirt.

The superstitions of people have been a matter of discussion for thousands of years. Even the Apostle Paul addressed the issue with the philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-24): “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious.”

The word “religious” is a Greek word (deisidaimonesteros) that means superstitious. The problem with the “men of Athens” was not that they worshipped too little, but they worshipped too much. These people had an altar for every god they could think of, and they even had one to “The Unknown God.”

In Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he said the conundrum is not that God cannot be known, but that people choose to not acknowledge Him:

“God’s anger is revealed from heaven against every ungodly and immoral thing people do as they try to suppress the truth by their immoral living. What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. While claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes (Romans 1:18-22).”

How do you acknowledge God in your life?