Sunday, December 31, 2006

One Nation Under God (Revised)

I had a small debate about the Clinton administration with my boss...I noted that the question is really, "are we still a Nation under God?" We both agreed that the answer was no. The Nation needs our prayer and I'm jealous of a friend of mine. She and her husband are going to the National prayer breakfast with George W! Too cool!!!

On a different note, Saddam Hussein is about to be hung, and I've been considering this morning how I feel about the execution. As a patriot, I think he needed to hang (though I do wonder if was really him?). As a Christian, though I believe in capital punishment, I still wonder... A neat thing happened this morning. The Lord said to me, "Pray for the president with your daughter." And I did. It was an emotional experience and one filled with tears. I wonder what she thought, but she too prayed, really prayed. She's 10, and though she doesn't understand world events, she understands W. needs prayer. I'm so proud of her.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

...and Wingmen

I have a Ranger buddy, and he'll always be there. But as I climb the ladder, I guess what I need these days is a Wingman. He may not know how to field strip an M-16 or navagate through the dark of half this country, but this I know. He's got my back these days. And my front. And the flanks. In this world I live in now, I don't need a Ranger buddy as I once life is no longer on the line. But when you fly high and fast in the business world, you need a wingman. Wingmen can quote Sun Tzu, "Keep your friends close..." They say things like, "Mav, we don't have fuel for this kind of stuff," but never leave your side. They say, "Slam on the brakes, he'll fly right by." And, "Anybody seen a green out here?" We play, we joke, but we get the job done...consistently. You know what else? Sometimes out of the blue, on a terrible day, he might leave you a message that says something like, "You have a gift Mav, of holding the team together, making us believe that everything is going to work out." He calls me Maveric, 'Mav," and I call him Wingman and Ghostrider and...Chuck. We deny each other flyby's, "the pattern is full," but know we never would. He's my living GPS; I think he befriends me out of pitty :) You need a wingman in life...Thanks Chuck.
PS - Wingmen have cool mom's!

Saturday, December 9, 2006


I want to write about a funeral. I want to write about a wingman. But I feel compelled to write about John. I hope Steve Farrar will forgive me if this is copyright infringement... It's the personal stuff about Jesus that matters, Steve captures it well.

"John was staggered by Jesus. That's the way it is with people who hang out with the Lord day after day. They can't stop talking about Him......And when a guy's spent forty-two straight months walking alongside the King of kings and Lord of lords, he's bound to have a few impressions on certain subjects......Think about eating meals over the campfire with Him...rowing a boat with Him into the teeth of a storm...confronting dangerous enemies with Him...praying with Him on the mountainside......sleeping under the stars with Him...walking on the beach with Him at sunrise...watching Him lose His life on a cross......" Watching Him lose His life on the cross. (Finishing Strong - Steve Farrar - p.127)

...Steve's work shortening the text

Friday, December 8, 2006

Be aware of Wonder...

Be Aware of Wonder (1 of many to come)
It's important to be aware of wonder. So important. I reminded my Wednesday evening Kids Klub class at Church. Max Lucado helped me... via Matthias (If I'm lucky, he'll keep his post up for a while).
25 Questions for Mary

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Ranger Buddies

Everybody needs a Ranger Buddy (or a wingman). Even if you've never been in the Army, it's the concept that matters. Let me tell you about mine. Gary. He didn't become my Ranger Buddy until I got out of the Army, he was still in. We did so much together. We had each others back so to speak. And we created a bit of mischief...nothing too bad! He stayed at my house, and he at mine as the years went on. We hung out in the mountains and my life rested in his hands as I leaned backward off a cliff - a show of faith I guess...and an amazing rush! We climbed bridges together, prayed together, worshiped together...and have gone our seperate ways these days. But he's still my Ranger Buddy. I still trust him with my life, and my wife - I'm not sure which I find a greater tribute! I wrote to Gary today...and his Mom. Ranger Buddies moms are cool. Gary's mom is cool!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

From Generals to Joshua

In 1985 I served under LTG Palastra, CG, I Corps & Ft Lewis. He was a political man f who always wanted to be a Pentagon officer, and became one. Well decorated, but not a soldiers General. In 1986 General H. Norman Schwarzkopf...Stormin' Norman!...took command. At the cermony Palastra rambled on. Then Schwarzkoph took the podium and our spines tingled, our chests swelled... He said nothing, he just surveyed us as he would a battlefield. "I appolgize for my silence, but I wanted to appreciate all of you before me," he began. He praised us, and pumped us up, and left the stand in short order after these words, "the best way to thank a soldier is to not make them stand for a long time on a parade field...Commanders, dismiss your troops." We would have followed this man anywhere!

Joshua... Joshua and Strormin' Norman had some things in common. I can hear his final speach before the thousands (read Joshua 24). He recounted the history of a people and God's deliverance. Challenging them. I believe the people were moved in spirit, they tingled with pride in who they were, and their chests rose to their high calling in God. And I believe they shouted his final words with Joshua - having heard them so often..."Choose you this day who you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will choose the Lord!" The people went wild in affirmation. The soldiers shouted HOOAH! in Hebrew (anybody know how to say that?). And Israel remained faithful beyond Joshua's days, faithful until the last elder present at the great speech died. Then, as my daughters like to say, "Pride comes before the monkey," and Israel fell away. ( Joshua 24-Judges 1).

So what's left to say. Choose you this day who you will serve...but as for ME and MY house, we will serve the Lord!

The importance of being dangerous

From Sheakspeare...
Let me have men around me who are fat,
Sleek-headed men, and men who sleep at night.
Cassius, over there, has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.

Caesar describes Cassius in these terms. I don't read Sheakspeare mind you (I don't even care if I spelled his name right!), but I find these words interesting for some reason. There's something wrong with leaders who fear men like Cassius isn't there? I think maybe Rome collapsed, among many other reasons, for lack of men like Cassius. Men like Cassius are dangerous aren't they...if you're Caesar. So were men like Stephen and John. Paul, Matthew, Joshua and Caleb. Dangerous men change the world. Not deep thoughts today - just thoughts.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Seattle, vices and Bob Seeger

In 1984 I joined the Army. After infantry school and airborn school (60 jumps...HOOAH!), I found myself in Washington State. I like to think of my life in chapters, and I think of this part of my past the fondest. Seattle, Tacoma, The mountains, the ocean, the rainforests, friends...friends. The photo below assuming it posts, is my Seattle. I immagine the picture is about 15 years old, but then I guess I havn't been there in at least 15 years. How does time move so fast? Vices? I suppose we all have is definitely one of mine. 60's thru 80's mostly. Little River Band, Charlie Daniels, Queen, Bob Seeger - I was listening to Bob on the Radio a few nights ago, still nostalgic as I so often am this time of year..."and sometimes even now, when I find myself lonely and beat, I drift back in time and find my feet down on Main Street." Mainstreet isn't a quarter mile section of concrete and asphalt for me - it a series of cities, a mountain highway, an old military fort on the ocean, it's climbing steel girder bridges and wondering now why I'm still alive. It's about a time when I really was alive... Do you understand? There's nothing wrong with my life now, I'm still alive, but when your young life is so vivid. That's Main Street. Thanks Bob Seeger. I suspect if you ask Bob from my previous post he might agree? I'm thankful for mainstreet, it's nice to think about from time to time. It's not the blessing that today is with a beautiful wife, three charming girls, but still I wouldn't go back. I've rambled, but maybe that's what blogs are about?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Veteran's Day; a week late

Last Sunday was busy...we forgot to have the Veterans stand. I noticed, probobally because I am one. My service to my country is important to me. As a young man (not that I'm an old man now), I was disappointed for never having seen combat. So much training - for nothing. Great training: Airborn Infantry, Long Range Recon, Scuba, Rifles and Pistols and Demo - Oh my! For goodness sakes, I killed and ate a rattlesnake and an armadillo with my bare hands and a little help from my USMC Ka-Bar knife (who says Marine's are worthless?).

Today I feel a little differently. I feel blessed to never have had to kill. I served, and I'm blessed! God is so good. I'm sure there will be much more on my service as time passes. But what I really want to say is, there's a guy named Bob. He's 84, and he's cool! I don't really know Bob - actually I don't know him at all. But from back in my soundbooth this morning I was able to record him playing his harmonica. Blessed Assurance. They asked the Veterans to stand, they did, but Bob didn't sit. "My name's Bob," he said. "I'm 84 years old and I served in WWII. I'd like to play something for you..." And he did, and it was good. Very cool! I won't get started about patriotism, or the flag, or the war in Iraq. But I will say I'm proud of Bob, and guys like him. As Ray Boltz says, "It's (been) an honor to serve."

I'm not done with forgiveness...but that's another day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What I do...

Someone recently asked me, "Just what is it that you do?" I build I said...paused...and a lot more than that. Contracts and contractors and architects. Faculty groups. Playing nice in the sandbox kind of stuff sometimes. So much wading through the quagmire of building on a small liberal arts campus. And sometimes I do things that are really special.

A woman cherished by our campus community died recently. Somehow it fell to my desk to purchase and plant a tree in her memory. Simple right? Plant the tree. Leave. No big deal. But instead I took a moment and met with the husband... "she was vibrant - the tree has to reflect that." The sunset maple was too red, the bradford pear too delicate, but the sugar maple. The sugar maple would be perfect. Red and orange and yellow, blazing in the fall, different with each season. Vibrant and colorful, just like her. Yesterday I made it just a little easier for a wonderful man to deal with the loss of his bride. I wished I could have done more. Somedays thats what I do...