The Mariners had a busy day today, adding two players, one via free agency and one via a trade with the Miami Marlins. First baseman/outfielder Corey Hart, previously of the Milwaukee Brewers, was signed to a one year contract worth up to $13 million and RP Carter Capps was traded to the Marlins for first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison. Both of these players have high upside and high risk/reward but their overall cost is fairly low so they shouldn’t be a burden to this team. Both Corey Hart and Logan Morrison are coming off of fairly significant knee injuries, Hart lost the entire 2013 season to his injury and Morrison has only played in 178 games the past two seasons. They’re both healthy now but caution should be used when projecting them to be in the lineup everyday. They join Justin Smoak in a trifecta of first basemen now on the roster.
Wow. Early this morning, the Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a ten-year contract worth $240 million. We now live in a bizarro world where the Seattle Mariners outbid the New York Yankees for the premiere free agent of the offseason. Let me reiterate that. The Seattle Mariners have given Robinson Cano the third largest contract in baseball history. My rational mind tells me this is a contract that will devastate this team when Cano enters his late 30’s and early 40’s. We’re committing to paying him $24 million when he’s 41! My irrational fan heart tells me this is going to be a lot of fun.
The January-February issue of Bible Study Magazine features an article written by yours truly titled “Into the Mess.” It’s my first written piece to be published in print! Here’s a brief excerpt from that article. Enjoy!
“Cookies are not treasure!” Max’s shrill voice rose over the din of the cafeteria, causing every head to turn. “Treasure is permanent!” he wailed. I had to summon all my strength to keep a straight face in front of the infuriated 8-year-old. Max was one of 96 kids attending a summer day camp for at-risk youth, and his class had just discovered cookies at the end of their afternoon treasure hunt. I tried to convince Max that the homemade cookies were a desirable prize, but despite my best efforts, he screamed, “It’s not fair!”
Each of us has our own personal sense of justice that helps us discern right from wrong, fair from unfair. But what happens when our sense of justice clashes with God’s?
Jonah’s life demonstrates what can happen when we’re at odds with God. Nothing goes the way Jonah anticipated as he reluctantly made his way to Nineveh. When God spared the city it “seemed very wrong” to Jonah (Jonah 4:1). You can almost hear him crying out, “it’s not fair!” His idea of justice for the Assyrian city was destruction—fair punishment for their sins.
Sometimes we’re unable to muster compassion for those who have acted sinfully. God does not respond to Jonah or Nineveh’s sin with punishment and destruction, but with compassion and mercy. God’s grace extends beyond mere justice. He brings healing and restoration.
To read the rest, check out the latest issue of Bible Study Magazine or you could ask me for a copy.
This Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking about what it means to be blessed. On Thursday, so many of us expressed our thankfulness for the things we’ve been blessed with in our lives. Then on Friday, the Christmas shopping season began with the biggest day in retail sales. When we think about blessing, we often think about material possessions or physical things. “God has blessed me with this house.” “I’m so blessed with this awesome car.” These things certainly are blessings and they should be celebrated but our culture sometimes twists our perspective. When we don’t have the awesome vacation or the latest device, we feel like we haven’t been blessed or that God has forsaken us. American materialism and entitlement has seeped its way into the language of blessing. This line of thinking, if it’s allowed to run its course, leads us dangerously close to the prosperity gospel. Blessing should never be confused with physical wealth.