THE CLOSER

October 26, 2010Read: Matthew 24 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” -- Matthew 24:36

Seeing that my baseball season is over, I thought I’d give you another reason why I love America’s pastime: the role of the closer. The closer is someone who specializes in sealing the deal. See, in baseball you play until the game is done. Not the case in other sports. Take basketball for instance. There’s a minute left, you’re up five points and rather than drive to the basket, you run out the clock. In football, you take a knee. Soccer, hockey — you name it. Most major sports have a way to play it safe.

I think we all have the tendency to play it safe on occasion. As Christians, we can get into a mindset of “I’m saved, I can coast, I think I’ll run out the clock today.” But days can turn into weeks and weeks, years. Which reminds me, in baseball, there is no clock. You don’t know how long a life — I mean — a game can last. Thus, the need for a closer. Someone who does his best work at the end.

Recently I read that Billy Graham hopes to preach one more time before the Lord takes him home. Even though he struggles to stand, Billy still wants the ball. Talk about a closer.

Now, granted, we’re no Billy Graham you or I. Nobody’s waiting to hear our last words. Or are they? The fact that we’re reading this sentence means we’re still in the game and the ball is in our hands. So stay warm. We just never know when we’ll be needed to take the hill.

--J.P.

DIABETES: A SCARY SITUATION

No need to look for ghosts and goblins this Halloween. Those in search of a scare need only look at the latest study on diabetes released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Type II diabetes has become one of the greatest health problems facing mankind. An estimated 285 million people have diabetes in the world today. Sadly, because it's a condition that you can live with relatively symptom-free for years, people are failing to see cause for alarm. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may change that. According to the CDC, as many as 1 in 3 Americans could be diabetic by 2050 unless action is taken.

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2007, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, kidney failure, and non-accident/injury leg and foot amputations among adults. People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice that of those without the disease. The total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs. About 24 million Americans have diabetes, and one-quarter of them do not know they have it.

To read the full report by the CDC click here: Diabetes on the Rise

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