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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

“It’s going to be a cold, chilly day out there”.. The words of Sunday morning’s weather forecast rang in my ears as I looked away to finish my newspaper article about the life and ways of OKC Thunder Coach Scott Brooks.

They both had garnered my attention, both the weather caster and the coach, but for different reasons. One, for using hyperbole to artificially inflate the conditions of a day that would be sunny and mild, like so many others. The other, for how he goes about his work, deflecting from opportunities to promote himself, and garnering praise in the process.

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It reminded me of the early days of TV weather, and yes, sadly, I can say I was alive and watching within that era. Harold Taft, he of 1960’s and 1970’s DFW Channel 5 fame would garner my attention as he talked about the weather and showed his hand drawn charts of what was happening in our atmosphere.

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Even in “those days” weather was big business, and the personalities would use tools at their disposal to draw our attention and garner viewers. In this age of computerized models and high tech visual aids, the personalities, and the hyperbole, still rule the day.

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As Sunday’s weathercast snippet played out, my mind went back to the article about Brooks, his upbringing, his work ethic, and what it really meant to garner the attention that he has. And, what does this word garner really mean?

Verb garner – acquire or deserve by one’s efforts or actions
earn
acquire, get – come into the possession of something concrete or abstract;
letter – win an athletic letter

Garnering attention. Garnering favor. Garnering praise. Garnering minutes. Garnering results.

We do lots of things in this day and age to garner attention. How we dress, what we drive, where we live, what we say: we Facebook and we blog, but I digress. Touché?

I know some garnerers. I also know some Garners. In this instance, they might be one in the same. As my son’s most recent high school basketball game ended, and ended badly, I said to the eldest namesake “your sons played well tonight”. The bewildered look I received back spoke volumes, so I clarified my thoughts: “they played hard and aggressive; they never quit working”. His eyes cleared, and hopefully he understood my point. His boys are garnerers, like their dad.

Garnering, in the truest sense of the word, takes effort. It takes work. All the fancy moves, fancy gear, and fancy words, in weathercasts, in basketball, and in life won’t win the battle for you. It takes hard work. It takes persistence. It takes dedication. It means putting your nose to the grindstone, sometimes even to the breaking point.

No one ever said garnering was easy; just ask this guy…
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*photo by Bonnie Howard

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That was different.   I seldom have felt such a sensation.   Maybe during my brief football two-a-days experience as a person 1/3 of my current age?   Maybe, and brief was the experience, indeed, possibly for just this very reason.   Air: it hurt to want more air, and I now need to get more used to it.

Thirty flights of stairs with a 35 pound backpack,  followed by a brief one mile “cool down”.   It is a start, I hope.

I am blessed to not be asthmatic like several that I know and love.   I cannot relate to their moments of pain and panic, as this was maybe barely even a glimpse, and the power to make it stop was all mine.

It is a start.   I need air.   I need to need more air, for the “fourteener” moments of next month will not allow me to make the pain go away.

Oh, well.   No matter the pain, perhaps my feet are looking like I belong…

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Somewhere in a lonely hotel room
There’s a guy starting to realize
That eternal fate has turned it’s back on him.

It’s 2am….

It’s 2 am
The fear is gone
I’m sitting here waiting…

Maybe my connection
Is tired of taking chances

Yeah, there’s a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silence
All circuits are dead
Cannot decode
My whole life spins into a frenzy

Help I’m steppin’ into the Twilight Zone
Place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned

My becaon’s been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go 
Now that I’ve gone too far…

OK, so its not 2 AM here, but it is somewhere, and when I heard this old 80’s Golden Earring tune in the car today as I pulled into the airport, yet again, before 6 AM, the lyrics resonated with me a bit.

Don’t you judge me, Paul Blart.   I’m a bit sleep deprived, and it is about to get worse.   But, as I sit here in Virginia, going on Vienna, I can’t help but think on sojourns past, some even through this very airport.   Debit cards and “Rent A Wreck”, anyone?   Good times, good times…

And, just think, 48 hours after touching down on the old continent, I will turn around and do the whole thing over again.   At least the Westbound movie is different from its Easterly brother.

In the meantime, I can sit here (lay over, moreso) and contemplate trips past, and what needs to be accomplished on the trip about to come…

My becaon’s been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go 
Now that I’ve gone too far

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…and spiritual disciplines: don’t let me neglect spiritual disciplines.

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Matthew 19:23-25
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

How so? Well, for starters, the camel must have a few things taken off it’s back for that to possibly work, and even then, it’s not easy. Accordingly, those who are rich may need to give up a thing or two to get where they want and need to be.

Which brings me back to the topic of the moment. I have some goals, and I’m having trouble working toward them. It seems I may be trying to carry too much thru the gateway that is my mind. The goals? More reading; books that is, for one. I have a few patiently awaiting my attention.

Social Media? I may admit to being hooked on it. Does that surprise you?

The Socratic method is a way to seek truths by your own lights. I admit to enjoying the new realm that is Social media, especially the FB. It has largely taken the place of television, which is OK, but also much more. I learn a lot about others, but in writing/blogging, I’ve also learned some things about myself. But to seek truth by my own light? Hardly: my bulb burns too dimly for that.

There are some things I want to pursue, and greater effort toward some spiritual disciplines may help: Prayer, study, service, blessing, fasting?

I could stand to lose a few pounds, and these disciplines should only serve as a reminder/aid. I feel like I may be getting a little soft, both up top and around the middle.

So, for the strategy: a Facebook Fast. I’m going to delete the FB Apps from my iDevices, at least for a season. Perhaps until the holidays? I don’t know. When I’ve hopefully lost 10 pounds, I will plan to be back. I may have to get Little Frau to help me know what all is going on. It certainly won’t be the first time!

So, here we go. I hope to keep Blogging, so watch for it off the grid if you are a reader. I may even tweet from time to time.

This camel is going on a diet. Hopefully what is left behind will pull me thru when the time Is right.

After all, the gate is only the beginning.

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We had a great message tonight from an expert in Bible translations. He commented on how the Bible remains a best seller every year, and then said something ironic and thought provoking: “I’m glad someone is buying them, but I wonder what they are doing with all of them, because they’re not reading them”.

And it got me to thinking (STSTF). I wrote back in October about accumulations in my closet ( https://jbinghamoc.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/too-much-is-not-enough/ ), but what about the accumulation on my bookshelf? Too much is not enough, that is for sure.

You see, if I read the Bible enough to utilize the accumulated copies on the family shelf, I would feel even better about my Walk.

I don’t buy a lot of Bibles, the most recent being a small copy of the NLT in a soft red leather cover about two years ago. If it were not for the freedom of YouVersion and my iDevice, I might fall victim to much more of too much.

I love the Bible section at Mardel, much like a good Barnes and Noble. So why do we buy so many Bible in this country, much less around the world?

Why do we buy anything, whether it be sportcoats, suits, shirts, shoes, leather computer bags, etc? Is it because some of us have a fabric, leather, consumer products fettish? Maybe, but I digress.

I think we buy new things because they make us feel good. A new suit of clothes, or something as simple as a new tie can make you feel good leaving for work one day.

Is that how it is with a new Bible? If I don’t read it as much as my soul longs to do, like exercising or eating right, maybe a new copy will help me want to read it more. The same probably goes for treadmills, running shoes, warm up suits, and the like.

If you will excuse me now, I’m going to go out and exercise. Relax, the treadmill is in a fitness center at work and my shoes are about a year old, with two 5k’s and a half marathon to their credit. Maybe I can pull up You Version and do a little time in the Word while I’m at it.

If only it came in a red leather cover…

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It happens all the time, or at least it seems like it. You think you are on top of things; you think you understand the situation around you; you believe you have it under control.

Then, it happens: something breaks down, and you begin to learn the full scope of things.

Case in point: air conditioning. I have been fairly faithful in changing out the air filters in our house for the four plus years we have lived here. Sunday night into Monday, the air stopped working so well. Come to find out, aside from being a little low on Freon, there was a “mystery” air return that I have failed to service. It was right under my nose, six feet above it, actually, and I somehow failed to watch it along with the other three. Suffice to say, a 98 cent air filter can make a huge difference. So can keeping your eyes open.

The same reality for home maintenance is true with systems, organizations, churches, and people. You have to keep your eyes open to the full scope of your surroundings, and a little inexpensive time devoted to preventative maintenance never hurts.

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Not getting the whole picture? Does the message seemingly not make sense, especially in the current context? Sometimes you just have to go a little deeper, then it becomes more clear to you…

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Frank Navasky: She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco!
Kathleen Kelly: No, don’t say that. Really. We don’t know that for sure.
Frank Navasky: Well, who else could it have been? It was probably around 1960.
Kathleen Kelly: Do you want some popcorn?
Frank Navasky: I can’t believe this! I mean, it’s not like he was something normal, like a socialist or an anarchist or something.
Kathleen Kelly: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.
Frank Navasky: Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!

(dialogue transcript courtesy of IMDB)

YGM fans likely recall the preceding dialogue, and the infamous Frank. From his typewriters to his twisted philosophies, this character was definably crazy. Crazy from the heat, one might suggest.

It has been blazingly hot in Oklahoma for weeks on end, and records for days in the triple digits are dropping like under hydrated flies. But, in the middle of this heat wave, people are doing some very strange things. Just this past week, a volunteer at a charity golf tournament in a conservative small town in northern Oklahoma took all her clothes off in the middle of the event as part of a putting challenge. Too much sun. Too much to drink. Too little protection. Crazy from the heat.

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And yesterday: let’s talk about yesterday. It was “tax free day”. A reported 45,000 people stood in line in 108 degree plus heat for 4 hours to “save money” while spending hundreds or thousands at the newly opened outlet mall in OKC. Admittedly, I have fallen victim to the euphoric heat the word “SALE” creates on a sign or a website. There is something about all caps letters shouting at you in a hot red color. And the bargains: “We can’t let them get away”. We don’t, but we let our money run, if not evaporate in the heat. Americans, yours truly especially, are bad about this. It may be hard to eat our bargains if it gets hotter in the future.

And shopping for anniversary gifts for the one you love. It seems that all logic and reason go out the window, especially with an August anniversary. Crazy from the heat.

Other “Crazy from the heat” moment examples out there? Here are but a few:

Beach living. Expensive condos. Over extended. Over exposed. Spring Break parties. Massive sunburns. Pictures to prove it. Crazy from the heat.

Anger. The heat of the moment. I just boiled over. That burns me up. Crimes of passion. Wars have been started and millions have died over seemingly small events. Crazy from the heat.

Politics. Nominating/electing somebody based on how simply how they look and sound, and the resulting euphoria and hope for change. Crazy from the heat.

And how about love?

It happened in Texas. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.

Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!

Hmmm. I think maybe she did, and she has the legacy of past gifts to prove it. Crazy from the heat.

Maybe crazy is not all that bad, after all. It is certainly not in short supply! 🙂

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