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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ah! Baseball!

Ah! Baseball!
It’s been a long, cold winter, but spring is upon us and with spring comes America’s first sports loveBaseball. Football season was fun and basketball and hockey continue, but now Baseball is back, and I’m thrilled. It’s nice to see 22 men battle to take the pigskin down the field and across the goal line, but for me, there’s nothing like baseball. And the steroid problem notwithstanding, we truly live in the golden age of the sport.

Baseball is not just the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees battling it out in the American League, or the Cardinals and the Cubs fighting over the Central Division in the senior league. It’s about the minor leagues which have never drawn larger crowds than they do today. (Several minor league teams draw more than a million in attendance each year, even though theirs is a truncated schedule.) It’s about eight and nine year olds hitting the ball off a tee and thirteen year olds playing on a full size field for the first time. It’s about Little League, Babe Ruth and Legion leagues. It’s about high school and college ball, as well as leagues for seniors. It’s about baseball’s offspring, softball for boys and girls, men and women of all ages.

Baseball is the sport for all ages when it comes to participation, when it comes to attending, and when it comes to watching year in and year out. The Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, now coming to a close, draw tens of thousands of fans from across the nation in anticipation of the race for the World Series. 

Americans just can’t get enough of baseball. Their children learn early how to hit a sphere with a round bat thrown at lightening speed. Then they go to their own softball or baseball game. After that they go home and watch baseball on TV. And then they go out to see their favorite professional team. It’s in the blood, it’s part of America as no other sport is or ever will be.

Physicists say that the hardest thing in any sport is hitting an 85 mile-per-hour curve ball and turning a double play. I’m no physicist, but there’s no doubt it’s a difficult game. I’ve explained the basics of football to someone from Europe, but when I tried to explain baseball, it wasn’t so easy. But once you understand it, there is no other sport in its league.

It’s a thrill to see the quarterback throw a winning touchdown pass with the clock running out, but for me it doesn’t compare with the drama I witnessed when the Cardinals battled the Mets for the NLCS Championship in 2006. It was the 7th and deciding game. A rookie fill-in closer, Adam Wainwright, was on the mound. He had gotten two outs, but allowed two men on base. The Cardinals long time nemesis, Carlos Beltran, was at the plate with two outs and two strikes. A hit would win the game and send the Mets to the Series. An out would send the Cards to the Series. Ah. Baseball!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter 2008

              Happy Easter 2008
I recently wrote this Easter message for everyone at my company and wanted to share it with you...

I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy, joyous Easter celebration. For more than 30 years I have been sending around my thoughts as a Christian at Easter time. It's a privilege to do so again this year.

Christians all across the globe celebrate Easter because it is the reason for their faith. It is what gives them hope that their life doesn't end when this earthly life is over, but really begins when they join Jesus in Heaven. 

Kathi and I have always found that there is an incredible joy you can almost feel when you are in church on Easter Sunday. This is what being a Christian is all about.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." 

When Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter gave that wonderful testimony, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." 

Christianity is really unique among the world's religions. All other religions believe that we earn our way into Nirvana, Shangri-La, Heaven, etc. Christianity, on the other hand, believes that we get to Heaven only through God's grace. In other words, Heaven is a gift that is ours if we simply trust in Jesus as our Savior. 

While Isaiah, Jeremiah, David and Zechariah described the life and death of Jesus in incredible detail hundreds of years before He lived, being a Christian is a matter of faith. 

I believe that although I am a dreadful sinner, I will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus has done for me. 

He lived the perfect life I cannot live. He took all my sins on Himself and then died and rose again giving me the promise of life eternal. 

I wish you the joy and happiness of Easter. May it fill your heart and lift you up.
Have a wonderful Easter celebration.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Good Life

The Good Life

A year or so ago I purchased The Good Life by Charles Colson (Tyndale House Publishers), which was released in 2003. Colson is one of my very favorite writers. His writing is incredibly clear and concise and he is a wonderful story teller. I’m always confident that when I pick up a book he has written that I won’t be disappointed. 

The Good Life is a great read. Colson conducts an exploration into what it means to live the good life. He begins with a retelling of the opening of the movie Saving Private Ryan. An old man hurries to see the grave of the officer who led the detail assigned to save him. The book continues with other moving stories that flow one after another, all aimed at identifying what it means to live the good life. Some stories are about lives wasted and others about lives well spent.

This is really a must read book. I’m not going to spoil it by going into lots of detail or the conclusions Colson reaches. I’ll let you do that for yourself.

I promise you two thingsyou will enjoy the book and it will make you take another look at your life to evaluate if you are living the good life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008



There is much to like about Barack Obama—he’s young, energetic, optimistic, and a great orator. Unfortunately his inexperience, along with his left-leaning tilt on critical foreign policy and economic matters, do not make him a good choice for President of the United States. An Obama Administration could lead to national security disasters and send the economy into a tail-spin.

And then there’s John McCain. Talk about the lesser of evils. The Senator is not a conservative by any description. Yes, he believes in a strong national defense and he has consistently voted pro-life, but he has a dismal record when it comes to limited Constitutional government, low tax rates, and national sovereignty. Being a conservative starts with reducing the size of government, but John McCain was the co-author of McCain-Feingold which dramatically expanded the Federal Election Commission and gave more power to the mainstream media and less to the average citizen. He voted twice against the Bush tax cuts. He teamed up with Ted Kennedy in co-sponsoring a bill that would have granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. On top of all this, he was the leader of the so-called "Gang of 14" that effectively blocked the nomination of conservative judges through their unwillingness to enforce a Constitutional approval process.

So these are our choices. Yuck!

McCain had me slightly leaning his way after his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but then I heard the real story on his rating by the American Conservative Union (ACU). The McCain handlers had repeatedly put forward the story that he had an 82% conservative rating. That didn’t sound too bad.

Unfortunately, it was a deception orchestrated by people who should know better. It turns out that while his ACU rating over the past 20+ years in Congress is indeed 82%, his conservative rating over the last 8 years in Congress is less than 60%! That’s dismal. In fact, it’s less than the 2006 ACU rating of Democrat Ben Nelson of Colorado, and only slightly better than the 2006 rating of very liberal Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

So what is a conservative to do?

The ball is in Senator John McCain’s court. He can still get the votes of conservatives PROVIDING he picks a solid conservative as his running mate. If he picks a philosophical soul mate, forget it!