Posts tagged ‘perfect’

October 1, 2012

Chipper

by pastortimfowler

This may be my least read blog ever, because it is about baseball. Baseball is not as popular as it use to be and most women could care less about it, so some may tune out before the end. Okay, but its your loss. You know you want to read it anyway.
I grew a block from a minor league baseball stadium in my town and my dad was a big baseball fan and took me to every home game. I got hooked early and because there was not a major league team in my area, Atlanta was the closest and I adopted them as my team. Although they did not have great teams when I was little, they had many great players. I saw Hank Aaron hit home runs # 714, 715, and his last 755. I saw pitcher Phil Niekro get ejected from games for scuffing the ball and saw him through knuckle balls that needed no scuffing. I saw Dale Murphy play and was glued to the TV when Sid Breem slid into home plate to complete the worst to first season that started decade of domination in baseball. There have been a lot of great people play for the Braves but few who will ever match Chipper Jones, #10.
I saw Chipper play in the minor leagues in Greenville SC in 1992 and followed his career in the major leagues. He did what few ever do anymore and that is stay with the same team for his whole career. So when I heard that he was retiring this year, I bought tickets to see the last regular season home game he would play in Atlanta and yesterday I got to see him play one last time. It was really cool to be there and see the amount of admiration for this guy from fans, his teammates, and other players from other teams. He is a class act.
Not only is he a great baseball player, he lived his public life with few embarrassing moments. For someone who always has a camera and a microphone around you, that can be tough. With the exception of an incident of infidelity, there were no moments of meltdowns or public humiliation of self and team or the game. I will address that one incident in a minute, but in an age of steroid use and gambling problems and egotistical superstars who say stupid things to get attention, Chipper is a class act.
He put team first. I never heard an interview, including the one yesterday after the game, when he did not give credit to his teammates, coaches, and fans. It was never about how awesome he was or how great he played, it was about the team winning and the fans getting to enjoy it. I never saw him hit a home run, and there we plenty, and have him put on a show or do a dance or point a gotcha finger at the other team. When he was taunted be opposing team’s fans he never lashed out at them, but rather smiled and let his actions on the field do the talking. I never saw him talk down about his coach and blame someone else when he was not performing well. He just played the sport and let things happen as they may. He did not shop around with other teams every year to get the highest pay. He was well paid and rightfully so, but he remained loyal to one team his entire career.
And then there was that one incident that made you realize that he was just as human as the rest of us. Several years ago the report came out that he was caught in an extra marital affair. Usually these have the tendency to become huge stories for public figures. There are normally denials, cover ups, and then, admissions to try to calm down the firestorms. But Chipper handled things differently. He admitted it publicly, handled it privately, apologized immediately, and played baseball without mixing his private life with his profession. Not a bad example of how to handle a major screw up from a celebrity.
So I like Chipper Jones as a baseball player. I like Chipper Jones a public figure. He was humble. I like Chipper Jones as a person. He was real. So I thought I would blog about him today because too many celebrities are none of the above and the example they give to our younger generation leaves a lot to be desired. I think that we can learn about loyalty and humility and passion, and work ethic and even how to get back up when you fall down from his career as a major league baseball player.
The number 10 often represents a perfect score. In reality, no one can achieve perfection. Some celebrities live like they think they are perfect and then there are those like Chipper, who wore #10 on his jersey, who knew that he was not perfect but worked as though he was trying to get there. I think he was a class act. Thanks Chipper! Good luck in retirement.

March 5, 2011

Who’s your Daddy?

by pastortimfowler

One of the greatest things that ever happened to me was having children. I was never one that liked kids, except me, I always liked me even when I was a kid. But having children taught me more about God that I ever thought could happen. God is tough to understand sometimes, but I think when we get away from religion and start looking at the relationship God wants with us, it is easier to do.
Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 tells us that because of our standing in Christ we have the right to call God, Abba. That word doesn’t sound much like anything I ever called my dad but its meaning is closer to daddy than any other word we are given in the Bible to call God.
My parents had a perfect child, me. I never caused them one minute of grief. Okay, I am stretching the truth a bit here. I was trouble from the time I could think. I started lying before I could walk. Mom told me that I use to cry just to get her in the room to pick me up. Crying is a baby’s way of letting the parents know something is wrong; wet, scared, hungry, hurting. But I quickly realized this, probably due to my super intelligent brain, and would cry just to get her to pick me up. Later I learned to tell them that I was not doing what they had just caught me doing. Even more I learned that you did not have to do your own homework if some cute girl would do it for you.
It was about then that my dad started loving me less. He told me that because I was older I needed to learn to be perfect and never mess up. The condition of him loving me was that I became perfect. As I reached my teen years I fell into the trap of drugs and alcohol abuse. I started stealing to support my habit and even told people from time to time that I was not related to my dad. By that time he had totally disowned me and said that he did not love me at all and would never love me again unless I completely quit doing things that he did not like. In fact I was removed from the family tree, completely eliminated from the family and its love. My dad was no longer my dad.
I hope that by now there are some of you going, WHAT??? You dad would never stop loving you. He would never disown you. There is no way you can be removed from a family. Nothing can change the fact that your dad is your dad! And you would be right.
My dad never quit loving me. There were times that he told me I was not welcome in his house. There were times when he told me that I was a disgrace to the family. There was never a time that he quit being my dad. That fact was based on my birth and not my actions. You could say it had to do with the blood.
God, Abba, Father, has the same standards for us being His son or daughter. Not based on our actions, but based on the blood, the blood of Jesus. Jesus told us that we must be born again. When we are we become His children and although He expects us to grow and learn, He never expects us to be perfect. We can’t.
God will not allow us to in His house sometimes and will be disappointed in our actions sometimes, but He never stops loving us. He can’t.
Now that I am an adult, I have made things right with my dad. I told him that I realized my mistakes and asked him to forgive me. He did. He told me one time that he knew that he was tough on me and that it broke his heart to not allow me in his presence. He told me how proud he was of my ability to learn from my mistakes and to come back to him for a relationship.
If you have strayed from God and fallen into some things that are not up to the family’s expectations, know this; God still loves you. He waits patiently for your return. His heart breaks each second you are away, but His love never lessens.
Having children reinforces this every day. My children are not perfect, but I love them with all my heart. I hope that they see God’s love through my love like I saw in my dad’s love for me.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (GW)

4 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant.
5 It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.
6 It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
8 Love never comes to an end.