Posts Tagged ‘Bowling’

h1

“SPONSORED BLOG!” – Dec 4

December 4, 2013

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

There are some bloggers that get really good stuff.  I have read runner’s blogs who have been sent free shoes to review.  I have read bloggers who write reviews of the free books that they have been sent.  I have read triathlete blogs reviewing a variety of free stuff that they have been sent to try.

I like free stuff and I have a lot of opinions so I have always thought it would be fun to receive something to review.

Therefore, you probably can imagine my surprise and anticipation upon receiving an email entitled “Blog Sponsorship – We Want You!”.  My mind raced through the possibilities.  I had recently written a blog about my new Cervelo tri-bike.  Maybe, it was Cervelo wanting to sponsor some bike gear.  Maybe, it was Mizuno.  I had blogged about getting my running shoes.  I had recently emailed Tim Challies at Challies.com, a big-time blogger, maybe he had hooked me up.

I opened the email with great expectations.  The sender of the email was very complimentary of this blog, always encouraging, and thought that the voice and energy of this blog were perfectly in line with the kind of people they’re looking to attract to their brand.

It was their brand that caused me some confusion – bowling.

Full disclosure: I am not a bowler.  I have never blogged about bowling.  I take my kids bowling once or twice a year.  I don’t own any bowling equipment.  I have never owned bowling equipment.  I don’t even know how to keep score.  I let the bowling machine do that.

I am not the ideal person to review bowling equipment.

I explained this to the good people at BowlingShoes.com.  They understood and were still willing to send me some shoes.  My wife was not as understanding when she asked, “Are you going to sell out for bowling shoes”.  I was hurt.  I looked at her, arms extended with palms to the sky, and with a slight shrug, asked her if she even knew me.  If she knew me, she would know that I absolutely will sell out for free bowling shoes.

I am cheap; they are free.  What more is there to consider?

Bowling shoes 003I got my brand new Dexter Jack bowling shoes from BowlingShoes.com a couple weeks ago.  My experience with bowling shoes has been the clown shoes you rent at the bowling alley.  What I received are not those kinds of shoes – they did not have a strange chemical / sweat odor and I had no apprehension about putting my feet into them.  These shoes are actually comfortable.  I wore them around the house, sliding across the kitchen floor, to the general annoyance of my household.  The shoe has really good arch support, a nice stable base and rather stylish (another disclosure: I am an engineer by profession and my wife dresses me).

Bowling shoes 017However, a bowling shoe is not about looking stylish at home.  It should be good for bowling.  So, my kids and I took my new shoes bowling over the weekend.  Unfortunately, the shoes made no improvement on my game.  I was satisfied with breaking triple digits in all of our games, the same as usual.  However, the shoes were so comfortable that I did not think about them.  They did not even feel like they needed breaking in.  I was freed to focus on all the other aspects of my bowling technique that were leaving so many pins unadulterated.

These shoes are a quantum leap above what you can rent.  Even as person who doesn’t know much about bowling shoes, I can tell that they are good shoes.  So, I now have good shoes dedicated for an activity that I rarely do.

It does not make much sense to let dust accumulate on them.  So, I am going to wear them despite my wife’s objections.  People wear basketball shoes and running shoes to the grocery store.  Why can’t I wear my bowling shoes?  It might be fun to go sliding through the aisles of Wal-Mart.  I realize that the bowlers of the world might be aghast at using my bowling shoes for casual wear.  I realize that I will probably ruin the soles for bowling but I don’t bowl.

Bowling shoes 020These shoes are shoes that can be used for bowling but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used for anything else.  I might get some strange looks at the grocery store.  There might be some folks that question what I am doing.  I got a free gift from the nice people at BowlingShoes.com.  I think the best way I can show my appreciation is to actually use their product in whatever manner I can.  I am going to take my Dexter’s out on a regular basis.

I think a lot of people view their spiritual lives like bowling shoes.  They have a misconception that there is a separation between the spiritual and secular lives.  They confine their appreciation of what Christ has given them to the activities of their Church and designated worship times.

We should not have to put our worship on to go to Church and take it off to go to work.  Our worship is the continual garment of who we are.  It is a product of a grateful heart.

There will be folks who won’t get your worshipful attitude.  They may look at you like you’re wearing bowling shoes in a grocery store but your attitude is not for them.  Our worship is in the Lord and Him alone.  He does not change.  He is with us always, so our rejoicing should not change based on what we are doing.

Don’t be afraid to wear your worship everywhere you go – even if it feels like wearing bowling shoes.

PRAYER: O Lord, break down all notions that I have created as excuses not to worship you.  Forgive me for forgetting the grace that you have shown me.  Forgive me for getting so preoccupied with the monotony of my daily life.  Lord, I want to live in constant worship.  I want to be the same person throughout the business day as I am on Sunday morning.  I want to be the same person living with my family as I am in my quiet times with you.  Father, help be to be consistently aware of your Spirit with my eyes focused on you.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

h1

BOWLING WITH BUMPERS – Dec. 17th

December 17, 2012

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” Luke 21:34

Bowling ball

Bowling ball (Photo credit: jonnykeelty)

I took my daughter and her friend bowling yesterday. It was bowling without consequences. They were bowling with bumpers. Bowling bumpers are metal barriers raised in the gutters to keep the bowling ball in the lane. The result was that pins fell on every try.  That is not very realistic given the bowling skills of these two young ladies.The girls made great use of the bumpers as they bowled. Rather than bowling as if the bumpers were not there, they incorporated the bumpers into their game.  The bumpers are supposed to be a safety net. However, they were bouncing the ball between the bumpers and turned their lane into a form of a pin-ball game. They were playing a game but it was not really bowling.

Does God give us bumpers to our spiritual lives? I know some folks who live their lives like one misstep will send them head long into the gutter of destruction. I know other folks who live like there are no gutters and go bouncing down the lane of life without a care or concern for the consequences of their actions – like there are none.

There is no easy answer to this question because I think that it is “yes” and “no”.  The answer depends upon how the question is defined. If we consider that falling into the gutter of life is the loss of one’s salvation, then I believe that God has given us bumpers. I believe in the eternal security of the children of God. However, the manner in which you live reveals whether you are actually participating in the right game. I am concerned for anyone that lives smashed against the bumper or bouncing between the two sides as if they are trying to get out of the lane.

Those who are called by God will desire to go down the center of the lane; periodically we may stray off course but we should not want to be up against the bumper. Those who purposefully seek to get out of the lane should be concerned because I don’t think that they are playing the game that they think they are – I don’t think that they are saved.  Those who love Jesus will desire to keep his commandments – they will desire to be in the center of the lane.  If you don’t – then your love for Christ has to be questioned – if you don’t value Christ as a treasure then you may not really know him personally.

The other way this question is viewed is that God will keep us out of the gutter of bad consequences.  I believe that the answer to this is absolutely “no.”  Falling into the gutter of bad consequences is often how God teaches us some very important lessons. My daughter did not focus on improving her bowling because there were bumpers. There was no need for her to heed the warnings of the gutter because there was no way for her ball to fall into it. My guess is that she and her friend would have focused more on how they threw their balls if there were gutters.

God has given us many warnings to watch ourselves. If it was impossible for us to fall into dissipation or drunkenness or the cares of life or all his other warnings, then why would he tell us to watch ourselves or examine ourselves? I believe that he tell us that because it is possible. We have the opportunity in life to learn the easy way or the hard way – God loves us so he is going to make sure that we learn and grow – how depends on whether we live like there are bumpers or not.

PRAYER: Lord – Forgive me for all the times that I have lived in an indifferent manner to your commandments – as if there were bumpers to protect me from the consequences.  Thank you for sparing me from many of those consequences. Father, thank you for not requiring me to live a perfect life. Thank you for sending your son to live a perfect life for me and to bear the punishment of my sin. Thank you for that treasure.  Help me to value that gift in my heart more than anything.  Renew the amazement of my own salvation.  Give me a desire to follow you with my whole heart.   Amen

%d bloggers like this: