Previous month:
March 2009
Next month:
May 2009

Posts from April 2009

Whaddaya Know - the Mavs Win!!!

Being a Dallas Mavericks fan in Jacksonville, Florida is kind of lonely.  There aren't too many of us around.  In fact, there aren't really many NBA fans at all.  Most everyone is a Gator, Seminole, Bulldog or maybe a Jaguar fan, but a Mavericks fan?  Not so much.

So, over the past 13 years I've been working on my son to join me in the ranks of the Jacksonville area Mavericks fan.  He's finally been won over.  He even wears a Dirk Nowitzki jersey every now and then.  I thought I had lost him a few years ago when he told me he was a Miami Heat fan.  Then, the Heat beat the Mavs in the NBA finals.  That was rough.  But, maybe because he wants to connect with dear old dad, he has decided to cheer on the Mighty Mavs.
Markaguirre RolandoBlackman
I've been a Mavs fan since their inception.  Then, living in Fort Worth for over ten years cemented that.  Many fans of teams jump on the band wagon when the start winning.  Me?  I've been cheering on the Mavs since the days of Mark Aguirre (used to have a life size poster of him in our garage - it scared my mom the first time she saw it and opened the garage,) Brad Davis (played him in a 3 point shooting contest - I lost,) Rolando Blackman and even Kurt Nimphius.  Up until the Heat beat the Mavs for the championship, the biggest heartbreak was when Derek Harper ran out the clock against the Lakers in the playoffs years ago, thinking the Mavs had the lead.  That bonehead move cost them the game and eventually the series.

Oh well, it's a new day.  Now Mark Cuban owns the team.  No, I'm not really a fan of Cuban, but can't discount that he has turned the Mavs back into winners, especially after the debacle with Quinn Buckner as coach.

The Mavs just defeated the cross-state rival Spurs 4-1 to hand them their first, first round exit since 2000.  They await the winner of the New Orleans - Denver series.  Either way, it won't be easy, but at least for now, they are champions - granted first round champs, but it's better than being eliminated.

Congrats Ignacio!!!! US Citizen

I'm really happy for my friend Ignacio Romero.  This past week, he finished up everything needed and took the oath to be a United States citizen.  Ignacio and his family are members of our church and great folks.  I went to Cuba on a mission trip with the church about five years ago and Ignacio was one of the mission team members (and translators).  This man has a huge heart for God and desires to serve Him however He can.

Oh yeah, he owns one of the best Mexican restaurants (thought he's not Mexican) around.  It's called "Fiestas" and they have the best chile rellanos in Jacksonville (my opinion.)  The restaurant is down the street from the Murray Hill Theatre off Edgewood Avenue.
Ignacio with Flag at Citizenship cerimony launches

Yesterday, we launched our new website for our satellite campus.  Along with the site, a name change has happened.  Rather than calling our satellite campus "First Baptist Church of Orange Park South Campus meeting at Swimming Pen Creek Elementary School" we've decided to simply call it Creek Church or "The Creek."

It takes a while for a new name to take off, so it sounds weird.  Kind of looks like Greek Church (which may make folks think we're a Greek orthodox church or affiliated with a fraternity).  I thought it looked like Geek Church - which fits me pretty well.  We're thinking of having Brandon and me dress in a short sleeve white shirt and tie with Converse Chuck Taylor's.  We'd look like the "Geek Squad" from Best Buy or the "Nerd Herd" from the Buy More.

Well, it's just a name.  The problem is the creek near the school (Swimming Pen Creek,) which the school is named after has a long name.  We could have gone with "Swimming Church" - that would reference baptism, I guess.  Could have been "Pen Church" and we could tell people to go to "the Pen" but I picture folks in orange jumpsuits working on the side of the road.  Would that attract newcomers?  The school has a herd of goats that live in the retention pond area so they don't have to mow there.  Guess we could have been the Goat Church, but that sounds occultic.

So, we have "Creek Church."  Good thing there aren't any other churches in the community with C.C. as their initials (unless you count Celebration Church, Christ's Church and Clay Community Church.)  Oh well.

Will everyone like the name?  Nah.  Sometimes, I don't.  But, as we were reading through the Bible last night, this verse stood out. . .

"Now the people began complaining openly before the Lord. . .and the fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp."  Numbers 11:1  (OK, it's not relevant to a church name, but it did make me think as I read it regarding times I complain.  I guess we'd better be careful not to complain.)

So, what has changed about the satellite campus?  Nothing but the name.  Oh yeah, and the website.  Check it out -

Creekchurch copy

Columbine - Ten Years Later

It was ten years ago that a generations "where were you when" moment occurred.  This terrible day in 1999 saw students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed twelve people at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  This tragic day drew the country together in mourning.

I was serving as youth pastor here at the church and was asked to go over to Orange Park High School just so our students would have someone to talk to.  The images of students running the from the school and being pulled from windows are forever etched in my mind, as well as others.

Stories came out later about statements of faith from students who lost their lives.  Debate has begun over what was really said.  I think it's a mute point.  There were students who loved Jesus - lived their lives as best they could for Him and entered into eternity that day.  The challenge for our students then, and now is to live for Christ.  These tragedies force us to focus on what truly matters in life.

As I dropped my daughter off at high school this morning, I could not help but think of the routine of going to school, picking her up, going to school events, etc.  My son's in junior high and this routine is beginning as well.  I'm sure ten years ago as those students arrived at school, it was "just another day." 

Parents - tell your kids you love them.  Tell them and show them what matters in life.  There's no such thing as "just another day."  Every moment is precious.

On this day, pray for the family members of those who lost their lives that day back in 1999.  It's been ten years, but as we all know, you just don't get over things like this, but with God's help, you can get through them.

2 - Running On Empty - No Reserve Tank

I asked folks to share their "running out of gas" stories.  Here's one from Shelley Allen. . .

Yeah, I ran out of gas once... in 1982, on the way to Orange Park High School, early in the am. I was on

Kingsley Ave

nue, about where St. Catherine's Catholic Church is, on that up-hill. I told my sisters and friends in the car not to worry... I have a "reserve tank." (I was really hoping to just get up that hill, then coast into the parking lot). It didn't work. We called my friend's big brother to help us. Ask Dave (my husband) now.... I'm paranoid about running out of gas.... there is NO RESERVE TANK!

Download 01 2 - Running On Empty - No Reserve

Maybe They Were Better Off As Expos

The last few years of the Montreal Expos existence was pretty sad.  I've never been an Expos fan, but they had some good teams in the past, despite having a weird team name.  Players like Gary Carter, Tim Raines, Andre' Dawson and even Pete Rose donned the red white and blue (or is that bleu?) of the Expos.

Then, the bottom fell out.  SportsCenter would show highlights of Expo games and it looked like five people were in the stands.  So, for a number of reasons, they looked to move.  Washington DC had teams numerous times in the past.  The Senators played there in the late 1800s.  Then, another Senators team came around.  They stayed in the capital from 1901 until 1960 when they moved to Minnesota and became the Twins.  They tried again with another Senators team.  That one stayed ten years then moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Rangers.

So, they try again.  This time, they decided to be more creative and not name the team the Senators.  So, the Nationals were born.

In recent time, this team has fallen on hard times.  They're 1-10, had a draft pick who falsified his age, General Manager Jim Bowden resigned due to a bonus-skimming problem and most recently benched one of their best players for being five minutes late to the stadium because he was volunteering a a local Little League event in the community (which was encouraged by the team.)

Perhaps one of the signs of the times was Friday's game when Zimmerman and Dunn donned their new jerseys - which had the team name misspelled.


Poor Natinals.

Mavs Come Back to Win in San Antonio

The NBA is not as fun to watch as it used to be.  No more Magic, Bird, or Jordan and all the players now look like walking billboards  (tattoos are popular, in case you haven't noticed.)  However, there's one team I follow and have been waiting ever since the days of Aguirre, Blackman and Davis for them to win it all.  They should have won against the Heat a few years ago, but that's another story.

For nine seasons in a row, the Mavericks have one 50+ games.  The only other teams to have done this are teams from the past, all with championship banners hanging from the rafters.

Now, on paper, it doesn't look like the Mavs have much of a chance this year.  The buzz is all about the Lakers and Cavaliers, deservedly so.  Yet, for one day, I can celebrate.  The Mavs defeated the hated Spurs (for those who are not Dallas fans, you may not have known that was the official name of the San Antonio team - the Hated Spurs) in San Antonio.  I'm really glad Manu didn't suit up.  Regardless, the series is 1-0 now.  Go Mavs!!!!