Dallas Stars!

If you followed my Twitter/Facebook feed at all on Tuesday, you know how insane I went when I got to experience my first NHL game. And in a big way. We were on the front row right behind the Dallas Stars’ bench. I can’t even describe the awesomeness of that evening.

We arrived at the arena when it opened and watched warm up. Every time the Stars came out, I’d lean over the railing and solicited the fist bump from the team (which I would say about half the team acknowledged), screaming my encouragements to them.

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My next statement is rather obvious: watching the game on TV is nothing like being there. But to describe what I mean, you can’t get an appreciation for how fast these guys skate on TV. While our seats were amazing for their proximity to the bench, it did make it a bit difficult to watch the game. I’ve never wiggled around in a seat so much in my life…trying to see. But that didn’t matter…I WAS THERE!

The Stars ended up breaking the Predators’ 7 game winning streak, winning 3-1. Goals were very weird; I really only saw one of them occur. The first goal came in the 2nd period, by Trevor Daley, just kind of happened all the sudden. The Stars fan we sat next to didn’t realize it had happened either. Ha. The Preds tied it 1-1 by the end of the 2nd. In the third, the Stars scored 2 back-to-back goals off some horrible turnovers by the Preds. The goals were scored by Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen.

Also odd were penalties and stoppage of play. I guess being directly behind the glass, we couldn’t hear the whistle. We’d just see a player head off to the penalty box across the ice.

Here’s just a few photos of warm up and of my favorite players. I took as many as I could during media time-outs, but I didn’t want to watch the game through my phone during play; by the end of the game, my battery was 10%. LOL (Click on the photos to see them big.)

Warming Up:

Face-Off:

Brenden Morrow (10; Team Captain), Stephen Robidas (3), and Kari Lehtonen (32; recently acquired during mid-season waivers):

Steve Ott (29):

Jamie Benn (14; 5th highest scoring rookie in the NHL):

Kari Lehtonen (32):

If you wanna see the rest that I spruced up, head to my gallery.

Also next to us was a couple…they actually had seats on the rail.  I wanted to try to get an autograph or 20 after the game.  I had brought a pen but lost it, so I asked the lady if she had one and told her why.  She offered to get the autograph for me, and as attractive as she was, she would stand a MUCH better chance of getting them than I would.  Kids and hot chicks…that’s how you get things from athletes.  I eyed Marty Turco, the long time goalie of the Stars (but he sat out this game) and motioned to see if he’d sign the program I handed her.  He nodded.  I wanted to get several and asked as they left the arena, but no one stopped.  But I’m pretty pleased with what I got:

I have this bittersweet problem where when I go to things like this–so rare because of where I live–I get a little star struck.  I think how amazing it would be to have the resources to do this all the time; or even have a job where I could be around the team.  Heck, I even envied the bench-squeegee guy.  I know it looks more glamorous on the outside though, and I’ve got a pretty good deal going here, but it sure was one of the highlighted experiences I’ve had.  I’ll end this post by repeating what I said in one of my tweets:

considering im not married this is the most epic night of my life!

Dallas Stars!

The Life I Want to Live

I’ve been on the “do it my way” track for a while now. It started last year with a pretty devastating loss to me. Actually, 2009 kinda sucked all around. I lost a lot of security and contentment. A lot of insecurities came blaring out and I was suddenly sensitized to things that I haven’t been in a long time. To counter that, I made choice to fit in to the mold of my social world. I made other choices that provided immediate (but temporary) gratification. And thus the degeneration began, and my fellowship with God waned…and waned…and waned. The good things either dropped off or became meaningless routine. And I found myself in a place not even having the want to change.

I knew I was on the fast track to losing my communion with my Creator, but by that point, I couldn’t let go of some things that I had begun. A wise man told me, when I asked how to get rid of them, that will power wasn’t enough…that I had to replace those things with good. And so I took some steps to do that, yet to this date some of the old leaks back in. Our pastor has been leading a study on Philippians and how to fine true, inner joy through Christ. It is resonating with me. A conviction came over me so greatly this weekend, that I knew the time had come…I either needed to make the necessary changes in my life or I would be heading to a point of no-return; of doing things I would not be able to take back.

I really suck at praying. I have to think about what I’m going to say and rehearse it like a speech in my mind, before bowing my head and closing my eyes. So the first thing I did this morning was ask God to teach me to pray. Then I asked Him to guard my heart against the temptations I’ve let slip in. And I prayed for this kind of life:

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

I’ll hope you’ll pray for me in this, and join me in this pursuit.

The Life I Want to Live