23 October 2007

Runnin Reformers are undefeated!

The Wartburg Runnin' Reformers opened the season last night with a game against the Dbq Ballers. We had 7 guys show up, so we all got plenty of playing time. We got out to a quick 10 point lead early thanks to some strong rebounding and fast breaks. The Ballers closed the gap towards halftime, but we were still up at the break. The game remained close through the second half. One of our players fouled out with about 5 minutes to go, so we were down to one sub. That meant that I played all but about 4 minutes of the game.

So we were up by 2 with 10 seconds left when their big man drove to the basket and drew a foul as time expired. He made both free throws to send the game to OT. It was back and forth in the extra time until Ben hit a key shot to put us up by 2 with less than 30 seconds to go. They missed a 1 and 1, and we snagged the rebound, advanced the ball, then called timeout with 19 seconds left. They had a two fouls to give, which they did.

Then the ball was inbounded to me, and I was fouled almost immediately. So I had the chance to seal the game with a couple of free throws. I made the first one, but got called for a lane violation (which was a good call I guess). So I was really upset with myself for being so dumb.

And of course the ball came to the guy I was guarding, who promptly tried to drive baseline to the basket. The refs had been calling fouls all night whenever someone would drive, so I just tried to go straight up without fouling. He missed the layup over me and we both went for the rebound. He grabbed it and tried to put it back, but I swatted the ball out of his hands. They were forced to throw up a desperation shot to try to tie it and missed, so we squeaked out a 64-62 win in OT. Our team seemed to play pretty well together, and it's good to start out with a victory. There will be other teams that will cream us, but we'll definitely have fun together!

22 October 2007

And so it begins...

Tonight, the Runnin Reformers, Wartburg Seminary's city league basketball team, begin their 2007-2008 campaign. Any of you who follow frontrowlutheran's blog probably enjoyed his entertaining reports of the action from last season. I'll fill you in on the details of our opening game later tonight or tomorrow. We lost quite a bit of talent to graduation, so hopefully we can continue the winning tradition that was begun last year (can it really be a tradition if it's only one year old?). And anyway, because my wife would be concerned if I didn't say it...I'm just going to try not to get hurt.

13 October 2007

Appreciating Amos

I'm in the midst of writing a sermon for my preaching class (Preaching the Hebrew Bible) that's due Monday. The text I've been assigned is the first lesson for Lectionary 15: Amos 7:7-15. I have to admit that Amos is not a book I've read or studied much until now, but I'm finding it pretty interesting.

I'm still struggling, though to fully grasp what it means to read the Old Testament through a Christological lens. It seems to me there's a subtle difference between reading Christ into the texts of the Jewish scriptures and reading them through the lens of Christ.

More importantly for me at the moment: how do we understand the message of judgment and destruction found in prophetic books like Amos in light of the event of Jesus Christ?

Perhaps I'll let you know where I end up by posting an excerpt from my sermon. In any case, I always find it challenging but also refreshing to preach exclusively from the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible if you prefer).

12 October 2007

One regret rectified

I'm usually not one for regrets in life, but there was always one event that bugged me. Back in my freshman year of college, a group of people were getting tickets to go see the bands Creed and Collective Soul. Creed was ok with me, but Collective Soul is my favorite band of all time. So I jumped at the chance to go, right? Nope, I didn't think I had the money, so I passed. And I regretted not seeing my favorite band in concert ever since.

So, we were going home to Nebraska this last weekend over "reading and study days." I was just poking around these here internets and found out that Collective Soul was playing with Live in Council Bluffs the Saturday we were going to be in the area. I called up my best friend from college and explained that providence seemed to be shining down upon this trip and that we had to go to this concert.

Long story short, we went and had a blast. It was an outdoor concert, the weather was perfect, we only waited in line for about 10 minutes to get in but were still within the first few hundred people through the gate, and we spent the entire concert within 15 feet of the stage. It was one of the most fun things I've done in recent memory, not to mention my best friend was rocking out with me.

Anyway, it was great, and I rectified really my only regret in life to this point. I'll have to see what other regrets I can come up with now. If you want to see some pictures of the concert, go here:

And if you like post-grunge alt rock and haven't checked out the new Collective Soul album "Afterwords", it's definitely worth a listen.

11 October 2007

My biggest pet peeve right now

If there's one thing that I can't stand in the world right now, it's the trend in professional football of calling a timeout right before the other team attempts the winning or tying field goal in the last seconds of the game. It happened again Monday night in the Bills-Cowboys game, and I finally had it with the whole thing. I know it's within the rules of the game, and I guess they're allowed to do what they want within the rules to win, but it just seems so petty and childish to wait until the very last second to call the timeout. As if trying to "ice" the kicker wasn't bad enough, now they make all of us suffer through another few agonizing minutes to see who wins and loses.

So now, no matter who the teams are, I always root for the kicker to make the second one just to make the other team lose twice. I actually was hoping the Bills would hold on to beat the Cowboys until Dick Jauron pulled that stunt. Then I was glad to see them lose. Now, what I really would like to see happen is the kicker miss the first time, then make the second one. That might put a stop to all this nonsense.

Or here's an idea: maybe these teams should play well enough at the end of the game to not put themselves in that position. The Bills had plenty of chances to win the game, just let the guy friggin kick the ball instead of stooping to such sophomoric behavior. To me, it's pretty much akin to NBA players yelling "Miss it!" during free throws or professional baseball players chanting "No batter, no batter, sa-wing batter!" If you're truly professional athletes, play at the highest level you can, treat the other guy with respect, and tip your hat when you lose. And for the love of Lombardi, quit calling timeouts right when they snap the ball for last second field goals!