The Discipleship Do-Over

They say that if you watch baseball long enough, you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. That adage held true in a recent game when the Dodgers faced the Pirates.

In the bottom of the first inning, Pirates rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes, hit a long fly ball to right field that was ruled a home run. Just like that, the Pirates had an early 1-0 lead.

But immediately after the play, the cameras showed scurrying in the Dodgers dugout, followed by the umpires moving to the headsets for an official review. It was unclear why the Dodgers would dispute the ruling as every replay clearly showed the ball hitting the foul pole, which is considered fair territory. There was nothing to argue….or so it seemed.

After a very brief review, the main umpire removed his headset and clenched his fist, indicating that Hayes was being called out. Just like that, the home run was wiped away, the run was taken off the board and the Dodgers were no longer losing.

Things became clearer when the announcers showed replays of the runner rounding the bases. In his excitement, Hayes neglected to step on first base as he rounded the bag. The Dodgers noticed it and the replays confirmed it. Since he didn’t touch all the bags, the home run was negated and the runner was called out.


Incidentally, the announcers explained later, that a play like this, where a home run was reversed because a runner had not touched all the bags, had not occurred since 1971.


Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates neglects to step on first base as he rounds the bag on a home run. He was called out after a challenge confirmed the gaffe.

The cameras zoomed in on a stunned Hayes in the Pirates dugout. At that moment, I’m sure he was wishing he could have a Do-Over.

As we coach and mentor Young Professionals, it seems like we’re often encountering people who wish they could have a do-over.

Many don’t like their jobs or are struggling with their career choice. Others lament the amount of debt they committed to, having believed their education would ensure them a well-paying job that would render such large financial obligations moot.

Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time and change our decisions, but we can seek to leverage our experiences and all of our learning for God’s kingdom purposes going forward.

That’s what our friend Grace is doing.

We actually knew Grace from our days back in Davis when she was an engineering student involved in our Cru ministry. Grace graduated and got a job working as an engineer.

Grace is living in our area and Jen reconnected with her a few years ago when we started ministering to Young Adults. Though Grace had worked for many years as an engineer, she didn’t really like it. When layoffs forced her out of a job, she took some time to consider what she really wanted to do.

I realize that not everyone is in a position to be able to consider a career change, but Grace was in a situation that allowed her to consider what was important to her and how she could best utilize her talents and passions to serve the Lord and make a difference in the lives of others.

Grace is an artist at heart and she’s looking for ways to use her creative abilities to minister to others.

Jen and Grace meet in person for the first time in over a year!

Recently, Jen asked Grace if she would connect with another Young Adult Jen has been coaching. Jen thought it might be helpful for this person to have someone else in their life who could provide additional spiritual input and emotional support.

It turns out this other Young Adult also has a creative bent, allowing Grace to connect with her in a way Jen could not.

Our vision is to help Young Adults thrive spiritually and live with purpose. We want to multiply our lives into others so that we might see an army of Young professionals mobilized to make a difference in their families, their jobs, and in their communities.

We are constantly reminded that ministry is messy. We’re no longer ministering to students who have limited responsibilities and unlimited dreams. Instead, we’re coaching and counseling Young adults, who sometimes are struggling to meet the increased demands of life and who often are facing the stark realty that life is not exactly how they imagined or expected it to be.

Our hope is to help them experience Jesus in their current reality and imagine new dreams that would enable them to make a significant contribution to God’s Kingdom purposes!

Would you pray with us as we seek to see Young Professionals like Grace mobilized to multiply their lives into others?

We are grateful for you!

Jackie Robinson Day!

When I was a kid, the most exciting sound to me was the sound of the ice cream truck rolling down the street with its iconic tune blaring from the bull-horn speaker on the top of the truck.

Whenever we heard that sound we’d rush into the house and scrape together any spare quarters we could find. If we didn’t have any saved up, we’d run and ask mom for some spare change.

But while other kids were buying ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks or the red, white and blue bomb pops, I was buying packs of baseball cards.

I can’t say exactly when or why I started purchasing them but I can tell you I loved opening that wax paper to reveal the chalky flat stick of bubble gum. I would quickly scan through all the cards in the pack to see what treasures I had scored. If the pack contained a Dodgers player, I was elated, and if it contained a Dodgers player who was not yet checked off on my team checklist, it was even better.

1972 was the first year that I really started collecting cards and 1975 was the first year I collected enough cards that I actually completed a set. I continued collecting cards through the 70’s and into the 80’s.

One year as a teenager, I was in Kansas visiting my relatives and my uncle pulled out a scrapbook that he wanted to show me. My eyes bulged as he opened the pages and I saw page after page of baseball memorabilia, including many older baseball cards from the 50’s. Cards from the 50’s were a novelty to me as they represented the league before league expansion in the early 60’s and division play of the late 60’s. For some reason, the names on those cards seemed even more legendary than the iconic names of my youth.

My uncle turned the page and there it was, a 1954 Topps Jackie Robinson card. Picture Ralphie at the beginning of “A Christmas Story”, with eyes mesmerized and mouth agape at the items in the department store window display as the adult Ralphie says:

Higbees’ corner window was traditionally a high-water mark of the pre-Christmas season. First nighters, packed earmuff to earmuff, jostled in wonderment before a golden tinkling display of mechanized, electronic joooyyyy.

In that moment, I was Ralphie, spellbound as I saw the iconic Jackie Robinson card on full display.

The scrapbook wasn’t that big and it didn’t have a ton of cards. It was the product of my uncle’s childhood hobby, created when he was not much younger than I was at that moment.

A few years later I received an unexpected package in the mail. I didn’t remember ordering anything and this was well before the internet and online purchasing became a thing. I could see that it was from my uncle but I had no idea what it was.

I opened the package and there it was, the scrapbook that once belonged to my uncle. There was a note which I’m sad to say I’ve misplaced. I don’t remember exactly what the note said but knowing my uncle, he expressed that because of my love for baseball and baseball cards, he wanted me to have the cards he had collected as a kid.

Today marks the annual Jackie Robinson day in Major League Baseball. It’s a day to honor the man who broke the color barrier in the big leagues. I’m sad to say that as a kid, I knew next to nothing about what Jackie endured to open the door for black players to show their talents and skills in the MLB. I admired Jackie and other Dodger greats like Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe because they were some of the greatest to ever play the game. I admire them even more now because of the environment they lived in and the character and resolve they displayed in the face of unbelievable and unimaginable adversity.

Every player wears #42 on Jackie Robinson day and there are no names on the jerseys. The great Mariano Rivera was the last player to don the number 42 as his normal jersey number. No player will ever wear that number as his everyday number as the number 42 has been retired from every major league team.

As I write this, the Dodgers are playing the Colorado Rockies at Dodgers Stadium in one of the final remaining games of this annual day of remembrance. The Dodgers are leading the Rockies 3-2. I think it would be appropriate if the Dodgers were to score one more run and win the game 4-2!