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Archive for July, 2011

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We’ve been buried in a round of financial systems consulting at CampOC this week. In additional to some very useful tools and information for improving what we do and how we do it, the Instructor/consultant has blessed us with some great one liners.

“Rule Number One” is reflected in the title.

A department is a who; an object is a what.

Other good ones from the week:

“Not everything worth doing is worth doing well”.

“I am so excited…I know I don’t look it, but I am…”

“Two years from now, we are going to love our jobs”.

And, finally;

“This has been another specialty of the Department of Redundancy Department”.

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Fooling yourself?

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I attended a self described “Old Man Concert” last night. After the show was over and the lights came up, I had another “paradigm improvement” on what it may mean to be “an older man”.

A few years back, I would frequently talk with some colleagues about my job as a “younger man’s game”. I thought it wise thinking, and it sounded good when I said it, but I think I was fooling myself.

I was first introduced to “Styx” at around the age of 9. My dad was was a High School Principal at a small school district in East Texas, and he had the task of approving the theme song for the senior banquet. They picked “Come Sail Away”. It was 1975, and current band leader Tommy Shaw had just joined the band at the ripe old age of 22. My dad put the 33 LP on his Realistic/Radio Shack component stereo turntable, and the soft ballad began. We sat in the living room listening, and my dad (an easy listening music fan) was surprised and pleased by the tune. Two verses later, the real rock started.

Fast forward to 2011. The show last night was great. If I can be as good an accountant/servant/friend at 58 as Tommy Shaw is a musician and performer today, I will likely be on the top of my game?

What’s the key? Passion, and love for what you do. It was obvious last night that Shaw possesses both. At 58, and at the Oklahoma City Zoo, I would expect he could have held back. But he didn’t.

Neither should we. I’ve learned in recent months not to be such an angry young man. And, hopefully, I’ve stopped fooling myself.

Fooling Yourself Lyrics

(The Angry Young Man)

You see the world through your cynical eyes

You’re a troubled young man I can tell

You’ve got it all in the palm of your hand

But your hand’s wet with sweat

And your head needs a rest

And you’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it

Why must you be such an angry young man

When your future looks quite bright to me

And how can there be such a sinister plan

That could hide such a lamb

Such a caring young man

And you’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it

You’re killing yourself if you don’t believe it

Get up, get back on your feet

You’re the one they can’t beat and you know it

Come on let’s see what you’ve got

Just take your best shot and don’t blow it.

Lyrics by: Tommy Shaw

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This summer has been hot; almost as hot as it has been busy. The family soared together for a quick vacation immediately after the school term ended, and then it seems as though the “Baby Bing Eagles” all took flight and fled the nest. Church camp, work camp, “Cage” camp, jobs, trips to friend’s, midnight outings with the Green Lantern, Harry Potter, Captain America, and the like, and various and sundry other sorties have populated the skies around the Aerie on our street. Even Papa Eagle has soared away a time or two this summer, although he did return with talons full of trout after the most recent expedition. All the while, Mama Eagle has faithfully guarded the nest, waiting for her fledglings to return.

Last night was just such a moment. When I realized that “Say Yes to the Dress, Bridesmaid’s Edition” would command the brood’s flatscreen for an hour or more, I fled into the sanctity of an unfinished audit report spreadsheet. You probably did not know that a “bird of pray” could do accounting work on a Friday evening, but I digress. But as I looked up from my work near the midnight hour and saw everyone in the family asleep and scattered together about the family room, it dawned on me just how rare such future occasions might be.

Fall 2011 will be the first time all three eaglets will be in a different school from a sibling. One will even be across the left coast pond we call the Pacific for a few cycles of the moon. I wonder if little eagles like sushi? Another will have “been to London to look at the Queen” before 2012 is official. I wonder if little eagles like tea and crumpets? As time goes on, band, basketball, books, boys, babes, bonsai trees, and British monarchs may separate us from our young, but they know they can always return to the nest to rest their weary wings.

Only, next time we are all together, maybe something better than “Say Yes…” will be on the tele. I hear there’s a good NCIS marathon due out some time soon.

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A certain young man is currently attending basketball camp on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University. He is staying in a dormitory named Warlick Hall. The young man’s given name is Alexander. There are six degrees of separation, at the most, and multiple degrees of “interconnectedness”, to say the least, between young Alexander and
Mr. Warlick.

The 1st degree: On November 2, 1992, Oklahoma Christian president Dr. Terry Johnson announced the dedication of the Henry E. Warlick dormitory. Warlick’s daugher, Mrs. Zada K. Tull of Norman, Oklahoma, gave a major gift award that was used as part of the three-year, $3 million student housing renovation project.

“My father was one of the founders of Oklahoma Christian when it was at Cordell. The school has been near and dear to my heart, and I felt that it was something that I needed to do,” Tull said in an endearing address to the student body at the dedication.

“Mrs. Tull’s gift is a tangible demonstration of her desire to perpetuate Henry Warlick’s zeal and commitment to Christian education,” Dr. Johnson said.

Source: (http://blogs.oc.edu/ochistory/index)

I should add here that Mr. Warlick was a traveling preacher, a minister of the Gospel. More on that in a moment.

The 2nd Degree: Kerry Newell Pope. Kerry is a niece of Zada Tull, who was the sister of Rowena Newell, Kerry’s mother. Kerry attended Oklahoma
Christian as a student in the 70’s.

The 3rd Degree: Max Pope. Max is married to Kerry, who he met as a student at Oklahoma Christian. Max came OC originally on a baseball scholarship to play for Coach Max Dobson. Max is the younger brother of Linda Pope Bingham.

The 4th Degree: Jeff Bingham. Jeff Bingham is the son of Linda. Jeff and his siblings, fellow OC alums Julie Bingham Titlow and Jennifer Bingham Connally, were introduced to OC by Max being a student there before them. Jeff is currently the CFO for OC.

The 5th Degree: Sherry Bingham. Jeff met Sherry after graduating from OC and moving to Texas. They met in the Church (West Berry Church of Christ) in Fort Worth where Jeff’s parents grew up. Sherry was introduced to a relationship with Jesus and is a faithful Christian today because of the influence of Billie Fry Alexander, her grandmother.

The 6th Degree: Billie Fry Alexander is the mother of Gary Alexander, who is the father of Sherry Alexander Bingham, who is the mother of our Alexander, the young man currently attending basketball camp on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University.

How does this all tie together, you may ask? Well, Billie Alexander was introduced to a relationship with Jesus at a gospel meeting preached by a young man named Henry Warlick.

Are you beginning to see the bigger picture? I stand amazed…

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Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”

“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.

At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

John 21:3-6.

I have fished off and on, admittedly in
sporadic bits, since I was very young. Truth be told, I really caught my first fish just a few months ago. It was a good one, and the experience was surprisingly exciting. I am preparing to go again soon for the first time since then, and hope for more success.

But this time is different. Someone is going to lead us to where the fish should be. They will even provide the bait. I expect to catch something. Significant outside interferences aside, I really should catch some fish this go round.

It takes patience to be a fisherman. Just try going out to buy a one day out of state license in a remote locale, sometime. It is a lesson in slowness, indeed.

Much like the passage about Jesus telling his disciples to keep fishing that morning two millennia ago, I am expected to do the same as a fisher of men. Jesus has provided the bait, and He has told me where the fish will be. But, I have to want to catch the fish, and I am the one who has to cast the line into the waters surrounding the vessel that is my life. If I do as He asks, just like Peter and the rest of the crew, the catch will be a plentiful one, no doubt.

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Sometimes, it’s all about the “Oh”.

He was preceded in death by…

His reputation precedes him.

Both are somewhat ominous uses of the word precede, and both presume that the subject does not enjoy much anonymity.

Anonymity? What’s that? While it is often fleeting, it is nice for it to exist just enough to shape some experiences. I had just such a fleeting experience last evening.

Our son is staying in one of the dormitories on the college campus where I work while he attends an athletic camp. He needed some items for his stay, and I went to take them to him last night. The boys were not back from their final session, so everything was locked up. I asked the hall director if he could get me into his room to drop the bag off, and he had to say no.

I said I could wait till the boys got back, and we began to visit. I had just finished mowing the lawn, so my appearance was not as it normally might have been. I felt a bit like I was the protagonist in one of those episodes of “Undercover Boss”. It was a fun and enlightening conversation. I knew who he was, but to him, I was just a dad.

Then it happened. I let slip probably too much insight into the way things happen at our University, and his curiosity got the best of him. He extended his hand for a formal invitation.

“I’m Jeff Bingham”, was my reply. His reply to that? “Oh”.

“Oh”. Oh no. What is that supposed to imply?

“Oh”? “Ooh”? “Ohh”? “Ew”? One is left to wonder.

Fortunately, our conversation continued and was a good one. But, his paradigm was changed.

My reputation precedes me. I can only hope that it is mostly good. Fortunately, I can also work to keep it so, and hopefully make it better.

Sometimes, it is all about the “oh”.

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Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,

The tune lyrics below from The Sidewalk Prophets has been following me around the past few days.

Isaiah was quite the “walking path” prophet in his own right and day, and his words, ultimately those of the LORD, have been before me this morning.

May we be strengthened this morning, and acknowledge and worship Him
fully. He loves us, anyway…

The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known

Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me

It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway

I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway

I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway

I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me
You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known

You love me anyway

Oh Lord, how You love me

How You love me

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