Dear Valley Church Family,

Can you believe Summer is almost over? I hope you’ve had a chance to relax, take some vacation, and maybe even watch a baseball game!

You’ve probably head of Babe Ruth, but have you heard of Ralph “Babe” Pinelli? He was a professional player for Cincinnati and then highly-regarded baseball umpire in the National League from 1935 to 1956. The story is told that “Babe” Pinelli once called the great Babe Ruth out on strikes. While the crowd booed, Ruth made a populist argument, reasoning from raw numbers to moral weight. “There’s 40,00 people here who know that last one was a ball, tomato head.” Suspecting that the umpire would erupt with anger, the coaches and players braced themselves for Ruth’s ejection. However, the cool headed Pinelli replied, “Maybe so, Babe, but mine is the only opinion that counts.”

This Sunday at Valley Church we’ll study Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” As you may have guessed, the Greek word there is an athletic metaphor – it literally means “to sit as an umpire”. Our hearts and minds need to be RULED by an impartial Umpire who calls the “balls” and “strikes” the way they really are… not how popular culture, or even our own self-centered perspectives, would like define right and wrong. Our Joy filled Journey needs to have clear guidelines as to how we become more and more like Jesus. Fortunately God’s Word gives us everything we need for life and godliness.

This Sunday we’ll also hear from one of our Global Partners who is working in the center of the Syrian refugee crisis and is seeing God do great things. He’ll also be speaking in Lyman Taylor’s Sunday school class during the second hour if you’d like to hear more.