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First Place

“A Christian will part with anything rather than his hope; he knows that hope will keep the heart both from aching and breaking, from fainting and sinking; he knows that hope is a beam of God, a spark of glory, and that nothing shall extinguish it till the soul be filled with glory.” - Thomas Brooks

This week pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Baseball season is about to begin. For many of us, this is the real “New Year’s Day!”

During spring training, baseball players get in shape, hone their skills, and anticipate a winning season. Everyone is tied in first place!

Baseball – like life – is fueled by hope; no matter how poorly our team performed last season, everyone dreams that this year will end with a championship parade. Yes, spring training is a time when hope abounds.

For Christians, hope is more than wishful optimism. Our hope is based upon much more than unfounded dreams or unrealistic aspirations. Paul tells us, “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. . . And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts.” (Romans 5:2b,4a)

God’s glory and love provide the solid foundation for our hope. Our Christian hope does not mean we will not make errors, strike out, or lose some games along the way. There will be disappointments during the long season. What hope does mean is that if we are members of God’s team, we will one day celebrate a victorious eternity with Him.

Dan Bolin


Refueling in Flight


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