Friday, October 30, 2009
i kid, i kid. . . .
But, let me tell you why I'm hopeful. . . .
Carmelo: So, I know he's not going to have 41 every night. But, that was a masterpiece last night in Portland. He has this new jab step jumper to get defenders (I"m looking at you, Trevor Ariza and Ron Artest) off of his arms and to stop grabbing him.
That's 41 points with only 1 three pointer. He looks more in shape, quicker and his shot is more consistent.
Defensive Stoppers: Everyone wondered during the off-season if we successfully replaced Dahntay Jones with Aaron Afflalo. Well, we didn't. We succesfully replaced Jones with Aaron Afflalo and Joey Graham. They are both solid defenders who can shoot better than Jones (Afflalo has had a three pointer in each of the first two games). And, now we can throw 12 fouls at Kobe, Wade, LeBron, and Roy (this happened last night. . . Afflalo fouled out)
All in all we got more for less money in this deal. Way to go, Nuggets front office!
Ty Lawson and his headband: Um, yeah you can't guard this guy. He's basically a blur down the court. In fact, against Utah he found himself in two "1 on 4" fast breaks because the other Nuggets were lagging down court (Karl called them out on this). He had 17 points in his NBA debut, and was solid last night in Portland as well.
When we get JR Smith back, these two are going to be pretty potent off the bench. And when Lawson is put in the backcourt with Chauncey Billups, Billups basically gets wide open 3's all night because his man has to help on Lawson and Carmelo.
Needless to say, . . . Chauncey can do a pretty good "Steve Kerr" impression when it's needed.
He's had 22 and 25 in the first two games, respectively.
Responsibility: In the last few years of being a Nuggets fan, I would've bet money that they don't win last nights game in Portland. It was the back end of a "back to back", they had the late game the night before, and they are shorthanded without Smith for the first 7 games.
Well, they took it right to the Blazers and led by 8 in the first quarter. They fell behind, but eventually won an important division game on the road.
The only concern: Nene and Birdman don't look any better than last year. They look about the same, with KMart always getting 12 and 10 and 5 (grimaces after dunks). Karl has said that Nene should be an all-star this year. Well, he should quit missing 5 footer's then. These two will have to step up if we're to beat the Lakers and/or Spurs. The good news is that Karl trusts them this year, they've both played 25-30 minutes in back to back games, and have performed solidly. . just not great. Birdman is out of shape (probably due to his new contract), which will improve as the season goes on, but they need to get better.
However. . I relish the thought of Kobe having to choose between Carmelo, Smith, and Lawson to guard, and I can't wait to see Derek Fisher try to stay in front of Lawson.
Good times.. . . . it's going to be a fun year!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Such are the dilemmas of a chronic "over-speaker" like myself. I"m working on it, it's definitely a flaw and something I'm not proud of. I need to do a better job of using vocabulary properly and not to get a rise out of folks.
But, suffice it to say. . . . You really need to listen to this sermon from Matt Chandler. I would suggest that married couples listen to it together, and individually. And, I would suggest that single folks listen to it as well to help prepare yourself for marriage.
You see, marriage is usually the #1 way that God works in us to sanctify us and make us more like himself. There are others. . . but most married folks know that marriage is the platform where most personal change takes place. When folks are unwilling to change, repent, and sacrifice, . . marital problems will eventually happen.
Anyway. . . . Here is the message. Guys, if you don't like being yelled at, don't listen. Girls, if you don't like truth being spoken into your life, don't listen. Careful, it just might help change your marriage.
ps. I think Matt had a bit of a rough week. . . the way he goes after anonymous church comment card writers is epic. Perhaps too far,. . but epic :) I know how he feels.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
There will be 3 sections to this preview:
Old Teams: Sorry Austin, but the Celtics are among a larger group of teams this year that are simply too old to take the title anymore. These teams include the Celtics, Cavs, Dallas, Phoenix, and perhaps, San Antonio (we shall see) None of these teams (save Cleveland) have an elite player in his prime.
Young Teams: These teams don't have enough experience to do enough damage in the playoffs. In the NBA, it's different, you have to lose before you can win. This has been proven for years. The young teams are: Portland, New Orleans, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Minnesota, and perhaps Miami (we shall see).
Teams with a good mix: These are teams that have a good mix of old guys, young guys and (this is key) players in their prime. The teams are: Lakers, Nuggets, Orlando, Utah, and perhaps, San Antonio (we shall see).
These teams have Kobe, Carmelo, D Howard, D Williams, and either Parker, or Manu in San Antonio.
I think that these five teams will be the class of the league this year.
The Wild Card is definitely Cleveland because LeBron is in his uber-prime which perhaps makes up for the gray hair of Shaq and Z, and the absolute insanity that is Delonte West. (this is one of the craziest stories in recent memory)
So, I guess I'm predicting a Lakers repeat with a Cavs caveat. The Spurs, and/or Ron Artest could mess up the whole thing for the Lakers. San Antonio is definitely an enigma with the addition of Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair and Antonio McDyess.
I'm ready for the season to begin, . . . This is my favorite sport!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Now, I don't usually blog about football because passions run deep in these here parts, and I'd rather not fight with friends about football, I've been there. I'm from other places in the country not named Colorado and have thoughts that don't sit well with many Coloradoans. So, I usually keep them to myself. . today I have a few thoughts that are generic enough to not upset too many folks.
One other disclaimer. . . I used to be pretty obsessed with football. . . I started both ways in High School, and grew up in Maryland (Redskins) and Nebraska, which (sorry colorado folks) are two of the most passionate and dedicated fan bases anywhere. I have breathed football obsession, and have tried to move on. I succeed, sometimes. (humor)
--First off. . . . .does anyone run the football anymore? And, no, I don't mean setting up in the shotgun and turning to your right to hand the ball off. And, no, I don't mean everyone running left in some lame zone blocking play. I"m talking about two tight ends, a fullback that weighs more than 220, a pulling guard and 8 yards of chewed up grass.
There are a few teams in the pro's like Minnesota who still value running the football. But, in college there is an epidemic of teams who throw it 90% of the time. Notice the CU Buffs success from last weekend was based on the option attack that Nebraska perfected over the best 25 year run in college football history. College games are hard to watch these days with the lame spread offense.
And, last night, the Broncos put the game away by running the football (from under center). I'm not sure why more folks won't do it. A lack of patience, is my personal opinion.
Everyone needs to acquaint themselves with John Riggins and the Hogs. Or perhaps Tommy Frazier/ Scott Frost and the 1990's Huskers. Heck, even give me Barry Sanders and Emmit Smith.
(seriously. . .take some time to watch these clips. . . .except the Emmit Smith one :) )
At any rate: Run the Ball!!
--Second. The Broncos are for real. It's kind of funny because we all knew that this offense had some serious talent. What Royal, Marshall, Sheffler, Stokley, Graham, etc. . . needed was a quarterback who would get out of the way and let them do their thing. Enter, Kyle Orton. My favorite Kyle Orton stat is how many balls he throws away. Instead of a sack or interception,. . my man throws it like 30 yards out of bounds. Awesome.
Cutler took too many risks (which you would need to do with a team with less talent). And, I was wrong about McDaniels, he even seems to not have such a huge ego lately. What a brutal off-season, . . but he seems like a pretty affable guy, and he graduated from H.S. the year before I did!
I think we'll see how tough they are against the Ravens. . that will be an interesting game that could show how far the Broncs go in the playoffs.
--Third . . . the NFL (and all sports, by the way) need dominant teams. There are two many teams just collecting their checks from the fans (and the league/conference) and not caring enough to put the best product out there. In college, the scholarship limits imposed in the late 1990's have really hurt the game. The weekly crapshoot that happens each weekend with no dominant teams hurts everyone.
Don't believe the hype, parity is BAD. The teams that aren't doing well need to shoot for excellence by being pushed to become better. Not by being placated by money (in the NFL) or by running some fly-by-night crazy offense (college). Let's cut out all of the underdog/suprise/trap game garbage and play football straight up. Let teams get as good as they want to be. Let bad teams be really bad. (which ironically, causes some bad teams to get really good. . . notice the 1980's Browns, or the 1990's Cowboys. . they were horrible and were pushed towards excellence by other dominant teams).
Down with Parity, up with the 1980's 49'ers, the 1990's Bulls, etc. . .Sports is better for it.
I"m not sure I even agree with some of the propositions he makes (smile) But, he just has a way with words and flow (his musical career might have something to do with that).
To be sure, American aid, relief, and development in other countries is a larger part of our Foreign Policy than we ever gave it credit for. I agree with that absolutely. But, just enjoy a master artist at work.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah. Isaiah 1:9
Did you notice how God intervened this week? The Church of Jesus Christ did not go completely apostate. The Gospel Coalition did not disown its Confessional Statement. Acts 29 did not repudiate church planting. Together For The Gospel did not fragment in mutual recriminations. Sovereign Grace Ministries did not deny the new birth. And I did not walk away from Jesus.
We all sinned this week, and a lot. No surprise there. After all, original sin means our wills are unfree. But we held fast to Jesus our Savior, and for a whole week.
Truly, the age of miracles is not over.
Monday, October 12, 2009
In fact, it could be really helpful. Good stuff:
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 20-21:
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”
And, I would add. . sometimes someone else is talking, . . .our adversary.
Anyway, I digress. This is a great reminder for worship leaders especially, for all who lead in corporate prayer, but also for all of us as we pray and seek God.
Play Catch, not Throw
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
here ( the bizarre-ness is in the first 5 minutes. . . .but the whole talk is great,. . . listen to it!)
This is one of the weirdest things I've ever heard. If you've ever heard John Piper speak you know that he doesn't do the typical "open with 5 jokes" as he preaches. He will use humor, but not in the way that this crowd was expecting.
This crowd of counselors just keeps laughing at Piper as he begins, and he eventually has to ask them to stop.
Greg Gilbert observes that these folks have just been conditioned to laugh at all the other speakers and so they thought Piper was going the same way.
This is kind of chilling as you realize how quickly folks can be conditioned to respond in a certain way, regardless of what the current purpose of the speaker is.
This had to be hopelessly awkward and Piper deals with it well. But, I hope this clip can push us towards more of a balance at church. Yes, we should laugh and have joy as we meet together. We shouldn't be so glib and light, though, that we can't feel the weight of heavy truths anymore. Or, as in this clip, feel the weight of someone confessing their sins(Piper was trying to be humble and broken in front of these folks). We should pray that we never get desensitized to God's truth and the weight of sin.