Friday, May 15, 2009

Following Legends...

I was listening to WHMI this morning as they interviewed Detroit Tiger legend, Frank Tanana. He is going to be in Howell this weekend at the "Vintage Baseball Game" being played Sunday, around 2pm at Barnard Center in Howell as part of the "Howell History Days" that is scheduled for this weekend. There is excitement in the community at the opportunity to meet this great Tiger legend. Frank is a Hall of Fame, 21 year, veteran of the "Big time" MLB, and there will be many there to get his autograph or snap a picture with this famous star of the game.

Frank was known in his day to pitch many a complete game, with seldom relief needed from the bullpen. But now, the game requires 'mid-relief,' 'relief' and 'late-relief' pitchers to ward off the powerful hitters. Following a sports legend like Frank would be difficult for anyone, but someone always has to.. and I am sure with much fear and intimidation at times.

After Moses passed away, the Lord spoke to Joshua and told him that his time had come to lead. The reality was, though, that he'd be taking over for one of the most renown leaders of all time, Moses! But God didn't just throw Joshua out there with a pat on the back, He gave him His word that He would be with him. Three times God told Joshua to 'be strong and Courageous' and also gave Joshua His promise...

First, God said that Joshua was the man to lead them. Second, He directed Joshua to follow His instructions completely. Third, God said that, no matter what happended, He would be with Joshua and his people. Joshua took comfort in these words.

Following a legend like Frank Tanana would be a challenge for any athlete, but Frank has another legend that I like even more. Frank is a Christian and takes every opportunity to represent his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, not in a confrontational way, but as a very loving, helpful, servant. This type of legendary message is worth stepping up to for all of us. What an inspiration!

Maybe you've had to follow a legend at school, work, church or in faith. Trust in the fact that God will be with you as you call on His name. His desire is not to see you fail, but that you would lean on Him for guidance, leadership and truth. Be like Joshua today, be strong and courageous when the Lord asks you to step up for His glory. (see Joshua 1:1-9)

submitted by Pastor Kent Williams

FYI: Frank Daryl Tanana pitched for six teams--California Angels (1973-1980), Boston Red Sox (1981), Texas Rangers (1982-1985), Detroit Tigers (1985-1992), New York Mets (1993), and New York Yankees (1993)--over the course of his 21-year major league career. Since 1900, Tanana ranks 14th in games started (616), 22nd in innings pitched (4188.1), 18th in strikeouts (2733), and 37th in wins (240). Among left-handers, Tanana places 5th in GS, 7th in IP, 4th in K, and 11th in W. He has started more games than any other southpaw in the history of the American League. Mr. and Mrs. Tanana serve on the Pro Athletes Outreach board of Directors and are also involved in the Home Plate and Career Impact ministries.

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