Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
Good morning. It is Monday, November 1, 2021. Jeanette Stark here. I hope you had a decent weekend 😊
A brand-new month. We have never had a November 2021. It is a first.
Do you ever stop and think about that? Today will never happen again. We might have tomorrow. But today, today is what matters the most.
Let’s talk baseball today.
There is an old quote that goes like this “You’re only as good as your last game.”
Have you ever experienced that in your own life?
Many people treat others with this sort of thinking. If you are giving them something they need, you are okay in their book. If you agree with their lifestyle or their thinking, you can be a part of their life. If you are exactly who they ‘need’ and what they need, things are okay. But the minute you say ‘no’, or ‘I can’t’ or ‘enough is enough’, you become disliked. They stop talking to you. Stop smiling at you. You become, in a sense, the enemy.
There is another saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is taken from the book of Luke.
“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” – Luke 6:31 NKJV
Oh sure. I guess we can all relate to treating others with a measure of unfairness. It is easy to love the loving. It is easy to like people who give you nice things whether it be compliments, material possessions, favors or grace. But what does the Bible say?
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:31-36 NKJV
Be merciful. Why? Because your Heavenly Father is merciful to you.
Ernie Harwell was a sportscaster for 55 years. He once said, “Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”
Attitude is everything. It is a choice. And the more you practice a positive attitude the easier the bumps and bruises of life become. You do not worry as much. You do not cry as often. You do not feel so overcome with the way people treat you or the way they talk about you.
The apostle Paul went so far as to tell us to ‘glory’ or rejoice in our sufferings.
Crazy talk, right?
How could anyone possibly rejoice in their suffering? More importantly, why would anyone rejoice in their suffering?
It’s simple really:
Suffering produces endurance.
Endurance produces character.
Character produces hope.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:3-6 ESV
What a wonderful gift! While we were weak, without strength…Christ died for us.
He did not wait for us to have a better day. He did not wait for us to get our act together and be more kind, more generous. No, the Bible tells us that while we were still sinners, He died for us.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8 NKJV
Love others with that kind of knowledge. Let the act of the cross motivate everything you say and do.
Hank Aaron once said “My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly, or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”
That is a great motto to take through life. Keep swinging. We do not always get it right; in fact, often we get it wrong, but keep swinging. If you are feeling bad, or having trouble with friends or loved ones, keep swinging. If you are feeling down or in rut, keep swinging.
“Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player.” - Author Unknown
God knows our hearts and He is keeping record; it is up to us to make sure our record is fit for heaven. If we have wronged someone, ask forgiveness. Do not hold grudges. Stop rehashing what is wrong in your life or how you have been wronged…forgive instead.
Forgiveness is key to happiness. It is also key to our Father in heaven forgiving us. I do not know about you, but I need forgiveness!!
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” - Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
The Lord’s Prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13. It is so easy to recite. Repeated over and over and all around the world, but do you take it all to heart?
Verse 12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
We are praying that God will forgive us in the same manner we forgive others. That my friend is powerful stuff.
Are any of us perfect? Of course not. What do we do when we mess up again and again? We boldly go to the throne of Grace. Why? That we may obtain mercy and find grace. It is the place where we can lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” - Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
I have heard people say, “there is no hope for him/her.” Friends, I say, “as long as there is breath, there is hope.”
God can take an impossible situation and make it right. Trust Him to do that for you today. Take your hurts and your broken heart and visit His throne room right now.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” - Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
“The game isn’t over till it’s over.” - Yogi Berra