Friday, March 28, 2008

A Takeover

Pastors and Pastorettes,

Do you have an awesome vision for your church and the way it should work?

Is your church membership bucking your vision, you know, the one given directly to you BY GOD?

Are your members acting like Christianity started some two-thousand years ago and actually has a history behind it?

It's up to YOU to do something about it!

Okay, enough of the gibberish. I stumbled across what looks like a rational view not of what happened to Issues, Etc., but the "why".

This is an excellent article by someone who has seen this before. I think the confessional congregations ought to tell their members - even those that do not have computers - about it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Simple Math

You know, there are a number of simple mathematical equations that yield a result of 48:

6 * 8 = 48

24 * 2 = 48

96 / 2 = 48

47 + 1 = 48

49 - 1 = 48

But two simple equations are near and dear to my heart:

a) 4 * 12 = 48, otherwise written as

b) 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 48

You see, professional basketball is played in four, 12-minute quarters, or 48 minutes. However, if you've paid any attention to the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last two seasons, you've probably noticed that their games usually look like this:

12 + 12 + __ + 12 = 48

The missing number should be a twelve, because the total is still 48. But something happens when the Cavs come out of the locker room at half-time. Doesn't matter if it's the old Cavs, starring LeBron, Larry, Drew, Z, and Sasha, or the new Cavs, starring LeBron, Ben, Andy, Sasha, and Delonte. Many new faces, same old result: they stink up the joint. They normally lose the third quarter scoring battle. Many times it's a double-digit loss.

I have a difficult time believing that Mike Brown, the Cavs head coach, is that bad at preparing a team at half-time. He carries some of the burden, but not all of it. These guys get paid to play 36 minutes of basketball - oops, I'm sorry, they think they get paid to play 36 minutes. They get paid to play 48 minutes.

Maybe someone should explain that to them. My six-year old son, the Engineer, has already picked up on this problem. I'm ready to nominate the entire team for an off-season Idiot of the Week award.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Eleventh Commandment

I think God missed a commandment. I really do.

Okay, maybe He didn't miss one. After all, He is perfect. But if I could add another one, it would be this one: Thou shalt not take other people for granted.

Marie and I were talking late last week that it's not really laziness that irritates us. Yes, some people are lazy and unproductive. Hey, it happens. But when the lazy people pull us into their vacuum to the extent that our time, money or emotions are invested (or wasted) on them, then yes, we get irritated. Then, it's not just that the people are lazy, but that they have taken us for granted.

This happens frequently enough at work. I am a project manager, so I usually catch the brunt of it, and have to make up the difference. There, I get paid to handle it; it's part of my daily responsibility, and fits into the context of my career.

Outside of work, if you waste my resources, it becomes personal. We all only have so many hours in a day, are blessed with a certain income granted us through our business, job or career, and drain every bit of energy out of our bodies that we can every day. To me, taking other peoples' time, funds, talents and emotions for granted is one of the biggest disservices you can do to someone.

If you really respect the resources someone provides for you, make sure you sincerely let them know that. But do it before you waste any more of their time, money or talents.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Link From a Link

I found the Health Insurance Myth off of a comment from the Tenth Amendment Center. The blog itself is interesting, and the links throughout the blog posts are just as compelling.

If you are interested in seeing the various sides and hearing all sorts of experiences involving health care, the Health Insurance Myth is a good place to start.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Oh No! Four-Oh!

I become another year wiser tomorrow. That officially means I go into mid-life crisis, right? I mean, I think this is the way it's supposed to go. I will get bored with my life, and look for some wild, exhilarating way to get meaning back. It might be a car...a house...another band (lol).

It may be that I get tired of looking out for "number one" and decide, finally, to want to make a difference.

After all, isn't that why David Archuleta sang Imagine and Another Day in Paradise, on the biggest professional music stage in the world, American Idol? (Wait! Before you think Idol is still about the little guy, read here. David A. has a great voice, but he already knows how to play the game; so do his handlers.)

After all, isn't that why Green Day won a Grammy for American Idiot? It was because they wanted to make a difference...they wanted to get Bush out of office, and the lefty entertainment industry loved it. (Do you really think they would have won that Grammy had they written and released American Idiot when Clinton was in office? Oh, yeah, they wouldn't have recorded it...because the right person was in office!)

After all, isn't that why every feel-good show and sporting event talks about how the key actors and athletes are doing things for the community? To show that, no matter how much money they have, they are still helping others?

Well, I'll be forty years old tomorrow. And I am not changing a thing. Here's why:

  • I provide for my family, which enables Marie to homeschool our kids.
  • The kids get a two-parent, whole family perspective on life that is modeled daily.
  • I run the household to have a financial surplus. Debt is low and managed against intermediate term financial needs. If something happens to me, the family is taken care of. Rich? No, not at all. Managed? Yes.
  • I excel at my job - at least my latest employee evaluation tells me I do. Marie and the kids hear about what I do. The kids hear about the real life joys and frustrations of the daily grind. They will have no pre-conceived notions about dealing with people as adults.
  • Through my bands, I provide a release point for people, including myself. I'm not all buttoned-up in the bands, but get to let go a bit. My kids see that there is a difference between work and play, but that sometimes they commingle, like in the band.
  • Marie and I get to raise our kids they way we want.
  • I contribute to church and causes where I want and when I want.
  • I provide value in places where no monetary exchange occurs. Who cares if I don't do it for Habitat for Humanity or for a political party?
  • I am married to a wonderful wife who I can talk to about anything, and who is patient enough to hear me out. At times, that is not an easy thing to do.
What's my point? "Making a difference" has been turned into some romantic, idealistic thing. It's become sexy to make a difference. However, it does not take into account those little, daily, oft-repeated things that we do that make a consistent difference in the lives of those we encounter each and every day of our lives. I am making a difference to my family, my co-workers, my church family and my friends. Sometimes, they don't even know it. Other times, I don't even know it.

And that's the way it should be.

So, I'd like to thank the Academy, my family, and all of you up in the balcony who voted for me to reach my 40th birthday. I couldn't have done it without you. (snicker)

Thank you to all of you who make a difference to me, through your blog posts or your daily interactions. You make life interesting and fun.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Primarily Speaking

Tomorrow is the Ohio primary. Big deal, right? It should be, but I don't view it that way. I am a constitutionalist in Republican's clothing. (I have not renounced my party affiliation yet although I should get around to that.)

I am going to take this opportunity to vote Republican AND protest the roster of remaining, unqualified candidates. You see, Marie voted absentee a couple weeks ago, so I know who is on the Republican ballot. And I can still vote for a candidate that is no longer in the race. It will be my way, as a registered Republican, of expressing my displeasure with the party.

Rock and Roll Fun

If you happen to be out in Hollywood the weekend of March 14, be sure to see my brother's band, Elegantly Wasted, opening for Winger. If you grew up on 80's hair band music, you know who Winger is. (Snicker).

Tickets are available at ticketmaster for the March 14 show, being held at the Crash Mansion theatre.

And it gets more exciting for my brother, who will also be playing Rocklahoma this year! It's an 80's style rock and roll festival. The band should get themselves plenty of good press and an opportunity to sell lots of CDs and shirts! :-)

I'm really excited that the band has these gigs in their near future. Things are definitely coming together for them now. I wish them well.