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“This feels like a dream; like I woke up and had never gone anywhere”.

She came home today. So did dozens of other students who’d been traveling the world of late. Some in Europe, others in the Far East, each now adjusting to their new normal back in the U.S.

New normals include the little things, like driving on the right side of the road, the English language all around you, and a shocking departure from accustomed culture. New normals also mean the small group with which you’ve shared your life over recent months won’t be together again, at least not in the same way.

Only hours after getting off the plane, reunions with friends were already underway. As “Little Frauline-Sahn” was not ready to drive anywhere other than the left side of the road, I gave her a quick shuttle over to where the gang was assembling.

On my way home, the 80’s Aldo Nova tune “Fantasy” was playing on the old
guy radio station. Portions of the lyrics were eerily relevant to the moment:

City Nights
Summer breeze makes you feel alright
Neon-lights
Shining brightly make you brain ignite…

…See the men pain their faces and cry
Like some girl, it makes you wonder why

City life
Sure is cool, but it cuts like a knife, it’s your life
So forget all that you see
It’s not reality, it’s just a fantasy
Can’t you see what this crazy life is doing to me

Life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life

In actuality, life is not just a fantasy, even though it passes by quickly.

Now, Alboy ever growing to be that tall? That is a fantasy, most likely. Maybe he’s the one who’s been dreaming…

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If a picture paints a thousand words, then no further dialogue is necessary…

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Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Genesis 1:26-31

I had a long Skye conversation with Hannah-Chan early this morning, then woke Little Frau so she could join in the chat.

Eldest daughter and I talked about lots of stuff this morning: Shopping (everything is in Japanese, cause, it’s Japan…), earthquakes (I woke up and wondered why my feet were moving), and eating Sushi (raw is better than “lightly grilled”, apparently). We pretty much talked about everything, except maybe bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.

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Her Japanese mom came into the room and said hello to us. It was late there, and Hannah had not come down to join the family in watching television, so she was just checking on her. It sounds like little-chan is embracing the culture, and they are definitely embracing her.

We talk and think so much about our differences, but in this instance, it has me celebrating the diversity that exists in this world. And, all this diversity was in the original DNA from the first creation of man. It makes me wonder what Heaven will truly be like when the whole strand of created DNA is back together and blended in Paradise.

I’m not much for sushi, and right now this all smells pretty fishy. And, may I add, fishy smells pretty good.

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You can tell a lot about a hotel by how it is “equipped”. How was my lodging on this trip? Pretty nice, to be honest. The place my colleagues and I stayed was a small Inn located in a quaint Silicon Valley hamlet not far from our “secret” meeting locale. Aside from there being no coffee in the room, I can’t complain.

I found it interesting, however, to find the restroom equipped with an
ultra modern push button phone right next to the toilet. Ultra modern, maybe, when it was installed in 1985, that is. I wonder when the last time was that this phone set was used.

And it got me to thinking. (sorry to spoil the fun)

This visit to sunny CA was all about educational delivery systems, transformation versus substitution, pedagogy, and such. Our university has long prided itself on being a leader and innovator in putting technology to use in promoting student learning.

In the 60’s, we had a nationally recognized reel to reel tape dial up system where every student had a private assigned study carrell to use for accessing recordings of professors’ lectures. It was still in use during my freshmen year, and it seemed cool even then, although dated and old. That same year, we put the first computer lab on campus. They were Apple IIe computers, and my life was changed forever once I discovered the back room where they were set up.

Fast forward 26 years. My same university, where I am now a bleary eyed administrator instead of a wide eyed freshman, is using the latest Apple technology. But, much like the “Bat. Phone”, is it misplaced and unnecessary? iTunesU, anyone?

A laptop for every student; a chicken in every pot. Is that what the masses really need; is that what they are clamoring for? Is that what we need in order to transform?

They say the only things guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and change, and for many Republicans, only a partial subset of that list is necessary. (you choose)

To quote the past philosophers of Jefferson Starship/Airplane fame, “winds of change are blowing by”. We need to get on board that bird.

No matter the format, I have faith my colleagues and I will navigate the changing climate and find a way to step it up a notch.

If you have some thoughts on that, feel free to give me a call to discuss. During our call, please ignore if you hear water running in the background. In this modern era, there’s no telling where I might be when you call…

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Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. (Luke 1:1-2)

Richard Wright pointed out to us this morning in a discussion of Luke’s account that inspiration does not necessarily require originality. Touché. Arigatou gozaimasu – thank you very much, in Japanese.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was written in the 1950’s by children’s book author and theologian C.S. Lewis, and was the third tale in his Chronicles of Narnia series. It details a young hero and heroine being drawn back across time and space to the land of Narnia, where good is at war with evil, not all is as it seems, and heroic voyages and responsibilities call forth to the characters present.

Sounds a little like the present day. However, in this era of modern narratives chronicled by digital photography, the world wide web, social media, blogging, and the like, we often see the story unfolding before our eyes, seemingly as if the final plot has not yet been written.

Our young heroine boarded a ship last evening, not of wooden sailing vintage, but of Cathay Pacific Airship caliber. And, much like the mythical Starship Enterprise, time and space are relative as she seeks out new frontiers.

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As she began her voyage at 1:00 AM PDT, family and friends had already lived those measured hours, restlessly sleeping at a time zone two hours removed. As the airship ventured out into the blackness over the Pacific, our Dawn Treader and her faithful companions were literally flying “toward the past”, over land and sea measuring points historical in time, until such point that they “warped into the future”, courtesy of the international dateline. One man’s Sunday afternoon is another woman’s Monday morning, but who can decipher which is which? Quite the “time/space continuum”, indeed.

Prince Caspian, as we will refer to him today, has remained behind on the distant shore with Little Frau, myself, and a cast of thousands. His swashbuckling exploits will await another day, as this narrative journey unfolds before us.

Returning to our original “source of inspiration” narrative for today, that being the book of Luke, we see it ending as follows: “So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.” (Luke 24:52-53)

Amen. Sail on, Dawn Treader. We will spend our time in the Temple, and await with great Joy your return and the forthcoming real time tales of life across the seas.

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Celebrate whimsy. Embrace it. Thank you Donald Miller, for putting into words a description of what our friends at Oklahoma Christian University have been doing for many years. The list of characters is long and noteworthy: Stafford North, Terry Johnson, Jim Baxter, Max Dobson, Ralph Burcham, Bob Lashley, Alfred Branch, Jay Jones, Mickey Banister, Dan Hays, John deSteiguer, Jeff Bennett, Lucas Ross, Scott Lamascus, Judson Copeland, Eric Phelps, Jim Baird, Lynn McMillon (and the rest of the Bible Guys), Neil Arter, and I could go on and on.

Videos; they’re called videos, and they are hilarious. What better way to embrace whimsy, and show the “kids” (college students) that we are just regular Joes who like to let our hair down and have a good time.

Tonight was another masterful show at OC’s first week follies. Special thanks to braintrust, Executive Producer, and performer Bob Lashley for 35+ years of great shows and dozens of great videos, and special thanks this year to expert videographer (photographer and editor) Micah Wooten for her hard work and excellent eye for the finished product. And thanks to the original “Dad’s Life” guys on YouTube for the original inspiration and the theme music.

So, without further ado, here is the OC take of “The Dad’s Life”. I hope you have as much fun watching it as we did shooting it. 🙂

http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=10150268096310703

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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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