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Aug 30, 2012

Aug 29 Devo - Rajai Davis and Speedy Alertness

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Julie Golding Page for St. Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our daily devotionals are from the world of sports. Today, we'll be talking about baseball and how some of its plays and players can help us understand our faith better.
Do you have a baseball player who's just plain fun to watch? It might not be somebody with the best record for hitting, or fielding. Just somebody who plays in such an entertaining way, that whenever he comes on, you drop everything and watch the action. For me, that player is the Toronto Blue Jays' Rajai Davis. His claim to fame is speed.
Whenever Davis manages to get on base, the real entertainment begins. It seems like a lot of the opposing teams don't know that Rajai Davis is super-fast, and so they sometimes don't pay much attention to him on base. That is a big mistake. Because he's so fast, that he's likely to have already stolen a base before anybody on the fielding team even sees him start running!
Davis's speed also means he can get many more bases out of a hit than most other players. For example, he can make it to first base easily on a bunt that would result in an out for most other players. And whenever Rajai Davis hits, the other team had better look out! Because Davis will end up on second or third base in the same time that other guys would take to make it just to first. It's as if he turns on the afterburners – you almost expect to see smoke coming off his heels, he runs so fast!
It's not just speed, though, that makes Davis a great base runner. It's also his ability to watch the action. He's always checking with his own team, like the first- and third-base coaches. Or he's taking note of what the other team is up to. Is the pitcher paying attention, or can Rajai Davis go behind his back and steal a base? How about the other fielders? Are they in position, or are they chasing a far-off ball that will allow Davis to make it safely to the next base? So he takes his superior skill in running, and he adds to it paying close attention to what's going on, so he'll be aware and not get picked off from keeping his head down when he should be looking around.
Rajai Davis' ability to keep his eye on the ball and the actions of his opponents reminds me of a verse in the Bible. Here's what 1st Peter chptr 5, verse 8 says: “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.” The Message
We don't really like to think about the Devil being aware of our existence, much less that he's out there trying to get us. That sounds scary. But this verse reminds us that, just like Rajai Davis, we need to be aware of our opponent. If Davis didn't pay attention to the opposing team, he wouldn't be able to get to any base, let alone use his great speed to help him get ahead and steal a base. And the same will happen to us, if we refuse to admit the Devil's existence. It won't matter what we try to do, because there he will be, with a clear shot at us, because we aren't even watching for him. He's right there, in that little voice that tells you to do something you know isn't right. Or in that urge to neglect those things you know you need to do but don't really want to. He's there, all right.
But like Davis, if we do what this verse says – keep a cool head, stay alert, and keep our guard up – we'll be ready for the Devil's advances on us. And we'll be able to avoid him, just like Davis avoids his opponents who are trying to pick him off. Notice the verse doesn't mention anything at all about being afraid of the Devil. It just tells us to be aware of him. Elsewhere in the Bible, we find out why. James 4:7 tells us, “Yell a loud NO to the Devil and watch him scamper.” The Message Or as another translation puts it, “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” NIV That's it, so simple. To get rid of the Devil, we need not fear. All we need to do is be aware he's out there, and when we meet him, tell him to get lost. And he will! So today, let's remember the Devil's out there, looking for us. But let's be like Rajai Davis and do him one better. Let's watch for him, and tell him to get lost if we see him, so we can get on with our real business – living for God. For St. Patrick's, I'm Julie Golding Page.

Aug 29, 2012

Aug 28 - NHL Masks devotional

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page, from St Patrick's Anglican church. Our daily radio devotionals this month, sponsored by the Hudson Bay Ministerial, take our images from the world of sports. Now, the world of team sports is full of images, things like drawings and logos and letter combinations that represent and symbolize a team. Things like the warrior head that the Chicago Black Hawks wear on their chests, or the S among grains of wheat for the Roughriders.
Hockey has a unique canvas for individual artistic expression through images. I'm thinking of the goalie masks. Almost every goalie in the league has a colourful and creative image on their mask, something that blends their team colours and logo with their own personalities or nicknames. There is nothing quite like it in any other team sport, is there? I mean, in football, the helmets all look alike, same as the hats in baseball.

Aug 27, 2012

Aug 27 Radio Devotional - Higher Cause

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page, of St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our radio devotionals this month are sports-inspired.
Let's start with a question: what do Conn Smythe, Bob Feller, and Roger Staubach have in common? If this were a live broadcast, I might have a prize for “the 4th caller with the correct answer.” But it's not, and I don't. Conn Smythe was the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs from the 20s to the 60s, a time when the Leafs actually won 8 Stanley Cups! I wonder what that's like? Bob Feller pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1936 to 1956, winning 266 games. Roger Staubach played quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979, winning the Super Bowl twice in that time.
What do they have in common? For one thing, they are all in the Halls of Fame for their respective sports. But they have another thing in common, too: Smythe, Feller and Staubach all stepped away from their chosen sports for a time to serve a higher cause. In particular, they all spent significant time with their country's military.

Aug 24, 2012

Aug 24 - Bautista All-Out

Good morning, this is the Rev'd Julie Golding Page for St. Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our daily devotionals come from the world of sports. Today, we'll continue talking about baseball and its parallels to our Christian faith.
Like many Canadians, I root for the Toronto Blue Jays. They're my favourite team, and they have my favourite player - José Bautista. The 31-year-old outfielder hails from the Dominican Republic, and over the past couple of years, he's become a superstar for his slugging. In 2010, he set a Jays record for the most home runs in a season - 54 - and he had the most home runs in the Major leagues that year, too. Then last year, with another 43 homers, he led the leagues again.
As a result of all this, Bautista was selected by fans to be in the starting lineup at the annual All Star Game both last year and this year. The All Star game happens at just about the mid-point of the season, and it's an honour to be chosen. José Bautista set a record there last year, too. He garnered nearly 7.5 million votes - the most votes of any player selected last year, and he set a new record for the most votes given to any player, topping the previous record by more than 1 million.
You might think we're going to talk about home run hitting after all this, but José Bautista didn't stand out in that department at the All Star Game either year. Instead, he was noted for his excellent fielding skills, and giving his all to do his job well. His shining moment in the game last year was making a breathtakingly difficult catch in right field, sliding his way right up to the wall, and getting the out without dropping the ball. Sports broadcasters replayed that catch over and over, it was so impressive. Then this year, he did it again, this time making a rolling catch that looked impossible.
These catches would have been impressive anytime, but what made them even more news-worthy, was they were made at the All Star Game. Because this game isn't known for its hard-to-make plays. It's a match between the best National League and American League players, but nobody really goes out of their way to try too hard in the game. Because the only thing riding on this game, is home-field advantage for the two teams who end up in the World Series. Players are pretty careful and con-servative at the All Star Game, because they don't want to end up injured, when they go back to their own team and compete for what really counts - a chance to play in the postseason. The All Star Game is more a spectacle and a chance to have fun, than a real game. And so the players treat it that way.
But not Jose Bautista. He gave those outfield catches everything he had, even risking potential injury. He did his job and gave it his all - and the results, as they say, are history. Bautista's giving his all, even under circumstances that pretty much everybody would say didn't really matter, reminds me of something in the book of Colossians in the Bible. In chapter 3, verses 23-24, it says: "Don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ."
These verses are actually written to slaves, but I think we can safely apply them to ourselves, anytime we're doing any sort of work - for pay, as volunteers, or at home. No matter what we do, it's not really our boss or our friends or our families or even ourselves that we're responsible to, although of course all those people have a right to having work done well, too. Ultimately, though, whatever we're doing, however we're spending our time, talents and money - God is the one we're accountable to. So a half job is never acceptable. Remembering this is especially helpful, when you're doing a job that doesn't seem to get any pay or thanks or even notice. Because we can be confident that God notices and appreciates our good work, even if nobody else does. And this can help us to get through unpleasant tasks, too. They're still worth doing, and God gives us his seal of approval for our efforts. So whatever work you find yourself doing today, be encouraged that God notices that you're striving for excellence. He approves of your thoroughness, creativity, persistence and cheerfulness in your daily work, whatever it may be. For St. Patrick's, I'm Julie Golding Page.

Aug 23, 2012

Aug 23 Sports Devo - The Great(er) One

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our daily radio devotionals this month, sponsored by the Hudson Bay Ministerial, are sports-inspired. Today, let's talk hockey. It's a little early, I know. The NHL regular season doesn't start until around Thanksgiving. But even in the middle of summer, Canadian sports news is dominated by hockey.
Well, when he played, Wayne Gretzky dominated the sport of hockey. When you ask people what they associate with the number 99, I bet almost everyone would name Wayne Gretzky. His sweater number has even been retired by the NHL, so no team will ever use it again.
Gretzky famously wound up with the number 99 almost by accident. His boyhood hero was the great Gordie Howe, an awesome player in his own right. Howe held so many hockey records, including most goals, most assists and most points. He wore sweater #9, and the young Wayne Gretzky wanted that number. But it was already taken on his major junior team. His coach suggested he add another 9 and make it 99, and that was Gretzky's number ever after.

Aug 22, 2012

Aug 22 - MLB - Scuffs

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our daily radio devotionals this month are sports-related. Today, let's talk baseball again. Baseball has always been my favourite sport. I'm holding in my hand a regulation-sized baseball. I love the feel of a baseball; it's all slick and shiny white, with the raised red stitching.
In sports like football or soccer, the ball is filled with air. But baseballs are solid, dense. If I were to dig out a saw and cut through the centre of my baseball, we would find that at the very centre, the core of the baseball is made with cork. Then around the cork come a couple layers of rubber. This rubber and cork core is then surrounded by yarn. Each baseball has hundreds of yards of yarn, wrapped around and around the centre. There may even be different colours of yarn, to show where the different layers are, with each layer using a different thickness of yarn.
The top layer of wound yarn is then covered with a glue, and the white leather cow-hide cover comes on the very top. The balls used in the major leagues are hand-stitched, with exactly 216 of these red stitches holding the two strips of leather together. And voilà! A baseball!
The way baseballs are made in North America, they are white and shiny, and kind of slick, a little slippery. That can make them a little harder to hang onto and throw them accurately. So before each game in the big leagues, the shiny new baseballs are rubbed down with some dirt and mud. Not a lot, but enough to reduce the slickness, and let the players get a better grip for throwing the ball.
For years, it was the job of the umpires to rub the dirt and mud by hand onto the balls. The umps never really cared for that dirty job, so they negotiated it out of their contract. Now, the job of rubbing down the balls before a game falls to one of the attendants at each stadium. But it made sense, since the umpire decides how long a ball is kept in play. Watch a game and you will often see the home-plate ump take the ball from the catcher and look it over. If he decides it's still OK, he throws it back to the pitcher, but if he thinks it's too scuffed, he tosses it away and gives the pitcher a new one. When a ball is too scuffed, it gives the pitcher an advantage, because its movement becomes more unpredictable, making the ball harder for the batter to hit.
Legend has it that, once the stadium attendants took over the job, the great Randy Johnson would slip an extra $250 to the attendant at his home stadium, if they would rub extra dirt and mud on days he was pitching. He wanted more movement, he wanted the ball to be harder to hit. Not that he needed the help! Johnson was a great pitcher, a 10-time all-star who won 5 Cy Young awards as the best pitcher in the league, and who led the Arizona Diamondbacks to the World Series title in 2001. He had a no-hitter and a perfect game in his career, and will surely enter the Hall of Fame one day.
A nice, new, clean, shiny white baseball is perfect, a thing of beauty. But the best players, like Randy Johnson, know how to make use of any little blemish and imperfection, ding and scuff on a ball.
It's kind of like our lives, isn't it? Over the course of living, we get lots of dings and scuffs. Some are small, some are large. Things like times of hurt or failure, of disappointment or pain. The good news, thought, is that God knows how to make use of the emotional, spiritual, even physical dings and scuffs on us. God was with us, God helped us come through those tough times.
And now, if we allow it, God wants to make use of those times of weakness, those times of pain, those hard experiences in our life, when we disappointed someone, even ourselves. God wants to put those bumps to good use. I bet there is someone in your circle of friends and family right now who is facing a similar challenge. Will you reach out to them, with God's help, and bring the love and light of Christ into their lives? If it sounds too hard, remember that “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4v13) Hopefully you were aware of God's presence in your hard times. Now go and share God's love with others, in their time of need. For St Patrick's Church, I'm Steven Page.

Aug 21 - RA Dickey & God-Given Gifts

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Julie Golding Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our radio devotionals, sponsored by the Hudson Bay Ministerial, are from the world of sports. They're available in video form at plaideggnog.blogspot.com. Today, we'll talk more about baseball and its parallels to the life of faith.
My favourite pitcher to watch is New York Mets starter RA Dickey.  He throws a strange pitch called a knuckleball, and it's so unpredictable that nobody knows exactly how it's going to spin or where it's going to land. Even the catcher is never sure where it's going, and he has to be on his toes to catch it every single time. That very unpredictability makes the knuckleball a very hard pitch to hit, too, so it's a real advantage for the pitcher and his team.
In one game this June, the Mets were playing against the New York Yankees. Despite being from the same city, these teams don't meet very often, since the Mets are in the National League and the Yankees are in the American League. So they don't know each others' techniques very well. That was pretty obvious when Yankees superstar Derek Jeter came to the plate, to face the Mets' pitcher, RA Dickey. Jeter was so surprised by the crazy way the knuckleball pitches flew toward him, that he ended up striking out. Afterwards, he shook his head in disbelief, as if to say, “What on earth was that?”
Now 37, and having perfected his knuckleball, Dickey's become quite a star himself in the Major Leagues. With his total of 44 1/3 innings without an earned run this June, he blew the previous Mets pitching record, of 31 2/3 innings, right out of the water. He also became the first pitcher since The Blue Jays' Dave Stieb, in 1988, to throw two consecutive one-hitters. And he's tied several other records this year, too.
All of this is very impressive for any pitcher, but especially for a knuckleballer. Because if you're a knuckleballer, chances are, you were pretty much a failure with regular pitches – like a fastball. Dickey is no exception to this rule. He was drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers in 1996 and offered $810,000 as a signing bonus – which got reduced to a paltry $75,000 when it was discovered he was missing a crucial ligament in his elbow. It didn't get much better after that, because Dickey proved to be a pretty ho-hum pitcher for many years, going back and forth between the Majors and the Minors. Until he decided, nearly 9 years later, to work more on a weird pitch he called “The Thing.” That “thing” turned out to be a knuckleball – and this unique gift propelled him to become the excellent pitcher he is today, someone invaluable to his team.
Like RA Dickey, all of us have at least one unique gift , and probably several, to share with the other players on God's team, called the Church. In 1st Corinthians chapter 12, we read “God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit...Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.” (I Cor 12: 4-7 The Message)
For some, that unique gift is giving an encouraging word at the right time. For others, it's getting up and leading a service. For others, it's artistic talent, making beautiful things with cloth, wood, or photography, that can inspire others to say thank-you to God for the beauty they see. For still others, it's organizing an event to help their church or other people around the world. And for still others, it's simply being present when someone needs a friend. Not even words are always needed.
What might your unique gifts be? Like RA Dickey, you might wonder if you even have one. He found his particular talent by joining a team – in fact, it wouldn't make much sense for him to be a pitcher without a team. Likewise, we find our own gifts and talents from God thrive most when we're part of his team – the Church. Other members help us discover what they are, and encourage us to develop them more. Why not be part of God's team by getting together with one of his franchises – our local churches – this Sunday? For St. Patrick's, I'm Julie Golding Page.

Aug 20, 2012

Aug 20 Radio Devo - Too Many Men on the Field!

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our radio devotionals, sponsored by the Hudson Bay Ministerial, are using images from the world of sports to illustrate our spiritual and Scriptural topics.
Today, I'm wearing my Roughriders jersey, because I'm a big fan. The Riders have much to be proud of, from their three Grey Cup championships, to having the best and most rabid fan-base in the country. But today I want to draw a lesson from a moment that we are not so proud of.
Let me take you back to Nov 29, 2009, the 97th Grey Cup, played in Calgary. The opponent is the Montreal Alouettes. Some of you already know where I'm going with this, don't you!
Well, the Riders dominated most of the game. They led 17-3 at the half, on an Andy Fantuz touchdown and three Luca Congi field goals. Saskatchewan pushed the lead to 27-11 with a Darian Durant 16-yard run 4 and a half minutes into the fourth quarter. We all know that scoring can happen very quickly in the CFL, but things looked real promising! A 16-point lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game. The Alouettes, though, were a very good team. Their 15-3 won-lost record was no accident. And veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo led them to two touchdowns, closing the gap to 27-25 with just under 2 minutes to play.

Aug 18, 2012

Aug 17 CFMQ devo - Get in the Game

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our images for the daily radio devotionals are taken from the world of Sports. With the pennant races heating up this time of year, let's talk Baseball today.
Kirk Gibson is currently the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and is doing alright. He managed them to a surprising playoff berth last year. This year, though, they face tough competition from one of the teams he used to play for, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is remembered for a clutch home run he hit in the 1988 World Series.
Imagine the scene. It's the World Series. LA Dodgers at home against the powerful Oakland A's. Oakland had the best record in baseball that year, with 104 wins, but LA had Orel Hershiser, winner of that year's Cy Young award as top pitcher, and of course Kirk Gibson, the league MVP.

Aug 16, 2012

Aug 16 Sports Devo - Answer the Invitation

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our devotional thoughts for the radio this month take their illustrations from the world of Sports. Nowadays, professional sports are big business. The players make millions, the teams and the leagues billions.
With so much money at stake, players and owners sometimes argue over how to split the pot of dough, and strikes and lockouts happen. The NBA lost part of last year's basketball season because of such a dispute. The year before, the NFL teams and players almost lost games from a lockout. In 2004-05, there was no Stanley Cup, because of an NHL dispute. Even peaceful baseball has had its issues. The player strike of 1994 ended the best Montreal Expos season ever. Some Expos fans think the strike was a key nail in the Expos' coffin, leading to them moving to Washington, DC.
A century ago, there was a different kind of baseball strike. It involved just 1 team, and just 1 game. On May 15, 1912, Tigers star Ty Cobb, one of the greatest hitters in history, got tired of the heckling from some fans. Cobb climbed into the stands and attacked one of the worst hecklers.

Aug 15, 2012

Aug 15 Sports Devo - The Pine Tar Incident

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. Yesterday I talked about baseball hitters who lose their grip, who lose control of their bats as the wood flies off into the crowd. I also mentioned that there is a substance that helps batters keep a grip of the bat, called pine tar.
Today, let's talk about one of the most famous moments in the long history of ball players using pine tar. It was July 24, 1983. The Kansas City Royals were in New York to play the Yankees.
After 8 innings, the Yankees led the game 4-3. But in the top of the ninth, the Royals got something going. U. L. Washington, a switch-hitting infielder for the Royals, got on base. Then, with two outs, and Washington stuck on first base, Royals third-baseman George Brett stepped to the plate.

Aug 14, 2012

Aug 14 Sports Devo - Keep a Grip on your Bat

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our devotionals are inspired by notable moments in the world of sports. I've been watching a lot of baseball this summer. It's my favourite sport, and once I discovered that, for a small fee, I could watch games live over the internet, well it's a little taste of heaven here in Hudson Bay. But I've noticed that there seems to be a rash of lost bats this year. A player swings, and the bat slips from his hands and sails away, sometimes down the line or into the field, and sometimes, more dangerously, into the crowd.
For example, Edwin Encarnacion, the Blue Jays' designated hitter, has a two-handed swing; he keeps both hands on the bat for as much of his follow-through as he can. But recently, he let go too soon with his right hand, and the bat slipped out of his left hand and sailed into the first row of fans at Rogers Centre. Fortunately no one was hurt by the flying lumber!

Aug 13, 2012

Aug 13 Sports Devo - Vin Scully and God With Us

Good morning, this is the Rev’d Julie Golding Page, from St. Patrick’s Anglican Church. This month’s daily devotionals have sports as their theme. They're available online, in video form, at plaideggnog.blogspot.com, as well as on CFMQ Radio. Today we’ll continue with baseball as our theme.
Last summer, I was looking for a baseball game to watch and stumbled on one played by the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’d never been a Dodger fan, but the broadcast caught my attention because the broadcaster himself was so interesting. He talked about the game with eloquence, yet he did so in a very down-to-earth way. He seemed to have background knowledge about every player – not just his own Dodgers. (I showed some Dodger baseball cards – include where from and website) And he included all sorts of personal stories about the players’ lives off the field, too, not just career statistics. He clearly saw the players as more than just members of a baseball team . They were people, in his eyes, with lives that mattered.
Another thing that impressed me about this broadcaster was, that no matter what happened in the game, whether his team was winning or losing, he always had something positive to say, in his calm, relaxed voice. Although he was obviously passionate about the game, and his own team, he gave the clear message through his unruffled commentary, that whatever happened in the game, life would go on. There were more important things in life than how this particular game would turn out. Listening to him made me feel calm and relaxed, too.
Little did I know that thousands of other baseball fans agree with me about how good a broadcaster this fellow is. He turned out to be Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. Not only is he a popular broadcaster, but he’s been with the LA Dodgers since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers – that’s 63 seasons, and the longest any broadcaster has remained with one ball club. And this, despite being courted by other ball clubs, including the New York Yankees. Now, there’s commitment for you! If the Dodgers are doing well, he’s there for them. But if they are having a bad year, he’s still equally committed to them. He’s seen 63 years of ups and downs, and now at 84 years old, he’s still with them. He’s still the Voice of the Dodgers and they will always be his team

Aug 10, 2012

Aug 10 - Baseball is like Church

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Julie Golding Page of St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our daily CFMQ devotionals this month are inspired by events in the world of sports. They are available on CFMQ, on YouTube, and on the internet at plaideggnog.blogspot.com.
Last year, I got into watching baseball. It’s really the first time I ever watched a sport with any real interest or regularity. You might be wondering why, in a hockey country, I like baseball best. Good question! Let me tell you what hooked me.
The more I watched, the more I saw just how complex baseball really is. Strategy develops not only at the team level, but also between the different players as the game unfolds. The more I watched complicated plays happen, the more I appreciated baseball. Things like stealing bases – especially home plate. How changing the starting line-up completely changes how the batters perform. It was all so fascinating.
And baseball comes across as gentlemanly. What I mean is, the players typically don’t fight, and they are courteous to their opponents on the field. They simply play the game, and they seem to remember that it’s a game, with rules to follow so they act accordingly. When I first started watching games, I was surprised to see how the base runners would interact with the infielders they were playing against. It amazed me to see a base runner on 2nd shooting the breeze with the 2nd baseman – with both of them smiling! It really impressed me, because they were supposed to be competing to win the game.

Aug 9, 2012

Aug 9 Sports Devo - Be Still (1956 Olympics)

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page of St Patrick's Anglican Church. Our daily CFMQ devotionals this month are inspired by events in the world of sports. They are available on CFMQ, on YouTube, and on the internet at plaideggnog.blogspot.com. As the London Olympics wind down this week, let's take one more illustration from past Olympic Games.
Let me tell you about Bobby Morrow. Bobby was quite the runner. His greatest successes came in 1956. That year, he won the national college championships in the 100 and 200 yard dash races, running for his alma mater, Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. With his speed, he qualified for the 1956 Olympic Games.
Off he went, to Melbourne, Australia, for the Olympics. Morrow's blazing speed served him well at the Olympics, as he came home with three gold medals!He took first place in the 100-metre sprint, the 200-metre sprint, and the team 4 x 100 metre relay race.

Aug 8, 2012

Aug 8 Devotional - When Foot Slips (US Women's Soccer)

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page from St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, with the Olympics going strong in London, England, I'm using some past Olympic moments to inspire and illustrate our daily devotions.
Today, let's go back to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. That year was the first time that women's football, or soccer, was a full medal event.
When the final game arrived, it was between the host US team and a strong team from China. The two squads had met in the Group stage, and played to a nil-nil draw. But for the gold-medal game, the teams were pumped, and the stands were packed with more than 76,000 screaming fans.
After some initial back-and-forth, the Americans scored the first goal in the game's 19th minute. Mia Hamm, who has had a storied soccer career and has appeared in more than 250 international games playing for the US national team, she drilled a shot on goal. Chinese keeper Gao Hong dove but it was beyond her grasp. But the ball bounced off the left post of the net and stayed out. Fortunately, the bounce went to Shannon MacMillan, one of the leading goal scorers of the Olympic tournament, and she knocked it into the net. 1-0 USA!

Aug 7, 2012

Aug 7 Sports Devo - Olympian Unselfishness

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our devotional thoughts are inspired by notable moments in the world of sports.
Since this is a Summer Olympics year, let's go back to the 1936 Summer Olympic games in Berlin, Germany. This year, the Men's Long Jump medal round will be held Saturday, Aug 4th.
In 1936, the world long jump record was held by a man named Jesse Owens. As the event drew closer, Owens noticed someone he didn't know taking practice jumps. It was a German named Luz Long. What drew Owens' attention to this stranger were the long jumps the long jumper Long was making. They were only practice jumps, but they were very close to Owens' own world record!
Owens thought he'd better do one final tune-up practice jump, just to make sure he was ready. Maybe he also wanted to send a message to his opponent that he still had what it took. So he ran down the track, took off, and made a nice landing, a pretty decent if unspectacular practice distance.
The problem was that, even though Owens was still wearing his warm-up pants and top, the long jump officials counted the jump as an official leap for the competition!

Aug 4, 2012

Aug 3 Sports Devo - Jim Abbott's No Hitter

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our devotionals are inspired by notable moments in the world of sports. Today my image is from baseball.
I've always loved a good pitcher's duel, a tense, low-scoring game with big strikeouts, where teams need to work hard for a run, and every run is vital. It probably comes from my youth baseball days, where I was a decent pitcher, but was not a very good fielder and I was a terrible hitter!
This season, the pitchers have dominated. Why, there was even a 2-week period back in June when there were 2 no-hitters and a perfect game! Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in the long history of the New York Mets. A few days later, 6 Seattle Mariner pitchers combined to toss a no-no against the Dodgers. And a few days after that, Matt Cain of my beloved San Francisco Giants, tossed a perfect game, not a single runner for the Houston Astros reached base.
Back in 1993, there was an especially noteworthy no-hitter. Left-hander Jim Abbott, of the New York Yankees, no-hit the Cleveland Indians. It wasn't a perfect game, he did walk 5 batters, but not a single batter got a base hit over the course of the 9-inning game.

Aug 1, 2012

Aug 2 Sports Devotional: Imitate Perfection

Good morning, I'm the Rev'd Steven Page for St Patrick's Anglican Church. This month, our devotional thoughts are inspired by notable moments in the world of sports. In honour of the Olympics in London, let's talk about some of the past Olympics.
The first time the Olympic Games came to Canada was 1976, when the Summer Games were played in Montreal. And one of the most memorable athletic accomplishments at those games was the performance of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. On July 18, 1976, Nadia scored a perfect 10.0 in the uneven bars gymnastics event. It was the first time in Olympics history that a gymnast had made a perfect score. In fact, the scoreboards were not built to handle a perfect score. So they displayed it as a blinking 1.00. Young Nadia, who was only 14 years old, actually made another 6 perfect scores during those Olympic Games. She won the gold medal in the Uneven Bars, the Balance Beam, and the All-Around gymnastics events.
Well, that year, a 7-yr-old girl in Fairmont, West Virginia, was watching the Olympics on TV. She was so inspired by Nadia's performance that she took up gymnastics. She had a natural talent, and got some good coaching, and before you knew it, in 1984, Mary Lou Retton stood at the ready at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.