3 04 2017


First, I need to say Happy Birthday to my son Nicholas Paul who would have been 22 years old today. He was born on a quiet April 5, 1995 morning in Omaha, Nebraska. We would never leave the hospital with him alive. He graduated to Heaven right in my arms as I sang him a lullaby. Needless to say, I have no idea why it all happened as it did,  but the 90 minutes that this little boy spent with his Mommy and Daddy made a forever mark upon their hearts! We spent a lifetime in an hour and a half. We press on and have learned to do so with the grace and promises of God and a constant ache that never seems to totally go away. I share this with you to offer affirmation to those of you Parents who have holes in their souls because of the death of a child. There is no way to ever measure the lasting impact, but on Nicholas’ Birthday, I am grateful that I will see him again and his little life was not for naught. Like his name literally means, he was our “Little Victory!” I hope you know how much we miss you Nicholas and today we pray that you enjoy this day to the utmost! I hope the Lord lets you pitch both games of your Birthday Doubleheader!

 Baseball Season started this past Sunday. As many of you know, Pastor Rudy is a huge Mets Fan and loves the game that he has played and then coached for 50 plus years. This coming Saturday Morning we have a special treat coming to The Lighthouse Church. We are hosting a Men’s Resurrection Breakfast for Men of all ages and it begins at 9AM. Our special Guest Speaker is the one and only Mookie Wilson. Mookie is a true Baseball Legend as he was at bat in one of the biggest plate appearances in Mets World Series History. Down to two strikes and practically losing the Series several times, Mookie kept the ‘at bat’ alive long enough for a wild pitch to tie the game and then a certain slow roller that he hit up the first base line that went through the legs of a player named Bill Buckner to win the game! Mookie was a catalyst for those Mets Teams of the 80’s. They won many a game with their brilliant pitching, their powerful hitting and the speed of one Mookie Wilson.

 In his Book, “Mookie: Life, Baseball and the 86 Mets,” he writes, “Growing up in rural South Carolina in the 1960s, I took to heart the lessons of my Father, who was a diligent sharecropper that believed in the abiding power of faith—and he taught me the game that would change my life.”

When Mookie was called up to the Major Leagues in 1980, the Mets were a terrible team and a perennial cellar-dweller clearly overshadowed by the crosstown Yankees. But inspired by Mookie’s legendary hustle, the times they would be changing at Shea Stadium and soon these upcoming Mets that included the likes of Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Ron Darling, Wally Backman, and Mookie, they would become the toast of New York. And even when some of the others off-field antics were less than admirable, Mookie always stayed above the fray.

In 1986, the Mets were a juggernaut, winning 108 games during the regular season and edging the Houston Astros for the National League pennant following a grueling 16-inning Game Six classic. In the World Series against Boston, in an epic at-bat that led to the Buckner error, Mookie would ignite a fire under the Mets, helping to force a Game Seven. New York would win to become World Champions. In an era when role models in sports were hard to come by, some tarnished by their own hubris and greed, Mookie Wilson remained the exception: a man of humility and honor when it really mattered the most.

Last year at the Resurrection Breakfast, over 500 Men of all ages gathered at The Lighthouse to hear Darryl Strawberry tell his story. This year it’s your chance to see and hear Mookie in person. He will sign autographs, take pictures and be with us until Noon. Come on Grandfathers, Dads and Sons, when was the last time you all did something together? This weekend you can make a memory that will last forever! The only cost is $5 a ticket for the Breakfast and everything else is free!

 Did you know that Mookie Wilson once appeared on Sesame Street? Did you know that Mookie Wilson played in the 1977 College World Series as a member of the South Carolina Gamecocks?

Did you know that Mookie Wilson’s Step Son Preston Wilson also played Major League Baseball and was in the trade that brought Mike Piazza to the Mets? Did you know that Mookie has worked as a truck driver and hauled freight on an 18-wheeler in many an off-season? Did you know that Mookie’s real name is William? Today, Mookie is a Roving Instructor with the New York Mets still teaching the game he loves so much and he is also an Ordained Minister working with people of all ages helping them to come to faith, find hope and seek answers in the midst of this crazy world. Maybe Mookie can play a key role in helping you come to grip with your life’s meaning and purpose. I pray that he can because you actually made your way to see and meet him this Saturday.





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