Last week, my parents visited us over the weekend. Their stay was extended by a vehicular malfunction. My dad returned home, car fixed and a shiny new repair bill under his arm, and wrote this. I don’t know if he meant for me to publish it. We’ll see.
We took a little trip in our Mercury auto
Out through the farm byways of Minnesota
Crossed the border into South Dakota
To visit the chief poet at Claims Poetica (more…)
My dad has a knack for finding spiritual application to sometimes odd news reports. This new development still has me scratching my head — though not, perhaps, as much as the image of Ananias and Sapphira on Facebook.
— by Paul Willingham
Back in the 80s when I was in business in South Dakota, I attended a 2 day marketing seminar for CPAs. One of the things that the instructor stressed was that you needed to be able to identify, as much as possible, the personality of your client or potential client. He pointed out that each person has these visible personality traits that, when identified, would help tailor the sales pitch to “sell” or close the deal. Some might call it manipulation but that’s a discussion for another time.
After explaining that each one of us fit more or less into one of four groups, he explained how to identify and pigeon hole a person by being sensitive to these visible traits. Before we broke for lunch that first day, he had assessed each of the participants. What was worse, he shared those assessments with the class and we all were surprised, chagrined and perhaps embarrassed at how accurate he was. One of our assignments was to go out to the Mall after supper, people watch, and then try to identify which one of the four groups passersby belonged to. It was surprising to me how much you could tell about a person by paying attention and looking for the telltale traits. (more…)
Day 4 – 12 Days of Community
My dad does not officially blog. Every now and again we like to cut him loose from the comment box and give him a guest spot. Though he has no blog of his own (I like to think of him as sort of a Blogger Emeritus), I’m featuring him for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Community we’re celebrating at High Calling Blogs. Dad previously posted for us on keeping performance in perspective and stepping out from behind the mask. He writes for us again today.
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by Paul Willingham
As I drove home from church on a recent Sunday, I noted that one of the billboards along Highway 7 had been updated with a new message. In true billboard fashion it only contained eight words so that we could read, process and absorb the message before we blew past it at highway speed. The sponsor is a huge nationally known shopping center here in the Twin Cities. The eight words “FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF ALL OVER AGAIN”.
My dad posts again to round out the series of the past week. His thoughts here relate to the Legends post from earlier in the week, so we’ll call it Part 1.5. If you missed Dad’s earlier guest spot, you can pick it up here.
Meanwhile, Delilah is just dying to cut Samson’s hair, so I’ll be back in Judges 16 this week if you care to join me.
by Paul Willingham
Rambo and Homer. Hmmmm! Superman and Casper Milquetoast. Babe Ruth and Casey (at the Bat). Sgt. York and Sgt. Bilko. The James Gang and the Apple Dumpling Gang. Rambo I know, having watched “First Blood” several times. Rambo II and Rambo III fell sort of flat, as most sequels do. I know who Homer Simpson is but have never watched even 5 minutes of “The Simpsons”. But I digress. My TV/movie viewing preferences are not germane here. What you were really saying as one wag put it long ago, we want to be legends but we only end up being “legends in our own mind”.
When I was in college, an annual event was the “Speech Banquet”. After the meal, the program consisted of speeches by several students. The speakers (mostly male students as they were pursuing careers as preachers) on the program were selected by the Speech Professor. I agreed to serve as toastmaster for the event and thus escaped preparing and delivering a speech. Following years of tradition established by those who had gone before me, plus my own idea of what an emcee does, I introduced the various speakers with a short and what I hoped was a good joke (a good joke being defined as one that folks actually laugh at).
I introduced one of the students (We’ll call him Bob) as follows: Bob had a date with his long-time girl friend. When he arrived at the door and rang her bell, she appeared at the door and greeted him with the question that every male dreads. “Bob, do you notice any thing different about me?”
I had an unexpected and pleasant surprise in my inbox this morning: a guest post from my dad, reflecting on some of the discussion we’ve had here the last few days. I know, I promised Part 3 on confession and self-disclosure today. It’s still coming. Consider this Part 2.5. You can pick up Part 1 and Part 2 to get up to speed.
When I think of what’s made me what I am today, it’s one part my dad, one part my mom, one part being beat up by my brother, one part having a girly older sister, one part reading a lot of books, one part being pursued for years by the love of my life, one part . . . well, a whole lot of parts God worked together to come up with a little something called me. But I was highly blessed to have a mom and dad who taught me the good stuff from day one and lived it out where I could see it.
So I’m happy to break my dad out of the comment box for you today. Ignore his flattery (he’s my dad, what do you expect?) and just move straight to the meat of it.
by Paul Willingham
Fascinating discussion. You have the uncanny ability to take mundane things like pocket lint and Show and Tell and make us think. It is interesting that you posted on this subject this week. Yesterday, I started putting into words something that came to me in the car and it sort of ties into what you are discussing here. My opening lines were going to be the words of an old hymn that popped into my head while driving to Grandpa’s last week.