Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gone for a Few

I will be out of town at a pastor's conference till Sunday. 
No pithyness till then.  As if there was in the past.

A Contrast of Religious Events

On Saturday 7-7-07 there were lots of events planned. This was one of the most popular wedding dates of the year. I conducted none but it could have happened. Big day.

There were TWO major religious events that were orchestrated on that date. One was THE CALL. About 100,000 people from all across the nation met in stadiums and large churches to cry out to God for this nation. People in Charismatic Churches in particular no longer are willing to stand for things as they are. The cry out to God is tangible. Several people I know attended the event that was the core in Tennessee in the Titans Stadium.

Lou Engle who is someone I know and respect (He heads the Justice House of Prayer in Washington DC) was the organizer of the call. This is a movement of which I am a part. There were gatherings in Green Bay at Lambaeau field. In Florida and many other places. The most were in Titan Stadium where about 60,000 gathered.

OH, you didn't hear about it? HMMMM wonder why?

It's religion.

Wait, what did you hear about in the mainstream media? Live Earth. Al Gore. 7 Concerts from around the world. Here's a report from the BBC.
Live Earth has been branded a foul-mouthed flop.
Organisers of the global music concert - punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers - had predicted massive viewing figures.
But BBC's live afternoon television coverage attracted an average British audience of just 900,000.
In the evening, when coverage switched from BBC2 to BBC1, the figure rose to just 2.7 million.
And the peak audience, which came when Madonna sang at Wembley, was a dismal 4.5 million. Three times as many viewers saw the Princess Diana tribute on the same channel six days before.
Two years ago, Live 8 drew a peak television audience of 9.6million while Live Aid notched 10million in 1985.
The BBC blamed the poor figures on Saturday's good weather and said its Wimbledon tennis coverage had drawn away afternoon viewers.
Critics said however that the public had simply snubbed what they saw as a hypocritical event.
Musicians including Bob Geldof, Roger Daltrey and the Pet Shop Boys pointed out that a concert highlighting climate change had itself generated huge carbon emissions.
Performers were criticised for flying to concerts that were staged simultaneously on seven continents.
The BBC's coverage, which ran for 15 hours from 12.30pm on Saturday to 4am yesterday, also sparked dozens of complaints about bad language.

Contrast that report with the ones above. They were both religious events. One Godly, One Pagan - earth worship. Nothing every changes. Those who worship the earth have always been who they are. And this is no different.

We are in deep doo doo.

Testing Out

I took a personality test Julie recommend. VERRRRY interesting. Not it's report. It's accurate. I thought it might be another one of those hokey things you run into.

All in all I like what I see. Of course the test said I would.

Confidence 90%
Openness 58%
Extroversion 80%
Masculinity 96%
Femininity 16% (despite the fact that I had a MANicure yesterday. I fell asleep)
Authoritarianism 70%

The test described me as Dynamic Inventor type.

The capacity to dream dreams and turn them into reality. Solving problems creatively. See past the clutter into the should be. More proactive than reactive. Trusting my instincts. Not concerned what others think of me. I wear others out. I have a long view of how things should be and will tell you so. Respect success and little patience for those who ride the coattails of others work. Believe in integrity. Engages others to learn about a problem before solving it.

I'd say it sums me up pretty well. One of the traits it asked and reported to me on was, did I like who I am.


You can take it TOO.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baseball Theologians

As long as I am referring folks to stuff I read, three guys who I think are good thinkers and decent (although sometimes off the reservation) theologians from time to time, they all share one thing. An inordinate fascination with Baseball. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Baseball's OK.

So on their respective blogs they all three felt it their ecclesiastical duty to write about the All Star Game played last night.

As a prophet I predicted who would win. Not that it was all that hard. They always do. This time it was close. I didn't predict that.

Steve Scott was there at the game. He will write later about his experience there. You will want to tune in.

John Armstrong who travels every day, leads a hectic life in ministry has time to think about these things.

And, Barry Kolb, true to form takes a way too cynical view of the game. He talks and writes as if he's seen it all before. He hasn't, he has lived a pretty sheltered life. Barry, you have to get out more.

Of course he was at the Disco Demolition on this date many years ago in Cominsky Park. I wasn't. I was living in Fargo then. We burned records too. First Assembly had a record burning because there was backtrack messages from Satan on them. I think our whole bonfire was 11 records.

It's ok to make fun. Sometimes a little overboard is OK. When reality sets back in the center looks better.

Even to make fun of Baseball.

OK, I'll confess. Back in 1990 when I was on hiatus (unemployed and between deals) I decided to attend or watch on TV every single White Sox Game for the whole season. Every One. I did. Every one. Every single one. I got to know Carlton Fisk's crotch real well. Whimpy and Hawk and YESSSS.

I don't watch much now. I fall asleep.

But, Steve, Barry and John, have fun. It's harmless but it does use up brain cells.

You may want to use them again.
Why Does This Work?

Aaron Telian is one of my daily reads on my personal blogroll. Firefox has a neat deal with active bookmarks so I can dip in when he has written something new.

(An unsolicited endorsement. Hope that's OK. Firefox is the greatest internet browswer ever. Nearly virus free. So many features and the extended features, one I am writing on one right now called performancing is tremendous. It's an HTML editor sort of. Great stuff. So, get Firefox, it's free and makes that dumb explorer look like a really bad kindergarten picnic).

Back to Aaron. I digressed.

He tells a story today that I have heard, most of the time about change in an elevator.

It's about Seventeen Mules. One Half, one third and one ninth.

Read it please and then tell me, Why does this work. I have heard it enough times to say it puzzles the math out of me.

Ken, you're the math whiz. Why does this work? Explain it to all of us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

21st Century and all that bunk!

Kevin is deep in the throes of getting his dad technically into the 21st century. What a hassle. Watching him fight with all this (and he is pretty savvy at 35 years on doing all this) we still spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with support folks. The ones we are talking to seem to actually by from the USA. Miracles never cease. Why is this all so hard. If I had to do this alone I never could. It took us an hour just to set up a new email account.

Tomorrow 6 meg download wireless high speed Internet shows up. Hope it works. Glad I'm not doing it.

Last Night I bought an HP laptop. 2 gig of ram, 120 gig hard drive. Vista is on it. By itself Vista occupies 40 GIG. Dumb. Plus it comes with NO REAL USEFUL software. No wonder Gates is the second richest man in the world.

I am going to an IPHC E-4 pastor's conference in Columbus OH. My friend Barry informs me that 43 is travel in anniversaries. This is 42 but we are going to travel anyway. Our anniversary is on Monday the 16th. Columbus? I must attend this annual conference to maintain my ministerial credentials for another year. They want to see if I can still sit up and breath. I can.

So, in preparation for the auspicious event, I am getting my nails done. Peggy bought me a MAN icure. Nail Detail they call it. Metrosexual Gene call me. If you know me well that is a huge yuckitup.

I'll be so dazzling I'll need sunglasses. They are supposed to do my feet too. Pedicure. Peggy went all out. Here's the question. WHY? Who's going to see my feet? I think I'll turn my gift card into a multi cuticle harvest fest. Makes more sense to me.

After Thurs PM no posts till Sunday when we get back from Columbus. Not that you'll miss me all that much. I have a complex prophetic word I need to deliver. I may post it here before I go. You can then judge it. It's very encouraging as prophetic words are supposed to be.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I didn't know I had crossed a line. If and when I do I want to be quick and certain to apologise. Such is the case of being too personal. I will make no defence. I have mentioned names when perhaps I shouldn't have. I have made abstract allusions when I thought they were masked pretty well. I guess not.

I'll be more careful.

However, the Art story is one he tells at his slide shows now. So, nothing out of school about that.

Regarding a person who deserves admiration of one sort or another:

The fact is I appreciate the ability of some people to get things done.

I know there are exceptions. I know people make tremendous sacrifices in personal situations. Those must be and are admired.

That takes nothing away from the plunger, the risk taker, the creator of wealth by savvy and skill.

We all have hero's, some sung, some unsung.

So, while I understand Ken's story, I also stand in appreciation of those who take a road less traveled. We need more of their kind in this world. Most people play it far too safe in life.
Earning the Right

In the post below, Doctor Doctor, The question in a comment was raised and it caused me to ponder, for a moment. GHB’s contention was that unsolicited advice was never welcome and that one must earn the right to speak into other's lives.

I absolutely agree, in principle. Where we might differ is what the nature of an earned right is and what reason is there to correctly or incorrectly offer said advice despite the probable resistance to unsolicited advice. Is it possible that a person resistant and resenting unsolicited advice may well be out of order, out of line. I suggest there is.

I spoke in the post in terms of offering advice to a Business I am related to or am part of, Churches and States or regions I live in and certain specific people.

I have a garbage collection firm. They changed billing policies. I let them know in very direct and unsolicited way that I thought they were wrong. If they didn't change the policy I would vote with my feet. They didn't, I did. I had every right, maybe even a responsibility let them know where I thought they were in error. Did it matter? I'll never know. But saying nothing guaranteed nothing. I had earned the right.

I have an ISP that is doing a bad job of customer support. They think things are fine. They cash my checks (actually hit my Credit Card) every month. I think they have a problem. Have I earned the right to question and even suggest there might be a better way? Darn right. And I DO!

When I was CEO or even an employee of certain firms in the past I had an interest (an earned right) in the prosperity of the firm I was working for. IF I saw something that in my opinion was not as it should have been did I have a fiduciary earned right to say something or should I leave my unsolicited advice in my pocket? I think I know the answer there.

I have customers and suppliers. I do my level best to see that they are whole and prosperous. If they go out of business my business might suffer. So I offer (much more humbly) whatever encouragement I can to help them avoid money losing and business threatening activities. I earned the right. They sell me things and buy things from me. I have an interest in seeing them complete, whole and prosperous.

I am from North Dakota. I'm not from Georgia. If I gave Georgia my opinions on what I see and what could be done better I wouldn't have earned the right. I would be offering advice that would and should be unwelcome. However, in North Dakota's situation, I have family there, I have financial interests there, I pay tax there, I have grandkids there, I lived there, I will likely be buried there. IN other words, despite my love for Illinois and all it offers, I am inexplicably tied to North Dakota. I have an interest. I know for many it's unwelcome. That doesn't make it any less important or less revealing. The fact that I rattle cages needing to be rattled may mean more than anyone imagines. I have earned the right and even have the responsibility to take whatever skill of observation I have and offer it. They (the decision makers) can ignore it with all implied arrogance. I have done what I could.

I am involved in 4 Church Fellowships. They all get money I give, I am on ministry teams in all of them, I am part of the leadership in one way or another in some, I do my best to see them prosper. With my sincere and dedicated efforts comes my opinion. If I see something that in my opinion I see as wrong or flawed and in need of correction do I have a responsibility spiritually to say something or should I just let things drift until serious damage is done? I submit, as long as they allow me to lead, as long as they accept the offerings I bring, as long as I am able to darken the door without fear I have not only earned the right, I have a Godly responsibility to speak up with boldness when I see something that is not as it should be. I do and will.

To an individual. My son Kevin is sitting 8 feet from me. He's visiting from Boston for a month. We have been enjoying each other. He's 35 years old. Certainly an adult. I haven't and won't but do I have a right earned as his father to speak into his life or not? How about my brother. How about my folks. Do I? Or would I be better off just letting them drift into oblivion if I saw them on a path I had walked and experienced potholes.

I have many people who call and ask me for advice (free). I offer it if they ask. Last night after Church a good man who is an usher came to me and wanted a word. I gave him one. He left full. That was an earned right. I have reflected and for the most part except for ONE glaring exception I have been faithful to only speak into people's lives where I have an interest and an earned right.

Once in the last few years I took a risk and chose to speak into the life of a person who reads this blog. It was unsolicited. I was out of line. I have apologized. I will again. I thought it was the right thing to do. I wish it had worked out. It didn't. I don’t regret the effort. I still think it was a good idea. I do regret the hurt I caused. That one dumb mistake has caused me to be much more careful in such things.

To GHB who made the comment, you made me think. I think based on reflection I behave myself pretty well. I’ll keep an eye on it.

On the other hand, if you want me part of your group but you don't want me to speak up you are kidding yourself. Any club, church, group, business, family or association I am a member of can expect me to offer whatever I see. I won't stay silent. If I do business with you as a customer and you continue to cash my checks don't expect me to sit quietly as some sheepling and allow you to treat me badly.

On the other hand:

If I have no standing (as I don't with the state of Georgia) I'll hold my piece and my peace.

I know when I have and haven't earned the right.

Glad I had a chance to think about it.

I won't be changing my policy.
Courage Earns Respect

One of the reasons I respect certain people more than I do others are the ones who try and fail rather than those who never take a chance and in a weak way succeed without risk.

Courage has more box office appeal than playing it safe.

We love adventure movies like Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbeans because they take great risks. Sometimes Fail. In the end succeed.

I have a friend who reads this blog who tried running a shop in Warrenville that didn't work out. She closed it and moved on. She tried and tried again. That deserves respect. Never trying deserves nothing.

I have succeeded in life greatly and failed spectacularly. Not everything I put my hand to has been successful. But, some have. For that I am grateful.

My friend Art is owner of a wildflower garden company. Sometimes he talks at length about the deep regret he has for playing it safe when he was younger. Working as an engineer. Working for a good salary, benefits and a pension. Then in his 40's he got hurt. Had to start over. That steady job fell off the edge of the earth.

Today he calls it wasting his life. He took the safe way and now he's in his mid 60s. He is gifted at what he does. It's just that for the bulk of his life he took a salary and now he's regretting those years. He has a case of the if- onlys.

He wishes he would have had the guts to strike off on his own in his 30's. He would have but he feared failure.

I have a neighbor who is a gifted landscape designer. But because he worries about steady income he works in a greenhouse for a salary and benefits. He could make twice as much as a designer and installer. Somehow the idea that a Job is security has invaded his mind. I wish he would ask Art.

I don't understand it. He's wasting his life in a Job and not making the LIFE he should be making. He's not married, he's not in debt, he's young, he should strike out now.

If he strikes out there will be another swing at the ball. Take it from one who has been up to the plate many times, struck out more than I hit, but OH THOSE HOME RUNS!

The sweetness of rounding all the bases far out weighs the bitterness of all those strikeouts.

Batter Up!