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Archive for the ‘Ocean Front Property’ Category

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Guess who just got back today? That wild eyed boy, who’d been away.

The song is from the late seventies, early eighties, and the performing group was called Thin Lizzie.

I have a friend who once went by the nickname Lizzie, and she’s kinda thin. She’s smallish, like a frog, like a play frog, only with colors. Pink boots and purple bandanas, anyone?

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Yes, the Beau is back in town. I knew this day was coming, and that she’d drive off upon his entrance into the area code. But, she left before I could say anything. I told myself last year I would not do this, but I’ve got at least one more sentimental journey left in me.

Accordingly, this lyric vault moment is not from Thin Lizzie, but from
George Strait “sung” for my own thin Lizzie.

…that’s why I’m sittin’ on the front porch, starin’ down the road; wonderin’ if she’ll come back? This time, I don’t know…..that’s got me worried, thinkin’ maybe my baby’s gotten good at goodbye…

Take heart, dear reader. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (sorry, wrong musical genre). You see, I have good friends remaining with me.

Three amigos? Tres Hombres is more like it. A ha ha ha ha….

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“God is subtle, but He is not malicious. I cannot believe that God plays dice with the world.” – Albert Einstein.

I’ve long thought that to be true, but now wonder if He is not often times speaking to us more directly. Take a random walk with me, and see if you agree.

Many of us recall the “Rocky” movie franchise. He started his saga in the slums of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. The movie details him out running past a group of likely unemployed young men standing on a street corner singing “Take it Back”. Four movies later, some good, some less than good, and Rocky is back in the same neighborhood, a rags to riches to rags scenario, but he is still “Rocky Balboa” at the core, albeit changed by time, experience, and the impact of money.

I have experienced in the past 24 hours what I’ll dub “the day of diatribes”, polite though they may have been. This may or may not be considered just one more of the same by the time you finish this reading.

The first diatribe was by a Facebook friend protesting the use of the American flag as a form of forced advertising by a local realtor who placed them in every yard as far as the eye can see.

The second diatribe hit a little closer to home. It was written by a youth minister in Texas about the problem of increasing costs in higher education, specifically private faith based education, and the amount of debt it takes for many to get an undergraduate degree. The university for which I work’s mission statement is “Transforming Lives for faith, scholarship, and service.” Trust me when I say we do not intend for that to be “debt service”, and are listening and seeking solutions to the broad based problem of the higher education industry making our experience affordable and relevant. Pardon my digression from the topic at hand.

The third diatribe dealt with the problem of sensationalism and desensitizing in our mass media, all to get attention and “viewership”. It is a well written piece about things that are good and true, and you can read it at http://www.reddirtchronicles.com/2011/06/rdc-editorial-whatever-is-good-true-beautiful/

The fourth piece, more a reflection than a diatribe, was a personal look at living a purposeful life, and not a life of “Shadow Purposes” as we are so prone to do in this rich society. It can be read at http://www.reddirtchronicles.com/2011/06/chasing-my-shadow-purpose/

The final referenced piece in the “24 hours of diatribes” was my own, preceding this one, mind you. I read an article this morning about the NBA lockout and some of the quotes in a war of mega millionaires fighting mega millionaires over who gets the bigger share of the billions being offered by the masses at the alter of modern day entertainment. I love the NBA, but this article made me mad, and I suspect it will do the same for many fans as what promises to be a protracted labor negotiation fight plays out.

To paraphrase author Donald Miller, I think we all have forgotten that we are just trees in a story about a forest. The forest may be on fire all around us, but we are too focused on the near surroundings and our own concerns to notice.

The global economy appears to be badly broken. We have “stored up treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19) and need to be prepared for a different day and age, even within the lifespan of some current generations. The economic storm is raging as we speak in benefit rich European society, and the tsunami is racing toward us across the Atlantic even now. Societies are in debt up to their eyeballs; we are soft; we are spoiled. And fundamental societal things are changing. We are aging. The balance of trade and who makes and who buys is evolving. Health care is a concern. The U.S. Government won’t be able to pay for it all or fix all that ailes us. All the while, I fear we are standing on the beach arguing over who gets the bigger share of sandbags while we should be moving to higher ground to stay safely out of the coming wake.

Our societies often have found themselves in these moments in history, and it seems they are often ultimately resolved by fighting a war. The U.S. War for Independence; the French Revolution; the U.S. Civil War; WWI; WWII; the Middle East conflicts. Its about a groundswell of the masses when they can’t get what they want and need, and when the establishment is out of touch. We may be entering another “let them eat cake” moment, I fear. Get the picture?

I think the establishment may be catching on. One of the more telling advertisements running on TV today is “More Saving: More Doing; That’s the power of the Home Depot”. We need to realize that David Stanley (OKC auto dealer) does not really lead the way. The Mathes Brothers may have “our style at our price”, but they will never know us by name.

As I began to pour these random reflections down and try to tie them together cohesively, I looked through the “categories and tags” section of my blog site, and a huge percentage of those previously used seemed strikingly relevent. Take a look at all those listed at the end of this and see if you agree.

After an early morning of pondering these thoughts, I got into the car to come to the office and was immediately presented with “Awakening” by Switchfoot playing on my car radio. God is subtle, indeed, and He was speaking right to me.

Face down with the L.A. curbside endings
In ones and zeros
Downtown was the perfect place to hide

The first star that I saw last night
Was a headlight of a man-made sky
But man-made never made our dreams collide, collide

Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain
We’re awakening
Here we are now with the desperate youth and pain
We’re awakening

Maybe it’s called ambition
You’ve been talking in your sleep about a dream
We’re awakening

Last week saw me living for nothing but deadlines
With my dead beat sky
But this town doesn’t look the same tonight

These dreams started singing to me out of nowhere
And all my life I don’t know
That I’ve ever felt so alive, alive

Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain
We’re awakening
Here we are now with the desperate youth and pain
We’re awakening

Maybe it’s called ambition
You’ve been talking in your sleep about a dream
We’re awakening

I wanna wake up kicking and screaming
I wanna wake up kicking and screaming
I wanna know that my heart’s still beating
It’s beating, I’m bleeding

I wanna wake up kicking and screaming
I wanna live like I know what I’m leaving
I wanna know that my heart’s still beating
It’s beating, it’s beating, it’s beating, I’m bleeding

Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain
We’re awakening
Here we are now with the desperate youth and pain
We’re awakening

Maybe it’s called ambition
But you’ve been talk, talking in your sleep about a dream
We’re awakening
Dream, we’re awakening

So, where do we go from here, in this digital community, and in each of our own “cities of brotherly love”? Maybe we are a little like that prizefighter who has gone one or two rounds too far, and needs to reset. What is our task? More saving, more doing? Maybe. Less spending, more doing? Likely. More sharing, more caring? Absolutely. Heightened attention spans are in order. We’re awakening. The bar is raised. A groundswell is happening all around us, and a tsunami may (or may not) be headed are way. Let’s move to higher ground and be ready.

Take me back.

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Pearly shells
From the Ocean
Shining in the sun
Covering the shore

When I see them
My heart tells me
I love you
More than all
Those little pearly shells

Those pearly shells.

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Yes, I once owned a pair of boots just like these.    Justin lizard skins.    It was the early 80’s and I was living in and going to high school in the deep south, Louisiana, to be specific.   “Urban Cowboy” was all the rage, and even though I’d never seen the movie (and still haven’t, BTW), wearing boots was cool.   Boots, and western shirts, that is.   I also had a western cut shirt, teal in color, with pearl snaps instead of buttons.   It was cool too, even when worn with white canvas blue swoosh Nikes.   

I grew out of that phase.   I tried wearing the boots to the CPA office during “busy season” one winter, and got quite a few laughs and stares.    “Is that Jeff, wearing boots?”     The  boots finally went to a re-sale shop (the only thing I’ve ever sold, at a resale place, BTW) and pulled a decent price.

I bring all this up after overhearing a discussion on the radio about a recent George Strait concert.     It seems that boots and such are still the rage when listening to what is now “old school” country music.    But long after I had shunned the boots and pearl snap shirt in exchange for more preppy and business dress, I developed a liking for Mr. Strait’s music.

You see, there was this girl from the country, and she liked music that had the fiddle sound.    She was cute.    She still is, BTW.    She introduced me to Mr. Strait, Amarillo by Mornin’, and Ocean Front Property.

Twenty somethin’ years later, I still know that girl, even though I don’t have the boots to prove it.    Not only do I know the girl, I love the girl (which is a good thing, BTW, since I married her), and George Strait has a permanent home in my iTunes library.     That girl had a birthday this week, turning 29something.     You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl; I think I’ve heard that somewhere.    I can definitely prove it, given the opportunity to start a conversation on the right “back in the day” topic about life in the west Texas Panhandle.

So, as we prepare to wrap this one up, here’s a little snippet from Mr. Strait’s Ocean Front Property, with a conclusion all my own:

If you leave me, I won’t miss you,
And I won’t ever take you back.
Girl, your mem’ry won’t ever haunt me
‘Cause I don’t love you, and now if you’ll buy that.

I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
From my front porch you can see the sea.
I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.

I don’t worship the ground you walk on.
I never have and that’s a fact.
I won’t follow or try to find you
‘Cause I don’t love you, and now if you’ll buy that.

I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
From my front porch you can see the sea.
I got some ocean front property in Arizona.
If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.

You see, I do have some “ocean front property”, so to speak.    You can’t see the water from my front porch, but you can see the buildings nearby.   A picture of it follows below.    It’s the closest thing to an “ocean front view” I’ll probably ever own, but it’s still pretty special, just like that girl I told you about.   

Believe it.   Buy it.    Golden Gate, sold separately….

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