It’s All About Me

That’s right, it’s all about me and I can prove it.

I have finally found the answer to questions like; “Why don’t ‘they’ get it?”  “Why can’t they just (enter whatever topic here), like I do?”  Or, my personal favorite, “Why can’t they handle it like I would?”

Well, here is the hard cold truth.  It is because I am the center of the universe and I have scientific evidence to prove it.  Since the universe is ever-expanding, it stands to reason that the further something gets from the center the smaller in size it appears. 

For example, it is a beautiful moonless and cloudless sky.  We walk outside and look up to see tiny specs of light.  Is it not true that those tiny specs of light are actually stars, planets, even entire galaxies that are many times the size of planet Earth?  And is it not logical that we assume the universe is ever-expanding or at some point in time expanded to its current state?  Obviously then, if something expands it starts out from “the center”!  Conversely, if the universe was expanding TOWARDS the Earth, these items would appear larger.   The principle proves that I am that center of the universe.

Please reference this simple illustration.  

I am standing in the front.  As the distance from the person next to me increases then that person begins to decrease in size.  They appear to get smaller, less significant, with less influence and relevance until finally at some “vanishing point” they fail to exist at all.

I’m sure this particular post will be difficult for some to fully appreciate.  However, those who are closest to me and who see life in the same exact manner as I do will no doubt be enlightened.  As you begin to understand this truth you will be closer to me and therefore have greater universal significance.  Should there be dissention or opinion to the contrary do not attempt to correct, argue, or debate.  Simply begin moving to the back as illustrated, please continue back,… keep going,… just a few more steps… 

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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.

Forgive This!!

Ok, I’m having one of those very human moments.  There is a pretty good battle going on inside this old head/heart of mine.  Keep in mind.  In this rant, I’m not talking about those souls that drift in and out of our lives in very natural ways.  You’re very close to someone for a season and then life brings some battles and changes and before you know it, you haven’t seen them in 20+ years.  That is natural and to be expected.

No, I’m talking about an explosion for whatever reason.  A relationship suddenly and dramatically changes.  What was once a close friend has evolved into something less. 

Such is my position.  I have no ill will towards this person.  I’m trying to live according to this new set of expectations.  Does that make sense?  For example, you expect close friends to invite you to things or call to check on you, the kids, or whatever.  You’re doing life together, right?  That is a reasonable expectation for a “friend”. 

Now, conversely, if someone tells you they care, love and respect your family but completely cut all communication (in spite of repeated attempts to re-establish) then I am to assume an expectation was not met.  They were either hurt, angered or insulted to the degree they would rather end the relationship rather than work it out.  It’s kind of like when folks leave a church, class or group because they didn’t like this or that.  They would rather leave the relationships rather than deal with the conflict.

If that is the case.  How do you demonstrate grace?  I’m perfectly fine letting go of this relationship that caused hurt, disappointment and frustration in my own life.  And since that time, I’ve been polite in my dealings with no real feeling or sense of obligation to restore the relationship.  To my way of thinking, not everyone is going to be my best friend.  It’s ok if you don’t want to be.  I’m also fine if that person wants to reestablish a connection.  I’m just not sure I want them to consider themself a “close friend”, if you know what I mean.  Let’s set some ground rules.  Let’s understand why feelings were hurt.  Let’s deal with whatever created the conflict first.

So there it is.  Debate your own willingness to forgive.  Does it reflect scripture?  Does the argument above reflect scripture?  And by the way, I’m not going to answer it for you.  Feel free to leave a thought or reference.

Remake of True Grit?! Noooo!

I realize if you born after 1979 you have no idea how big of a hero John Wayne was.  To say he was an American icon is not an overstatement.  He wasn’t an actor as much as he was a persona.  Every little boy wanted to be him.  Very few achieved such cultural stature; Ali, Kennedy, Marilyn… maybe.  But the Duke crossed boundaries that even limited those I mentioned.  He seemed to represent the best of America.

He was born in 1907.  I know that because that was the same year Oklahoma became a state.  And I know that because I was born on the same day as Oklahoma statehood (not the same year).  Anyway, I digress. 

He appeared in over 175 films over a 50 year span.  He beat cancer once by having several ribs removed (circa 1964).  After his death in 1979, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The highest awards given to non-military citizens.  Maybe a handful of individuals have received both.  The image of John Wayne was bigger than life.  He embodied the American ideal.

Well, in perfect Hollywood fashion, they want to try to copy it.  Hollywood, so help me… if you mess this up, I will hire an evil genius to shoot two missiles into the San Andreas fault line and cause an earthquake that will make California fall into the ocean!

The REAL Rooster (3 minute mark has most memorable moment from the film)

If you’re really a fan, here’s one of my favorite quotes that is very timely.

Can you name the movie?