Tuesday, June 28, 2011


In 1977 George Burns was chosen to "play" God in the film "Oh God!" and was hailed as the perfect representation of the Almighty. His sidekick in the movie was singer John Denver who was hailed as the perfect representation of a "regular guy" who was kind of middle of the road when it came to his faith. God Burns shows up to tell Denver he has a message to spread and needs his help. After Denver reluctantly agrees to be "the messenger and not the message" his life gets turned upside down and all sorts of wild events play out as the masses and media cannot grasp the fact that God has returned, picked a supermarket manager to be a modern day Moses and the opposition to "the message" lands Denver in court. Experts in the form of modern day theologians and preachers dissect Denver's efforts and in the end, God finally comes into the courtroom, does a few magic tricks and disappears. The movie ends with more questions than answers. For a movie done about 35 years ago the underlying theme still stands. God gets a bad wrap for starting wars, allowing hunger, divorce, layoffs, 100 plus years of Cubs losing seasons and tsunamis.
God is also the most often used word when damming or blessing someone, having an orgasm or instilling fear when it comes to making a deposit in church. Tough gig..the God thing. I have alot of questions I want to ask God, so I put in a request and God said five questions would be a good start. So I have posted the questions and answers for your consumption.

ME- Thanks for your time today God..I appreciate it.-
GOD- No problem really- but I am on a time constraint-keeping an eye on some fault lines.

ME- So my first question is....frankly...the world seems to be going to Hell in a hand basket. Whats the deal?
GOD- First- you could never fit the world into a hand basket-secondly Hell is not what you have been told it is. Third-there is no deal. You can do whatever you want-just gets a bit tiresome when you use your free will and choice to screw things up and then either a) blame me or b) ask me to fix it. Either way you are missing the point and the truth of what I AM.

ME- Huh OK...second question why do so many people think you are a man? Are you a man?
GOD..I am a man. I am a woman. I am a child. I AM WHAT I AM- like Popeye said. I am the wind, the water, the wood. There is no place that I am not- unless you decide that I don't belong. Men wrote about me so they made Me in their image...its the other way around.

ME..Hmmm OK so why do so many people, mostly politicians and TV evangelists use the word God to either instill fear or ...well.. instill fear.
GOD- Choice. What will you be? God Fearing or God Blessed? Its a control thing-an illusion of power. Someone that appears to know more about me than the person they are speaking to holds the power over them. True evolution would be to find ME within YOU and then listen to inside-not outside. I come as standard equipment at birth and free of charge. The only price you pay is when you don't listen.

ME- wow...like that.
GOD. I get it right most of the time..
ME-OK question 4..do you really care if your name appears on a sign, or money or pledge?
GOD-Next question.
ME...Excuse me? Sorry God but ...
GOD- Last night in Las Vegas someone lost their home and entire savings by betting lots of green pieces of paper with a dead president on it and "In God We Trust" printed on it. That same night some drug addict rolled up a twenty dollar bill and snorted coke right past the "In God We Trust" and a little later a hooker gave a guy oral sex for one hundred bucks with "In God We Trust" while she moaned for money "Oh God baby give it to me." Want me to continue?
ME- I get it.
GOD..Good..the most important place to put me is in your heart...everything else is a bumper sticker to me.
ME- Last question..
GOD..Thank God..uh no pun intended.
ME..Wow..does prayer work?
GOD...I don't know.
ME..WHAAAAT? How could you not know?
GOD...Listen...you cannot get any closer to me than you are right now. You cannot buy me closer, pray me closer or bribe me closer. So to pray "out there" for me to do something on your behalf is counterproductive. You want me to cure cancer? Stop smoking or filling the air and water with filth. You want me to send you more money? Keep the flow going by giving what you have to someone else first. You want me to improve your marriage? Quit trying to fix the other person and work on you. You want me to end hunger? Then remove the dictators from office that keep grain on the docks. You want me to end suffering? No way...because then you would never know how much I really love you when you get through it. You have everything in the world you could ever need to create a life you can imagine. Its not easy-but not supposed to be. Time for you all to grow up a bit and understand this. What you put out comes back, what goes around comes around and if you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.
ME...thank you...very much...
GOD-thank you ...all of you because its through you that I braille the world. You are my eyes, my ears, my hands and my heart.
GOD..Yeah I know cool huh? Gotta go...wanna catch the rest of the Cubs-Giants double header.
ME..Uh God...could you possibly help the Cubs..ya know.
GOD...Ahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahaha. NO

Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow the leader...

When I was a kid we played the game "Follow the Leader" and in case you are a product of the techno age and not well versed in staying out until the street lights came on or drinking water from a public fountain or only having four channels on the tube let me enlighten you.

First a leader or "head of the line" is chosen, then all the kids line up behind the leader. The leader then moves around and all of us had mimic the leader's actions. Any players who fail to do what the leader does are out of the game. The last person standing other than the leader is now the new leader. The leader of course can do anything they want to and everyone has to follow it or they are toast. I can imagine an adult version of that game but that's for another blog.

We have had some great leaders in our history...none really come to mind...but that's not the point. With the advent of technology and information there is no shortage of leaders...or followers. Recently motivational guru James Ray was convicted of allowing three of his "followers" to die in a "sacred sweat lodge" and eighteen other "followers" were carted off to the local ER. For all the good Ray might have done in the world with his books and seminars he will end up in prison with followers of a different sort I suspect. Its seems we have as many "life coaches" as we have lawyers and while there is great value in being a coach there is a danger in becoming a crutch.

Be it the President of the United States or the leader of the local PTA or leader of the pack, its in some of us to lead, to get out front, to put it on the line to boldly go where we have not gone before. Leaders according to my old friend Maj. John Buccarrelli are not born-they are made and becoming a leader is a choice. So then would be following a choice. In politics there is no shortage of wannabe leaders that spew all the right words and some wrong ones that give the appearance of leadership. Emulated by thousands that think like they do they are lifted above the followers like a modern day political Pied-Piper and shout from the bully pulpit "Follow Me!" Leaders need followers and vice versa-its a parasitic relationship that only works if the host stays healthy-and if not then both the host and the throngs of followers die off. Hitler thought he had a good idea and so did thousands of other frontal lobe missing countrymen. Its only when a group with a better idea came along and did something about it that things changed.

True leaders understand the relationship between them and their followers, they understand that the objective is to empower those that follow in such a way that they become leaders as well, in their own lives. Another may teach or tell but each has to do the work on their own. True leaders never get swallowed up in the adulation, they say "we" more than "me" and they understand that with great power comes even greater responsibility and conviction.

As more and more Presidential hopefuls jump on the bandwagon and throw out "God Bless America" more than Kate Smith ever did we have to consider the actions they have taken in the past and what they are asking us to mimic-and just like the kids game someone is going to get booted out. Might be Gingrich or Bachman or Mitt or Tim and then only one will be left standing. Most likely won't be James Ray. We are all flawed human beings that often masquerade as perfect human doings and when the inner and outer don't line up the headlines have a field day.

Good leaders are scarce, the best plan of action might be to follow yourself. I have always said that its important who and what is going on in the White House but its far more important who and what is going on in your house.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I had never seen the movie "Transformers" until just last week. I was ignorant of the fact that the movie was based on the toys my son had played with just a few years before and I also had not been one of the millions that watched Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox escape annihilation at the hands of the evil transformers-about all I knew of the movie was the "Bumble Bee" Camaro that I had seen at a car show. So you will have to excuse me from the details of this flick and the predicted stream of sequels that have followed.

Nevertheless the concept of transformation has my attention and just because you are not turning yourself from a souped up eighteen wheel diesel tractor-trailer into a flame throwing, missile launching, Armageddon raising robot does not mean that you cant be a transformer, matter of fact if you are alive then transformation is not only your birth right but also a rite of passage for humans.

Transformation is usually by choice or by chance-often times both. The choices we make both consciously and more often in the unconscious state of being lead to the chances we take and even more choices we make based on those chances. Sometimes life just plain sucks..just about everything sucks. If  you choose to leave your job- or your jobs leaves you..you take a chance and make the mental leap like a some air borne acrobat waiting for the next trapeze to come along-in the form of a new job and as you hang there in mid-flight transformation begins to take place. Every manner of fear comes to test you...as does every manner of faith. The situation begins to squeeze you in ways you never had been squeezed, just to see what comes out of you....the real "juice" of transformation is in the circumstances you helped create and now endure. The process is remolding you, from the inside out and that is a process that is ongoing no matter where or who you are. Choices contain great power..and don't be fooled -not making a choice-is still making a choice.

It appears that life has a personal blueprint for each of us, somehow tied into our soul growth-for what might trip up one has little effect on another. The transformation process is disguised as illness, divorce, job loss, stress, racism, politics...you name it- the opportunity to be transformed lies dormant in each and every brick on our personalized yellow brick road.

I enjoyed the movie for the dazzling special effects and the good vs evil plot while predictable worked. What I really liked was the message that you cannot judge a Camaro by its stripes no more than you can judge a life by the challenges it holds. Both are built to get you somewhere-and rest assured the transformation is just the way it is. What you do with that transformation determines how far down the road you go...