Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Power of Self Reflection

I am usually the type of guy that is full steam ahead.  I am really big with living in the moment and not being too concerned with what has happened in the past and not being too interested in planning out the details of my future. As of late I have been finding joy in reflecting on past events and past scenarios and discovering what impact they have had on me.  The Lord wouldn’t give us the ability of memory if he didn’t intend for us to use it. How else can we learn if we don’t deconstruct the past and see what worked and what didn’t?

What do I self-reflect on?
  1.   Evernote - I use Evernote as a storage device for capturing quotes, recording sermons and reflecting on my day. By review notes I have created in the past I am able to reflect on my thought process on a specific day and also follow up on action items I swore to do.
  2. Gym Log Journal   I love looking at older gym logs and being amazed at how much stronger I have gotten.
  3. Wikipedia - Almost every chance I get I review the “this day in history” section on Wikipedia. It’s amazing how countries and nations have changed in such a short period of time. (The civil rights movement was like yesterday)

 The only way to grow is through making mistakes and the only way not to make the same mistake again is to reflect on what happened and change your approach.

“You’ll never know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. 

Do you have a self-reflection time? Thoughts? Comments?

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Thursday, May 2, 2013



Materialism is man’s defiant attempt to overshadow destiny with the panoply of cities, the hurling activity of his body, the absorption of his five senses through ceaseless compulsions-with toys and furnishings, games, stones jewelry, and fine processions-with listening and looking and smelling and touching and tasting- with all and everything that servers to stave off introspection for a minute, an hour, a lifetime.

Phillip Wylie, Night unto Night (Preface)

There is a thin line between enjoying the spoils of life in which God has blessed us with and being over materialistic. I grew up neither wealthy nor poor but I have always have had a grasp of the difference between needs and wants. I have developed is the only unspoiled only child in America (I only had a Nintendo growing up, so I missed out on Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, PlayStation 1 & 2 and Sony Dreamcast…. sorry for the nerdy rant). My parents have instilled in me a sense of being satisfied with whatever you have and I grew up a happy kid.

I am a bit worried for the youth of today always being stimulated with something (iPads, PSP, Cell Phone, etc.). It’s hard not to become materialist when you always have. Once the habit of always having is fully developed in a child’s consciousness there will be no limits for the wants of the child in the future. The youth of today may not even know the difference between a want and need as I learned growing up.

If I were to be blessed to have a family my plan to combat this trend of materialism would be.
1.     Technology Free Day – One day a week without any technology, that means no TV no playing on cell phones or tablets. This will also have to apply to the adults in the house for we are the best example for children.
2.     Charity – You don’t see how truly blessed you are until you dwell with people less fortunate than you. I am not talking about give some change to the homeless man at the train station either. I’m talking about going down to soup kitchen, handing out food to the homeless.
3.     More Play Time - There have been countless days where I have passed a park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and its completely empty.  This would be unheard of in my teenage years. I remember some Saturdays traveling from park to park to find a court that’s been over crowded.    

Maybe I am just being old school with my thoughts and nothing is wrong with the way kids are coming up theses days.

Am I overthinking? Would you raise your children differently? Thoughts? Comment?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NBA Predictions: NBA 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team

NBA First Team
1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
G CP3 Tony Parker  James Harden 
G Kobe Bryant Russel Westbrook Dwayne Wade
F Lebron James Carmelo Anthony  Blake Griffin 
F Kevin Durrant Chris Bosh LaMarcus Aldridge
F/C Tim Duncan Marc Gasol Dwight Howard


  • 1st team was easy to compile only difficult decision was choosing Duncan over Gasol. I gave Duncan the edge for being more consistent this year even though Gasol has played alot more minutes this year then Duncan. Tim Duncan is the key to the Spurs standing on the top of the western conference as is very efficient for the limited minutes he plays.  
  • No need to hate on Howard being on the third team. As usually the NBA is weak with quality centers and Dwight isn't having his greatest year but he is having a solid year compared to his peers.
  • Most difficult team to compile was the third 3rd so many great players that I had to leave out such as Z. Randolph, P. Gasol, JR Smith (sorry i'm a Knick Fan), D. Williams, S. Curry, D. Lee or P. George. 
  • The toughest call I had to make would be between LaMarcus Aldrige and Brook Lopez. Brook Lopez had a wonderful season and he is the last of the dying breed of low post scoring centers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Learning from Weight Lifting to become a better Christian!!! 

Momentum - One thing that I have learned from weight lifting is that you have to be consistent and build upon the monument from previous days, weeks and years. I have had a gym membership since about 2007. Between 2007 and today in 2013. I have taken numerous hiatuses from the gym. Without these hiatuses I know that I would've been faster, leaner and stronger today.  The momentum i'm starting to gain now is the same momentum I apply to my Christian life. I attend church events and meetings even when I don't want because I know I need to maintain momentum and grow stronger in my faith.

Pain is okay - During weight lifting or any exercise your body is tearing down muscle fiber which it will repair and refortify to make the muscle stronger for  future use (or your next weight lifting session). Any fiber tears that occur in your body will cause some type of pain. The same principle applies in a Christian walk. In these verses we hear and are forewarned about the hardships and the pain we will have to go through as Christians.

  • James 1:2-4 
  • John 15:18-20  
  • 1 Peter 4:13 
  • Romans 15:4
But as in weight lifting I have learned the pain is only temporary and there is a greater reward for me past this season of pain.

I am stronger today than I am yesterday -  Every time I go to the gym I get better. I may not be able to throw five extra pounds on the bar but my reps become cleaner or my stamina throughout the whole session gets better. The same growth occurs with my walk with the Lord. I get stronger and more confident in God's word everyday and just as in weight lifting there is no point of maximum strength or maximum Christian ism.

The stronger I get the more I am responsible to help - I am far from and Olympic lifter or a strong man competitor but I can hold my own in the weight room. Usually once or twice a week I get asked for advice on a certain lift or get asked to assist someone while they lift a weight. In my earlier days in the gym these interactions never occurred. As I grow stronger in the Lord I notice that I am asked to speak more in public or present a lesson of some sort. I know the more learn and grow in the faith the more is required from me.

We all know about the Great Commission which Jesus demand of from the disciples in Matthew 28:16-20. A key point some people may neglect is the timing of the Commission. The commission was not given to the disciples earlier in Jesus ministry. The Commission was given after Christ dead and resurrected. The disciples at this point have gone through numerous highs and lows on their walk of faith and now were strong enough to receive the Commission and execute on it.

The stronger we get the more we need to help.

Thoughts? Comments?  

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Monday, March 25, 2013

First things 1st

I always find it funny when people say things such as I don't time to do "X" or I wanted to do "Y" but I ran out of time. I find those statement to be an excuse or a lie we tell ourselves. On a given day we have about 16 conscious hours to get things done give or take a few hours depending on how much sleep you require. In those 16 hours I find it hard to believe that you can't squeeze in activities you truly want to do.

For quick hitting activities such as praying, reading and meditating it only takes a few minutes to get them done and you feel better for the whole day. For the task that take more physical or mental energy such as exercising, writing or studying all that is required is a bit of preplanning and the development of a consistent habit. None the less whether the task is quick hitting of requires more energy it best to do it when we first wake up. When we first wake up our body and mind are recharged, our thought are clear, our willpower tank is full.

When we first start out doing our first things 1st activities in the morning we need not go all out by say thing like:

"I am going to write 2000 words this morning"
"I am going to meditate for one hour this morning"
" I am going to do an hour and a half weight training session at 5am tomorrow"

Setting your first thing 1st goals so high and lofty is a perfect setup for a future disappointment. When we fail at something we become disappointed in ourselves we quit. So why walk down this path when we know where it potentially leads.

Instead setup shorter and smaller goals such as

"I'm going to write for 15 minutes this morning"
"I am going to meditate for 5 minutes today"
"I am going to do an at home exercise video this morning"

Overtime you will start to enjoy your morning time first things 1st routines and add eventually you add more complexity to them.

My morning routine is usually devotion time. Not every morning run smoothly but I have tools to help me stay on track. Trust me my eyes are so heavy some morning that reading the Bible is a very difficult task but that's why I have audio sermons.

So if you want to make sure you get something done do it FIRST before you find an excuse to not do it. It doesn't have to be the whole activity you may only need five minutes worth.

What's your first thing 1st activities? Where are you struggling?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why I don't need to make 100k a year?

At the age of 21 my goal was to be at least making 100K a year by the age of 30. Being a year away from thirty I am remotely close to this goal but I have also learned that it doesn't matter.

I guess being at the ripe age of 21 my mind was on all the things that a young man that age thinks about  namely money, women and having fun. At the age I am at now I realized that my priorities were all mixed up.

I have learned that my real priorities are now

  1. continuing to grow in all aspects of my life mental, physical and spiritually. Jan Alridge a minster I heard over the weekend reminded me of an old saying  "if you're not moving forward you are moving backwards "
  2. treasure genuine connection you have with people.  In my life I have had many friends come and go. I am often accused of being guarded and not open but that is far from the case. I choose who I call a friend very carefully. I take the saying "you are the average of your five closes friends literally".What is the point of keeping friends around that pushing you to become better. 
  3. be more selfless. being an only child i have a lot of residual spoiled child tenancies  Over the years I have learned that our life goal and mission are to give. Give of your time, energy and talents to the world. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Are we silent symbol of Jesus?

I was reading a Jim Pena article on and he was discussing about what does your outward appearance saw about your walk with God. I then thought to myself do people know that I'm Christian by the way I carry myself or do they think something else. For the most part I am not concerned how people view me but I do realize that I represent two legacies

  1. I am a Marshall ;and
  2. I AM a Christian (Christ-like).
I find it easier to live up to my family name since there isn't a particular exception I need to live up too. As a Christian however the standard is much higher. Christ has set the bar high for all of us and even though we will never be as holy as Christ we must press and strive for that mark. The World may think that Christians should walk on water and perform miracles but being a pursue of Christ is more than that.

Of course I can get a physical symbol to show my faith such as a cross pendant or tattoo of the face of Jesus but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something more!!! I want that when you walk into a room  room people feel my presence of God around me. I don't want this outward apperance for selfish reasons I want it because that is my purpose and that is my call. This life in the human body is only a test trail for the what God has in store for us and my goal is too have as many people as possible join me for the real thing after life. 

In order to achive this silent symbol of faith 

  1. Spend more time in the word -  by spending more time in the word I will be saturated with God's wisdom.
  2. Be aware of my body language - I am the type of person whose face expressions and body language gives away exact how I'm feeling. I need to be aware of the signals that I am unaware that I am projection. 
  3. Spend the with the Lord -have you ever noticed that people who spend alot of time together pick up each others tendencies.  Some people even start to look alike, how often do you see pet owners look like their pet. If I want to be a reflection the Lord them I have tut spend time with him.
Thoughts? Comments?

Follow me @DrivenDre

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Couch Time Stories: Washington Capitals vs NJ Devils

In my quest to become the next Bill Simmons or Michael Wilbon I have decided to go where no brotha has gone before. Tonight I have decide to watch some hockey (or gliding as I like to call it). I have been to a handful of hockey games and I know the basic rules my knowledge is due to some lessons from friends and an obsession I had with EA Sports NHL 95 for PC.

1st Period

  • Always glad to see a fellow brotha on the team, that being said #42 Ward is now my new favorite Capital.
  • Devils defense is playing super stingy in the first period. Looks like the Capitals will only score if there is a mental breakdown.
  • Ovechkin looks a step slow so far, a 100 million dollar in your pocket can slow you down.
  • Beautiful stop by Martin Brodeur toward the end of the 1st. This guy has been playing forever, amazing to see a 40 year old leading the number two team in the east.

2nd Period

  • I always wondered if coaches called plays out of time outs in hockey. You know Player X screen Player Y which should give Player Z an easier shot. Maybe I should be a hockey coach, I can revolutionize the game.
  • Aggressive play by Ovechkin lead to the powerplay for Perreault (Caps 1 - Devils 0)
  • Sloppy puck clearance by Hobtby leads to a soft Devils goal. (Caps 1 - Devils 1)
  • Scoring is really picking up now! Devils unable to clear puck out of zone, easy goal for Caps (Caps 2 - Devils 1)
  • Ovechkin tempo has been the big difference in this period. When he cranks it up the Caps follow.

3rd Period

  • I feel like NHL referees don't get villainized like other sports referees do. They effective use video technology and conference on all questionable calls. It is nice too see the outcome of a game not effected by officiating.
  • Big time 5 on 3 penalty kill by the Caps early in the 3rd, may be the clinching monument of this game.
  • Game tying goal by the Devils, Caps may be tired from killing consecutive penalties (Caps 2 - Devils 2)
  • Power play goal by Devils, really pouring it on in the 3rd. (Caps 2 - Devils 3)

Final Thoughts:
The undoing of the Capitals tonight were penalties late. Though to not give up goals when you have 4 back to back penalties in the final period. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2012-2013 NBA Midseason Awards

Yes I know i'm a little late with this but I usually like to reflect on the season after the all-star weekend festivities. So here it is my unbiased mid-season awards.

MVP - Lebron James - LBJ is playing at a whole new level this year. He has become uber efficient on the offensive end and has become a lock down defender. My only worry is after this seasons record breaking pace Lebron will have difficulty measuring up to himself in future years. This being said my bold prediction is Kevin Durrant will win the MVP award next year.

Defensive Player of the Year - Serge Ibaka - The award should probably be named the most blocks and defensive rebounds award. This year the award break this trend; currently Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks is leading the league in blocks but he isn't a big enough name to win the award. Dwight Howard is leading the league in rebounds per game but due to the Lakers horrible record along with the villainization of Dwight makes him winning the award unlikely. Sergi should have won the award last year and  this year the league will right their wrongs.

Rookie of the Year -  Damian Lillard - I feel like Damian was crowned this award about a month into the season and he hasn't disappointed yet. Anthony Davis of the Hornets is probably the most valuable rookie but in the eyes of voters points and assist count more than blocks and rebound.

Coach of the Year - Greg Popovich -  As the team gets older they seem to get better.
  • Tim Duncan's game hasn't taken that drastic decline that we all expected. 
  • Tony Parker is playing at a MVP-like level
  • The role players like Bonner, Lenoard, and Neal play their roles and position to a tee.
Most Improved Player - Greivis Vasquez - The sexy pick for this award is Paul George of the Indian Pacers. The biggest difference between George and Vasquez is Vasquez's rise came out of nowhere while most people saw the talent of George (former lottery pick) as at worse a quality NBA pro. In the case of Vasquez most people thought he would be an second or third string point guard with a relatively short career. People including myself thought drafting Greivis at 28th overall was too early but Greivis continues to overachieve by being in the top five in assist per game as well as providing a handful of 30 point games

Thoughts? Disagree? Agree? Let me know.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Couch Time: Miami Heat @ Brooklyn Nets - 1/30/13

Glad that Brook Lopez got named to the all star team this morning. He is an endangered species (low post big men)

Just realized this is maybe the third Miami Heat game I've seen all year. Too many Lakers game on national tv. I should start a petition to reduce Lakers games.

Hubie Brown has surpassed Marc Albert as my all time favorite basketball commentator.

Even on an off night LBJ is a stat sheet stuffer. Amazing!!!

It's an amazing site to see the Miami Heat up (pun intended). What an amazing 3rd quarter.

What did Mr. kardashian Kris H do, he barely got any burn in this game.

Solid win for the heat but my New York Knicks is right on their tail.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

iPray Daniel Fast - Week1(Day 3 -Day 8 Recap)

If you're seeing this post that means that I am alive and I survived week one.

I still feel a bit off but things have been more manageable since Day 4. So this means I have stopped salivating during Fridays and Applebee's commercials on television.

My stomach has been feeling a bit bubbly. At first I though it was just my body cleaning but I think it's more. I have been having two meals a day which contains beans which has overloaded my system with fiber. I will have the adjust for week 2.

So i was asked to teach adult Sunday school this weekend which puts this  natural introvert in a different situation. I however accepted the challenge and know that God provide me guidance and strength.

Researching for my slides for class has had me dive into scriptures and pastoral commentary. This additional research has been a blessing in disguise. The saying that "when you teach you learn twice because your teaching your students and you are teaching yourself" is very true. I may need to take this approach with my personal bible study.

God works in mysterious ways, so today I received a takeout menu from a Vegan Chinese Restaurant. I most likely wont purchase from this restaurant being that I am very frugal (or cheap as some of my friends like to call it) but the menu provides dozens of recipe ideas.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Manti Te'o Fake Girlfriend - my thoughts

If you haven't read up on the Manti story you must be living under a rock but a short recap is he thought he was dating a girl online however she passed away of cancer the same week as his grandmother (who actually passed). Deadspin just published a report that the whole story of his girlfriend was a hoax. Since I met my girlfriend online and am an avid MTV Catfish watcher I have some thoughts on the situation.
  1. I find it hard to believe that Te'o never Skype or FaceTime with his girlfriend. A college student who is active on twitter and other social media outlets knows how to uses a video phone service (and its free!!!!!).
  2. Why didn't he go to the funeral? Norte Dame would have gladly given Te'o a leave of absences to attend his girlfriends', funeral. Especially since Te'o, has mentioned his girlfriends' struggle with cancer to numerous media outlets. You would think he would want to say his final goodbye.
  3. So your telling me his girlfriend died the same week as his grandmother and this so happens to be in the final weeks of his Heisman trophy campaign. I'm not buying it.
  4. Who doesn't Google the name of  the person they're dating. If I am paying the bill on date I would love to know if i'm treating a serial killer or a regular girl. .
  5. If you're dating someone from 2009 - 2012 how do you not visit them at least once. College students have summers off and numerous breaks during the year. Why not visit here during winter or spring break.
Being ignorant and lacking common sense are two different things. They were too many red flags for him not to notice.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

iPray Daniel Fast - Day 1 and 2 Recap

Disclaimer: I am full aware of what is stated in Matthew 6:16-18 about fasting not for show and not complaining though a fast. However, the purpose of me blogging about this fast is to document my experience and how I am feeling.

  • For the next 21 Days I will be doing a Daniel Fast (if you dont know what a Daniel Fast is google it!!)
  • Sunday was Day 1 and it wasn't that bad being that I was home and was able to control my environment a lot more. I did perform a lot of bulk cooking. I made Tuscan soup, a bean medley stew  to eat with brown rice and some pasta with homemade tomato sauce. All this food should last me for the week.
  • Monday morning was really difficult for me. I usually hit the gym at 5 AM to avoid the masses of New Year Resolution noobs as well as other gym annoyances. Most morning I get through my workouts without any assistance however some morning I really on my pre-workout (DS Sports Craze) and Monday was one of those mornings I needed it. I was able to suck it up however and blast through my lifts. 
  • Being in an office space with ten females has led our office to be a chocolate and candy haven. My will power will be greatly tested here but if I sit at my desk more often my likely-hood of accidental snacking on a candy bar is better. 
  • Between 2pm and 3pm is my usually second cup of coffee. This is the time that I usually hit the wall mental and need that jolt from caffeine. Being that caffeine wasn't an option i figured a nice brisk walk would up my energy but low and behold a last minute meeting was called that lasted an HOUR and a HALF. This was probably the most painful hour and a half I have had in years (this is coming from a guy that was hit by a car 4 years ago)
  • Decided to read Daniel 1 and 2 again. I forgot the story about him and his friends not eating the King Royal Fest of meat and other goodies and ending up looking more fit and healthier for it. I was also reminded that Daniel was a dream interrupter. 
  • After my brush with death from my 2pm meeting the rest of the day went fine  


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Biting off Little Chunks (Goal Setting)

I am often guilty of biting off more than I can chew. Sometime I put unrealistic expectations on myself to hit goals which weren't S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result Focused, Time-bounded). What I often struggle with is setting my goals correctly because I want my goals to difficult enough to add pressure for me to achieve them but also not so difficult that it is impossible to accomplish.

My new approach lately has been to breakdown goals into weekly bit size pieces and have timelines I need to hit during the week (I know this may not be new to everyone but its new for me) For the past month and a half I have set aside a time every Sunday to have a meeting with myself. I add it on my calendar and when I get the alert on my phone I turn everything off and I perform the following task.
  • Review my prior week goals and see what went well and how could it have gone better and what went wrong and how could I improve.
  • I leverage my prior weeks lessons learned and write out new goals for the upcoming week. 
  • I review my finance and pay bills or move money around as need
  • I read over my daily thoughts aka my journal to see where my head was over the past few days. I will also review older post. 
  • I update my calendar with time slots for all the actions items I have written as a goal for the week (ie Goal - Write 2 Blog Post - Schedule 2 one hour windows to blog) 
  • I will meditate/pray for at least 15 minutes in complete silence (this is very difficult)  
This will usually take me an hour or so but I have been feeling better about my weeks and also more productive.

I keep my note book open of all my weekly goals and I review them a few times a day.

Try this out for a week and see you don't become more productive.

Follow me @DrivenDre

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Couch Time: Clippers vs. Nuggets

  • Most of the nation of men is watching the Orange bowl right now but I can't get into watching a game that doesn't really count for the championship. It's kinda like watching the third place game, sure you get a award/metal but it's not the original hardware you set out for.
  • Andre igudola is an underrated superstar. He should be in the conversion as a top five player.
  • For all the athletes that Denver has they are lacking help on defensive rotations tonight.
  • Blake Griffin has developed a semi decent low post game. Don't think it's good enough for Denver to be hedging double teams but it's much improved.
  • Does anyone else notice that Blake release his jump shot on the decent if the shot. If he learns to shoot at the apex of his shot he could get a better percentage.
  • Javal McGee has so much raw potential, possible all-star potential. The question is well he ever maximize it.
  • Lack of scoring was the demise of the Clippers tonight.