On the road again

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)


Yesterday was Catch Ministry Day at the ballpark. I figured four people associated with the Catch at a single event was enough to make it official. On my left is Mike High, part of our Vanguard accountability commission, and on my right are Nancy and Al Gonzalez who are longtime MemberPartners. 

Mike drove in from Tucson to enjoy breakfast with me and attend a game. We had a fabulous time. It even rained a little over the last few innings, but not enough to dampen our spirits our the 7-2 win the Angels posted over the A’s.

Nancy and Al have a very interesting life that might actually appeal to some of you of retirement age who have a sense of wanderlust. A few years ago, they sold their home, bought a pickup and a trailer and hit the road. As nomads, they can go where they want to, when they want to. Their travel might take them to national parks or points of interest they have always wanted to see. It might take them to visit relatives and friends all over the country. But the thing that Nancy and Al have discovered is that it can also take them where they can volunteer, whether it be a children’s home or a disaster recovery area, or in our case yesterday, an Angels spring training game.

They’ve been working spring training for a number of years. They serve as ticket takers and ushers for every home game in exchange for the opportunity to be at every home game in Tempe, Arizona (usually around 14 of them, except for this year it’s been shortened to half of that because of the MLB work stoppage), and even though they have to work the games, they love the atmosphere and the opportunity to catch some of the plays. It’s obviously not a life for everybody (my wife, for instance, is not a road person — not even close), but the freedom to respond to emergencies or whatever opportunities to serve they might find along the way makes it very appealing to Nancy and Al. 

The Book of James talks about how faith without works is dead faith — useless faith. Not that you prove anything with your works. Our actions are a natural outgrowth of our faith. Faith and works are so linked together that you can’t have one without the other. Nancy and Al have found a way to put their faith into action on the road. 

Faith leads to love, compassion and grace. All that has to go somewhere. It doesn’t just sit and do nothing. Grace has to be turned outward. Grace gone dormant is not really grace at all. 

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)

We can all find active expression for our faith every day. You don’t have to hit the road for that.

This entry was posted in Baseball, grace turned outward, service and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On the road again

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Nice pic Pastor John & great Catch too!

    When I was a newer believer the book of James would often confuse me a bit… Now it makes complete sense to me: Show me your works & it will show your faith!

    PS Nancy and Al lifestyle is a dream of mine to build an Amway Biz so large to live in a 50-70 foot nice Motor Coach and collect that mail box money Amway sends out every month. A very nice man I met in the Biz used to often joke around & say that might be one of the biggest problems you’ll have is where to nail a coconut to a tree to get that mailbox checks, LOL Thx God for electronic transfers now in days.

  2. Toni Petrella says:

    We all have a purpose and well strong faith and doing a great purpose for our Lord and Savior go hand in hand together and cannot imagine any of that being separate. Take care, God Bless, and have a great Wednesday.

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