The Kid in Right Field

My eleven-year-old son recently started playing baseball again. I realized this weekend that I’ve become the dad that explains baseball nuance and rules to the parents around me. I can’t help it. Even as an introvert, I have to respond when a parent randomly asks out loud (to no one in particular), “Why did that kid just run to first base on a strikeout?”

But this last weekend I saw something I didn’t have an explanation for. If you look at the photo below, my son’s team was on the field in green. And if you look closer, the kid playing right field is wearing a bright orange jersey (look in the red circle).

That’s because he was on the other team.

Our team was short two players, which also explains why there were only two outfielders. Evidently, they went to the other team and got someone to play the field. I couldn’t help thinking how challenging this must be for this kid. How hard should he try to play defense against his own team? Were his parents rooting for him to play amazing defense too? What if his team lost because of an amazing play he made against them?

It’s a bit of a tricky situation which leads to confusing motivations. But this is actually more common than we may realize.


Women in the Church

On Monday of this week we hosted another one of our tasting nights for Communion Wine Co. At the event, we’ve been doing a Q&A about wine/Jesus/the Bible/Christianity/the Church, etc. We received twenty questions and one of them was voted on as the number one question by a long shot. Here was the question:

Why were the women in Corinth not allowed to speak in church? Is it due to false prophets taking advantage of women not being taught to read or write?

I’m guessing this question comes from a place of personal pain and struggle. In my two decades in church ministry, I’ve noticed that sometimes this can be a very difficult subject for church leadership to tackle. They may want to empower women, but the pushback you get on this can be surprising.


3 Types of Comparison

It’s been noted that we can compare ourselves to others in at least three different ways.

  1. Upward comparison – with people we perceive are better than us. This leads to envy.
  2. Lateral comparison – with people we perceive are at our same level. This leads to competition.
  3. Downward comparison – with people we perceive who are worse off than us. This leads to arrogance.

We’d all love to say we’re above the comparison trap, but I’ll be the first to admit how easy I can get sucked into this. Even in areas that shouldn’t matter.

Michelle and I have been working out at Orange Theory together now that all our kids are in school during the day. This week we had what they call a “benchmark row,” which means you time yourself doing 2000 meters on the rowing machine. Afterward, you input your time in their computer so it saves it to your profile.


Emotional Mimicry

It’s common for a child to resemble one of his or her parents. After all, there’s DNA involved and all that science stuff we learned about in school. But have you ever noticed how couples often look alike? That can’t (or at least should not be) genetics at work.

Michelle and I have heard this feedback throughout our marriage. I’m sure there are a variety of reasons why this happens, but one of them I’ve been reading about recently is called mimicry. We tend to mimic—often subconsciously—the people we are around.

This can lead to permanent changes in our features. If we smile a lot, or scowl a lot, we know those emotions can eventually leave marks etched into our faces. But when we share an emotional reaction with another person on a regular basis, we both can begin to look similar as well. The author Jonah Berger explains it this way:


What Does the Spirit of God Lead To?

Recently I wrote about how we often feel weird when the secular and the spiritual are mixed together (see: When Two Songs Collide). The feedback I got on that post reminded me this is something we probably need to talk much more about. Without a robust view of how to infuse our “spiritual” self with the world around us we tend to confine Jesus to a physical church space. While that environment is often a catalyst for people in their faith, it should never become a container to limit our awareness of God’s presence. Jesus is all around us and we should live out our faith accordingly.

In the book of Exodus, Moses receives detailed instructions from God for building the Tabernacle. We find that God specifically gives talent to a group of workers needed to pull it off. Here’s how the text says it:


Where Do You Need to Grow?

Here’s an interesting observation I’ve had with the growth in my own life. It’s often only in retrospect we realize any progress we’ve made in an area. At the time, we tend not to see objectively how we’re doing.

I recorded a video last week and I ended up looking through similar videos in the past that I had loaded. When I compared my face in the videos I was shocked.