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Archive for June, 2011


When you move cross country, a few things change.  One of those is getting back home for vacation.  Gone is the direct flight.  Now there are connections, and more expensive connections.  We fly Southwest: yes, we are those kind of people.  They just started flying into Newark, and with 4 people flying the price differential was significant enough for us to fly there instead of our usual Albany.  I guess it all starts there.

This will work toward our advantage in at least one way.  Since we are vacationing earlier than usual, we’ll be joining the extended family in their annual trip to the shore.  Don’t call it the ‘beach’- I get admonished each time I do.  Maybe I should just call it the playa.  I don’t want to think I’ve joined the show Jersey Shore.  I may be an Italian-American, but I’m not a Guido and I don’t have lots of gold jewelry, bad clothes and a worse accent.

It was a short night.  I didn’t sleep exceedingly well, and was actually up before my clock radio started playing Charlie Peacock at 5:15 (I don’t have Quadrophenia on tape, so…).  Since CavWife was in the shower, I spent a few downstairs with some tea and the internet.  Then a quick shower and I got dressed.  I decided to wear “My Lucky Underwear”.  Yes, it literally says that on the underwear between the little shamrocks.  By the end of the trip I wasn’t feeling quite so lucky.

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Unlike all the paid professionals, I’ve had a little more time to digest the NBA Draft.  Of course, that doesn’t mean my analysis is any better.  I didn’t spend hours investigating all the potential draft picks.  I’ve been a bit busy with a job and kids.  I’d look at the usual sites and see the mock drafts.

I had a meeting in Phoenix the night of the draft.  So I had to hit the DVR to record the draft for me.  So, when I got home I raced through 4 1/2 hours of draft coverage in record time.  I got to skip over the over-analysis, particularly of players/teams I was not interested in learning about.

There is one thing I do know.  If I were the Cavaliers, I would have picked Derrick Williams instead of Irving.  It saddens me to see a guy who played like 3 games get picked #1.  Williams has displayed a willingness to develop as a player.  He’s got more than “upside”, but shown an ability to tap that potential.  In my opinion he is farther ahead of the other PFs than Irving is ahead of the other PGs.  Just my opinion.  The Cavs would have avoided unrealistic expectations on an untested PG, and could have gotten at worst the 2nd best PG in the draft to go with the best big man in the draft.

I was a bit surprised by all the of the foreign players taken in the first round.  It was part weak college year and part Nowitzski effect.  Lots of unpronounceable names.  I wouldn’t mind if Nikola Vucevic had fallen to the Celtics.  He had some time to develop at USC and played against American players.  He’s been developing his potential.  I appreciated the Morris brothers being picked, in order, within 5 minutes of each other.  Just one of those interesting personal stories.

I was relatively excited with the Celtics drafted Marshon Brooks, the ‘prolific’ scorer out of Providence College.  That was until the analysts said something about him not playing a lick of defense.  Sounded like a wasted pick right then and there.  I knew he wouldn’t get off the bench if he didn’t play defense no matter how many points he can score.

Our Two Boilermakers

So, I was among the many Celtics’ fans who breathed a huge sigh of relief when the trade with New Jersey was announced.  This might be part of why New Jersey has stunk for quite some time.  First, they wasted a draft pick moving up to get a guy that would have fallen to them a few picks later.  Second, he doesn’t play defense and you won’t win unless you play defense.

The Celtics ended up with the very thin, but wiry strong, JaJuan Johnson.  He played 4 seasons at Purdue, improving each year, to become their player with the most career wins.  He plays defense, blocks shots, gets rebounds (though I’d prefer if he got more of them), and can score.  He’s sort of the antithesis of Big Baby- thin, able to jump & block shots.  He will be expected to contribute soon if not right away.

It was interesting that Steve Bulpett has changed his mind on the subject of JaJuan.  He was fairly unimpressed.  But then a trusted scout called him.  This guy, who apparently has a very impressive track record, believes that JaJuan can help the Celtics now.  He was surprised that he fell to the Celtics, and sees him as a great replacement for Kendrick Perkins (who was not that great of a rebounder either).

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Yesterday, as all of us who don’t live under rocks know, was Father’s Day (or is it Fathers’ Day).  In a fallen world, such a day is somewhat tricky.

I now view this day from 2 vantage points.  I view it as the son of an imperfect but pretty good father.  I also view as the imperfect father of children.  There are dangers on every side.

I probably struggled with my relationship with my father the most after graduating with my decree in counseling.  Fancy that, huh?  I did have to take an honest look at my father, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  But if you get stuck there, you become bitter.

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I was pretty young during the Bruins’ hey-day.  Too young to remember it or enjoy it.  My dad took me to a few games at the Garden when I was a kid.  I love watching hockey live- TV?  Only during the playoffs.  During my adult life, they have been an exercise in frustration.  The times they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, they really looked over matched.  Since Cam Neely retired, they have been mired in mediocrity.  Anytime they had a star, they had nothing around him.  Eventually they would trade him for a bag of dry, crusty bread.

Last year I thought they had a chance.  Then Krejci went down and the Flyers took a series they had no chance in before that.  I can’t stand the Flyers, they ruined the Bruins’ chances too many times by injuring key players.

I was not sure how good this year’s Bruins were.  I seemed to have always checked the headlines when they were struggling.  Savard’s concussion was a bit of a blow.  They just didn’t look strong heading into the playoffs.

And they didn’t start strong.  Down 0-2 to the despised Canadians, it didn’t look good.  Amazingly they came back to take the series and advance to play … the Flyers.  It was a time of redemption.  This year’s series against them was what last year’s was supposed to be- a sweep.  That felt really good.

On to Tampa Bay.  The Lightening were not a good match up for the Bruins.  That was probably the toughest series the Bruins had.  It really could have gone either way.  The 7th and deciding game was full of great hockey.

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Last night CavWife and I, along with other friends in ministry and their wives, were invited to a screening of the soon to be release movie (9/30) Courageous.  This is the latest movie to come out of Sherwood Baptist Church.  They started with Facing the Giants, then Fireproof.  The quality of production improved, as has the Hendricks brothers ability.  The first deal with committing one’s life to Christ, the second addressed marriage.  And this new one addresses the issue of parenting, particularly fatherhood.

They write what they know, small town Georgia.  This movie starts off with excitement as some gang members try to carjack a car at the gas station.  The man, so we are lead to believe, over-reacts.  But he has good cause, as you’ll discover.  The actor was also in Fireproof.  They tend to build relationships with the actors, so they brought him back for the role of Nathan.  Nathan is the new man on the police force, and a committed family man.

Alex Hendrick, who co-wrote and produced it with his brother, directs and returns as its main character, Adam.  He’s a police officer who is worn out by the time he comes home.  He doesn’t seem to have time for his kids.  He’s often self-conscious, pulling back from fully engaging with them.  Their partners are a single man, and a divorced man.  We never see their fathers, though we hear about some of them.  These men were largely raised without fathers, and they are just coming to grips with the gaps in their lives through the choices they’ve made.

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In 1986 a new friend lent me a cassette of an album called Fearful Symmetry by a band called Daniel Amos.  I had heard nothing like it and I had been exposed to a wide variety of music.  I was a new Christian at the time.  I didn’t like it.  But I gave it a few listens.  It grew on me, like mold.

Soon Daniel Amos was my favorite band.  I never got to see them in concert, having just missed a show in Boston at the Paradise Club just behind my dorm at Boston University.  That was one of their last tours.  Their last album came out in 2001 just before I got married.  I figured I’d never have a chance to see them.

This summer, that all changes.  They recently announced a summer tour and they have 2 dates in Arizona.  The show in Phoenix is booked for the night I get back from a mission trip to Mexico.  There still isn’t a site in Tucson for the date (hello, someone).  I’m planning to go to the show in Phoenix unless a location in Tucson comes together.  Being new here, I just don’t have the connections yet.  But I’m working on it.

This had me thinking about a set list.  What songs would I want them to play.  Yeah, they would be there longer than the double disc Live at Cornerstone 2000 recording I have.  After all, they have 12 albums to draw from.  I’ve been meaning to do this, but keep forgetting.  But Pam Mark Hall just posted that the rehearsals sound great and mentioned some songs they are prepping for the shows.

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A Good Response to Ed Steven

I’ve begun preparing a Sunday School series on The Revelation (note to all Hollywood screenwriters, there is not “s” on the end!).  This is no simple undertaking.  There are so many presuppositions that play a role in interpreting Revelation that is just is insane.

One of the things I’m doing early on is to address the four primary views of Revelation: historicist, futurist, preterist and idealist.  These views feed into millennial positions, but are foundational.  They include presuppositions and interpretative issues.  Though I am a partial preterist and idealist (yes, I use bifocals in looking at Revelation), I wanted to spend some time trying to understand the full preterist position.

Why?  I ask myself that same question.  It is such a minority viewpoint that it seems pointless.  But, sometimes I do crazy things.

Years ago I worked my way through someone’s personal library after their death.  It had been willed to a few people, one of whom I knew, who no longer lived in the area.  They asked me to catalog it in exchange for the books they did not want.  Oddly, they didn’t want the eschatology.  The deceased had a thing for eschatology, but not the Hal Lindsey thing.  He liked full preterism.  So I kept those.

This past week I spent some of my spare time going through What Happened in A.D. 70? by Edward Stevens.  It is a booklet.  In this booklet, the author seeks to demonstrate that all of the prophecies regarding the end of time and the return of Jesus were fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem.  I know, most of you are not just thinking, but saying out loud, “Is that guy crazy?”

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