Monday, October 22, 2007

High point (in terms of sports)

This graph does not reveal any data that pertains to this topic. I just needed a graph to show that I am in a unique place as a sports fan. I have rarely been on the winning side of any sports team. Every year, I get excited about the possibilities and then come crashing down as the year progresses. I continue to work on preventing sports from influencing my outlook on life but I would lie if I said that I have purged myself of all such influences.

Today, I can say that after two horrible starts to my favorite football teams, they both are on a roll. UVA lost to Wyoming (who?) and then they reeled off 7 straight wins. In a similar way, the NY Giants (G-MEN!) lost to Dallas and Green Bay and then they have reeled of 5 wins in a row. They are both on the way up!

Why did I blog about this relatively insignificant development? I find myself blogging when my teams implode but I never capture the moment when they are on the way up. Today, I can claim that they are on the way up. Sure, they will lose and lose badly in the near future but I can claim victory today and that is all I am concerned about right now.

On another note, I have started to rediscover the joy of reading significant books by authors who have something more to offer than a recent trend. I should have some deeper thoughts in the coming days but I had to capture this moment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Two choices

I am not a Rockies fan and this entry has nothing to do with baseball. The only baseball reference is to the manager of the Rockies who said yesterday that "in life, you are either humbled or you will be humbled."

I learned that lesson today.

I did not feel prideful after my sermon on Sunday but I did feel like I was feeling more at home at MVPC. Today, I had a difficult time pulling together the materials for my inductive Bible study class and I ended up tanking the class. I attempted to make copies of my materials and I created an insurmountable challenge (organizing and punching holes in 390483049830483048 pieces of paper). I barely had everything ready for the class and I was very flustered for most of the class.

The class participants (~40) followed my teaching for the most part and participated in all of the activities. I did not feel like I gave my best and I owe them more than I provided tonight.

Clint Hurdle, the Rockies manager, said it best, "You are humbled or you will be humbled soon."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lost in Music

I am posting twice in a day because I feel like it. :)

I am experiencing something that I haven't experienced in a long time. I am sitting down and getting lost in music. I have had an intense week and I am taking a break to do something that I enjoy. Years ago, a close friend asked me what I enjoyed doing the most. In other words, if I had free time, then how I would use it for enjoyment. I answered that I would turn up the music loud and get lost in a song (or two or 10 or more).

I don't know how or why I became "that guy" who stopped listening to music after I had kids but I have become that person. Every once and awhile though, I have a moment of rediscovery and I am moved almost to tears when I consider how much music can take me beyond myself. Of course, songs that help me focus on Jesus Christ, my wife, and the greater things of life are the ones that move me most.

I miss what I am experiencing what I am breathing in right now. Music...

Learning as I Go...

Today, I preached my third sermon at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church. I am far from a strong preacher and I feel like I learn something new each time. This morning, I took a few more steps forward.

I preached on Ephesians 5:21-33 and the sermon title was "The Essence of Marriage." The sermon was the fifth in a seven part series and David Diehl (head pastor) has preached all the other sermons. The theme of the sermon was that married couples need to intentionally nurture the new flesh (person) reality in order to experience their God-given friendship. The primary word picture was the chemical reaction that occurs between sodium and chloride to form a whole new compound - salt. A husband and wife come together like two chemicals and form a whole new person in marriage. If they do not intentionally nurture this new reality, then they will slip into mediocrity as separate individuals instead one unified flesh.

I had received some very helpful feedback from my mentor and others after my last sermon in September. I attempted to put some of those ideas into practice this time around. The main change from my view was I spent more time in prayer throughout the preparation. I can see how that played out in more ways than I can begin to summarize.

I have a long, long, long way to go as a preacher but I am learning to put myself in a position that let's God speak through me without calling attention to myself.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Grace and A New Chapter

I am about to experience a new chapter in my life. Laurie bought me an XBox in 2003 (3 months before Cambria was born) and that started the Halo revolution. My memories of playing Halo on Valemount Terr in Leesburg, VA still rank as some of my favorite moments with my friends in my life. Halo 2 came into play during my time at Princeton Seminary mostly online with Virginia friends.

Tonight, I am about to jump into Halo 3. A friend (whose name will remain unspoken) has been amazingly generous by giving me not only an XBox 360 but also a copy of Halo 3. Any gamer will know that these gifts go beyond words in terms of generosity. Grace is a word that comes to mind as well.

A friend from my new home group called me tonight and invited me to join him in playing some Halo 3. I am rusty but I am ready to jump back in the game! Here is the difference from Halo 2 according to one source...

Halo 3 Vs. Halo 2

Posted May 17, 2007

For those still on the fence, here's a comparison of Halo 2 and Halo 3 to help you make up your mind.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I realized once again this week that sports has more of a control on me than I would like. I tried to not let the Mets implosion impact any area of my life besides my sports side but I was unable to contain the overflow of disgust.

This morning, however, I woke up with a sense of freedom because I will not have to track with the MLB playoffs as closely in the coming weeks. I am leading a 7-week class on studying Scripture and preaching on Oct 14th so the Mets' choking ends up helping me.

Still, I realized how much my childhood love for the drama of playoff baseball remains in me. I do not want to completely cut off that passion for sports but I do want to cut off the sick feeling that I had when I saw that Tom Glavine gave up 7 runs in the first inning (hall of famer eh?)...

Am I capable of cutting off one without the other?