By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s immortal words gave birth to the hymn our forbears sang on July 4, 1837, at the completion of the battle monument in Concord. I have stood at the Old Concord Bridge and mentally replayed that epochal moment. All who have done so can almost hear the initial blast of gunpowder and see the the burst of fire explode from the farmer’s musket.
Little did the unnamed hero realize the far reaching impact his shot would make when he squeezed the trigger. Nothing would ever be the same. What was to him merely his duty as a patriot has become the point on which our country’s history pivots. His was indeed “the shot heard round the world.”
Comeback is the true account of another history making event … not brought about by guns and soldiers, but quietly modeled in the life of a man whose name is now well known because of his courageous faith. Dave Dravecky’s story is not just another athlete’s story, because Dave is not just another athlete. His major struggles have not been limited to locker rooms and pitcher’s mounds.
And though he has known the thrill of playing a vital role on a championship major league baseball team, his greatest victories have not been won in public ballparks. His most significant conquests have come deep within his own life as he refused to surrender to the same enemies that plague us all: fear and disappointment, pain and death.
A curious swelling no larger than a quarter on Dave’s pitching arm was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. Yet his determination mixed with optimism following the surgery and therapy got him back into the game. The whole sports world watched in amazement as the all-star hurler returned to the mound, confident and sure as ever. Many called it a miracle as he was reunited with his team, the San Francisco Giants.
In early August of ’89, amid repeated, thunderous applause, he earned a decisive win against the Cincinnati Reds. As he lifted his cap for a final bow following that incredible achievement, he received his twelfth standing ovation of the day. Everybody who was anybody in the world of news had his name on their lips. Dave Dravecky was suddenly a synonym for comeback.
His next game was in Montreal. Excitement was at an all-time high. Throwing with a strange tingling sensation in his arm, Dave pitched well enough through five innings to be ahead 3-0, a nice cushion to enjoy. In the bottom of the sixth, he faced a tough batter at the plate, Tim Raines. Dave took his wet, stared at first base to restrain a runner, pivoted, and, kicking high, he pushed off the rubber and let fly. He didn’t realize that it would be the last pitch of his life.
A dull, sickening crack could be heard across the unusually quiet stadium. The humerus bone in his pitching arm literally snapped as he delivered with full force. In Dave’s own words, “My arm felt like I’d been hit with a meat axe.” He grabbed his arm to keep it from flying toward home plate as he screamed, tumbling headfirst to the ground.
It was enough to devastate the strongest of the strong. Not Dave Dravecky. Remarkable though it may seem today, his thoughts were not full of bitterness or self-pity. Rather, he found himself overflowing with gratitude, confident that God was writing another chapter in his life. Something more, something amazing was about to be revealed. At the time he had no idea what it was. Little did he realize, as he writhed in pain upon the ground, that he had delivered “the pitch heard round the world.”
Now he does. And that’s why Comeback has been written.
- Chuck Swindoll, Pastor
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
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Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
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