I have art for sale. Asking $1.5 million.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and birthday wishes!  It’s a great day. 

My 7-year-old daughter set her alarm and woke up early so she could fix me breakfast in bed.  I had eggs, toast, bacon, and hot coffee.  She also made me a sculpture commemorating our largest achievement of the year; she learned to ride her bike.  More on that later.

My wife and in-laws treated me with tickets to Spamalot, a cultural juggernaut and right up my alley! 

My new job is going well, and if things go according to plan a new office will be in place at the end of the year.  My very gracious employer has already agreed to leverage our grand opening as a fund-raising event for a local children’s charity.  Details will follow after the holidays.

All that to say, I’m enjoying being spoiled! 

I would like to ask a favor.  Check out WorldOrphans.  Their model is one I dearly love.  They empower a local church to meet the needs of their community and then help them create the means to become self-sustaining.  I’ve seen widows and widowers take on six to ten kids and begin their own families.

I would like to ask your help in a couple of ways.  One, post their link to your profile, Twitter, or blog.  They are working in so many areas of the world, you might create a supportive relationship by introducing them to someone in your network.  Two, consider giving a small gift. 

A friend once asked a very legitimate question, “Why are we “helping” orphans in Africa when we have so many challenges right here at home?”  Personally, I don’t care if it is Africa, Haiti, China, Ukraine, or America… one less orphan is one less orphan.  One child with a bed is one less child on the street.  I don’t care where in the world it happens, it just needs to happen.  If supporting World Orphans isn’t of interest, then maybe one of these others are: 99 Balloons, Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter.  Or, if you dare, find one near you and give to them.

Being born was great and all, and I would take the credit but Mom really did all the work; however, it would sure go a long way if I knew being born helped someone I would never meet.

Marlow's First Bike Ride

And regarding the artwork:

It is my daughters sculpture of her riding her bike.  The sculpture materials are drinking straws, wire, rings and duct tape.  It’s currently on sale for $1.5 million.

Thanks again for your kind words and for making it a great day!!

NPR, Seriously?!

Ok, first let’s take a look at the SCANDALOUS video.  The big statement is made in the first minute but please take a moment to hear the whole thing.  Anyone with an attention span longer than 30 seconds will see Juan defend Muslims as a people and his point, WHEN TAKEN IN CONTEXT, is a valid one.

I’ll preface my rant with the following.  I believe firing Juan was wrong and I see it as a threat to the American people.  Here is why.

There are a  million things one can debate on the specifics of the event but let’s step back for one freakin second and look at the big picture.  National PUBLIC Radio is supposed to be one of the stop-gap measures in free speech.  It is SUPPOSED to be a means by which the public voice can be heard.  That’s why any garage band with local support can buy time on a public station.  That’s the concept in a nutshell.

Now we hear outcries for the federal government to cut funding for NPR (which is about 2% of its overall operating budget).  Let’s stop the reactionary, knee jerk, throw the baby out with the bath water manner in which we try to resolve an issue.  A minor one at that!

Freedom comes with responsibility.  You learned it in grade school remember?  You had personal freedoms until somebody hurt someone then a rule was put into place to stop it.  It’s the same thing today.  We have freedoms as long as we except the personal responsibility of those freedoms.  If we decide individuals needs rules to demonstrate societies expectations then we’ll make a law. 

There are a couple of things that have me terrified.  1.  The reaction of the decision makers at NPR to fire him in the first place.  2.  The threat of cutting funding as a means to correct the problem.

The problem to me seems to be with leadership at NPR.  Aren’t they supposed to encourage free speech?  Isn’t it a good idea for debate to put an ultra conservative and a liberal on the shame show for just such a discussion.  Why is it so wrong to talk about what so many people think about?  We’ve all been scared or intimidated by an individual that looks threatening to our own sensory filters.  No discrimination occurred.  No prejudice was exercised.  An emotion was expressed.  And later, the emotion clarified in his defense of a people.  Secondly, how in the world does cutting funding solve the issue?  All you’re doing is limiting the continued effectiveness of the program.  Cutting NPR, one of the “people’s” means of being heard only gives the government more control.

The issue is poor leadership at NPR.  Don’t cut the funding!  Cut the staff!  Replace them with people who are more concerned about responsibly promoting freedoms and less concerned about being politically correct!

I’m done ranting.  I’m going to a football game.

“God in the Market Place”

It’s a book by Henry and Richard Blackaby.  It is 45 questions asked to Fortune 500 executives about faith, life, and business.  I enjoy pulling it out every once in a while.  The chapters are short in length and provide just enough references to other sources to make it interesting. 

Today, I ran across part 4, My Family Life.  The question is a simple one, “Can you be successful leader if your family is fractured by broken relationships?  We all know that the book is looking for the correct answer which of course is, “no”. 

We all understand that.  We all know how to answer that.  However; if we’re honest, and we look at the compartmentalized, analytical, almost schizophrenic approach to life that we live…then our actions betray us.  Why else would a man find so much value in his achievements at his work and less so at keeping his responsibilities at home?  Shouldn’t a good “leader” at work be the same at home?  Is the definition of “leadership” different at work than it is at home?  You tell me.

1 Timothy 3:4-5  is a verse that it keys on.  Yes, it talks about ministers leading a church but is the challenge any less so for executives of industry? 

The book continues to challenge us on relationships with our spouses, children, business, church, and all other social alliances.  Check this one out (even if you have to go to the library).  It’s a good read.

Shell Oil taught me something today.

The Northwest Arkansas Summit is a weekly luncheon at The Church at Pinnacle Hills.  I like to attend to do a little networking, catching up with acquaintances and generally break up the routine a bit.

Today, Shell Oil of North America’s VP of Sales, Jim McCormick spoke.  He shared a good portion of information regarding the energy business and our nation’s outlook.  Of particular interest to me was the fact they had approximately 44,000 stations.  Excuse me Mr. McCormick, can I interest you in POP displays for all your locations?  Just asking.

Anyway, there was a point he made that really caught my attention.  Summarizing a bit, I’ll try to get as close as possible.  As a leader, displaying the attributes of love described in 1 Corinthians, how do you achieve changing results for the better?  He summed it up this way.  Change your perspective.

Follow the logic here.  If you change your perspective, it will change your reaction to the event.  By changing your reaction to the event, you change the environment surrounding that event.  The likelihood for change then is increased because the reaction and environment surrounding it are different.  Now, go read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Creating change in an institution (business or church) would be more effective if the attributes described in the passage were demonstrated to the employees or followers.  To use Seth Godin’s verbage, you’re talking to your tribe.  

I just have to remember this when the opportunity arises.  Thanks Mr. McCormick for making me stop and think a bit today.

Selling everything and moving to Dubai!

The Caubble Family

Well, ok… just a little misleading.  No, the Evans family is not moving (sorry to disapoint you).  And no, that picture has nothing to do with the Evans’ either.

I just found out about this family and have been reading their blog.  It’s inspirational and exciting.  Check out their story.  I hope it challenges you as it did me today. 

John, Leslie, Jonathan (13), and Jared (11) Caubble are currently preparing to relocate to the Middle East. Their blog is designed as a communication tool with family and friends. For more ministry updates, please email John at jcaubble@gmail.com.

Kids from Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter

There will be a special event from 11:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, October 16th.  Tickets are $25. 

The theme is a sustainable Tailgate Event and it will be family friendly.  There will be separate areas focusing on games and activities for children and they will have multiple interactive areas for guests to learn about sustainable efforts. Jack Ingram will be performing at the halftime show. 

Check out their website.

Red Letter Day!

Today, the company I work for received the “Spirit of St. Louis Award” from Mayor Francis Slay.  I think that means we all receive season tickets to the Cardinals.  I’m pretty sure that’s what that means, yeah.  I’m pretty sure I’m right on that.

Established in 1977, they are accomplishing great things and I am very fortunate to have recently become a part of that organization.  I was brought on board for the specific reason of providing a full-time presence in northwest Arkansas.  Mid America Display (part of Boxes Inc.) provides retail suppliers; design, manufacture, fulfillment and logistic support for the promotional programs they send to retailers.  You’ll see cool looking displays everywhere from movie theaters to Walmart; Auto Zone to well, you get the point.  (The ugly displays are made by our competitors).

I’m only six weeks in with the company so it is a little difficult for me to take any credit for this award.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying to figure out a way.  I’m excited to be a part of this great team and look forward to playing a part in their future success!  Congratulations Mike and Greg and thank you for the opportunity!

Owners, Mike Patten, President and Chief Executive and Greg Wiese, Vice President with Mayor Francis Slay

 

The Mayor working on one type of die cutter.