Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Present Of The Past

I've been preoccupied lately. I started writing a blog post two weeks ago, trying to rid my "blog fodder" folder of some of the clutter, but ended up getting sidetracked by one project or another.

The biggest diversion has been a journey into my history.

Over Thanksgiving, Amy and I were at my Aunt Kathy's home in Dallas where we had a wonderful time and where I found two rather large boxes my Aunt had stashed away. Kathy has been exceedingly wonderful in helping preserve things from my family since my parents died in 1972. She had recently found the boxes on a top shelf of a closet. Kathy is rather petite so she didn't see the boxes often and hadn't really thought they contained anything but old check books and bank statements anyway.

When I brought them down I found they contained a treasure. Photos, letters, baby books (of my parents), newspaper articles, a Bible given to my mother, report cards, hand-written notes to me and my brothers and even a short story written by my mother... along with the rejection slip she received from a publisher.

Many of the photos are of people I fear I will never identify, very old - almost tintype - images of children, girls, women and men from long, long ago.

I've tracked down a few names - which is another story - and sent a bundle of stuff to each of my brothers

There were a lot of photos of my father, something I treasure because my Dad took up photography as a very intense hobby so most of the photographs I have do not include him - he was the guy behind the camera. Many candid shots from his boyhood, and his times in college, and at various points in his lifetime romance with my mother. Some photos are from what I'm sure were high points of my father's career in the newspaper industry.

Needless to say, wading through all of this material was exciting, heart-wrenching, and at times a bit emotional.

I promise I'll write more about some of my finds as time permits - assuming time eventually does permit such diversions.

What I wanted to share on this day are two discoveries - Christmas poems apparently sent out by my mother to family and friends. I know one was sent in 1969, but am uncertain as to the date of the other although I tend to believe it also was sent in either the late 60's or early 70's since I detect a sense of foreboding or worry about the future.

The poems, sent in lieu of Christmas cards or within them, do not mention the names of the authors. I'm fairly certain the 1969 poem was penned by my mother, the other - entitled "The Star of Hope" - I'm not quite as certain about, although I at least expect she added the final verse since it was set off slightly in the printing alignment.

It would seem strange my mother would send out poetry without attribution - she was a librarian and rather meticulous about such things. I have done a cursory search of the Internet without any luck finding this particular "Star of Hope" poem, but that certainly doesn't mean it couldn't be authored by someone famous or simply a stock sentiment from the card company - which is not identified on the card either.

I don't recall my parents being particularly religious, so these discoveries put my parents in a new light, as did many of the things I've found. It's been a delightful, sometimes shocking, and quite often humorous ancestral archaeological "dig' - not only through the various physical items, but also through my memories and emotions.

In any case on this Christmas Day 2008, I beg your indulgence as I reprint these words. No matter the author, no matter the dates they were written, the sentiments ring true.

First let me say, our wish for you this holiday season is that you will always cherish family, learn from history, hold your memories dear and love the God who loves you so very much.

Michael & Amy

Chimes, bells, tinsel, and glitter,
Protest, strife, and racing to the moon,
The gap between generations --
Quo vadis, world?

The season to pause

And consider the meaning
Of this special time
Mankind celebrates Peace.

Peace On Earth?
Let us have it!

Goodwill to all men?
Yes, by all means!

But 'til miracles happen

And minds open to reason
We'll use the old cliche

And wish you a happy holiday season.

The Mains
(in order of appearance)
Marvinel, Derek, Michael, Stan, and Floyd.

The Star Of Hope

Lest we concede that hope is lost
Let's all remember what the cost:
Tyrants reigned and martyrs died;
The faith of saints was sorely tried.

Then, "Lo, The Star!" Our Hope was born,
And lives, in spite of cross and thorn!
'Twas He who walked the waves at will
And bade the angry seas "Be Still!"

Think not the power of finite man
Can now destroy the Master's plan -
When that was tried at Calvary
The Victim won the victory.

Had we much gold 'twere yours for free,
But this poor poem will have to be
Our Christmas gift from us to thee.

The Mains
Undated - Author uncertain)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Someone Said This...On TV?

Say it isn't so? Hype in the "News" business?

I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! What's next? Corruption in Chicago politics?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Pardon The Dust

We've been playing with some server changes and what better thing to screw up while testing the changes than my blog?


Anyway, I'm searching around for backups and toying with backgrounds and in the interim thinking, "Isn't there something more productive I could be doing?"

So this lil' blog o' mine may be shifting around, looking strange and periodically disappearing.

Just pretend the election isn't really over yet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big Ears, A Big Heart and A Big Life

As I begin to write this, a friend of mine is dying...before I publish it, he will be dead.

I didn't always call him a friend. In fact during the time period when we actually were in daily contact, he was not in the "friend" category at all...he was my boss. We didn't hang out or share many interests. Except radio.

I wrote about him a little over a year ago. He was going toe to toe with cancer and determined to be the victor.

Our relationship blossomed into friendship during that battle over these past few years. We had some very good communications regarding things like fear, and faith, and God.

I didn't mention his name when I initially wrote about him. I was respecting his privacy.


Over the past 33 years or so in the radio industry, I have worked with a lot of people. I have crossed paths and swords with a lot of big egos, big voices, big opinions, big backstabbers, big talkers, big liars and a healthy dose of blustering blowhards. They come with the territory and frankly many radio stations wouldn't succeed if they didn't have people on staff with those very big traits.

In all honestly though, I believe I've only worked with one person who lived a truly big life: Andrew Ashwood.

I'm naming him now, out of respect for the friend. Moments ago I learned my friend died tonight.

In 1997, Andrew blasted into San Antonio like a giant, amiable, eager, energetic serial killer... on speed. It didn't take anyone long to realize that they may not know exactly where Andrew was or where he was going, but you sure as Hell knew where he'd been.

He was tasked with an enormous challenge: take a heritage 50,000 watt blow torch News Talk station in an entirely new direction - sorry, no instruction manual.

He was under the gun: kick off the dust, find ways to make a rather stogy, set in its ways radio station and its staff, exciting and fresh. Attract a larger and younger audience, but be certain to maintain the station's well earned integrity and respected image in the market.

There was one other caveat to his marching orders: remember that the station is the flagship News Talk station of the largest broadcasting company on the planet which happens to be headquartered in the same city. Remember the founders of the company along with every Tom, Dick or Mary with a title and permission to enter the corporate headquarters building whether they worked in San Antonio or in Boise, would be judging your progress...listening at every opportunity. Expect a lot of phone calls from people who wanted to look impressive at the corporate offices...not necessarily make a lasting impression on the industry.

Andrew would occasionally remind me and others that "Big Ears" were listening in reference to all the corporate folks he was often filtering us from. Eventually it didn't matter who was listening or the size of their ears...we could defend our product against any critic. We still can and Andrew is a huge reason that's possible. He taught me, and every employee whether they were his charges or not, to always seek to do better, never to rest on our laurels and he taught us there is no goal that is unattainable.

Andrew made huge changes, and he made them rapidly because he believed in himself, his vision, and his co-workers. He was convinced he knew what needed to be done. He also knew he was going to face a lot of backlash and so I suppose he figured there wasn't much sense in being delicate about it.

Recent political campaign slogans notwithstanding, I've found most people are actually resistant to change, especially when it comes to big things, like their jobs.

Some of the radio station employees who didn't respect Andrew's philosophy, or whose egos felt threatened, quit in occasionally comical huffs. One self-professed "talk show superstar" actually brought in body guards to block the studio door as he unexpectedly announced that immediately after he got his last "two cents" in, he was walking out and never looking back.

His "body guarded" bravado lasted 10 or 15 minutes during which he put all the blame for his apparently rash and emotionally gooey departure on Andrew. He told the audience how he was being forced to leave to maintain his integrity and that he could not in good conscious be on a radio station that was also going to carry a show which he characterized as evil, in fact satanic.

In hindsight, it was hysterical. With hypocrisy levels almost unimaginable anywhere but the broadcasting industry and Washington D.C., he said he was taking the moral high ground because his "young son" would be destroyed by a horrifying program the evil Andrew Ashwood was scheming to air. Then he and his "body guards" stormed out, leaving the microphones open, a number of people - including his wife, a station employee and also the mother of that impressionable little boy he was sparing from damnation by using as a prop - somewhat stunned. The only thing he failed to mention during his on-air fit was that he had already signed a contract with another station across town which required him to guarantee he could bring a large number of his program's sponsors to them. The stunt was so convincing to some that the then Archbishop of San Antonio got sucked into commenting on whether the "devil" was being allowed onto the legendary WOAI airwaves.

Andrew took all the heat...and there was a lot. Andrew and I didn't always agree, but after a while even thick headed folks like me tend to notice people who aren't running away or pointing fingers when lynch parties are organizing. I once sent Andrew an email telling him that, "We may fight over some of your methods, but I've never worked for anyone whom I could count on more to 'take the arrows' when hard decisions had to be made." Andrew's reply was atypical for his personality. I won't share that except to say I don't think he was expecting compliments from me at that time in our relationship.

By the way, the demonically sinister program Andrew put on the air on WOAI at 9pm on a tape delayed basis which was destined to corrupt small boys and lure them into to Hell...was a sports talk show hosted by a young guy who was making an impression and shaking things up in the industry.

Today, the Jim Rome radio show is perhaps the most syndicated sports talk show in the nation carried on hundreds of radio stations. To the best of my knowledge the devil has never been among Mr. Rome's guests.

The talk show host who rode out that day on his moral high horse with his trusted "body guards" at his side, lasted five or six years at his new station. The "loyalty" of most of the sponsors he promised to bring with him lasted only a few months. Last I heard he was out of radio and trying to sell his own self-professed one of a kind special extra delicious barbecue from a trailer on the side of a freeway. That venture didn't last long. I suppose people can only stomach so much.

Let me be clear, that is only one example of what Andrew not only endured but instigated within days of his arrival at WOAI. Many of the radio station's listeners rebelled at Andrew's wholesale programming modifications as well. Especially since Andrew imposed many of them with little or no notice, but always with great after-the-fact public fanfare. Andrew led the cheers for the changes within the walls of the radio station and in front of every TV camera, or newspaper reporter he could rally to outrage. He never flinched. He took on all comers who disagreed and he did so with gusto...he relished the challenge and lived in the moment.

I wasn't a quick convert either. I resisted too...but I learned something important. When I vehemently disagreed with Andrew, he did something that I had never experienced before with any other programming chief with whom I worked up to that point...he listened. I occasionally might see a hint that my objections were getting under his skin a bit, but he never lashed out, he never yelled, he rarely ever took the easiest step for any boss to take which is to simply say, "Tough luck I'm the boss."

The most telling of my personal "disagreements" with Andrew occurred in December of 1998. The House of Representatives was beginning the process of impeaching then President Clinton. Instead of turning over the radio station to a direct feed from the House floor where politician after politician was speechifying, Andrew threw together a rather motley bunch of quasi-talk show personalities and talk show host wannabes who ended up doing what a lot of folks suddenly tossed into a position like that do, they talked...they talked a lot. Remember, the station's self proclaimed "Super Star" host had already deserted.

This makeshift group yakked and yukked and rarely offered insight into the current situation. They were ill prepared for the task of dealing with an event the nation had not witnessed in modern history.

I was furious. A once in a lifetime historical event was playing out and the future of the country's President might well be dictated by what was being said, yet our station was broadcasting banter.

Sometimes the stories tell don't need announcers. I believed this was one of those occasions.

I didn't have to listen long before I simply blew.

I remember vividly storming around the radio station desperately trying to find Andrew, only to end up confronting him in the office of his boss. I didn't care. I interrupted their conversation without giving it a thought, spewing out everything I believed was wrong with what was happening on our airwaves, and not mincing words. I mean I blasted him. I blasted the gaggle of gossip we had on the air. I lectured Andrew on history like he was a schoolboy in knickers.

And I did it all, directly in front of his boss, the person who hired him only months prior and who stood there... mouth agape.

When my tirade was complete I turned to walk away, quickly realizing I might not get out the office door before being fired and then... Andrew laid me low with four words, "I appreciate your passion." He didn't yell them, he didn't seem mad or even embarrassed that one of his employees was questioning his judgment in front of his boss. He was calm and he was sincere.

A short time later, Andrew came into the newsroom. He called several of us together and asked for all our thoughts and then he acted. He culled some of the quasi-talk show hosts from the gaggle, carried much more of the live feed and made sure that everyone knew that they should bring him any other ideas right away.

It was the right move and a move that symbolized one of Andrew's greatest traits, he believed in people. He often believed in them more than they believed in themselves and he wasn't afraid to encourage them, or take advice, or seek ideas from anyone. He really did listen.

Andrew made careers for many people in my industry because of that attitude. He knew all his employees' names, he wasn't someone employees saw once in a while. He was hands on, all the time.

Andrew was my Operations Manager for six years before he left for his "dream job." He became the Vice President of Fox Sports Radio and moved to L.A. with the woman who soon became his wife.

When he left, News Radio 1200 WOAI had the highest ratings and largest audience in its history and I honestly believe there wasn't one employee who wanted to see him go.

How many bosses can you say that about?

Andrew was a giant of a man in many ways, his nickname was "The Gorilla" but he wasn't intimidating. He certainly demanded the best, but that was because he saw the best in people. He brought it out in those that let him.

Following his cancer diagnosis we exchanged a lot of emails and no matter the setbacks he endured, the treatments he was tortured by, and the occasional unsolicited prognosis of pessimism, never once did Andrew Ashwood stop believing he could win.

His faith in God grew stronger as his body at times grew weaker. His love for his wife Sandra also grew as he at times relied heavily on her strength and faith.

Andrew, who was 51 years old, died tonight after suffering a massive heart attack earlier this week. I will miss him and the radio industry certainly will never be the same.

I suspect Andrew Ashwood's heart may have been too big for this world...but I can guarantee that Heaven is a livelier place tonight than it has ever been.

Please enjoy him many of us praise You for allowing us that privilege.

Andrew Ashwood
1957 - 2008

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.
- 1 Peter 1:6-7(MSG)

Heads Up! This Is Creepy

Learn more here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Didn't Realize How Much I Was Missing

I'm on every Do Not Call, Do Not Solicit, Do Not Bother, Go Away! list you can imagine, so I don't get a lot of telephone solicitations even during election years.
I have always found robotic calls annoying and am somewhat pleased by the lack of those intrusions this year - of course it may be because Amy and I can rarely find our home phone in time to answer it, but that's another story.

In past years I've had recorded Governors and even Presidents call begging for my vote. However I've apparently missed a lot by getting myself off those lists and now feel a little like techno-troglodyte.

Especially after I heard this call initiated by a robotic election hustler in San Francisco.

Wow! Back in my day folks paid money to call numbers where they talked like that, now they call you for free.

The obvious correlation between politicians and dirty talk need not be explored further I suppose.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Little Update

I meant to write something earlier today but got sidetracked...if it's any consolation I also meant to get more of the housecleaning and the laundry done and that got sidetracked too.

I did get to the kitchen and some of the laundry.

I have an excuse for being distracted...and she's a cutie:

Say,"Hello" to Tatyana!

She's almost one, unbelievably.

Tatyana - Taty for short - is the daughter of Ana Gomez.

If you're a longtime reader - God bless you - you'll perhaps remember Ana, her mom Lee, and brothers John' and Michael.
If you just stumbled across my ramblings, God bless you too, but you can read more about the Gomez clan and how they landed in our home for six months or so after fleeing Hurricane Katrina in various posts but this one, this one and this one are three I like the best. Admittedly they are some of the more upbeat posts from period, although all are bittersweet in one way or another. There were a lot of trying times during those six months for everyone involved...having a selective memory is useful sometimes.

Anyway this morning, just as I was about to start tackling the kitchen I swear, our doorbell rang. No one usually rings our doorbell without us knowing before hand unless it's the UPS guy. We don't get a lot of visitors and I do my best to scare away door to door salespeople. I have "NO SOLICITING - NO KIDDING" labels on the doorbell itself - really.

To have the doorbell ring unexpectedly on a Saturday morning made us suspicious, and also required us to quickly check our basic grooming - hey, it's Saturday! We were just lazing around, although I was of course vigorously prepping for kitchen duty.

So there at the door are Lee, Ana and Tatyana and suddenly the fact our house was a mess and I had bed head didn't seem to matter.

It's been too long since we've been able to visit and Tatyana is a joy.

We caught up. Lee is working, taking care of Tatyana and trying to keep John' under control while also taking some college classes over the Internet. Ana just quit her job so she can hopefully expedite her plan to get into "boot camp." She enlisted in the Navy and then, well...Tatyana resulted use a seafaring analogy, an "impromptu course correction." So she's experiencing motherhood and is still perpetually happy. That girl is always laughing and it's infectious.

We haven't been very good at staying in touch with Lee and the kids. We haven't worshiped together for a long time and between Amy's health and my work hours it's hard to maintain relationships.

But we spent some quality time together today - not enough but hopefully it will open the door to more.

I have a feeling that seeing Taty on a regular basis may be exactly what the doctor ordered...even if it does result in housework being put off for another day...or two.

Our children and their children will get in on this, as the word is passed along from parent to child. Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news - that God does what He says.
- Psalm 22:30 (MSG)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Seeing Through The Ring

We are fallible little beasties.

We misinterpret a lot and I believe we have for eons and many of us misinterpret the same things today that our ancestors and their ancestors misinterpreted, even without the benefit of new forms of communication which make miscommunication so much easier.

How many of us for example learned the first commandment this way:

'You shall have no other gods before Me.' ?

All you need to do is Google the ten commandments and you'll likely find a couple zillion places that list that as the first commandment.

It's a matter of interpretation I suppose...misinterpretation in my mind. Which leads me to this story I've been waiting to write...

His ring is silver and shiny. It is new, bought to commemorate a relationship. An anniversary gift to himself. An anniversary of death.

That's not what it really symbolizes to me but that's sort of how he explained it during one of our most recent breakfast conversations. He didn't really have an explanation since the act of buying the ring runs completely counter to the words and feelings he's been unleashing and unloading on me week after week...for more than a year.

The ring is new but the conversations are old. He tells me how he is doing better and then minutes later he's rehashing the same bitter memories. His now dead wife wronged him. The pain from her last actions has caused him to doubt the validity of their entire relationship. She died without seeming to care about him. Her depraved children from a previous marriage stepped all over his grief, robbed him of the opportunity to mourn and raped him of the good memories. The echoes of suffering which never seem to fade.

Oh! He is doing fine!

He always is for the first four or five minutes of our talks, but moments later the pain bubbles back to the top, no matter how I try to steer the conversation to any other topic. It's like watching your friend repeatedly rip the scab off a wound every time you start to notice a semblance of healing.

Every week he is over it...every week he reminds me about everything he is over.

Every week I wonder if he'll ever actually get over any of it.

I no longer try to rephrase my responses, find a new analogy to offer him counsel. I've tried everything I know, so now I only try to be certain I get the message in. I remind him how well he is doing, how much better he is than he was a year ago, how few real worries he has, that there's no telling what the future may hold, that he has to be open to seeing God's blessings.

These things are true. He's going to church, meeting new people, staying active. His health is good, his finances great...but his heart remains shattered.

Sometimes he will tear up as he tells me of his daily conversations with God. He prays every day for God to send him someone with whom to share his life. He trembles at the prospect of living the rest of his life alone.

During our most recent breakfast, he is fiddling with that new shiny ring on his right hand. A simple silver band with a cross.

It's an oddity really. He was never especially religious. He is Jewish, although in the 15 years I've known him he's never been a practicing Jew. His dead wife was Baptist.

Years ago, at least for a little while, they attended services together at a Messianic Temple. He drifted away from that until his wife was dying. Then he joined the Baptist church she began attending. When she started losing her battle for a grip on earth, he quickly lost faith in church.

He left the Baptist church when his wife died...telling me it was because of the memories.

Some months ago, he called me excitedly to say he was joining a Methodist church. I was happy for him, a little befuddled, but he had apparently found community. This week he told me he really joined because "they had a single's group." He also confessed he had stopped going to that church and started attending one of the giant churches in town...the Methodist's single's group was full of "old women."

Church or Temple has never really been anything but a "place" to him...a place where he at least wasn't alone, and he has been lonely. Yet despite not cultivating any relationships with women, he was cultivating a relationship with God...perhaps never inside any formal place of worship...but at night, crying aloud, begging God for a chance for happiness again.

I don't think he's realized that relationship, at least not fully. We pray together. I've learned to pray during our meals since he can tend to send up quite a prayer and let God in for what's usually my normal dose of 'unloading'...and my food gets cold.

There is much he doesn't understand. He wants God to tell him why his wife died and why she seemingly treated him so poorly after all their years together. He wants to know if his wife went to Heaven.

Like all of us he has questions for God which only God can answer.

Week after week, I've attempted to provide a steady force feeding of reminders that he should trust in God, look to the future, cherish the good memories, forgive, unburden himself of the past, dwell less on what he no longer has, and thank God more for all the blessings which surround him.

In all honesty, my menu for "moving on" has never seemed to satisfy his hunger. It's all I can offer, a recipe of hope.

He was better the last time we shared a meal. He was happy and I knew why because he had called me the night before and told me, sparing few details. He has found love again. A woman who 'gets' him, tolerates him, needs him but can be independent of him. Their relationship is moving very fast and today I learned they plan to marry in January.

I whole heartedly endorsed his relationship over that breakfast meeting, and his marriage plans during our phone call today. He's in his 60's, life is too short and can end too soon. Take a chance, cover your bases but reach for it all. It's out there, but you have to reach for it.

As we scarfed down our food that day I barely had the chance to speak as he told me all about this new woman in his life, how perfect she is, how much better he is...and finally I saw that he understood how time yields perspective.

It was then he showed me the ring. It was an odd transition. From a new love to a dead love to a new ring marking an anniversary of death. I understood it. I'm not sure he did. I'm still not sure he does.

As we talked today and he told me of his wedding plans, he said he barely thinks of 'her' - his dead wife - at all these days. Well, maybe once in a while, but he doesn't tear up...much. He's not angry...or at least as angry.

I mentioned to him quietly that even when he puts a new ring on his hand in a few months and on the hand of his new bride, he should still wear that other 'new' ring on his other hand as he does now.

I'm not sure he understood why. I'm not sure he will. We misinterpret so many things.

Yes, his wife died and it was a terrible death and the circumstances that followed were evil in how he was haunted by the final memories.

Yet that ring...that ring is a testament to a relationship that ended AND a relationship that is really unexplored and unlimited. Not the relationship with his soon to be wife. His relationship with his Creator.

There are blessings all around us. All of us. Everyday.

How we look at the world, head up or head down, dictates how or whether we see them.

My friend is amazingly blessed. He's realizing that now. I hope as his relationship grows with his new wife, he won't misinterpret the first commandment.

"I am the LORD your God
You shall have no other gods before Me."

That's the way I interpret the first commandment. It doesn't begin with"You shall " It begins with, "I am the LORD your God"

Maybe He should have been more clear, "l am your loving God. I created you. Nice to meet you, I want a relationship with you, Please don't ever overlook the very first words I spoke to you. I want this relationship to last for all eternity. Stick with Me won't you? You'll be amazed at the blessings you'll see when you do."

That's a lot to fit on a tablet I suppose.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Everyone Has Heard Of 'Cat Ladies'...

Amy is in Ohio for the wedding of yet another nephew (I think I've run out of nephews to marry off now) so I spent the weekend watching TV, ignoring the lawn, and um...watching TV.
Most of the time I was joined by our youngest and largest hound, Gabby, who likes to lounge almost as much as much as I do.

Once she settles down from the excitement of jumping on the bed or couch, Gabby is usually content to sit there and watch a movie or whatever I'm viewing. She did object to "Snakes on a Plane" and I can't blame her, I only made it about 10 minutes in and then thought "cleaning the kitchen would be better than this." She also didn't tolerate the Cowboy's game...they learn so fast (sigh).

Gabby is a slightly gendered confused (soon she's going to be gender neutral) terrier mix whom we 'inherited' from a former resident we threw out for being an indecent human being. She likes to roll around and get dirty...chew on almost anything everything, and generally see what she can get away with...but she's not prissy.

I noticed this morning that in the Fort Worth area over the weekend they had "Barktoberfest."

You can see the slide show at the Fort Worth Star Telegram site, but let's just say Gabby wouldn't have fit in.

Photo credit:Star-Telegram/Bruce Maxwell

I barely have the patience to get the clogs of mud out of her claws...the idea of "painting" her toes makes me believe a lot of folks are howlin' at the moon a bit too much.

They need to find better things to occupy their time... like watching TV and ignoring the lawn.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Private Idunno

About the previous post:

When I started writing here some 6 years ago it was my private little space. I write a lot, but much of what I write is dictated by circumstance and facts and my job. Writing a "blog" was a "release" where I could write whatever I wanted, within certain limits.

For a large part of that initial time, Amy was very ill and I was struggling and writing was one of the few things that kept me sane (or kept up the appearance of sanity). A few people read what I wrote and we had this small community which seemed very intimate.

Then, for a number reasons, the blog picked up readership. That was exciting but also somewhat limiting. I liked the idea of "being popular" - who doesn't? - but after a while knowing there was an "audience" for what I wrote hampered me somewhat. I got over that, realizing no one in their right mind came here looking for wisdom, and all was well.

In recent months, okay let's call it a year or so, I've been busy with a lot of other stuff and writing for the blog became something "on my to do list."

Yeah, kiss of death...I meaning cleaning the garage is on my "to do" list...and it's been there for at least a decade.

Also Amy and I went through some very tumultuous times with friends, people we invited into our home, and folks who asked for our help and then wigged out. Some of those situations became ugly and I realized that although I wanted to write about them, it might only make the situations worse.

Hence my dilemma. Writing as a "release" gradually was replaced by writing as a "responsibility." Plus, there are so many topics that are "off limits" for one reason or another, that my little private place to unburden myself, became a burden in and of itself.

Unfortunately a number of the people we have befriended, guided, prayed with and counseled who then went nuts (yeah, we're rethinking whether God really wants us to counsel anyone) use this blog's comment area or the link to my email on the blog to vent their seemingly endless and rather vicious amounts of emotional debris and denial. That has only added to my growing disdain for the blog itself. Who needs this?

Well, truth is I need this...but I don't need other folks psychological baggage, nor do I want to spend my time tiptoeing around my thoughts fearing that they might trigger another outburst from someone whom we've done everything possible to help, only to be repeatedly beaten up for our efforts.

So, I'm going to continue to write....when I feel like it. It may be once a week, once a month or once in a blue moon.

I'll turn the comments back on...and leave my email link off ( most sober folks can figure out how to email me).

When I need to write things that might set off some headcase (although what triggers that stuff is something of a mystery), or which might be hurtful to someone close to us, I'll write that elsewhere...some new private place.

We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hunkering Down

I'm taking this blog "semi-private" for the time being. Not exactly sure how I'm going to accomplish that, I may just move it and adopt different software.

It seems creepy, mentally disturbed individuals - most with substance abuse problems - are unable to remember my email address when they stagger home from the bar, so they come to this blog and then click on what used to be the "Contact Me" link.

I'm tired of reading the stuff from these folks. It's hateful and twisted. Frankly it's a crappy way to start the day.

Not like I'm writing here much anyway. I may go to an invitation only blog - set up with another email address. Not sure yet.

Actually I'm not sure if anyone is even going to be able to read this post following the template and formative changes I've just made.

I do know that God will forgive me for moving on with my life and in the process ridding myself of the blathering of people who can't seem to remember reality and find it easier to write screeds to me than to forgive themselves.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

That Sound You Hear... arteries hardening.

The Dallas Morning News has the results of the annual contest among food vendors at the upcoming Texas State Fair. The basic criteria is your "food" (and I use that term lightly...well, lightly may not be the right word) is that the "food" must be fried.

If you watch this without wanting to add a salad to your next meal...then you're ready to wave to Big Tex come October, and/or a coronary bypass.

The complete list of "winners"...

Best taste

Chicken-Fried Bacon; vendor: Glen Kusak, Yoakum Packing

Most creative

Fried Banana Split; vendor: Shirley Weiss, Auto Grill

Other finalists

•Fernie's All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich; vendor: Christi Erpillo, Dock Restaurant

•Texas Fried Jelly Bellys; vendor: Justin Martinez, Granny's Funnel Cake

•Deep Fried S'mores; vendor: Tami Stiffler

•Fire & Ice (fried pineapple creation); vendor: Abel Gonzales Jr.

•Fried Chocolate Truffles; vendor: Nick Bert Jr.

•Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls; vendor: Mark Zable, Belgium Wafflestand

Friday, August 29, 2008

So You Think You're Special

I don't really buy these statistics...but according to this website:
LogoThere are
people with the name "Michael Main" in the U.S.A.

   So, have you seen yourself yourselves lately?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look For The Revolutionary Label - Rerun

******This is a previously posted piece that I felt like re-running as I keep writing stories about "unity" intermixed with nasty politics as usual *********

"A house divided against itself cannot stand." - Abraham Lincoln

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. - Jesus Christ

The time has come...for revolution.

That's right...damn the threat of Gitmo. To hell with The Patriot Act. I will not back down, I will not be silenced. I am sounding the clarion call for rebellion and I do so fearlessly.

We must overthrow the enemy and my friends, the enemy has a huge head start.

The enemy has an organized army. A fortress built on a fabric of fear and reinforced with walls that can not be breached by bombs, or guns, fire, or half-hearted faith.

The enemy is well funded, well fortified and operates like a well oiled machine, sparing nothing in its' path. Its plan of attack is well honed, well operated and well proven. The enemy's assault is being waged every second of every day and has been for decades, perhaps centuries.

And we haven't noticed...or haven't cared.

Worse yet...we pay the enemy's fact some members of the enemy's army are actually waging war against themselves. We fund their weaponry. Hell, we cheer them on, feed on their plunder and the spoils of their war are often surrendered us.

I want it back.

I want every damn bit of it back.

I am calling for a revolution. You can call me Che...but only if I get to wear the beret.

"Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream" - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'm not kidding...and I'm not backing down. I detest playing defense.

Don't tune me haven't even begun to hear and so help me God if we fail to learn to listen we all will suffer consequences so severe they will threaten every possession you have and every person you love...our planet...our existence.

Overly dramatic? I'm not kidding, I mean every word.

Some of you have already made up your minds, you've labeled me.

Label me me names,

"Face it, he's another conspiracy nut on the web."

"So far I think he's just long winded."
- Made up people.

You would be wrong to label least at this point. Okay, with the possible exception of the long-winded label.

But it's labels that are the very weapons that the enemy is using...every day, everywhere you look. You can't close your eyes to them, we can't tune it out, we can't even stop ourselves from using them! The weapons of the enemy!

Maybe I am a nut, but I'm a nut who believes there is only one thing to do...fight back.

TV does it, radio, the Internet and newspapers do it. Politicians, preachers, and Pulitzer prize winners do it. Ad men and mad men, altruists and Ayatollahs...they're all using the same weapons of war...labels.

On the face of it, it seems harmless. Labels are simple ways to categorize ...every belief you have, every dream, every value, every person...heck even every state.

Are you Blue or Red?

Not Communist red...Republican red.

If you're Republican Red than you favor big business, you vote "conservative," you are "pro-life," you are religious...not spiritual...most likely a Christian...a fundamentalist. You are pro-Israel and anti-Muslim, you don't watch Public television or listen to National Public Radio, you favor school choice, and believe all unions are corrupt. You are pro-gun, pro-military, pro-death penalty, anti-immigration, you like NASCAR, think soccer is for kids and foreigners and you don't understand hockey. You are pro-family, but think children are best seen and not heard...crying babies should be removed from the church service.

You object to paying five bucks for coffee, but you do. You are Red, and a real American. You think the poor are slackers, welfare is out of whack, and you'd home school your kids if you weren't working so hard to afford your SUV. You believe flag-burning is a real issue of monumental importance, you want prayer back in public schools and you claim to read your Bible every day, but you can't quote scripture too well. You listen to talk radio and only watch FOX news and you don't give a flying fart about trans-fats. And of course, above almost all else these days, you are certainly NOT green.

No, you can't be green if you're red. The labels least that's what the people labeled "fashionistas" and political experts tell us. Only people who are Blue can be green.

Blue people are pro-environment, pro-choice, anti-war, and want to legalize gay marriage. They believe surrender is not the same as withdrawal, red meat will rot your gut, red wine is good for you and in a pinch so is beer. You may have grown up in a trailer park, you who are Blue , though Blue people are proud to boast fluent Starbuckese while trying hard to deny that was them at the Star Trek Convention 10 years ago. Blue people vote for Democrats, and if they're not the poor, they help the poor, get down and dirty with 'em because they know it's the Red people holding them down. Unions are always good, corporations are always bad, America is usually wrong, and Hollywood is something to be admired. Blue people think they have a better chance of winning the lottery or American Idol than they do of ever being wealthy. Blue people still smoke...but only in certain Blue people places, where the family farm is being trampled by the Red people's greed.

Is that crazy?

OF COURSE THAT'S CRAZY! You think I'm really that much of a nut?

Turn in your blue badges, turn in the red badges too. Wave the white flag because you've already surrendered to people who are not dividing a house against itself....they've diced it.

I've been a reporter for more than 30 years. I have covered horrible murders. I once followed police around Denton County, Texas as they retrieved garbage bags off the sides of roadways...inside the bags were the dismembered body parts of a woman, killed by her deranged husband. I've listened to a man scream...wail at God, moments after learning his four children had been carved up by a cocaine crazed kid.

But I've never seen anything as gory as what I see on T.V. shows every week. Law & Order SVU, CSI Wherever...these shows, which are "Emmy" winners...have invaded our homes with story after story after story of depravity and deviance...each story seemingly worse than the last.

But someone is making those up. Most of our society isn't that way...those stories of horrifyingly grotesque acts of violence just don't happen. Yes, John Wayne Gacy did did Jeffrey Dahmer...but they didn't exist in our homes three nights a week...every week.

We've come to believe that those types of shows depict "reality" while programs labeled "Reality shows" are not reality...the only reality is that they are cheap to produce...and they use the enemy's favorite weapon too. They divide us...label us.

The "haves" versus the "have-nots"....grab the greed, one case away from happiness, one race or sex against another...people of faith against people of perversion...or so we're led to believe. The shows are edited. Those people are one dimensional on TV no matter what size TV you've been convinced you "have" to own by the ads that run every few minutes making you feel inferior for not "keeping up" with standards that are made up by someone in an advertising agency. In real life those people are three dimensional, unedited...and I don't believe nearly as shallow.

We're told the world "hates" America...some say it's because of George Bush (that's usually what we hear the "Blue" people are saying by the way).

We're told immigrants are a threat to our security, welfare pigs, and lazy. That's what we're told the "Red" people say...and we hear it so much we believe it.

But the people telling us those things...are they the "Red" people you know? Or the "Blue" people living next door?

Probably not...they're either politicians, or race activists, or more likely the "Perfect People" in the picture tube with the fresh breath, and sparkling white teeth, who never get bed head. No matter, all of them have their own reasons for labeling other people as "for this" or "against that" or mean or pitiful...they need to keep your attention...on them. Either to win your vote, or to get you to give them money, or to convince you to buy something that truthfully you probably don't really need.

Labels...even on a can of beans labels are not plain black letters on a white background...why?


Almost everything created by man is designed to distract you from something else...and that's the enemy's weapon.

I don't know if the world hates America because of George Bush or if they hate America because of what they see blaring into their homes...our fixation with fame, and wealth, and celebrity and labels. I don't know if the world hates America at all.

"The world" doesn't people, blue people, green people, media people, lots of people who are quick to lob labels speak...and while we may be bombing the wrong people in the Middle East, I can tell you with certainty we are attacking the heart of the values of people all over the world with a skewed view of our country and I can't blame them for feeling under siege, because I feel that way too.

We fought wars in places most of us have never and will never be, yet we have been and are still under unrelenting attack right here, right now. In every state, every county, ever city, and every home in America.

We are losing...badly.

So I am calling for a revolution.

A stewardship revolution.

Sign up today.

Be a good steward of your values, be they red or be they blue. Be a good steward of your money. Be a good steward of our planet. Be a good steward of your children. Be a good steward of your faith. Foremost be a good steward of your careful what you let in there, what you take as truth, and who you allow such liberties.

And be a good steward of your tongue...label less, listen more.

If we were really to do that, with all our hearts and our souls and our God Almighty, THAT would be a real revolution.

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." - Jesus Christ

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The stuff of nightmares....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'll believe it when I see hear it

I used to lose a lot of sleep worrying about work. Specifically, I'd toss and turn fearing that when I arrived at the office before dawn I'd be greeted by the journalistic equivalent of Mother Hubbard's news.

I feared our team of reporters would collectively fail in their efforts to generate news stories and since I was (and still am) the last line of defense, I'd have to scramble to "find" news to keep the audio meters twitching.

I'm not sure when it was exactly, but at some point I realized that despite all my sleepless nights, and even some pretty bleak news days, my worst fears never materialized. So I stopped losing sleep over it.

Still, I'm often asked, "What do you do if there's no news?"

My standard, and now rather stale response is always, "I just make stuff up."

Today, I thought someone really was making stuff up. I read a story about a lawmaker in California - you know that state known for its intense commitment to the environment - who is seriously worried about the proliferation of hybrid cars.


At first I giggled and presumed it was some goofy satirical piece from "The Onion" or a similar website which had been mistakenly been construed as real.

Then I did a Google news search...which turned up some 300+ articles dealing with this weighty issue.

In a nutshell (nut being highly appropriate in this instance) this state lawmaker in California is worried about blind people...or "visually impaired"....sight deprived...whatever the politically correct term in California is for people who can't see.

His concern?

He's worried blind people are going to get run over by hybrid cars...because the cars are too quiet.

I am not kidding.

He's so worried in fact that members of the California legislature, representatives of organizations involved with the visually impaired, and others are going to form a committee to study this issue.

(Insert clueless leading the sightless gag here)

They are seriously talking about somehow requiring hybrid vehicles to be "noisier."

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

I really am serious.

Do a "Google News Search" for "blind hybrids" yourself if you don't believe me.

Exactly how many blind people are run over in California? Is this something that happens a lot? Are blind Californians regularly flattened by bicyclists, electric wheelchairs, and or joggers?

This has to go down as one of the silliest things I've ever heard any state lawmaker discuss, and believe me I've been around a lot of state lawmakers, but most of their livers failed before they lost this many brain cells.

Yet since I'm such a magnanimous guy who wants to save California taxpayers the expense of "studying" this crucial matter...and because I also am not in favor of any blind person being inadvertently smushed by a hybrid car, a deer, or a well muffled Zamboni...I've come up with a solution.

I couldn't bear the thought of people losing sleep worrying about how to solve this "crisis" so I put on my thinking cap and vowed not to take if off until I arrived at the answer.

Admittedly I was able to remove the cap in about 4 seconds, but maybe I'm a genius.

Here's what I came up with...(drum roll please - that's for the benefit of any blind person walking past your computer who obviously can't read over your shoulder and realize the monumental importance of my solution).

How about requiring the manufacturers of hybrid cars to put something in them to warn the apparent throngs of blind people aimlessly wandering the streets of California that vehicles are rapidly approaching which are apparently destined to mow them down?

I don't know...maybe something, like this?

No need to thank me California. I don't want the credit. Feel free to utilize my profound wisdom gratis.

After all, I never was one to toot my own horn.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Maybe It Was Something They Eight

By now you have no doubt realized, read, heard that this is 8/8/8, as in August 8th, 2008. It's supposed to be a lucky day...a happy day. What? That doesn't do it?

Well, perhaps this will lift your spirits. This is also "Galactic Freedom Day!"

Yes, today the people of the world join together (at 8 p.m. "Universal" time) in a mass experiment aimed at retrieving the truth from various governments about the vast numbers of space aliens who visited/invaded/now control our planet.

As for me...I'm just happy it's Friday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I'm Not Taking A Position Here....Butt.

I noticed that testimony is due to start today in the lawsuit filed against Victoria Osteen, wife of Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen.

You may remember the case, in 2005 a flight attendant accused Mrs. Osteen of physically assaulting her over some minor dispute in the first class cabin.

Lakewood Church, for those who might not know, is the GIANT church in Houston housed in what used to be the Houston Rockets arena.

The Houston Chronicle story is here, but what caught my eye was the flight attendant's claim of how this alleged confrontation damaged her. I mean I've had run ins with folks in my day that left me angry, maybe even emotionally but, her claim that since this incident she has "lost her religious faith and suffers from hemorrhoids because of the anxiety and trauma..."

Well, I must say I'm glad I'm not going to be on the jury to see the 'evidence.'

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The End Is Near

Do you need any further proof that we're approaching, if not smack dab in the middle of the "end times?"

Starbucks - for the first time ever - is "losing" money selling 5 dollar a cup coffee.

Meanwhile, Dunkin' Donuts has announced plans to start serving "healthy foods."

Can there be any doubt that these are signs of the looming Apocalypse?

Let us pray.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Survey Says......."

I know there's a reasonable explanation for this (because Amy reasonably explained it to me*) but I have to admit it stumped me when I first read it.

I guess the new trend for merchants is to hand you a receipt for whatever you've purchased and then add, "There's a code on there and a web address. If you go to that website and put in the code, you can win X number of dollars in our weekly/monthly/daily drawing simply for filling out a short survey."

I don't win any money, but lately I've been littered with these "survey receipts."

Yesterday I received three of them. One from Starbucks, another from Target, and yet another from a restaurant where Amy and I had a rare lunch "out" thanks in large part to the gift card my youngest daughter, Lisa, gave me for my birthday.

So this evening I thought I'd do myself a favor and empty the junk out of my wallet (it's full of receipts not cash) and since the computer was nearby the trash can, I filled out those various surveys.

I'm a little wary of such things, but with multiple email addresses and phone numbers I have few worries about getting more spam than I already receive, or calls from solicitors. Still, I do at least give a cursory glance to the privacy statements and the contest "rules."

I can't remember which survey it was, but one of them had this caveat buried in all the jargon - and this is a direct quote:

"If a potential winner is a Canadian resident, such person must correctly answer a mathematical skill-testing question prior to awarding the prize."

I must admit that I laughed when I read it. I mean there wasn't any additional explanation in the "rules." It's like the contest organizers were saying, "Well, before we give a Canadian money we better make sure they're not too drunk or stupid."

I don't mean to offend Canadians - if that were my intent I'd compare them to the French - but isn't that kind of an odd line to drop in the middle of the usual fine print of a contest?

If I were a Canadian, I'd be offended...of course I'd also be embarrassed, but that's another story....Oh lighten up, I'm just

To any Canadians I might have ticked off by this little bit of levity I'd ask that you count to ten and calm down.

Okay, maybe five.

Alright you can just count to three, but that's my final offer.

* Oh you want the reasonable explanation? In Canada, at least according to Amy, you can't have contests that give away money. I'm sure the 'official' explanation contains more legalese, but in essence games of 'chance' are a "Non Non." Thus, to win the big bucks from the Starbucks/Target/Chili's survey you have to win a 'game of skill.' Math is a skill...filling out surveys on the Internet is not.

Hey, that's Amy's explanation and it works for me.

I wondered how Dudley Doright was staying busy these days...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ordainary Me

Okay, had a little idle I decided to become an ordained Minister.

It took several mouse clicks and no cash.

Those were my basic criteria before I embarked on this mission. Plus I wanted to knock it out before noon.

Luckily I found a free ordination site in a couple of seconds. I followed the explicit, I filled out my name and stuff. Then I hit the "Ordain me" button.


Technically, I was ordained once before. In our previous church, I was ordained as a Deacon, but I thought it was time I moved up on the theological food chain...became the big Kahuna..."Minister."

Now our current church doesn't really need another Minister - at least not the likes of me - but luckily the Church of Spiritual Humanism seems to have plenty of openings.

Amazing how that works out...ain't it? Must be a God thing :)

Amy is fond of saying, "You can't swing a dead cat in our family without hitting an ordained Minister or someone named Michael." I figured this way I'd be killing two birds with...well, I guess with one dead cat.

Moments after I hit the "Ordain me" button I received an email confirming my ordination, my higher place in the pecking order of piety, my ticket to the pulpit.

How much more official could it get than an email like this one?

This notice hereby confirms that

Michael Main
is an ordained member of the clergy of
The Church of Spiritual Humanism
Date of Ordination: July 17, 2008
Ordained by R. A. Zorger, President


I can't find a Church of Spiritual Humanism in the phone book, but I'm leaning toward televangelism anyway and we all know that a church is not a building it's a my case, at this moment, it's a community of one, if you don't count the dead cat. Amy hasn't been won over yet, she's busy doing earthly stuff.

Although I'm perfectly content with my email ordination notice, I realize one day I may need a few more accoutrements to bring non-believers into the fold who may cast aspersions upon my "official" email from R.A. Zorger.

Amazingly, the Church of Spiritual Humanism just so happens to be able to have such things available.

God provides.

Once my televangelist career takes off, I'm figuring I'll go for top o' the line, spare no expense. I'm going to get myself the "Deluxe Clergy Service Pack."

What more could I possibly need? As you can see it comes with everything from a "Clergy car placard" to a real CD-ROM - more than a $100 value! Heck I can even pick my title. I don't have to be shackled to the title of "Minister" or "Reverend"...the drop down menu offers choices ranging from "Apostle of Humanity" to "Swami."

I'll have to give that some thought. I mean I just got ordained and all...I don't want to rush into this...besides my noon deadline is nearing.

In the interim, I may buy the "Basic Clergy Service Pack"'s being offered at a miraculously low price of 15 bucks, plus shipping and handling.

You'll note it still includes five "Get Ordained Free" cards.

Anyone wanna buy one?

Yeah, I know they're supposed to be free, but remember I'm going for that televangelist goal.

Gotta start somewhere...and it's almost noon.

Go with God my children...

Electoral Nonsense

If only I could just vote for the Jib Jab guys...
This is for JibJab's® eCard Plug!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Keep Your Virgin Mary Toast

Sure laugh all you want...but Jesus is calling.

At least in Corpus Christi.

Folks there are eying a telephone pole which appears to have a mysterious image on it resembling Jesus.

When I first looked at the photos I thought it was a stretch...then I realized I was looking in the wrong place.

That happens a lot when I'm trying to find Christ, but that's another story.

You be the judge. I highlighted it a bit so you wouldn't make the same mistake I did.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

OH! So THAT'S where I've been!

Okay...time to decode, decompress, deflate (okay, that may take some exercise) and delineate some of what's been going on.

I had to be a little cryptic very cryptic in recent weeks because Amy and I were out of town and because of the nightmarish situation we had with two of our former "Upper Room Ministry" guests, I didn't want to put our home, house sitter, dogs, and cars in any further jeopardy. Forgive me, but telling everyone who stops by here that we were in Ohio seemed imprudent at the time.

What few remaining long time readers still stop by here could probably deduce that we were off on our usual trek to Ohio, but this year was special in that we were celebrating the marriages of four people we love dearly. Our son Joey and his new bride Sarah, and our nephew Sam and his new bride, Leslie.

Sam and Leslie got married on June 29th in Lakeside, Ohio and it was a wondrous affair.

Less than a week later, Joey and Sarah tied the knot, also at Lakeside, Ohio and there are few things in this life that have made me happier...

They were pretty excited too.

Needless to say, it's been a wondrous time in our family and I felt a little guilty not sharing more with you as events were unfolding.

Yeah, I got over it :)

And like a cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae (I really do need to deflate) yesterday we learned one of our other nephews and his bride welcomed a new addition into the family. Matt and Jodi ushered their son Lucas into the world.

Sometimes I have trouble hearing God...sometimes God screams.

And life is very very good.

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Jose Can You Be Jesus?

I get a lot of press releases.

I don't get too many announcing the arrival of Jesus Christ.

I did get this one though...


Subject: URGENT: GLOBAL MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release: July 2, 2008 URGENT: MEDIA ADVISORY The man Christ Jesus arrives in Stafford, TX next week Everyone is talking about the arrival of the man Christ Jesus in Stafford, Texas on July 13th, 2008. Come and meet the man making news headlines in each country He visits, and listen to His message which confirms Him as the Second Coming of Christ. This LIVE broadcast will be transmitted to all nations through world renowned TELEGRACIA channel (, and webcast is tuned in by 103 countries through <> . Find out more about Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, the incarnation of God in a man, and see why global followers already acknowledge that it is not the year 2008, but rather Year 62 after JH (the Second Coming). WHEN: July 13th, 2008 WHERE: Stafford Civic Center - 1625 Staffordshire Rd. Stafford, TX TIME: 3:00pm (CDT) / 4:00pm (ET) WHAT: National Convention USA 2008 with the honorable presence of The man Christ Jesus, Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda Open to the public - Free Admission VIDEO: Watch promo video -

(Video inserted by me to save you a click...-MM)

E! A True Hollywood Story (USA) * British Documentary (UK) * Vision TV (Canada)(( OH BOY! E!-mm)) MEDIA CONTACTS: Axel Poessy (248) 460-3844 # # # The Government of God on Earth Ministerio Internacional Creciendo en Gracia World Headquarters - 8000 NW 25 St. Miami, FL 33122 Tel: (305) 994-9194 Fax: (305) 994-9195 <>


This guy has gotten a lot of press already, but since he's coming to Texas I felt sort of obligated to pass along the press release from Jesus.

Oh...also if you don't know where Stafford is located,'s a map

Not sure why Jesus chose Stafford, but I guess next week we can ask...

Thank God...or um...Jose.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Attacks Of The Heart

Obviously I'm not writing here much these days...

There are many reasons for that, but most recently it's been a matter of self-preservation.

We have borne witness to murder and the weapon was so deceitful and conniving that we were unaware of its very existence.

I'm sorry this is so cryptic. The folks who have emailed me out of concern know a bit more, but most details must be left unspoken, unwritten in any forum...for now.

That only makes it worse, but I am limited for our lives have been forever changed, our viewpoint has been corrupted, our hearts have been pierced and suddenly the world is grayer...darker...we have been robbed, vandalized, and something so dear to our faith and our future has been mortally wounded.

Suffice it to say Amy and I have suffered a crisis of faith.

Faith in people.

Our faith in God is unshaken, perhaps it has been made stronger...but the sacrifice required for that strengthened faith is an open wound. It will not heal. It may in time scar over, but the wound will remain and I fear at the time our faith should be strongest it will will will cause us to doubt.

And we will remember, we will hesitate...and that's all it takes...doubt, fear, distrust...those are weapons now etched on our hearts. Hardened's not listed as an official crime, but believe me causing such a thing would be ranked as a capital offense were I writing the laws.

The few folks who know us or who still read my occasional ramblings already know...what only days ago I staunchly defended, I now must renounce.

We are in mourning...for a ministry...a ministry murdered.

Over the past 4 or 5 years I can't count the number of people who have told/asked us:
a:) You're crazy
b:) Why would you 'take a risk' on people you don't know?
c:) Do you really believe God is calling you to this?
d:) You should focus on you and Amy, cloister yourselves...don't you realize the danger?

I could go on...and on.

My answers have always been the same.

We know the risks.
We have faith in God.
People who need us obviously have 'messy' lives, we don't expect life to be 'tidy' in trying to help them.
I understand 'the gift of suffering.'
I trust people until they give me a reason not to trust them, no matter their past we start fresh.
We don't care where they've been, we are only concerned with who they are, and how we might help them see who they can be.
We have felt a real calling, believe me it's not the first time I've doubted it, but God has reinforced that call to us over and over again... at our lowest points... that this is what He wants us to do.
No, we can't afford it.
We'll find a way.
God will provide.

All of those answers are still true....except now I've added another.

Someday God will explain this to us...for now we will pray and try not to become jaded by the evil we've witnessed and endured.

In recent weeks I honestly believe I have stared Satan in the face and not realized it. I'll be the first to admit that it turned our world upside down.

But our faith remains strong.

We have, we pray, banished evil from our home, forgiven what can't be forgotten, and imposed restrictions on our lives I never thought imaginable.

Our lives have been forever changed, and what's worse is that change now forbids us from opening our home to people in need...although we do have some folks staying with us now because of an emergency situation in their lives. Their stay has been outlined in ink and to a large degree they are here to protect us as well as get on their feet. Otherwise Amy says our ministry is on "furlough"...I fear it is dead.

There are guns in our home.

There are security systems...alarms and cameras and locks.

Worst of all, there is that seed of distrust in our hearts.

I have traveled the sewers of life of my own volition. I have sat across from killers separated only by thick wire mesh laden glass. I have heard screams of victims that would curdle your soul...but, right our hearts... this is worse.

I can not bear to dwell in such dark places.

I do believe that God will shed light some day, but today...this day...I can not believe God expects me to put my family, my church, my company or our neighbors at risk.


That was the weapon.

The story is day I'll be less cryptic. I won't write here very often for a while to come, but I felt it only fair to let those of you who I know pray for us often some details...obfuscated as they may be.

Please keep praying.

Then pray some more.

I'm hoping one day I'll be able to understand all less fearful...remove so many of the new boundaries we've imposed on our lives.

Today is not that day.