Sermon:
Tonight, I brought some of my most valued stuff that I wanted to share with you guys.

When I was younger, I was an avid collector of baseball cards. If you have been in my apartment and looked into the corner of my bedroom, there are about 15 boxes of baseball cards that are all filled. The best part of my collection though would me my collection of Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards. Griffey has always been my favorite baseball player so when I went to the card shops I would always go straight to the pile of his cards to look through. I made it a goal to try and collect all of his rookie cards. The first three I found fairly easy but the fourth was tough. The fourth card is made by Upper Deck and not only was it a Griffey rookie but it was also the first card the company ever printed. It was very hard to find it for less and $150 and I never had the money to buy it. Two years ago, Melissa bought it for me as a present and completed my collection, which makes it extra special.
Sticking with the baseball theme, this is one of my favorite memories growing up. I had played baseball since I was five and was a decent player. One thing that I never did though was hit a home run. I always hit line drives and had a great average but never hit for power. In my junior year of high school I finally hit a homerun and ended up having the best game of my life. I went 2-3, with a double and a homerun, 5 Runs Batted In and 2 runs scored. The next morning I was in the paper in an article about my teams win. The feeling of hitting that ball and watch it sail over the fence sent shivers down my spine. There is no feeling like trotting around the bases and having your team maul you at home plate. That hit turned out to be the only homerun I ever hit in a game so this ball means a lot to me.
This next thing is a plaque for really the only award I ever won. In high school I worked for the YMCA doing almost everything that there was to do. I was a camp counselor, an after school counselor, a youth sports class teacher (including gymnastics at one point), a babysitter, a receptionist at the front desk, and a building supervisor. The only things I didn’t do were life guarding and tennis lessons. In 2000 my boss told me that he was nominating me for the Youth of the Year award which went out to a employee or volunteer of the YMCA who worked hard but also had a lot of involvement in extra curricular activities. I remember the afternoon that my boss called to tell me that I had won the award. I was actually going to the bathroom but my Dad decided he was going to crack the door open and slide the phone in to me. I picked up the phone and said hello at which point my boss asked me if I was sitting down. I just went, “Uhhh….yeah.” He went on to tell me that I had won the award and that I was going to be recognized at a huge dinner the next month. It was a great experience.
These last two things are probably my favorite things. Some of you will probably laugh at me but these