Everyday Spirituality: Coaching Little League

That’s my son and me. (Photo by Courtney Perry)

Part of an ongoing series on Everyday Spirituality.

For the last several summers, I’ve coached my son’s Little League baseball team. Now, I love baseball, as readers of this blog are surely aware. In fact, it’s really the only sport that I have any affinity for. So when I first got into coaching Tanner’s team, I was expecting to have some fun with it.

But it’s become so much more.

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On Missing the Memes

As I wrote recently, I’ve been a bit down recently. Part of the consequence of that is that I just can’t keep up with all of the inputs in my life. I can’t both read and write, for instance. Another consequence is that big blogging memes have passed me by.

I’ll admit, it’s hard to see Rachel and Scot and Fred weigh in on Ross Douthat’s ignorance about liberal Christianity, John Piper’s latest idiocy, and the recent offense by a “complementarian.” Hard because they get big traffic and tons of comments. These topics are red meat for you, dear readers. And they are for me, too.

But I cannot always keep up. I cannot always weigh in on the breaking news in the theological world.

I don’t want to be a bloggy ambulance chaser, taking every chance to drop the names Piper, Driscoll, and Bell, even though when I do my traffic spikes.*

So I’m going to keep at it. I’m not going to beat myself up when I miss a meme. I’m going to keep blogging every day — sometimes about Piper, but more often about God and prayer and theology.

And, while I’m on the topic, I’d love your ideas on themes you’d like to see explored here.

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Respecting Ramadan

My friend, Chris Heuertz, has a thoughtful and challenging post for all Christians:

Christmas, of course, is a sacred religious festival for Christians, celebrating the birth of our Christ. And so the recognition of this religious holiday from so many Muslim friends always surprised me. Isa or Jesus is a revered prophet in the Islamic tradition, and so there are clear hinges for Muslims to observe portions of the celebrations, but holiday greetings have always been a sincere affirmation of friendship.

Though many of my Muslim friends remembered me on many of the Christian holidays, I routinely failed to recognize theirs.

Ramadan is not only a special time for Muslims, but for people of all faiths. For non-Muslims, we are invited to consider making our own sacrifices and we are challenged to follow the example of our devoted friends. This is a prayerful time to consider what a more peaceful world might look like if we’d all prioritize periods of religious or non-religious purification.

So this week, to honor your valued friendships with Muslims return the respect and affirmation by wishing them “Ramadan Mubarak.” And come mid-August when the first crescent of the new moon is visible and the fast is completed be sure to wish them “Eid ul-Fitr Mubarak” or “Eid Mubarak” to celebrate their devotion and sacrifices.

via Ramadan, a sacred time for reflection, sacrifice to Muslims and appreciation as non-Muslims – Guest Voices – The Washington Post.

Ordain Thyself Makes CNN

Best part of the article is that they found a guy from Liberty University who doesn’t like the app (though there’s no indication that he’s even seen it):

Ordination on the go? There’s an app for that!

By Laura Koran, CNN

(CNN) – Ever wondered what it would be like to become ordained as a priest, rabbi or imam?

If you have an iPhone, you could be just a few screen swipes away from finding out.

That’s because Tony Jones, theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has developed an application, or “app,” that allows iPhone users to experience mock ordinations in more than two dozen faiths.  Solomon’s Porch is a Christian ministry that began as a local church and today calls itself a “holistic, Christian, missionary, community.”

The app, called Ordain Thyself, doesn’t confer any legitimate religious credentials to its users, but it does allow iPhone owners to see what they would look like wearing the religious garb of different clerics, and read a brief and humorous overview of various world religions.

Jones, himself an ordained minister, decided to create the app partly to combat what he sees as an inability of faith leaders to laugh about themselves and their religions.

The app is advertised as an entertainment product, but Jones hopes users will learn more about the world’s religions when they play around with it, a goal Johnnie Moore finds dubious.

“That’s a little stretch,” Moore, a vice president of Liberty University, told the Belief Blog, adding that the app contributes in many ways to the stereotyping of belief systems.

“I kind of wish that all of this effort had been put into something a little more educational,” Moore added, saying that Americans could really benefit from efforts to better understand world religions.

via Ordination on the go? There’s an app for that! – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.