Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: October 18th

Out of the Park

Brad Lidge. Remember that name. He almost became the goat of the National League Championship Series and is one of the anti-heroes of the now completed World Series. He is a relief pitcher for the Houston Astros and is one of the best in the league at closing. Closing is the ability of a relief pitcher to come into a game with his team ahead in the late innings and preserve the victory by shutting out the other team for the last one or two innings. Lidge is that type of pitcher.

However, in the NLCS, with the Astros ahead by two runs over the St. Louis Cardinals, Lidge failed to get that final out that would have clinched the NLCS for the Astros in game five of their series being played at their home park. With Houston ahead by two runs in the top of the ninth Lidge allowed two men to get on. With two outs and two strikes on Albert Pujols he served up a gopher ball that Pujols sent out of the park in left field for a three run home run that put the Cards ahead 5 to 4. The Astros failed to score in the bottom of the ninth and lost.

In game two of the World Series at Cellular Field in Chicago against the Chicago White Sox, Lidge entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at five apiece. He was facing Scott Podsednik, the talented but seemingly punchless left fielder of the Sox. Albert Pujols had more home runs this year than Podsednik has had in his entire career. In fact, he had not homered during the season. But there he was hitting a walk-off homer out of the park against one of the premier relievers in baseball over the left center filed wall for a game two victory.

Poor pitching some would say. I say this; three run homers and solo shots don't mean a thing if you have scored enough runs. A lack of timely offense will kill a team more than anything and it is the reason that the Houston Astros lost this year's World Series in four straight games. It is also the reason that the church is failing. In a society so rife with Satan's influence we satisfy ourselves with just trying to hold our own by emphasizing worship while people die without ever knowing Jesus Christ as Savior.

"All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 God wants the world to become His children. God wants His church, which is comprised of His children, to be His force to accomplish that. That doesn't happen inside the church walls. It happens in the world. Time to quit trying to keep the ball in the park. Time to realize that victory comes when the ball leaves the park.

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