Picks of the Week: Greatest Game Ever, Baseball & the Christian Walk, Pornified Culture, and Keller @ Belhaven

Note Well: Every Friday I am going to be pointing out some of my favorite books, articles, podcasts, videos, and the like that I’ve encountered in the past week. I’ll try to include mini-reviews for each that will do nothing if not inspire, maybe even require, that you check them out. Perhaps not. And keep in mind, just because I recommend it, doesn’t mean I agree with it in all of its details or even in general. Finally, don’t leave me out to dry. If you are interacting with these posts, possibly even enjoying them, give me a heads up. Subscribe to the blog. Leave a comment. Shoot me a message. Give me a hug.

#1 The Greatest Game Ever Played by Mark Frost – In the midst of a terribly bleak week in good ole Indiana, I am finding myself flat out ready for Spring. I’m ready for some sunshine, a little warmth, and the putting away of all things Winter (hat, gloves, coats, etc.). I’m ready for Spring Training, March Madness, The Masters, and the start of  tennis season. And though the weather is not providing even a glimpse of hope, I’ve decided to usher in the season in the only nerdy way I know how, by reading about sports. Currently, that means taking a little jaunt into the beginnings of golf in America and reading about Francis Ouimet and the 1913 U.S. Open. I must confess, having seen the Disney flick starring Shia LaBeouf, I have been quite reluctant to dive into this behemoth (it is just shy of 500 pages). But lofty, lofty endorsements and a place on the shelf at Half Price Books simply proved too much to ignore. Take Gary McCord’s words for example, “Put on a pair of soft slippers and get into your favorite chair. You are about to drift back to the era of gutties and wooden shafts…as golf history comes to conversational life in this very entertaining read.” Music to my ears. Or maybe you’d like to hear from Billy Crystal, “This is one of the best sports books I have ever read.” Sold. I am just past the century mark and ready to join the chorus. Up next: Men at Work by George F. Will.

#2 “How Baseball is Like the Christian Walk” by David Prince – Men at Work might still have a little wait on the shelf, but this does not mean there isn’t a little time (or a lot) for some baseball reading. Prince is a pastor in KY and prof at my former and soon to be current educational institution and he is well-equipped to talk sports. He gave the highlight talk for me at our High School Youth Conference last year on the topic of Christianity and Sports and this article is solid example of his thinking. And of course, he’s a Braves fan. That’s significant.

#3 “Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture” by Zach Nielsen – I’m not a parent yet (not an announcement of any kind…just need to be clear), but as a pastor and coach I spend a decent amount of time serving youth and definitely recognize the dangers of what Nielsen calls a “pornified culture.” Give this article a quick read, at least to raise your awareness, if not to apply some of its wisdom.

#4 “Tim Keller at Belhaven University” – Our church is getting ready to start The King’s Cross by Tim Keller and we used this talk as a little intro to the book with our college group. Even if you aren’t going to read the book, it is well worth the listen. I am posting the video and the audio, though I feel I must warn you that the folks doing the video get a little too creative with camera angles and nearly ruin it. The Audio version.

That’s it for this week. “The Bible” mini-series begins this Sunday night on the History Channel, could be interesting.

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