Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pollyanna and the Box Turtle

Back in the 60s every town big enough to have a TV station had characters famous for their afternoon childrens shows. The shows were locally produced and usually starred either a clown or a guy in a Halloween costume… with a clown for a sidekick. I’m sure they all went to yearly conventions where they wore their outfits and had the world’s weirdest party.

If you’re close to my age and you grew up in Oklahoma City then you probably remember The Foreman Scotty Show. Scotty wore white denim cowboy clothes topped off with a white hat (because he was a good guy). Kids would visit the studio to sit on a bench and have this guy stick a microphone in their face just long enough to shout their names. If it was your birthday you got to sit on a wooden horse with other kids who were also celebrating their birthday. I watched the show just hoping to see a kid fall off the horse.

I’m probably the only guy you know that actually had his pet box turtle run away from home...

Every self respecting kid in town sent in their name and received a membership card in the mail, and every day they had a drawing and gave away prizes. I never made it to the studio but I’ll never forget the day Foreman Scotty stuck his arm in that hopper and pulled out the card with my name on it. I had 30 minutes to call the show and claim my prize. I was so excited to hear Foreman Scotty call my name on TV, and when I read off my secret number into the phone Foreman Scotty declared me “A Winner”.

Imagine my excitement when I heard what I’d won for having my name drawn – a Pollyanna game and a box turtle! Now I didn’t know who or what Pollyanna was, but hey, it was FREE and it was MINE. I did know what a box turtle was. You know, now that I’m older and wiser I look back and realize that game was something the game store couldn’t sell, and the box turtle was probably picked up on the road by the pet store owner so could get the advertising without having to give away a real pet.

I soon learned that Pollyanna was a fictional character in a book – a little orphan girl whose optimism was so contagious that she brought gladness to the dispirited town in which she lived. Even when she was run over by a car and crippled she never lost her happiness and optimism in life. And even now in some circles her name is synonymous with a person who always finds something to be glad about. I’m guessing she wouldn’t have kept that goofy grin if she knew that nobody wanted to buy her game, and it had to be given away for free to some kid that got his name drawn out of a hopper.

I don’t recall ever actually playing the Pollyanna game (after all, it was named after a girl). I probably threw the game pieces at my brother for making fun of my girlie game.

And I’m probably the only guy you know that actually had his pet box turtle run away from home. I didn’t even have time to name it before it was gone with the wind.

You’d think I would have been warped for life by the whole affair. But hey, Foreman Scotty called me a winner!

photo courtesy of

Friday, July 23, 2010

Infidels in the Cross Hairs?

I believe there are two kinds of people in this world; people who divide people into two kinds of people and people who don't. It makes me wonder which kind I am (hint - read the first 10 words again).

Of late we have been told that there are two kinds of Muslims, those who follow a radical agenda and those who embrace a vision of peaceful co-existance.

Now I don't know if this is true or not, and with so many talking heads betraying their own vanity on the idiot box, it's hard to know what to believe, but some say the Koran demands that true believers kill all infidels. And, my fellow Christian brothers, you and I would be those infidels in the cross-hairs.

I now confess that I believe while there are many kinds of Muslims - there's really only one kind of Muslim...

But of course, there are just as many who proclaim that a true believer of the Koran seeks to extend a hand of friendship to all men, in hopes that they might win some to their cause. Sounds oddly similar to another global religion - known as Christianity.

And I'm pretty sure that in at least one way Islam is like Christianity. In Christianity there are so many factions saying so many different things that an outsider would be confused about what Christianity really teaches. One TV preacher says there is no other way to heaven but by receiving Jesus Christ as your savior. Another says God would never send anybody to a literal hell, and so you've got it made-in-the-shade-with-a-lemonade!

I remember a Baptist minister from Oklahoma City who made the statement, "God does not hear the prayers of Jews". It made the national news. Many were outraged (especially the Jews). "God cut an eternal covenant with Abraham!" they pointed out, "And eternity hasn't ended yet".

Truth is that a sparrow doesn't fall to the ground without God seeing it, and he knows the number of hairs on our head. To say he can't hear a Jew is to put a limit on a limitless God. I believe what that preacher probably meant was that we are living in a different time with a different game plan, and only prayers made to God in the Name of Jesus are effectual in these "days of the Gentiles".

It would be safe to say that there are many kinds of Christians just as there are probably many kinds of Muslims. That being said, I now confess that I believe while there are many kinds of Muslims - there's really only one kind of Muslim... a person without Jesus Christ as Savior.

But in fact, I do believe there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those without Christ and without hope, and those who have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.

Which kind are you?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lorem Ipsum

In the publishing and graphic design business there comes an occasion when someone wants to display the graphic design style of a document or visual presentation. But if they present that product with actual words, then one would have a tendency to be distracted by what those words say, and not pay attention to the graphic design style they are supposed to be seeing.

So the language Lorem Ipsum was developed.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Lorem Ipsum is a nonsensical bunch of words that appear to be Latin, but as any Latin speaking guy would tell you, aren’t really Latin. These phony words just sit there pretending to be real words, but saying nothing. Of course, the nonsense words are eventually replaced with real words before the document is actually published.

What if that document was your spiritual life – or more specifically God’s plan for your life? Would you be a graphically eloquent design with images of angels etched in the margins, but with Lorem Ipsum where your message should have been? Or have you replaced all the nonsense with a real message – a message so powerful it will change the lives of those who read it?

Your assignment for today – delete the Lorem Ipsum and begin to write God's Word in your heart. Oh, you've already started that process? Way to go!