San Antonio Spurs – 2018 NBA Season End

The 2018 NBA Season has ended for the San Antonio Spurs. It was a good season but not what most fans were looking for. 2018 Season seemed to be the one of the lowest points in the history of the San Antonio Spurs.

This season, the Spurs has been plagued by injuries and death of family members. Joffrey Lauvergne lost a loved one as well as Coach Pop who lost his wife, Erin Popovich on April 18, 2018 just to name some. There was also the drama with Kawhi Leonard, Spurs top notch player who played only 9 games this season. According to Wikipedia, “Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season with a right quadriceps injury, making his season debut on December 12, 2017, with a minutes restriction against the Dallas Mavericks. He made his first three shots and scored six of the Spurs’ first eight points. In 16 minutes, he had 13 points, six rebounds, an assist and a block. He left the game in the third quarter and the Spurs lost 95–89. On December 26, 2017, in just his fifth game of the season, Leonard scored a season-high 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting in a 109–97 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On January 2, 2018, he set a new season high with 25 points in a 100–91 win over the New York Knicks. Three days later, in a game against the Phoenix Suns, Leonard suffered a partial tear in his left shoulder. He returned to action on January 13 after missing three games and scored 19 points in a 112–80 win over the Denver Nuggets. Four days later however, he was ruled out for an indefinite period of time in order to continue his rehabilitation process from right quadriceps tendinopathy. Leonard was subsequently cleared to play by the Spurs medical staff, but he solicited a second opinion from his own doctors, and spent the All-Star break in the New York area consulting a specialist and going through further rehab.”

The Spurs entered the 1st Round of Playoffs against Golden State Warriors who does not have Steph Curry but has Durant and Zaza Pachulia – the one responsible for Kawhi’s injury. Yes, that guy.

It was already expected that the Spurs would be in the Playoffs but it was also doubted because this Season, they never reached the 50+ Wins. The record stands at 47 Wins – 35 Losses. Still, impressive considering that it’s almost LaMarcus Aldridge who does everything. He has been the Best Spur this season. He almost carried the team night in, night out. His record? Here:

2017 – 18              MPG   FG%  3P%  FT%  PPG   RPG   APG   BPG

POSTSEASON       35.2 46.3    60      97.6   23.6   9.2      2.4      0.4

CAREER STATS    34.6 48.9    28.8   80.6   19.4   8.3      1.9      1.1

Dejounte Murray also was a good addition to the Spurs this season. Again, as per Wikipedia “In the Spurs’ season opener on October 18, 2017, Murray had 16 points, five rebounds and two assists while starting in place of Parker in a 107–99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Five days later, he recorded 14 rebounds in a 101–97 win over the Toronto Raptors. In the Spurs’ previous game against the Chicago Bulls, Murray hauled in 10 rebounds. Murray became just the second Spurs point guard to have multiple double-digit rebounding performances in the same season—Rod Strickland had two double-digit rebounding games in the 1989–90 season. On December 9, 2017, he tied his career high with 14 rebounds in a 104–101 win over the Phoenix Suns. On January 21, 2018 against the Indiana Pacers, Murray started over long-time Spurs starting point guard Tony Parker as a coach’s decision by Gregg Popovich. Murray had eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and four turnovers in 28 minutes in a 94–86 loss.

Two days later, he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in his second start since replacing a healthy Tony Parker, helping the Spurs defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114–102. On February 3, 2018, in a 120–111 loss to the Utah Jazz, Murray became the first player since Kawhi Leonard with 500 points and 300 rebounds in his first 100 games with the Spurs. On March 19, 2018, in an 89–75 win over the Warriors, Murray had eight rebounds to set the franchise record for rebounds in a single season by a point guard. Murray reached 385 rebounds in 1,436 minutes, surpassing Johnny Moore’s total of 378 collected in 2,689 minutes. In Game 4 of the Spurs’ first-round playoff series against the Warriors, Murray was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in the first half, the most 3s made in the playoffs without a miss by a Spurs player since Steve Kerr (2003) and Patty Mills (2014) were 4 for 4 in a half.”

Also worth noting are some of the Spurs that have been part of this season: Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans, Kyle Anderson and Brandon Paul.

Yes, the season has ended for the Spurs but it is not yet over. Things will be a bit interesting this coming summer for them. I also hope that GSW and Cavs would lose this season and let other team face off for the Championship. That would be really interesting.

There also was the issue with Manu Ginobili. I have seen the look on his face before when the Spurs lost a Game 5 too.  One of the pictures, (the one from Bleacher Report NBA) caught me off guard. It was like Tim Duncan’s. I hope Manu returns, but if not, I will respect that. He has already given all he could, all his best. If he retires… then, THANK YOU MANU!

 

Thank you San Antonio Spurs for a great season! See you next Season!
#GoSpursGo!
#SpursForLife
#WeBleedSilverandBlack

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Easter Sunday and the Pagan Beliefs

church bunnies

Today, April 1, 2018, is the first Sunday of the month and Easter Sunday. In Matthew 28:6 NKJV says “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” This is where the true meaning of Easter ha to be. Or has it?

Let us look at the reasons why we call Easter Sunday Easter and not Resurrection Sunday.

Eostre

[1] It is often assumed that the name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre) who was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. [2] She was associated with spring and fertility, and celebrated around the vernal equinox. [3] The only mention of Eastre comes from a passing reference in the writings of the Venerable Bede, an eighth-century monk and historian. Bede wrote,

“Eosturmononath has a name which is now translated as ‘Paschal month,’ and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honor feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate the Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance” (De Temporum Ratione).

And that’s it. Eostre is not mentioned in any other ancient writing; we have found no shrines, no altars, nothing to document the worship of Eastre. It is possible that Bede simply extrapolated the name of the goddess from the name of the month. And who was the Venerable Bede? [4] Bede (673–735) was a Catholic monk in England; he is known as the Father of English History and was one of the most learned men in Europe at the time. Bede’s tomb in Durham Cathedral contains an inscription giving him the title “Venerable,” meaning that some officials in the Roman Catholic Church had found his person and life to be worthy of veneration. Bede was made a saint and declared a doctor of the church in 1899.

Inanna (Ishtar)

[5] One theory that has been put forward is that the Easter story of crucifixion and resurrection is symbolic of rebirth and renewal and retells the cycle of the seasons, the death and return of the sun.

According to some scholars, such as Dr. Tony Nugent, teacher of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, and Presbyterian minister, the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called “The Descent of Inanna” found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC. When Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief–stricken and follows him to the underworld. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. “Naked and bowed low” she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Unless something is done, all life on earth will end. Dr Nugent is quick to point out that drawing parallels between the story of Jesus and the epic of Inanna “doesn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t a real person, Jesus, who was crucified, but rather that, if there was, the story about it is structured and embellished in accordance with a pattern that was very ancient and widespread.”

The Sumerian goddess Inanna is known outside of Mesopotamia by her Babylonian name, “Ishtar”. In ancient Canaan Ishtar is known as Astarte, and her counterparts in the Greek and Roman pantheons are known as Aphrodite and Venus. In the 4th Century, when Christians identified the exact site in Jerusalem where the empty tomb of Jesus had been located, they selected the spot where a temple of Aphrodite (Astarte/Ishtar/Inanna) stood. The temple was torn down and the So Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built, the holiest church in the Christian world.

Dr Nugent points out that the story of Inanna and Damuzi is just one of a number of accounts of dying and rising gods that represent the cycle of the seasons and the stars. For example, the resurrection of Egyptian Horus; the story of Mithras, who was worshipped at Springtime; and the tale of Dionysus, resurrected by his grandmother. Among these stories are prevailing themes of fertility, conception, renewal, descent into darkness, and the triumph of light over darkness or good over evil.

Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs

[6] The Easter Bunny comes from these pagan rites of spring as well, but more from pagan Germany than pagan Britain. Eighteenth-century German settlers brought “Oschter Haws” (never knew he had a name, did you?) to America, where Pennsylvania Dutch settlers prepared nests for him in the garden or barn. On Easter Eve, the rabbit laid his colored eggs in the nests in payment. In Germany, old Oschter lays red eggs on Maundy Thursday. If anyone knows why children in an agrarian society would believe a rabbit lays eggs, please tell us or a historian near you. We’re all dying to know. [7] In Germanic mythology, it is said that Ostara healed a wounded bird she found in the woods by changing it into a hare. Still partially a bird, the hare showed its gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs as gifts.

The Encyclopedia Britannica clearly explains the pagan traditions associated with the egg: “The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians, who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival.” In ancient Egypt, an egg symbolised the sun, while for the Babylonians, the egg represents the hatching of the Venus Ishtar, who fell from heaven to the Euphrates.

The legend of the Easter bunny bringing eggs appears to have been brought to the United States by settlers from Germany. The German tradition of the Easter bunny (or Oschter Haws) migrated to America in the 1700s, accompanying German immigrants, many of whom settled in Pennsylvania. Over the past 200 years, the Easter bunny has become the most commercially recognized symbol of Easter in the United States. Other countries use other animals as the symbol of Easter, such as the cuckoo (in Switzerland).

In legend, the Easter bunny, also called the Easter hare and the spring bunny, brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy, and sometimes toys to the homes of children on the night before Easter, in much the same way as Santa Claus is said to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. The Easter Bunny will either put the baskets in a designated place or hide them somewhere in the house or garden for the children to find when they wake up in the morning, giving rise to the tradition of the Easter egg hunt. Obviously, none of this comes from the Bible.

Because of the commercialization and possible pagan origins of Easter, many churches prefer to call it “Resurrection Sunday.” The rationale is that, the more we focus on Christ and His work on our behalf, the better. Paul says that without the resurrection of Christ our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). What more wonderful reason could we have to celebrate! Whether we call it “Easter” or “Resurrection Sunday,” what is important is the reason for our celebration, which is that Christ is alive, making it possible for us to have eternal life (Romans 6:4)!

What A Wonderful Life

I remember my Inay, or grandmother, before she passed. I sang her this song, and I couldn’t help but cry. Until now.

Close your eyes
And just hear me sing
One last long goodbye
One last song before you spread your wings

I was so distraught that day that I even cried while at the office. I had to work. But I don’t know why I was there knowing that I really cannot focus and my peers doesn’t seem to care.

There’s so much left to say
And before this moment slips away

I even yelled at my daughter because I cannot think straight. She just wants to eat at McDonald’s which was just in front of us. My wife decided to just take the kids home and let me be. I was so in pain. I couldn’t stop my tears.

The cold night calls
And the tears fall like rain
It’s so hard letting go
Of the one thing I’ll never replace

When that week ended, we went to Batangas for the wake. We remembered the good times we had with Inay. We remembered how she scolds us and teaches us and shows us her love.

The cold night calls
And the tears fall like rain
It’s so hard letting go
Of the one thing I’ll never replace

On the day of her burial, it was raining. I was one of the people who carried her coffin. Me and my brother. My family was back in the bus, because we don’t have an umbrella with us that day.

And soon you will be gone
But these words, they will live on

After we got her buried, we went home. I felt empty. Now, it will be seven years since she passed. 2011 has passed. I still feel the deep pain. Pain caused by death. It also gave birth to my first tattoo.

All that I am
You let me be
I will remember you
For all that you’ve done
And given to me

Love will remain
This I can see
Now and forever more
Because of you
Now I believe
I believe

What a wonderful life
For as long as you’ve been at my side
And I want you to know
I loved you so

What a wonderful life
For as long as you’ve been at my side
And I want you to know
I’ll miss you so

And though our days come to an end
No, I’ll never love like this again
What a wonderful life
A wonderful life
What a wonderful life
What a wonderful life

Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting the past. Moving on means we have to continue living despite the pain and hurt and all those things. We move forward with these memories in us. We cherish it. We feel it. What a wonderful life.

Thank you Alter Bridge for this song.

Grace and Mercy

 

Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We deserve judgment, but if we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive mercy from God and we are delivered from judgment. Instead of judgment, we receive by grace salvation, forgiveness of sins, abundant life (John 10:10), and an eternity in Heaven, the most wonderful place imaginable (Revelation 21-22). Because of the mercy and grace of God, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship and thanksgiving. Hebrews 4:16 declares, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

Got Questions

Following God’s Will

What does it take to follow God’s will?

In Jonah 1:3, it says that

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Jonah TRIED running away from God’s order. He was supposed to go to Nineveh where he is set to proclaim God’s words.

Now, on a personal level, how to I follow God’s will?

I have seen tons of how to’s on this subject and I really don’t have the guts to say that “this is how you follow God’s will” video.

As of the moment, all I want is to hear God’s voice telling me what He wants me to do.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27

I do not want to run away again from God’s will. I have already done that before. Not once.

I do not want to lose the presence of God in my life just because my pride got hurt a bit. I am more “educated” now than before. I have more to lose now. People have already trusted me. I do not want to be watching again from afar.

God has already laid out His plan, promises, and all.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 1:20

God knows what is best.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

No. I am not letting go this time.

 

Jesus At The Center

It’s rare that I write 2 succeeding blogs in 1 day, let alone 1 month. But after writing what I wrote earlier lambasting and ranting about age and leadership, I have now calmed down. Plus a shot of Korean wine and coffee helped. Not sure how but it gave me headache.

Seriously though, I led the Praise and Worship earlier today, January 28, 2018, and our last song was, guess it… Yes, JESUS AT THE CENTER by Israel & New Breed.

I was able to think clearly after 2 large cups of coffee and a shot of alcohol and it made me realized something. Is Jesus at my center?

Part of the song says:

Nothing else matters,

nothing in this world will do.

Jesus You’re the center,

and everything revolves around you.

While writing this blog, I am playing in constant repetition the 2 versions of the song.

Jesus be the center of my life,

Jesus be the center of my life

From beginning to the end

It will always be,

It’s always been You Jesus

I know I’ve made a mistake of taking things and turn it into one big mess but, I guess the good thing about it is, me – questioning my own faith and where it’s foundation is laid. I started checking my heart and praying to God to correct my feelings. I asked one Pastor to pray for me because, at the end of the day, I know it is my pride that is hurting more than anything. I just hope I am not too late.

From my heart to heavens

Jesus be the center,

It’s all about You,

Yes it’s all about You

I asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to give me a servant’s heart. I asked God for help.

Jesus, be the center of my everything.

Age and Leadership

Is age a criteria for leading a team? Do I have to question someone just because of his or her age? I don’t think so. But, if someone higher than you makes it seem that you’re no longer qualified because of your age, then there is a problem.

I have had a history with leaders who looks at me and thinks they’re better than me. Good leaders don’t think their people isn’t qualified just because of age. But heck, do I have to care? I will just lay low, and quit the team.