Archive for January 2012

Providence

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Being a student at Red River College has already provided me with some amazing experiences that will no doubt stay with me my whole life.

But despite the friends I've made, and the abundance of learning that has taken place, Red River College will never truly feel like my school.

That's because my school is reserved for Providence University College. Maybe it was because it was my first year out of high school, maybe it was living in dorm, or the lifelong friendships I made there, but there is something about that place that makes me smile every time I think about it.

Whatever I do professionally I owe to Red River College, but when it comes to the person I am, I'll always give some credit to My Providence.



The Instrumental

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As you grow up, you are bound to see significant changes in what you listen to, and also how you listen to it.

For example, somewhere between when I was ten and today, my taste of music has evolved from Backstreet Boys to Jay-Z.

This type of evolution is expected, but lately I've acquired an appreciation for something that I used to hate as a kid: the instrumental.

When I was younger I would always get so frustrated when songs would have long instrumentals. It wasn't that I thought it didn't take any talent to produce it, but it was more about me wanting a musician to get back to the action. I guess I just really didn't get why it was there.

But the more I listen to music the more I see their purpose. To a degree it is about displaying the talent of those on the instruments, but artistically I feel these instrumentals are for us to reflect.

When people make music, there's always a message they are trying to portray, and the instrumental allows us to reflect on that message, and most importantly, how that message applies to our lives.

So when you hear a long crescendoing instrumental, try to take some time to reflect. We live a life of busyness, and instrumentals give us a chance to stop and just think about it.

This Bill Withers remake by The Roots and John Legend is what made me think about this post. It's an incredible song. I'll admit it's a long one, but if you don't remember the last time you've just stopped to think, then maybe you should give it a listen.




The Neglected J

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The title of my blog is Jesus, Jocks, and the Jukebox. I remember how psyched I was when I thought of that name. I thought it was perfect. It was unique, it gave me seemingly endless possibilities for my blog posts, and did I ever love the alliteration.

Throughout the last few months I've loved posting on this blog, and I love that people actually read it. But once I realized that people were reading it, I began to have less of a desire to focus on the first "J" in my blogs clever name.

There's been a video circulating my social media feeds over the past couple of days called, "Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus". The title caught my eye, and I decided to see what it was all about, and I guess that's the reason for this post. And to really understand what I'm talking about here, it would be helpful to take a look at the video.



A lot of people have asked me in the past, "Are you religious?" For the sake of simplicity I usually go with "yes", and sometimes go on to say that I'm a Christian. To most people there isn't a difference between religion and loving Jesus, and unfortunately there are religious people who support that idea. But what about me? How does my life fit into the misconception?

In the video, the guy says, "Religion is like spraying perfume on a casket". That's quite powerful imagery for me.

I want to be able to post this video and say "Yes! THIS is my Christianity. This is what it's supposed to be like! I'm not religious, I just love Jesus."

But the truth is, I am religious.

I wish I could post this video to explain to people THIS is what my faith is about, and that THIS represents me. But that wouldn't be true.

Intellectually I couldn't agree more with this video, but my life would tell you otherwise.

But the good news is: in Jesus there is grace.

This video sparked a lot of emotion for me, but most of all it breathed humility into my life.

The title of my post is "The Neglected J". Unfortunately, my blog title is not the only area in my life where I seemed to have neglected the Jesus part.

So obviously there's an issue here. And the issue is that I'm religious.

The video says Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums, and as hard as it is for me to admit, some days I find myself on the side opposite of Jesus. My hope is that I will no longer be part of the problem, but I will soon contribute to the solution. My hope is that I can cross the bridge made by grace to the other side of the spectrum. That way, I can truly say, "I'm not religious, I just love Jesus."



Why You Should Like the 2011-2012 Toronto Raptors

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The Toronto Raptors haven't been relevant in the NBA since the days of Carter, McGrady, and Oakley. That was a while ago, and since then Raptors fans have had to deal with rejection from star players (Carter and Bosh), low win totals, early playoff exits, several head coaches, and questionable executive decisions. 


The result of all this is a franchise who is now an overwhelming afterthought in a predominantly American sport, and after seeing the large patches of empty seats in the Air Canada Centre tonight  against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they apparently have a dwindling fan base. 

But here's the good news for Raptors fans like myself: The 2011-2012 Toronto Raptors is a team that fans can rally around and fall in love with. 

Let me clarify by saying by no means is this a great basketball team, or even really a playoff team. They are clearly in a rebuilding stage, and most expect them to receive a lottery draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft. But I actually find this team a joy to watch. 

First of all, they work really hard. This is important to a fan-base still recovering from questionable efforts from Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, and Hedo Turkoglu at the end of their time in Toronto. You may be thinking, "How can a team with Andrea Bargnani be considered a hardworking team? He doesn't play defence!" My answer would be: have you seen him play this season? Bargnani looks great. He's one of the league leaders in points per game, and it really seems like he's worked on his defence in the offseason, which makes him a pretty dangerous player. 

Sticking with the theme of hard work, DeMar DeRozen seems to have been working hard on his game this offseason. The incredibly athletic shooting guard can now shoot the three-ball, which is also pretty scary. DeRozan has not yet proved himself enough to be considered a superstar in this league, but if he lives up to his potential, he will be. And with DeRozan being known as more of a shy and humble type of guy, it will give Raptors fans a refreshing change from the more self-absorbed, vocal players they are used to (ie; Carter and Bosh).

I'll admit, I may be reacting to just watching them dominate the lowly Cavaliers only an hour ago, but I really think this team can put a smile on the face of a fan-base forced to witness yet another rebuild. With the combination of seasoned veterans like Jamal Magloire, Jose Calderon, and Anthony Carter, and talented young guns like DeRozan, Bargnani, and Ed Davis, there's going to be a real team focus this season. The older guys will keep the young guys humble, and the young guys will force the older guys to stay quick and in shape. 

It really looked like the team was having a lot of fun tonight, and when teams have fun, they are always fun to watch. Hopefully for Raptors fans, this positive attitude will translate into a basketball team that fans can be proud of regardless of their wins and loses.