Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Update

Went to the home church Sunday. It's interesting to walk in there after having served on the staff for almost ten years. It's still like people are so happy to see us when we are there. I know they don't yet understand that we're around to stay and may attend the church as a member. But the people are nice and their love for us is nice.

On another note this place still has a pink wall on stage. It drives me crazy because it is so ridiculous looking. Probably just a matter of taste.

Today was a really good day. I got a contract on my BA house. It was only on the market for 12 days! How cool is that! ('s an awesome house, so the sale had nothing really to do with me - but it's still way cool to sell a house).

In our personal lives Diane is still dealing with the fibroid tumor. It has become a rather pesky situation as it has been "bleeding" or seeping for about three weeks. She's getting weak and is probably anemic (my opinion).

So that's life around our house these days. There are other things going on too - good things, some challenging things but definitely God is at work in our lives.

And that's the coolest thing of all.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blues Slide Guitar Cam strikes again

Since I play and teach guitar I really like this video. See what you think!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Parent's Influence - from Sunday's Secrets

Okay folks, here's one that caught my attention.
What kind of example is the father setting for his child?
Second Question...
What impression is the parent leaving on the kid?
Very sad isn't it?
The child in this situation understands morals more than the parent. I'll bet at the dad's funeral that this child will be thinking about this incident and will be disappointed...again.
Think about the example you're setting.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Church at the Nursing Home

Diane's father is married to a lady who is elderly. Due to failing health she was recently moved into a nursing home. Charlie (Diane's dad) did his best to care for her at home for as long as he could, but eventually he just had to have more help. So now he splits his time between taking care of the house and visiting her in the nursing home.

Today we went to the church service in the nursing home because Diane wanted to go to be with her dad. So off we went.

When we arrived, there was a service already in progress. A "large" man was doing his best to sing along with a tape while the wheelchair bound sat around listening. If you've ever seen one of these services it is quite amusing because you're never sure who exactly is paying attention and who isn't. Some will sing along while others seem to be off in their own world. I always get suspicious that some of the poor people were "parked" there by the staff so they (meaning the staff) could sneak in a freebie break. Anyway, the guy was singing along and saying encouraging things. We didn't see Charlie or the Mrs. in the crowd so we went down to her room. Nope not there either. Bed all messed up. The rapture? No. Too many people around and Diane is still here - so that's not possible. So off to the nurses desk where we were then directed to the other end of the hall.

Once we got there we found a small chapel with a dozen or so people sitting around in chairs singing a hymn accapella style. The young man leading looked like he would rather be anywhere else but there. We found Charlie and the Mrs. there, so we took our seats beside them, were handed hymnals and joined in the singing. The small group sang really well. I was impressed at first...then I figured it out. This group was comprised of people all from the church that Charlie and his Mrs. attended. Most of them had known her for more years than I've been alive. They were there having a service for her. I thought that was pretty cool - pretty dedicated friends. And the good singing? They're all from the C of C, so that explains that!

So the singing went on with the uninterested worship leader for a bit, then an older fellow walked in and took over. I found out later he had served as an leader or a preacher or something in church work. He led lots of hymns. We sang some I hadn't sang in years and I liked that. I didn't like that we ALWAYS did the 1st, 2nd and last verse of every song - talk about a trip back to your childhood!

The service consisted of a prayer, bunches of hymns and communion for Charlie and the Mrs. Once we were done - and I don't know who decided that. It just kind of happened like some secret signal was given or something - anyway, once we were done we were welcomed by everyone and then they all rushed off to go to "real" church.

All in all it was a nice service and I'm glad we went. I wouldn't want to go every week, but I'm glad Diane was there with her dad and the Mrs. I know it made them happy.

We were done by 10 a.m. which was nice. As we're visiting churches we're both finding we tend to like the getting done earlier option as opposed to the "late" service. When we go to the earlier services they seem to stay more on schedule than later ones do. I don't know why that is, but it is a trend we've noticed.

Today as we were getting in the car after eating lunch with friends I looked at the clock and noted that we would have still been in church had we gone to the late service at the home place. It was nice to be done with lunch and heading off to tackle the day at that point rather than to be doing so an hour later...or more.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Our Visit to Church #???

Haven't talked in a while about our church visits, so I'll catch you up...

Went to a large church in town this past Sunday to check out their 11 a.m. service. We had visited the 9:45 service which meets in the gym and really liked it, so we thought we would try the later service to check that out.

When we got there we were greeted by the official greeters, but no one else spoke to us...outside of a guy whom we already knew. When we went into the service there were no ushers to help us find a seat, so we stood around awkwardly for a while until a couple moved over making room for us. The worship on this particular Sunday was...embarrassingly bad. It was so bad we almost got up and left. I don't know who the worship guy was, but he just botched the whole service. He had to start one song over three times and then he still didn't get it right. I have to think he was filling in maybe. I felt sorry for him if he was filling in because it was so painfully bad.

On another note, this guy was leading worship in jeans and a untucked no colored shirt. Okay. I get it - I understand the look and feel you're going for...except that in this case there was this full choir and piano player behind him - and even a worship team - all of whom were dressed in Business Casual. The worship guy looked like a total slob - completely out of place.

There were a lot of technical errors throughout the service, which just drives me crazy. The PowerPoint went down during the middle of a song the congregation did not know, so no one ended up singing. The worship guy finally noticed the missing slides and pointed it out and gave us the words and then...ta da! up comes the PowerPoint. During the sermon the person running the PowerPoint either didn't know where the preacher was in the message or didn't know how to run PowerPoint very well. The slides were ALWAYS behind where they should be. AAARRRGGH.

One other irritant was that these two guys sitting behind us kept talking to each other out loud. I mean the full volume kind of talking. It was very rude, but no one seemed to notice or care.

The highlight of this service was the message. Well prepared, well presented, good humor when needed. The message saved the day, but if I was grading, this service would still have received an F for so much failure. It was very disappointing.

I mentioned that we had attended a 9:45 service on another date at this church. It went much smoother, but was plagued by technical errors also, so it may be that this church has not yet figured out how to properly train their tech people. Or it may be that this is not a high value to them.

For those of you who work in churches consider this. The night before, my wife and I took a gentleman out to dinner who is new to our town. He's here working for a company and is professional in every way. He is well off in life, but alone as he lost his wife to cancer this past year. I cannot tell you how embarrassed we would have been had we invited him to that service with us. If you're in church work, pay attention to the details. It matters.

Want proof?

We won't be going back to the 11 service there.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

An Update

Those who know me know that two months ago I had a major career change in my life. It was unexpected, but the big stuff in life usually is, right?

The decision to stay put or move was fairly easy because for us, moving is not an option while our kids are in school. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that it's in the best interest of our family to finish high school where we are.

So I picked a career I thought I could do well in (real estate) and one which isn't too expensive to get into, did the school pretty fast, took the test and jumped in with both feet. Now, two months later I'm finishing up my post-license schooling and getting things up and going.

For me this has been an amazing ride so far. It has had the highest highs and the lowest lows. There have been some amazingly great days and some real bummer ones. The company I am working with provides great support. It's an old company - been around a long time. We have over 500 real estate associates and 9 offices in and around the Tulsa area.

The people I have met in this industry are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. They are people who are driven and who love what they do. Most of them truly enjoy helping people find the right home, but there are some who give our industry a bad name too. I've bumped into some of those folks and have been disappointed. Not surprised, but disappointed.

I got to have lunch one day with an older gentleman who invests in commercial real estate. He isn't a religious guy and when he found out I had been in church work immediately told me not to try to convert him. Duh. I wasn't there to convert him. I think his immediate reaction tells us a lot about what people think about those who are religious. Anyway, we had a great conversation and I learned a lot from him. I consider him my friend and we'll do lunch again. And we'll talk about stuff...including religion when it comes up.

This is a person I never would have had the opportunity to meet in my past career.

I met another gentleman who is new to our area. He was hired out of Texas and brought in by one of the builders in our area. He is the definition of a classy gentleman. He lost his wife this past year and you can tell he had an amazing love for her. Diane and I are taking him out to eat this weekend to get to know him a bit better and to show him some good ol' Oklahoma hospitality.

Today was an exceptional day. I got five listings of some properties in a new development North and West of Tulsa. This is a partnership between us and this builder and the fact that I got to get in on the deal is remarkable. Looking for a great new house? I've got FIVE! I also will be listing a property in the Broken Arrow area and another one here in Owasso. So things are moving well in that area.

Today I spent lots of time on my cell phone. A fellow agent in my office remarked today that this can get into your blood. I understand what she was saying because for me, it has. I love when the phone rings. I love helping people figure things out and connecting them with others who help them make their dreams come true. I have already developed a network of some of the finest specialists in their respective areas. Again - people I would not have met before.

For me the biggest question I knew I would have to answer is can I live the faith that it was easy to have sitting behind a church desk. The answer has come much easier than I thought it might. And the answer is yes. Yes I can. Yes I will. Why wouldn't I? I believe in God. I accept that Jesus Christ is His Son who died to take away the sins of the world. So each day I begin in the Word, pray with my wife and head out to face the day. I seek to inspire others and to bring comfort, hope and joy into every person's life that I meet each day. (That can be hard!). And the coolest thing for me is that I get to correct so many false perceptions about "religious" people. Folks, if you're a religious person, I'm here to tell you, we've flat blown our witness to the world! People think religious folks are cooks for the most part who are unable to deal with the real world. Well, in my life, people are seeing that faith can be a part of your daily life and that it doesn't make you weird - in fact, it makes you better. It makes you keep your promises and live with integrity. People are seeing that faith causes you treat people better than they deserve. And people are seeing that faith is something you work out daily too.

On the church front, we've been dividing our time between the home place and other congregations around town. We think we've found where we will settle -at least for Diane and me for most of the time. We'll probably split time between this place and the home place so we can stay in touch there and close to our kids (who will also stay there). We have good friends there whom we love deeply and we don't wish to sever those relationships, but we also have to figure out the whole church scene and how we fit into it. And that's all I have to say about that.

For those of you who know us and who are our friends, thanks for staying close to us on this crazy journey called life. We love you!

So that's it for now. I'll give you another update down the road. Until then, enjoy the video's I find and my occasional comments!


Monday, February 5, 2007

What you can do with video editing

This guy plays a song via video editing. Note. He doesn't actually play the song - it is all edited together.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sunday's Secret - February 4, 2007

I'm including two this time because they're related...

The first one

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

The second one

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

The world can be a pretty tough place.
What are you doing to make it better?


Saturday, February 3, 2007