Sunday, September 30, 2012

Impact Player Bobby Richardson

Bobby Richardson, a Christian, was the second baseman for the New York Yankees from 1955-1966.  This book describes some of those special games he played in along with some of the players he played with eg. Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford etc. If you are a baseball fan, especially of the Yankee stripe, you will enjoy this book.

This is not a tell-all type of book where the author tells us about the faults and failures of his teammates. He speaks highly of all of them. The only one with any negative overtures at all is his playing time with manager Casey Stengal, he so micro-managed that he would pinch-hit for players in the first inning. I am not sure that that type of managing would work in today’s game, he would probably be ran out of town by the fans.

     I was interested in the book because of Richardson being a Christian, I was curious to see how his faith worked out in the midst of a popular sports team. I was somewhat disappointed, for other than the fact of how he tried to influence other players with his faith, Mickey Mantle became a Christian on his death bed. He makes little mention of the unique struggles he had as a Christian and a ball player. I would like to know how he prayed as far as his skills were concerned. Did he have to do extra praying etc to play for Casey Stengal? Did he pray that his team would win and if they won was it an answer to his prayer and if they lost did that disturb his faith?

     I believe most of us on our jobs pray for co-workers that we cant get along with as well as things we are struggling to learn. I would have liked to know how does a baseball player pray and handle these type of things.

 I would give this book a 3 star rating.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'GODSPEED' A Book Review

GODSPEED   by Britt Merrick  published by David C. Cook

The author begins the book by stating that what the church in America is missing is a right understanding of ‘mission’. He calls “living at Godspeed” is when we understand our mission, live as sent people of God and thus begin living the Jesus life to those around us.

He does a good job of establishing the biblical basis of us being a sent people, that we are called to join with Jesus on His mission. We are not bystanders but workers with God.

     He says that, “Mission is the single reason why your life’s purpose is different from most of the rest of the world.” That for mission minded people the question is not ‘What should I do?’ but ‘What is God doing?’

     I feel that for many of us to be able to answer that question we must first wait in prayer until we can hear from God and then be able to see what He is doing.

     The author also talks about the need to understand that the goal of the mission or the gospel is not to get people to come to our church service. We must understand that the church is ‘Gods express instrument for ministry and mission,’ and if we realize our identity as the church, and begin to live out that identity that we would ‘shake the world’.

He makes this profound statement that would be deeply unsettling for many Christians, “Because you and I were sent into the world, it follows logic that our most meaningful and fruitful Christian experiences should take place outside the church building.” Yet it seems that we spend so much of our resources and energy on the building.

 The author gives these statistics: “of the 52 parables Jesus told, forty-five of them took place in the market context. Of the 132 public appearances Jesus made, 122 of them occurred in the marketplace….of the forty miracles recorded in the book of Acts, thirty-nine of them occurred in the marketplace.”

     The author also stated that the model for mission is the incarnation of Christ and that model must shape the way we live in the world. He says “When the church does incarnational Christianity instead of religion, mission becomes more practical.”

This book provides the biblical material and challenge that should motivate us to begin moving out of our buildings and into the streets. It will help us realize that we are on mission with God.