Thursday, October 30, 2008

Acts 2 & 6

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to everyone as he had need until it was explained by John that spreading the wealth may be socialistic.

Later the Grecians among them complained against the Hebraics because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food and they were being foreclosed. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "Brothers, This will lead to big government. but choose seven among you and we will turn this responsibility over to them. We will turn our attention to lowering taxes while they deal with the bailout."

I don't care who you vote for. Just vote! Everything will be just fine.

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Book or Two

I am also reading two other books on Warren Buffett: "Warren Buffet Speaks" and "The Tao of Warren Buffett". Note: I am reading (listening) the Sarah Vowell in my truck. These at home.
But in light of current events, I found this from 1993 when Buffett spoke out against the Bush Tax cuts.

"I hear this Republican message that we're rich as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm paying taxes at a lower rate than my secretary and frankly I think that's crazy."

Note: Buffett is Republican. His dad was a Republican U.S. Congressman from Nebraska for many years.

Mike goes to church: an organizational tale

I once heard a wise man say that the main reason that an organization exists is because it chooses to. It doesn't matter if it is a church or a charity. We choose to organize in the way we do. Think about it. If your church group did not exist, you would just choose another. God did not hinge his plan on just your group, in your town, in your country. The architectural firm I started may be founded on principles I believe in, but in truth it exists because I wanted it too.

Same goes for every organization. The March of Dimes story is my favorite. It started in the 1950s with the express mission of stamping out polio. Many years later an organization existed that employed several thousand people and a great fund raising ability, but they had conquered polio. They got together to consider their future and changed their mission to Children's illnesses. A generalized statement assuring they would always "exist".

A couple of the organizations I am in are looking at themselves and their existence. In Group A leaders are looking at decreasing attendance and loss of funds and wondering whose fault it is. Group B wants to expand to reach people different from them to expand their reach in the community.

Group A takes great care of each other but as the club aged and as people move about (mobile society) the group has grown smaller. It does not reach into the community with the intention for new members. Group B has membership drives at least once a year. This time it is focusing on new members that are different from them. They want people from all walks of life. Both groups do good in the community and abroad. Group B keeps expanding its budget. Group A is more reluctant to give to general causes, but is well equipped for any perceived need that arises.
Both organizations are unified in general direction. Can you tell which is a church?

Answer: Group A (Group B is Rotary.)

I not only work with my home church. In my business I work with several churches each year. They cover the gambit of all types common to Oklahoma. I also am on the Board or Commissions of 5 public/civic groups and have been on past boards of about 7 other groups.
All leadership in these groups and churches have strong individuals, but no group has a harder time leading than churches.

The churches that I work with and the church that I belong to plays the game tip-toeing around the minefield of about 10 members or less. These people must be kept happy because they control either money or participation. One word from them and a program will slow or halt. A few seeds of mistrust and a lot is wrecked.

In Building projects, I can recognize who on the committee control things within two meetings.

You would think that in church leadership (both formal and informal) the idea of pleasing God would come up more often. Instead time is spent trying to please 10 people (usually 5 who have no intention of being happy.) In my 30+ years in being active in groups, the Rotary prays as much as the church groups in their meetings.

You would think that if love is the driving impulse of a church, brotherly-love would be front and center. I have people in my church life that will not have anything to do with me unless I defer to their thoughts in every situation. I always thought that love and acceptance were together!

I think that this is the reason Jesus spent so much time battling the Pharisees and religious leaders and not the Roman government. He was foretelling the problem. Jesus did not give us as many organizational rules as we would have liked, but he did give us clearly the manner in which we were to live with each other.

New Book by a local hero

I am currently reading "The Wordy Shipmates" by Sarah Vowell. I first heard about the new book on John Stewart's "The Daily Show" when she was a recent guest. Before I talk about the book, a little about Sarah. She was born in Muskogee and grew up in Braggs. She and her family moved to Montana when she was a teen. She is part Cherokee and her great grandmother graduated the Cherokee Female Seminary. She says, Being at least a little Cherokee in northeastern Oklahoma is about as rare and remarkable as being a Michael Jordan fan in Chicago." I first heard her on one of my favorite radio shows, "This American Life" where she is a contributor. She was also the voice of Violet the teen in the animated movie "The Incredibles."

She is a frequently on Conan O'Brien and has been on The Cobert Report and Letterman.

She is a funny if not demented person.

The book is about the Puritans and their journey to America. It is history, comedy, social commentary all-in-one. Her talking about Thanksgiving is a hoot. She first describes that her knowledge of Thanksgiving was based on Elementary school and episodes of the Brady Bunch and Bewitched! Listening on Audio is the best because of her unique voice and friends who lend their voices including Bill Hader, Campbell Scott, Dermot Mulroney, Catherine Keener, Jill Clayburgh and T Bone Burnett.

You need an open mind for this one! But I am enjoying it. It is a good read in this political season.

How my mind works

I was in my hometown this weekend and ran into (not literally) the ex-wife of a high school classmate (Larry). Two days later I was in Morris, Oklahoma at the high school. We are doing a project for Morris schools and was in the school gym. This reminded me of something that happened years ago in Morris when I was a mere irresponsible lad.

My school basketball team was not very good as I have previously allowed. When your not very good you focus on things that have nothing to do with the game. For example, my senior year, Doyle, the best player on the team, and me would actually play "horse" during warm ups! But I digress.

We had noticed that at every game, Larry always wanted to be first out on the court as the team left the locker room. So at Morris one night the rest of us made a deal. We were in the dressing room and watched Larry position himself to be first out. So the team came together to do one big cheer before running onto the court. We all shouted and Larry ran out the door and out on to the court and dribbled straight to the basket and made a wild shot and missed the backboard. We were still in the doorway to the gym!

I know that wasn't nice, but at 17 things seemed funnier. After all we were on our way to 0-22!

Monday, October 27, 2008

New service

As George W is winding down I have decided to slowly replace his quotes with The Quotes of Warren B.:

"The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do."


"It's not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."


"You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because someday a fool will."

Quotes of George W

"They want the federal government controlling the Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."

St. Charles, Missouri campaign speech, November 2000

from my desk calendar

Note: I wonder if his speech writer now works for Palin.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

mike can't find pride or glory!

After the OSU-Texas game we went to the movies. If I needed to be more depressed, I picked the right movie. "Pride and Glory" starring Ed Norton and Colin Farrel is a well acted, dark, tough, hard movie. The subject matter is the same of one of my all time favorites, "Serpico".
Did I say it was a hard movie? Warning: The F word is used a gazillion times as noun, verb, adjective, etc. It is also fairly violent, but it is about violent people. It also carries a similar theme of the last movie, justifying actions even if they are wrong.

Come to think of it , I am seeing more of that lately!

Acting: ***1/2 stars, story: **stars

mike goes to church2

Part of this will be read to the church on Sunday:

To the Church:

After much prayer and thought I have decided to step down as an elder for the Muskogee Church of Christ. A variety of factors has led to this, including my work schedule, time with family and the present state of Muskogee Church of Christ. Being an elder for the church has been a blessing to me and has prompted me to expand spiritually as I have tried to be a help to the church family in this role. I enjoy working with the current staff and ministers. While I can easily be replaced by many here, I believe the current Shepherds are great men who love this church and are a continual blessing to all. They are men worthy of respect.

I bring up the word respect because it is something that is being trampled in society and in the church. It is this lack of regard for one another that bothers me the most. It seems that fellowship is extended when our own agendas are met and not necessarily the Lord's. It is my hope that as the church moves forward that mutual respect and the love that binds us be re-examined by all.

I will continue to work with the leaders of this church as needed and strongly believe in the new programs being undertaken and those who have agreed to lead. Carol and I are not going anywhere and will continue to love and support what the Lord has begun in this place.

I stand on the passage in Joshua 2:5 "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."

In Love,

Mike Martin

(I believe the bold part will not be read, so that people won't be confused!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flash of Genius and Flashbacks

We went to the movies tonight and saw "Flash of Genius" in Tulsa. It is an independent film starring Greg Kinnear and is based on the true story of a professor and inventor who came up with the intermittent windshield wiper in the 60's. He tried to sell his patent to Ford, but instead they steal the idea and call it their own. The story covers the 12 year battle. It is a good flick. *** stars. At one point in the story he is offered a settlement without admission of guilt. He declines on principle.

At another point is attorneys quit because they say that Ford is too big to battle. That is where the flashback happened and the movie came at me hard.

The last time the economy went south was 1983 in Oklahoma. I was a principle in the firm of Sparks Martin Inc. in Tulsa. We had 12 persons in the firm and in 1982 we (along with a joint venture partner firm from Detroit) were hired by Gerald Hines Corporation ( the nation's largest developer) to design a shopping and office complex at 61st and Memorial in Tulsa to be called Eton Square. It was to be a 15 million dollar complex. We signed the contracts with the provision that if we had to borrow any money to carry ourselves until the project completed financing GH would reimburse. During the project we hired a professional estimator to keep everyone up to date on budget and costs and reviewed this with the owner regularly. We were 4 weeks from completing the construction drawings, when we got the call to stop work. Mr Hines, sensing that the oil bust was approaching CANCELLED the project.

Hines asked us to come to a meeting to settle up. We and our joint venture partners showed up to a room FULL of attorneys. They told us that they would pay us for the $9,000,000 dollar project. We reminded them that it was 15 million. They grinned and said we don't care what documentation you have. If you don't take this, we can drag this out for 8 years and you will be gone before then. "We know your finances." We could not get any attorney that would face them. That day in 1983, Gary and I lost $75,000.00 in real money and our partners lost $150,000.00. We were deep in dept and went from 12 employees to 6 in a week.

The movie tonight required me to revisit one of the darkest days of my career.

I know the movie was well acted. I have lived it!

By the way: The Eton Square that exist today is NOT our design. Ours was way cool.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

mike goes to church 1

NOTE: Read Spider Solitaire first.

I have just finished a fairly long run as an elder in the church that I attend. Our church uses two terms for this spiritual leader (elder and shepherd). The term "elder" comes from the idea of the eldest in the tribe should have the wisdom and the life experiences to help the church family survive and advance. The term "shepherd" comes from the idea of one who oversees a "Flock" of people who look to him as a guide, encourager, protector (or anything else a shepherd may do.

I preferred the term Elder (I'm getting old) and because I believe as Solomon that when I pray the principle thing to ask for is wisdom. I also have only one prayer at night for the past two years. I recite the 23rd Psalm and that has been a major benefit in my life. It starts, "The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want," It is hard for me to call myself a shepherd because of who my Shepherd is.

So anyhow, I have stepped aside as an Elder. Because of changes in society and in the church, I felt the urge and the LORD seems to have been OK with it. Sunday I will be out of town and the other elders will read my letter to the church. I like it that way! The letter they will read is what I wrote except for a couple of sentences that they will not read. It is not censorship. they weren't comfortable because of the questions that they may produce and I told them when I gave the letter that I didn't care if the edited or not. My statement was: this is my reason and not because I am too busy. They even offered to wait two weeks and let me read it and I said, "NO WAY."

NOTE: I like and respect our PLT and elders.

Sunday I will blog about the missing sentences!

For now I will tell you this: I don't know your beliefs about divine intervention or how you think the LORD works in your life, but as for me, I believe that the LORD wanted me to change course along the road. Things immediately started happening that I could not foresee. I am not saying that I am being used for some noble cause, but I believe the idea that we are all called "for such a time as this." I believe that things are going to happen in my life that could not happen if I had stayed an Elder and I believe that in a small way or large the church will benefit.

Next: When everyone is in charge, no one is responsible to act responsibly!

Spider Solitaire and Life

I like to play Spider Solitaire on my computers. I rarely concentrate on the game instead I am thinking about all the things that crowd my little brain. I am a multi-tasker, and not necessarily a good one. I have always designed with music playing or even a movie. I really don't like to watch TV without a newspaper, magazine, or book to have for commercials. I am weird that way. It is like my past comment about getting good creative ideas at concerts or movies. So I have just finished a couple of games of Spider Sol and decided to write because my head is full.

I will probably have some different blogs during the weekend. I know some who read the blog but not everyone. Blogs are inherently selfish. the blogger is in charge. Bloggers like me like to share things: stories, passions, life experiences, etc. Sometimes my goal has been no different than a TV show, "Someone may be reading so entertain them!"

At the moment I have a need to share some things that I have spoken about lightly in past weeks. I like the idea of sharing thoughts but I have no history in just talking about personal and spiritual feelings to "whoever is out there" and don't know if I will turn you off or not.

I intend "for the most part" to keep this blog as it has been, but I need to share some things with my church family who are reading. If you see the title "mike goes to church", you may want to skip it.

Buffett 2.5 (going backwards)

In Buffet 2 I said that Jimmy Buffett is Warren Buffett's Nephew. I had read this in at least three sources over the last 1o years. USA Today said in today's issue that they are NOT related.
Seems it started a few years ago when someone wrote a story: Invest like Warren Buffett; Live like Jimmy Buffett.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Buffett 3

NOTE: I will probably get all this out of my system before long. I hope not.

Some of my favorite Warren Buffett quotes:

1. A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

2. It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.

3. It is better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction.

4. Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars.

5. Risk comes with not knowing what you are doing.

6. Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

7. There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that like to make easy things difficult.

8. I violated the Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn't count; building arks does.

9. Never invest in a business you cannot understand.

10. You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Buffett 2

By the way did I tell you that Jimmy Buffett is really Warren Buffett's nephew? He is.
My new theme song is one of my favorite Jimmy gems.

Future Architects

Becoming President

I realized today that I am facing both good news and bad news concerning any plans I might have to become President of the USA. The good news is that I am 12 years younger than McCain, so time has not run out. The bad news is that the "terrorist" that I met in the Army, (See my April 26 blog) used to work for the guy that Obama is accused of be-friending! I just can't catch a break!

Monday, October 20, 2008

mike sees dub-ya

We went to see to movie, "W" tonight. On the surface the easiest way to say this is: If you don't like George W. Bush, you probably will like or appreciate the movie. If you like George W. Bush, you won't see it.
The movie is well made and the events are based on actual events, but how does one know what these people say in private? (Its like when I watch football games and the sportscasters are telling us what the coaches and players are thinking!) Close but who knows.

The actors are spot on. Josh Brolin (last seen in "No Country for Old Men") does the best job since Saturday Night Live. Richard Dreyfuss IS Cheney. And the actors who play Condolessa and Karl Rove look, act & talk as real as real can be.
So, this is not a review at all. I'm glad I saw it and it provoked a lot of thought about how W became the person he is. Did it change any opinions? Not really!
But I almost feel sorry for him. Almost! Heh-Heh

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What One Man Can Do

I am reading the new biography about Warren Buffett called, "Snowball". Based on current events this is a must read. Buffett is a unbelievable character. He is a true oddity in today's world. This is a good followup to the recent book by Boone Pickens. It was interesting to compare the lives of two men who went nothing to wealthy in completely different ways. It is also interesting to watch men with great wealth come face to face with the responsibility to "give back". To see good things come from their wealth before they die.

Buffett bought a farm when he was 15 from money made on paper routes and putting an old pin ball machine in a barber shop. He has a photographic memory and a love for numbers. He still lives in the home he bought in 1958 for $31,000. If you call his office, he answers the phone. he grew uo loving Pepsi, but now owns several million shares of Coke. People who first invested $1,000 in his company in 1958 had made $12,000,000 for each thosand by 2000! You will not be bored by this story!

This book is also a good study in what to do about buying and selling stocks. Warren's motto: When everyone is scared, be greedy. When everyone is greedy be scared!

Read this Book!
P.S. The Song playing is "What One Man Can Do" by John Denver

mike sees the bees

The first movie of this weekend was "The Secret Life of Bees". This is the new Queen Latifah & Dakota Fanning movie about the south in 1964. It is a movie about prejudice and misunderstanding. It brought back memories of the times of segregation. The time of the movie was my junior year of high school. It is portrayed by some movie reviewers as a "chick flick", but it is not. All the main characters are female, because, well, that is the story. it is well acted and well conceived. It is a very real movie and it is a story for everyone even teens. ***1/2 stars.

"W" is next!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

my first car

Remember the blog about seeing a car in fort worth that was like my first car. Well, recently in Muskogee there was also a car show and this car was there. This is just what my first car looked like when I got it.

Irrate Sports Parents 2

A good friend commented on the story about the Florida High school teams and makes a good point. If your son can make All State ( and a college scholarship), the stats are very important no matter who you play. He also reminded me that the winning coach could have set the final score much higher than it was.

That reminded me of another Haskell Story.

In 1959 Haskell played Barnsdall. My Brother, Tom, was the starting half back on Haskell's Football team. He was the top scorer in the State that year (in any class) and averaged about 20 points a game (himself!). Barnsdall was a bad team and Haskell scored at will. In the second half Coach Shockley called the players to the bench in a time out and told them, "If you don't let that team score, I will run you until you drop next week in Practice!"

When play resumed, their quarterback gave the ball to the running back, the line parted and he took off down the field. My brother, who also played in the secondary on defense, ran beside him all the way down the field as he scored.

So much for sportsmanship. I don't know which would be worse: to not score or to be given a score?

It was not what the coach had in mind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Big Scores 2

NOTE: Read the blog below "Irate sports parents" before reading this.

A high school score of 91-0 sounds big. Sounds crazy. How do you think the losing players feel?
I can tell you from experience. In 1965 I was a Senior at Haskell. Our arch rival was Coweta. Coweta in 65 was the same size as Haskell and our towns were 10 miles apart. In football Haskell beat Coweta 24-20. It was their first loss on their home field in 4 years. When basketball season arrived, things changed. Coweta was #1 in the state and had 2 players averaging 35 points a game each. Haskell had lost every game the year before and had not won a game by the time we visited Coweta. As a team we were not averaging as many points as either of their best players!

The game began and at the end of the first quarter the score was 25-2! By half-time we doubled our score and so did Coweta, 50-4. We went end to the dressing room and coach Dixon said: "Boys, I wonder what they would say if we just sneaked out and got on the bus and left." We eagerly supported his idea, but he responded, "You made this bed. You have to sleep in it."

It is important at this point to add this note: On a win less team, I was not good enough to start! I was the 6th man. The reason I say this is that our one really good player fouled out in the third quarter, and I replaced him. He was our top scorer. I made a good showing though and at the end of the night, I was third high scorer on our team with 2 points! 2 free throws!

Final Score: 97 - 19. On the bus heading home, we glowed that we stopped them from scoring 100.

We rallied in the rematch at our gym a month later. I even started and scored the first 2 points of the game! Final score 86 to 40 something! We lost of course.

Team picture: Can you find me?

Irrate Sports Parents

This caught my attention today on my home page. Two Florida high school teams played last week. One team, Naples, was defending state champs. The other team, Estero, was building back a dead program with a first year coach and only 25 healthy players. Naples won by 13.
13 touchdowns! The final score was 91-0. Naples led 70-0 at half time.

Naples tried everything it could to hold down the score including not letting the starters play.

The Estero coach did not think Naples did anything wrong. He said, "We just didn't do anything right! It was David versus Goliath and David didn't have a stone to throw."

As the title of this piece stated the parents were irate. The parents of the winners were mad that their sons did not get enough playing time "to pad their stats".

p.s. Guess what this wasn't even the highest score last week. In Ohio two teams played and the score was 96-0.

Monday, October 13, 2008

mike goes to the movies: Nick and Nora

Nick and Nora's Infinite Play List is the movie we went to. Probably not high on everyone's radar but I liked it. It is a good "Juno" type movie and is about one night in NYC for a group of high school kids. It had good comedy and good young actors. ***stars

The important thing about this movie as with Juno is that movies ARE being made about good kids who are not sold out on sex and drugs. They leave in the Rock and Roll. In this movie, like Juno, it portrays kids who buck peer pressure. It is refreshing to see good stories in the midst of chaos.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Orange State

Today I don't care about Red State or Blue State, I am in an ORANGE STATE!

Red was replaced by Burnt Orange and then came Bright ORANGE!


Quotes of George W

"This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites. I call you my base."

Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner
October 20, 2000

from my desk calendar

mike sees a "Body of Lies"

No, that's not the title of the debates or the wall street bail out. It is the new Ridley Scott movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. The acting is A list great. The story is about the CIA in Jordan and the Middle East. If you like spy movies like I do, this is a good flick. The story does show an unsettling tale of how an innocent person (architect no less) is used as a decoy without his knowledge. It is a scary part of the movie. ***1/2 stars, 5 star acting.

If it's too loud......

Wednesday night at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Concert they had a surprise for Thelma Parker. She is the mother of our show director, C. H. Parker, and she has attended all 12 of our inductions. Since she goes with C.H. on all his meetings, she has attended most meetings and many of are smaller concerts. Wednesday night was her 100th BIRTHDAY! After the Cherokee Youth Choir performed a birthday cake was brought out with all the candles and the arena sang to her. Because of the plan, the had her seating Front Row center on the aisle. This was all good until the headliners came out. The All American Rejects is high octane Rockers and the youth in the hall came down to get near the stage. Thelma was totally surrounded by kids and during the show were passing girls over their shoulders toward the stage and beside her. Everyone including me was concerned: 1. Because it was crazy loud. 2. One of the kids might fall on her and her walker. I was on the 2nd row and went to her twice to ask if she wanted to move. Each time she said she was fine and waved me off! She was not surprised. She had set through sound check with the Rejects, the day before.

The kids were amazed with her and after the show one of the Rejects wanted a picture with her.

I have something to look forward to! The saying, "If it's too loud, you're too old!" does not apply here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Zealots along the road

Today's TIME magazine has an article about a new satirical movie out called "An American Carol". It is a story about a liberal democrat who goes thru the "Christmas Carol" type story to see the error of his ways. That is not what I want to bring up. The director, David Zucker, who directed "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun" is a Republican in Hollywood. He says that to admit voting Republican "I preface it by saying I've been convicted of child molestation, and that breaks the ice. Then being Republican doesn't seem so bad to them."

Story 2: Yesterday at church a friend told me about going door to door on behalf of a local democrat. At several homes when they saw that he was a democrat, he said they treated him as filth. One lady said, "You believe in Abortion and Gay Rights!" He tried to say that he did not, but ......

Guilt by association. My Mother always warned me about that.

A few years ago a friend of mine had the opportunity to go to work for a "Christian University" and he asked me for advice. I told him that private schools totally depend of donations from wealthy patrons and I said, "You will be fired for being a Democrat before you would be fired for a unsuitable Biblical belief." After he had taken the job, he called to tell me that I was totally correct and that it took less than a month before it came to light.

At church last Wednesday we talked about favoritism as discussed in the Book of James. While we did not talk much about politics, recent happenings with church Pastors and Ministers telling members how a Christian should Vote or I should say which candidate to support, the zealots have finally arrived. It doesn't matter if it is a black preacher saying to support Obama or a Conservative Baptist Pastor warning against Obama and for McCain.

I, now (not here of course) do not discuss my politics with other Christians for fear of being seen as "One on the well travelled road to Hell". I have heard too many conversations and received too many mass e-mails to know that I should keep shut. If things keep on the direction the USA is heading, we are going past RED state/BLUE State to symbols stamped on our clothes or foreheads.

Now to my point: When Jesus was walking around on earth, Jews weren't concerned about Gay Rights. The Romans were in power. They were the conquerors. The Romans as you will remember were known for orgies (homosexual and hetro), killing babies, etc. I was always told that the Zealots (mentioned in the Bible) wanted the Savior to mount a fight against Rome (against the evil administration, left wing judges, and heavy taxes). WWJD

Jesus did not have time for this stuff. He talked more about the religious leaders who tried to control everyone and made just one comment about Caesar: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar."
His idea of the needs of the day had to do with healing broken lives not broken governments.
His one venture into politics was to reach out to a democrat (Zacchaeus, the tax collector). He didn't make many points for that! He talked about helping the poor, restoring lives, healing the sick and saving people.

I think our forefathers knew what was best when they talked of Liberty.
I think Jesus knew what was best when he talked about Love.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Yorker Cartoon

mike sees an Appaloosa

We went to the flicks today and saw "Appaloosa". Up front I will venture that if you like westerns, you will like this movie. If you don't, "Move along people there's nothing for you here." It is a fun movie that is part Clint Eastwood, part Magnificent 7. The pace of the movie was great and the cast was perfect. Ed Harris stars, directs, and wrote the movie. Jeromy Irons continues as the perfect bad guy. Fun Time. ***1/2 stars

By the way the best movies of the year are about to start arriving.

wii wii wii all the way home

We finally found a Wii and Wii Fit! Those things have been hard to find. Friday I read in USA Today that the manufacturer had greatly increased production and would be shipping greater volume of product. Saturday we happened by the Game Works in the mall. I asked again if they had any, expecting a laugh. To my surprise he said he had everything. So we loaded up. While we were paying Lori called and asked if we still wanted a Wii. The Tulsa Sears she was in had a shipment as well.

When we got it set up, Avery (he's 5) our grandson, showed us how to use it!

The Wii is quite the product. It makes makes the PlayStation 3 seem old.

The adventure begins, but only after we created a computer generated version of ourselves.

To my surprise, I make the same bowling mistakes on the computer as in real life.

I have become a SIM!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quotes of George W.

"We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates."

Washington D.C.
October 4, 2001

"Whether they be Christian, Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, people have heard the universal call to love a neighbor just like they'd like to be called themselves."

Washington D.C.
October 2003

from my desk calendar (you can't make this stuff up!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From Plan A to Plan B

Back Story:

I am blessed with an eventful life. Things seems to unfold in front of me that at times I can't explain. I just sit back and take it all in. Consider this. The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is having its induction concert for 2008 next week. One of the inductees is Bob Childers of Stillwater known as the "Father of Red Dirt Music" (a combination of Folk, country, rock and blues). He died a few months ago, so at next week's induction will feature two bands that have worked and recorded with Bob. Wednesday night they were having rehearsal in Tulsa and they invited members of the Oklahoma Music Board to attend. One of my fellow board members asked me to go with him to the rehearsal in Tulsa. Since they weren't starting until 9:30 my night unfolded like this.

Plan A: At 7:oo I went to church and was part of a class of the Book of James. It is a class that varies in size up to 20. We set in a circle of chairs and an excellent teacher guides the discussion. It is a comforting and friendly group of friends.

Plan B: At 9:30 I was at Plan B (Plan B is the name of the club where the band was playing). Plan B is a small place about 40' x 40'. It had a 12'x 12' stage in the corner. A bar down one side and two tables and scattered chairs. When we walked in I was surprised that everyone was basically in a circle facing the stage which was beside the front door. Everyone acted like they knew each other and were friendly.

At the start of Plan A the teacher explained that he was having a little reaction from the "Claritin" that he was taking for allergies. At Plan B the band leader sang "NyQuil Blues".

At Plan A the leader asked for prayer requests. At Plan B they asked for song requests.

Both places talked or sang about prejudice, sin, and life's problems. At the end of Plan A they advertised that the class would not meet on October 8 because of a special "Fall Festival" event.
At the end of Plan B they advertised that the band would not be there on October 8 because they would be at a special event, "The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame" induction in Muskogee.

Don't get me wrong! I'm not putting these on equal footing. It is ironic that events like these are happening side by side across the land. Some substitute a bar for church. I set there in Plan B and thought that Jesus would come to this place, but not for the reason I did. I also knew that some of my fellow Christians (some of you) probably think that I should not have been there.

I was easily the oldest person there except for Rocky Frisco (the keyboard player & a fellow Board Member.) I sat by the front door by a fan to get away from the smokers. The crazy thing was that every ten minutes a couple of people would walk in, take out their wallet and ask me what the cover charge was! (I was DOORMAN). One of the guys in the band said to me at break that he was watching and said: "You could have made a good haul at the door!" People at Plan A never offer me money!

Plan B is OK , but not important to me. It did say a lot to me though. People need to belong to something or someone. At Plan B the door is open to the street and the music is "noised about". People wondered in and out. Some sized it up and left. Some reasoned with each other in front of me and said, "Let's give it a go." and stayed. Strangers seldom wander into Plan A. They need to be invited! The members of Plan A have families to care for and that care for them. I noticed that most everyone at Plan B was young adults, alone, and probably disconnected. (By the way everyone at A and B dressed about the same.)

I'm not trying to be profound. I am sharing an experience. I will dwell on this a while, because there IS something here that I need to absorb.

As for the bands one was Tom Skinner and The Science Project and the other was The Red Dirt Rangers. Tom was in the same college band with Garth Brooks. I talked to both Tom and John Cooper of Red Dirt. The are honored to come next week to play in memory of Bob Childers. Judging from the rehearsal, it will be great.
Photo is John Cooper.