I feel really bad for Kendall Schler, the 26 year old woman from Columbia who race officials stripped of her win in St. Louis’ GO! Marathon after determining that she didn’t run the entire course. If her name and picture hadn’t already been displayed in both the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Columbia Tribune, I wouldn’t include it here because I take no pleasure in her pain.
“Morning, Mom. Morning, Dad. Did the Royals win last night?”
“Yeah, can we watch the highlights?”
With Royals baseball enthusiasts in our house, this is how many mornings between April and October (at least in 2014!) start.
I have learned to love baseball season. It wasn’t my first love, or even my second, but I have come to really enjoy it and how it affects our family; specifically, there are a couple of reasons that I want to encourage my kids in their love of baseball, and especially the Royals.
- First, their dad loves baseball and the Royals, thus making it a fun father-son/daughter bonding thing.
- Second, I love the fact that to this point all of our kids have picked the Royals as their team (except on occasion when one ornery kid tries to claim he loves the Cubs). It has built a lot of sibling camaraderie when they all put their Royals shirts on and get excited about an upcoming game. Sweet memories are being made, and I want to encourage it.
So what’s the problem?
Because his resume includes everything from Oscar nominated work (Foxcatcher, The Kids Are All Right) to a well-received turn as the Incredible Hulk in the blockbuster Avengers franchise, it’s likely that actor Mark Ruffalo won’t have to worry about having quality employment anytime soon. But like most people, he hasn’t always enjoyed his work.
But when he was asked in a recent promotional interview about the worst job he’s ever had, Ruffalo didn’t mention anything in the realm of acting. Instead, he referred to working in a guitar store with a “hardcore fundamentalist Christian” who was “really mean.” He went on to describe the man in question as “a little bit racist” and “incredibly condescending and arrogant.”
I recognize that we only have Ruffalo’s account of his experience to go on, but it nevertheless sparked a number of thoughts:
What does it really mean to be faithful to God? If the Lord wills it, we hear the true gospel message preached. We feel our hearts quicken, sense that we are being drawn into relationship with a Being we cannot see…and yet One that we sense is more real, more lasting and more true than
Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available.
The Crossing Music recently released “Liturgy of the Seasons–Volume 3: Spring’s Ardor”; a new E.P. featuring “Trees Will Clap”. A song that is a Crossing favorite. Check it out on C.D. or digital download at crossingsongs.com. Vinyl is coming soon.
Worship on a Sunday starts before Sunday morning. That’s true not just for the band and the pastor and tech crew but for all of us. When you prepare ahead of time, you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind and heart. It gives you a chance to read the Bible passage in advance, see the song list, and get yourself ready. You can see some of the rationale here.
Shay Roush continues our 1 Corinthians series this Sunday with a sermon entitled, “The Death of Death: Why the Resurrection Matters” from 1 Corinthians 15:12–20. The Scripture reads,
It’s only April so how can I possibly know the best books I will read in 2015? I get that I’ve already read some good books and that I will hopefully read more in the course of the next several months but I just can’t imagine that I will find two that I enjoy more than America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. If I do, then 2015 will be a banner year in reading.
These two books combine some of my favorite genres: history, biography, and politics. Then throw in some religion and it gets even better. Billy Graham was the seminal force in American Christianity in the 20th century defining evangelicals from fundamentalists (an evangelical was someone who liked Graham and a fundamentalist was one who thought he was too “liberal”), rallying Christians to be involved in government, an important voice on desegregation, and a possessing a relationship with every president since Truman.