NBA Draft And Effort

The first part of the NBA draft was great. It is always a good thing to see young guys get the chance of a lifetime to get paid a lot of money to do what they love.

All of them have worked their hardest to get in that position to be drafted by an NBA team. I heard stories of guys who were about 120 pounds going into their freshmen year of college and working their tail off to become great physical guys who can play ball.

The thing that separates some of those good players out there and great ones is how much effort they want to put into getting better. It doesn’t start when you are a junior in high school and then you finally want to use your talents and get better. It starts whenever you can play ball. It starts when you first join the YMCA flag football team. It starts when you first touch the hardwood for the first time.

Some of these players have wanted to play professional basketball since they were in elementary school. They weren’t stopped. When a challenge came up they conquered it.  When a voice in their head told them they can’t do it they shut its mouth by going into the weight room and exhausted every once of strength they had in order to become better. They didn’t let that voice have a turn to speak.

If you have a  dream to play ball who is stopping you? If you have a dream to do anything…who is stopping you? Who is that voice that says “you can’t do it”? Those are the voices that are your fuel.

Do not let your circumstances dictate where you end up.

You’ve got to give effort in order to succeed. It won’t be given to you.

I’ve never seen a starting PG position or QB position given to a guy because he sat around and chatted when the rest of his team was working out.  He got that position by working harder than the other guy.

You’ve got to earn it.

Meaningless

Solomon in Ecclesiastes found out that everything is meaningless except one thing.

Solomon was a king of a unified Israel and he had everything he ever wanted. He had about 700 wives at his service. Some of those women were from foreign countries which turned his heart away from God and Solomon felt the impact of his decisions. God ripped the kingdom away from Solomon’s hands and it split into two. Solomon had it all. He made his residents pay huge taxes and forced them to build huge buildings. He had all the money, women and land anyone could ever ask for. He was also extremely wise (he wrote proverbs).

But at the end of his days he figured out only one thing has meaning and it is found in Ecclesiastes.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” – Ecc. 12:13

You heard it. At the end of the day all mankind is to fear God and keep His commandments.

Life is more than playing video games and watching TV. It is more than just being a good person.

Fear God. Solomon had a life full of sin. He found out that in everything he did there was no meaning. He comes to the conclusion that we are to fear God (like he should have) and to keep His commandments (like he should have).

How well are you doing that?

Another Day

The people have spoken.

The president has been chosen.

There are two ways you can go with this.

1) Complain
2) Accept

I’ve chosen the accept route.

God is sovereign. He allowed this. What else can I do?

Now I need to press into God’s love and pray. I will continue to live here. I will continue to obey the governing officials.  I will continue to love.

I trust my Saviour a lot more than I trust any man. He is good.

What He allows I will endure by His power alone.

It’s another day.

“If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:19

Sundays

When I think of Sunday I think of church and family. To some those words are sharp daggers. To some they bring a joy that fills their hearts and a smile that caresses their face.

To me a smile forms when speaking about Sunday. I do not work on Sunday. That is mostly why a smile is constructed on my face. The other part of the enjoyment is because I adore the God of the universe and His church. Now I know the church is not perfect and to think so is preposterous. The church doesn’t even think they are perfect (or at least they shouldn’t).

The church is made up of sinful people who have given their lives over to Jesus and are trying to live life like Him. They read the Bible and try to do what it says. They are not going to get it right every time. It is impossible. We are sinful people, bent not on God’s desires but on our own.

That is enough about the church for now in the sense of what it is.

I get excited about church on Sundays because I”fit in”. Many people stop going to a church because they do not fill like they “fit in” or because it just wasn’t a right fit for them.

Maybe that is true for some and maybe for others that is a way to get out of church for a couple months. I do not know. But what I do know is from my own experience.

Feeling like I didn’t “fit in” was because I was afraid to dive in.

Fear kept me from diving into the community that is the church. I did not really want to get involved in a small group and actually give up my time and effort for the church.

I think that is where we go wrong. We see how much a church can do for us and when expectations are not met we jump ship.

That is backwards. There is church. You dive in.

You remove the fear because it does not come from God (2 Timothy 1:7) and dive in. Get connected. Serve. Love.

Just a thought.

Lights! Cameras! Losing.

They Lakers have lost twice. Really? They shouldn’t be. We all know this. But they are.

What can you chalk the losses up to? Multiple things. There probably is not one thing they can put their finger on.

But they are losing.

Dwight moved to a new team and all he has gotten so far has been: Lights! Cameras! Losses.

Yes, you can smile non-Lakers fans and Magic fans. Its okay. You’re not breaking a law. Enjoy.

While it lasts….they’ll probably get it together. Maybe.

 

Hope.

Some of us think we need to have it all figured out before we can come to Jesus.

Don’t get it twisted. Jesus died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). He came for people who are addicted, beaten, broken, and afflicted. Jesus came to save the lost. He came for the sinners (Mark 2:17).

There is hope in Jesus’ words. The Gospel is for sinners. You might be asking who are the sinners? You and me. We all are (Romans 3:23).

This is not rocket science. This is the Gospel. The good news. It’s easy for a child to understand it and deep enough for the greatest theologian to get lost in it.

Jesus came to die for you and me. To absorb God’s wrath so we do not have to pay the penalty which is death (Romans 6:23).

We do not have to have it all together to ask Christ to reign in our hearts. Christ is at the door knocking (Revelation 3:20). All you need to do is answer it.

Addictions, abuse, anger. Lay it all at His feet.  He is big enough for anything you throw at Him. He is God; our hope.

Teaching So Far

Teaching has been great so far! I really have no complaints! I have been teaching for about 2 months. It truly has blessed me a lot. There are things that I have learned about myself and also about the students. It is different being on the other side of the Expo marker. I would say that it has been different in a good sense.

I had an idea of teaching when I started looking for a teaching job. I have no classroom experience. I have never been taught how to put together a lesson plan. I have never been taught how to manage a classroom. My classroom looks like I took the 90′s, shook it, and I took what fell out and put it on my walls.

Nevertheless, I am learning. I feel as though when you get to high school its not as much what is on the wall as to what is in the heart and in the mind. Students wonder about all things about life. There are students with real hurt and pain. They are going through what an average 12-18 year old should not have to worry about. They are asking questions about God’s character and how does knowing that information apply to out lives. It has been great!

I would not trade being at CFCA for anything in the world. I thank God for the opportunity to teach! It has truly been a blessing so far!

The Illness and Honeymoon

After the ceremony illness ensued. Literally the day after the wedding I started to feel horrible. I threw up twice during the day and Natalie decided to take me to the urgent care nearby. I was given some medication with sedatives in it to help with my nausea. This was probably a bad idea because we had to be at the Denver airport at 11pm and I was taking the medication around 10pm. I was feeling horrible. My wife was taking good care of me though.

Sickness and health took on a meaning for us immediately.

Well through this whole thing I was wondering if I was well enough physically to fly. I was feeling horrible. In that moment I did not want to worry about flying. All I could think about was feeling nauseated and weak because I could not hold food down. But I talked it through with my wife and we came to the agreement that we will go to Cancun and that trying to change everything would be too much of a problem to change plane tickets and work out everything with the resort.

We decided to drag my sedated self through the airport.

This was probably one of the worse experiences I have ever had at an airport. I fell asleep every time I shut my eyes. Natalie told me that there were times that I was standing there and she just saw me with my eyes shut and almost falling over.

Minutes felt like hours. I can distinctly remember standing waiting for a tram to take us to the terminal and it took 10 mins to get to the place where we were waiting to board. The drugs were in full effect and it was not fun. There were no benches to sit on. I had my backpack on and every minute felt like 30. I know I complained. There is no doubting it. But Natalie said I wasn’t too bad. I married a great woman.

We made it through Denver and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale heading to Mexico. Our layover was 5 hours. I think I slept every minute of it. I don’t remember anything except a Coke guy came to refill the machine I was sleeping next to and he made me move and get off the ground.

The drugs didn’t fully wear off until I was in Cancun and past customs. I was fine after that. I guess it was a 24 hour bug I acquired maybe at the wedding reception somehow. I shook a lot of hands.

Our honeymoon was at Excellence Resorts, Playa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico! It was so beautiful!

From the initial walk through the doors we had our every need met. We were greeted with a friendly smile and pretty decent english. Our bags were taken from us and we had a glass of champagne in our hands before we knew what was happening. The bell hop took us to our room and outside the door was a banner that said “honeymoon”.

The room was awesome. Full room service anytime we wanted. A  mini-fridge that was restocked every day. Great pools, great beach, free everything. Those words all fit together. It was such a blessing to be there.

The only problem we encountered was that Natalie got sick a day after me in Cancun. She threw up once or twice and was feeling horrible all day. I know I was the culprit that gave her the virus. But she was only sick for a day also and we were fine after that.

The one trip we actually did outside of the resort was a trip to see Chichen Itza. It was an okay trip. It was good to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World though. We had to take a small bus ride to the place where all the other resorts and hotels meet to bring the guests to hop on a big tour bus to make the 2 hr drive out to Yucatan State where Chichen Itza is.

The bus was nice. We had a greyhound type bus with TVs in it so watch a video on the ruins we were going to see. The bus was full of tourists like us. When we got to the ruins it was not what I expected. There were vendors that lined the entrance to the park speaking what little English they knew to get us to come over there and buy something. It took away from the ruins. With Chichen Itza being a 7 Wonder of the World we expected a more quite, preserved site. Vendors were everywhere. They would follow your groups around just showing you things and saying “One dollar. One dollar.” So while we were listening to the history of the ruins we were getting asked to buy something.

The ruins were awesome. The huge pyramid they have there was pretty intense . It was massive. It was a joy to get out and get into some Mexican history. After the trip to Chichen Itza we stopped at a small old town called Valladolid. There we had a lunch buffet and were able to walk around the town a bit. After that we were taken to  Blue Cenote. It is a part of an underground water system. It is basically a huge hole in the ground where you can walk down some steps to get down to where the water is and swim if you want.

Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and the  Blue Cenote were all great. The tour lasted from 8am to about 6 or 7 pm. It was a long day but it was fantastic.

Our honeymoon was great and we wouldn’t have done anything different. It was good to spend some quality time with my bride on the beaches of Cancun. I need to thank my wonderful father for helping us get there. Wouldn’t be able to do it without him.

Estoy Casado!

So about a couple of weeks ago I married the wonderful woman I will spend the rest of my life with. It was a pretty amazing time. Two weeks before the wedding I caught a flight out to Colorado to spend the weeks leading up to the wedding with her family, do some sight-seeing and get ready for the wedding. My time out in Colorado was great. Natalie did a lot of stuff already in preparation for the wedding so we did not have to do a lot while I was up there. We still had some things that we needed to do so we were able to get them done. It was a very relaxing time at the beginning.

In between getting stuff and making stuff for the wedding we had a couple of days where we could do some hiking. So we went on Devil’s Head hike and also on Seven Bridges hike. Both were beautiful in their own right. Devil’s Head had a huge lookout at the top and Seven Bridges was a hike along side of a stream with some waterfalls. It was fun.

By the time the photographers came in it began to get serious. We still had some things to do before the wedding. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The back deck at the Huth’s residence was in the progress of being built the entire time I was there. We couldn’t put up decorations or anything in the back because of the deck not being built enough to where we could use it. It was very interesting to work around them working out there and wondering if it’ll get done in time.

So after the photographers came into town, my family quickly followed. I had two cars full of them. It was interesting corralling them all together and giving them stuff to do and directions to where they need to go because I didn’t really know what to do with them! That was the most stressful part of the whole week! Just getting that wild bunch something to do!

In the end it turned out great. Me and my bride had our wedding at the Garden of the God’s Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado and it was beautiful. The back deck at the Huth’s house was not completely done but it was done enough to where we could put up decore. The stairs were not put in but no one really noticed. It was a good time. We both enjoyed it.

The wedding went as good as I guess sit could without having a wedding planner. Natalie and I did most of the decisions at what to do next as we went along at the reception. It was kind of stressful but we didn’t really mind. It was a beautiful wedding and a wonderful time! We want to thank everyone for coming out and sharing this wonderful occasion with us! We greatly appreciate it!

Good to be home.

Well it has been a crazy time. The past month has been exciting! I am going to be doing a couple different blog posts describing those weeks before the wedding and the some of the illness that took over me and my wife before/on the honeymoon.

It has been good to be back home. We have moved into our apartment that is located near the school I will be working at this  school year. Natalie has gotten her name changed and is going to take the NCLEX soon. She already has been looking around for jobs at two of the big hospitals around here, Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional.

I am currently back at my old job working at a Boar’s Head distributor. I needed to get back to work until my teaching job starts at the end of July.  It has been very interesting trying to work from 5:00-4:00 every day and come home and get some stuff done for the school year. But we are doing great!

We both are excited about the future and what God has in store for us. We cannot see the entire trail ahead of us but we are on the path with the Guide we trust completely in. The Guide of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.