Watch Your Back

we are enterprise logo 150x150 Watch Your BackIn case you missed it there were some interesting events in the October 21st school board meeting. Here is how it was reported in the local papers.

An Enterprise third grade teacher remains on 20-day suspension after the Enterprise Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to uphold the superintendent’s decision.

Harrand Creek Elementary School third grade teacher Sonya Dean had requested a hearing before the board following her written notification of the suspension, according to a statement read by Enterprise Schools Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright during the board meeting Tuesday evening.

“Board, before you, you have the information regarding the proposed suspension of an employee,”
 said Wright in her written statement. “At this time, I recommend that Miss Sonya Dean, teacher at Harrand Creek Elementary School, be suspended for 20 work days without pay for the following reason: Ms. Dean struck a child on the back of the neck on Sept. 24, 2014, which is in violation of her performance duties to establish and maintain a positive and safe learning environment and to act in a professional manner.” ...Full story at link below

Enterprise BOE upholds teacher’s suspension

The Enterprise City Schools Board of Education suspended a Harrand Creek Elementary School teacher without pay Tuesday night over allegations she struck a child.

Sonya Dean, a third grade teacher at the school, was suspended for 20 days after the board returned from deliberating in private for more than an hour Tuesday night.

Dean was alleged to have struck a child on the back of the neck, according to Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright.

Dean’s lawyer, Tom Brantley, said Dean was alleged to have “rubbed her hand behind the neck of a sleeping student” so the child could finish taking a test...Full story at link below

City school board suspends teacher without pay

I was at this board meeting and the way it was handled was much different than other similar personnel issues have been handled in the past. I perceived this as public bullying and intimidation. I don’t know any of the facts in the case other than what I heard at the meeting and read in the subsequent news reports but the way it was handled was out of line, in my opinion.

Whether it broke any laws or not will be decided in the lawsuit if it moves forward. Laws can be applied with malice toward none. That did not seem to be the case in this meeting. The accused was presumed guilty and there was no chance to change that presumption. Presumed innocent was not in play here at all. After the allegation details were read in the public board meeting, it seemed rather hypocritical to adjourn to executive session to protect the “good name and character” of the accused when that had already been publicly tainted at best.

And then there was a lawsuit

Not surprisingly, this week it has been reported the accused teacher is suing the school board. The articles below show how that was reported in the local papers.

A Harrand Creek Elementary teacher filed a lawsuit against the Enterprise City Schools Board of Education on Thursday, saying she was wrongfully suspended over allegations she struck a child.

The document was filed by third-grade teacher Sonya Dean, who was suspended without pay for 20 days between Oct. 22 and Nov. 19 on allegations she struck a child on the neck during a classroom exam…Full story at link below

Teacher sues Enterprise City Schools over suspension without pay

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Coffee County Circuit Court, a Harrand Creek third grade teacher charges that her rights were violated under Alabama law in connection with her recent 20-day suspension without pay.

Charged with denying Sonya A. Dean of her due process and equal protection under the law are Enterprise Schools Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright and Board of Education members Gloria Jones, Bert Barr, Ross Cotter, Doug Vickers and Dorothy Richardson, all sued both in their official capacities and individually.

Dean charges that she was wrongly suspended without pay for 20 days from Oct. 22 through Nov. 19 of this year and that her suspension cost her to lose $5,494.20 in pay…Full story at link below

Teacher sues Enterprise BOE, Superintendent

If…then

If this is indicative of how other issues are handled now in Enterprise City Schools then it is understandable if teachers feel intimidated and are not speaking out when they disagree with management decisions they are required to implement. A healthy working environment encourages different and dissenting ideas because that is what makes the final product better.

As an outside observer it appears this is the environment we are asking and expecting our teachers to operate in is not one conducive to their best performance. My conclusions are based on what I have observed in board meetings.

Credibility is lacking

In the August 25th board meeting the Director of Elementary Instruction, Mark McCrory, was asked by Mr. Cotter if there was any dissent for the policies removing conduct grades. He said there was none, that this decision had unanimous support, and, in fact, the teachers had come to him and requested it. I don’t know if all of that is true or not but the unanimous support and no dissent is not believable to me and makes me question everything else we are being told. One of the few things I do know and can believe with that degree of certainty is any school board or city council vote on any action item on the agenda will be approved unanimously. Having sat through many of both over the last year and a half that is as close to a sure thing as I have ever seen. I suspect all of the instructional changes, testing, and new policies along with the micro-management are not as universally accepted as we are being told either.

Leadership is lacking

In my career I have worked in environments myself where I had to watch my back because I could not trust my manager to have my back and he tried to “manage” using implied threats and job security. Management by intimidation and threats is not leadership and is not conducive to good performance. I ended up leaving that job and becoming an independent contractor for a few years. I actually did contract work for this same employer, but on my own terms.  What I learned from those experiences, and have tried to do since, is I should always work as if I am an independent contractor because that is, in reality, what employees are in today’s economy.

That is my perception of what faces many not in the central office right now in the Enterprise City School System. Having to watch your back instead of knowing your managers and superiors have your back is not a desirable environment for the teachers and administrators and, ultimately, the students of Enterprise City Schools. One cannot do their best work in this type of working environment.

I would love to be wrong and, if I am, please respond and let me know. This is, after all, just one man’s opinion based on my own life experience and what I have observed. I do know many will not respond due to the reasons mentioned above and understand that. If I do get an overwhelming response telling me I am wrong I will be happy to write a follow-up post saying so.

Let me know what you think and Watch Your Back!

Until next time…

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Right Thinking

Thoughts Banner 2 300x184 Right ThinkingFrom the title of this post you might think this was a political book expounding on the virtues of how right thinking, in the political realm of thought, is powerful. Let me put that thought to rest for you. It’s not.

What the author does provide in “You & Your Thoughts: The Power of Right Thinking” is much more powerful than any political thought ever…and there have been some powerful political ideas or thoughts.

Enough about, or not about, politics.

From the Foreword, “Many Christians are trudging through life without any compass, unaware of the transcendent yet everyday practicality of the timeless truths of God’s Word. Rediscovering a life of confidence and hope is what this book is all about.”

In this updated version, the original was published in 1977, a few minor changes have been made to bring the text up to date, but all the original ideas of Dr. Radmacher have been retained. The purpose of this book is to “allow Christians to use their minds to lift up the name of Jesus, advance the Gospel, and boldly proclaim God’s free grace.” I believe this book will help all who read it make progress toward that goal.

As Dr. Radmacher explains, using the computer related example of GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out – our minds function very similarly. Just as computer programmers understand this truth and do their best to keep the garbage out, we should do the same for the computer God has given us, our minds…but do we?

This book will remind you of the importance of not allowing garbage into your mind and will go one step further in encouraging you to put the Word of God into your mind and heart instead.

You may be thinking, I don’t have time to memorize scripture. Regarding that thought the author poses a few convicting questions.

“Do we Christians have time to eat daily, but no time to get into the Word? Do we have time to read the newspaper every day, but not the Bible? Time enough to glue ourselves to the TV set, but no time for the Scriptures? What does all of this say about our values?

Do those questions hit you as hard as they do me? Do you really pay attention to what you are allowing into your mind? 

This principle reminds me of what Zig Ziglar often said, “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and how you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

David said it best in Psalm 119, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

What are you hiding in your heart?

If this sounds like something you would like to explore to refresh your memory or understanding or learn for the first time get your copy of You and Your Thoughts today and start re-programming your mind and thinking right. “It will make a difference.”

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Independents Do Not Decide Elections

3002776434 643d076694 n 300x225 Independents Do Not Decide ElectionsI am tired of hearing the supposed election experts and pundits (insert name of your choice here) say the election (insert election here) is going to be decided by independents.

That is just not true.

The election will be determined by two groups of eligible voters, the Robot voters and the Single-Social-Issue non-voters. It is really very simple.

Robot Voters

Most people think of robots as some technological creation that somewhat exist now but will be more prevalent at some point in the not too distant future. That is one definition.

However, robots have existed for years. They show up every two years at the polling places on Election Day and pull that lever for the party their parents and grandparents voted for, for no other reason than, “they have always done it that way.” They do not educate themselves on the issues, how the candidates they are voting to elect or re-elect have voted or not voted, or the character of the candidates. All those facts and characteristics are irrelevant as there is no decision-making process taking place at all.

Black voters do make up a large portion of this group of robot voters but it includes members of all races and all political parties. Since Blacks do comprise the largest block of this group, if they maintain their status quo of the past 60 years and vote for the Democrats as they have done consistently there is a good chance that many Democrats will be re-elected, deservedly so or not. This vote has been consistent and reliable for the Democrats, and even take for granted, even though when you look at what they have received for this unwavering support there is very little to be found. This support without any accountability continues to astonish me.

Both major political parties come around every couple of years and make promises that sound good and tell their constituents how much they care about them and are working tirelessly for them and need to be re-elected in order to continue this important work. However if you look for any evidence that indicates this work has accomplished anything for the voters it is proposed to help, very little can be found.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is what these voters have done over and over. They are not holding those they are electing accountable for results. If it wasn’t so predictable and preventable it would be sad. Maybe they are getting the results they want but if so, their expectations are really low.

Single-Social-Issue (SSI) Non-Voters

The other group that will determine the outcome of this upcoming election as they have in past elections are those who select a candidate based on their stance, support of or opposition to a single social issues alone. This group is not mutually exclusive from the Robot voters. Christians are the largest block of this group. The participation rate of Christians in recent elections is embarrassing and disgraceful to this Christian.

They will show up to support Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby but then choose to stay home on Election Day. This makes just about as much sense as the Robot voters vote…none at all.

One significant difference in this group and the robot voters is the robot voters do consistently show up at the polls and cast their votes. This SSI group stays home and forfeits their voting privilege because a candidate or party does not meet “all” of their requirements. This excuse for not voting is just as astonishing as the voting record of the robot voters to me.

In the last two presidential elections there have been millions, primarily from this group, who have just stayed home and not voted because they did not like either of the candidates. These people are looking for the perfect candidate, which does not exist and never will. When not having the option of voting for this non-existent candidate they have chosen to just stay home and not participate as some type of protest. This non-action and abdication of their privilege to vote is the same as a vote for a candidate or party they would not have likely voted for. This is astonishing to me as well.

Don’t be a Robot or SSI citizen

If any of this applies to you, don’t be a Robot voter or SSI non-voter this time! I would rather you not vote at all if you are not going to cast an informed vote. I did write about that previously at Maybe you shouldn’t vote.

Inform yourself about the candidates and the issues and get to the polls Tuesday and exercise your privilege to vote and select those who will be making decisions that will affect you, your children and even grandchildren. There are many ways to get informed. I will mention a couple here but this is by no means an exhaustive list. As long as you are making the effort to learn and cast an informed vote that is all I am asking.

It is not my place to tell you how to vote. I would be happy to discuss any of the candidates or issues with you personally but that is not my purpose here. I just want people who are eligible to vote to exercise that privilege and cast an informed vote. If that were the case we would have much better representatives making better decisions to make this a better city, county, state and country.

As Ursula from The Little Mermaid said, “Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” Selecting a candidate when none meet all of your criteria or expectations can be one of those tough choices; but it is one we all should be making. Doing the research to learn about who and what you will be voting on will take a little time but it is time we should all be taking. Only then can we expect those we elect to make tough wise choices when they are faced with them in their term serving us.

Your One Vote Does Count!

Dr. Ben Carson has written a short book called One Vote that reminds us or informs us why our One Vote does count and why we should not take this privilege for granted, make ourselves informed voters and vote. You can get your own copy on One Vote free at Make Your Voice Heard. Get it and read it before you vote next week. You will be reminded why you should vote and should be an informed voter. You might just be inspired to vote if you were thinking about sitting this one out too.

Even if you choose not to download the free book you can go to OneVoteBook.com and take advantage of all the resources available there to inform yourself about the process, issues, and candidates.

If you are a potential Alabama voter you can learn more about the statewide amendments by clicking Fair Ballot Commission 2013-2014 Statewide Constitutional Amendments Ballot Statements.

This is America – Act Like Americans!

If you are an American citizen you have the privilege of living in the greatest country on the face of the earth. We have been blessed and continue to be blessed by God. You have a responsibility to be part of the informed electorate and take part in the democratic process of electing those who will “serve” for the next 2, 4 or 6 years. Do your part and make your vote an informed vote. Whether you take your responsibility seriously and fulfill it is your choice. Choose wisely. Make a choice you can live with.

Independents do not decide elections. You do!

God Bless America!

Until next time…

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What Do YOU Expect from the Holy Spirit?

Well, what DID you expect? When you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour what did you expect? Did you expect an upper room experience like the first Christians as described in the book of Acts?

For all of us who have come to accept Christ after his ascension we don’t have to wait. The moment we make that decision the Holy Spirit is there, immediately.

So, since we have this Helper or Holy Spirit inside us, what should we expect?

holy spirit 300x300 300x300 What Do YOU Expect from the Holy Spirit?

What To Expect from the Holy Spirit by Dr. Earl D. Radmacher and Jeremy Myers will help you answer that question.

 

 

Have you ever thought about what the responsibility of the Holy Spirit really is? I suspect you have or you wouldn’t still be reading this post.

 

Dr. Radmacher will either enlighten you or remind you of what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, why it would be coming, and exactly what the purpose for its coming was.

The chapter titles will give you a clue as to what is discussed in this book.

The Pattern of Dependence

The Power for Witness

The Protector of the Church

The Provider of Gifts

The Possessor of the Body Member

This book is an essential study of the Holy Spirit Dr. Radmacher delivered as messages in 1980 and originally published by RBC in 1983.

This version has been updated and now re-published by Jeremy Myers. Dated references and references only really applicable in a live sermon were removed and a new preface, introduction, and Conclusion chapter was added.

The goal of this book is also to clarify some of the confusion that often accompanies teaching about Spiritual gifts and the filling of the Holy Spirit. I believe this goal has been accomplished.

The central message is to explain and reinforce the premise, “The Spirit of God has only the desire to focus on Jesus Christ.”

“This book seeks to determine from the Scriptures what we can know about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.”

The following excerpt from the book was an eye-opener for me. I guess I did know it but had never really thought about it exactly this way until reading it here. See if it has the same effect on you,

“The issue isn’t how much of the Holy Spirit we have or how much of the Holy Spirit’s power we can get. Due to indwelling and sealing, we have all of the Spirit we are ever going to get. The issue for Christians is how much of us does the Holy Spirit Have!”

So, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you. If you want to learn more about exactly what that should mean for you this book is an excellent resource. This book will also explain the Holy Spirit’s role in helping you discover and implement YOUR spiritual gift or gifts.

After reading this book you will possess either a new understanding or better understanding of what to expect from the Holy Spirit.

If you are not a Christian and want to learn more about what the Holy Spirit would mean should you ever decide to become a Christian, this is a good place to start.

This book was both enlightening and informative for me. I hope it will be for you too. I recommend you get your copy today, right now!

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Unforgivable? Not so fast…

Have you ever entertained the thought that you might have committed the unforgivable sin?

Unforgivable Sin Jeremy Myers transp 227x300 Unforgivable? Not so fast...In Jeremy Myers latest book, Why You Have Not Committed The Unforgivable Sin, he discusses this very subject. I know, the title gave that away, right? If you have ever struggled with or just wondered about this question or know someone who has it would be well worth the investment to get your own copy and spend a little time with it.

He makes a very logical case for just what the unforgivable sin is not, what it is, and how you can tell for sure if you have committed it or not.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but if a brief look at the book and what it contains helps someone decide to pick it up and answer a question they have been harboring for days, weeks, months or years then it is well worth my time here and I hope that is the end result of this post.

I have always though I knew what the unforgivable sin was and don’t think my idea was really that far off the mark. It was just not as complete as it is now after reading this book. This was my prevailing understanding before reading this book, If you have made the decision to not follow Jesus and accept his free gift of salvation (Free to us – He paid the full price on Calvary)  then you have and continue to commit the unforgivable sin or the sin of disbelief. Deciding to not say Yes to Jesus or postponing that decision is the same thing as saying No.

However, in this book Jeremy goes a little deeper than my original thought and adds some practical meat around the bones so to speak. He does that in a way that is very easy to read and very concise as well. The book is only 85 pages long but those 85 pages could change your life or the life of someone you care about.

In this book Jeremy covers common views about the unforgivable sin and dispels some common myths. Suicide, divorce, adultery and abortion are discussed.

Next he reviews the most common scripture related to the unforgivable sin.

Matthew 12:21-32 is most frequently mentioned because it is the only passage which specifically mentions a sin that will not ever be forgiven, a sin which is called “blasphemy against the Spirit.”

He details exactly what the unforgivable sin is.

Ultimately, only one sin fits all of the requirements of the unforgivable sin. It is this: The unforgivable sin is a willful and slanderous rejection of the Holy Spirit’s testimony about Jesus 

And, finally, explains exactly why it is likely you have not committed the unforgivable sin. This will likely be for you as it was for me one of those “aha” moments when you will think, “Now that makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Why didn’t I think of that before?”

This is done in a very engaging and easy to read and understand style that I think you will appreciate. I believe you will also gain some perspectives you might not have thought of before in addition to your “aha” moment.

Get your copy today and add to your own knowledge just for yourself or to help others that cross your path in this journey called life. You will be glad you did.

Until next time…

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did receive a copy of the book from Jeremy to read and review and that is what I did and am doing. All the thoughts here are mine. If you do click on a link in this post and buy your own copy I will get an affiliate percentage of that purchase. As with all other affiliate links on this site it doesn’t cost you any more to do so.

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

 

Prayer and Politics

I have always heard and believed the old saying if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain when those elected don’t act in accordance with your beliefs. I still believe that but have come to a new understanding that goes a little deeper. I do vote whenever that privilege avails itself so I do maintain that “right” to complain.

My new understanding has come about over the past few weeks as I have tried to practice what Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. There are many verses in the Bible that are hard for me to live by. In this sermon where Jesus says, “Love your enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you” those are some of the hardest.

350px bloch sermononthemount Prayer and Politics

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love Your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers,i what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This goes even deeper than the fact this will drive some of them crazy once they become aware you are doing so. Jesus sets a very high standard for us as Christians to aspire to. I fall short every day.

Prayer changes…

One thing I have learned about prayer over the years is it changes the person praying more than the one you are praying to. It is a little bit…ok…enormously presumptuous to think that I am going to change God’s mind about anything anyway. Prayer, if practiced regularly, will, however put my heart and mind more in sync with what God has in mind for me.

Meanwhile…back to my original topic

It has always been difficult to pray for those in leadership when I do not agree with their methods, decisions, or intentions as I understand them. I have prayed they would be removed or replaced but that is not what I am charged to do from God’s Word.

Recently, I have found a way to do this that has worked for me. Maybe I am a little slow to arrive at this truth but I am there now.

Here is how my prayer goes regarding those who God has placed in leadership roles over me.

Dear God,

Please give our national, state, county, city and school leaders the wisdom and discernment to make decisions based on the best interests of those they are elected or appointed to serve and not based on their own self interests.

That’s it. It is pretty simple and yet it is sincere in that it is what I want our leaders to do. This is true regardless of whether it is a leader I happen to have voted for or agree with ideologically. I want all of those who represent us and are supposed to be leading us to make decisions based on the best interests of us. The fact I may disagree with their decisions and direction they are leading is irrelevant. It really is. That may be hard for some of you to believe but it is true.

It is possible my prayers could help change their hearts but it is far more likely mine will be changed.

Not Silent

However, this does not mean I will be a silent observer when I believe decisions being made by those same leaders are ill-advised or are motivated by their own self interests. I am praying for them to make wise decisions and hope they do but I will speak out and share my thoughts and opinions when I don’t believe they did. I will work within our political process to get them removed and replaced by those who will make wise decisions. That is just part of my responsibility to be a good citizen.

Prayer in the Public Square

Contrary to what many want us to believe prayer does have a place in the public square. It is the only way this government, which was designed to serve and protect the people, will work. Anything else will result in chaos or something worse.

350px pray for our nation sign img 3291 Prayer and Politics

English: I took photo with Canon camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

 

 

Will you join me in prayer?

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

Why I Don’t Have A Fish On My Car

ichthus dark yellow Why I Dont Have A Fish On My Car

en: Ichthus (fish, Christian symbol) in dark yellow; de: Ichthys (Fisch, christliches Symbol) in dunkelgelb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t have a fish emblem on my car and probably never will. I have nothing against fish or what the Christian fish emblem represents nor am I judging or condemning anyone who does have one on their car. I am a Christian. I just don’t feel comfortable in representing my beliefs with a fish on my car. I don’t trust myself.

Just for reference, here is a brief summary of what the fish emblem represents. This symbol is called Ichthys or Ichthus from the Koine Greek word for fish.

According to tradition, ancient Christians, during their persecution by the Roman Empire in the first few centuries after Christ, used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.

According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company. Current bumper-stickers and business-card uses of the fish hearken back to this practice. —Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask the Expert”

There is also a counter-fish emblem created to represent Darwinism.

darwin fish Why I Dont Have A Fish On My Car

Darwin fish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I don’t believe in Darwinism as it relates to Creation I will not have one of these emblems on my car either.

Maybe I am being too critical of myself or being too concerned about something that really doesn’t matter. Maybe not.

Paul says in I Corinthians 8:9, But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”

He is talking here about not eating meat if it causes a brother or young Christian to stumble. At the time Jews thought the meat from many animals was unclean and forbidden. Even though there is nothing wrong with eating meat for Christians – our right – if doing so causes someone else to stumble on their own journey of faith because they believe this is wrong then we should have the maturity and respect to not eat meat in their presence.

If I cut someone off in traffic, don’t let them merge into traffic, or take “their” parking place and they see that fish on my car that is my witness to that person. All they likely know about me is I have a “Christian fish” emblem on my car so I must be one of “those Christians” then that supports some stereotype of what they believe Christians are, just ordinary hypocrites. I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. This can be applied to many different situations for Christians. Others that come to mind are drinking alcohol, attending R rated movies, and the words I choose to speak or write.

This is probably one of the few times I really do care what people think of me because as a Christian I am representing Christ to those whose path I cross. I do the best I can but am far from perfect. However those looking for a Christian to make a mistake, for some reason, want to hold others to a standard by which they are unwilling to measure themselves.

I know I am not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts or actions, only mine, but I don’t want to be the reason or excuse someone else uses for their thoughts or actions either if that can be avoided.

This principle can be applied to most any other group you could substitute here. When I worked for UPS one Christmas season they had a policy that employees could not wear a complete uniform home. We had to change our shirts before we left so we, as representatives of UPS, would not do something in that uniform that would disparage UPS.

It holds true for employees as well as employers and those in leadership positions, maybe even more so.

Knowing I am doing my best, with God’s help, to live as a Christian, helps me have peace of mind. That peace of mind helps me sleep well at night. However I do know I have and will continue to make mistakes in this journey called life. As long as my motives are pure I can forgive myself when I do make mistakes. I know God has already forgiven me.

If you don’t have that assurance and peace of mind yourself that is a choice you have made but one that can be changed today. Take a look here for 4 Steps to Peace With God. I promise you will not regret it and can be sleeping better tonight.

I pray that God will give me wisdom to know when to “not eat meat.”

Until next time…

If you like what you read here or just want to see what comes out of my warped mind enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe or select one of the other options to follow this blog and you will be notified whenever a new post is published.

I Imagine NOT

Have you ever watched an episode of any of the various CSI or Law and Order shows on TV? If you haven’t I would be interested to know how you have avoided that. It seems like there is one on every network every night. There have been many to choose from, CSI, CSI New York, Law and Order (the original), Law and Oder SVU and CSI Miami are some that come to mind. I am sure there are or will be others. Which one really doesn’t matter. They all have the similar formats.

I have and do watch some of these. I watched CSI New York because I like Gary Sinese. I watched CSI Miami because I enjoyed the “dramedy” of David Caruso and that special moment when he removed his sunglasses and uttered those profound statements of the obvious.

What stands out to me is the imagination these guys that work in the crime labs possess. You can tell when the music track of the week starts we are about to see what they are thinking and learning from their lab work. They can re-enact the entire crime with a clarity and detail that is seen, well, only on TV or in the movies.

I have never really thought my imagination was one of my strongest qualities or talents. I suppose I do have one but I am a computer programmer so I deal with minute details of writing code or statements that tell a computer exactly what it must do in order to achieve the desired calculation, result, or output. I suppose that does require some level of imagination to imagine the desired result I am trying to achieve with the code I write. However, it doesn’t rise anywhere near the level of these CSI investigators.

I have always been in awe of and amazed of individuals that do possess such vivid and active imaginations. The people who create all of the attractions and rides at Disney Land and Walt Disney World are called Imagineers. They also amaze me with the things they come up with.

When we were building our house a couple of years ago I had the plans and visited the site almost every day to check on the progress, or lack thereof, but I still had trouble visualizing or imagining the finished product we live in today.

The difference in Imagineers and CSI actors is pretty obvious. On CSI they are “imagining” what a script told them to imagine. Actually, they are not imagining anything at all. We are just watching a video. I guess that would make the script writers the true creators of this imagination. The Imagineers at Disney are creating something new from a movie or concept and that requires true imagination.

I guess all I am really trying to say here is I have a lot of respect for those who do possess this type of imagination since I don’t possess it myself. I wish I did. You could call that imagination envy. I am an “imaginenvyer”. See, I can’t even imagine a good word there.

I am like Winnie The Pooh…Think…Think…Think…but nothing comes to mind.

I have trouble imagining what my next blog post is going to be about, one reason it has been so long since my last post.

I don’t have any profound meaning I expect anyone to extract from this post. Maybe you can imagine something. If you do, please let me know in the comments.

I guess I just wanted to let any of you out there who do possess the skill of imagination I respect what you are able to do an awful lot. If you have this talent and have never considered how lucky or blessed you are. Stop a minute and reflect on that. Not everyone can do what you do and some of us are envious. Be thankful.

Until next time…

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Size 13 Footprint

I received a Father’s Day gift this year from my son, created with “encouragement” from my wife. I have received many Father’s Day gifts over the years and I am sure many fathers have received a gift similar to the one I am writing about today.

However, I suspect few have received one in the same size as the one I received. You see, my son is 18 and has a size 13 foot.

Fathers Day Card 20140615 Size 13 Footprint

This gift marks a milestone for us. You see, this is our youngest child who is now away in college leaving us at home without children in the house for the first time in 27 years. We are quasi-empty-nesters. I say quasi because we do still have two children in college so they will be back pretty regularly until they finish college but they are gone now more than they are here and that will likely be a permanent condition.

We are now living in the second half of Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will stay on it.” TLB

For the most part, we are done with the first half of this verse. He is now older and free to make most day-to-day decisions on his own. We will now have to sit back and observe to see if we really did teach him to choose the right path.

I am as confident as one can be when looking into the future he will make wise decisions. Does that mean he will make wise decisions every time the first time? Of course not. That is how we learn the most and gain wisdom – from our mistakes and unwise decisions. As long as he keeps learning and not repeating the same mistakes then those experiences will just become learning opportunities. I do hope he can learn from our mistakes too so he doesn’t have to make the same ones we did.

Will we worry? Of course we will. If I answered that question any other way I would lose all credibility.

Will we pray? Absolutely! We will Pray without ceasing as we are exhorted to do in I Thessalonians 5:17. I think many parents really heed this exhortation when their children leave for college or move away. It is nothing new for us to pray for our children. The focus of the prayers just changes over time. I hope our praying will outweigh our worrying but I am sure the balance of those scales will move back and forth as we grow. We are still learning too.

Our prayer for all our children includes but also follows the more familiar Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. 

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

This prayer will work in all situations for all of us.

Until next time…

Climate Change? Not so much

we are enterprise logo 150x150 Climate Change? Not so muchI was looking at some of my previous posts on the topic of Enterprise and the Trust and Assumptions post from last September, nine months ago, stood out to me and I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit and see if any progress has been made in the current political climate in The City of Progress.

A lot has happened since last September. We have a new Superintendent of Schools and President of the School Board just beginning a new term next month. We also have a new city council president. They all have an opportunity to act on many of the suggestions mentioned in Trust and Assumptions. I am not presumptuous enough to believe they have to get their ideas here. They are just common sense suggestions.

I still believe they would help to build trust between the community and those serving as leaders on the school board and city council and minimize assumptions and rumors. The choice as it did nine months ago will be made by action or inaction by the school board, superintendent, city council and mayor. My hope is they will make a different choice than has been made so far.

Less Information

I did not think it possible but the amount of information we receive at school board meetings has actually decreased. It is practically non-existent and encourages assumptions and rumors to be created and perpetuated. That is partially due to the gag order put on community input by the interim superintendent last year but that is not the only reason. There is just no openness or “transparency”, an overused word lately, in their actions.  To quote Mrs. Jones from last June, “There are some things you just don’t know.” I agree and that will continue unless the board shares openly what can be shared with the public.

The individual board member saying call me or come talk to me is disingenuous at best. If there is information to share, share it at the board meetings with the people who are there to learn what is going on. That will get the same version of information to many more people and save your time as well.

Of the two meetings the city council does provide more background information but sometimes it seems they are in a race to get done by 6:15. There is room for improvement.

If continuing and ever-growing assumptions and rumors are their goal then all they have to do is maintain the status quo. If those in leadership positions want to effect change in the current climate of distrust and skepticism then that is their choice. The fact they have chosen, so far, to avoid providing the filler or in-between-the-lines information indicates to me they are happy with the current climate of distrust and skepticism and want to see that continue.

Here is some of what I wrote last September primarily directed to the school board but it is applicable to the city council as well.

Sharing Information

Sharing information – communicating – is critical, in my estimation if this situation is to change. The information would not have to be printed but that is one option. Another would be to use the News sections of the School Board web site and post information there or the board or individual board members could start a blog and share information that way. If I can do it anyone can.

The method is not the critical issue but sharing information is.

What could be shared?

I know there are some things that are not shareable to the public. I am not talking about that type of information. I am talking about filling in some of the gaps that do not get addressed during the board meetings or are not explained adequately…Updates for what is going on between the board meetings and maybe even some of the whys and methodology used to arrive at the decisions being made during the meetings could be shared also.

Will it even be tried?

This question was asked nine months ago and the answer so far is no. It has not been attempted. With Mrs. Jones taking over as the new board president next month, Mr. Donaldson just recently taking over as city council president and Dr. Wright just six months into her role as superintendent of schools now would be a great time to make such an effort if they have any desire to change the climate in Enterprise.

I really hope they do give this a shot. It would be amazing if we could get the whole community on the same page and working together again according to the principle expressed in this quote by Ronald Reagan,

 

 Climate Change? Not so much

English: A view of Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, as he delivers his Inaugural address from a specially built platform in front of the Capitol during the Inauguration Day celebration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” — First Inaugural Address, January 21, 1981

I never thought I would be writing anything in support of climate change but I just did. I know the climate in Enterprise can be changed. It will take an intentional effort on the part of those in power now to start that process and then a willingness by the community to recognize and accept the effort as genuine.

If no changes are made the status quo will continue to roll on and the election cycle for 2016 will begin with many looking for new leaders in Enterprise.

Until next time…

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