Saturday, May 5

:: Baseball & Forever ::

 It's sad to say, but took me until Parrish's last T-Ball game of the season to remember to bring my camera.  But thanks to this cool new picture editing site (you should try it) at least the better-late-than-never photos turned out pretty cute - even for an amateur photographer like myself.  I used to use Picnik from Picasa and when that was no longer an option my friend (and very non-amateur photographer) Terri told me about pic monkey.  I'm so glad she did because it saves me a lot of time, energy and effort editing my photos.  Beats the heck out of downloading photo actions and all of that jazz that quite frankly...confuses me.
 Anyway, Gentry and Cannon were coaches for the Oak Mountain Red Sox and the kids were so cute out there in their uniforms.  It takes a lot of patience to play baseball and I was pretty impressed with the kiddos.  There was that one point when Parrish asked me if I made him sign up for baseball.  (For the record...I did not...HE asked ME if he could play but seems to forget that)  But I would say that 80% of the time he wanted to go...which was pretty darn good for a 5-year-old.
 And I have to say that my little Babe Ruth is a darn good player...good hand eye coordination and all of that.
 Looks pretty professional, does he not?  Maybe he'll be the first New York City designer to also be a baseball player.  :)
 Daddy enjoyed being the catcher.
 Gentry leads to crew in their "good game" line up.
 My sweet P takes off for 1st base.
And the 3 musketeers - buddies Kaden and Luke - killed time in the dug out waiting their turn.

I enjoyed our time at the baseball fields this season (although I could have done without the 90 degree weather today), and my friends with boys tell me that's a good thing.  I think with baby boy #2 on the way I'll be spending lots more time there in the future.

You'll have to excuse the drastic change of subject, but I feel compelled to tell you about the book I am reading.  Have you read "Forever" by Paul David Tripp?  A friend recommended it to me months ago and I finally got around to buying it and I'm pretty sure that the perspective in this book is life-changing.

In a nutshell it talks about how, as humans with limited, sin-filled ways of looking at our lives, we often ask God, "Why me?"  Or "how could you let this happen?"  It's only human.  We are faced with horrible things that happen to us and others we know and love every day.  We have money troubles, we aren't happy in our jobs, our marriages are strained, our sons get deployed to war-torn countries, our friends and family are battling cancer and other diseases.  And try as we might...not one of us can escape death, no matter how well we eat or exercise.  It is inevitable.  We like to pretend we can keep it from happening, but the truth is we cannot.  Cannon and I were faced with this reality sooner than most.  And I of course thought (and sometimes still think) - "how could a loving God let this happen to our family?"  But the book reminds me that that outlook is assuming that this life here on earth is all there is.  That God's primary concern for those He loves is making their life as easy and care-free as possible.  But really His true concern is not with our here and now happiness but with our ETERNAL happiness.  He is preparing us for our second life - a life yet to come - that will thankfully be so much more fulfilling than this one.  We were meant for heaven and apart from God here on this earth we will never be fully satisfied because He is creating a longing in us for another place.

Most of us as Christians have always SAID we believe in heaven, but do we really live that way?  I know I don't.  I try to build up my treasures here on earth like this is all I've got.  The good news I need to be reminded of is that this dark world full of suffering is not all there is.  We have far better to look forward to.

So I want to encourage you that if life is not turning out the way you thought it would, if you or a loved one has been touched by suffering or death, if all the "stuff" in the world you think will fulfill you only turned out to put you into debt...take heart and start living like there IS a tomorrow apart from this world.  Jesus promises us that there is.  One filled with no death, mourning, crying, or pain.  It is so hard for me to imagine the sheer joy of that and I really cannot wait.

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  John 12:25

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:4

Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by humans hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  For while we are in this (earthly) tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  2 Corinthians 5:1-5

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."  C.S. Lewis

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