Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MY SPECIAL ANGEL

BY STEVE DUNN

Dianne and I were married 42 years on August 26th.  We were traveling on that day and I did no blogging, but this song is for her.  It was a favorite early in our life together.


Monday, August 4, 2014

MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS - BLOCKBUSTER DAY

BY STEVE DUNN

I make no secret of it it.  I love baseball!  My rental home has MLB.TV on its Direct TV connection and I WATCH it daily.  On good days I watch baseball on ESPN and Fox Sports, as well.  I play fantasy baseball--six teams, three of which hold down first place in their respective leagues.  That means I watch the DL reports daily, and check the seven day and 30 day trends when setting rosters or picking up players.

I had a FIELD day last Thursday watching the final five hours of coverage for the non-waiver trade deadline.  It was one of the most exciting days in years.  Teams were re-loading for the final two month  of the season.  Other teams were unloading, looking ahead to the 2015 season.





Speculation was big about the Phillies trading Cole Hamels away to one of the 12 or so teams that still have a shot at postseason.  The Phillies' faithful breathed a sigh of relief when 4:00 pm arrived on July 31 and he was still on their roster.  The Cardinals, stuck in the middle of the NL Central, traded to get veteran John Lackey from the Red Sox and past star Justin Masterson from the Indians.

The Oakland Athletics, whose last three trips towards the pennant have been halted by the Detroit Tigers traded away powerful hitter Yolando Cespedes to beef up their rotation with another Bosox vet Jon Lester.  Clearly power pitching is perceived as the way to win in the post-season.  So just at the deadline, my favorite GM Dave Dombroski fired back by trading another power hitter Austin Jackson to get the 2012 Cy Young winner David Price for the Tampa Bay Rays.



The Tigers now have the last three Cy Young winners - Verlander, Scherzer, and Price in their starting rotation.  Plus one of baseball's winningest pitchers this season--Rick Porcello and Anibel Sanchez.
Plus Raj Davis, Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter, and JD Martinez occupying the first six spots in the batting order--three batting .280 and higher, and three above .300.

Forgive me if I say "Blockbuster!!!!!!:

Forgive me if I dare to dream.  Detroit Tigers - 2012 World Champions !!!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WEB SIGHTING - REFINERS FIRE

Morning Story and Dilbert is a delightful devotional blog that I have come to appreciate deeply.  Check it out if this post appeals to you. STEVE

Refiner’s Fire

Morning Story and Dilbert
Vintage Dilbert
July 30, 2007

There was a group of women in a Bible Study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group a their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest or her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot- then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered “yes,” he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eye on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh that’s easy. When I see my image in it.”
If today you are feeling the heat of this world’s fire, just remember that God has his eyes on you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

THE ONLY THINGS THAT MATTERS

BY STEVE DUNN 

I have long been a fan of Bill Watterson and his comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. His is not as overtly theological as was Charles Schulz in Peanuts, but every once in a while (I suspect inadvertently) Calvin makes a profound statement that triggers a scriptural truth.  Here are two that I find in this particular strip.

The first is from James 4:17: "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." New International Version

Then Galatians 5:6." The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." New Living Translation.

An authentic disciple understands that omission can be every bit as significant as commission when it comes to sin.  Too many of us have changed the focus from loving our neighbor as ourselves to love myself and then give my neighbor the leftovers.  Or be careful of loving my neighbor too much lest I not have enough for me. Or this one - love myself spontaneously but be sure and schedule how much I will do for my neighbor in need.

Maybe we need to walk through life with eyes wide open to opportunities to be a blessing to others, praying that our love will find greater expression than merely intellectual assent or carefully orchestrated projects.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LOVING PEOPLE--REALLY


BY STEVE DUNN

One of the great scandals of contemporary Christianity is what Craig Groeschel calls “Christian Atheism.”  This is where we say we believe something and then live like we do not believe it.

The lawyer of Luke 10:25-28 stands up and asks the quintessential question of a seeker,  “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” At the end of the chain of discussion Jesus leads the man to the answer.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

In fact, Jesus punctuates it with, “Do this and you shall live.”

Even non-Christians know, and many practice, the latter half of that commandment. We call it the Golden Rule.

But for many persons, including many Christians, there is more intellectual assent than real life application. We know we should practice it, and we do … up to a point.

Up to the point when….

Demonstrating that love requires us to sacrifice a significant amount of time.

Loving them requires us to wade into the mess in which they find themselves living where we might get messy, too.

Loving them calls us to sacrifice something precious rather than what is convenient or superfluous.

Loving them demands us to see them as persons for whom Christ died rather than simply objects of our good works.

Loving them is met with rejection or contempt.

I am reminded that God loved a world where people were His enemies.

He loved a world that killed his prophets and dishonored His holiness.

He loved a world where people keep asking, no, demanding His help and then squandering the blessing.

He loved a world that He knew would crucify Jesus.

Love, genuine God-inspired and empowered love is unconditional and incarnational and sacrificial.
Any less is not really love.  It is a counterfeit.

(C) 2014 by Stephen L Dunn

Friday, July 4, 2014

ONE OF THE BEST NATIONAL ANTHEMS EVER

To honor America from Jennifer Hudson (not sure why YOU Tube repeats, but enjoy)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IS THIS WHAT THE FOUNDERS INTENDED?

 BY STEVE DUNN

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The Declaration of Independence


I often wonder what our Founding Fathers - Messers. Jefferson, Hancock, Adams, etc. -- would think about the nation they helped to create on that hot July day in Philadelphia.

How would they respond to the moral confusion created by the pursuit of human happiness at the cost of breaking down the social contract of common decency in our dealings?

How would they react to the trumping of right to life with something called reproductive rights?

What would they think of the right to bear arms in the light of repeated school shootings?  Would they think of this as true liberty?

How would a body that invoked their Creator as legitimizer of their efforts deal with the government's attempts to chase religion from the public square?

I am no sage (nor do I presume to read the minds of the Founders) but on this Independence Day 2014 find me asking:

Are all things conceived in the human mind good?  Can every desire be tolerated even it leaves a nation without a moral compass by which to engage in human community?

If life is so precious, why are we excluding life in the womb from its roster, simply because not every person wants to take responsibility for the outcome of their sexuality?

Do we really think that a document whose writers knew only of muskets and cannons, whose wars themselves rarely result in collateral damage; intend every person with the wherewithal to do so to possess automatic weapons and "copkiller" ammunition?

G.K. Chesterton once spoke of the "terrible gift of freedom," by which he intended us to see the awesome responsibility that went with receiving the gift.

I do not believe freedom should ever be defined as "license" nor can it be divorced from responsibility to others and accountability to the larger community.

Personally, I don't believe our Founding Fathers believed that either.