Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 270- A Hardball First

Joel and I went and played baseball together today.  We borrowed a bucket of baseballs from a friend and went to the old ball park.  We warmed up and then I hit Joel some infield.  Then, Joel practiced pitching.  After that, I pitched to him and let him have some batting practice. It's the first time in a long time I pitched off a pitcher's mound.  That was a bit surprising on the first pitch.  I almost twisted my ankle while pitching off a pitcher's mound for my "first."  I'm used to pitching to him in our yard.

After a while, we decided we were done.  I asked Joel to let me bat one time and run the bases. He pitched to me.  He worked the count to a 2-2 count before I connected with a fair ball and ran the bases for my "first."  If there had been fielders in the field, it would have cut down significantly on the distance I ran.  I probably would have been thrown out at first.

Perhaps what I did today would more accurately be called jogging the bases or trotting around the bases.  Running around the bases sounds like someone who is going all out around the bases trying to score.  That is really not an accurate assessment of what I did today.  I did hit the inside corner of the bases and did not run far out of the baseline.  That would have required more distance and that's not what I was looking for today.  I chose not to slide when I came home.

This is where Joel quit taking pictures and started chasing me

I loved running the bases when I played baseball.  I loved to steal.  Sliding was a lot of fun.  Here's what is important to remember as you run the bases.  You have to touch each base.  You can't skip one and be OK.  If you miss a base, you are out.  It is important to touch each one as you run.  Each base is significant.

There are a few spiritual habits that are really important that we do if we are to grow as a Christian.  They are more than habits; sometimes they are called spiritual disciplines.  There are a few things we need to do regularly if we are to grow in Christ.

4 of these spiritual habits would be Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and evangelism. The first two orient us to God and help us to worship God.  The second two insure that we are connected to other believers and are reaching out to share Christ with others.  Regularly practicing these spiritual disciplines will help us to stay balanced and healthy in our relationship with the Lord.

There are other spiritual habits that are very helpful as well such as:
  • Scripture memory
  • Giving
  • Fasting
  • Meditation
  • Service
  • Worship
  • Solitude
Of course, that is not an exhaustive list, but gives one an idea of what spiritual disciplines are about.

Simply doing these things will not cause you to grow.  You have to do them with love in your heart for God.  You heart needs to be that you want to get to know God better.  If I go out on a date with my wife, it may cause us to grow closer together.  It's not simply the activity.  We could have an argument and grow further apart.  It is not just the activity, but the heart the activity is done with.  As you read your Bible, pray, worship, meet with other believers, and share your faith to do those things with the heart of wanting to know God better. Don't forget, He wants you to know Him.

Seeking the abundant life habitually

3 things I thank God for today
1. Playing ball with Joel
2. Crackers and cheese
3. Books on the spiritual disciplines

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