4:59 PM Okay, now I’ve seen everything. The Christianity Today website has an interview with eminent theologian J.I. Packer discussing Are the Cubs Really Cursed?. Packer manages to take a swipe at Kerry Wood (who didn’t pitch that great last night). The brief Q&A is actually helpful on the difference between biblical curses and the “Billy Goat” superstition. 4:19 PM A few random thoughts on baseball, the Cubs, and dealing with adversity, from Daniel Drezner’s blog:
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”-A. Bartlett Giamatti “Waiting for the Cubs to win the World Series is like leaving the porch light on for Jimmy Hoffa.”—Bob Costas “There is no point in being a Cubs (or Red Sox) fan if you don’t understand that, in the end, they will break your heart.”
Drezner includes this quote from Adam Smith, written several hundred years ago. Pretty good advice for anyone dealing with any sort of adversity:
Are you in adversity? Do not mourn in the darkness of solitude, do not regulate your sorrow according to the indulgent sympathy of your intimate friends; return, as soon as possible, to the day-light of the world and of society. Live with strangers, with those who know nothing, or care nothing about your misfortune; do not even shun the company of enemies; but give yourself the pleasure of mortifying their malignant joy, by making them feel how little you are affected by your calamity, and how much you are above it.
3:20 PM The details for the Billy Sunday presentation are coming together nicely. Michael Fields is supplying me with a wood bat, a scuffed-up baseball, and a weather-beaten glove. Mary Gaskill has arranged for children to hand out the fliers. Andrew Irvin has the “Billy Sunday Singers” ready to go. Howard Duncan has recruited volunteers from the 20/20 group to “walk the sawdust trail.” Mari Burda is supplying the wooden benches, the chair, an old desk, and she has found a sawmill that will give us all the sawdust we want. (We pour the sawdust on the ground in front of Billy Sunday’s grave to recreate the famous “sawdust trail” that converts walked on to receive Christ.) The weather looks great for Sunday—temps around 70. I’ve done Billy Sunday in a chilly rain with the wind blowing and temps in the 40s. This Sunday the weather will be perfect. 3:14 PM The Oak Leaves has a story on the “Tale of the Tombstones” this Sunday at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park. There is quite a bit of information about the Iroquois Theater Fire that took place in Chicago a century ago. Several of the 602 victims are buried in the cemetery. A costumed actor will tell the story of one of them, William Lancaster McLaughlin, during the cemetery walk. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Other historic figures portrayed on the walk will be Billy Sunday, the charismatic baseball player turned evangelist who popularized the tent revival; The Gravedigger, who will talk about burial customs and the important social role cemeteries served for Victorians as an outing destination; the Balls, Madame Elizabeth and Judge Farlin, who will discuss the women’s suffrage movement; the Humbrock brothers, who will talk about World War II and patriotism; and Morton Schaffner, who stood up for individual rights and the First Amendment. Forest Home Cemetery is the premier non-sectarian burial ground of Chicago’s west suburban area, known internationally as a shrine to organized labor because of the landmark Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument.
3:11 PM Anyone who comes the church today will know that the renovation is full swing because there is noise everywhere. On Monday the workers poured the concrete for the classrooms and office in the old gym stage area. Today they have almost finished welding the metal supports for the wall that separates the classroom/office area from the gym. And more noise is coming from the portico area. There are moments when it becomes distracting, but the noise is also a sign of progress—and that’s a good thing. 10:10 AM Three more days until Billy Sunday returns to Forest Home Cemetery. 10:00 AM Cal Thomas writes on thinking biblically about Rush Limbaugh’s fall. 9:55 AM Bob Cosby saw the title of the sermon I sent out by e-mail—”How God Destroys Human Pride”—and sent this note:
Ray:I was certain when I saw the title of your message it would be a sermon on the futility of being a Cub fan! Bob