September 27, 2011

In Hopelessness, I Shall Seek Out The Word

I'm not going to pretend to think of myself as deep.  In fact, I'm a shallow fool who desperately needs God's grace to cover a multitude of sin, that otherwise earns me eternal damnation, separation from God, and torturous everlasting death.  Eeek.  But I tweeted tonight about hopelessness, and how it abounds exponentially with the leadership of this country (I may have said it differently due to the 140 character limitation).  This tweet, which I felt I needed to share, led me to this blog post, which, again, I felt I needed to use to explain the hope that is in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God and who is God.

I titled this post "In Hopelessness, I Shall Seek Out The Word" to be creative with it.  I decided to share the following verses tonight because I've had this on my heart since reading them with my kids.  We started a family devotion time after our July family vacation to Newport Beach, CA with my mom's side of the family.  It was awesome!  My mom's brother, a pastor in Georgia, sat everyone down the first night and explained he thought we should all do a "family devotion" each night of the trip, just after dinner, for 15-20 minutes.  At first, I was a little bothered by what felt more like a demand than a suggestion, but I quickly realized this was going to be one of the major highlights of the trip.  And, it turned into something I felt was important to my family's spiritual health.  Anyway, I've written about this vacation before, so I'm just going to move on and explain my title.

"I Shall Seek Out The Word".  Really, "The Word" is a name John uses for Jesus.  John, the book of the Bible I decided to read with my family, starts with:

1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  v2 He was in the beginning with God. v3 All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. v4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."

1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

When I'm feeling hopeless, I need to seek out Jesus.  Why?  Because He is God, Creator, Life, Light, Grace, and Truth.  He created us and gave us life and light.  Then he came to earth and provided a way for us to not be hopeless in a sinful world, giving us grace and THE truth of Himself.  Jesus existence is not disputed in history.  He really lived as flesh and dwelt among us.  Only His sovereignty is disputed.  The unbelieving deny the life and light that His glory gives.

3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  v17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.  v18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  v19 And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.  v20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  v21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God."

I can't really say it more clearly than this.  I tried, but I deleted what I wrote because it was not as precise.  Be encouraged by God's words. All of 3:16-21 is Jesus speaking to Nicodemus about salvation.  It's God's own words.  The words of The Word.


September 25, 2011

Coffee Is A Wonderful Drug

This is a great little video I retweeted at one point, but I figured, after a conversation with a coworker about how much coffee is too much coffee, I would post this here as an argument showing I'm better off with it than without.  It also justifies my many @jimmythegun Instagram #todayscoffeecup pictures.  Check out more info at this guys blog too.  Coffee truly is "The Greatest Addiction Ever".

September 19, 2011

I Won The Lottery. Now What Am I Going To Do?

WARNING!!!  This became a really long and probably boring post.  I quit trying to spell and grammar check too.  It was just not worth the effort.  Sorry in advance. Also, avoid the ads this story may generate on my site.  I'm sure they are going to be about winning the Lottery or something like it.  Nobody wins.  Nobody.
  - James Guhn
Have you ever dreamed about what you'd do if you won the lottery?  I'm sure we all have.  Are you the type of person who is sure you are going to win it in the future?   Maybe "as soon as God feels like you can handle the responsibility"?  Most people who do win, can't handle the wealth in a responsible way.  Most people over spend, over extend, and put themselves in a place where their cost of living exceeds the amount they can earn.  Many even have to file bankruptcy to get things "back to normal".  Most of them can't get passed the greed lust to realize the taxes, upkeep, and the future costs of their spending and purchases.

Anyway, I would like to win, despite those problems and the Bible's warning about riches.  I'm one of those fools who thinks I can manage it, live similarly to how I live now, and still recognize the need for a Savior.   Would I give it all to charity?  NO.  Would there be many selfish purchases of excess?  Yes!  But, my theory really is that, for the most part, my life wouldn't change much, and if it did change in a Spiritual way, it would be for the better because I'd have more time to read the Bible, write about the Bible, write songs about God, record those songs, publish those songs, and promote those songs about God to the masses.  People who know me well, also understand I have a few desired items, but most of my joy comes from being the guy who can "picks up the bill" at a dinner or entertain guests with an exiting evening full of food and laughter.  I'm not so much about possessions as I am about the appreciation felt by doing something for another person.  I'll do anything to make people my own detriment.  Don't get me wrong, I do know I'm an ass, but most of the time it's either my frustration with people's total lack of common sense, or I'm trying to make someone laugh at the expense of others.

So what would I spend my millions on?  (Oh yeah, and we're talking lots of millions.  Like hundreds of millions in this dream post).  My first purchase would be something for driving.  Currently the list would probably include an Audi A8, Q7, or R8.  Or all 3.  Right now those are my favorites.

 I'd, of course, buy a house, or more likely, property to build my dream home on.  I'd want enough land to build a driving course too (more on that in a minute).  I'd want to take vacations to Hawaii.  I'd hire someone to go on that vacation to watch the kids (applications will be accepted from friends too so, be thinking of what qualifies you to go).  I'd find a very safe investment where the interest earned would be enough for a normal salary, let's say $80k to $100k per year.  This investment would be the "untouchable" portion of the winnings, set aside to pay me for the rest of my life.  Sure, it's not going to be earning as much as the money could possibly earn in more aggressive investing, but at this point wealth is not the goal.  I'm already there.

But that's really the list of purchases for myself.  A house with property.  A few of my favorite vehicles.  Vacation.  And a few safe investments, including money for my kids colleges and their own needs (and a few wants).  The rest, I'd want to us doing things for others.  Now, I'm not talking charity type stuff.  I'm not trying to sound giving and like I'd suddenly be this super loving guy.  I'd actually be really cautious and steer clear of almost all charity style giving.  I don't trust most of them.  I'm really referring to friends and family giving.  I'd take care of those close to me, the ones I love and care about.  Sure, I'd support my church, but mostly I'd become physically involved at church, seeing how I wouldn't need a job.  I'd volunteer for programs and projects, get back into music, maybe teach some.  But the no job thing leads me to my next points.

I'd want to continue in some line of work.  Some days I think I'd go back into law enforcement.  Other days I think something simple and mindless like a bank teller would be nice.  Today I actually thought about a "stay at home" position with the bank, were I work a phone, answering operational questions for branches all over the country.  But here is how I see these jobs working out:

Law Enforcement Job
The law enforcement job works out where, I'd want to purchase my own car.  Currently I'd look at the Dodge Charger since the Crown Victoria is all but gone, although recently I heard my old agency may be going with the Chevy Tahoe.  I'd have it painted in the scheme of the hiring agency.  I'd outfit it with all the latest and greatest technology, including all the upgraded hardware and software available to work with existing systems.  I'd also eventually invest time and money into bringing the agency's hardware and software up to modern specs as well.  I would require a paid position and union protections, but the salary would not be the concern.  Mainly, I'd want all the available protections afforded officers of the law, from the public and criminals who may want to take from me and my winnings to satisfy their own greed.  I would not ask for pay during the training portion of the job, but I'd wait until I was a stand alone officer, to allow the agency and other officers time to see my commitment to taking criminals to jail, making people feel safe, and being involved in the community (is that not the perfect cop answer?).

After establishing myself in the job and proving I am a hard working officer, willing to do the same tasks as anyone else, I would work on things that can make doing the job more efficient, safe, and productive.
From my short time on patrol, my first thought here is a system within the cars that makes it easier, safer, and quicker to gain information on a call, a suspect, or a vehicle, etc. that an officer is involved with.  Also, I'd work to upgrade all the communications systems throughout the given agency, so there are not areas within the jurisdiction where communication is a problem.  I'd work on the report writing system and dispatching system to create seamless transfer of information, creating templates for many of the reoccurring crime reports, so that completion of the report is quicker, more straight forward, and to the point.  In car report writing systems could be created with pre-populated information and drop-down cells to help quickly and accurately write a report.  Agency wide networking would allow for officers to access the information anywhere.

My home driving course (on the land I referenced earlier) would be set up to facilitate training and ongoing refresher courses for safe officer Emergency Vehicle Operations Course requirements, and additional quality vehicle operations.  I would design a course that allowed for fast driving, winding road courses, and other intense conditions, such as wet pavement and slide control training.  I would spend time and money on my own skills to properly prepare me to train officers in pursuit and code 3 driving.  I'd offer access to the officers at free or reduced costs so they could continue to practice and hone their skills on their own time.  I'd also offer the course and equipment to the agency to facilitate required training mandates.  I'd provide the vehicles, with the same specifications as the agency's fleet.  I'd also provide an area for shooting practice and arrest control technique training.  My property would be a virtual academy for law enforcement training.

Bank Job
I would have nothing to learn if I went the bank teller route  As a teller, I'd spend all my time talking to customers and running their simple transactions.  I'd want to do this in a place where there is high traffic, not so I'm busy all the time, but because the only challenge for a bank teller is to keep people happy while moving them through a large line and offering them products and services that might benefit them.  I can do all the duties of a bank teller in my sleep...sometimes I did.  Really, I'd take this job as a millionaire, simply for the ability to entertain customers, without any responsibility except fulfilling their banking requests.  Mindless? Yes.  But I'd also have the interaction with people I'd need to allow me an opportunity to entertain.

If I went toward an operation support position, something called Retail Support where I work, it would allow me to use my current knowledge of policies and procedures, along with the ability to refine, revise, and possibly write policies. I've been doing this already in a limited scope but in past with major impact, writing policies, creating forms, and providing access and training.  Still today, I am emailed often from people all over the company looking for revised or electronic versions of my forms and handouts.  I'd love to have a more connected role to the current policy writers and be more involved in the processes that shape how things are done within the company.  I'd look at combining the efforts of the policy writers with those of the training department, to more completely offer the correct processes to follow.

Of course, even without the lottery winnings, this job would be awesome.  But, by winning the Lottery millions, I'd do it in a capacity that allowed me to be part time and home based.

Conclusion to Crazy Talk
So, I wrote this to talk about my wants, but it really made me think about what I want to do with myself.  In reality, winning the Lottery is probably not going to happen and the law enforcement thing is probably too much of a drastic life change with too many unknown variables.  But the Retail Support thing is really what I want to do.  I really want to do it in the capacity of someone who can make the changes happen.  What would that require?  I'm not sure.  How does anyone become a mover and a shaker in a huge company like mine?  These are the questions that, if answers, can lead to great success.  I'm the type that doesn't feel uncomfortable asking the successful how they managed to make it happen, but I know often times there are people who feel threatened by people who push themselves forward aggressively (it's challenged me more than once).  I've always been good at the jobs I've held,  and if I wasn't good at something, I made the required changes to make success happen.  I'll conclude with these thoughts:

1.  I need to pursue what I love.
2.  I need to look harder from the outside in at what that pursuit needs to be.
3.  I need to make the moves to make it happen without feeling like it's going to takes winning the Lottery.

So, I really didn't win the lottery, but if I did....yeah, it'd be some stuff on this list for sure.

September 17, 2011

Star Trek Is Better Than Star Wars...Says William Shatner

Star Trek is better than Star Wars.  Captain Kirk explains why.

He actually makes some really good points and I tend to agree.  It is a superior franchise, with better stories, told with more drama, better writing, and believable situations...well believable for the future.  The science in Star Trek is better.

Anyway, Bill explains it much better.

September 5, 2011

Nataly Dawn Sings a Crash Test Dummies Song

This is two of my music likes together in one place.  First, Nataly Dawn from Pomplamoose singing, and second, a Crash Test Dummies song.  I listened to CTD in High School and, while Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm was their most famous song, Superman's Song was a close second.  I even molded some of my own songs and sounds after them.

Crash Test Dummies version.

September 4, 2011

CEO Howard Schultz Letter 2011.."disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington"

Here is an image of the actual letter emailed out to so many of us, from CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz.  I hope this is a wake-up call to the leadership in Washington.  And, although I don't know the politics Mr. Schultz, I am so excited by a letter like this, citing over 100 business leaders' signed pledge to:

First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.
I sure hope the power of a man like Mr. Schultz and others listed on the website in the letter ( can put a fire under our country's leaders and get things back on track.

One more thing that I find interesting is, the fact that the Fed is now suing 18 banks or so, (mine is not listed *yippie*), for bad lending practices.  The only problem is, THEY WERE HUGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR IT, acting as Fanny and Freddie.  The government is big and getting bigger.  Obama is a communist and is leading our country quickly into destruction.  It is a sad day.