It was five years ago.

It was five years ago this Christmas, December 2009, a very long night ended a very long year working on a very special project.  By the time Side Order made it's debut on the screen it had impacted the life of everyone involved. 

To this day, I tear up when I watch the scene with George Wilson or remember countless 'moments' on set and of course I will never look at a bowl of Banana Pudding the same again.

So, in honor of it's five year anniversary and in memory of those that are no longer with us, I present Side Order, in three acts.  

First, from the director....

Second, from the cast and crew...

Finally, the movie itself....

Side Order, sometimes the best things in life are not on the menu.

Yes, and I didn't even know it was monkey season.

I was listening to a podcast from NPR... yes NPR, called 'This American Life' and the topic was 'magic words'.  Words that when spoken were freedom not only to who they were spoken to but for who ever spoke them as well.

One of the stories was about a new approach to dealing with an Alzheimer patients... an approach that improv-comedians have used for years called 'yes, and'.  Whatever crazy thing the patient said like, 'There are monkeys in the yard.' the response should begin with, 'Yes, and...'.   For instance: 'Yes, and I didn't even know it was monkey season.'

The point is that you are 'playing along', you don't really see monkeys in the yard, you aren't fooled, it's just easier to go along with the crazy story rather try to convince or correct them.

I'm not talking about the times when you want to say, 'quit peeing on my head and telling me that it's raining'.  I'm talking about when it's just easier - or better - for you to go with the truth that is out there rather than trying to correct the finer points.

Have I lost you?  Think of it this way: Your child paints a picture and paints the sky green instead of blue and then then asks you, 'Daddy, do you like my picture?'.  As a daddy I would say, 'Yes, I love it.' when inside I'm thinking the sky is blue not green!  Encourage instead of discourage.

Sometimes we 'just go along' even with other adults.

Your boss says we need to make this change because of a loss in productivity.  You agree with the change just not for the same reason but there is no benefit to correcting his or her reason especially if it's just as valid and the end result is the same?

So what is my point and why am I writing this?

Because in the adult world part of going along with something or someone is that you have to be willing to be 'played'.  You have to be willing to be the fool for the greater good - that is a hard thing to do.  You have to be willing to place your pride aside and let people think of you what they will.   This not only applies to people on the outside looking in but to the people who think they've pulled one over on you.

Does this sound familiar?  It should.

Luke 2: 41-52 tells the story of Jesus getting away from his earthly mother and father for four days before being found in the temple.   His parents finally find Jesus about His father's business and are understandably upset.  His parents wanted him to come home with them and by all accounts he could have said, "I am Jesus - God's Son and I am doing my Father's business.' but he didn't.  In the middle of that story comes a little verse that most people pass right over, 'Then He (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them (parents) and was obedient...' Luke 2:51.

Jesus was the SON OF GOD yet he humbled himself, set his pride aside and returned to his role as son because at the time that was for the greater good.

Jesus is the ultimate example of leading by example and if it was good for Jesus to that then what issue should I have with it.


Wise words...

This is the time of year when you will hear wise words spoken from the platform of graduation ceremonies all across the country.  I'll be traveling to Florida soon to see my nephew graduate and will no doubt hear an impassioned speech filled with wise words.  I've never been asked to speak at one of these events, probably because who else would be there to run sound!  But just in case I ever am, here is what I'd say...

Good morning graduates, faculty and staff of this fine school.  You may be surprised to see me speaking to you today, but all the highly educated speakers were already booked and you are stuck with me.    I did graduate from high school and higher education and do have a B.S. degree - afterall my eyes are brown.  (Some of you will get that later.) What I want to give you today as you graduate is my five rules I have - or at least have tried to live by.

If in doubt, don't - or at least wait.  There are many choices you will face in life and unless you are 100% sure of the course to take don't take any action.  Gather more information, study the issue, people and circumstances involved and pray hard for God's guidance.  He will guide you - you can trust Him.

When you speak, say exactly what you mean.  The Bible says let your yes be yes and your no be no - anything beyond that is not needed.  We as humans by nature will want to say more, but make sure those words are true and reflect your feelings accurately.  Don't play word games and do everything you can to communicate effectively.  Choose your words wisely - they mean more than you realize.

Don't be a people pleaser.  Of all pursuits in life this may be the most foolish.  Trying to please people is like chasing a carrot on a stick, as close as it is you will never quite reach it.    Please God and people will be attracted to you when you reflect His love.

Don't be afraid of no.  Don't be afraid to say no or of hearing a no.  You will want to do but can't do everything, take every opportunity, see everything you want and enjoy everything you are offered... sometimes you have to say no.  As your priorities and God's will for your life becomes clear you will want to say no so that you can stay on task.  Don't be afraid of a no when you hear it.  The person may be saying no so they can stay on task - it's not personal.  When you hear no - think and investigate the why - perhaps by meeting that person's needs or helping them with their task you can accomplish yours as well.  By the way reading the book 'Getting to Yes' by Robert Fisher is worth the time.

Finally, stay away from drama and negative people.   Life is too short to be involved with either.

So today you graduate and take the next step in life.... good luck and God speed.

I just had to call my Bobby...

I am blessed.  Oh just about anyone could look at my life and see my family, my surroundings and say that but it's the things you don't see that do it for me.

I'm working on the air this week at Sunny 92.3...  many of you know that I work there part-time and that I used to be on the radio everyday (afternoon drive 2p - 7p).  I do love being on the air... radio is one of the most intimate mass mediums.  

Year ago I made a connection with a listener - let's call her Kathy.  Kathy is a sweet lady in her 60's (I'm guessing) and always a joy to talk with.  Even though I only work on the air sparatically, I can bet that if Kathy hears me, she is gonna call the station and say hello.  Through the years she has done things for me like send me a gift when my daughter was born or called to console me when she heard of the passing of my nephew Jonathan back in 2009.  I've also heard about her highs and her lows, each time she would utter the phrase, 'I just had to call my Bobby'.

Today, she 'had to call her Bobby' when she heard me on the air and this was one of her low days...  she told me of the passing of her son... her son had died as a result of a massive heart attack.  She had been under the care of a grief counselor but wanted me to pray for and with her.  I did and I will.   She said that I was someone she just had to talk with because she knew I would care...  I do. 

I was so touched, not because she would think of me to share her bad news with - or any news - but because God allowed me to be there for someone - in His name - ya see, blessed.