The Bottom of the Ninth

January 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Common Expressions | 4 Comments
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Today is the 9th anniversary of The Deep End. One thing that brought me a great deal of joy during this past year (2017) was seeing the Houston Astros win the World Series for the first time. As a lifelong fan, this was very satisfying. Watching, talking about, and reading about baseball has caused me to realize how many baseball expressions or sayings have made their way into our daily vocabulary where they apply to situations which don’t necessarily have anything to do with the sport. For example, when someone does a great job successfully completing a project, we might say that “he hit that one out of the park.” A gentleman approaching a young lady in order to try to get to know her better and perhaps get her phone number, only to find himself rebuffed, is said to have “struck out” with her. Someone sacrificially and willingly enduring a hard time for the benefit of his friends, family, or company might be applauded for “taking one for the team” (just as a batter who leans into, instead of away from, an inside pitch so that the ball smacks him in the shoulder, allowing him to take first base and extend the inning, embodies the same phrase).

The reason I bring this up, is that when I first started teaching adult Sunday School, in addition to teaching chapter by chapter through books of the Bible, I would include a “common expression” from the Bible as a bonus lesson each Sunday morning. Some of these, such as “a fly in the ointment” and “the handwriting on the wall” originated in Scripture and became common idioms. Others, such as “a little bird told me” and “you can’t get blood from a turnip” originated elsewhere, but came to mind as I saw something similar in the Bible. I also began taking requests from the class to see if anybody had a suggestion for a colloquialism that might come up in conversation which could then be steered into an opportunity to share God’s Word. This produced posts like “Get a Life” and “Over a Barrel.”

In honor of the beginning of the 10th year that the Lord has allowed me to write about the Bible here on The Deep End, I have listed links to the posts under the category “Common Expressions:”

1. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars (Acts 17:1-3; I Thessalonians 1:8-9)
2. Birds of a Feather (Psalm 84:3-4)
3. As Good as Dead (Genesis 20-21)
4. Getting Your Goat (Daniel 8:5-8; Zechariah 10:3; Matthew 25:31-46)
5. Don’t Beat around the Bush (Exodus 3-4)
6. Forget-Me-Nots (I Corinthians 11:24; Jeremiah 2:32)
7. Thrown to the Wolves (Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15, 10:16; Luke 10:3; Acts 20:29)
8. The Handwriting on the Wall (Daniel 5)
9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots (Jeremiah 13:23; Acts 8)
10. Kick the Bucket (Acts 26:14)
11. Stand Your Ground (II Samuel 23:11-12)
12. He Was Beside Himself (Mark 3:21; II Corinthians 5:13; Acts 26:24-25)
13. Prepare to Meet Your Maker (Amos 4-5)
14. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
15. Pining Away (Ezekiel 33:9-10)
16. Over a Barrel (I Kings 17)
17. Beware of Dog (Philippians 3:2)
18. Eye to Eye (Isaiah 52:7-8)
19. Made a Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:7-22; Isaiah 53:11; John 1:29, 11:25-26, 19:16; I John 2:2)
20. Get a Life (John 14:6; Romans 6:23, 8:6; Ephesians 2:1-2; Matthew 10:39; I John 5:11-13)
21. You Can’t Get Blood from a Turnip (Genesis 4:1-5) *
22. Lord Willing (James 4:13-15; II Peter 3:9)
23. Face to Face (Ezekiel 18-20)
24. Show and Tell (Deuteronomy 32:7)
25. Nothing New Under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)
26. You the Man! (II Samuel 12:1-7; Psalm 51:1-7)
27. Innocent Bystanders (Acts 22:17-21; II Timothy 1:9)
28. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Ecclesiastes 8:13, 9:3-12; Genesis 2:17, 3:5-6; I Corinthians 15:26-26)
29. A Fly in the Ointment (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
30. His Heart Was in the Right Place (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
31. A Little Bird Told Me (Ecclesiastes 10:11, 20)
32. Throw Down (Jeremiah 1:4-10)
33. Hard-Headed (Proverbs 21:29; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:5; Ecclesiastes 8:1)
34. Sticks and Stones (Numbers 15:30-36; I Kings 17:8-12; James 3:6-8; Proverbs 12:18, 13:2, 18:21, 25:18, 26:21)
35. Won’t Hold Water (Jeremiah 2:13)
36. Don’t Let ’em Give You the Slip (Hebrews 1:13-14, 2:1; Titus 1:9)
37. When Pigs Fly (a.k.a. Deviled Ham) (Matthew 8:28-34)
38. Flesh and Blood (Hebrews 2:14; Ephesians 6:12; I Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16; Matthew 16:17; Leviticus 17:11)
39. Think Again (II Corinthians 10:7)
40. Hindsight is 20/20 (Jeremiah 29:11; Nahum 2:8; John 16:33; Luke 7:19, 9:59-62; II Timothy 4:10)
41. All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go (Ephesians 4:1, 6:10-15; Genesis 5:24)
42. Cross-Eyed (Mark 15:29-32)
43. Up to Spec (Exodus 35-38)
44. This Is Going to Hurt Me More than It’s Going to Hurt You (Hebrews 12:11, 15; Ephesians 4:30; Deuteronomy 23:13)
45. The Powers that Be (Romans 13:1)
46. Take the Good with the Bad (II Corinthians 10:5)
47. Here’s Mud in Your Eye (John 9:1-7)

* most-viewed post in category

I’m Just Sayin’ 4

April 30, 2009 at 11:29 am | Posted in I'm Just Sayin' | 8 Comments
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I coached girls’ little league tee-ball and softball for about 12 years, because I have three daughters. I was not the greatest coach ever, but, I’m just sayin’, in those 12 years, I did gain some experience. I learned a few things.

One of the most important things I learned was that, although softball/baseball has a special jargon, as a coach, you can not assume that young girls understand all, or even any, of it.

tee ball

The last year that I coached I did not get to be a head coach. I was an assistant coach. The head coach of our team was a nice guy, but I’m just sayin’, when it came to communicating with the girls on the team, he did not have a clue.

We can argue about whether 9 and 10 year old girls should know what “play deep” or “choke up on it” means, but, whether or not they should know, the fact is, most of them do not know.

Girls that age need to be told where to stand, where to look, where to run, where to throw, and when to get a bat, a helmet, or a glove. They need to be told that they can’t take their Nintendo onto the field. I’m just sayin’.

When the coach will not realize or accept this principle, the results range from frustrating to disastrous.

Coach: (Jumping up and down yelling, as the ball is thrown into the infield, and the base runner is halfway from second base to third) “Get on the bag! Get on the bag!”

He means for the player to hurry up and get her feet on third base. But she does not know that “bag” means base, so she thinks he is saying, “Get on back! Get on back!” She turns and heads back to second base, and is tagged out.

Coach: “Go two! Go two!” The coach’s team is on defense, so he means that when a ground ball is hit to the infield they should throw it to second base for the force-out.

But the girls hear, “Go two!” and think, “What? I just went to the bathroom and did ‘number one’ before the game. I don’t have to ‘go two.'”

Coach: “Full count!” This happens when he is telling the batter there are three balls and two strikes. But the batter is now looking around wildly for a European nobleman who had too much to eat. Maybe he’s skulking around the concession stand with a cape and a rapier. Meanwhile, strike three goes sailing by.

Coach: “Good eye! Good eye!” This is yelled down to the batter after she wisely decided not to swing at a bad pitch. (I played organized baseball from age 4 to age 18, and no one ever yelled “Good eye!” to me.) The batter is now wondering if her mother was right in saying that she’s too young to wear mascara.

The confusion is endless. As a coach it is exhausting having to explain things like, “When that girl who has the bat hits the ball to you, be sure and bend down and pick it up FIRST, and then run – as fast as you can – like when you are chasing your little brother out of your room – and step on this base here – WHILE YOU’RE STILL HOLDING the ball.” Very un-baseball-lingo sounding, I know. But very necessary if you want to get an out, end the inning, and get home in time for homework, bath, and bed. I’m just sayin’.


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