Sunday, February 28, 2010

Not For This World

Have you ever felt as though you were sitting still yet moving at the speed of light?  It is as though everything around you is in constant motion -- including yourself -- and yet there is a peace and stillness that you sense that you are calmly sitting in.  If you do not believe that God holds your life in His hands, you probably have not experienced that peace.

Sometimes I get a glimpse of utter serenity.  Maybe it is just my simple mind letting things flow by me.  I don't think so.  I think it is because I know deep down that God is in control and that everything is filled with purpose.  I know that in all that happens, God is working for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). 

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going." -- John 14:1-4

This world is only temporary.  Live for eternity -- not for the things of this world.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Political Note

Tuesday -- election day -- will soon be upon Texas voters and we will find out who the Republican nominee for Governor will be.  I just now saw a Perry commercial on t.v.  He was wearing a Carhart jacket and sitting in front of the Texas flag.  Some of the Hutchinson commercials try to pull off the "good-ol'-country-gal" look but somehow it doesn't quite work.  She just has a hard time fitting that image. 

The article linked below might be of interest to those of you following the race:

So, what do you think?  Is Perry positioning himself for a national race?  Perhaps.  I hope he can handle the attacks from the left if that is his plan.

What about Hutchinson?  She might come back as an Independent and face Perry again in the General election if the primary is close.  I don't think it will be.  The real question is her Senate seat.  Will she really retire?  If so, I think Michael Williams is our best candidate for the seat.  It may be an interesting year.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Productive Week in TN and KY

It has been a productive week in Tennessee and Kentucky.  The Mid South Stocker Conference was excellent and we had several producers commit to doing business with us.  The setting for the Conference was beautiful (Montgomery Bell State Park).

Last night we headed for Bowling Green, Kentucky, and spent the morning visiting with customers and recording testimonials and then met with a prospective customer who is now a customer.  We finished the evening back in Nashville with dinner at J. Alexander's in Brentwood, Tennessee, with a good customer and his wife.  WOW!  The food was out-of-this-world good!  I highly recommend it.  It is actually located near the Cold Springs Galleria just north of Franklin.  Check out the link.

Yep, life is good.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tennessee Traveler

Nashville, Tennessee, for the night.  I barely made it out of Amarillo before the snow moved in.  They had to de-ice the plane before we could depart.

I read about 150 pages in the book "Same Kind of Different as Me" on the way out here.  It is written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  It is a MUST read for anyone and everyone.  The best way that I know to give you a clue as to what the book is about is to quote from the back cover:

"A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking
cotton in virtual slavery.
An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world
of Armani and Chanel.
A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.
A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it."

It is the story of a friendship between a wealthy, white art dealer and a black man who grew up in rural Louisiana as the orphaned son of a sharecropper.  It is an amazing story.

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

Tomorrow, the Mid-South Stocker Conference near Burns, Tennessee.

Life is good.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Refreshed But Not Rested

Sundays are often very busy days for us.  Today was no exception.  In fact, it was probably fairly representative.  Here's how it went....

7:55 -- Stop at Ministry Center and turn on the coffeepot so it will be ready to make coffee later.
Early Service (Traditional):  Sing in the choir.  Be there at about 8:00.
Leave Early Service at halftime:  Go over to Ministry Center and make coffee and get refreshments ready for Sunday School.
9:45 -- Sunday School starts.  Some Sundays I do the music for "The Celebration" which is an alternative Sunday School/Church Service/Small Group function for those who prefer something other than the traditional services.
10:30 -- leave Sunday School because we have to warm up for our Adult Ensemble, B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), which is singing in the 11:00 service. 
11:00 -- Contemporary service -- we usually attend this one.
12:30 -- Lunch
3:00 -- Personnel Committee Meeting -- seems like this happens all too frequently -- lasted 2 hours
5:00 -- B.A.S.I.C. rehearsal
6:00 -- Church
7:30 -- Dinner celebrating the completion of our Truth Project small group (see note below)
9:30 -- home

The Truth Project has been great.  It is produced by Focus on the Family and is a DVD series that focuses on the question: "How do you know that what you know is really real?"  It seeks to dive into the thinking behind many of the current popularly held beliefs that permeate our culture and how those beliefs compare to what the Bible says.  I highly recommend it.  Follow the link.

So, am I rested?  I must admit that I missed my nap.  My "day-of-rest" was full, but I do feel refreshed and ready for the week.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not Where Expected

I was supposed to be in Kearney, Nebraska, all day today, but I decided to head home instead.  It was snowy and cold with slushy roads for about half of the drive and then it was just cold, misty/foggy for most of the rest of the way.  Somewhere between Pampa and Amarillo I drove out of the cloud cover to clear blue skies.  That all changed though -- now it is foggy, misting and occasionally thundering. 

It's a good thing that I decided to come on home though, it is supposed to snow anywhere from 4 to 6 inches tonight over most of the area that I passed through.  I might not have made it home tomorrow if I had waited.

Shortly after arriving at home and surprising my wife by coming in early, we decided to go to the show with some friends.  We went to see "The Book of Eli."  It was interesting.  It was unnecessarily profane.  It had some good messages in it.  It also had some really "messed up" messages mixed into it.  I will leave it at that.  If you can stand the violence and profanity, go see it.  It was then off to Jorge's for Mexican food.  Nothing better than good Tex-Mex to end the week.

Life is good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Coup in Niger

Things became interesting in the country of Niger today.  I touched base with a friend of mine who lives in Niamey and he indicated that everything is OK.  Below is what he had to say about the coup:

"I'm doing well.The situation is under control.The President lost all his power.The population appreicated the COUP and they are ready to help the military to fullfil the goals of that coup.

The days to come we will go on election to determine who will be the President elect.Tandja is safe and sound.The military is making sure he will not loose his life.That's all I know about the COUP."

It really changes your perspective on things when you've been there.  In fact, the governmental crisis which led to today's coup was of real concern while I was in Niger this past summer.  I pray that a truly free election and good governance will be the result.  That is unlikely in a country where the literacy rate is extremely low and poverty is the norm.

The above photo was taken in a small village about 30 minutes from the capital city of Niamey, Niger, in July, 2009.  It illustrates the poverty of the people.  The scene is from the village market.  (Ignore the Anasari -- white people -- in the picture)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The challenge of a blog is that you sometimes fall into the rut of just typing nonsensical things -- whatever comes into your head -- just to maintain some consistency in posting.  Obviously that is how I am starting out tonight.  Until last night it had been far too long since my last post.  Now, I'm attempting to change that pattern -- the trouble is, I don't want to be disciplined about writing; I just want to "let it flow" and yet somehow turn out creative or profound.

I spent the afternoon training a couple of individuals for one of our laboratories.  Both were very good students and seemed to catch on quickly.  That isn't really surprising considering that one is a Veterinarian and the other a Vet Technician.  Hopefully they felt as good about the training as I did.  Time is the only true test of how well it went.

Being in Nebraska presents one particular challenge for me -- The Omaha World Herald.  The newspaper out of Omaha must be one of the most liberal in the country.  Sometimes I think there is more common sense among the writers of the New York Times than I see in some of the articles in the Omaha paper.  If I was a good journalist I would post specific examples (see yesterday's post) and carefully refute the obviously slanted positions taken by the writers of the articles, but I'm in a lazy mood tonight and don't want to put in the effort, so, I will do like they do and just state an opinion as though it was fact, not research the item carefully but take quotes out of context and "facts" from dubious sources and present them in a way that supports my undisputably correct opinion and then package it in lots of lengthy, run-on sentences that are an attempt to make me sound especially erudite through the use of judiciously sprinkled words that require the "average Joe" to wish he knew what those words meant but is too lazy to seek a Dictionary and look them up and thus remains blissfully ignorant and incorrectly informed into an erroneous opionion based on the lazy journalism of a writer with a leftist agenda that was embedded into their undisciplined brain while attending journalism school in some East-coast, Ivy League, overpriced university.

Did I tell you that it is supposed to snow tonight?  Oh, I forgot. is supposed to snow tonight and possibly continue snowing here through Sunday.  I hope I can get home.  If I can just make it to Kansas it should be a cinch -- but I probably ought to swing by Cabela's before I leave town and see if they have any ruby-red hiking boots just in case.  Clicking the heels on my Ariats probably won't do the job.

Life is good.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Thoughts After a Long Dry Spell

OK, so it's been almost 2 months since I've posted anything on here.  That says a lot all by itself.  My travel schedule has been challenging to say the least.

Since the first of the year I've been to Kentucky, Nebraska, San Antonio, Central Texas, Alabama and now back to Nebraska.  Next week is Tennessee.  I need a break from it but it doesn't look like one is coming any time soon.

Don't you find the following story hilarious?

Obama to sign order for fiscal commission Thursday

It is all about political image -- nothing to do about seriously tackling the debt.  Do you suppose he really thinks we're that stupid?

Below is a good one --

Texas takes legal steps to stop EPA from regulating GHGs under CAA

The ABC News story is slanted to indicate that it's because Texas is the biggest producer of GHG's.  I don't know where they get their information but this list puts Texas in the middle.  Hmmm -- I think they need to look at the East and West Coast -- it is automobiles that cause the problem (California had over 32 million registered in 2005).  Texas just keeps them rolling with oil & gas production (think refineries).  The oil & gas production to fuel vehicles throughout the states is the only thing keeping Texas out of the top of the rankings in cleanest.  Picture wind power

The best thing that has happened for GHGs recently is the week-long shut-down of D.C. because of snow.  Kept the hot air in their high-rent townhouses instead of on the floor of the House and Senate.

Then there's the stimulus bill.  Crazy.  The reason I haven't been posting is because I've been building a business and creating jobs.  Tell 'em to send us our money back from D.C. and we'll take care of jobs and stimulating the economy.  At least we get results.  That would probably help the debt situation too.

Life is good.  Oh, and all that travel -- just stimulating the economy.  Thank you, Southwest Airlines!