Sunday, February 26, 2012

Being First

We took the Grandson's bowling the other day. Their ages are 8,5, & 2. After they started, I noticed a "frame" that the bowlers next to us was using. It is an elevated frame where you can place a bowling ball on it and point it down the lane. You simply release the ball and it goes. It is used with small kids that can't hold a ball or with people with disabilities. It is fairly cool. For a while!

When I started helping the two-year old Asher with it, his score soon bypassed the 8 year old Avery, and mostly because I was aiming the frame. When the game ended the oldest was extremely irritated that he had been beaten by the youngest (30 points).

The little guy did not know he won or even cared. I explained to Avery, the oldest, that he should be proud of his score. I also said that he knows that he is better and that I helped little Asher achieve his points. We would not hold it over his head. But still he was not happy.

It made me think of all that I hear in the public arena and sometimes from Christians:

Don't help the less skilled, they would have an unfair advantage that I might not have.

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see GOD."

Don't extend unemployment insurance to those out of work! If they want money, get a job! That's what I had to do.

"Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy."

I don't want my tax money to go to people that are different from me.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"

We keep dealing with Kid Stuff.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bible versus the Six o'clock News

I was thinking the other day about the idea of leadership both in the Public arena and church. Us Christians are a weird group on this subject. On a given Sunday morning I can go to church and hear men pray for GOD to send good leaders to guide our nation and our churches.

When Obama was elected prayers went up all over the country asking God to help him be a good leader. Then we all watch the six o'clock news! Fox News says, "This guy can't lead. This is a big mistake. We are doomed." So we think: "Did we make a big mistake?" which interrupted means: "Did GOD make a mistake? or Did GOD not care that our boat is sinking?"

In the Bible GOD gave the people the "King" that they asked for and when that didn't work out he selected David as the replacement. David's problem was that GOD did not remove Saul. And David wouldn't either! He said, "Who I am to get rid of GOD's anointed?" and then basically said if GOD wants him removed, HE will do it."

We also pray for leaders and ministers at church. We pray that he will bring us someone to be HIS servant. When he gets here, we question whether he will serve us as we are accustomed.
God's Man at arrival but we listen to the six o'clock news. Good leaders after all are hard to find AND TRAIN. GOD finds them and we grade them.

Funny thing about the Bible stories: God's people don't like to follow GOD or his leaders. That story runs all the way through the Old and New Testaments. When the prophet Samuel tells GOD: The people want a King like the other nations have and said they have rejected me. GOD responds, "No, they have rejected me!"

The church version of the 6 o'clock news is this: We go to another church as a visitor or read a book about another ministry and we think, "We need a leader like that. He has vision. He is a good speaker and he even thinks like I do! I wish he was our KING!" Our guy isn't very good.

What the Bible says to us over and over is that we don't need better leaders WE NEED BETTER FOLLOWERS! Image what ANY leader could do if every follower got on board! Great followers make good leaders.

What God could do with a "Valley of Dry Bones" if the person sent to speak to them had Listeners!

Genesis 11: 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (UNLESS THEY WATCH THE SIX O'CLOCK NEWS)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weird Days and /or Weeks

It's funny how life works: Lately I am and have found myself in "normally"very uncomfortable situations.

Dealing with changes in the lives of friends where I have had to support things that are good for them but not me.

Watching changes that favor problem makers over problem solvers.

Hearing that an old friend died suddenly.

Being in very very unusual professional situations.

Having to give up an organizational board position because of too much travel.

Having too much travel.

I could go on BUT this is NOT the point.

The funny things is: I feel totally prepared for all this! I have seen so many things in my life so far... That ALL these things were placed before me because I KNOW WHAT TO DO. GOD has prepared me for these things and I am starting to get it.


I was one of four people participating in a class about planning, a 90 minute presentation. The plan was person one would talk for 10 minutes, the second five minutes, the third 45 minutes and me at the end for 30 minutes (all with Q & A as we go).

Class begins:

Person one took one hour. Person two took 10 minutes. Person 3 took 20 minutes. Then I was introduced at the 90 minute mark! I offered to defer since the students were ready to leave but they gave me 15 minutes.

Again: The presentation was about PRIOR PLANNING!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Road Less Traveled by Buddy Brock & Dean Dillion

(as sung by George Strait)

There's a road, a winding road that never ends
Full of curves , lessons at every bend
Goin's rough unlike the straight and narrow
It's for those who go against the grain
Have no fear, dare to dream of a change
Live to march to the beat of a different drummer
And it all might come together
And it all might come unraveled
On the road less traveled.

For the road less traveled ain't for the faint of heart.
For those who choose to play it safe and never stray too far.
And it all might come together
And it all might come unraveled
On the road less traveled.

I've chosen a pathway I may not endure
One thing's for certain nothing's for sure
And it all might come together
And it all might come unraveled
On the road less traveled.

There's a road a winding road that never ends.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Row Row Row Your Boat

When we were in Ft. Worth recently to see the kids, I overheard Lindsey working with two year old Kinley to wash her hands. She has Kinley to sing "Row RowRow You Boat" while washing as the proper length of time to wash. As I was listening, something hit me: The end of the song says, "life is but a dream". I thought that is a fairly "deep thought" and I'm glad none of our kids ever asked, "Dad, why is life just a dream?"

I'm glad they move on from that song before they start asking questions!



by Martina McBride and the Warren Brothers

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream that seems out of reach
and you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and its hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
In a moment they can choose to walk away
Love'em anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah, I do it anyway

You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love

King George and Martina

Thursday night we were guest of a company to see George Strait and Martina McBride at Tulsa's BOK center in a private suite. Now THAT is the way to see a concert. I would advise anyone who has an extra $100,000 or so to take that route for concert seats. We had a catered Cajun meal, snacks, drinks, and even popcorn. The seats were wide, plush and comfortable with something long lost in arenas, leg room and wide aisles.

But the big thing was the concert. The set up was "in the round" with the band in the center and Martina, and later George, walking around to four microphones on each side.

The concert was fantastic but unusual. It was unusual because we live in an entertainment age a special lights, lasers, background videos, fireworks and all. There was none of that. JUST MUSIC.

Martina sang her hits which routinely involves songs with deep insights and message. It was a great set.
George and his band came out and played a two hour set that mixed new songs with many of his greatest hits. I am sure their were many in the capacity crowd who missed herring one of their favorite songs of King George, but he has been producing hits since 1981 and their just isn't time!

He played my favorites though. There was one song that I had hoped he would sing because the location. I just love his song (not a hit), "Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa".

I had a great night

Mike bellies up to the Genius Bar

My iPod Classic erased itself last week. So I followed the rules and went to the Apple site and found the section on such devices for troubleshooting. I reset the unit. Fired it up and tried to sync it to my iTunes. Nothing. I tried several times, but iTunes did not even recognize that my Pod existed. Instead the iPod was showing up on the screen as a computer device and immediately downloaded all my photos onto the Pod.

After 3 days I gave in and made an appointment at the Apple Store. I waited about 30 minutes for my appointment and then took my turn at the "Genius Bar". Like a Doctor, he listened attentively to my problem and then had me start my Mac and start the Sync process. Nothing. So he gets on line and goes to the same site that I had been using for three days. He tries the same thing I did several times (like I did). He says, "I don't know what it is. It is something inside the iPod."

I think. "Genius!"

After an hour they gave me a new one at a good prorated price.

I left thinking that I guess I am a Genius too because I tried everything he did and I didn't know how t solve it either.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Is it Safe in the Safe House?

Denzil Washington plays as good a bad guy as any one in acting. But good or bad, his smile is priceless.

Tonight we went to see "Safe House" starring him and Ryan Reynolds. It is a tightly written and played out action movie about the CIA. It moves at the pace of the Bourne movies and has similar plot lines. This movie does have car chases, lots of shooting and hand to hand, etc. It is a great movie for this type. Between this and Bourne you get the feeling that maybe the Good guys ARE also bad guys.

Good acting, visuals, and action.

I give it ***stars.

2012 Movie #6

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Books and Many Miles

Last week, I played traveling salesman. On Monday I drove to the Oklahoma Panhandle to meet with three schools and contacted to others. That two day trip was 924 miles. On my way home, my boss called and wanted me in Oklahoma City for two days, so after a night at home I took another 364 mile, two day trip to two other schools. I got back Thursday and then left for Ft. Worth (another 600 miles)! Total one week: 1,888 miles+

Keeping me company on my trip out west were two easy read books: "Raylan" by Elmore Leonard and "The Fifth Witness" by Michael Connelly. Raylan is based on my favorite TV show guilty pleasure, "Justified" on FX. It is about Raylan Givens, a fictional U.S. Deputy Marshal, stationed in Harlan County, Kentucky. (Where my people came from!). Most TV shows about the south are filled with cliches and stupid dialogue (Think Dukes of Hazard"). This show is real and raw. So is the Elmore Leonard stories that created him. Since I know the TV characters, the images in my head of speech and visual was easy. As I read I kept thinking, they will probably work some of this into the TV show. This week's show answered. "Of course!" It used a scene from the Book.

The second book, "The Fifth Witness" is a sequel to the "Lincoln Lawyer" Novel and Movie. It will also be a movie. Again knowing who played who in the movie, visuals were easy.

These won't win Pulitzers, but they sure made the miles melt away.

2012 books #4 and #5

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Borrowed Oklahoma History

Lately, I have been working in Western Oklahoma. After 30+ years of working in Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas, I am getting to know about the rest of the state. As a kid and later, I rode across the state on my way to other states, but I didn't pay much attention. Eastern Oklahoma has lakes and trees and hills. Western Oklahoma has, well, land and wind.

Now as I visit the towns out west, the architect in me notices something that I don't see at home.There are many unique buildings out there. It is not unusual to see round buildings, curved walls, richly detailed building whether schools, churches or banks. It takes progressive people to agree to take chances--very cool chances.

Which brings me to a story: In the early 90's I took a class as part of Leadership Northeast Oklahoma. The speaker was the founder of Banc First taught me about the people who came to the state. Eastern Oklahoma was mainly settled by the Indian tribes that were forced to move here by the Government. Later they were joined by poor blacks and whites that came because they were too poor for "Arkansas"!

In Western Oklahoma Plains Indians were already there, but were joined by the Great Land Runs. These people eagerly swept into the territory for a new life.

As the teacher stated: Eastern Oklahoma people were not there by choice. Western Oklahoma people came with purpose. Western Okies were adventurous while Eastern Okies were trying to hold what little they had.

So now as then: Eastern Oklahoma is conservative---very, conservative. Western Oklahoma takes chances and has firm direction.

While Oil is still King in this state, Oklahoma City (west) is making GREAT strides. Tulsa (east) is fighting and worrying about every little thing.

Think about it: Even in the Panhandle its natural gas and Wind Farms and wealthy little town. It is no longer "No Man's Land"!

Monday, February 6, 2012

One Town, Two States

I have mentioned this before, but I am doing a project in the Oklahoma panhandle. The town is half in Oklahoma and have in Texas. Because the town is split by the state line, the Elementary School is in Texas and the rest in Oklahoma. The elementary has its own school board and gets funds from Texas and when the kids move to Junior high they are funded by Oklahoma with it own school board as well.

Today, I was driving around town and noticed something odd. The Texas side of town has wide paved streets with curbs and all while many of the Oklahoma streets are narrow with ditches on each side. I asked a couple of questions and found that the town also has two sets of city councils.

But this is NOT two towns, just two layers of governments totally separate. You know when you go into Texas by the change in license plates!

The other weird thing is that the "Welcome to Oklahoma" sign and the "Welcome to Texas" signs are on opposite sides of the town, implying that the town is in neither!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Artist - The past cries out silently

I went to see another of the Best Picture nominees tonight, "The Artist". We went tonight because it will be replaced tomorrow with a youth sic-fi movie. Even though critics across the country love this movie, we not only were the only two in the theater, they actually had to load it into the system, because they did not expect any one!

In this age of 3D, special effects, mind bending, profanity laced movies, along comes an inventive Black and white Silent Movie! It pays great tribute to the early days before "talkies" and the story is about that very thing: What happened to silent movies when replaced by sound during the Depression. This is a French movie laced with great American actors about Hollywood.

There is absolutely no reason for the young to see it for it has nothing that modern movies possess. It is song and dance, facial features and gestures, romantic comedy and Hollywood tragedy. The acting is great and believe it or not the SOUND while used sparingly is dynamic. It is also the best use of a dog in a movie!

This movie is a "duck out of water" and the best silent movie since Mel Brook's "Silent Movie"!
That is one you may want to check out.

While I still prefer "The Descendants" for best picture, I like this one.

I give it ****stars.

2012 Movie #5