Thursday, November 02, 2006

What do Jesus and Pete Rose have in common?

While I am away in Israel, several guest blog writers are filling in for me. Today’s entry is written by Rick Glass who heads our men’s ministry here at Grace Church:

Growing up, most kids have heroes. Pete Rose was mine! Yep, Peter Edward Rose, known as “Charlie Hustle”…number 14…was “THE MAN”! I was born in Cincinnati; by default you were a Reds fan. The Big Red Machine was (and still is) the greatest team in all of sports history…in my opinion, anyway. We left Ohio and moved to Lancaster in 1977, and at 5yrs old I was wondering how life would be without Pete and the rest of the Machine! But in December of 1978, Pete signed with the Phillies! My parents told my brother and me that “Pete followed us out here” and I want to still believe that today.

As a kid, I always wore No. 14 on my jerseys; I wanted to play 1st base; I’d run (not jog) to 1st after being walked; I’d “crouch down low” in the batter’s box; I learned to switch hit; and best of all, I loved to slide like Pete – head first after “flipping my head back” to lose my helmet for more drama. Pete Rose has won titles, awards, honors, and records that are too long to list but include World Series titles; Rookie of the Year; MVP and All-Star honors. He holds the record for all time hits with 4,256. But none of this matters. Pete Rose will always be remembered for gambling on baseball and being banned for life from Major League Baseball in 1989. That’s his legacy…Some hero, huh?

Kids will always look to be like somebody or like some sports hero. It’s not Pete Rose today…but guys like Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Payton Manning, Donovan McNabb, and as it pains me to even write this, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (although NASCAR is NOT a sport…There is NO BALL so it can’t be)! It’s my want, wish and desire that my kids want to be like Jesus and that they want to be like Jesus because their Dad wants to also be like Jesus and they see Him in me! I love the challenge from the song…

Lord, I want to be just like You
‘Cause he wants to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like You
‘Cause he wants to be just like me

So what do Pete Rose and Jesus have in common? I have “out-grown” my infatuation with Pete Rose. My wife might tell you different but I really have! As a kid, I wanted to be like Pete. Now as a dad, a husband, a neighbor, friend, co-worker…I want to be like Jesus. By the way, if He wanted to, I’ll bet Jesus could have “hit the cover” off a ball in His day…OOPS! I didn’t mean to say “bet”!

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