Bible, Baseball, Ballet, and Birch Beer

Last night I went to Greenwood, Delaware to speak to a youth group there.  It’s been a little while since I’ve been involved in youth ministry, and it sure did bring back a lot of memories!  The message was from Daniel 1-3, about Azariah, Mishael, and Hananiah–better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

We looked at their story as it might be presented in a movie.  It opens at the climax of the action, in Daniel 3, with a powerful king threatening to kill them if they refuse to worship an idol he’s set up.  Then we move to their response, and flashback to the events in their lives that led up that point and how they developed a faith that was strong enough to withstand such a difficult test.

Bottom line: their passion for God burned hotter than the flames of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace.  The king could only see Jesus in the flames, but the other three men saw Him at work throughout their lives as they fanned the flames of devotion day by day.  If we nurture our devotion to God in the little moments, we’ll have the strength to remain devoted to Him in the big moments.

After youth group Carolyn and I drove to Grotto Pizza in Seaford.  Grotto’s has such excellent pizza.  And the birch beer is good, too.  There’s just something about birch beer that perfectly complements that kind of pizza that has wide, thin slices with cheese oozing off of it.  Not only was the pizza delicious, but they had basketball and baseball games showing on TVs all over the place, including a practically life size screen behind the bar!  They even had a basketball game playing on a TV in the bathroom.  How cool is that?!?  I was curious about whether or not they had a TV in the women’s room.  Carolyn said there was.  It was set to Animal Planet.

As I watched the Orioles-White Sox game on the TV behind Carolyn (while trying not to look too much like I was watching it), she was watching the Red Sox-Yankees game on the TV behind me.  I didn’t even know that game was on (or I would’ve switched seats), and I had no idea she was watching it until she told me later on.  She never ceases to amaze me.  Coming into the top of the fifth inning, New York was up on Boston 7-3.  The Red Sox tallied up six runs in a fifth-inning explosion to take a 9-7 lead.  Meanwhile Carolyn was watching all this behind me, and never let on!  She remained perfectly expressionless as she watched the tables turn in a matchup between the two teams with the oldest and greatest rivalry in the American League!  She didn’t even let out a “Whoa!” or “Dude!”  or “Aww!” or anything!  After we left, the Yanks came back and won.  Not that Carolyn would care.

Carolyn’s assistant is a huge baseball fan.  Her husband got her into it.  I need to talk with that guy and get some advice about how to do that.  I once met another guy who got his wife into football.  Now there’s a how-to manual that would fly off the bookshelves!

To be fair, Carolyn does occasionally watch sports with me.  We went to the Shorebirds game last Saturday and had a great time.  Tippy Martinez, a pitcher for the Orioles when I was a kid, was there.  It was an exciting game!  The score was tied at one apiece in the top of the ninth with two outs.  Lakewood tried to score the go-ahead run on a shot to deep center, but their baserunner was thrown out on a close play at the plate.  In the bottom of the ninth, the Shorebirds moved a guy over to third and won the game on a passed ball.  It was cool!  Carolyn was just glad the game didn’t go into extra innings–or “overtime” as she calls it.

Anyway, last night at Grotto’s we worked out an arrangement that she’ll go to ballgames with me if I go to ballets with her.  That’s a pretty good deal.  Ballets are pretty funny, especially when the guys in tights come out and start jumping around.

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Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 9:38 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Was Tippy there as a coach? Did you know John Shelby is the first base coach for the Birds this year?

    I think Carolyn will come around in time. Sheila used to wonder – when the O’s maintained the lead at home after the top of the ninth – why they didn’t “get their turn to bat? That’s not fair.” Now she’s a die-hard Melvin Mora fan. (Of course, I think she’s most impressed with his having, well, I’ll call them six-tuplets.)

    Finally, I thought you could sympathize with me. Sheila suggested we rent a horror-type movie. Without investigating too deeply I agreed. Turns out, the movie starred Johnny Depp. And it was a musical. A Johnny Depp musical. Horror, indeed.

  2. Sounds pretty horrific to me!

    Nope, I didn’t know John Shelby was the Birds’ first base coach. Is that actually a real job? Where can I apply?

    Tippy isn’t a coach, he was just there signing autographs. I thought it’d be cool to have a picture taken with him, and the camera was in the car, but I couldn’t pull myself away from the game long enough to fetch the camera. Remember Ryan Minor? He’s one of the Shorebirds coaches.

    Next Wednesday I’m going to another Shorebirds game. And it’s actually for work! Nice, eh?

  3. Don’t count on me “coming around in time”. Think about my mom–and they’ve been married a LONG time!

  4. Yeah, I’m still holding out hope for her.


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