What To Do?

What to do? What to do?

My parents did a lot for me when I was growing up as a young man, but one thing above all made whatever success I had possible. They made me believe that if I set my mind to any task I could accomplish it. It might take a long time. It might mean overcoming challenges I did not expect. But they made me believe, truly believe, that with enough hard work and determination anything was possible.

Success might not come at first. The price may be higher than you want to pay. But never think you can’t do it, because you can. My parents taught me that from the beginning and I could never thank them enough for it.

If you believe you can do anything you want to do, it begs the questions, “what do you want to do?” That to me was always a big question. You might say, that was always THE question.

You’ve been given a life. You’ve been given talents, things you can do well, things you like doing. What do you do with this life? How do you spend your time and your talents?

This last Sunday the Reverend Capri Grimes gave a sermon on service at the Magnolia United Methodist Church. Service in a Christian context means service to God, as it is for many religions. But as Bob Dylan sang, “You gotta serve somebody. It might be the Devil. It might be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody”. But how to figure out what to do to serve, ways in which to serve? She says it’s easy to figure that stuff out, and I believe her.

Ask someone what your talents are. Make sure it’s someone who likes you, but they can tell you. Or deep down you know it yourself. You know, you really know what you are good at. You probably like doing it. What things do you like to do?

You can hear Reverend Grimes sermon HERE.

Years ago I had a short conversation with a friend around the first of the year. He said for the next year he was going to focus on a few things he didn’t do very well and try to improve on them. I told him while that idea sounded good on the surface I didn’t think it was a good idea. I thought he may not do those things very well because he didn’t like doing them. I told him I thought he should find some things he was good at and try to be the very best at those things. I told him I thought I would try to spend my time improving things I was good at, because usually I enjoyed doing those things more. And maybe I could grow to be the best at something.

The end of this year is coming, and with it many will be making New Year’s resolutions. I’m always struck by the resolutions, and I’ve made them, to stop doing something. Wouldn’t it be better to START doing something? Wouldn’t it be better to start doing something you’re good at, that you enjoy doing, and might somehow improve even a corner of your world?

It’s easier for me to not do something I shouldn’t if I’m busy doing things I should. Now back to the original question, what to do?

Faster Than the Speed of Light

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1

You may have been told that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. That’s not true.

I’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be father or step-father to a bunch of amazing gentlemen. One of them recently asked me about his understanding that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light. It led to an interesting discussion.

According to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity matter gets heavier as it approaches the speed of light, and time experienced by the matter relative to a ‘fixed’ point slows down. Just looking at the first part of that you see it means as something, say a ball, approaches the speed of light it gets so heavy that pushing on it harder doesn’t speed it up much more than it’s already going. At the speed of light it’s mass would be infinite. It would be heavier than Jupiter.  Time on the ball would slow down until it stood still. You could never get the ball to go faster than the speed of light.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

You know that information can travel on  radio waves.  You listen to a radio and hear what is being broadcast on the high frequency waves of the radio.  You are aware of fiver optics. Information travels on a light beam. The information may be a YouTube video or a conversation between cousins, but is still information.  The light is behaving as a very high frequency radio wave.

It can be shown that the information traveling on a light beam is traveling faster than the beam. That is to say information can travel faster than the speed of light.

If gets more interesting than that. Light is described as both a wave and a set of particles. It behaves as both. Imagine a tennis ball gun shooting tennis balls. Each time it shoots a ball it recoils a little because of the weight of the balls being shot out. When you turn on a flashlight there is an imperceptible “kick” to it as the light particles start shooting out of the flashlight. It’s as if the light is made up of little particles each with mass, at the same time it is behaving as a wave. L:ight is both matter (particles) and information (waves).

According to the Book of Genesis what did God create on the first day? Light. By the first verse of the first chapter of the book of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”.  Before there could be matter; before there could be air and water and plants and animals there had to be a transition from the Word (Information) to physical matter.  Light is that transition.  It is both information and physical matter. That is why God had to create light first.


You May Be a Communist

David and Goliath by Robert Temple Ayres


You hate big corporations? Why don’t you tweet that on your IPhone. – Anonymous





Rooting for the Underdog

We are conditioned to root for the underdog. Consider the ancient story of David and Goliath. It is inspiring to hear a tale where the weak summon their courage and persevere to defeat a better placed opponent. There is nothing wrong with that. But that story line has been hijacked by those that would use your better instincts for political gain.

Karl Marx is Not David

In “The Communist Manifesto” Marx describes a struggle between the powerful Bourgeoisie and the underdogs, the Proletariat. The powerful and greedy are only self-interested, preying on the weaker common man to exploit them. As with David and Goliath, the more virtuous the underdog and more evil the strong, the more appealing the story where the little guy gets to take on the big bad monster. I’ve read of evidence David and Goliath was an actual historical event corroborated outside of Biblical text, unlike the fairy tale of Marx.

Enter the Corporation

In our society the means of production, owned by the Bourgeoisie in the world of Marx, are seen to be in the hands of the powerful corporations. Corporations are described as greedy and bad, taking advantage of people’s needs to make money. What can the little guy do? It’s a popular story line heard said by Republicans and Democrats alike. It’s also the same story told by the Communist. The names have just been changed to advance a political agenda in the middle of the confusion over semantics.

Corporation are Indeed People

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Citizen’s United case that corporations, being an assemblage of individuals, are entitled to the same protections of their speech as individuals themselves. And in fact corporations as a legal entity are an assemblage of individuals. A public corporation, one selling stock on Wall street, is in fact owned by people. Many of those people have their retirement moneys dependent on the success of that corporation. When a corporation fails, people get hurt. The employees get hurt, including the many people with money invested in that company, many of those without much to lose, such as retired teachers and firemen.

Profit is Not Evil

While they come together for the purpose of their collective gain and profit, that does not make them greedy. It does not make them bad. A group of people may be a church congregation operating a soup kitchen or it may be a lynch mob. Both groups may be operating in what they see as their own self interest, yet we do not hesitate to call one bad and the other good. Wanting to make money does not make an endeavor, a person, or a corporation bad. Otherwise people who get up to go to work in the morning are bad people. Don’t be silly. Yet we are.

Capitalism is Just

For a corporation to survive and prosper it has to provide a product or service in excess of what it consumes. It has to sell something. It may make hamburgers. It may fashion plastic into toothbrushes. If I give you a hamburger or toothbrush without extracting from those who get them enough in exchange to keep providing hamburgers and toothbrushes then I will no longer be able to serve my customers. Taking that money is not greed; in fact if I am greedy and charge too much another will replace me in the marketplace and I will suffer. If I don’t take enough, I will no longer be able to provide hamburgers or toothbrushes. There are winners if I take money. There are losers besides myself if I don’t.

Service is Good

People getting hamburgers and toothbrushes for their money are happy to make the exchange. They feel like they are “getting their money’s worth” or they would not keep buying those things from the people they do. They are being served by the corporation. And didn’t God teach us that serving one another was good? That’s right. I just called corporations an instrument of God’s goodness.

God placed everything we needed on this earth but designed it so that we would have to work together to prosper. Corporations are a mechanism of working together. Remember that next time you feel like engaging in the class warfare of Karl Marx with the “Us vs achat cialis 10mg. Them” rhetoric bad mouthing the big nasty greedy corporations. Without that corporation you might not be able to buy a toothbrush. And that big nasty greedy corporation, by providing toothbrushes, may have served more of God’s people that you have today.

Meet Bradie James – I Am Second

The Texans lost Inside Linebacker DeMeco Ryans during Free Agency and replaced him with Bradie James from the Dallas Cowboys. James, a nine year veteran, is familiar with Wade Phillips defense and is described as a natural leader. Bradie James will start next to Brian Cushing as his role as Inside Linebacker. In this video, “I Am Second”, Bradie James talks about his relationship with God.

Downtown and Dirty

My novel became available on Amazon this last week. WooHoo!!!!

With God’s help I’ve been able to check that one off of my to-do list. If you’ve been following along around here I believe when God created us in his image, as the ultimate creator he made us to be creative. Producing things, especially beautiful things, pleases God. At least that’s my way of thinking. Deep down when you create something you feel a sense of accomplishment that comes from God.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I’m so excited about this. Now that it’s finally in print I’ve been able to start another one. Of course I suffered through some growing pains with the first one, but writing a novel is an exciting ride and I’m eager to push down on the accelerator to capture another tale.

If you like to purchase a copy off of Amazon.com, here is the link. If you’d like a signed copy just send me an email.   Check out www.DowntownAndDirty.com and help me spread the word. Now excuse we while I get back to celebrating!


Limiting God

Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think  — Andrew Murray

An Open Door

Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.
– Jane Wagner

When July began in 2006 I started to feel disoriented and clumsy. Two medications I was taking which had been getting along together decided not to play nicely with each other. My condition deteriorated over a very few days. At the suggestion of my doctors, my wife and son took me to Methodist Hospital at The Medical Center in Houston. This was on Friday, the 6th.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I remember quite a bit of the trip to the hospital and my being examined in the emergency room. I remember being taken down a hallway and elevator toward Intensive Care. By the time I reached ICU I was unconscious and unresponsive.

Several days later the doctors told my family they were “not optimistic”. Despite all they had done I was not responding. It started to dawn on my wife she might be called upon to attend to funeral arrangements.

I heard music and got up from my hospital bed where members of my family had gathered and I went searching for the source. Traveling up some stairs near my bed I found a small chapel or cathedral directly above my bed on the lower floor. Inside the chapel were five towering beautiful black speakers. I went up to one of the speakers and examined it.

I was overwhelmed by the music coming from those speakers. I realized the sound coming from the speakers to be angels singing.  It sounded like the very voice of God. Standing in the center of the room with tears in my eyes the waves of music washed over me.

I walked out of the cathedral and was greeted by a young woman. We sat at the top of the curving staircase I had climbed moments ago and listened to the music. She insisted on tending to my bare feet.

After a short while I left to go back down the stairs and tell my family of the cathedral I’d found on the floor above my bed. I was eager to tell them of the beautiful speakers that rang out with the voices of Angels.

Only there was no cathedral. No speakers. No stairs. I had not left the bed. They told me days later what had really happened.

Five men came to my bed at the hospital and introduced themselves as members of the Harbor Light Choir, a division of the local Salvation Army. They came to the hospital weekly and visited beds at random. They asked for permission to sing and pray around my bed, and were given that permission. As they started to sing I started to respond.

Over the next few days I gradually and slowly recovered, making my way back to the people who love me. It was not instantaneous. It involved straight jackets, breathing tubes, and a visit to a tavern filled with creatures I could only describe by referencing the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie. It involved more attention from my doctors, my parents and my wife. It involved walkers and embarrassment and a lot of time spent regaining my strength. But all of that came after the visit to the cathedral meilleur site pour acheter cialis. To my mind it was as if I woke up from a long sleep to hear the music.

I recently read a few members of the Harbor Light Choir visit Methodist Hospital every Thursday. I was told some people in the hospital turn them away rather than give them permission to sing and pray. They bring the voice of God, music from the angels, ask for nothing in return, and are turned away. What a shame. What an unrivaled pity.

Note: The image above is from a painting by my wife, Melinda Patrick.


Newt Gingrich wrote an excellent piece called “What Every Child Should Know About Thanksgiving“. He closes it with a poem I’ll reprint here. It’s by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer, an African-American poet writing at the turn of the 20th century. May you all have a peaceful, cheerful, glorious Thanksgiving.


Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later ’twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.