Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Closer {Book Review}

My husband and I have been Yankees fans for as long as we can remember.  One day we hope to see a game in person.  Perhaps we can make it in 2015 to celebrate our 10th anniversary of the day we accepted Christ.  It is also our 10th anniversary of marriage.  But until that day we shall just enjoy watching from the comforts of our home.

Sometimes a book review comes my way I just cannot wait to read.  The Closer is one of those books!  This is the story of Mariano Rivera in his own words. 

Mariano Rivera was born in 1969 in a small village in Panama.  His father was a fisherman who worked hard to put food on the table.  His father would tell him it was all the fish he ate that made him so strong.  Mariano is completely honest in his book about his upbringing.  He lived in a small "dingy cement home on a dirt road, two rooms with a beat-up tin roof..." When his parents moved in there was no electricity or running water. 

His story is one that seems can only come from the movies.  It does not come from the movies, this is real life folks.  It is a dream come true for him and his family.  From growing up with hardly anything to becoming a thirteen-time All-Star with the Yankees. 

I love how he writes, "I am sorry that I have gotten carried away with my own sense of importance.  I am sorrier still that I have ventured off on my own, to a degree, instead of seeking the Lord's will."  This statement struck me more than anything else in the book.  The words jumped right off the page a struck me between the eyes like a line drive.  How many times have we put ourselves up on a hilltop?  Something we do gets us all puffed up where we completely forget about God.  When we should be remembering it is Him who brought us there.

My husband is usually the king of baseball knowledge, especial about the Yankees.  I honestly think now I may know a little more about Mariano Rivera than him!    This book is an amazing read.  Mariano Rivera is the real deal!  So many times I hear celebrities saying they are Christians.  But then you see or hear them being just like the rest.  Mariano and his wife Clara have started a ministry called, Refugio de Esperanza (Refuge of Hope).  Aside from the Spanish speaking this church reminds me of our small little fellowship in Upstate New York.  It's not just a church but a place where people can go for hope.  One day when we visit New York City again we hope to visit here.  I will leave you with his words as he describes Refugio de Esperanza. 

"We know we can't solve every problem at Refugio de Esperanza, but what we can do is try to touch people's hearts, one at a time, to offer comfort and support in a way that might make people's burdens easier, and their road less difficult."

If we all did that on an individual level this world would be so much better. 

I received this book free from the Barnabas Agency in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Hi Jen, Riviera's autobiography sounds fascinating. It's so true that many people can put themselves, up on a hill as he wrote. I know that thinking back, to when I was younger, I got so caught up in foolish, earthly things.. I am so grateful that I found my way back to faith.

I will be keeping you in my prayers. I hope the biopsy news is good.

Regarding the deer and squirrels raiding your garden, we have had some luck with a spray I read about, and make, in my blender, I puree 1 head of garlic cloves in 2 cups of water and mix in 1 bottle of hot sauce. I put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on strips of cloth. I staked some wooden dowels I got at the hardware store, about a yard long, and 5/8" thick around the garden and strung fishing line around them, at four different levels. I tied the strips of cloth, here and there on the fishing line and every few days, I spray them with the mixture, especially after it rains. They hate the pungent smell. I've read that some people have had luck putting the bits of hair that accumulates on their hairbrushes around their garden as that repells deer as well, maybe the human smell on the hair? But I've never tried that.