Friday, March 6, 2009


Many times the activities that occur after dark are pretty sketchy, especially those on a college campus. However, the event I attended on Monday night was not. It was actually uplifting to the student who came out. That's right, Afterdark came to Purdue.

Afterdark is a religious convocation that goes around to different universities in the country. After a concert by Dave Barnes, Joe White came out to tell us a story. This story was about a Roman cross maker from 2,000 years ago. He was instructed to build a cross for a man who called himself the Son of God. This man was even going to come back to life after He had died this painful death. The cross maker could not believe it, but he was just doing his job. He would wait and see what happened.

This cross that Joe White built was symbolic of the one Christ was crucified on so many years ago. He told us how our debt of sin had been paid on this cross. He even had a sheet of some of his sins that he had committed. He took it and nailed it to the cross for all to see. Then we were given the chance to do the same. People wrote their thoughts and feelings on index cards and brought them up to the stage. There were guys up there with hammers and nails to nail these cards up. The cross was packed. It was amazing to see all these things that were standing between the students and God be handed over to Him.

As I think about this, a verse from the hymn It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford and Philip Bliss comes to my mind.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

That is just what we did that night. Our sins were nailed to the cross, and Jesus had died to take these sins from us. The sins of the whole world were put on Jesus that day that He died. He knew it was coming, but He still chose to endure this punishment. Why? Because He loves us and cares so much about us. I know that there is no way for me to ever come close to repaying Him for this. All I can do is live completely for Him, and that is what I strive to do with my life.

Senior Night

Wednesday night was the final home basketball game for four of the Boilers. Bobby Riddell, Chris Reid, Nemanja Calasan, and Marcus Green played their last game in Mackey Arena. The players were joined by their families on the court for a special presentation before the game. Well Calasan was joined by his American family and girlfriend since his real family couldn't make the trip from Srbinja, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Members in the Paint Crew even dressed up like and made signs for their favorite players. There was a giant twenty dollar bill with Green on it, a couple guys painted for Calasan, another guy with an afro and American flag shirt for Reid, and numerous buckets for Bobby "Buckets." The fans couldn't be more proud of their seniors.

After this presentation, the game against Northwestern began. We were favored to win this game since Purdue (11-6 Big Ten, 22-8 Overall) is number two in the Big Ten standings, and Northwestern (8-9 Big Ten, 17-11 Overall) is only number eight. While we couldn't win the Big Ten title thanks to Michigan State's victory over Indiana on Tuesday, surely we could lock in this win on Senior Night.

While the passes and ball handling were not that great, we still managed to stay ahead in the first half. Things looked promising especially after our big run. We went into halftime with a seven point lead, but then it all changed when the second half started. We got behind and never really took the opportunities we had to come back resulting in the 64-61 loss.

We had several chances to make free throws, but they just weren't going through the net. Only losing by three, I can't imagine how the players felt about this. They probably are saying to themselves, "If only I would have done this at this time, or if only I would have made that one shot." I know that I would feel as if the loss was all my fault. Even the player that sat the bench probably wondered how the game would have turned out if they had gotten some playing time.

Don't get me wrong. I know the players work hard in their practices and spend numerous hours going over different drills and plays. In no way could I do any better than they did. I wouldn't even stand a chance. It was just the fact that our record was so much better than theirs, and the crowd was so excited to see this match up on Senior Night that made this loss so disappointing and frustrating.

The fans are so used to seeing wins especially at home that we didn't really know how to handle this. I know that at some points I was getting so frustrated that I just wanted to get up and leave. That's what some of the other "fans" did. I could not let this frustration overcome my pride for the Boilers. I needed to be there to support them no matter what happened.

In the last few minutes of the game, it looked as if we might be able to pull it out, so it was a good thing that I didn't leave. We cut their lead down to two and had to chance to get ahead with those free throws that we missed. However, Northwestern increased their lead by making their free throws at the very end bringing them to the point where we could not catch up in the last seconds.

Even after this loss, I still have my love for the Boilers. There is always next year for us to win the Big Ten Conference title. I will definitely be getting tickets again. For me, the games were always a highlight to my week, and I can't wait to see how our next group of Boilers will add to the team.