Well, I guess we'll have to wait for another incredible Suns' winning streak. The Suns lose to the Utah Jazz (31-17) at home. The Suns were down by 9 at the half, came back within five at the end of the third, and only lost by three, but it was still a loss. Raja Bell did not play, and Barbosa started in his place. It is going to be hard to keep up the pace if Raja is not fit. He brings in defense that the Suns need, as well as incredible shooting from beyond the arch. Nash had a double double (22 points, 10 assists), as well as Amaré Stoutemire (28 points, 10 rebounds). Another blow to the team effort, though, was that Marion fouled out (and had a technical) with only 4 points, 1 block, 1 assist, but he did have 8 boards. The Suns even had a better jump-shooting percentage for the game, but the Jazz took more shots and still shot well. Neither team did extremely well with the 3-point shot, and the turnovers weren't terribly mismatched, either (Suns 16, Jazz 13). The Suns have still not lost by double figures this year, which is a good thing, but we've got to win close games like this, especially against powerhouse teams in the West, with whom the Suns have only won one (last game, over the Spurs) of the eight or so games they've played. They go on to play the Denver Nuggets (23 - 22) on Monday in Colorado at 7pm AZ time. Iverson still has a sprained ankle, so I don't know if he will play, but the Suns will still have Carmelo Anthony to deal with come Monday. The Suns can do it, and it should be a great game. GO SUNS!
I met a Bahá'í man named Christian. I thought that was ironic. He's 50, but, man, he definitely doesn't look like it. He will hopefully become a great friend of mine, and I am praying for the Lord to do something that only He can: change Christian's heart. If you're a believer, please pray for Christian to be won over by the Lord, to have a changed heart, and to bring glory to the Father. If you'd like to know more about my discussions with Christian or what it is that he believes, I'd love to share with you my excitement about being able to share Christ with him. Just let me know.
My mom gave us permission to use 30 of their dollars for recreation/dinner together on our night away from Aidan. Aidan was staying with his grandparents (Ogles) so they could test run him staying the night with them this next weekend because Amy and I are going to Winterrupt (sm@ncc winter camp 07) for the weekend and childcare would not be provided for him. They are doing us a huge favor, and we got to use the test run to enjoy having no responsibilities. We got a little dressed up (a nice shirt and jeans for me equals a little dressy), dropped Aidan off, and then went to see if the dollar theatre had Eragon yet. They didn't. So we went to blockbuster to see if there were any movies we would like to purchase/rent. There weren't. We then went to Quizno's Subs and got dinner for $24 (yikes). It was great (we'd never go there unless on someone else's money, heh). We came home, watched half of Ocean's Twelve, then we went to the "build-your-own" sundae place just south of our house on 51st Ave. Man, were those 24 ounces expensive: just under $10 for just two bowls of ice cream with a few toppings (I would have topped the $30 limit, so I paid for that). We could have gone to Cold Stone for that much and had much better ice cream. It was good to try it, though, and Amy was on an ice cream kick, so that satisfied her craving (she's now on a doughnut kick, to which I said "no"). We came back home and enjoyed the ice cream (somewhat) and finished the movie. It was a great evening provided by both sets of (grand)parents. We are very grateful for the Ogles taking care of Aidan, and very grateful to the Van Liews for providing the money for a really good dinner (we love Quizno's, we just can't do it normally). We love you all.
Matthew du Mée and I went to play racquetball at the new Glendale Recreation and Aquatics Center that I am a member at. He'd never played before, so I gave him a lesson in brokenness/humility by just thumping him in all four games we played. Alright, so it was his first time and I should be a little more kind about it; fine, but we went downstairs to play some one-on-one basketball, and I couldn't keep going for five minute because I'm that out of shape! I'm sure he got a good chuckle out of that one; I know I did. That definitely put me in my place...with a little brokenness/humility. Matthew: it was a great evening. Thanks for playing and chatting with me.
"I'm not lying, I'm instilling doubt."
The Mavericks have won their last two games, and the Suns lost one and won one. The Mavericks now are at the top of the NBA again with their record of 38 - 9. The Suns (37 - 9) are just half a game behind the Mavs now, but we want the top. If we can end with the best record, we shouldn't have to play both the Mavs and the Spurs in the playoffs, they would have to play each other first. That would be the way to go. GO SUNS!
The Suns took on the San Antonio Spurs, one of the best teams in the NBA the last five to six years. Until last night, the Suns (37 - 9) had not beaten one of the top West teams, losing to the Mavericks (38 - 9) in both meetings, the Jazz (30 - 17), the Lakers(28 - 18), and to the Spurs (32 - 16), their first meeting. Not this time. The Suns were down by 11 in the first, but came back to within a couple points early on in the second. At the half, the Suns were down by three points. San Antonio looked like they were a dominating team in the first half, and for the most part they really are, Tim Duncan got a double double with 20 points and 18 rebounds, but they couldn't keep running with the Suns in the second half. The Suns outscored the Spurs 22 - 17 in the third, and 31 - 17 in the fourth, winning the game by a 16 point lead, which they didn't even build until the last two minutes or so in the final quarter. The Suns kept fighting, and the Spurs stopped hitting their shots and playing the defense that led them to the lead in the first half. Amaré Stoudemire got a double double with 24 points and 23 rebounds; Nash had 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Suns are on a one-game winning streak! WOOHOO! They have another big match coming up tomorrow nigh, 7pm, in Phoenix against the Utah Jazz (30 - 17). GO SUNS!
The second meeting of dvccc that was open for all students was last night. Last week we had between 20 and 30 students show. This week we were down toward 15 students. While authenticity is not based on numbers, the more students that dvccc can impact with the Gospel the better. The dvccc student leadership and I had some great prayer before the meeting. We talked about the need to ask for things that could only be explained by God having done it. We are looking for the supernatural to take place in our lives and in the lives of the students dvccc will be able to reach. Some of the leaders really seemed to be getting it and cared. Others might take a while longer. We're all at different places, and God is good. I didn't lead very well when a situation arose that, in my mind, shouldn't have even been an issue. Our speaker was supposed to be one person, or another, both of whom I knew already, but neither were asked about speaking because the student didn't come through who was supposed to ask them. So she got someone else who was never mentioned to me, and I was taken off-guard, and I was rude. I was jerkish. I had to apologize to him later, and I did. I ate crow. I was totally wrong. He told me that he felt I was wrong to act the way I did, that he had felt God laying something on his heart that day to share, and that he didn't want to do it anymore because of me. Yeah; I messed up. I apologized, but he still felt like leaving, so I didn't object. The Lord does what He will. A few other students shared what God was laying on their hearts lately, and there was a youth pastor (Nate Sams, 23) from New Heart (about 43rd Ave & Greenway in Phoenix) who got up toward the end and shared what he'd been studying in Galations 5. A few of the things the students had said they would do, they didn't, and I let my expectations in man defeat me and my attitude toward the evening. But God...that's a good phrase...but God still did His thing. He alone changes hearts, even despite me. *Lord, forgive me for trying to take Your place as Sovereign and Judge. May all honor, glory, majesty, power, authority, and dominion be Yours, before all ages, now, and forever. Amen.*
Whelp, the run is over. The Minnesota T-Wolves (22 - 22) beat the Suns (36 - 9) in a very well-played game, 121 - 112. Even though Minnesota was under 500 at the time, the fourth quarter was all Wolves, and the Suns looked tired from their road-trip. It could have even been that the Suns took the Wolves for granted and were solely looking on to the competition against the Spurs (32 - 14) coming up next. Time for long run number 3! GO SUNS!
The Suns (36- 8) now meet a very select few of other teams on the list of teams with 17+ game winning streaks. The Suns tie 3 other teams for the 7th longest winning streak in the NBA's 60+ years of existence. The Cavaliers kept in the game throughout the first three quarters, but almost no one can run with the Suns for all 48 minutes. The Suns ended up winning by 15, 115 - 100. Not quite as close as it had been; the Suns started pulling away from the beginning of the fourth quarter and kept pulling away. I believe their largest lead was the lead that they ended with. 5 Suns had double figure scoring: Nash with a double-double (23 points, 15 assists), Matrix (23), Stat (22), Blur (19), and Raja (15). The Suns now go on to 18 wins when they play the Timberwolves (21 - 22) in Minnesota tomorrow night at 6pm. GO SUNS!