Archive for July, 2011

So on my way into work this morning I hear, a radio ad featuring the current president of the United States. The ad is about the Americans with Disabilities act. I believe it is the 20th anniversary for the act. The President being the great orator that he (and  many other politicians are as well) is, explains what the Americans with disabilities act is and when it was created and signed into law. The voice over is tastefully played over  some nice but forgettable music. I thought as I was driving into work and listening well that’s nice.  I felt the address/ad was nice until he made a final statement. He mentioned that here in America we are defined not by our handicaps but by our potential.

I know it is petty and nit – picky however I took offense to this.  I thought I don’t want to be defined or define anyone based on their potential. If I have to define someone (which is something I try to avoid doing but often do) I would like to define them by their actions. Then I began to consider my actions and what words would follow the colon next to my name in the dictionary. I realized on my (thankfully short commute) that the definitions for me, based on my actions as opposed to the presidents idea, would be different for different people. I am fine with different definitions from different people. I interact differently in different enviroments. My only hope is that all these different definitions are good ones.

Something to think about today is:… what would follow your name?

peace

john3c

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My house my rules!

Posted: July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Two years ago a good friend of mine and I where eating at one of those big box restaurants made to look as if they are a local joint. The food at those places isn’t bad but I totally despise what they are doing to this country, but my friend was paying and like I said the food isn’t bad (side note free food always tastes better than food I cooked or paid for). When I meet my friend at the restaurant he was not at the table alone. With my friend was a young man who was having some problems with authority (welcome to becoming an adult eh). Something my friends young dinner companion said really struck me and my friend. The young man told me and my friend that he had problems living at his dads house because his  dad expected him to follow his rules.

My friend and I went on to explain the golden rule. You know the golden rule “he who holds the gold makes the rule.” I have always thought that young men were taught early on that in their dads house that their dad made the rules but I have found out, through experiences as earlier described dinner conversation, that this ideology isn’t passed down to all generations.

The problem with this is two-fold. Much as the native Americans will tell you we don’t own this land. The house may be owned by your father but the competition for the sovereignty of the world is always in a state of constant battle. The only clear answer is the world does not belong to humans. The world is a shared living space by all people and because of this the rules for the world should be decided considering the impact on all people. 

The devastation that comes from a lack of respect for humanity is clear and present it seems daily in newscasts that we are bombarded with now 24 7. If I could appeal to one thing for all people it would be to consider the world as everyone’s house and to remember this when they are acting.

peace

john3c

Better late than Never???

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am not sure if late is better than never. I guess to give a good answer to this question one should consider the context in which the question is asked. Some work can be considered time sensitive. If you worked at a place where your work was time sensitive than would late be better than never maybe not. Some would even say “late is the same in this time sensitive profession as never?” I have heard some older supervisors tell on my first day that “if you are coming in late do not come in to work at all.”  The supervisor who made that statement would probably argue that late is definitely not better than never. My two readers (who I know are probably upset because I have missed some days on my blog (shame on me) ) should recall that I am not a believer in the existence of time to begin with.  So because I do not believe in the existence of time I am going to be a fan that late is always better than never.  Even if you are not a fan of the belief that time does not exist you still have to admit that accepting the credo of “late is better than never” has its pros as well as its appearant problems.

Let’s review the problems… Well really there is one major problem if we allow ourselves to assume we are late we will probably be late. This is a philosophy which seems to keep the late is better than never credo from mainstream acceptance. Being late for an appointment is never a good thing but never showing up is worse. Perhaps in life we should teach and accept a new credo like “don’t be late but always show up.”

Confession time now. Last Sunday me and my oldest son where running late for the church service. We arrived at the church parking lot twenty minutes after the service was scheduled to start. Being a Sunday morning, being tired and in one of my lower moments Kyle and I turned around and did not attend church service that Sunday. I spoke with on Sunday someone who did attend the service and by her account the two of us missed a great time. It is now Wednesday and I still am disappointed in myself for not walking in twenty minutes late. Sorry Kyle. Despite my action I still really do believe that “late is always better than never”.

Peace

john3c

This is my 102nd post! I know this makes me long-winded, however this is a milestone… Right?

Milestones (and I am not trying to impune my readers’ intelligence with this laymen definition for milestones. It’s just that I really find this story interesting and it is germane to my point, the milestone story.) were used by the Romans as markers on roads connecting towns and villages that they had a presence in. During the Roman “hey day” the “Empire” was growing in leaps and bounds.  There are stories of nations surrendering to the Roman military without a fight and allowing the sovereign rule of Rome to be theirs. With a growing nation, the travelers selling and trading and supplying these towns had much road to travel. The roads were maintained, pretty well considering the technology of the time, and marked with milestones. A traveler could see a milestone on a road and know that he was heading the right direction. Now we have the cartographical and technological advancements that should, as long as you stay in known civilization, keep us from getting lost. However, all the advancements work from an idea, the same idea for milestones is the idea for our mile markers and most of the highway signs we see. The idea is that there should be a marker to let you know you whether you are going the right or the wrong way. When I started this blog I set out to post more than my buddy Cassie. I am killing her now. Honestly, though, my real reason for starting this blog was a little more personal. I wanted to first see if I could come up with a different thought every day (except Saturday and Sundays) and then if I could relay that thought in an understandable way to others. Now I know I have missed a few days (see this week), however I am over the century mark (which is good, considering I started in Feb). I also know I have butchered the English language, but I now have a proof reader (much thanks and love).  So, is it a milestone? No doubt it is, but what is this milestone telling me? I like to think it is saying: “hey, you are on the right path… keep your head up, lean forward, and look for my brother milestones, because you may need to make some adjustments”. I mean, who am I really to argue with a metaphor like that?

Look for milestones today, tomorrow, and every day in your life. If nothing else, you may strike up an interesting conversation.

peace

john3c

Getting ahead of it!

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have heard and used the phrase before. “Hey, John, you look busy. How are you doing?” “Well, Jim, I look busy because I am busy. I am just trying to get ahead of it.” 

Life can get busy. There is work, family, friends, neighbors, and yourself to take care of. Our lives become cluttered, as well as busy, and the image that comes to mind is a cartoon image of a small snowball rolling down hill, growing larger as it gains momentum, until it is an all-out avalanche. As long as we are the skiers in front of the avalanche, we are “ok”, it’s only when we get in and behind the snowball that we can feel overwhelmed and crushed.

Feel ok, huh? I don’t know. Is out running a snowball/avalanche ok? Maybe for a while but your feet will begin to hurt and you are going to eventually have to stop. Maybe we shouldn’t be so focused on trying to get in front of it but we should figure out what it is exactly in order to “face and embrace” it. Lots of the clutter and junk in our lives contributes to this avalanche effect. Today, while you are running or skiing trying to avoid a catastrophic event (which is your life), turn and face this monster. Maybe you will see what is really important and what isn’t.

When we  cut all the junk out, we can be more concerned with embracing and living our lives than we are with “getting ahead of it”.

peace

john3c

Judson Maxwell

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

While driving by the church at the corner of Memorial drive and Welborn st in Hinesville GA one cannot but take notice of the clever signs  for Westside Baptist Church. Titles like “grits and eggs” and “blue light special” have graced the marquee of the church that was quoted in the Liberty County Herald – 1953 as being “a church of humble, hard-working, God-fearing, Christ-honoring people. We believe in the simple religion of Jesus as it is taught in the New Testament. This is a church where everybody is somebody. You are given a cordial and Christ-like welcome at its doors at all services.”   At the helm of this church now in 2011 is Judson Maxwell. Jud as he is known to his congregation leads a congregation that he feels (and he is correct to feel this way) has a spirit of unity and harmony.  To meet the congregation at church pur outside of church is like a warm hug or a kind handshake, however this post is not about the congregation or the church it is about Jud.

For me to attempt to describe Jud without mentioning Westside Baptist would be fool hardy.  Jud felt compelled in 1985 to pursue the field of ministry and started serving in the army in pulpit supply function as a minister. He is now the minister at Westside Baptist Church in Hinesville, GA.  Jud also works as a technology specialist for the Liberty County school district in GA.  It is confession time for me, as part of my 31 face 31 stories campaign I wanted to do all these interviews face to face you know IRL (for those of you who are not my age IRL means in real life), unfortunately I was unable (because of procrastination as well as a surprisingly busy schedule) meet with Jud this way. I did an interview with Jud via e-mail. I thought this would be easy  and not that bad since I am a member of his church and have known him for over three years now. I only mention I did my interview via e-mail because I would like to quote verbatim something Jud said in response to a question. When asked what he was most passionate about Jud answered “I enjoy being able to solve problems and fixing things.” Knowing Jud you can see this is what he loves and this is what he does. Both in his two professions as well as life. Jud has hands that are always at work helping where he can and he is no slouch either. His messages are cerebral and spiritual at the same time. Besides hands to help Jud has a compassionate heart bigger than the size of Texas. To see him you could be a little intimidated, he has the look of well someone from the civil war. With his bread and mustache Jud earned himself a place as an extra on the set of Robert Redfords The Conspirators in 2009.  Jud has a love for all people, however this love is coupled with a pragmatic realization of himself and his place in this world. When I asked about the differences in being a grandfather and a father he commented on how children and grandchildren are blessing. He mentioned his changing role in grand father how he can leave the discipline to his children and be more nurturing with his grandchildren. I can see how some people especially in this day in age of mega churches all charismatic and showy that Juds down top earth calm demeanor can be misplaced for indifference this is totally not the case!! Jud has like I mentioned before a compassionate heart for everyone.

As part of this campaign and interview process I am asking everyone to give me a quote that they would like everyone to hear and Juds’ quote should put to rest any ideas that he lacks compassion for family friends and everyone. Here is his quote: : “Make sure you are in a right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, taking Him as Savior and Lord and living your life according to His guidance. Also, make sure that you let your family know you love them. My wife has been battling ovarian cancer far a year and you don’t realize how much someone means to you until you face the prospect of losing them. Love folks while you have the chance since none of us has a promise of tomorrow.”

Thank you Jud for everything..

 

“You are here now”

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yesterday afternoon I was driving home from work and it started to rain. I live and work in southeast Georgia, and we can get some serious showers from time to time. This was one of those times. The rain was pouring hard and  the clouds were looking more menacing as time went on. I was leaving work at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but because of the adverse weather it looked more like 9 pm. I was having trouble seeing three feet in front of my windshield for the rain, dark clouds, and lighting. Ok that is the double yellow line. Got it. There is the solid white line. Check. Over there is a semi truck to my left and in front of me…. What is that? Is it a guy on a motorcycle??

In the pouring rain I was following a man on a motorcycle. I had to do a double take because this was a bad storm. I could feel the wind blowing my car, and this individual in front of me was driving through this storm unprotected from the elements. The man on the motorcycle was driving through the storm and doing it well. He handled it all: the traffic, turns, stop lights, and inclimate weather like the flaming skull hero in the Ghostrider comic books (I know, super dork).

Seeing this dude get soaked to the bone and press on got me to thinking about my son, Kyle.

My oldest son wanted to run in track and field. He was signed up at the local recreation center, and started his (so far) two season career as a local track and field super star (if you ask me, as with any parent, all my children are superstars). The first season I noticed at meets, as well as practices, a lot of kids quit running halfway through their events. I remembered telling Kyle, “When you are out there running, don’t stop. You will be tired and feel pain but just think: you are out there, if you stop… you are still out there, and you still have to get back here (I was standing with him next to the fence around the track), and neither me nor your mom will carry you back man”.  Kyle didn’t get any ribbons his first season in track and field, however last season Kyle received (I believe) four ribbons.  Even more impressively, he completed his first and second season without ever giving up on any event. I am a very proud dad!!

In life we can feel much like the 12-year-old track star in the middle of a 1600 meter race, or the motorcycle rider driving through the ’40 days and 40 nights’ type rain. The important thing is, despite our circumstances, that we never stop leaning and moving forward…

peace

john3c