Looking at the Numbers

Median American Household Income: $51,939 (2013).

Median Home Price: $189,900 (2014).

Hmm…

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Are you sure you want to do that?

Over this past week my wife has witnessed two apparent crimes, or at least incidents that looked like something was awry.  Both times I was with her but not paying attention or looking in the direction she was.  Both times her first inclination was to call the Police, and both times I cringed and cautioned her to think carefully before acting.

The first time we were on our way home from church when my wife witnessed what she described as a carjacking.  I was driving, my wife was next to me in the passenger’s seat, with our three children in the 2nd row of our minivan.  I heard tires screech and looked in the rearview mirror just in time to see a woman standing in the road looking visibly shaken and exclaiming that someone just stole her car. Her vehicle did a 180 and drove full speed against traffic in the wrong direction.  One of the nearby motorist invited the woman in, and they sped down the road in pursuit.  All of this took place in the span of 10 seconds or so. My wife, who saw more than i did, brought out her phone and cried out “Someone just stole that lady’s car!  I’m going to call the Police!”  She repeated it two times afterwards, which got our oldest son anxious.  He said he was scared and started crying.  Now I was upset because he was now effected by this incident.  I’m trying to calm him and my wife down, without conveying my growing anger towards her at the moment (we talked it over later on that day and I apologized for being insensitive at the time).

As calmly as I could:

Me: “What are you going to tell the Police when you call them?”  Did you see the person who supposedly stole the car?  Did you see a scuffle or an exchange?  Did you get a make/model/tags?”

My Wife: “No”.

Me: “So what were you going to tell them?”

My Wife: “I dunno; just what happened.”

This afternoon, we were both sitting at our dinning room table which is adjacent to a large window which overlooks a major intersection in the downtown area.  Again, my wife sees something that I don’t.

My Wife: “Look at that!  Look at those guys running!  They came from that car, and they threw something over the tracks (train) and are running away from that red car?  I think the stole it!  I’m going to call the police!”

Me: “What car.  Oh I see.  Those guys ran from that red car?”

My Wife: “Yes!”

Me: “How do you know they stole the car?”

My Wife: “They left the car right there and ran.  The trunk is open!”

Me: “Ok.”

Half an hour later or so, the red car with the open trunk was no longer there.  Someone must have moved it.

I love my wife, and I trust her instincts.  She is more pure hearted and optimistic than I am.  But in these instances, I cautioned her.  Put aside the events of the past 24 months involving the Police.  As a person from Alkebu-Lan, I have always had to think twice before involving Law Enforcement in any situation I’m a part of.  I could only imagine the interview/conversation that would have ensued had she gone through with her intentions, with the little info she could provide.

The Police serve a purpose, just not in these two incidents.

When enough isn’t enough

I’m legit hurting in my soul right now.

I though I was done with caring for the Knicks, but last night proved I was only kidding myself.

In case you haven’t heard (or don’t care, it’s ok) the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery Order was determined last night.  Each year, the leagues worst teams get to find out in what order they will be selecting players from June’s upcoming draft.  This is significant because NY’s last great player (sorry Carmelo) was selected 30 years ago.  Patrick Ewing was the #1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft.  Knick fans were hoping to strike gold again in this year’s lottery, and they deserved to.  The New York Knicks had the worst record in the NBA for almost the entire season.  They were “tanking” or deliberately loosing games to improve their draft position.  The worst record in the NBA guarantees that a team will have the greatest number of ping pong balls, which equates to the greatest probability of earning the right to choose first in the draft.  All projections had the Knicks earning the #1 pick for their efforts, with even the most extreme models showing them no lower than #2.

But the Knicks had to go ahead an Knick.  For no reason whatsoever, they went on an uncalled for streak to end the season, winning 3 out of their final 6.  Because of this Minnesota (who wasn’t tanking as obviously as the Knicks were) ended the season with the worst record by a single game, and thus the greatest chance for that coveted #1.

So what did the Knicks earn for their untimely righting of the ship at the end of the season?

The 2nd pick?  Nope.

The 3rd pick? Wrong again.

The 4th pick?  Bingo.

4th.  This may not seem like a big deal but it is.  This year’s draft features 3 virtual can’t miss rookie NBA draft prospects.  New York went from having their pick of the best, to potentially missing out on all of them.  That’s why Knicks General Manager Steve Mills has his MJ cry head on.  He knows his organization just blew a golden opportunity to start over fresh.

But these are the Knicks we’re talking about here.

05.07.15 Quiet Time

12 I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 But when He, (R)the Spirit of truth, comes, He will (S)guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will (T)glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 (U)All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” – John 16:12-15 (NASB)

The Holy Spirit is a Christian’s personal guide in regard to the specific will of God in that individual’s life.  He speaks to the Christian on behalf of God, so there is no reason to doubt or fear his message.  His sole purpose is to glorify God the Father and God the Son, at all times.

Learning to discern, interpret, and implement the wishes of the Holy Spirit is crucial for any follower of Christ to be effective in his discipleship.

Overcoming Fear

It's only water, right?
It’s only water, right?

A few weeks ago I took Kay-Kay to the Y to begin kindergarten swim class. Every Saturday morning for the next two months he will learn the fundamentals of swimming: how to properly enter and exit the pool, fully extending his legs while kicking, the art of floating, and whatever else can be covered in half an hour. (Full disclosure: it was my wife’s idea; I cannot take credit as instill haven’t learned to swim…yet). To say My son doesn’t like water is an understatement. During bath times even the slightest sprinkle of the wet stuff on his face will prompt a pause in the action, followed by a request for a towel. When the decision to enroll him came along, I had my reservations about how he would fair, but we’ve been working on courage for some time. This would be a great opportunity to see how far we’ve come.

At the first class, Kay-Kay was apprehensive. Although the depth of the pool would only reach his mouth (he’s nearly 4 feet tall) that provided little solace. I sat a few feet from the pools edge as the instructor beckoned to students to attention. I made sure to maintain line of sight and eye contact, ready to give a reassuring smile whenever Kay-Kay looked my way with concern.

The experience has provided me the opportunity to think about the process of overcoming fear. Fear is an interesting thing: it possesses it’s greatest power when the least is known about it. My son was apprehensive of the pool and water in general because he’s unfamiliar with it. The wet liquid is sometimes hot, sometimes cold, still or raging, welcoming and foreboding simultaneously. It is too much to process, which leads to the mind labeling it as a danger. In my own life i see the same. The things I feared were virtually unknown and uncharted territories. Switching careers, moving to a new area, even starting to write this blog. Here in lies the enigma: what to do? It would be easy to simply say, “conquer your fears”. I’ve never found the transaction to be so straight forward. It is important though to question the root. Often times it is not fear we are experiencing, but an aversion or reluctance to new experiences. This is pivotal self-discovery that each individual who wants to live to their fullest potential must achieve. You may fail, but at least you’ll learn the water only reaches your mouth.