The Shot Heard Round My Mailbox

When I was a kid one of my hobbies was collecting autographs of baseball players through the mail.  Recently I’ve been reading The Echoing Green, a book I borrowed from my brother Dylan about what is probably the single most famous home run in baseball history.  So I decided to revive my old hobby by writing to Bobby Thomson.

In 1951, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers battled for the pennant down to the last game of the season.  The Giants staged an amazing comeback and forced the Dodgers to a playoff.  In the deciding game, the Dodgers were up by two in the bottom of the ninth.  With the Giants at bat and two men on base, Bobby Thomson hit a rocket into the stands in left field to win the ballgame and the pennant, sending them to the World Series to face the New York Yankees.

This famous home run has become known as “the shot heard round the world.”

I bought an 8×10 photo of Thomson slugging the famous homer and mailed it to him with a letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  It’s only been a week since I mailed it, so I was happilysurprised to find it waiting for me in the mailbox today.

Mr. Thomson signed the picture and wrote “The Shot Heard Round the World, Oct. 3, 1951.”

Though I’d never done this before, I decided to send a brief questionnaire with the picture.  I never thought he’d actually fill it out and return it!  But he did, so here are the questions along with his answers:

  • Who were your favorite teammates?  Whitey Lockman and Alvin Dark.
  • What were the personal highlights of your career?  Hitting “The Shot” against the Dodgers & winning the pennant in 1951.  Also the homer I hit on Oct. 1, 1951, to win the first playoff game.
  • Who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced?  Don Drysdale.
  • Who was the toughest team you ever played against?  Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Who was the greatest hitter you ever saw?  Ted Williams.
  • Who was the greatest pitcher you ever saw?  Allie Reynolds.

Pretty cool mail day!  Now I remember why I had so much fun doing this as a kid.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm  Comments (4)  

Not What It Appears

Now this is funny.  You just gotta read it.  Make sure you look at the picture before reading the article.

Thanks to my friend Ty for sending this my way!

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Comments (3)  

Another Try At Painting

Last year several of us got together on Sundays after church to paint.  It never really got going again after the summer until this month. 

I’ll have to ask Carolyn if I can post pictures of her latest paintings in progress.  She is so talented!  I’ve decided to move on from my attempts at painting football players.  Instead I’m trying baseball players.

My first effort is an acrylic painting of former New York Yankee Bobby Murcer.  It’s based on a photograph from a recent edition of Sports Illustrated.  Like the photo, the painting is black and white–the first attempt I’ve made at B&W.  I thought it’d be kind of cool to take pictures of it at different stages of development.

Here’s the original photo:

My basic sketch:

And here’s where the painting stands now.  Obviously the face needs a ton of work still.  At this point it’s a face, but definitely not Bobby Murcer’s!  I think I’m probably going to leave out the uniform pinstripes from the original photo.  Here’s what it currently looks like:

If I’m able to finish this one, it’ll be my first-ever completed painting!  It’s the closest I’ve gotten so far.  After we paint this Sunday I’ll post a picture of whatever progress (or regress!) I make.

By the way, last time I shared one of my paintings on here (my very first attempt, I might add), I got joned on by some of you in the comments.  You’re welcome to slam it, but let’s play fair: if you’re going to bust on my painting, I want to see some of yours!  And if you haven’t painted yet or are looking for people to paint with, everyone is welcome to join us at CrossWay on Sunday afternoons.  We usually start around 2:30 p.m.  Good times!

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 5:03 am  Comments (2)  

Minding the Intersections

Sunday at CrossWay was the third week of the series Life On Loan.  This message was called “Minding the Intersections.”

Whenever we’re driving somewhere, especially on a long road trip, intersections are very important.  The final destination is important, of course, but so are the intersections along the way.  It is at the intersections that the right things can happen (catching a green light, making the right turn, etc.) or the wrong things can happen (collisions, missing a turn, etc.).

Life as a traveller with God is the same way: the destination is important, but so are the intersections along the way.  Spiritually speaking, intersections are those points where our story crosses with someone else’s story.  At these intersections, God can use us to influence someone else’s story and even change their destination.

It’s easy to miss these intersections, to just barrel right through them as we focus on reaching our destination.  But to experience the journey God has planned for us, we have to mind the intersections. 

We can do this in two major ways: pay attention to God and pay attention to the people around us.  To help us understand how to do this, we spent some time reflecting on Colossians 3:15-17 and 1 Peter 4:7-11.

I know I’ve gotten behind with the podcast, but I should be caught up by the end of the week.  In the meantime… mind those intersections!

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Our Youngest President Yet

Apparently the inauguration on Tuesday had an impact on at least one of Carolyn’s kindergarten students.

Yesterday one of her little boys came to school wearing a dress shirt, a tie, and slacks.  He’d picked out his own clothes that morning.  When he walked into the classroom, he proudly announced to Carolyn: “I’m the President!”

When Carolyn asked what he would do as President, he smiled, waved, and said, “Wave.”

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cough Cough Achoo!

Been slow on the blog this week.  I’ve been homebound with some kind of sick junk.  I just started an antibiotic so hopefully it’ll be gone in time for Sunday.

I’m very grateful that I have the kind of job where I can still get work done even when I’m sick and stuck at home.  I miss spending time with the Training Station staff and families, and I’ve fallen behind on phone calls and emails and overhead stuff, but I’ve actually gotten a little ahead on sermon prep!

It’ll be nice to jump back into things, though.

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Merging Your Passions With God’s Purposes

Yesterday was the second week of the series “Life On Loan” at CrossWay.  The subject was “Merging Your Passions With God’s Purposes.”

The “Big Idea” for the week is that God gives us what we need to partner with Him.  Like a good fastball hit right on the sweet spot of the bat, God throws His purposes at our passions.  When they intersect, the resulting explosion is the life we’re called to.  God has given us everything we need to do the good works He designed us to do.  Specifically, here are four things He’s given us:

(1) God gives us leaders to equip us for good works.  Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us: “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”

(2) God gives us the Bible to prepare us for good works.  We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

(3) God gives us spiritual gifts to enable us to do good works.  1 Peter 4:10 says: “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another.”

(4) God gives us other Christians to motivate us toward good works.  We’re challenged in Hebrews 10:24: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”

The authors of the book that this series is based on, Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson, ask: “Have you discovered the place where your passion intersects with God’s purpose and you feel fully alive?  A life on loan is filled with purpose and passion” (Living A Life On Loan, page 54).

Well?  Have you?

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 5:37 am  Comments (2)  


That’s the wind chill factor right now.  Imagine if it wasn’t sunny.

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 11:37 am  Comments (2)  

Another Reason Why My Nephew Kevin Totally Rocks

The other day my sister-in-law, Kristi, was explaining to my three-year-old nephew, Kevin, that he was supposed to take something that starts with the letter W to school for show-and-tell.

Kevin thought for a minute and said, “I know what I’ll bring!”

“What?” his mom asked.

He answered enthusiastically: “A wacecar!”

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 5:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Further Evidence That Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Here’s the proof:

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 5:06 am  Leave a Comment