News30 Jun 2006 08:55 am

Coach Randy Walker of the Northwestern Wildcats has passed away at the age of 52. Coaching is a high stress position, and prevailing reports indicate a heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and team.

It is a reminder that life is not measured in years, but in lives touched.

News26 Feb 2006 02:29 pm

I never met Don Knotts, but like most who saw him, he brought much enjoyment.

Some notes on Don Knotts (from the IMDB).

  1. Enlisted in the United States Army at age 19.
  2. Is a member of the fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa.
  3. Veteran of the Second World War who was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 4 bronze service stars), Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge (with Carbine Bar) and Honorable Service Lapel Pin.
  4. Attended and graduated from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, with a BA in Education graduated 1948.
  5. Took an early job plucking chickens for a market when he was told he didn’t have a future in acting.

I am glad that Don Knotts gave up plucking chickens, and didn’t listen to the naysayers. Not only did he have a future in acting, his acting left quite a shadow.

Thank You Don Knotts.Don Knotts (1924 - 2006

News and Tunes10 Feb 2006 09:57 am

First a recognition, and recommendation. Several years ago, I worked with a guy, whose dream was to be a musician, and while most everyone harbors dreams of being a rock and roll star (see American Idol), this guy was different. His name was JJ, but he now goes by Jaystorm. JJ was a good guy, who worked hard at his music and today there was a good article on him in the Knoxville News Sentinel (registration required – really, why do they do that).

From the moment I woke up this morning , I had the song – Standing on the Promises in my head. Getting ready for work, I kept thinking don’t quit, keep going. Work you see has been rather dull lately, and my co-workers have been unkind. I get to work, pop open the Knoxville News website, and their is JJ looking out at me. Keep working indeed.

And work is much easier when you realize that you are standing on the eternal promises of Christ our King!!

Standing on the promises of Christ our King
Through eternal ages let His praises ring
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing.
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour,
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing.
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour,
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Business Thoughts and News30 Jan 2006 10:47 am

Jury selection starts today in the trial of former Enron Executives Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has a full roundup of the kickoff to the trial. I have followed this case closely, as it coincided with Worldcom, where I knew people who were convicted, and where friends worked.

Make no mistake about the temptations inherent in the halls of the powerful. Million dollar CEO packages seem outrageous, but the power that these men and women yield is enormous. The money, power, and ability to significantly influence others is a powerful drug that lead many astray.

In the movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas plays a tough financial baron named Gordon Gecko who coldly declares “Greed is Good”. On the face of it, this seems plausible, even admirable. Without ambition to find new frontiers, new drugs, or new technologies, where would we be. Is ambition wrong? Does power corrupt?

Ambition is a word that I have struggled with. Certainly it would be nice to be financially comfortable, and the ability to lead others is something that is always exciting. I have been blessed with skills useful in leading teams, and helping businesses grow. My answer to the ambition dilemna came when I realized that the key idea is purpose. Why do you want to grow, to progress, to do more? It is similiar to money. The love of money is the root of all evil, not the money itself. We accept money in exchange for our services. The more valuable those services, the more money we accept. How we use that money, reflects how we viewed our service, and where our hope and future lie.
My grandmother was a school teacher, and a sweet lady, who in her last years saw her mind become clouded. She would move between lucidity, and darkness, but she would always remember to send us off with the admonition: “There’s good and there’s bad. Be Good”.

As Business Leaders, we must work to make sure that we are on the right team. The world has seen selfish leaders, who enriched their own coffers, while leaving shareholders with the bill. We cannot continue business as usual and expect different results. We must Be Good!

UPDATE: 2:40pm and Exxon announces record profits, the largest in US Corporate History.  Certainly glad to see profits being made, but I am having trouble reconciling this with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when 2 and 3 hour waits for gasoline were routine.

News27 Jan 2006 08:55 am
“They just had a heart for the love of children that no one else wanted, the ones that no one else would have taken.” – Wanda Lewis, director of children at Fellowship Baptist Church in Raiford

By now most everyone has heard about the terrible tragedy in Lake Butler Florida. Not much that I can add to this horrific story. Our prayers and the prayers of many will be for the families in this tragic accident. Foster Care agencies have such a hard time trying to find a home for older children, and the article seems to indicate that the Mann’s welcomed these children into their lives.
I imagine it had to be tough bringing these children in. There were probably financial, emotional and spiritual challenges for each child. They were faithful in giving all of their parenting skills to God. I am sure he will be faithful in providing his comfort in this time of mourning.