Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes.

One year ago, I posted a video from the band Switchfoot entitled “Home.”

I just watched the video again and all that has happened, I will admit I shed a few tears. Home for me, I thought was St. Louis, MO.

If anyone knows me, I am a St. Louis boy, born and proud to be from. I will ramble on for hours about Cardinals baseball and the love I have for them. When I posted this a year ago, I was going through several sets of interviews that eventually brought me back to where I grew up. So this song naturally came to mind.

Home is not necessarily St. Louis for me. Home, on Earth, is with my amazing wife and my awesome son. They are the ones that keep me going through the day. The reason I get emotional about it is simply because this is the place I belong. We are so wrapped up in “life” that we forget where we belong and sometimes even, who we belong to.

Where I reside for the rest of my earthly life may be St. Louis. It makes me smile who I get to spend that time with here. As my son sleeps on our bed, or heck, his bed, I think of this song.

“And now after all my searching, After all my questions, I’m gonna call it home. I’ve got a brand new mindset, I can finally see the sunset. I’m gonna call it home” (Switchfoot: Home).

Where is your home on this Earth? Are you there?

What an Amazing Man

I have been trying to think of a story or something that would really bring out my dad on this Father’s Day. This is a very special Father’s Day to me. I get to be apart of the celebration this year now that Cameron has made his entrance into our lives. It excites me I get to share this day with my dad now, but it is a little challenging. I have a LOT to live up to be anywhere near the father my dad has always been to me and my brother.

They always say that baseball is something between fathers and sons and is an incredible experience. I always thought that but in a much different way. My dad did not grow up liking baseball or sports for the most part. At Louisiana State University, he got to see Pete Maravich play basketball as well as experience Saturday night watching LSU football. Then after a few years, they moved to St. Louis. St. Louis has this special bond with their baseball team. You always wear Cardinal red to games and you cheer for other accomplishments of the other team, at times. You respect the game of baseball.  I grew up LOVING baseball and having a father that was not the biggest fan, it could come as a challenge. But not my dad. He would go out and play catch with me. He would drive me to and from games and cheer me on in the stands. He SUPPORTED me.

The first memory I remember of going to a Cardinals game was the World Series in 1987. I am guessing I remember that particular one because it was such a huge game. My mom entered for us to get tickets and we got selected. Nothing was going to stop my dad from taking his 7 year old baseball nut to a World Series game. I also remember other games he took us too. When I was 16 we had AMAZING seats about five rows up behind the Braves Dugout in the 1996 National League Championship Series.

After a few years, and me moving away, we rarely didadd anything regarding baseball. Then the Cardinals built a new stadium when I was in Phoenix and decided to win the World Series then. Awesome timing! I came back the following year for his birthday and I TOOK my dad to a game. I knew he was not there to cheer as loud as he could for the Cardinals. He went to the game with me because he supported me through me appreciating him. Oh and as you can tell, he wore his Cardinal red too.

What I have learned from him is that you need to support your family no matter what they do. If they want to stay focused in their studies, encourage them. If they want to get involved in sports, encourage them. If they make mistakes and are unsure where to go, encourage and LOVE them. I love my dad. He has done this for over thirty years now and he is starting to do the same with my son.

So dad, thanks for encouraging me with all that I have done. You have set forth quite a challenge for me to live up to; however, I am thankful I have that challenge. You have been an amazing example of what Christ has set out for you to be as our dad. What an amazing man you are in our lives. Thanks dad.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Great Reason to go to work today

Usually, Saturday morning is filled with getting a bike ride in or a run in and just relax after a hectic week at work. Well, it is a hectic weekend at work and I went in for just a few hours this morning. Not the greatest thing to do, but necessary.

As I am driving in, I am listening to 101 ESPN Sports Radio. They are playing a taped interview from yuri_foreman_12Jeremy Schaap, a reporter for ESPN from a few weeks ago. He is interviewing a man named Yuri Foreman, a boxer who was born in Belarus and lives in the United States now. He is also a Jewish man who is studying to become an ordained Rabi within the next few years.

I thought that was a pretty unusual combination; however, listening to him the interview, I really wanted to learn more about him. He is from Belarus, grew up in Jerusalem and at the age of 19, moved to New York to pursue his boxing career.

Before he left Jerusalem, he visited a sacred wall to many religions, especially Judaism. It is called the Western Wall. It may also be referred to as the Wailing Wall or the ear of God. It is a spot you can write your prayers or just mediate to Him and give your prayers up to the Almighty. He wrote on the wall that he would like to be a champion someday.

That prayer came to fruition last year when he won the Lightweight title. He is going to be defending his crown this Saturday at the new Yankee Stadium.

At the end of the interview he was asked by Mr. Schaap, “If you were to go back to the wall today, what would you write on it now that you are a champion?” He answered, “Oh wow, I do not know. Probably, I would just write thank you.”

Wow! That hit me like a ton of bricks. How often do we thank God? I know a lot of us sing praise and worship in our cars or at church; but, how often do we sit there and simply say thank you to Him? Usually, it is asking Him to get us through the day or to get through a situation. When it goes the way WE want it to, we may toss some praise His way. But if it goes wrong, what do we do? It reminds me of the movie Facing the Giants and the quote, “Praise Him when we win, Praise Him when we lose.”

I knew there was a reason I was heading to work today. We had a big group eating a lot of breakfast; however, there was another reason to go in there today. I got to be reminded to make sure I thank God for all that I have been blessed. So thank you God for my wife, my son, my family, my friends, my job, and most importantly, thank you for YOU and sending your son to die for me so that I may live in YOUR kingdom.

Oh, and thanks for letting me get to work today. Great reminder God!

For the full video story, which is different than the radio interview today, click here: ESPN Jeremy Schaap with Yuri Foreman.