THE Complete Game

The Complete Game

  • April 23-Pray

    April 23-Pray

    Scripture Lesson: 1 Kings 18:41-46

    Today is the birthday of one of the greatest lefthanders in baseball history, Warren Spahn. In his 21 year career mostly spent with the Milwaukee Braves, Spahn won 363 games, struke out 2,583 batters and had a career ERA of 3.09. Along with Braves pitcher Johnny Sain the two hurlers created one of the best one-two punches in all baseball history. They were so good together a saying came about: “Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain.”

    Prayer is the theme of today’s Scripture lesson. For three years, after Elijah the prophet prayed it would not rain, no rain had fallen during the reign of evil King Ahab and his queen Jezebel. The prophets of Baal had just been defeated on Mt. Carmel and the people turned back to God. Elijah sent word to the king to get ready, rain was going to come. Elijah prayed and once again the awesome power of God was shown, it rained.

    1. How confident are you in your prayers?
    2. Have you ever prayed for something to happen and it did not happen? How did you feel after that?
    3. How often do you pray outside of blessing the food at a meal?

    Prayer is conversation with God. He always wants time with us and the very best for our lives. Being confident in our prayer life is trusting in God enough to know that he knows what is best for us and He is going to do just that!

  • April 22-Strange Things

    April 22-Strange Things

    Scripture Lesson: Acts 17:22-34

    On this date in 1959 The Chicago White Sox scored 11 runs with only one hit in the 7th inning of a 20-6 rout of the Kansas City A’s. Johnny Callison had the hit-a single. In the inning Chicago received 10 walks, five with the bases loaded, three KC errors and one hit batsman. I would say that was a strange inning!

    In our Scripture lesson today, Paul takes a different approach to sharing the Gospel. We find he is in Athens, the center of philosophy in the ancient world. Some had heard him preach about Jesus and were curious to learn more. Paul uses a strange way to talk to them about the Gospel, it was not his traditional way of preaching. Notice what Paul did, he spoke to reach his audience. The message did not change, but the way the message was presented did change. It would have been strange for a believer to hear this way of presenting the Gospel. Notice the results, men and women believed in Jesus!

    1. How can we use baseball to reach people for Christ?
    2. How can we reach people in the baseball community for Christ?
    3. Why is it important to reach people where they are for Christ?

    It may seem strange to change how we present the Gospel to others. We never change the message, we just reach out to people where they are not where we are in life.

  • April 21-Comeback

    April 21-Comeback

    Scripture Lesson: John 20:10-18

    On this date in 1991 baseball witnessed the greatest extra inning comeback in MLB history. The Pirates score 6 runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to erase a five run Cubs lead in the top of the 11th largely built on an Andre Dawson grand slam home run. The Pirates had rallied from a 7-2 deficit to tie the game with 4 in the bottom of the 8th and one in the bottom of the 9th. Final Score of this record setting extra inning comeback, Pirates 13 Cubs 12.

    Our Scripture lesson today is the greatest comeback in the history of the world. Jesus Christ came back from the dead when God raised Him on Easter Sunday. His resurrection is the greatest comeback in all history. Jesus came back from the dead and appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden outside the empty tomb. When Jesus appeared to her, Mary went to the disciples and told them that Jesus was alive! Without the death and resurrection of Jesus there would be no forgiveness of sins and no way for a sinful humanity to spend eternity with a sinless God. Jesus paid the price for our sins and praise God, He lives today!

    1. What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean to you?
    2. Why is the resurrection the world’s greatest comeback?
    3. How can we show those around us that Jesus is alive today?

    Why not live today and every day with Resurrection Sunday in our hearts and minds?

  • April 20-So Near Yet So Far

    April 20-So Near Yet So Far

    Scripture Lesson: Mark 10:17-22

    On this date in 1990 after retiring 26 consecutive Oakland A’s, Mariner Brian Holman gives up a home run to Ken Phelps. Holman retires the next hitter for a complete game one hitter in the 6-1 win. That is as close as someone could get to a perfect game, 26 out of 27 batters retired in a row. So near yet so far.

    Our Scripture lesson today is one of the saddest in the Bible. A young man approaches Jesus wanting to inherit eternal life. He knows what is required, he has kept the law his entire life. He is so very close to heaven. Jesus looked at him and loved him. He saw that the young man had only one thing between Jesus and him. Jesus wanted him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor, and then follow Him. At that the Bible says the man’s face fell and he went away sad for he had great wealth. Jesus knew the young man loved his wealth more. We cannot have anything in our lives as believers more important than Jesus. The young man was right there at the threshold of heaven but his wealth would keep him from Jesus. So near yet so far.

    1. Why is it not enough to just know how we should live as believers?
    2. What is in our lives more important to us than Jesus?
    3. Why is this so story so sad?

    Close is not good enough in getting a perfect game or in our faith walk with Jesus. So near yet so far.

  • April 19-Newness

    April 19-Newness

    Scripture Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

    On this date in 1965 at a cost of $20,000, the outer Astrodome ceiling is painted black because the sun’s glare makes fielding fly balls hazardous. This will cause the grass to die and spur the introduction of artificial turf known as Astroturf. Astroturf ushered in a new era of stadium design and field maintenance.

    Paul is telling the Corinthians today that in Christ we are new creations, the old has gone and the new has come. There is a newness that comes when we give our lives to Christ and follow Him. Things in our past that seemed so important, now take on a different place in our priorities. We are not the same when we follow Him. Life takes on a new meaning and purpose as we live our lives for Him.

    1. Describe your “newness “ with Christ.
    2. What are some things that are now not as important since you followed Jesus.
    3. Have you encountered people who have seen the difference Jesus has made in your life?

    The world needs to see the difference, the newness Jesus brings to our lives when we follow Him. Let Him live in us as we live for Him!

  • April 18-Lost

    April 18-Lost

    Scripture Lesson: Luke 15:3-7

    On this date in 1923 at South Field on Columbia’s campus in New York City, a collegiate hurler strikes out 17 to establish a school record, but loses the game because of his wildness to Williams 5-1. The young southpaw whose name is Lou Gehrig, will become better known for his hitting as a Hall of Fame first baseman for the New York Yankees.

    Today’s Scripture lesson is the parable of the lost sheep. Notice as you read these words from Luke the lengths the shepherd goes to find the one lost sheep. Also there is great joy when the shepherd returns with the sheep that was lost. God loves us the same way. He wants to see us repent from our sinful ways and come back to Him. There is great rejoicing in heaven when we repent and come home to God. God does not want anyone to perish! He wants every man, woman, boy, and girl to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, repent from their sins, and accept the gift of salvation.

    1. How does the shepherd’s action show God’s great love for us?
    2. Why was there such great rejoicing when the shepherd returned with the lost sheep?
    3. Who do we need to share the story of Jesus with today?

    Without God guiding our lives we are lost, the good news is He is waiting for us to turn to Him!

  • April 17-Longest Home Run

    April 17-Longest Home Run

    Scripture Lesson: Luke 15:11-24

    On this date in 1953, Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle blasts a reported 565 foot home run off lefty Chuck Stobb in the Yankees 7-3 victory over Washington at windy Griffith Stadium. This is the longest home run in Mantle’s career and in Washington Senator history.

    Today’s Scripture lesson is one of the most famous of all Jesus’ parables. The parable of the prodigal son is about a young man who demands his inheritance early, takes the money and wastes it in wild living, and then when he is friendless and hungry recognizes the error of his way. The young man makes the “longest home run” in Scripture when he returns to his father’s house wanting to become just a servant. The father was looking for his son and when he returned there was great joy in the house because what was lost was now found. The son was restored to his place in the family. When we ask for forgiveness and repent of our sins, God is waiting to welcome us back to Him!

    1. Describe a time you felt like the son in the parable.
    2. How was the feeling of being forgiven?
    3. Thank God today that He always wants His children to come home.

    The prodigal son made the longest home run in Scripture when he ran home to his father. Let’s not let this day go by without returning totally to God, He is waiting!

  • April 16-Overcome

    April 16-Overcome

    Scripture Lesson: John 16:29-33

    On this date in 1941 overcoming 47 degree weather, Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws an Opening Day no hitter against the Chicago White Sox winning 1-0 at Comiskey Park. It is the first opening day no hitter since Leon Ames pitched one for the Giants in 1909.

    On the night before His death, Jesus is doing His best to prepare the disciples for the events that would unfold later that night and into the next day. He knew they would have a lot of questions, after the events happened. Jesus wanted them to have a peace that could only come from God. He reminds them to take heart because He had overcome the world. Jesus knew He would be dying for humanity’s sinfulness in a few short hours. Without Good Friday there could be no Easter Sunday! Jesus overcame death and the grave to provide for each of us the forgiveness of our sins. No matter what life throws at us, we can overcome it with the help of our Lord!

    1. What can we ask Jesus to help us overcome today?
    2. Where do we need peace the most in our lives?
    3. How much do we trust in the Words of Jesus for us today? Enough to bring Him our cares and concerns?

    Bob Feller overcame adverse weather to throw a perfect game. Today we can overcome whatever the world throws at us because Jesus is with us!

  • April 15-Honor

    April 15-Honor

    Scripture Lesson: Psalm 145:1-7

    On this date in 1997 the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, is celebrated before 54,047 fans at Shea Stadium during a game between the Dodgers and the Mets. President Bill Clinton and Robinson’s widow Rachel both speak during the 35 minute ceremony. The surprise of the evening occurred when Commissioner Bud Selig announces the number 42 (Robinson’s number) will be retired in perpetuity for every team. On the field, the Mets beat the Dodgers 5-0. This is an honor well deserved for Jackie Robinson’s contribution to the game of baseball.

    The Psalmist reminds us today of God’s worthiness of praise. God’s greatness cannot be fathomed by our minds. We need to tell other generations about God’s greatness. We need to think about His splendor and majesty. We need to tell about His great deeds and celebrate his abundant goodness while singing of His righteousness. Talk about worthy of honor, all earthly honors pale next to the greatness of God!

    1. Why should we praise and honor God?
    2. How can we honor Him by the way we live our lives?
    3. Who needs to hear about His greatness and love for us?

    No one deserves to be honored and praised as much as God1 Take time today to praise Him for Who He is and what He has done!

  • April 14-Dishonesty

    April 14-Dishonesty

    Scripture Lesson: Proverbs 4:23-27

    Today is the birthday of the all-time hits leader in MLB history, Pete Rose. Rose finished his career with 4,256 hits, but was banned from baseball for life in 1989 for allegedly betting on baseball. After years of denying the charges, in 2004 Rose came out with a book and admitted to betting on games.

    The writer of Proverbs warns us to guard our hearts and to keep foul language out of our mouths. He also wants us to fix our eyes straight ahead and to not swerve to the left or right. In other words, stay on the straight and narrow. Keep our eyes on God and stay on His path for our lives. When we allow evil to come into our lives, we cannot be on God’s path for our lives. When we allow evil to creep into our lives we will eventually pay the price for those sins and mistakes.

    1. What does it mean to guard our hearts?
    2. Why should we keep our eyes fixed on God?
    3. What will keep us on God’s pathway for our lives?

    Banned from baseball, the all-time hits leader will not have the opportunity to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame because of his gambling and dishonesty about doing so. When evil comes into our lives, God goes out.

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