Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Blahginess!

Community

FYI

Just a reminder that today is the National Day of Prayer. Would you join me in praying for our nation and specifically our President and elected and appointed officials?


No Job

I realized this morning that I don’t like referring to my work as “my job”. Job now has the connotation of forced labor. I’m one of the lucky ones that has a calling. As Media Director at Literacy and Evangelism International I spend at least 60% of my time focused on things that I am passionate about and are areas of strength for me.

But this isn’t about me and my awesome “job”.

I realize that there are many people in my life who have invested in me and helped me learn about myself and God’s design for me.

So, like a winner at the Oscars, here is my acceptance speech:

“First, I would like to thank my parents and my family. They have always been a source of love and encouragement. My dad has taught me the value of hard work and not feeling sorry for yourself when things get tough. My mom has shown me what grace and hospitality are all about. My brothers and sister who are always so much fun to hang out with have taught me the value of family love and care. My extended family who have accepted me and trusted me to make decisions about moving their daughter and sister (and granddaughter and niece) away from her home. I would like to thank Mike Miller as a long time friend and mentor. Mike took me on my first international mission trip and since then has continually invested in me as a leader. I would like to thank The Heart Church who has been so gracious to allow me the space and time to focus in on my strengths discovering more specifically what it is that God has called me to. I would like to thank Dave Jewitt and Your One Degree for guiding me and spending so much time and caffeine on helping me to discover God’s specific DESIGN. And of course, thanks to my wife Missy and my daughter Eve, who have been my source of inspiration and perseverance. It is because of you two that I want to be the best that I can be! Thanks for all your love.”

As the music starts up and the announcer starts to talk over me…

“And of course I’d like to thank Jesus Christ who is the One who makes all things possible…”

How would your acceptance speech go?


Getting online community right…

I did a Google search of “non profit online community” and came across these top websites:

Is it me or is there a specific audience for non profit work? Especially when it comes to online community?

Hmm…


And the crowd goes wild!!!

Have you ever heard the roar of the crowd? Has the roar of the crowd ever been for you? It is a powerful moment regardless of the size of the crowd.

I would not classify myself as an athlete, but I did run cross country in college. I was an average runner with average results, usually finishing well within the back to middle half of the pack. In three years competing I had one top ten finish. It was a competition hosted on our campus and it coincided with homecoming week. The best part was the very partisan crowd. The only time in my cross country career, the crowd was cheering for our team. It’s one thing to perform for a crowd, and certainly many of our other meets generated much larger crowds, but the home crowd yelling and getting insane for you–that’s inspiring! I ran my personal best time that day and finished 10th. It’s the only medal I have from college competition.

Being surrounded by people cheering you along the way pushes you beyond your limits. I’m in the midst of one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced in my life. Despite the odds and the difficulties I have surrounded myself with a few people who are cheering me on. They push me beyond my limits. They inspire me to work harder and focus more clearly. Sure I might be able to pull this off without them, but I can’t imagine how.

The best part of all this is the celebrations. Every obstacle hurdled. Every milestone passed. Then the finish line…reminds me of an image painted in an ancient book


Equations.

My wife is all into math right now. Well she is taking a college algebra class and frankly I can’t help her with the stuff she is working on. Honestly it’s sick. Quadratic equations. Radical denominators. You know I think in the next presidential election we should require all the candidates to solve at least one equation during a debate or something.

Well today I made up my own equations. These are easy. Won’t you join me in solving these equations?

Me X $5 = $5

Me+ You X $5 = $10

Me + You + Everybody else X $10 = 50,000 shoes

Talk about some crazy math. Today I want to highlight Soles4Souls. It’s this crazy little organization led by a crazy big movement to changes people’s lives through the gift of shoes. Five bucks is all it takes to donate two pairs of shoes. Again, crazy math, but it works. The goal is 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days. Now that is what I call some, you guessed it, crazy math. I have already donated a mere $5 just this morning to this cause and chances are today already you might have heard something about this. Well this is another reminder. Go over to Soles4Soulsand donate some money to change someones life. Oh yeah, btw, if you donate some money they will put your name in a drawing to possibly win a trip to Mexico and deliver the shoes in person! Once again, crazy math. The bottom line though…no equation is complete without YOU!


All Apologies.

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend the first screening of a new documentary focused primarily on the survivors of the Tulsa Race Riot and their failed attempts to attain reparations. If you are not familiar with the Tulsa Race Riot then you should go back and read these posts here, here, here and here. You can find the official state historical report on the race riot here.

The documentary was very, very difficult to watch on many levels. Recalling such a painful event and the blatant disregard for human life and decency is but at the surface and surprisingly not even the deepest of emotion. The evidence of a conspiracy of silence that essentially tried to ignore the event and even blame the event on the victims themselves brings even more turmoil to the issue. This leads us to the long history of attempts by survivors and victims to attain compensation for lost property.

And now the remaining survivors, most of whom were mere children at the time of the riot, are dying off with no official legal recourse left in our judicial system. But what can I do? I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a rich man. I’m not a powerful man in a powerful position. But in my heart I felt there was one thing I must do. So as I left the theater this Sunday afternoon and with two of the survivors sitting directly behind me. On my way out I made a point to stop, shake their hands, look them in the eyes and say “I’m sorry.” Of course, I had these visions of how deeply impacted these individuals might be. Perhaps they have never had a white man apologize to them. Self-centered thinking on my part. Instead I was treated to some very powerful words. Words of encouragement and words of hope. As one of the survivors held my hand in an extended handshake, he spoke those words to me. And I was amazed. His hands on that day back in 1921 were held high in the air as they were marched off to internment camps. Yet his hands now were extended again, but to me in a gesture of hope and peace.

These survivors deserve a tribute. They haven’t soured themselve sulking alone at home thinking thoughts of revenge. They have moved on. With out the assistance of a just judicial system. The best we can do is continue that spirit and learn from our past and move forward TOGETHER!


Bad Boys. Bad Boys. And Girls

Well a week ago Friday I mentioned that I was going on a ride along with a police officer friend of mine. Well I had a ton of fun explore the dark underside of society on a typical weekend night. So here are a couple of video clips from the night:

Here we are responding to a call with lights and sirens. It amazes me how many people are completely oblivious to the shrieking siren and flashing lights.

Here we are backing up on a traffic violation. Turns out one of the occupants had some outstanding warrants.

I have a new appreciation and admiration for our public servants. Day in and day out, night in and night out these men and woman work to protect us from all kinds of craziness. Their job description is to be on the frontlines of societies most dangerous situations and minimize and/or remove the threat while doing all they can to protect property and lives. Whether fire, ambulance or police, they all serve us in ways that go unnoticed and unappreciated. I remember well after 9/11 how we went through a phase of revering and being thankful for them all.

Who else goes unrecognized for their service?