Wednesday, May 26, 2010
By Joe DiBella
I am the first to admit that I feel socially awkward at times. I always seem to be analyzing my performance, sometimes even as my words are coming out. I even spent a month on Paxil, a social anxiety disorder pill, about 7 years ago. I quickly went off of it when I realized it was doing me no good. It actually caused me to wake up many mornings unable to decipher my dreams as dreams or reality. Honest to God, I woke up torturing myself about whether a dream was real or not. That was my signal to cut the chord on the social anxiety drugs. So for all intensive purposes I have spent 29 years and 9 months of my life tackling social graces with my own non-prescriptioned brain. Let me share with you what I have discovered about people when it comes to probably the most underrated, yet pivotal aspect of socializing. Come with me as we journey into the lost art of making someone feel important when you talk to them.
I am pretty sure that everything I learned about socializing can be accredited to my perplex social existence. In my own social walk, I have only in the last six months started to believe what God says about me ,and not what I think about me. I truly believe everyone wants to be made to feel important. Often times people will chase after this desire without any awareness or interest as to whether the person making them feel important really values them or is just pretending they are important for socializing sakes. My analytical tendency in this domain is both a blessing and blessing's contradictor. Sometimes I find myself asking people questions just to meet a quota that I have devised in my mind of how involved and important I want the person to think that I'm making them. However other times, I am truly interested in what I'm asking and aware of the level I'm involving them in a genuine way. I'll sometimes ask questions that I don't care to hear about the answers to. Even sometimes asking questions in which I hope and pray will have zippy,concise,and impeded answers. Like I said before, the most important thing when talking to someone is making them feel important. I want that importance to be a pure desire in my heart as I participate. Is that a realistic goal? I continue to try to grow selfless in my question asking. Who knows,maybe one day I'll be able to conquest the question asking to not only make the other person feel important at all times, but also peek my own interest at all times as well. Which brings me to my lesson on how to make people feel important when you socially interact. I'll take what I have learned, both good and bad,and melt it into one pot of advice that I hope will help you in your daily social settings. This is my lesson in the 3 categories of question asking that are essential to becoming the social butterfly you always wanted to be.
1) ASKING QUESTIONS THAT ARE COMPLETLY OBVIOUS:
It doesn't always have to be complicated. I once read somewhere of a husband who came home from a long day's work and decided to stab his wife. She lived through it and when asked by investigator's what happened right before the stabbing occurred she was quoted as saying, "I asked him how his day at work was." I'm pretty sure there was a little more going on there then a man stabbing a woman for being inquisitive about his day. Don't worry, more times then not when asking someone how their day was you will not get stabbed.But the simple questions are important.
I remember I once was fraternizing with a person who struggled to ask me the simple questions. Now maybe she just wasn't that into me. That is a story for another time. I found myself one day driving in the car with her, asking her a gauntlet of questions;” How was work?”,” How do you like the moon tonite?","How is your hang nail feeling?" I went thru the gamut of questions and she answered. But nothing in return. So I started asking myself questions out loud with her present, posing as her. I asked myself how my day was, how my bowels were moving, and if i needed to stop at the store for toilet paper. I was so frustrated that this person couldn’t ask me a good question, that I actually went inquisitive Ingrid on myself. This wasn't just a write off as a bad day for this person either. It occurred often. This act of inability to ask the simple questions has occurred with many people I have encountered in my days as a social human being. I just don't get how I can involve you so prevalently and you have no awareness to involve me. That incident above was the only time I stepped out and asked myself questions I wished my company was asking.However,it surely wasn't the first time I wanted to do so.
2) ASKING QUESTIONS THAT ARE SELFISH:
Thankfully to some of you, we have come to the portion where you can actually involve people, while still meeting your unquenchable selfish desires in the process. It's okay and even encouraged to ask questions that have selfish overtone to them. For example: If you call up your friend and want to go to the local chess tournament that is in town to rail your favorite chess prodigy and want to invite him,that's great! Heck you might be using them for the company because your first choice and best friend, 'Buckwheat' is out of town and he is the only other friend who hasn't blocked your number. Call him up and ask the obvious questions first. Then feel free to start asking the questions that require certain answers to make you happy. You can even twist his arm psychologically if you want to do so. Here is a sample conversation of what I mean by this selfish question asking that makes him or her feel important, but also gets you what you want. You: “Hey Tiny Tim, how’s the lazy eye?"Them: “It’s never going away, I told you this the last time you called." You: "Well you never know with technology these days. I just care about you man. You know I care about you right? You're like the brother I never had." Them: “Sorry I blew up. I know you care about me just by all the great questions you ask me every time we speak." You: "You're forgiven. You know how you can make up for your blind fit of rage? Would you like to go to the chess bonanza with me tonight? You owe me." Them: "Well I don't want to, but I feel bad for treating you like manure, and I'm flattered you asked, so yes." ......See what you just accomplished? You stroked your friend’s ego with your flattering questions, up to and including one that just bought you a friend date for the chess match this weekend. That's what we call a "Win, Win." Feel free to be selfish in some of your question asking. Actually feel free to be selfish in one third of your question asking. I will ask you how your day was, then ask if you can fill me in on which coffee shop my ex girlfriend is going to be hanging out at tonight so I can see who she left me for.Then I'll even ask you to go with me on my stalking venture. I involved you, garnered my own selfish information, and asked you three questions which made you feel like I care; and care I do.
3) ASKING QUESTIONS THAT ARE RECOLLECTIVE:
I always like to throw in the mixture of recollective questions, because it always makes me feel important when someone throws out a random question referencing something you never thought they would remember. When I'm talking to someone I'm trying to store away what they are saying. Sometimes this backfires. I am so focused on what they are saying that I forget to come up with something to say back that is clever. So lets say your telling me something profound like you think you found the cure for tooth decay. I might quip back with ,"Your socks are looking good." It's because I am so focused on what you just said I forgot to think about what I wanted to talk about. Anyways, I store away information because I really want to remember details of their dialect. I more often then not,sincerely want to know them better. I also do this because you can make someone feel good just by recalling a detail of what they said and transforming it into an inquisitive transition. For example, if someone tells you they have herpes of the mouth, you want to store away that information for those two reasons I stated above. This only will work as a conditional, because you can run into major problems if you store it away just for the broad recollective points later on and not also for the genuine sincerity factor. If your heart isn't in the right place, it later could come out all wrong as a question regarding the incorrect form and location of the condition he or she has described. So, a few weeks later when you see your friend you can say, "Hey Billy Bob, How are you, want to see a film at the local film showing place tonight, and how the heck is your herpes of the mouth?" I'm telling you, people feel good when you remember something they mentioned. Then to not only bring it up, but give them a chance to speak more about themselves..........
I wrote this piece with a cynical edge, but I really believe everything I wrote. Try to make sure you are involving the other person on a few levels of question asking. I would say keep a tab in your head of the percent of his or her questions, to the percent of yours. It should never deviate between the quarter poles either way. If it deviates towards you asking too many,run as fast as you can because this person is selfish beyond belief. If it deviates to the bottom quarter,with you asking less than one fourth of the time,fix it. It's not hard to make people feel important, and it's even easier if they truly are important to you. You never want it to be contrived, although sometimes I suppose it has to be.
There is likely no human way possible to be giddy about every word spoken into your ears. However a true selfless character will take those situations and see the person you’re engaging with as a soul whom is looking for acceptance and gratification. I always am trying to better myself as a socializer. I want to get to the point where I can make anyone feel important. Not just as an act of social awareness, but as an act of humanity. I love trying to understand people and why they do what they do and say what they say. The reason I suceeded in the world of poker is because I studied why people did what they did and said what they said ,and what it meant underneath the surface. I was generally interested in everything they said and did,because my night's pay depended on it. Now I am trying to take that negative energy and take the same theories and turn it into a positive.
One way to truly get to know someone is to involve them with the questions you ask. I hope this helps you to understand what I believe is the psyche of many people when corresponding with others. Of course, it could just be me who thinks this way. I guess the only way for me to find out is to ASK.
Monday, May 24, 2010
forgive me, as the only punctuation i will be applying in this blog tonite is capitalizing the word God. its 2am.what do you want from me?
tomorrow i am getting the oppurtunity to talk about God to someone that is very very important to me. please pray that this goes well. i am gonna ask this person to pray the salvation prayer. i have always had a burden for his or her soul. so this is huge to have this chance. its all that matters .
As part of promoting our church addictions class, I am giving a 3 to 5 minute testimony in front of my church on sunday at all 3 services. i am going to speak of what i dealt with in falling into the poker boom,head first. also correlate it with my health, and the escape that the money involved in gambling for a living provided me. One day soon i will detail my venture in gambling here in a lengthy article which many of you will skim. haha. i think its important for me to write about it.
i kind of worry that im self promoting too much..."like i did this great thing and i did that great thing and im getting my life together and im holier than thou"...just to keep myself grounded for you who think im tooting my own horn too prevelantly,,im gonna list some things i have sucked at lately.
1) i ordered a water at panera today ,and filled it with about 5 sips of pepsi and drank it, before i filled it with water..so im a thief
2) i said the s word the other day in the privacy of my own home when i smashed my knee on my table miscalculating a turn from the living room into the dining room.freaking equilibrium...so i curse like a sailor.
3) i didnt fill my rental car back up with gas to the point where it was when i got it cuz i noticed on the receipt he didnt mark the spot i got it at..- so im a liar (it really is a sin, good thing sins are forgiven by his grace )
4) i selfishly have wanted to meet a girl that meets the following extensive criteria
a) wants to know what me and her can do for God and not exclusively what i can do for her
b) doesnt want just the normal american cushy life,,wants to outreach more then earn paychecks and gather up belongings..(spoken like a guy that doesnt earn a large wage,,haha)
c) wont run away in a time of challenge ,fleeting hearts blow chunks.
d) will give me a freaking kid ( inside of the marriage realm of course ,ha) , so i can love something unlike any other thing i could possibly love
e ) has always been a female
f) can rent a car in the state of New York.
-----so im selfish ,,,,,,,,,,,,but really i am challenged to do even the little things the way God wants me to.. they say the little things mean everything in life..so i dont wanna breach my character in any way,even in a few sips of soda. still such a challenge , good character doesnt come naturally sometimes throughout the day. i do however give the peace sign now to people that flick me off or get angry at me on the road...i think it upsets them more though..it really is funny when i didnt do anything wrong and i get gestured at. it is even more funny when its clear they have made the wrong move on the road and somehow blame me. yesterday this guy just waddled out into the road when i had the right of way and i had to stop and let him go by,,but somehow he was throwing his arms up at me like i did something wrong..i laughed and gave him the peace sign..haha
see im not perfect and i feel good saying it. now onto some more awesome things im doing..ha..
Here is my life tally in the categories that matter
Days without gambling : 176
Souls God has allowed me to participate in helping get Saved since i obeyed him and stopped gambling : 4
Days where I took money out of the Atm to gamble since i quit gambling : 1
Which brings me to my point. I have to make a conscientious decision everyday to not give in to the tempation of playing no limit texas hold em. It's easy whenever something goes wrong to think about what i used to facilitate my sadness with,and that is poker. I need to thank God everyday i wake up that he will help me not to gamble,and even take away the desire altogether. I was driving to the casino about 2 months ago to play. I had something happen in my life that upset me and in the moment,there i went..about a third of the way there God started to remind me of the awful feelings i used to have at the casino. He reminded me of the nasty hot dogs i would eat alone in the middle of the nite . He reminded me of the rest stop near darien lake that i would sleep at on the way home because i coudlnt keep my eyes open for another second . he reminded of the empty feeling you get when you hit that elevator after a nite of losing. God has rewarded me in my obedience by being there when he knows im weak. When i started to think of these things the desire to gamble left me and i turned around . God is so cool. He really is..He will never leave you or forsake you,if you just give him a chance.
Song of the blog: When my ex girlfriend broke up with me early last year,propelling me into trying to quit gambling ,this song was the one i heard the most and played over and over in my car,it was very fitting,,of course i faltered and didnt actually quit for good for another 9 months..but this song is so fitting to starting over,and just surrendiering your pain and problems to the love of the one who actually formed you. this song is powerful,and this band is just amazing. We are never broken beyond repair. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hwEhXwJ86g&feature=related
Sports thought of the blog: My basketball team is gonna blow a 3-0 lead and lose the series 4-3 ..chalk it down.... Also , Dwight Howard,, God doesnt care who wins a Celtics -Magic playoff game so stop saying that the only reason you won tonite was " cuz God wanted us to" ..... liesssssss all liessssss...
Quote of the blog: " I never said most of the things I said ."- Yogi Berra.
'Never ending Hilarity' of the blog : Last week I went to a red wings game with my friend t-bone,and forgot my i.d. Well I wanted a beer , so I ordered one,and they asked for my i.d. I told them I didn't have it and they said I can't buy beer without it. So i took off my hat and showed them about 4 days worth of not shaving my head. Apparently it was quite a scene up there. I announced to them , " look at my head,do you know alot of under 21 year old's that have male pattern baldness like this?" The guy laughed and gave me the beer. This also worked again later when I went back for another one. (it was a 4 hour game ,I'm not a lush) .... So after all these years of being bald,it has finally turned out to be good for something. ,It's funny because i started to go bald right at 21 ( the drinking age) , thanks to prescription steroids, so I could have been using my head all along instead of my Id.. Really though i saw a kid who was bald playing high school basketball once so its a flawed concept,,but the red wings vendors didnt know that... the key is having it grown out a few days so they can see the distinct lack of hair on top to the proportion of hair on the sides..
I am sure I have more to say, but i cant keep my eyes opened any longer. Thanks for reading,and down with fire hydrants!!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Flying on the Wings of an Angel - The 2005-2006 Finney Falcons State Championship run from my perspective
By Joe DiBella
Five Years ago this July I was faced with untimely death for the first time since I was four years old and lost my Grandma at a young age. I walked into my house on a late July day in 2005 and my mother told me that someone I coached named “Alex " had died in a biking accident overseas. She didn't know him and didn't know if he meant anything to me, just that he was a kid I coached. However this was no ordinary kid. He was special to me and to countless others.
I had just talked to him days before online. He told me specifically that he would be coming back the following March to watch his friends win the sectional basketball title. Little did I know that would be the last time that I spoke to this vibrant 16 year old. Little did I know that his prophecy that we would win sectionals and he would return to watch it would be fulfilled only in half. Little did I know the other half of his prophecy would be fulfilled by a family looking for healing and renewed faith, thru a team they had never even met. Little did I know the next year of my life as well as the kids, coaches, and parents involved in Charles Finney basketball, would be a storybook fairy tale. Beginning in tragedy and culminating with the ultimate in sports utopia.
I head coached Junior Varsity basketball for the C.G. Finney High School, and assisted on Varsity for the 2005-2006 seasons. The story though begins with the season before. Alex Soesters was a senior and a foreign exchange student from Germany. He was a vibrant, humurous, intelligent kid, whom everyone took to in some way. I remember one of my first experiences with him was sitting at the end of the bench arguing with him about who should pour the water for the team. My case was that he was the last player in so he should get the water. His case was that I was only on the bench to get water for the players. This playful debate was running banter between us all season, with me winning out most of the time.But not due to lack of argument and insight on his part.
We fell short in the Class D semi-finals to Elba and Alex's basketball career came to an end. Coaches and players agreed he was the hardest working player on the court allot of the time. The talent just wasn't there because he had never picked up a basketball before. However the loudest the gym got that season was with "We want Alex” chants from the crowd, and the cheers that were let out when he finally scored a basket.
I also got to also then coach him in baseball after the basketball season. I will never forget two things about that season with Alex. One was at East Rochester. I was coaching third base and Alex was up. He got hit on the hand with a fastball and did the most painstaking, awkward and silly "pain dance" down to first base. It was so effeminate that the third basemen asked me what his deal was.He told us He had never been hit with a baseball before. He promised he never would be hit with one again after learning of its wrath. My other memory was driving to a baseball game in Lyndonville with him and a few others. We passed the adult video and book store entitled "Lusty Life" and Alex asked me, "What is Lusty Life?" I told him it was a book store but didn't tell him its origin. He said he was interested in possibly applying for a part time job at "Lusty Life." He was dead serious. We were all laughing and finally told him what really was going on inside of the store. He thought it was hilarious, and jokingly said that he still wanted to apply.
Upon hearing about his death I didn't know what to do with myself. How could this kid full of life and so youthful be gone at the drop of a dime? Our Varsity coach was asked to speak at the funeral in Germany. While he was gone I was asked to coach the summer league game that was played a few days after Alex's passing. All of those involved with this program knew that the group of kids that were on Varsity now was set apart. They were a special bunch, who had been waiting for this upcoming year for years. They had been playing together non-stop for years and had grown into a sort of family, a band of brothers in the basketball realm. When they all came into the pre-game huddle that night for the first time as a group after Alex's death, none of them knew what to say to each other.
I remember telling them, amidst their unspoken sorrow that cut like a knife thru the huddle, "You made the last year of that kid's life the best of his life. You guys did it, you should be proud, he loved all of you. Now go out there and play for him for the next year." They all put their hands in and I don't know who came up with what happened next. It might have even been a whimsical group epiphany. In a 100 degree gym in late July in front of about 15 fans, where the usual chant had been '1-2-3 ,win’, or '1-2-3 defense', out of their mouths came '1-2-3,Alex.' For the next 8 months, that chant which began in utter sorrow and disbelief, in front of barely a soul but themselves, became the chant of every huddle break and the motto of their season. A season that would end 400 miles away ,in front of thousands, with a trophy in their hands that defined destiny in a way that would make Walt Disney envious.
To understand and appreciate what follows you have to know what preceded this dream season. I had followed Finney basketball as either a fan,coach,or player, for over a decade. Times were not always good. Not by a long shot. The program had struggled over the years mired in obscurity and losing. They had never gotten past the Class Semi-finals. Amid coaching changes and player discontent, the current varsity coach arrived on the scene in 1997, with a motivational philosophy that hinged on teamwork and dedication. The next eight years were spent either running into a buzz saw, coming up short in talent versus talent, or not having the cohesiveness among players that you need to gel and succeed.
As coach looked ahead to this particular group, he knew that his vision for success was finally going to have a chance to come to fruition. This team didn’t care about anything but each other and winning. They considered everything else minutia that they couldn’t and wouldn't allow to get in the way of putting up that first school banner on the wall.As summer league turned into the regular season, you could see this group of boys were playing for something more then themselves. They loved each other, they loved their coaches, they loved winning, and they loved their fallen teammate.
In December, a plaque was unveiled in honor of Alex.His number 20 was retired across the board in Finney sports. As the playoffs rolled around, Finney had secured their first number one basketball seed in the 14 years of the school's existence. Sometime before the playoffs began I wrote Alex's parents an email telling them of the last conversation I had with Alex. I told them how he was planning on coming back to watch this team win sectionals.
A few days after I wrote this, I got an email from his parents saying they wanted to take his place and come to watch the semi-final and if needed final of the tournament. Coach read a letter from his parents that they sent to be read to the team before the first playoff game. It stated how proud they were of the team. Also How much the team had meant to Alex and in turn, now meant to them. It also said in so many words,"If you win tonight, we will be flying in from Germany next week to watch you guys win sectionals." The burden could have been enough to weigh an ordinary team down. However they were too inspired to let it bear any burden. They were too determined to fulfill their dream. They were too hellbent on helping a family in mourning heal.
They went out and clobbered their quarterfinal opponent and advanced on to the Semi-finals.When the Soesters arrived, they came into a practice to meet the players. They were a friendly, mild-mannered family of three, desperate to breathe in the surroundings of their son's last year of life. Seldom in life are you allowed the reward of healing while simultaneously living out a dream. Everyone involved here was getting that chance. The media got a hold of the story and were doing interviews and headline reports on the team and family. This obscure basketball program had now been cast into the limelight. However nothing had been accomplished yet on the court. We were still two wins away from the championship.
In the semi-finals, Finney won handily, to advance to their first championship game. Three days later, Finney cruised to victory in the title game at the War Memorial. The Soester's were invited down onto the court for the postgame celebration. With tears in their eyes and news camera's rolling, they were handed the trophy. Alex had vowed to be there for this event and he was. Just in a much different way then anticipated. I remember hugging his mother thinking the goal was accomplished. She didn't think so however. She told me that this team was now going to win a state championship.
It had never occurred to me until that moment that that could happen.The Soester's went back to Germany and Finney began the process of trying to qualify for the Glen's fall’s state semi-final and final. Advance they did. They won 3 games and found themselves in the State championship game. Their opponent would be a perennial powerhouse and the defending state champions. After the state semifinal victory the representative from Section Five was overheard talking about the outlook for Finney in the next day's title game versus the juggernaut state champions. He said something to the tune of, ' Good for them, they finished second in the state. There is no shame in that.' I had seen this type of anecdotal motivation work in the movies. Now it was being thrust into play in our lives. Our own rep counted us out. Little did he know. Oh ye of little faith.
Before the State Championship game I remember thinking what I would say to them if Coach asked me if I had any words. I was sure he wouldn’t because it wasn't often he asked me to give an opinion to the team before the game. Just in case though I figured out exactly what I wanted to tell them.
In the locker room before the game he did end up asking me if I wanted to say anything. He had just given a heartfelt speech about how much they meant to him and was very emotional, as was everyone in the room. He asked me if I had anything and out it came. I said, "This team can't beat you 6 on 5, no one can beat you 6 on 5.” I don't even know how I got it out without breaking down, or if anyone even heard me in that moment. I just felt like they needed to know that it was divinity that brought them there that night and that Alex was going to be on the court with them.
An hour and a half later, Finney won the state championship in overtime in one of the best basketball games I have ever witnessed on any level. As we all walked thru the handshake line after the game, with tears in our eyes, I couldn't help but think of that first summer league game after Alex died. This group of kids was special in so many ways, and had rode the coat tails of dedication to a fallen teammate, to an accomplishment only themselves believed could be reached. A parent had made a poster and sent it down to the floor. On it was the playoff brackets with Finney listed as State champs with the phrase ' 1-2-3, Alex’ below. It was the first time I had seen it on paper. It looked infinitely better then '1-2-3, Defense'.
I mentioned above that the story of the 2005-2006 Finney boys basketball team would end in the ultimate utopia. In my mind, there is no higher level of pure sports bravado then High school sports. It’s presumably and predominantly the last of the untampered and incorrupt competitive sports levels in America. Pro athletes are overpaid and greed based. College athletics are tampered with and impure. High school sports are passion driven. What this group of kids accomplished was in my opinion the ultimate in pure feats left in American athletics. They let fate play out in their lives, and contributed with their own individual roles leading to team euphoria; spear headed by something bigger then them.
It would be hard to dispute God's role and hand in this year long adventure. I'll always remember hearing of how Alex's mom had followed the state championship game on the internet from Germany. It was the middle of the night there when it ended and she had woken up Alex's father to tell him of the win. She simply told him, "We did it!” When I think about that statement I realize what "We" encompassed. "We" was simply a group of individuals that allowed God to manifest a situation as difficult as death into a fateful journey to healing, bonding, jubilation, and the fulfillment of a dream. Five on five they were mere mortals. However with Alex's memory carrying them and God's indelible handprint guiding the way, they played that season Six on Five. They flew on the wings of an angel, led by a God who never finishes second. We did it.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I threw out all my secular cd's in the Delta Sonic garbage can next to the gas pump about 6 months ago. It was about 75 cd's. I thought about selling them or giving them away, but figured if I dont want to subject myself to some of that crap then why subject someone else. I do find myself missing a few choice cd's lately. Anything by Ben Folds and Travis is missed sorely. I do find my spirit is being bettered by only listening to christian music though. I tend to road rage less now then when i was listening to my depressing or hate filled music in the car. Ha. Here is a song by Travis that is probably their best song in my mind. They are very very good..right jim ?
Song of the blog ; Travis ; Turn.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alWjHFTxEl4&feature=related
QUOTE OF THE BLOG : " WHAT ARE YA HELEN KELLER!!??!!" - Uncle Chris at Thanksgiving when i passed the salt instead of the pepper..
SECOND QUOTE OF THE BLOG: " Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved" - Helen Keller.
SPORTS THOUGHT OF THE BLOG : --- Seriously Grant Hill has been in the N.B.A. 17 years and never made it to the 2nd round until last nite? He is the embodiment of winner in college,winning 2 straight ncaa titles,graduating with a 4 year degree ,throwing probably the greatest pass in basketball history to christian laettner against kentucky.. Think about it,can you think of a better ,more significant pass in basketball history? he threw the ball like 80 feet in the air (how far is it from baseline to foul line? ) ,stationery,coudlnt run the baseline ,to the best player on the court,who had 2 guys on him,...i mean what a pass...anyways.. what a loser at the pro level..6 years in the playoffs only in 17,and never got past the first round..remember when he was the best player in the nba in the mid 90's? he was the lebron of the mid nineties when Jordan was on Gambling suspension, I mean retirement. actually he was probably just the best player in one year,,but still ,,then his knees went turncoat on him,he almost died of some weird infection,and now after 17 years,the man is a defensive specialist for a 2nd round playoff team. I had a art teacher in High school who played ball with him in high school and he used to say when asked about Grant,,"Grant Hill? dems my boy!" ,,well your boy finally got out of the first round of the nba playoffs Joe Burgel..I for one am rooting for him to win a title (although its never gonna happen because alpha whiney dog mcgee awaits in the conference finals)
GOD THOUGHT OF THE BLOG: I preached for the first time ever last week at my church's youth group. I had about 24 hours to prepare,but God blessed it. When it boils down to it ,If you can take one experience and touch one person's life,that's all that matters. You can speak in front of 50,000 people or 5 ,and if you can touch one person,its a success. The message I brought touched one person at least enough to come forward and tell me that " Your message really hit home for me like none I have ever heard." It was his first time in a church of any kind he said. He had dealt with feelings of inadequacy in his life. My message in summation was about not letting self hatred dwell in you because it can cause so many other problems,including physical disease. To make a long story short,he accepted Christ that nite. Basically the goal in being christians is to bring people to the glory with us. Really its all that matters,so I consider my first time speaking a success based on that desire alone. I am thankful to God for putting it together ,even on short notice,knowing that this young man was gonna be attending church for the first time in his 19 years on earth. Its not me,It's God..But keep using me please..4 souls since October,,more than 5 months without placing a bet..I want my new addiction to be one that is compelled to outreach. Is there such thing as a healthy addiction outside of God's work? I'm not sure the answer to that question. I will be speaking at New Hope Church in Greece hopefully sometime later this month.
RANDOM THOUGHTS OF THE BLOG:
1) I can't stop being a "competitive punk" ..I am too competitive. I am "angry young guy" on the softball field..If your not sure what that means ,let Jim Rome explain .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMfqbR8Ujlk
..... haha.....but seriously, last nite i tried to steal Jon Hogan's cut-off and he got pissed in a calm Jon Hogan way. I was playing short and the ball was hit deep to right, so its the 2nd basemen(Jon Hogan,,aka blue shoes)cut. However I knew there was gonna be a play at home,and I knew blue shoes didnt have the arm to throw it from deep right to the plate, so i ran out in front of him to cut the ball off...first of all,thats not cool to do to someone,its insulting actually . Second of all, of course my arm is major league-esque,but you gotta know your role..Jon asked me why i did it. i said i was just running out there for fun, a blatant lie. I later told him the truth,that he didnt have the arm for what i saw coming..He told me he knows me so he isn't mad but anyone else and he would have been pissed.. This is me on the softball field..im full of rational in my mind ,yet on the surface disemboweled enthusiasm,that often comes out as a "competitive punk" ...come to think of it this is me coaching basketball, golfing, or playing shuffelboard too..haha..wow..is this something i need to change or is it what makes me me?
2) I am not a fan of taking the time to punctuate properly so forgive me . I spent 15 years in school with proper grammer and look where it got me, i just finished a 24 hour shift and am blogging at a library at noon on a tuesday afternoon..punctuation is overrated...
3) i have a friend whom has a look alike everywhere i go. his name is josh demille and no matter where i go, be it a different state , a sporting event, a wedding or a restaurant, there is someone who strongly to very strongly resembles him. It's seriously the oddest thing going on in my life right now,and it fascinates me to no end.
4) I could type for about the next 3 hours on the divine things I have seen God do in my life. Even Naysayers and skeptics would struggle to take my body of work in seeing Christ in the most succinct ways ,and be able to refute it as mere coincidence..These things are not coincidence or mindful delusions!!! They are so real,and so crazy ,yet perfectly divine and obvious in that manner.
5) I find myself thinking about My unborn kids alot lately. I now know its possible to miss something you have never even known, because I really miss and love my kid(s) that I am not even close to meeting yet. Interesting?
6) Next time your in an elevator ,get in and face all the people instead of the door and then enjoy the most awkward 30 seconds or your and the people in the elevators life.. I'm gonna do it my next time in one for the first time. Let me know when you try it .
ok thats it..see you soon,thanks for being so loyal a reader..your check is in the mail.