Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cardiac: I didn't know when I signed up to coach that I was going to be the coach of the cardiac A's. We won both games this week which improved our record to 5-4. Cardiac A's- well all 5 of our five wins 3 have been by 1 run and another by 2. Our last two games- top of the last inning bases loaded and we need to hold them and we only have 1 out. Both times we got an out at home and then a strikeout at the plate to win the game for us. It's been a ton of fun and we've beaten some really good teams. It's great because some teams don't take us real serious and then all of a sudden *bam* the game is wrapping up and we've got a lead. Most of us the kids are really improving and we've having a great time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Starting Point: North Point (Atlanta) puts out a slightly outdated but excellend small group resource called Starting Point. You can find there store by going to www.northpoint.org and snooping around. While it is a small group curriculum set it comes with audio cd's that can be listened to that are worth the price alone so you need not feel obligated to use it as curriculum if that's just not you. It covers simple foundational truths in scripture like the authenticity and authority of the Bible, Jesus Christ and our relationship with him.

Ecclesiastes: Solomon was really depressed when he wrote this. I guess I've never really paused to comprehend the gravity of the words or perhaps as I get older the words mean more to me. The first 5 chapters are simply all the things Solomon has put his hand to all his life and worked so hard to achieve and he is calling them all worthless. How sad- how insightful.

Everyone is Equal: I've been having a continued DIALOGUE with a parent of a player on my team. Her main complaint is that her son isn't playing the whole game. For this I am truly sorry, it must stink having to sit the bench but as a coach I feel I'm obligated to help the kids have fun and having fun generally revolves around winning. There are people that will argue this but in team organized sports there is little else that is more fun that winning and right now at 3-4 we are having a fair amout of fun.

So this mother wants her kid to play all 6 innings of every game but the fact is he's not very good so that's not going to happen. Yesterday she was tell me that her son's high intellect is actually his greatest weakness. He's so smart that he doesn't need to pay attention to his teachers or coaches. He is also so smart that he kind of always does his own thing...he changing. :Complete Truth: as she is telling me about the supreme intellect of her son he is playing in the field where we are about to practice. I can hear him talking to a bug that he had caught, then suddenly he starts frolicking with this grasshopper. Now I'm no child specialist but I can assure you one thing...that is not the sign of a genious.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


life is good
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
Nathan sporting his 'Life is Good' hat.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

Monday, April 24, 2006


bridge card
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
Here is the card I've been working on and am about to order. The website isn't up yet but should be in the next week or so.

Abnormal: I know this is abnormal but thought some of you might enjoy hearing about it. To date I have only shared this with one other person- my wife. I have a desire, a sick and twisted desire.

Here goes: Today I went to a printing business to ask about some prices and products that they have. I'm interested in getting some "first touch" things done for The Bridge. So I'm sitting down with the owner and I've told him what I wanted and am interested in getting. He is breaking out magazines and getting very excited about his product and excited about the business we're going to generate for him. My desire- without explanation to just get up and leave. The guy was very nice and I'm happy to give him my business so it's not like I want to make him mad I would just love to see his face of shock. I think the desire is to just do something so socially retarded to see what the reaction is.

Now one of my friends is going to do this to me one day and I'm going to get to learn firsthand what the reaction is...until then I can only imagine.

Word of the Week: Exponentially

Punctuation of the Week: -

United 93: I have heard and read mixed opinion and emotions about this upcoming movie. For the most part I can force it to the back recesses of my mind where it has probably lived since September 12, 2001. I think that's the problem with this movie, or rather the problem I have with this movie and articles have alluded to this fact. It is said that people that lived through the 9/11 tragedy and survivors of those that died give their blessing for the movies, television shows and books that are written are ok with them being released while others, like myself, are not.

One factor in this I want to mention is that these people were face to face with this horrible experience while the rest of us were watching from our living rooms. The tragedy occurred in NY, DC and PA for the victims but on our couches in our homes for the rest of us. Don't get me wrong I know the victims families suffered exponentially more than any of us but they have been forced to carry on while I think somedays we can vividly take ourselves back to September 11 and relive it or to September 12 and pretend like it never happened, because except for longer lines in the airport and a suspicion for people of middle eastern decent it really didn't change my life much.

Frankly I think the timing of this movie is tasteless, awful, and a truthful but ugly nature of movie makers. I guess their mentality is strike while the iron is hot or before the bodies are cold. It hasn't even been 5 years. If Saving Private Ryan waited over 50 years to depict WWII then certainly they can wait just a few more.

I wonder why a Columbine movie hasn't been made yet...afterall it has been 7 years as of last Thursday.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Polos
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
Here is a picture of Nathan and I sporting our polos this morning. I think he looks unusually old in this picture but it's still amazing how fast he is growing.

DaVinci: Out of curiousity I went out and bought the book. I plan on watching the movie so I wanted to read the book first. There is one thing we need to remember when talking about this book...IT'S FICTION! The author admits to this- he does however leave the door open for people to misconstrue what he says in the book...he likes it this way. What good would it do to say...this entire book is filled with fiction and it's all lies don't believe any of it but I hope you enjoy the book. People like fiction laced with truth..or the fa├žade of truth. This is what Dan Brown did. He wanted to get people riled up...he did.

This book is a conspiracy theory, like the easter bunny, santa claus, Elvis being abducted and us never landing on the moon.

The first 250 pages are purely action/mystery/thriller. It's a good book if not the best written. I've been interested all the way through. Then like clock work when you his page 250 all sanity is thrown out the window. In 3 pages he discredits the canon, council of nicene, divinity of Christ, and credibility and content of the dead sea scrolls among others.

Literally he drops an atomic word bomb on all these topics without ever giving decent reason why or sufficient evidence that his words have merit. He puts equal merit of a painting crafted in 1498 as he does text dated back to the first century A.D....but again this is a fiction book. The great part is that I think they are all questions worth answering and considering. So I don't buy all the hype. Educate your people, teach them that what they believe in reliable but if someone has an opposing thought it's not that big of a deal.

A couple sources you might consider.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_The_Da_Vinci_Code

These are the only true "facts" Dan Brown admits to on his website.
http://www.danbrown.com/secrets/bizarre_facts/davinci_code.html

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

700: Today I did something I have never done before...well several things. I saw a tv show being done live. I got to sit in the control room and watch the camera, light, audio, and producers all do their thing. Granted I know it doesn't rank very high on the cool factor scale but I really enjoyed it.

Our friend, Heather, is a producer for the 700 club. She is 25 years old and to be doing what she is doing is pretty amazing. It was really neat to see her in her element and busting chops to get the show done right. It makes me want to go to all of our other friends jobs to see them in action.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Words: I posted a quote from Augustine probably about a year ago and after looking for it for the last 10 minutes I've given up. "Quitter!" (edit: I found the quote...seems it's from a' Kempis not Augustine)

Although we cannot always preserve our recollection, yet we must do so from time to time, and at least once a day, either in the morning or in the evening. In the morning form your intention, and at night examine your conduct, what you have done, said, and thought during the day, for in each of these you may have often offended both God and your neighbor. -Thomas 'a Kempis

The quote spoke of waking up and setting your resolved to follow God and strive for holiness. I really enjoy the thought and so I can honestly say not a day goes by that I don't stand in the shower and announce to myself my resolve to follow God today with all of my heart, in this I also resolve to be a good husband, father, friend and pastor. The amazing this is that it is often during this time that God speaks back to me. This morning I was reminded of a Bible verse that and old aquaintance from college asked me about a few months back.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit.

Being completely honest I don't even know what the second part means but the first part is pretty clear. My words- that I speak to others have the power of either life or death which I choose to give is up to me. I want my words to bring life. So I read the rest of the chapter and really gleaned much from some of the proverbs. My favorite was:

Proverbs 18:6 A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.

Bonds: I am NOT a fan of Barry Bonds whatsoever, 0% emphatically against all that he has done, stands for and how he has tainted baseball. He is the epitomy of all that is wrong with professional sports and for this reason I delight is his misery- I am a horrible person.

I believe that Bonds has set up for himself this attitude. People don't feel like they owe him anything because he has never felt he owed anyone anything. He has played baseball for him and to get his. Well it looks like he’s finally getting what he’s worked so hard for…emptiness.

There is part of me that feels bad for him. And to be completely honest this part of me that has sympathy is growing every day. I do feel bad for him because when I see him I see a shell of a man both literally and figuratively.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Daddy, It's HOT!: I went to my first AAA basebally game yesterday. Norfolk is home of the Norfolk Tides which is a AAA farm team for the New Yorks Mets. It's typically pretty good basebally and they don't charge incredibly much for a ticket. So after a deli lunch Brandon and I headed over to the game. We're both in shorts and gray shirts so we're in pretty good summer attire. The temperature is about 85 degrees and we're sitting in the straight sun with no reprive. All of a sudden Brandon stands up and says "It's too hot, I'm getting something to drink." So he come back with a drink and the game goes on. It's hot but not stifling and there is a nice breeze off the water. Suddenly Brandon says again "it's hot- I'm leaving". So we get up and change seats.

I say all that to say...What a woman!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lunch: I just had a great lunch with a pastor, two to be precise. They are from a local church with an interesting story. They used to be old and southern baptist and frankly they were dying. The pastor returned to the church and in the course of 7 years had turned the church around. They are thriving and just constantly growing. What is amazing is that this pastor initiated contact with me and wanted to have lunch with me all on the week of Easter. He took the time to ask about me and when I left the lunch I felt like I had two new friends not to mention the resource kit he is ordering and mailing to me.

.500: Because of a forfeit my minor league team is now 2-2 or in baseball terms .500. The team that forfeited to us was the team that beat the poo out of us the first game of the season. We ended up scrimmaging which was very good for my team. The guys played well. We had very minimal errors and everyone played smart. Hooray for the A's.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Taxes: I got my taxes done yesterday. Whoo-hoo we're getting money back for the first time in 4 years.

Boot Camp: I stumbled upon this Mac news yesterday and thought it worth posting. Apple is aware that Mac users still must use PC software some of the time. Because of this new mac users or potential mac users are hesistant to make the switch or when they do make the switch still must keep their pc around to use about 10% of the time. With the new dual core intel chip in the macs the options are appearing limitless as to how this new mac can be used. Apple just released a beta (test) program that allows you to install and use Windows XP on your Mac. The amazing this is that a Mac can actually be started up in Windows and will operate only as a windows machine when it is in this "mode" and the same for the apple machine. The programs never share memory and are completely independant from each other.

The down side is that the windows side is still very vulnerable to viruses and bugs...same as a regular pc machine. I'm continually amazed at Apple's innovation and willingness to recognize the competition and work with it. Read more about it here-http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp

Wholesale: Christianity wholesale. What does this mean? What does it mean to be a wholesaler of Christianity? I'll be exploring this idea in the next few days.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Anxiety: I remember as a teenager I would sometimes feel so overwhelmed with anxiety. It was generally when I quieted my life enough to listen to either my conscience or the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When these times came I would not quite sick but something very uncomfortable stirring within me. Now the feeling of anxiety comes when I know there is something unpleasant on the horizon- like gathering all of my tax papers.

This morning I took some time to recollect and reread the story of Jesus' triumphial entry. I've probably heard it a hundred times before and this time I took away the feeling of anxiety. Not for myself but a little bit of an understanding of what Jesus must have been feeling. Mentally I believe he was line up, he was ready to go but emotionally the knowing thought that your death is coming soon must have been unbearable. Jesus continued to speak and to teach and to put the final touches on his preparation of the disciples and world for life after his coming...but he was human...he understood anxiety.

The rest of this week I hope to journey through the passion week and I pray that God teaches me new things about his gift to us.

Winner: We went into our game on Saturday 0-2. We played teh 0-2 Angels so I felt like for the first time we were off to a victory. Tyler was the first to pitch and he pitched 3 great innings and we scored all 3 of our runs every inning. Then the rain hit, I would have loved to finish the game because we were rolling but the rain caused a delay and we left having played half the game and winning 9-6.

The rain out was rescheduled for the next day, sunday. I barely had enough kids to play (9) and I had to pitch a kid that is still working out the kinks. Our first inning we did well on the bases and once again scored all three of our runs. Then they got up to bat and scored all 3 of their runs. So we head into the 5th inning up only 12-9. They pitch a new pitcher and completely shut us down. That inning, due to a some great pitching, they only score 2 runs. Then we get up to bat and...get shut out again. So here we are bottom of the 6th inning winning 12-11. In minor league there is no overtime. At the end of the game if it is tied the game ends and you look back at previous innings and the last person that was winning wins the game. So for the other team it's all or nothing because we had been winning the entire game.

So bottom of the 6th and Mike is pitching really well. We get 2 quick outs and then Mike walks a guy. He steals second and then third. Next pitch is a passed ball and the kid scores a run. 12-12. Then the batter gets walked so they have the winning run on base and their best hitter up to bat. The kids steals second. This is not good. The next pitch comes...The kid at bat absolutely crushes the ball, I'm stunned. We had been winning the whole game only to loose it in the last play of the game. Back to the crushed ball. This ball is flying and hard. Right between my first and second baseman...Tyler my second baseman sticks out his glove and *whack* catches the line drive. 3 outs..game over...We win.

It was crazy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Club: I've owned a Mac for about three weeks now and I have been learning lots and am comfortable with using the computer. It's been fun. I've noticed a few things his past week about mac users. First of all it's like a club and if a mac user sees you with a mac they like you immediately and want to talk with youa bout...macs. Because of this I have noticed one other thing. There are lots of homosexual mac users.

Game: We had our second game last night and we lost. But while we lost we played much much better than our last game. We had 2 innings where my team got all 3 outs and the innining didn't end automatically because of runs scored. My team played heard and most of the time they played smart. I really really don't mind loosing as long as we do those two things.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Akeelah: I'm a pretty big Starbucks fan which mean I like their coffee, I like the way they run their company, I like the way they deal with their employees and I like how they do business. Of course all of these things I only understand in the things I have read and heard because I have never worked at one. Generally I think they do stuff that is pretty smart and makes them a step better. I walk in the other day and I see an advertisement for Akeelah and the Bee about an inner city girl that makes a run at the National Spelling Bee championship...sounds like a thriller. I just don't understand why they (Starbucks) would align themselves with a movie like this. I also don't understand why they (movie companies) would make a movie like this. Of course now that Starbucks has endorsed it the movie should do quite well...but they won't get my $8.50!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Behind the Word
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
Where's Nathan? Behind the commentaries just under The Present Future.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Colors


colors
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
Another set of doors also taken in Norfolk, VA. The blue door could be yours if you have the money!

Ivy


Ivy
Originally uploaded by drnickcerda.
I like doors. This was taken in Norfolk, VA.

1st Game: It wasn't pretty but we played our first game today. We scored 6 runs and ran the bases very well. The bad news is the other team scored 15 runs. We made lots of mental errors but I honestly believe we can compete with the other teams...but we have to stop making the mental mistakes.

Highlight: In our league all 12 players bat even though only 9 can play in the field. So when I say our 12th batter was up to bat it's understood that he is not only the weakest hitter but probably the weakest fielder as well. Well Calvin is our 12th man. Calvin is one of my favorite kids, possibly because he does the funniest stuff possible and the other reason is that Calvin has some disabilities. He's has what is called a delay which means it takes him longer than other kids to process stuff. You see why this might be a problem in baseball! So Calvin is our 12th hitter and almost every other kid had struck out...most looking. So Calvin gets up there and fouls off a few good pitches and works his count to 3-2. At this point in the game we're in the 3 inning and soooo many of the kids had struck out, I was so discouraged. So Calvin is doing really well just by fouling off the ball, I got a little excited. Then at full count he gets a good piece and hits a blooper to third and gets our first hit of the season. Calvin, the kid with the delay, got our first hit. I laughed at the irony and then I almost cried. I'm not being dramatic about that, I honestly almost cried a few times...especially when I gave Calvin the game ball for getting the first hit of the season. I think it showed me so much of God's grace that Calvin would get the first hit. I'm not sure it was God helping Calvin hit that ball but I think the illustration is beautiful. Because in truth we're all a good bit of "Calvin", we're the underdog, destined underachiever, and frankly a little slow but God does really amazing things through us. Thank goodness!