I wish I had some pictures to show you! Hopefully Stupar will upload some soon that I can steal.
My day started at 4:30am...couldn't sleep, usually can't right before a big event. So I practiced my message on my dog, Sophie. Pretty sure she's going to be Playing for Keeps real soon.
Then I headed over to the local donut shop, for a dozen, and then picked up James and Steve at James' house. We headed over to Pacheco for the sound equipment and picked up Austin as well.
We arrived at 8:45am and there were already men there! We quickly setup and were on our way at about 9:45am. Nick led us in a couple of songs and I spoke about "How Invested Nehemiah was in God's Kingdom." We sent everyone out for some reflection time asking:
- Am I Playing for Keeps?
- What does God want to do in my heart today?
- What does God want me to invest my energy, passions, time, and life in?
The first games were Team Nesper vs. Team McFarland on Field 1; Team Wise vs. Team Gardner on Field 2. I was on Team Gardner so I don't know what happened on Field 1, but we had a very competitive game that saw us come back from a 9 run deficit. I do know that Team Nesper won on Field 1 (I heard that Steve had to learn how to catch the ball on first base though.)
Also on Field 2 Patrick Malloy took one for Team Wise. As he was touching 3rd base he twisted his knee. We prayed for him and he started to ice it, but ended up going to the emergency room: Thanks Aaron Enstad! I didn't get the official report, but I heard that his knee was hurt, but as we continued to pray for him the pain was decreasing.
We had some lunch at about 12:45pm; three 6 ft Subway sandwiches, chips, soda, and cookies. We had way too much food so we invited the SLO Heavies who were practicing in a field next to ours. The SLO Heavies are a team of really big mostly Scottish men in kilts that throw huge logs, boulders, and hammers in what's called the Scottish games. They were fun men.
At about 1:25pm or so the KB Leaders/Coordinators told me if we didn't get something going everyone was going to fall asleep! So we started with some worship from Westberg and then a message on Grace by Steve. I could see there were a good amount of men that were moved as men were split up into small groups and prayed for each other.
Sometime around 3:15pm or so we got started on the second game: winners vs. losers. Team Nesper vs. Team Wise on Field 2; Team McFarland vs. Team Gardner on Field 1. It was a very heated game on Field 1 as a couple of our players had to leave or just decided to stop playing. McFarland's team played catcher for us and missed a couple of plays...and I have to confess I started losing it. I ended up apologizing for my sinful competitiveness.
At around 4:45pm we started our last worship/teaching session. Nick lead us in worship and Bryan taught on the Curse on Men due to the Fall. We were all ready for some dinner when that was over and the food showed up at about 6:15pm. Also about that time some of our families, wives, and girlfriends showed up to share in the copious amounts of food and to watch the Championship game.
As we unwrapped the pig I heard a lot of comments, mostly about how people didn't really realize that we were actually going to see a whole roasted pig. I thought I was pretty clear about that so I thought that was funny. We all enjoyed whole roasted pig (Lechon), Filipino Eggrolls (Lumpia), Filipino Chow Mein (Pancit), and white rice. Along with the Lechon was a secret sauce, which many were game to try. I'm honestly not sure what it is, but my guess is it's cooked innards and drippings somehow turned into a sauce. But man was it good!
Championship game was Team Nesper vs. Team McFarland. I heard these men really wanted to win the Championship and the knives. The consolation game was kind of a farce as both teams were short players so we did our best. The Championship game saw a blowout 18 to 12 with a huge rally at the end from 18 to 6 or something like that. Team Nesper won, with an undefeated record. They played their hearts out.
We had a bit of a ceremony after that where I handed out the knives and congratulated the winners. We gave knives to the MVPs of the 2nd thru 4th place teams: Dan from Team McFarland, Gavin from Team Gardner, Will from Team Wise. They were pleasantly surprised. Last, we were going to raffle off the rest of the knives but there were enough for everyone that stuck it out until the end so everyone got one.
Thanks to everyone who stuck around to help clean up. We were like zombies walking around not talking to each other, just cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. It was crazy! On our way home we found out that a bunch of men were going to soak in Jeff Little's hot tub...every muscle in our bodies was saying, "Please go!" So we did...I don't know what kind of condition I would be in now if we hadn't.
All in all in was a really great day. I'm starting to realize that I need to (and can) rely on the KB Leaders/Coordinators. See I've been doing KB alone for so long I forget I have men that really want to serve as well. All day they just owned it and kept telling me to let them do something.
Thanks Nesper, Wise, AMac, and Austin for your help...it means more than you'll ever know. Same to James and Steve...you guys stuck it out with us to the very end! A huge thanks to Jerry and Lorie Apilado, who cooked everything but the pig for dinner...from scratch! BTW these aren't professional Caterers they are my neighbors sister and brother-in-law that willingly spent hours making and frying each Eggroll for a very good price. Thanks also to Manong Eddie who cooked the pig, probably starting at the crack of dawn!
Praise the Lord! I just love hanging out with the men and learning to Play for Keeps, both through the worship/teaching and realizing that the competitiveness we felt during the tourney is how God made us. We just have to redeem that and use it for the Kingdom of God!
If you were there I'd love to see your comments...so leave one!