Category Archives: destiny

If the vision for your life is not intimidating to you, it is insulting to God.

“If the vision for your life is not intimidating to you, it is insulting to God.” – Steven Furtick

Pastor Dennis Durig challenged my thinking with this quote this morning. It also gives me some comfort when I think about the scope of my vision. How may times do we KNOW what God has given us, and look at it and think “There’s NO way I can do this. It’s just too big.” Maybe it’s supposed to be. If you could do it all by yourself, would you need God? Will it be hard? Likely. Will it stretch you? Certainly. Will is stretch your faith? Hopefully.

Everyday that I look around me, His plan for me becomes clearer. I feel their pain. I hear their voices. I sense their frustration. And if you know me at all, you know who I’m talking about. I want to make my mark. I want them to know that I care, not because I need it, but because they do. Like Pastor Pat said, “We’ve got to go out there and make a mark on our promised land. If you don’t make your mark on it, it will make it’s mark on you.” I really feel that God pointed to firefighters and cops and said to me , “That’s why you’re here.” It’s a daunting task with over 800 police and 1000 fire departments across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. And I want to provide encouragement and appreciation to as many as I can.

Exciting days are ahead. Challenging? Probably. Testing? Maybe. Rewarding? No doubt!

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:(Philippians 1:6)

Greatness is only awakened when greatness is required. – Pastor Pat.

Last full measure of devotion

As of the time I write this note, 72 officers have given their lives for our freedom and safety here at home, ant it’s only May! They are from big cities to towns you may have never heard of. Some were parents, some were brothers or sisters, some were husbands or wives. Some were funny, some were serious.

Today, I’m going to be a better person than yesterday. Today I’m going to notice the value of life a little more. I’m going to appreciate what others do for me a little more.

And with a renewed sense of purpose, and dedication to the cause that burns so hot in my heart, that the words of Abraham Lincoln may be true, “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”.

How baseball and Jackie Robinson teach us about life.

I have 2 stories to share today. In case you didn’t know, today in 1947 Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. First, here’s the story behind it as related by Red Barber, the great announcer.

Note: There is one word that is offensive if used today. Red was telling the story as it happened at that time.

“In March of 1945, Mr. Rickey told me in confidence that only the board of directors of the ball club knew and only his family knew, and now I was going to know that he was going to bring a black player to the white [Brooklyn] Dodgers.

And Mr. Rickey said that going back to when he was the baseball coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, he took the team to play a series down at South Bend, Indiana with Notre Dame, and he said, “My best player was my catcher, and he was black. But,” said Mr. Rickey, “when we were registering the squad in the hotel, when the black player stepped up to sign the register, the clerk jerked the register back and said. ‘We don’t register niggers in this hotel.’” And Rickey remonstrated and said, “This is the baseball team from Ohio Wesleyan. We’re the guests of Notre Dame University.” He said, “I don’t care who you are. We don’t register niggers in this hotel.” Well,” Mr. Rickey said, “there are two beds in my room, aren’t there?’ And he said, “Yes.” “Well,” he says, “can’t he use one bed and not register?”

The clerk grudgingly allowed that to happen and Mr. Rickey took the key, handed it to the black player, and said, “You go up to the room and wait for me. Soon as I get the rest of the team settled, I’ll be up.”

Mr. Rickey said, “When I opened the door, here was this fine young man, sitting on the edge of his chair, and he was crying. And he was pulling at his hands, and he said, ‘Mr. Rickey, it’s my skin. If I could just tear it off, I’d be like everyone else.’”

And Mr. Rickey told me this day in March of 1945, he said, “In all these years I have heard that boy crying. And now,” he said, “I’m going to do something about it.” Red Barber, sports broadcaster”

(From “Inning 6: The National Pastime, 1940-1950”) Ken Burns Baseball)

Rickey had made huge contributions to baseball. Scouting, Minor Leagues, spring training, and numerous others. He could have rested on his accomplishments, but chose not to. He chose to fight. He had one last battle inside him and was determined to do it. I think you see the parallel here.

Life happens to us every day, and most days of our lives, in fact very few, will be moments that propel us into action. Moments that jump off the timelines of our life. The moments we were born for.

That was September 11, 2008 for me. When I heard that dispatcher tell me that she had not had anyone call in just to thank a cop for being there in over 10 years of work, that moment jumped off my timeline. So it’s become my mission to reach out to cops and firefighters and say “You ARE appreciated. You DO matter.” I can’t do alot. But I can do something.

What moment is significant in your life? What were you born to do?

Here’s a retelling of a story that Jackie reflected on much later. I don’t have the details, but if some of my baseball friends can fill in the blanks, let me know!

Jackie Robinson made history when he became the first black baseball player to break into the major leagues by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch Rickey, owner of the Dodgers at that time, told Robinson, “It’ll be tough. You’re going to take abuse you never dreamed of. But if you’re willing to try, I’ll back you all the way.”

And Rickey was right. Jackie was abused verbally (not to mention physically by runners coming into second base). Racial slurs from the crowd and members of his own team, as well as from opponents, were standard fare.

One day, Robinson was having it particularly tough. He had booted two ground balls, and the boos were cascading over the diamond. In full view of thousands of spectators, Pee Wee Reese, the team captain and Dodger shortstop, walked over and put his arm around Jackie right in the middle of the game.

“That may have saved my career,” Robinson reflected later. “Pee Wee made me feel that I Belonged.”

The Bible admonishes us “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Pee Wee Reese offered support at a time in Jackie’s life that was crucial. I think most of us have had that person in our lives. The question is how to we be Pee Wee Reese for someone else? What can we do to make things better?

Back from vacation

Well, I’m officially back from vacation in Florida. Indian Rocks Beach (near Clearwater) was the site of a week’s worth of vacation. There were the usual family spats and some things still to be processed, but it was a break that was welcomed.

This week we finalize part of the settlement for my wife’s accident. She is doing great and recovering speedily.I must say that it was quite wonderful to receive all the support and concern we did.

Back to work for me tomorrow.

While on vacation I listed to an audio book “How the Irish Saved Civilization”, which was great. Twas good to know me ancestors did their part in helping to save the world. I guess now it’s my turn.

More on Lord of the Rings

I’m reading over the Mythic Truth website . It’s a detailed analisys of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy from a Catholic perspective. I must say that this is a very good work. The explaination of how “Middle Earth” came into being is a little geeky for me, but there are some great comparisons here. I would encourage any LOTR fan to look over this. At some point (as with any work that delves deep into someones Theological perspective, there may be some things that you don’t agree with. But overall, this is a great piece of writing. Over the next few posts (how often or lack thereof they may be) I will cover some points that was significant to me.

For straters, he does a great job in defining the purpose of myth , in that it doesn’t mean “fiction”, and why that is important.

It may be that the very reason we wish it to be true is that we were made to wish it, by the One who made it true. God created us incomplete, because the kind of creature than can only be perfected by its own choices [and so through Quest and trial] is more glorious than the kind that has only to be whatever it was made to be by another.

The story may not be true, but maybe the essence of it is. Maybe this really is taking place to some degree in our lives. How serious does our ultimate destiny weigh on our lives? Are we mindful of where we are going?

In leaving today, I have on admonition:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing a great battle.