Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Everyday Greatness

Everyday Greatness, a compilation of inspirational stories pulled from the archives of Reader’s Digest, is a moving and often educating read presenting real life stories of character driven choices in life. Whether you choose to read this book in installments or whether you choose to read through, you will certainly gain insights into areas of your life that can benefit from these vignettes. To reach Everyday Greatness we are challenged with three important choices that we must make daily. The first is the Choice to Act and this requires a commitment of your energy. Secondly, we are presented with the Choice of Purpose – will we allow our destiny to be fulfilled by the actions of our first choice? And lastly, we have the Choice for Principles, a choice that provides for us the means for attaining our goals.

Organized into 21 categories with a forward by Stephen R. Covey, this book proves to be good medicine for repairing our attitudes. Faced with the concerns of our daily lives, and the stress that often accompanies our routines, we all need added encouragement from time to time to lift us up from the cares and doldrums. Each of us possesses the potential to improve in almost all areas of our lives. Application of the learnings that can be gleaned from this book will provide a process map that will facilitate the transformation of potential to performance!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

We've got to act now!!

Kudos to my friend, and hopefully the future governor of my state. Here a crisis, there a crisis, everywhere a crisis, and we must pass and sign legislation today. Have we reached the point that we believe a signed piece of legislation will act as an amulet to ward off the evil spirits that might surround us? Apparently so, as no one is concerned about what is in the bill, as long as we get one passed through both Houses and signed by POTUS.

I suspect there is something more at work here, something very base to the world of politics in general - the compelling desire to hang on to the power that comes with being a Washington insider. Our elected officials have this as an overarching objective - Get re-elected. By passing this piece of garbage legislation, filled with promotion of the most repugnant immorality (abortion will be covered under the new health care vision), these guys can go to their constituents and tout their support for carrying out the President's agenda.

I was privileged recently to visit with a friend as he led a local congregation in their midweek Bible study. The topic just happened to be centered on the Old Testament's "minor" prophet, Habbakkuk. In this story, we read of a man whose heart was broken at the wickedness that surrounded him, and he pleaded with God for understanding of why/how this could happen. I'm starting to see most of the gang on Capital Hill as modern day Chaldeans. May God have mercy on this country!

Saturday, July 18, 2009



Some folks are like buzzards. you don't see them in church unless a member is dead.
Some are like chameleons, changing colors with the crowd.
Many are like bugs, who seek the darkness because their deeds are evil.
Still others are like snails; no backbone.
Some are like pigs; greedy to get all for self.
Others are like roosters; always crowing about something.
Some are like goats; always butting the other fellows.
Some are like porcupines; always needling somebody.
Some are like frogs; leaping from church to church.
Some are like gnats; nothing but pests.
Some are like bumble bees; they'll sting you every time.
Some are like donkeys; just plain stubborn.
Many are just like mules; the extent of their own joy is shown by their long faces.
Some folks are like elephants; a long memory that always remembers the wrong someone had done.
Some are like beavers....EAGER
Some are like ants....REAL WORKERS.
Some are like Canaries.... SINGING ALONG LIFE'S WAY.
Then there are those who are just like sheep...FOLLOWING THEIR SHEPHERD

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A history lesson on Rome

Roman clad in a togaImage via Wikipedia

Everyone will remember the power and reach of the Roman Empire. Most of us have seen the movie "The Gladiator" reminding us of the grandeur of both the empire and the ruling Caesars. Our founding fathers patterned a lot of our governmental system after the examples of regency and protocol found in Rome. Have you ever considered why Rome, being so powerful and having such a tremendous regional span, could collapse? The similarities between the nations of Rome and the US are astounding in both the abundance and congruity. If Rome could fall from the world stage, what does that say about the US? I think it instructive to look at the factors that chipped away at the foundation and allowed the house to collapse:

In his book "History's Last Stand", Gerard Del Re writes that "The events that led up to the fall of Imperial Rome can be traced to several factors.
1. Agriculture declined as farmers found it unprofitable to plant, flocking instead to the cities, where they became wards of the state.
2. Heavy taxes to support wars left citizens with less to spend, causing businesses to fold; hence, prosperity declined.
3. Jobless men could no longer afford matrimony, and this factor, coupled with a high abortion rate, resulted in a falling birth rate.
4. Political disinterest on the part of the citizenry led to poor leadership.
5. The moral fabric of the society began to tear apart as degenerating spectacles in the arena occupied the minds of the unemployed masses.
Finally, Rome became dependent on foreigners, often subjugated peoples, to defend its borders and to fight its wars as fewer Romans were available for conscription. Foreigners obviously had no true ties to the motherland."

While this list does not represent the entire list of issues that brought about the collapse, all could agree on the detrimental impact of each of these contributing factors. We could also agree that the list could also be applied to modern day US. Does this fact predict failure for the greatest nation on the earth? If we don't start now to correct the fundamental errors in government, then I am afraid the answer is yes.

What are the fundamental errors we see today? Government intrusion - in our money, our education system, our religious life, and today attempting a takeover of the health care industry. Will we wake up in time to act?

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Rick & Bubba’s Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey, with a lot of help from their friend Martha Bolton, have swung for the fences again with their latest New York Times Best-Seller, Rick & Bubba’s Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage. While at first glance it would appear that the last thing this world needs is another offering in the self help category, the “two sexiest fat men alive” bring a fresh, honest, and often humorous look at the guidelines for enjoying a healthy, happy, and long lasting marriage.

As with their previous offerings, the dynamic duo draw from their own life experiences and share with us the good, the bad, and, yes, sometimes the ugly to set forth for us a guidebook on marital behavior principles. It is clear with even a cursory reading of this book that faith is the cornerstone of these two marriages. Within the vignettes of this book, we learn that the foundation of their feelings toward their spouses is grounded in spiritual principles presented in the scriptures.

Rick and Bubba present this nugget of truth as the cement to their success in married life – they have learned to survive. Things will go wrong and your spouse is not perfect (they have the same dilemma). Prince Charming is a fairy tale; and let’s face it, the Stepford Wives were a little creepy.

An easy and entertaining read, everyone could benefit from reading these selected glimpses into the authors’ married history. Men will especially benefit from the long awaited publication of the Book of Blame, the book your wives have used against you from day 2 of your marriage!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Comfortable in her own skin

Sarah Heath Palin has been in the news a lot lately. And, as usual, most of the coverage has not been very flattering. The continued bashing that this lady has taken got me to thinking. What is it about this woman that drives people crazy? Why does she set off liberals to a level never before seen? Just this week, Carl Cannon posted that the media had gone far beyond "normal" bias and had actually taken sides in the last election (see ). Again I ask, what is it about this woman that causes pressure relief valves all over this nation to explode?

Before I get to my explanation, let's review some highlights from Sarah's biography. Sarah moved with her parents to Alaska in 1964 and graduated from Wasilla High School in 1982. She received a bachelor of science degree in communications-journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987 and married Todd Palin on August 20th of the next year. Sarah worked for a brief time as a sportscaster at a local TV station - if you need a reminder of what 80's hair was all about, check out The launch into politics began in 1992 with her election to the Wasilla city council. In 1996, she was able to win the Mayor's race and served until 2003. Her first political defeat came in 2002 via a failed run for the Lt. Governor's seat. Governor Sarah Palin made history on Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office as the 11th governor of Alaska - she is the first woman to hold the office. Which brings us to July 3rd of this year and the announcement that she was stepping down. Everyone has different opinions as to what will happen to Sarah and what will she do next. I think she'll be just fine, all because of the reasons she drives progressives crazy.

Sarah Palin does not fit the mold of a female politician, according to the model prescribed by feminists, progressives, and libs in general. Remember the jingle for Enjoli perfume, "I can bring home the bacon...fry it up in a pan...and never, ever let you forget you're a man, 'Cause I'm a Woman." Sarah Palin could have starred in that commercial. She has that 'Hollywood' look, and she epitomizes the lyrics - and that's where the problem starts.

From my perspective, and I've never met the lady, Sarah Palin is comfortable in her own skin - in whatever role she undertakes. She is comfortable as a mother, I see a woman that can embody both the nurturing love for her children and the vigilant guardianship of a mother Grizzly defending her cubs. From the time the nation was introduced to her, it became obvious to all of us that family was very important. We saw that her family accompanied her on many of the campaign stops, and you had a sense they were there for more than just a photo op.

She is comfortable in her faith - and has been for some time. In high school, she led the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, and multiple pastors testify to her faithfulness in attendance of both worship services and discipleship classes. This maturation of her faith would be tested in 2008 with her fifth (yes, another source of discomfort for some) pregnancy. The strong pro life conviction, rooted in faith, produced these words:

"Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift
and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed."

Sarah is comfortable as an outdoors person. She actually enjoys hunting - and she goes after big game - Moose!! I've never gone moose hunting, but I can imagine you have to be a pretty good shot and that you would use a pretty powerful (more recoil) round to do the job. Most women don't want to get anywhere near a gun or rifle, much less a "high-power" gun. Not so with Sarah - whether hunting, fishing, or snowmobiling with her husband Todd, she is more than comfortable being outdoors.

Sarah is comfortable being on the point. Leading the pack is not a problem for her, I believe this is her preferred position. If you've heard her speak about why she got into local politics to begin with, you'll know she said no one was providing leadership! Sensing a vacuum of direction on the Wasilla city council, she entered the race and won her first election.

I admire this woman. I don't know enough about her to know if she would be a good presidential candidate or not. I do like that she is apt to "get all mavericky", but that also concerns me. I understand that her global worldview is probably her Achilles heel, and that she doesn't have all the answers. I would warn you with words again from my grandpa: "The man who says he has all the answers hasn't heard all the questions yet."

This much is obvious to me - from being a maternal rock to her children, to leading the state of Alaska during her term as the governor, to being a snuggle bunny for Todd - Sarah Palin appears comfortable in her own skin. That just drives some miserable people crazy because it looks like Sarah might just be getting ready to run.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Government Motors - Luxury Edition

The Smart Car -what we will be forced to drive quite soon.

But look at all of the 'great new choices'

we will have from 'The SMART Car'....

The Smorvette!

The Smaudi A3 AWD!

The Smamborghini!

The Smorsche!

The Smerrari!

And last, but not least,

The Smustang,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Duller than dishwater!

That's what my grandpa used to say. Duller refers to a lack of an ability to shine, and he used this term as an antonym to bright, or intelligent.

I just read an article at that brought this to mind. I've posted a section below:

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from labeling a game a national championship unless it is the outcome of a playoff, bluntly warned Swofford: "If we don't see some action in the next two months, on a voluntary switch to a playoff system, then you will see this bill move."

1998-2005 BCS logo.Image via Wikipedia

If you haven't guessed yet, the House Energy and Commerce Committee - commerce, trade and consumer protection subcommittee has taken up the extremely important issue of destroying the BCS system of crowning a national champion in college football.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do think college football is important. If you haven't been to an SEC football game in October, you haven't seen football! Yes, I know I'm partial, but I also know I'm modestly speaking the truth!

Regardless of your thoughts on the validity of the current BCS system - is there any of you that want your Congress, your House -the people's House, to take up valuable time on this issue when unemployment is at double digit levels? Is this total absurdity, or what? Isn't there at least 1 issue more important for these guys to waste their time on?

I'll leave you with two other sayings from grandpa that sum up Congress - corporately and individually -

If brains was grease, he couldn't slick the head of a pin
Bout as useful as a screendoor on a submarine

Brings me back to my title - Duller than dishwater - grandpa was a wise man.

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