February is Black History Month. This designation by U.S. presidents has been in effect since the mid-70s. However, before becoming a monthlong celebration, the black community celebrated African-American accomplishments for one week known as “Negro History Week” during the week of Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglas’ birthdays.
Last week, I discussed my favorite baseball player of all time, Derek Jeter. Never would I have dreamed that I would be discussing the death of one of my other favorite athletes growing up, Kobe Bryant.
Please remember to get involved with the pardon request to President Trump for the Blackwater Raven 23 team that includes Olney resident Dustin Heard. So far more than 24,000 people have signed the petition online thanks to people like Rep. Drew Springer who sent the request to his network.
This past week my favorite baseball player and athlete growing up, Derek Jeter, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I became a Yankees fan the second I was born, but I did not begin watching them regularly until I was seven years old. By then, I was the biggest Yankees fan on this planet and at that time I was playing baseball almost year round with a few different teams throughout the year. Long story short, I grew up idolizing everything Derek Jeter did on the field… and as I got older, I began to watch the way he handled himself both on and off the field. I began watching the Yankees in the playoffs of the 2003 playoffs against the Boston Red Sox. I remember in that series the two teams got into a big brawl, with many of the main players on both teams joining in on the fight…but Jeter was nowhere to be find. Jeter was trying to stop players on both teams from things escalating any further. That was the type of player he was from the beginning of his career, until the very end. He ALWAYS did and said the right things on and off the baseball field. Jeter was named captain of the Yankees in 2003 by the owner, George Steinbrenner. Derek Jeter was the definition of a great leader and he really showed me what true leadership is. Anytime there was a bad call, a ball off the plate that was called a strike, he would just laugh it off and act like it wasn’t a huge deal. I always admired that because as a kid obsessed with sports, you want to do the things and act the same way as your favorite athletes. And I along with many other kids, grew up doing things the right way because of his leadership. Jeter was not the most vocal leader, but it was his actions and the way he conducted himself for 20 years that made him so impactful.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, may this small devotion lead you in a pathway of rejoicing. May your hearts be overfilled with great joy, and its every beat yielding in submission to the love of Christ Jesus, which surpasses all understanding.