Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to D.D. Lewis…

The stupid Rangers. What a crazy day-by-day ride it’s been with this team, especially over the past six weeks. The Rangers held first place in the AL West for 148 of the first 149 days of the season, then fell into third place with 20 games to play, then regained first place and held it for the final nine days of the regular season, only to lose it with a shutout loss in Seattle on the season’s final day. Texas needed to win two out of four games in Seattle to clinch the division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. Instead, they lost three of four, got blanked in two of those losses, and are playing the Rays in Tampa this afternoon in the Wild Card round. How does the number one offense in MLB — number one among all teams all year in batting average, runs, and home runs — with a division championship and playoff positioning on the line, get shutout by a team that got eliminated from the race the day before? That’s the nature of the roller coaster ride the Rangers have been for the past month-and-a-half. Stomach churning ups and downs, disorienting twists and turns, nausea-inducing loops and corkscrews, exhilarating highs and devastating lows — I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. And I’m expecting it to continue. The Rangers will play a best two-out-of-three at Tropicana Field, where the Rays had the best home record in baseball, and we won’t know what to expect each of the next two or three afternoons until we’re caught up (or down) in the middle of it and it’s too late. I love roller coasters. But there’s a dread in my head and my gut tells me this one crashes and burns quickly. Maybe I’m tamping down my own expectations so I’m not too fried when it ends. But most of me feels like it’s already over.

My biggest gripe with Jerry Wayne’s ownership / general managership of the Cowboys is how, over the past 27-years, he has systemically lowered the bar for this once proud franchise and its fans. He’s touting Ezekiel Elliott now for the hallowed Ring of Honor. Shouldn’t a guy win at least one divisional playoff game in his career before he’s enshrined with the likes of Lilly, Staubach, Dorsett, and Emmitt?

The red zone issues are going to be the downfall of this current Cowboys team. He calls it the Texas Coast offense because he wants to control the ball with runs and short passes, but McCarthy’s roster isn’t built for it. I know you can’t pay Elliott the money he was making just to specialize as a short yardage back, but Dallas does not have the guy to muscle into the end zone from down close. Plus, the Cowboys receivers are all quick and fast, but they’re thin as rails and not designed to post up for contested balls in the paint. Dallas’ best option inside the 20 is running it with Dak, but that will get him injured. So, until one of those new-ish tight ends steps up, it looks like a record-breaking year for the Cowboys kicker, but no playoffs.

I’m not feeling great about Steven Tyler’s situation. Aerosmith has canceled all their concerts for the remainder of the year, including the November 7 gig at AAC in Dallas for which we are holding seven tickets, due to the lead singer’s fractured larynx. A fractured larynx?!? Does a 75-year-old man even come back from that? If he fractured it by singing those high notes at the end of “Walk This Way” (I’m only guessing; it could have been any of those high screeching notes in any of their songs), how does it not happen again the very next time he tries? I’m worried that my promise to take our two younger daughters to see Aerosmith before Tyler dies is not going to happen. I’m also worried about the process for getting my money back when they inevitably call it quits.

Our move from the gym back into our newly remodeled worship center at GCR Church this past Sunday was a tremendous success. All 485 of us walked from the Family Center, through the breezeway, into the Gathering Space, and down to the worship center as several of our brothers and sisters read aloud from the Psalms of Ascent. As we approached the south rotunda, we could hear the sounds of the Christians singing songs of praise from the inside. Jim and Brenda and a few others welcomed us with bright smiles and enthusiastic eyes. I was surprised by the emotion I felt at that moment, just feet away from the new room, surrounded by people I’ve barely known for two years. During the walk over, I was personally distracted by the many details of my job that were swirling in my head — how many songs has Cory sung, how much time do I have, I need to change out my mic pack for the different room, where are Carrie-Anne and Whitney? And then I heard the singing, I saw the faces of my co-ministers, and I choked up. Our church unity was on full display. The accomplishment was right in front of us. The grace of our God was so evident. Our Lord was very good to us during the nine months we worshiped in the gym. He is good to us today. And he is blessing us together in the future. Praise him.