The Faith of a Giant

With an elimination game looming in the 2012 National League Championship Series for my Giants against the St. Louis Cardinals, I thought I would share a few words that tonight’s starting pitcher, Barry Zito, shared with fans at this year’s Fellowship Day.  Glad to see how the Lord has moved in his life this past year!

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Singing the Psalms – Part 2.

This was the Psalm that started it all for us.  Our worship pastor challenged each of us to come up with a song based on Psalm 90.  Here is the version that Margaret and I wrote, using verses 1-4 and 15-17.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

17 May the favorof the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

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Singing the Psalms.

For the past 2 1/2 years I have been a member of our church’s worship music team as one of the acoustic guitarists.  It’s a great time to be able to serve Christ and our church community this way, and certainly wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing with this instrument.  In recent months I’ve had the joy of my daughter Margaret joining the team as one of the singers.  Each member of the team usually plays once a month…so it’s been fun playing guitar on the Sundays that she sings (along with our worship pastor and drummer).

Over the past couple of months our worship pastor has challenged the members of the team to set specific Scriptures to music.  A big part of the reason for this is to embed Scripture on our hearts through music, but another reason is so that we can become better musicians and develop skills as songwriters.  Who needs to write lyrics when the pages of Scripture can be our lyrics?  And we have been singing Scriptures for thousands of years (I’ve always wondered what David would have done with the Psalms if he had access to our musical technology today).

This past month our challenge was to take a Scripture that spoke to us and create something with it.  Psalm 51:10-12 were the verses that spoke to me, and I started with a simple chord progression and sang a simple melody over it with those verses.  When Margaret joined in a few days ago, she cleaned up the melody and added in verse 13.

So below is our take on Psalm 51:10-13.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11  Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.

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Still Here!

It’s been a few months since I’ve been here.  Good to be back.  Much has happened since I last wrote about the end of the school year.  The new year is up and running, my daughter is now in high school, my son in 6th grade, and soccer, band, musical theatre and other activities permeate our household.  Both Page and I are busy with our assorted volunteer activities with school, church and coaching (yes, I’m back on the pitch with soccer – this time with Hank) – so it’s a full autumn for us.

And this full autumn is about to get a bit more full as we squeeze in must-see sports viewing as my Giants enter baseball’s postseason in a couple of weeks – and double special for us as our family was at the ballpark the day before the clinching game and Hank and I were there FOR the clinching game this past Saturday.  It was an excellent weekend full of baseball – capped off with a visit to a local sports card establishment wherein we were able to meet two Giants players.

Now throughout the years of this blog, I’ve made many a friend and acquaintance – while most of these friendships have developed online, I have had the good fortune to meet some of you.  And those of you whom I’ve yet to meet, I’m certain that the occasion will come where I find myself in St. Louis, or Tennessee or Kentucky or Alabama.  However, surprising me last year was doscovering that Giants’ pitcher Jeremy Affeldt had occasionally frequented this blog.  Therefore, when I learned that he would be one of the players available at this signing, Hank and I made a point to head down for said signing.

So Jeremy…it was indeed a pleasure to meet you on Sunday.

And if you haven’t checked out his latest ramblings, I urge you to join in the conversation.  His recent posts -  Words and Power and Embarrassed By Christians are thought provoking.

More to come later this week.  It’s good to be back for a new season of writing.

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Two days ago my eldest graduated from the 8th Grade.  

It’s hard to believe that this young girl has grown up to be quite the young woman as she embarks on a new journey with the start of her high school career.  As I sat in the auditorium on Tuesday night watching the class sit on stage and share their memories with us about their time at this school which many of them had attended since kindergarten, I flashed back to all the times I was fortunate to share with her during her elementary and middle school years.

There were the field trips I chaperoned, like this one to Sutter’s Fort in 4th grade.

There were the countless dance recitals, musical theater performances, soccer games, and family trips that we shared.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to chaperone (and helped develop) the 8th graders’ final field trip – a photo scavenger hunt through San Francisco.  Whether it was visiting the former home of the Grateful Dead at 710 Ashbury, or meeting the doorman at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, or taking a photo with a librarian at the SF Main Public Library, the girls had a chance to share a day touring San Francisco with each other, and a couple of lucky dads had a chance to enjoy the day with their daughters.

And there were all those mornings when I was able to drive Margaret and her brother Hank to school together on the days when Page was working.  So it was with a small pang in my heart today when Page posted the picture below to Facebook, since today is the last day of school.  She had taken them there today, realizing that today is the last day that the kids would be in the same school together (until they have one year together in high school – but let’s be honest, it won’t be the same).

She called me a short time ago and mentioned the tears shed in the classrooms today – friends going to another school, teachers who have become friends and are retiring today.

Tonight Margaret has one final event with her classmates – their graduation party.  While several classmates will join her in high school, she knows it won’t be the same.  And Page and I know it as well.  While there will be joy, there will be more tears – but there will also be the excitement of the new.

I share in her joy.  I share in her sadness.  I share in her excitement.  And I am thankful that I am her father.

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Blue Like Jazz

Tomorrow is the opening of the film based on the book (besides the Bible) that really helped me understand what the Christian life is about and that it was okay to have questions and wrestle with our journey in Christ.

Check this list to see if the movie is playing in your area.

Here is the trailer.

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153 – 2012 Edition

Before reading on, read this and this.  When we first initiated an effort to invite guests by giving each family packets of invitations for our Sunday service for Easter 2009, we had 153 folks turn up – our largest attendance at that time.

While we have since surpassed that number on occasion, yesterday our Easter service once again had 153 folks in attendance.

Guess what passages our Pastor preached from?

John 20 and 21.  Note John 21:11. Again.


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