A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
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The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
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From the Editor -
Patricia Sheets
We are the Church
Featured Article
ChurchLate Bloomers
By Patricia Sheets

Here in Virginia, the long, cold winter is finally on the brink of surrender. Nature seems to change daily with the emergence of new life and rebirth.

Spring has always been my favorite time of year. Planting, pruning, and digging seem to somehow calm my soul and give me a new perspective on life. Maybe it’s the "dust to dust" thing, but I always feel closer to God when I’m digging a hole in His earth.

I must admit that, even though I love gardening, I do not have a green thumb. Actually, I’m lucky to still have a thumb. I’m in the process of drafting a letter to John Deere requesting that the name of their "tiller" be changed to "killer". None-the-less, I trudge on and, through trial and error, learn a bit more each spring.

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I'm a Part of the What?
By Daniel Pann

The church is the only living, breathing, spirit filled entity comprised of born again believers. What makes us so unique is the presence of God's Holy Spirit. Only the body of Christ can lay claim to this. A local church, (assembly) does not automatically fit into that category. A name and a sign does not always designate the indwelling Spirit of God, nor is it the different classes of people who worship there.

Someone said the ground is level at the foot of the cross and so it is. Doctors, housewives, lawyers, bus drivers and presidents all share the same need, that being a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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ChurchThe Geriatric Ball Team
By Lucian Thompson

Only in America can you find such a group of diverse people coming together to really stink up a sport. The Trinity softball team has raised the bar – of yucky that is! We admit it, we stink. I mean, just look at the stats.

Two years ago when we first took the field in the Virginia Beach Co-Ed Church League, we had all the dreams of most who aspire to greatness. Fifteen games later, at the end of the season, we had a record of no wins, fifteen losses, and no ties. Oh, the agony of defeat!

Okay, the next year, last year, we figured we couldn’t do any worse. We actually did pretty fair. We finished the season with 6 wins, 8 losses, and no ties. Not too shabby, hum? Well, we felt pretty good about it anyway!

This year we finished at 7 wins, 9 loses, and no ties. Okay, not so good, but wait! You gotta know a little about our team before you form an opinion about our motley lot.

Remember, I said a diverse group of people? Well, let me tell you a little about our players. We give our players nicknames that somewhat reflect their personality or abilities. You can tell a lot about people by their nicknames, so here goes.

Let’s start off with our co-coach and pitcher, "Iron man" Jack. He got his name when he was seen chewing on the chain link fence in the bullpen after watching so many errors on the part of our players. You see, he used to coach girls’ softball for years, in his younger days, so he takes it hard seeing our team stooges do their thing. Jack is nearly fifty years old.

Then there is "Missile Mike," our other co-coach. The first year we played, Mike earned his name from hitting the balls out of the park. What happened? It’s been down hill from then! The rest of our team must have rubbed off on the poor boy. Mike is in his early twenties.

Ouuu…next is "Lightening" Jeni. She is named for her ability to hit the ball to the left field fence and still be thrown out at first, every time. The only time I remember Lightening getting on first is when she hit one to the pitcher and he went to his knees laughing so hard he fell over. Jeni is in her early twenties.

One of my favorites is "What Was That" Pat. She was outstanding! Out standing in the field, that is! She got her handle by watching all the balls hit her way, fly over her head with her glove in the air…not moving at all, mind you. She is known for her Cheshire cat grin that never goes away. The only problem with that is that we have to squeegee the bugs off her teeth after each ending. Pat is in her late forties.

Our faster runner, hence his handle, "Jumping Jack Flash," is next. He could cause a dust storm with his turning and burning feet of fire. The Road Runner, beep…beep, can’t hold a candle to Flash’s speed. Now, ole Flash is responsible for a big part of our team. He just turned fifty.

His baby girl, "Daughter of Flash" Rosie, was a consistent player and carried that same Cheshire cat smile that was passed down by her mother, "What Was That" Pat. Yep…had to scrub down her teeth, too. She is a very early twenties.

Flash’s son, "Son of Flash" Robert, was as good as we could get, and that ain’t bragging. He did make most of the rest of the team look bad but, again, that didn’t take a lot of effort. He is in his late twenties.

My pick for MVP would be "Tic-Tac" Trish, my beloved wife. She got her name because of the rattling sound she made when she ran due to the Tic-Tacs always present in her pocket. She received her first social security check before she played her first softball game. You gotta love that! She is in her early sixties…my honey!

"Down Town" Faye, is one of the best…well, best of the worst we have. She got her handle from the song she used to sing just to bug us. Faye could talk faster than the fastest ball the pitcher could pitch. Her verbalism was once clocked at 110 miles per hour by radar. She is in her middle forties.

"Up-Town Girl" Jessica got her name from her dignified stance at third base. Such grace you have never seen and be glad you haven’t. Naaa…she wasn’t so bad except for the fact that she wasn’t able to throw the ball to first without a couple hop, skips, and jumps! She is another early twenties gal.

Well, you get the idea! Put us all together and what do you have? Embarrassment!

Oh, forgot yours truly – "911" Lucian Thompson, reserve extraordinaire. Reserve, because I have had a 5-way heart by-pass, lung surgery, cervical spine surgery, and neurological damage. I am sixty-one years old.

I did get to play once. Got a hit and made it to second. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life as I looked back at my beloved misfit teammates and all of them had their cell phones in hand ready to push 911 if I fell to the ground. It brought tears to my eyes; such love!

There is a positive thing that happened this year. We were approached by a couple of sponsors for next year; Ben-Gay and the sports drink company, Geritol. Personally I opt for the sports drink company…just sounds better, don’t you think?

So if you are anywhere around Virginia Beach next season, stop by and take in one of our games. It would be nice to have someone sit in the bleachers behind our team for a change!
Lucian Thompson is the Associate Pastor of Trinity Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is an avid student of Eschatology His major thrust of ministry is geared for Outreach. If you’d like to cheer Lucian and the team on, you can send him a message care of the Letters page of this magazine.