Saturday, February 28, 2015


February 9, 1959

"What distinguishes the "elite" from the masses is only their insistence upon "quality."  This implies a responsibility, to all for all, to the past for the future, which is the reflection of a humble and spontaneous response to Life------with its endless possibilities, and its unique present which never happens twice."


"Forward! Thy orders are given in secret. May I always hear them---and obey.
Forward! Whatever distance I have covered, it does not give me the right to halt.
Forward! It is the attention given to the last steps before the summit, which decides the value of all that went before.

Great Thoughts 

Are you Focused?

The new Will Smith movie,  "Focus" will do a number on you.  First the movie is about people who Con people: slight of hand, pick pockets, Con Men, etc.  The idea we are taught at the movie's start is: Focus.  Make people (the mark) focus on one thing so that the Con can do something else. Example: Cause a scene in a crowded lobby, everyone focuses on the event, the pick pockets work the crowd and relieve people of their possessions.   

In this movie Will Smith and Margo Robbie are the leads.  When they are on the scene, I like their marks, am so drawn to them that I am conned as well.  This is a slick, fun, tense, action movie with comedy, drama, and action.  The problem is deciding: WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

The weird thing about these movies is that you are fans of morally BAD people (That are easy on the eyes!).  That is what fiction does. Suspension of disbelief is one of the best vehicles of a good story.
In real life these people's lives would be nearer the people in "Breaking Bad."

As it was it is a good great popcorn movie. I give it  *** stars. 2015 movie #14

FYI: Rated R   


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Experimental Theology: You

A little thought about my favorite psalm:

Experimental Theology: You: It goes without saying that Psalm 23 is the most famous psalm. Perhaps the most famous text in the whole of the bible. What is the sourc...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

McFarland USA

Okay, If you know someone who doesn't go to the movies because (fill in the reason), here is a movie to consider.  McFarland USA is a Disney Production starring Kevin Costner, the master of sports movies. This is the true story of an ex-football coach who ends up with his last option, one of the poorest schools in Southern California.  McFarland is a school for the kids of farm workers and the kids are also "pickers".  They work hard and have little release.  Most of the boys have no cars so they run to school, run to work, run to town.  Coach White (Costner) gets the idea to form a cross country team even though he has no experience with the sport.

It is the classic tale of poor versus rich, haves versus the have-nots,  privilege versus hard work.  It is a simple honest story of real community, good families, and hope.  I have read some of the real story and I was impressed before the movie.  The coach not only helped change the community but its mindset.  Coach White coached and taught many years in McFarland and later preached for the local Church of Christ.

Good Movie about Good Real People.  I would hope that it would help change the stigma of immigrants who seek what the USA has to offer.

I give this movie ***1/2 stars.  2015 Good Luck Movie #13

Sunday, February 22, 2015



Just for kicks I always pick my choices for the Academy Awards. I saw all Best Picture nominees, but not all actor and actress awards. So I will do what the real pickers do and say who I pick and then who probably will.

Best Supporting Actor:  My pick is J.K.Simmons for Whiplash.  He will win.

Best Supporting Actress: My pick is Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.  She will win.

Best Actor: My pick is Michael Keaton for Birdman. Word has it that Eddie Redmayne will win.
Keaton has had the emotional role. Redmayne had the physical role in Theory of Everything (and he is British)!

Best Actress: My pick is Reese Witherspoon for Wild, but I didn't get to see Julianne Moore in Still Alice.  Moore will probably win. She has five nominations but no wins and I hear she is great in this role.

Best Picture: My pick is Boyhood which too 12 years to make, a truly one in a million movie. If it doesn't win  I want BirdMan even though I hear Hollywood went crazy over Grand Budapest Hotel.

Best Director:  Richard Linklater is my pick. This may be one of those weird years when the Best Picture does not produce Best Director.  How can you not pick Linklater when he held a cast and crew together for 12 YEARS! Crazy Good accomplishment!

Best Animated Movie is a Sham.  How can LEGO movie not be nominated?  I don't care who wins this.

Best Song is too hard!  Glory form Selma will probably win but the songs most important to the movie is Lost Stars form Begin Again or Everything is Awesome from Lego Movie.

Musings about Leadership

As an Elder in the Church of my town, I am a part of a changing of the guard so to speak.  We have had a group of five elders for the past few years of which I was the third youngest or in the middle of the pack. In a short time four of the five have left in two stages.  The first two that retired were replaced by three more. Then shortly there after we lost two more which were replaced by four more.

Suddenly, I am the "tenured one" or "the old guy" depending on your frame of mind. While one of the  eight elders is my same age, the rest are much younger.  We are as diverse as we have ever been. That's good.  

We have also had a change in Pulpit Ministers over the past 18 months and our longest tenured minister is leaving later this year.

I once looked at myself as an outsider because I did not have a long history here and spent most of my life elsewhere. Now I'm the token insider for I know "where the bones are buried".  I don't want to be the church historian but their is some continuity needed for a while.

Here's the deal:  Our church doesn't like organization. We don't write enough things down and we don't keep many records.  We sometimes question why things were done a certain way and if the memory is bad, we have no answer.  I'm not talking about traditions, but events.

We also in the past adopted for a while "The priesthood of all believers".  This is a Bible based idea but tended to say "everyone is in charge so no one is!" This caused the members to ask, "What is our direction and where are we heading?"  We slowly changed from that idea to the idea a being more "Shepherd-like".  The theory is easy but the application is not.

I am excited about the future and believe we will face many things former leaders did not.  Among them will be the Women"s role in worship, what to do with the College Ministry, what is the future of the Youth Ministry and what will Missions become for our church.  I also believe that we will be called on as a body to minister to the least fortunate of our community.  The Apostle Paul "The Patron Saint of the CofC" did not help us much in these areas (Actually he did, we just chose parts of what he said!)  but thankfully Jesus did.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me."  

He's not just talking about the poor, he's talking bout the dis-infranchised.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

For Ash Wednesday: Experimental Theology: Litany of Penitence

Experimental Theology: Litany of Penitence: Most holy and merciful Father: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Backsliding at the movies

Last year I decided to try to see only good movies.  However my last two have taught me a lesson.  Trailers are becoming very misleading.  James Bond movies have never been R-rated so I should have been more alert that "Kingsman" was rated R.  If you took almost any James Bond movie and inserted "F**K" every six words you have "Kingsman", ALMOST.  The preview of this movie promises great fun and if not for the F-bombs delivered for half a movie.  Everyone likes the young trainee put through the paces against his smug competitors.  Thais the first half.

In the second half  the writes seemed to say, "I wonder how many people we can destroy, mutilate and other wise maim in one hour?"  You get to watch.  Great fun watching hundreds of people's heads explode.

Great possibilities. Sad Results. Good Popcorn.

I give it 1-1/2 stars out of five.  If you must watch, I recommend Netflix.

2015 Movie #12

What I learned:  In the movie the lead guy has a dog named JB.  Someone asked does JB stand for James Bond? No  What about Jason Bourne? No  It's for Jack Bauer!   All the good spys are JB.

Just like at OU everyone of their greats are B.S.  Barry Switzer, Billy Sims, Boomer Sooner, Bob Stoops..... Somethings just fit!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jupiter Crashing

I thought a good 3-D Sci-Fi movie with good actors would be a great thing to do after an especially  bad day on Friday. So we went to see "Jupiter Ascending". That first thought is still a good one because the Jupiter movie was a disaster.

"Jupiter Ascending" is like some stoner skate boarders said, "Lets do Stars Wars again but really complex and  crazy.

I was confused after 20 minutes and after that I just didn't care.  We didn't walk out because who knew what would happen next?  Answer: Not much but in a spectacular way.

I won't rate it.  2015 Movie #11

Thursday, February 5, 2015

So, Who dressed you?

Went to early vote today and I had a conversation that I have had time and time again.

Her:  I like you yellow shirt.  I goes great with the yellow symbol on your sweater.

Me: Thanks, That's what I was going for.

And then wait for it......

Her: Did your wife pick that out for you?

Me:  No, I know a little about color. I've been buying my own clothes since I was ten.

Her: I always had to dress my husband.  He would wear anything and it was so embarrassing!

For some reason I have had this conversation many times in my life.  I have learned that guys aren't suppose to like clothes, know colors or know what goes with what.  When I tell people my story, they look at me like I'm weird.  I know one part of my story IS weird because I like to shop! I was the youngest of my brothers so whenever my Mother went shopping I went as well.  As a matter of fact I did most of the family's week day grocery shopping on my trusty bicycle.  I knew the family favorite brands and I learned how to influence some of the buying.  My opinions spread into clothes: what kind of tennis shoes and which shirts.  I went from there.

So through the years I have learned that there are guy rules:  Guys don't like to shop.  Guys should care what they wear unless it has a logo of their sports team, their sports store, and sometimes their ammo!  When their wife shows them something they say: Ok or whatever.

The crazy thing is that I have to fake it in business as well. When we design a building and it is time to pick colors, many times I hire a female designer to help because if they think I picked the colors it is weird.  Even in Architecture people don't want guys to know color.  To me that is the weird thought!  But it has an advantage: There's someone else to blame if they don't like my ideas.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

It's Black or White or Both!

I am preparing for a class Sunday with College students dealing with stereotyping, race and Christianity.  A stout subject. So last night I went to see Kevin Costner's new movie "Black or White".   This movie did not sit well with critics because it was not shocking or different. What it is, is  "Life".

Back Story: Kevin's daughter had an affair with a black guy, became pregnant and died in childbirth.  Costner's character and his wife is raising the granddaughter with all the privilege of an affluent attorney in LA. As the movie opens His wife has died in a car wreck and The Grandpa is left to raise his black granddaughter.  The Father's family challenges for custody.  The story begins.

It has been called this generation's version of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" a movie that I had planned to reference Sunday.  This story is very thought provoking and the lines get blurred.  Nothing is Black or White. Costner and Octavia Spencer perform at the highest level.

The best lines in the movie is Costner's response in court to "Are you prejudice  against blacks?"
He responds, "If you are asking me if the first thing I see when I see someone is whether they are black or white, I would say yes.  But it is the second or third things I see that matter.  It's like when I see a woman is big-breasted! I see that first but it is what I see after that that really counts!  Who are they? How are they?"

I like this movie especially the second half.  The opening was awkward but it picked up speed. I give the second half *** stars.  2015 movie #10

Experimental Theology: Kingdom of Cardboard and Spoils

I have posted this to encourage readers to go to Experimental Theology and watch the video "KIngdom of Cardboard and Spoils".  It is only a few minutes bur has great impact

Experimental Theology: Kingdom of Cardboard and Spoils: In the estimation of many who attended C21 two weeks ago in Phoenix the presentation of Dieter Zander was the most profound and impactful. T...