Wednesday, April 21, 2010

my first time actually seeing God in person.

It was somewhere around the summer of 2001. I had been so sick for so long that I could barely walk. I remember days where I would drag myself on the floor from my bed to the bathroom. It was about a 20 foot drag. If you have never died, you never know how close you are to death . I didn't know how far I was from it,but I remember wondering how much more sick you can get and actually still be breathing. Going to the bathroom every half hour for years takes it toll on your body. Add to that the fact that during the time I'm speaking of above,there was blood involved in almost all those bathroom trips,I was in dire shape. There was one day in particular where I was having one of the days I described above. I could'nt comprehend how I would live like this for much longer. I sat on my side at my computer ,which was pulled up next to my bed because it was hard to even sit up,and I begged the lord to show me that he was with me. I remember distinctly praying " Lord, I can't live like this anymore. Where are you? Please show me your with me thru all this." Not a second later, I kid you not,my computer went from windows and a black screen appeared and all of a sudden something like this started typing one character at a time, on my screen :
adfjklank bajiofadajipfea djiaadfedau894ju43890adam, dfa4n3w2l23n
2fadafsfda92q4-afldald9-p234mkflasd'jururjnsnb m.basgfadjklfhnvbn nmbjankl
hifnkasdnfan gyibadkf5y83o2nj19-pamldjfhikadfnah0-poalap-akau890a

this string of characters went on for about 30 seconds and spanned about 30 lines.... then all of a sudden it stopped,and windows fired up again..............overwhelmed yet still in my own flesh doubting what I had just seen I said again " Lord if that is you,do it again." ....a second later,, The exact same thing happened. 30 seconds of mass random characters being typed on dos and then windows firing back up.. I never saw that before or after happen again...God was faithful to my cry-out. He showed me that he was not gonna leave me this way,and in fact he had it all under control. The fact that I was not even a practicing christian then and he still was willing to send a supernatural sign is very cool. God always knows what he is doing, and 9 years later his works that day are still a part of my testimony. God knew I was years away from coming to him the way he wanted me to ,but he still was faithful to me. I have other experiences that I will share eventually,but to my knowledge this is my story of the first time I ever saw God work with my own eyes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why Loving a Sports Team Makes Less Sense Than Casual Dating

I will be the first to admit that I have been extremely blessed in the sports fulfillment category in the last few years. Since April of 2003 I have watched Syracuse basketball, New York Giants football,Boston Celtics basketball,and New York Yankees baseball win championships. I even had the pleasure to assistant coach , two state high boys basketball championship teams. If Al Davis were to get a hold of my recent resume he would probably grab me around the neck and beg me to explain to him how I "just win baby." However in all the joys of watching my die hard teams win titles over the years, I would trade every moment and title,  including the Giants Super Bowl upset of the undefeated Patriots, for just one Stanley Cup.

In saying that ,I know now what I have never had the privilege of knowing in over two decades of watching these games we call sports; the concept involved in being a die-hard fan makes no logical sense.

Loving a sports team makes less sense then casual dating. By my own observation 90 percent of relationships end. If you calculate every relationship from the flimsy to the marital and add them together I figure 1 out of 10 times a relationship lasts forever. More than half of marriages fail. Then you must factor in that at least 4 out of 5 relationships that start never make marriage. So my rough non-concise estimate is that only ten percent last.

But when it does last it is well worth it. Falling in love,being in love,and staying in love is a reward that keeps on giving. A time honored gratification. But when you think of the idea of how many times dating will end badly it really makes little sense in the manner we as a society date.

If I told you that nine out of ten times you go get a Slurpee at 7-11  the bottom would give out and you would be doused in wet mushy colored sugar. you would fore-go Slurpee's and even 7-11 due to the temptation of a Slurpee altogether. Well by my estimation loving a sports team ends worse more times then dating and love does. But there must be a reason that we keep following our sports teams right?

When the Giants won the Superbowl three years ago life just went on as normal around me the day after. Sometimes when significant things happen in my life I am perplexed,even frustrated, that the very next day no one cares. People still go to work,still cut you off in traffic,and still stuff their faces at McDonald's no matter how affected you are by a recent death, break-up,or even a sporting events outcome. How can you drive, eat or work after that? Don't you know that life is not supposed to ever be as it was again? That next day I wanted to yell at the people who were talking about other things. Did they not see the game? Do they not understand I'm on cloud nine ? Don't they care that I literally blacked out for a second when David Tyree made that catch.They didn't .

I coached my last high school basketball game that day. A few select fathers still thought I was incompetent. Funny because when I coached 18 State champions I was coaching the same way and the parents loved me. In spite of being 24 hours removed from My first Giants Super Bowl in over 7000 days, these two fathers still harassed me from the crowd. And they still reported me when they got wind that I swore under my breathe just loudly enough for the player next to me on the bench to hear me.

It's funny because I am pretty sure its the only time in six years of coaching that I used profanity out loud.(Still no excuse for swearing while coaching a christian school team. It's not like I was coaching Mcquaid or somebody.) 

Looking back I attribute my meltdown that day to the previous evenings events. Didn't these people know they were not allowed to pick on me less than 24 hours after my Giants pulled that upset off? Didn't they know that this range of emotions was not healthy for a human being to deal with? Didn't they know I loved this football team so much that I literally fainted after a watching a play in that game? Didn't they know they had no right to try to bring me down from this natural high? This behavior by them was fine after a regular season week 10 loss to the Bengals. But today? Not today.

I think I was so angry that they didn't know I deserved a one day reprieve from there biased cruelty, that I let out an expletive in protest. I'm even sure that during the day at some point these two fathers had cut someone off in traffic while eating a McDonald's Big Mac on their way to work. Life continues as usual.

My point is this. For 17 years I watched and suffered waiting for another Giants Superbowl and when the ultimate happened no one cared. I was texting my friend Jim a few weeks ago ,and asked him if he thought loving a team made any sense. I told him we spend so much time talking,debating, and watching and eventually maybe,just maybe the ultimate happens.

I almost felt guilty because I was whining to a Cleveland Browns fan. Is there any more harsh sports existence then being a fan of them?

I told him he would never accept what that team has done to him in a girl, so why is it OK in his sports team? If I told you you were gonna chase after a girl you were deeply in love with and 20 years later still be chasing her; and in the meanwhile she is going to do the following hurtful things to you: Fumble your feelings on the 1 yard line; years later actually disappear for 4 years without hearing from her; date another city; come back and blow a 17 point playoff lead; mire in obscurity for the next 8 years,would you consider staying with this girl? And all this for the hopes of one day having that one moment with her where everything is perfect, until the next day when everyone forgets and she is back to fumbling away your feelings? It's nonsensical and irrational self injurious behavior. Yet as sports fans it appears we wouldn't have it any other way

The Buffalo Sabres have broken my heart again. Yesterday they blew a 2 goal lead in a playoff game, after losing their best forward to injury. The series is tied at 1 and for all I know Thomas Vanek will be back for tomorrow's game. But in the eternal pessimist state I have learned to live in as a fan of this team, he might as well have spontaneously combusted on the ice. He is done. The season is over.(And it did indeed end 4 games later) Woe is Buffalo. I have watched all 82 games this season and when he went crashing into the boards, hobbling off, I swear I sent a mass text to anyone I knew would listen stating " Nice season.See you next year."

But why are they gonna see me next year? Why would I continue to do this to myself? If a girl spent 18 years breaking my heart,dumping me time after time,and even crashing into the pew's after getting slashed from behind on the knee cap from a jilted ex-lover halfway down the aisle at our wedding, wouldn't I get the point that its not meant to be? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for 18 straight seasons, shame on me.

I came to a bitter realization yesterday that the Sabres are not gonna win the Stanley cup this year. Heck,they probably never will. I vowed to Jim in a text that it's time to start transporting the time I focus on hockey on other things. ANY other things.
Why do we care so much? Is it the relationships and bonds we build with friends and family as we follow our teams religiously? Maybe.  Is it filling a void that nothing else can? Perhaps. Or is it merely unwavering insanity and self torture that we have learned to love so much that we can't fathom not feeling it? Probably.

Sure the ultimate goal might eventually come to you  and your "Cleveland Browns" or "Buffalo Sabres" might finally give you the championship you yearned and longed for one day. When it does come though, the next day you will still get cut off in traffic, A Big Mac will still clog up your arteries,and your boss will still demand results. No one cares but us. See you at the game.

Addendum : November 2010: I will soon be writing an article about a man who was born the day after the San Francisco Giants last won a baseball championship in 1954 and subsequently passed away the day before they won the World Series last month. Their first title since the day before he was born.  The cruelest of sports fates imaginable. Stay Tuned.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

definetely maybe

i have decided upon popular demand to start a blog to express the simply compound things that go on in my day to day life and mostly in my mind, up to and including bowel movements, romance (one letter in each person's name will be changed to protect the innocent ,for example a failed shot at love with "debbie " will be addressed as a failed shot at love with " debbi" on this blog..,,sports , seinfeld like thoughts that pop into my head all day ( today i was driving down empire blvd and wondered if the cost of putting fire hydrants every 1/8 of a mile or so is really worth it? woudlnt it be more economically viable just to let whatever is burning burn ? plus parking would be more ameable ..----.person a-" oh there's a gone it ,its in front of a hydrant" ,,person b-" dont worry about it,,they let everything burn now,new law..park it dawg" also would encourage people to be more a simple kitchen fire started from laziness would end up in a total loss of really would cause people to be more responsible around the house. just sick of looking at hideous,yellow 8 times a mile...,,,----------also i will be sharing about my walk with jesus,which sometimes over the years has felt like a moon walk,,but everyone knows the moonwalk only leaves you dead at the hands of prescription pills at an early age,and a different skin color then you started out as...but truly i am seeing God in basically everything now..where as the last 16 years since october 20th or so 1997 have been a physical abnormality on so many levels,and painstakingly difficult, i have finally figured out the roots of the enemies plans that he laid for me at the age of 14..he will attack you when your young,,to try to set you up for years to come.,if he can stranglehold you with lies and deception in your mind,it can lead to utter disease and breakdown of your body,,caused by yourself ,,which will lead you to apathy and self doubt and wallowing,,...i have seen the true meaning of the verse we wrestle against darkness and principalities and not flesh and blood,,the battle as a christian is deeper then what we see....but its never to late to recognize and destroy satan's plot..we are always victorious in jesus,,we just have to be willing to ask and let him work....anyways..i dont want to scare everyone away on my first blog so ,ill keep it easy and light until next time. the simplified lamen's terms point for non believers or skeptics is this..there is a 100 percent chance you will die one day,,after that happens,,there is a 100 percent chance something will happen the moment you die..there is a 100 percent chance that that something will be one of these three things,,you will go to heaven,you will go to hell, or you will never feel anything ever a christian i know that something will happen when i die..but for argument's sake there is the third option of nothing happening...imagine that is true..and as a believer i follow christ..only to find out when i die there was no God..will i be upset? will i throw a fit and yell at the God whom doesnt even exist for deceiving me? chances are i would never know that i was duped..and never think twice about it..hahah..but what if its real? what if we are gonna spend forever somewhere perfect or somewhere very imperfect? we live in a world where we fret about everything,,careers ,money ,food ,romance,houses,cars...but its all deceptive if you lose track of the fact you are going to die,and you are going to be transformed in some way into an eternal existence the moment you do succumb..interesting? ..ill leave with a few quotes and a scripture,,thank you for reading ,especially to my family members who are sure to possibly be the only one's reading this.....also ..tonite is game one of the sabres playoff series with boston..i will be there at the game,,with eric magnussen (name not protected to protect the innocent ),jim carpenter,,and my favorite young child ever,sam carpenter...if this team and this city ever won a stanley cup i would cry like a baby for days..sports touch on so many different levels of emotion ,,if you dont get it,i wont explain it because its inexplicable..but lets go buffalo...we want the cup..16 wins........blunty speaking,,if you want to go to heaven..pray this prayer..,its not a dog and pony show..its very simple to become a christian.of course when you pray it you have to also believe it and have faith that it is learning to see people as souls and not humans,,very very intense actually ,but when you have gone thru as many things physically as i have ,you just dont see the world the way you do when your healthy and life goes as planned.i will incrementally introduce you to the intensity of what my body has done to me over the years,,and also what i have finally learned in it all..i thought i was cursed for 16 years until last october when it all finally made sense,thanks to clarity from God,,every blessing and curse is your choice..nooone is cursed,and noone is blessed,unless you choose to be one or the other....anyways..thanks for listening..try not to start a fire,,cuz you never know when the hydrants will be vacated.....random thoughts from today...1) really it took me 30 years to discover the public market? 4 pounds of raw honey for 13 dollars? a thing of tomatoes for a buck? is this heaven or iowa? ..2) the atmospheric emotion in downtown buffalo on the day of a playoff hockey game is like combining christmas as a child and the first time you hold a girls hand ,all in one...i am 6 hours away from feeling it and get goosebumps just thinking about it...again,,sports,you either get it or you dont.....3) why did this librarian just kick me off a computer when there is six vacant ones in this row alone? sure it has been an hour and thats the limit,but im pretty sure when im the only one in the whole row,you can make an exception..its my tax dollars that put the chain on the back of your glasses ...4) hockey,,hockey,,hockey...5) " i'm day to day but then again,aren't we all" .... HERE IS THE SALVATION PRAYER: "God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross at Calvary, and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in Jesus' precious and holy name. Amen." if you prayed that you have just eliminated one of the more unsavory options of the three things that are guaranteed to possibly happen to you at death..congrats....