Friday, October 09, 2009

My Blog Has Moved

If you like reading my blog, I wanted to let you know that it has moved here. While it has been fun to rant and rave here, I'm changing my focus to be a little more professional on my new blog. I hope you'll still read along!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Desiring The Failure Of A Leader

Should we desire the political failure of a President of the US if we disagree with his policy? Is the following statement absolutely true?

It is wrong to endorse failure of the president because you don't like or agree politicallywith him. If he fails, our country does too.

The philosophy that success of a country is directly related to the success of it's leader is flawed. Similarly, the notion that the failure of a leader could never lead to the improvement (or, success) of the nation he leads is a false premise.

Consider the possibility that a citizen of North Korea might endorse the failure of President Kim Jong Il, and that his failure might result in the betterment of that nation.

I should think that someone in Iran might not like or agree with the policies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And, it could be that if Ahmadinejad were to fail, the country of Iran would experience success and prosperity.

In these scenarios, it is imaginable that the chief cause of the nation's success is solely the failure of the leader.

In all of this, it seems to me that we've lost sight of one of the most remarkable aspects of our form of government; namely, that it was set up to encourage political discourse. Those patriots in the Revolutionary war indeed had every hope in the failure of their pre-war leader. If there is no hope of the failure of your political opponent, what benefit is there in political parties, elections, or representative government?

I wonder when it became taboo to oppose the [political] success of a leader who, if successful, could be the cause of a country failing. Could it be possible that by the leader's [policies] failing the country avoids failure? Could it be possible that the [political] opposition to the leader is, by definition, the success of our nation (and it's political system). This seems especially to be the case in a democratic system of government.

My feelings about the success or failure of President Obama aside, I do not believe that his political success/failure and the country's success/failure are mutually inclusive. And I strongly believe that the government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" is not directly connected to the success or failure of its leader. It's bigger than any single leader's success or failure. Its virtue is precisely rooted in the freedom of the opposition to oppose.

The Prodigal Father

I was just listening to Pastor Terry's Message from two weeks ago and he was telling the story of the Prodigal Son. Then he explained how the definition of the word prodigal is "rashly or wastefully extravagant." It is amazing how wasteful the son was with the inheritance that the father had given him. But then Pastor Terry made a very profound point. He pointed out that the story should be titled the Prodigal Father; because it was the father who allowed him back in his house after all the waste. It was the father who welcomed the son back after the son had done the most embarrassing, insulting, and unforgivable acts. It was the father who put the signet ring on the son...basically telling him "you are part of the family, you can do business in my name, you can have the family credit card, you have my seal of approval." He wastefully threw him the most extravagant party to welcome him back.

I'm so glad that the Heavenly Father acts rashly or wastefully extravagantly toward me when it comes to His grace. I've throw away the inheritance a thousand times over, and I've eaten with swine spiritually, but time and time again He puts his signet ring on me. Time and time again He puts his fine robe on my back. The Father doesn't view His children as prodigals...He views them as valuable. He finds it a joy to extravagantly pour out His love and grace. I'm so glad He's the Prodigal Father!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just want to check out!

:::Warning - Rant Coming:::

I do not want to add 2 apple pies for $1.
I do not want to sign up for your newsletter.
I do not care to give you my email address.
I do not want to ruin my credit and save 10% by signing up for a credit card.
No, I am not a priority member, and no, I do not want to sign up.
You do not need my zip code to complete this transaction.
Paper or plastic? Surprise me.
I do not have a preference of whether the receipt is with me or in the bag.

I just want to check out. And, I'd like to do it as quickly as possible, please.

:::End of Rant:::

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Questioning Your Designer

This post by Seth Godin resonates with me. I'm a designer so it should resonate with me. I do think most people don't realize that most graphic designers have good reasons for the design decisions they make. Good design doesn't just happen.

For example, if you don't understand how this mathematical equation (known as the Golden Ratio) is at the heart of good design, you probably shouldn't critique your designer's work:

Or, if you can't list all of the primary colors of the color wheel, the secondary colors, or the complimentary colors of those primary and secondary's possible that you don't know as much about design as you think you do.

Or, do you know what psychological effects various colors have on people? Perhaps you should Google it before you meet with your designer about your brochure design.

Some say that this is me being hateful and/or arrogant. They may be partially correct...but it seems to me that a lot of people think that designers just throw some pictures on a piece of paper using trial and error and hope that it works out in a good design. It's amazing to me how many times I've heard of someone with no design training nor skill think that purchasing Adobe Photoshop will magically transform them into a good designer. It's the equivalent of thinking that purchasing an adding machine will make you a good accountant or that buying a big red toolbox will make you a good mechanic. Good design usually doesn't just happen. It's usually the result of strategic & calculated decision making.

So, yes I probably have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. I'm probably a little overly sensitive (or, cocky as some would say). But at least now you know how we designers feel when you start second-guessing. We're here to serve...but we hope you can learn to trust the reasoning behind our design.

What do you think? Do you think a person has to understand the theory behind a discipline before they have the right to critique products of that discipline? Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


This is me just being real. No fronts.
I know Easter is an important Christian holiday. And I'm so, so, so thankful for what Christ did for me on the cross. And I know that "these present sufferings are not worthy of being compared..." (Rom 8:18). But I'm exhausted.

Bold prayer for this week - "God, give me the strength to get everything done for you this week."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lessons Learned At Niagara Falls

Earlier this week I had the privilege of going to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. It was an awesome display of raw nature and of God's unbelievable creativity. A few thoughts as I reflect back on the trip...

  1. There is no end to creativity. God is infinitely creative and as we are in his image, we get to draw on his creativity.
  2. Waterfall mist in March in Canada is pretty cold.
  3. The viewing area to the falls is much closer to the falls themselves than the photos show. It would be easy to take a tumble over the edge. I would be nervous with my kids there.
  4. The view of the falls is, indeed, better on the Canadian side.
  5. It turns out that you can build a tourist area right on top of a waterfall. Here is a pic of what the area that is literally right across the street from the falls looks like:
  6. There have been some bold people do some crazy things here. There are lessons to be learned from them. Check this out:

Thanks to Terry Sanderson for the experience! It was truly remarkable!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Small Big Things

I had one of those special moments tonight. I walked in on Amy reading with the boys at bed time. She was letting Trip help her read. He was able to read almost every second word (at least every third word). Who would've known that watching a 5 year old read could be so rewarding? I always expected that Trip would someday read. He's a smart kid, so it doesn't come as a surprise. Nevertheless, this small thing was very big for me. It wasn't even about the reading itself. It was about all that that moment means. Call it fatherly pride or whatever, but it occurred to me how fortunate I am. Two great children. A wife who cares so much that she takes time to teach all sorts of things to our children. I could go on and on.

Trip, I'm proud of you buddy!
God, thanks for the big, small things!