25 November 2011

To Group Or Not To Group - There Is No Question

We've heard it said: "Birds of a feather flock together." The phrase of justification is used to gently explain why people with similarities prefer to join a certain group. It's quite unavoidable. Guys like to hang with other guys watching sports or playing golf. Women like to go shopping or to restrooms together. Science fiction fans enjoy huddling together at various conventions.

From church denominations, to office teams, to politics, to skin color...people prefer interacting with groups in which they have something in common. Commonality fosters comfort. If there's no comfort, one is less likely to remain in a group.


07 November 2011

Forming An Educated Opinion On Mississippi's Initiative 26



Recently, a dear friend in Mississippi asked for my honest opinion of MS Initiative 26. In order to answer her question, I researched the initiative to form my own educated opinion. Support for it seemed easy as the amendment wants to identify life beginning at conception. Yet, there appears to be opposition from various and sometimes unexpected sources.


15 October 2011

Never Know Who's Watching You

The woman spoke to me from several feet away while I was walking and reading tweets on my iPhone. She was placing items in the passenger side of her car.

Giving her my full attention I said, "Pardon?"

She repeated herself. "You can come knock on my door to make me go walking. You don't have to wait for me. Just knock to remind me."

I smiled politely, "Well, come on, it's a great habit to have!"

She began to step into her car, "You're doing good. Keep it up. You never know who's watching you."


10 September 2011

"We're Being Attacked"

The question has been asked countless times this week: Where were you? What were you doing? Each year, I reflect on my answer. This year, I'll share it here.

That Tuesday morning commute into WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi, was a pleasant drive. The weather was also pleasant. Clear skies and 71 degrees. The radio mentioned something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. My mind pictured a small aircraft such as a Cessna. With my being responsible for the content on WJTV.com, I wanted to get to my workstation and get it powered quickly. This likely would be a significant news event.

23 August 2011

Get Out Of Gyms, Get Into Neighborhoods

Having never been a member of a gym in my life, it's easy for me to tell you to get out of your gym. Perhaps you're rather fond of your gym and find value in going there on a variety of levels. I've only been inside probably two gyms: once for a television promotional announcement I was producing and once to briefly check out the swanky setup at AOL in Sterling, VA. I've also never owned a piece of exercise equipment. Not even a pair of dumbbells.

Do I have some sort of aversion to gyms and equipment? Was I laughed out of a gym or mauled by some treadmill in my past? No, nothing that dramatic. More likely, I'm just cheap.


15 July 2011

Life Lessons From Courtrooms

Courts are a foreign land to me. While several of my friends are lawyers, I've never been summoned to jury duty, never sat in the gallery, never stepped foot in a courtroom. Until last Friday. That's when I was witness for the state of Maryland.

Without going into details about the case, I'd encourage anyone to be willing to help their neighbors. Too often, it's easy to stay locked away in our homes, clueless to what's happening in our neighborhoods. It's easier to just ignore what's going on around us. My seeing suspicious actions, discussing it with a neighbor, and sharing it with police led to me receiving a court summons. But it was the right thing to do.

However, it's not the court case, which has been postponed for now, that I wish to discuss. What was eye-opening for me was what unfolded while seated in the gallery awaiting the trial for which I had been summoned.


28 June 2011

Suck My Vents

Perhaps you've seen the random flyers in the mail. They often have headlines similar to "Whole House Air Duct Cleaning" and a special price ranging from $40 to $80. The specials include seemingly many things: unlimited vents, one return duct, and one main duct.

I was quite certain we needed our vents cleaned. Waiting too long to change out our central air unit's filter yields a disgusting, solid black film. Clearly these ducts had never been cleaned since the townhome's construction in 1987.

19 May 2011

Unless You Become Like Children

The U.S.S. North Carolina's anti-aircraft guns helped save the carrier Enterprise in August 1942. On February 22, this mighty vessel witnessed a different victory - the salvation of a soul.

To set the stage, Kim and I desire to live out a life of faith around Georgia. That's meant praying for her (that she would know Christ at an early age and for her future husband), praying with her and allowing her to pray at meals, enrolling her in a Christian school (for a quality education with a Christian worldview), reading with her from her children's Bible and devotional (along with another short book of her choice) before bedtime prayers, and talking to her about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit.


10 May 2011

Paying Respects in Mississippi

USMC Staff Sergant Jason Rogers
Paying your respects is an interesting phrase. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as:

- To visit someone in order to welcome them or talk to them. "We went to pay our respects to our new neighbors."

- To honor someone after their death, usually by going to their funeral. "Friends and relatives came to pay their last respects to Mr Clarke."

We seem to have forgotten what respect is all about. We think it is something someone has to earn. The man or woman sweeping up trash on the street doesn't desire a smile or greeting. We don't know them and we look down upon their job. They don't deserve our respect, right? Wrong.


23 April 2011

The Shoeless Mother

I saw her walking away from me while I braked my car to a stop at the intersection of Whiskey Bottom and Highway 1. Her hair - blonde and in a poneytail. Her attire - casual with a nice, tan jacket and slacks. She carried a young girl on her left side who was was blonde, too. Nothing looked out of place about what I could assume was a mother and daughter.

Across the street, on the other side of Whiskey Bottom, a man was pushing a black baby stroller. Perhaps the two were together. Perhaps the stroller was for the toddler in the woman's arms. Perhaps the stroller contained the little girl's sibling.

17 March 2011

Stand With Me In Support of Tench Tilghman

Hearing about a public elementary school taking a stand for prayer is a rarity these days. For that school to be in Maryland is an extra surprise and a bonus since it's in my backyard.

The headline Md. School Criticized for Prayer Event before Test was impossible to ignore. Reading the article, I found a school and a principal's union in support of prayer while a school system and the ACLU denounced prayer.

15 February 2011

Your Favorite Chicken Is Not Anti-Gay

The gay rights agenda needs new PR.

They're behaving as if Chick-fil-A's traditional-family, faith-based views are new and scandalous. Yet, their over-reaction to this issue is not only typical of gay advocates (not typical of gays, just gay advocates) but is also conducted with the same bully mentality they claim is killing gay teens. Ultimately, the approach seems to be for gaining attention to themselves and provoking reactions from "pro-traditional family" and Christian outlets.

09 January 2011

What If It Were My Daughter?

COURTESY OF THE FAMILY
Christina-Taylor Green, 9, had just been
elected to the student council and wanted
to meet Giffords.
Instead of rushing to judge or react to a tragic scenario, we can learn so much more when we slow down, stop, listen, think, and speak only if needed.

The shooting rampage in Arizona is a gut-wrenching and senseless tragedy. Yet, we showed our collective immaturity as a nation by wanting to place blame on others instead of first praying for the victims and their families. Rather than collecting facts, we gathered pitch forks and torches for Sarah Palin over statements and a map she posted online. Instead of being patient for details, we rushed to be a apart of the online attack blaming the T.E.A. Party for spreading "hate rhetoric."



On that dreadful Saturday, I slowed down and stopped by asking this question: what if it were my daughter? What if she had died from that assassin's bullet?