RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Lakers: A Fan’s Perspective

As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, it pains me to write this. But, as of January 27, the Lakers are 19-25.

Let that sink in. Arguably THE marquee team in the NBA is sitting six games under .500. They own a losing record at the halfway point. They are in 12th place in the 15 team Western Conference. And the worst part of all of this? The situation doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better.

The personnel and coaching moves have left many fans, media pundits, and even Lakers’ players, scratching their collective heads.  Dr. Buss giving his son Jim more power over personnel decisions, and Phil Jackson retiring in 2011 created a vacuum that has yet to be filled.  Jim Buss has made efforts to put his stamp on the team, but it’s been for naught.  He botched his first attempt at hiring a coach.  Then, the guy he did hire was woefully unqualified.  The general manager, Mitch Kupchak, doesn’t get completely absolved of his part, but Jim overrules him.

Cheering for the Lakers is/was a family institution.  My grandmother’s cousin, and by extension mine, used to play for them.  As a 25+ years Lakers fan, I’ve seen the team go through ups and downs.  But right now, there is a pall over the team that is hard to fathom. What makes matters worse is that nobody on the team knows where to begin making changes.

This is hard to deal with because, as a fan of the Purple & Gold, I’m used to a winning team. Even when the team has been a second tier contender, knowing it was in the championship mix was gratifying. That’s not the case anymore. Not knowing who to direct the frustration at is just as aggravating.

For all the consternation he has caused the team’s fans, directing it at Kobe is just dumb. Yes he’s the face of the team, but he’s played better the last two seasons than at any point in his career. Having traded for Dwight Howard, Kupchak could get the ire, but who honestly wouldn’t have made that trade? Signs were there that he’d be a possible issue off the court. But on it? It seemed like a no-brainer. Even Mike D’Antoni could get some blame. He wasn’t ready, nor were the players (in hindsight), for what kind of screw-up his hiring would be.

The question then becomes: “what will it take to fix the Lakers?”

Truthfully, nobody really knows. People much more intune to the inner workings of the organization than I, are at a loss. Trading Dwight may be a move, but why would a team give up what it’d take to get him when they could just sign him in the offseason? Even I, in my fandom, have said “fire D’Antoni!” The only problem is, who would replace him? Getting rid of Kupchak seems feasible. However, I’m not sure leaving Jim Buss to handle all parts of the team is wise.

The only thing that could turn all the frustration the fans, and I’m reasonably sure the players, feel around is a Lakers’ championship. Yet, that goal, at least for this season, doesn’t seem feasible. Unfortunately, the team positioning itself to get back on track to the playoffs doesn’t either. If the organization doesn’t find a direction soon, this could become a regular occurrence. And who would the Lakers be if that happens? The Clippers.

That’s a fate even the biggest Laker hater doesn’t want.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 01/23/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

The Gawd Is Not God

I, and to a greater extent, society have a problem.  Though it’s been spoken of and harped on over the years, we’ve lost our reverence for God.  There’s no other explanation for the rampant lack of respect and aloofness in which we refer to Him.  Jesus has been reduced to a mere footnote because everybody wants to go straight to God. They act like He’s there just in case. But, the only way we can get to God is through Jesus.  See the problem? This isn’t to be taken lightly.  However, that’s a topic for another day.

When I see people on social media refer to themselves as “The Gawd” or (insert ignorance) God, I can only shake my head. It really proves that we’ve turned ourselves into idols to be worshipped. The commandments tell us we’re to have no other gods before God, yet we’ve done just that. Celebrities and gifted athletes get the most adulation. Other public figures do as well, but to a lesser extent. And when people are called on their shenanigans, the pushback is merciless. “Don’t interfere with my self-expression” they say, or “I’m good with the big homie” are commonly paraphrased refrains.

This is all symptomatic of the “fallen” nature that permeates throughout mankind. This nature has been present since the first bite of fruit in The Garden.

When the serpent told Adam and Eve that they would be “like God”, this mindset went into overdrive. In modern times, being like God isn’t enough. Now society believes we can be become a god. New Age beliefs draw people in by promising they’ll reach a level of enlightenment that makes them as a god. And yet, people fall into the fallacy daily. It’s just an attempt to shift our sight, which happens easily, from what we ought to be focusing on.

The means to getting the focus back in the right direction is what those who believe in the Trinity should be concerned with. Because we’ve dropped the ball and turned punkish, it’s going to take extra work. I personally feel like men have to take a stand. We gotta acknowledge that we’ve let the “Gawd Complex” hang around long enough. It’s up to us to put a stop to it. Societies are destroyed when men are removed from the equation, or diverted from their true purpose. History is replete with examples of this.

History is also replete with examples of infamous leaders who were deified. In each example, these men came to there end in terrible ways. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death. Alexander the Great died of a type of wasting disease. Attila the Hun was decapitated. The common thread was that these men were looked at, too some extent, as gods.

It’s said that God isn’t mocked. He *WILL* even out the scales of cosmic justice. If society keeps on propping up people who call themselves the gawd of this and that, then what will the end result be? Not just for the individual, but for society at-large? The endgame will be God giving each one who isn’t reconciled to Him, through Jesus, what they’re due.

That is one thing that’s owed me I surely don’t want.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 01/22/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

…On Being Glad Obama Made It Through

I normally try to keep my specific personal musings out of these posts.  But this one I had to share.  As I was keeping up with the happenings of Inauguration Day and MLK Day, one thought kept creeping up in my head. 

“I hope he makes it through the day.” 

I don’t know why I was thinking it, but I was.  Something about seeing President Obama walking amongst people, in an open space was unsettling to me.  Four years after his first inaugural stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue, I was more apprehensive this time than last.  The climate of the country definitely aided in the feelings.  There are just too many wackos out who’d love to take him out.

The feeling made me do something I never found myself doing much, and that was praying for his and his family’s safety.  I know the Bible says to pray for your authorities, but I was kinda meh about it.  I mean if i remembered to do so, cool.  But it wasn’t something that I actively set out to do.  That is, until today.

This led to deeper thoughts and I realized, I must pray for the man.  For his wisdom. For his guidance. For his decision making prowess.  For his soul. 

As I was reading something earlier, I learned I wasn’t alone in my feelings about President Obama’s safety.  One person succinctly stated, “the simple fact I am even worried about him being shot let’s me know ‘post-racial’ is bull.”  That sentiment sums up all the emotions concerning this topic perfectly.  However, I’ll still pray for my president.  Perhaps it’s the prayers of those who pray that keep him safe.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 01/22/2013 in On...

 

Tags: ,

Where’s The Responsibility?

*prepares soapbox* Where is  our personal responsibility?

What got me thinking about this was an article in The Washington Post about abortion.  This isn’t the place for a discourse about what side of the abortion debate we fall on.  As with everytbing else in life, it’s a multi-layered answer.  However, what struck me in the article was a seemingly innocuous quote and caption from and about a young lady who was entering a clinic to have an abortion.

A protester outside the clinic approached the woman and told her, “your baby is beautiful” to which she simply replied, “I already have four babies at home.”  In the caption under a picture of her information is mentioned that she’s having her second abortion.  Now, the background reasons for her having the abortions aren’t given.  Perhaps the reasons are medical or life-threatening.  Without any frame of reference though, how many of us would assume she’s out here practicing free love, and thus being a drain on our tax dollars?  And to be fair, the stories of Travis Henry, Antonio “No Glove, Much Love” Cromartie, Shawty Lo, and (link for Tennessee guy with much kids) falls into this as well.

This leads into the larger point.  Society as a whole is acting like our decisions and actions don’t have consequences.  The reasons for this thinking are layered, but I’d venture to say the overall mindframe started a few generations back. 

Meemaws and Pawpaws of the the early to mid-20th century trained their kids in how to be responsible for themselves, and their communities.  No not everyone of them did, but most.  When these lessons began to wane toward the latter part of the 20th century, so did accountability.  The standards that used to be assumed weren’t in effect anymore, and the downward spiral we find ourselves in began.  I could make the argument that the breakdown of the traditional familial structure was happening at the same time.  But, that argument is also for another day; except maybe it’s not. 

It’s been said that “men want a woman to respect them, and women want a man to love them.”  If we take this statement as fact, then there is no respect because men aren’t around to teach it, but I digress.  However, respect for ourselves has waned, so…thoughts on this connection?  Anyway, we’ve become a nation under God where people want to “do them” without the repercussions that come with it.  When the repercussions do come, then we want to act like we’re above dealing with them.

As yet another saying goes though, “everybody has to pay the piper”.  Those who take the chance to hone up to what they’ve done usually make out better than those who consistently choose to not do so.  There’s another component to the personal responsibility equation.  It’s enablement.

It seems that those who have the most problems with responsibility also have issues with people holding them accountable.  If people in their lives aren’t willing to “check” them, then who will?  Let me answer.  Depending on what the issue is, society will.  The government will.  People who have no ***** to give about them will rectify their issue for them, and without love.  Folks want to flex their muscles of individuality with no pushback, but that isn’t how life works.

It all boils down to a couple of questions.

1) Are we willing to step up and be the men and women we profess to be?

2)  Are we willing to be held accountable for where we fall short?

Both questions are hard to answer because we have to take an honest look at ourselves, which is hard to do.  But without doing so, we won’t be able to move forward in our personal development.  And without greater personal development, we’ll continue to shirk personal responsibility.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 01/17/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

…On Fear

2012 taught me that fear has had a hold on me for years. And not just a hold, but a grip tighter than a pair of Lil’ Wayne nuthuggers (nh). I have no idea when it started, but as far back as I can remember, courage has friendzoned me. So, I’m left with hanging out with fear. Or better yet, I WAS left hanging out with fear.

Before this last new year started, I began doing a self-assessment. Not only did I question myself, and analyze my decisions, but I sincerely asked God to show me things I otherwise wouldn’t see. He merely shed light on some parts of my past, as well as my present. But He also said to me: “fear”. I had no idea what it meant, or why *that* word, but it stayed with me. A few days went by and I began to view what He showed me through the prism of fear. That’s when things started clearing up.

I spent much of my childhood afraid of trying new things, or pushing myself. I never wanted to play sports or anything physical. Not because I couldn’t handle it physically, but mentally. Even with respect to pursuing girls and young women as I got older, I told myself I was staying in my lane. Really, I didn’t want to endure the rejection that comes with being turned down. Mind you, none of these things could “hurt” me per se, but I let the thought of them doing so keep me from pushing my own boundaries. And that wasn’t fair to me, or to my God who says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Even though fear will and has always been around it’s no need to bow down to it. In her last blog post, Rae even alluded to this. When I made my choice to not kowtow to it, my outlook on life began to change. I know it’s not going to be an instantaneous change. I have told myself not to look at what is stopping me, but what isn’t. Opportunities are awaiting me, and I choose to go after them.

The greatest take away from the lessons I’ve learned about fear is that while it’s consistently present, letting it stop me is a choice. I’m not saying go out and do idiotic or dangerous things. There is a line between fear and cautiousness. Being cautious will keep us safe, but being fearful can kill us emotionally and spiritually.

Going after what I want is what I’ve set my heart to do. I have an appointment with death at some point; we all do. My soul and spirit will not arrive before my body does.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 01/15/2013 in On..., Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Lessons From The Past

“Your trials and triumphs aren’t for you, but for God’s edification.”  It never ceases to amaze me how God will use instances in our lives to speak to others.  It was revealed, yet again to me as I had a conversation with a blog editor about writing for his site. 

During our informal interview, he asked me a few questions about what I write about, what I’d write about for his site, and my writing background.  This led to questions about life in general.  I relayed how I grew up, and how it’s shaped my current worldview.  Once done, he pretty much paraphrased the same statement that this article lead with.  It’s simple, but it’s loaded.

Often times people want to forget their pasts, but it makes them who they are.  When we go through rough patches in life, especially in our formative years, they leave scars that often take years to heal.  Nothing will ever take the memories and experiences away.  However, God has a way of restoring the years that were lost to the pain.  He provides opportunities for others to learn from our past as well.

The Bible is the prime example of this. Though it’s ancient, the lessons and illustrations in it are just as relevant today. The people who experienced the trials and triumphs didn’t know we’d look at their situations for clarity. The one constant in this is God’s presence. He’s either in the forefront, or behind the scenes, but his hand is on our lives.

Understand that the saying “those who don’t learn from [or understand] the past are doomed to repeat it” is true. Not dwelling on it, but taking the lessons from it is key. It’s the only way to not repeat the mistakes; it’s also the way in which we grow.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 01/10/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

…On New Beginnings In 2013

I’m a lil’ bit behind in my plans for 2013; being under the weather will do that.  That being said, I’m no different than anybody else in having new plans, aspirations, and hopes for this year.

My main hope for this year is to grow.  I want to grow mentally, emotionally, financially, and most of all spiritually.  I’ve spent a good amount of my life the last years focusing more on external things than I have internally.  While I’d like to say I still have seen some growth inwardly, it’s not nearly as much as I’d like.  God’s been pricking my heart on quite a few things and I need to get cracking on them.  Many of them have been on my heart for a while, but this is the year to make them happen.

In this new year, I want to be a better writer.  I want to continue to hone my skills and become more consistent in how I write.  I’ve learned over the last year that I’m only as good as the amount of time I dedicate to this.  I’m reluctant to call writing my craft because I don’t feel like I do it justice.  At the same time, it is my craft because it’s in my heart, and on mind.  I’m no professional, but I feel if I give it the nurturing it needs, I can become one.

2013 will see me being less of a observer and more of a participant.  I’ve lived over 30 years as a person who didn’t make waves.  I’ve always tried to maintain a level of anonymity in my life.  This has been both good and bad.  But I’m purposing this year to live purposefully.  I will be actively engaged in life itself.

Finally, this year I want to be a better man.  Not for anybody, though my family will benefit, but because I need to be.  Too many men are sliding through life, taking it as it comes.  We wonder when “real” men are going to stand up.  Well, I deign to be one of those real men that is sought after.

These are my goals for the already started new year, what are yours?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 01/08/2013 in On...

 

Tags: ,

 
%d bloggers like this: