Saturday, October 19, 2013

In defense of Andy Dalton

It has finally come to this

-In a week where the Bengals pick up a big road win against an AFC team, move into first place, AND their quarterback Andy Dalton wins the AFC's offensive player of the week, the questions continue to mount about Andy Dalton and whether he is the qb that can lead the bengals to the promise land.

-I've had it
-Seriously
-It's getting so old

-The guy took over a team that went 4-12 as a rookie qb and in his first two years went 19-15 with 2 playoff appearances and a pro bowl appearance.



-This year he has went 4-2 and defeated the likes of 2x SB champ Ben Roethlisberger, 3x super bowl champ Tom Brady, and Sb champ Aaron Rodgers.  His team is 4-2 and ALONE in the afc north.  And tack on a week 6 AFC offensive player of the week award.

-And yet here we are with the questions, criticism, finger pointing, and constant criticizing of a good quarterback who does one thing great...WIN

-I understand that Andy Dalton doesn't have the arm of Aaron Rodgers, the pocket presence of Tom Brady, the scrambling ability of Russel Wilson, or the ability to shed tackles like Big Ben...but guess what? All of those guys have that one quality yet lack on so many other areas too.  Would it be nice if he had some of those qualities? Sure.  But at what point do we quit criticizing and start appreciating?  Do you really see this team going below .500 in the next few years?  Are you enjoying the journey?

-In Andy Dalton I see someone with no fear...who has only turned the ball over through the air ONE time in the red zone in his career...who has lead his team to the playoffs in both of his seasons...who made the most important play of the year last year vs Pittsburgh that lead to the playoff clinching FG....who knows how to utilize the many weapons around him.

-I see the QB of the future...and i'm freaking pumped that he is the QB of the Cincinnati Bengals....My team....OUR TEAM...OUR QUARTERBACK

-So be negative if you want...im going to enjoy the journey to a division title...and hopefully more!

WHO-DEY!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why you must repent

The happy Gospel is fine...not here to slam it....

Just here to let all of you know that repentence is a huge part of the Gospel...one that we generally don't put on as much as the other parts.  Sometimes that can be an ok thing...but other times it needs to be said.

Who needs to hear it...well mainly the saved.  When you massively fail...when you wrong people...when you do things that hurt people....you need to repent.  We all mess up and i believe grace is abundant...but you honestly need to really truly be sorry for what youve done....and heres the kicker

sometimes theres more than just saying to God "Im sorry"....especially if youve done things that have affected other people.  You need to be accountable for your actions...you need to reconcile the problems youve caused...you need to understand all people have feelings and emotions.  You may feel good...your life may be good...you may things all things are well...but God still demands you to REPENT

As for the unsaved me must teach them that REPENTENCE is absolutly neccesarry.

Even people who think they are "good persons"....if they committ to Christ they absolutly must repent.

Jesus was talking about groups of people who had sinned greatly....then he looked at "somewhat" righteous people and said "I say unto you unless you repent you too will perish".

So please repent...not just of your sins to God...but to the sins that have caused damage...this sins that have hurt others...and teach the new babes in Christ how important it is.

(AND  yes i got this motivation from a john macarthur book...i can't help it...id read other peoples stuff if it was even half as good as the awesome stuff he puts out)

Grace and Peace folks

Friday, June 1, 2012

Personal Convictions?!

If I can just be completly honest for a second...one things that really really really bothers me is when people try to push their theology down someones throat.  And sadly i'm not even talking about the cool stuff like eschatology, ecclesiology, or deep systematic theology.  No i'm talking about something far worse...I'm talking about..PERSONAL CONVICTIONS

-Myself, my brother, my best friends, my friends, some co-workers, some church aqcuaintences...some twitter and facebook friends...my extended family...all have some form of spirituality (specifically Christianity) and also all have a certain set of convictions that they use to walk this race out.

-There comes an unfortunate issue that arises way way way too much in Christendom...which sometimes purges its way into the life of unbelievers...thus creating an even wider gap than before.

-Againt to reiterate...i'm not talking about basic stuff such as homosexuality, drunkenness, stealing, (and all other big ones Paul mentions in Galatians).  I'm talking about those smaller more difficult things to deal with that divide people, churches, belivers and non-believers.  Here is a short list of some things that come to mind and a quick reference as to why these are issues.

-Drinking
The Problem: Some christians believe all forms of drinking are wrong.  Some believe its just flat out ungodly to consume alchohol and others believe its a terrible witness.

The other Problem: Other christians believe drinking is ok because the bible only condemns drunkenness.  And some feel that the "bad witness" concept is flawed because why teach others that certain aspects of your religion aren't real even though they are portrayed that way?

-Living together pre-marriage
The Problem: Some christians believe living together pre-marriage is sinful.  They believe it is wrong in all instances and if done then the couple are "living in sin"

The other Problem: Some christians believe that while pre-marital sex is unbiblical there is nothing unbiblical about living together.  The arguement of "it will lead to sex" is pointless because if they want to have sex...they will

-Voting and politics

The  Problem: Some christians believe that the candidate who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage should always be the candidate that is voted for...period

The other problem: Others believe that whle those issues may be important that other candidates may meet their more pressing issues such as helping the poor, creating jobs, or other economic influences, guns, public school etc etc etc.... (please don't read into this...i beg you...i'm just listing certain beliefs)

-These are just a few of the issues that the Bible is absolutly grey on.  If you were to pick a side and simply say that it is black and white...then you are making a BOLD statement because a majority of people will be split on these issues.

-Sadly many christians (or church/religious people who play the part but lack the Holy Spirit) have been judgmental arrogant (insert noun to proper illustrate points).  There comes a time when it is up to each individual person to "walk out their own salvation with fear and trembling"(Paul Phil 2) and decide if each of these issues are worth going on way or the other.

That fine line between judging someone, and teaching people in the way of righteousness comes to head in these hardcore divisive issues.  It is my hope that you all find a way to deal with one anothers issues when you may not always see eye to eye.

Lastly...while you may want to consult with people you trust...friends...pastors...teachers...its important to remember that just because one of them say something doesn't make it true.  Work out your life and do what is best for you to grown in Christ...and REACH THE LOST

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where Dawkins falls short

I don't claim to know an abundance about science. In fact it was my least favorite subject in high school and college. Science however is a key factor in the arguement about whether or not the Earth was formed through Intelligent Design or by Evolution/Big Bang and other atheistic beliefs. I am not gonna make this long i just want to point out what i see as the biggest flaw in Richard Dawkins arguements about the world coming from nothing.

In a video i saw on youtube entitled "Something from nothing" Dawkins makes this quote

"When determining the origin of life you have to have genetics and that isnt a trivial problem its actually one that hasn't been solved yet. That's on of the big gaps in our knowledge at the moment. The laws of chemistry have to give us laws to a self replicating molecule and once you have that then evolution takes off."

-So there you have it. The man who has millions of followers and is known for his renown genious in science and is the worlds leading atheist can't describe how a molecule can self replicate. However he can perfectly describe what happens after the molecule replicates!

-In his video "case for a creator" Lee Stroebel uses SCIENCE to demonstrate that is is IMPOSSIBLE for living cells to just randomly come about. Even it the utmost conditions that were needed for single cells to exist, it was impossible to make them just randomly appear. And when one single cell was put in those conditions and then broken apart, they didn't even come back together to form that one! Very interesting stuff indeed. I dont' want to bog down this quick read with all the deatails but watch the video if you want more.

-So basically you have 2 options 1. You can believe that all of life is one big coincidence and the scientific explanation has a big hole in it at the STARTING POINT (Seriously its like a house with no foundation) or you can believe in the beauty of 2. Intelligent Design. That a God created the universe and everything in it. A logic al starting place that doens't need an unexplained phenomina to push it forward into everything else it believes.

-Now which one is really using reason?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

REDS

My yearly REDS preview!
The season is only 4 weeks away and i couldn't be more excited! Ok i say that every year but this offseason has been crazy for the REDS and the expectations are high! HIGH i say!

-Following a dissapointing 79-83 finish last year...the REDS look to bounce back and reclaim their NL Central championship from the brewers. With some major trades this offseason the team looks a bit different

-First was the BLOCKBUSTER trade that saw the REDS sending Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and 2 other players (volquez and brad boxbarger) for Mat Latos the Padres ace. It's obvious that the REDS needed an upgrade in their starting staff and while this was a hefty price the REDS decided it was time to go for it! I for one love the trade and can't wait to see how good of a 1-2 punch latos and cueto will be!

-To shore up the bullpen the REDS traded travis wood and minor league outfieler dave sappelt for Sean Marshall who is one of the premier lefty/ set up men in baseball. He also agreed to a contract extension this offseason.

-The reds also signed Ryan Madson to a 1 year deal to be their closer! Bye bye Cordero!

Here is the projected Starting lineup for Dusty Baker's 2012 squad

1. Brandon Phillips 2B -Coming off a .300 year and another gold glove
2. Zack Cozart SS - Coming of Tommy John Surgery and a rookie with 11 games
3. Joey Votto 1B - One of the best hitters in the game MVP! MVP!
4. Scott Rolen 3B - Looking to stay healthy and be the perennial gold glover he is
5. Jay Bruce RF - Im seeing this as the bust out season for Jay bird
6. Ryan Ludwick LF - Splitting time with Hesiey and heres hoping he still has it
7. Drew Stubbs CF - All of REDS nation is waiting to see what he does this year
8. Mesoraco/Hanny C - a good young platoon ...gonna miss ramon

Starting Pitchers

1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mat Latos
3. Bronson Arroyo
4. Mike Leake
5. Homer Bailey

-Expect the Cuban Missile to be Louisville to start the season but he'll be up here soon bringing that 100 MPH gas!

Bullpen
Ryan Madson-Closer
Sean Marshall
Nick Massett
Jose Arredondo
Sam Lecure
Bill Bray
Logan Ondrusek

My projected NL standing

1. Cincinnati REDS 92-68
2. St. Louis Cardinals 88-74
3. Milwaukee Brewers 83-79
4. Chicago Cubs 74-88
5. Pittsburgh Pirates 73-89
6. Houston Astros 61-101


Baseball is back! Theres baseball season...and offseason...are you ready?!?!?!?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Gospel in a peculiar..yet pure form

So i had the privelage of going to a concert last Thursday. The performers were members of the 116 clique (based on romans 1:16 where Paul says he is unashamed of the Gospel). These people
included Canon, C-Lite, Trip Lee (one of my favs) and of course the featured rapper Lecrae. So i've seen live music before but usually at acquire the fire whether it as a student or a youth leader. But i've never actually "went" to a concert. And since all i listen to is Christian Rap i was especially excited to see some of my favorite artists perform. It was in the Columbus newport music theater right on high street on the campus of THE Ohio State University.

When we got there we decided we would stand in the 'mosh pit'. I tweeted that night that i was getting too old for the mosh pit! (Yes i'm only 26 but still haha). All in all i had a great time with some great friends that i don't get to see alot anymore.

But what i want to really talk about...is the Gospel in a peculiar yet pure form. Hundreds of people ranging in ages 13-30ish gathered to enjoy a particular music type but something else happened. A large group of people used something very different (Christian Rap) to glorify and exalt the Living Savior. I've been to worship events such as ATF, and Spirit Song at King's Island, and other things that happened at Chillictown...but this seemed to be very different. It seemed much more PURE.

By PURE i mean it didn't seem forced and it seemed as though there was much authenticity to it. Whether it was rapping along with the Biblical lyrics...or the occasional hook that felt like much more worship then rap...People genuinly were in tune with God and worship.

But the most important thing was that people were excited about Jesus. They were genuinly excited to rap along with a well known artist about their savior. It was like being in the reverence of the Lord...yet also gathering together with friends and brothers in the Lord and getting pumped up like you would watching football.

We all have our own styles, preferences, and worship beliefs. Some don't like music period. Some believe worship only happens with an acoustic guitar....others would include drums and a piano or whatever. Well what i'm starting to see more in more is that Worship is giving praise to your Savior while being excited about it! Worship isnt something you should force. The good news of Christ should excite us! And if that for you is going to church on Sundays and worshipping to hymns then Glory to God! If for you that is going to a headbanging skillet concert then awesome too.

Ultimatley, the Gospel in its purest form...is understanding...appreciating...and loving being a follower of Christ...and being excited about life now...and the eternal life to come. How do you do that?!??!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Love and truth: the delicate balance

Inspired by several things such as politics, facebook arguements, and friends opinions....it really got me to thinking about the 2 most important things about Christianity...LOVE & TRUTH

would you agree?

-We know love is "the greatest gift of all" as the Apostle Paul described it in 1st Corinthians 13 or
as some people have come to know it as "the love chapter"....so that leaves truth...we fight for truth...we protect truth...and we believe that there is ONE universal truth.

-Among those of course are many small truths. Now some of these truths hold much more signifcant meaning then others. Perhaps some significant truths would be the virgin birth, heaven and hell, eternal life, the Trinity. Some not so significant truths might be your opinions on sanctification, spiritual gifts, end times etc.

-Then there are the HOT TOPICS....topics that fall into the latter category yet spark so much debate that you start to ask yourself the question...what is more important? Love or truth? the answer of course....YES :)

-The best example i can think of is my stance on Homosexual marriage. Now let's be honest...if you are reading this you know i am adamently opposed to banning gay marriage here in America (GASP!). So you ask yourself "Well Ricky, isn't homosexuality a sin? Isn't marriage between one man and one woman as God intended it? Shouldn't we teach the truths of the bible?"

My answer to all of those questions is...YES. Are you confused yet? Good now maybe i can try my best to help you understand where i am coming from before you go ahead and judge me and refuse to even care what i have to say.

-I whole heartedly believe in those truths...but i also believe that LOVE is the most important thing in the world especially as a Christian attribute. In our country a majority of people view the church as a hypocritical and judgmental establishment. So i try to do teach preach and live everything i can to promote the opposite. I try not to be a stiff, and i do my best to try and not make it look like i hate peoople....THATS WHERE MY BELIEF ON GAY MARRIAGE COMES FROM

-To condense a huge blog i worte into one or two sentences sentence...i feel as though when a Homosexual sees a group of people doing everything in their power to keep them from being happy...they will only see them in a negative light. Instead of using all of our time and resources doing everything we can to keep homosexuals from marrying the people who they are truly madly and deeply in love with...maybe we could do alot better to show them that we aren't worried about what they do in their lives...but rather we are so consumed with loving them that banning their marriage is the last thing on our mind...especially in a country with a seperation of church and state.

-So it's not that i believe that homosexual marriage is a good thing...but i believe that taking so much time to fight for "truth" and totally miss out on "love" is really missing the mark

-I talked to a good friend of mine who generally votes on the conservative side...and when i explained my views something suprising happened...he agreed with me! We left the conversation and he said the only difference between the two of us is that he would not vote to allow gay marriage (fair enough!). I was happy that he was able to gain some perspective and perhaps see a more delicate balance of love and truth then just simply holding dogmatically to a political opinion and not even caring about the collateral damage it causes...props friend you know who you are.

-This...and many other views cause extreme emotions to come out of people....there is no bigger fan of John Macarthur then me...he fights for truth like no one else. So i am a huge fan of truth and i would fight tooth and nail to promote it and live it...but ultimatley we have got to show love to all of those we come in contact with...and most importantly present ourselves as one who have been radically transformed in a loving and positive way.

-I am not trying to change your political platforms. And i definitly have no problem with debating and the such...i just know that there are things we all need to agree on...but there are also some things that are simply not black and white. I encourage you all to fight for truth...but i also encourage you to ask yourself the question...."is my quest in fighting for truth hindering my ability to love and reach a lost and dying world?"