Jun. 20, 2019

Makings of Greatness

"Limitations have always been the best friends of architecture." So said, "the Dean of Personal Development," Earl Nightingale. How could that be? Simply this. Per capita, the large cities are limited by ground surface area, which gives rise to the upward design of the skyscrapers. Homesteaders are not so pressured to build high because of an abundance of ground area. 

The stress of thinking our way to excellence allows our minds to become our friend in serving humanity. If we desire more out of life, all we have to do is increase our service either by quantity or quality and preferably both. If for example, we wish for more money, the key is to provide more assistance or a higher quality of service. Everything we earn is from the services (or products) we provide. Want more? Serve more to increase our value.

Accompanying this post is a picture of an artist few in modern times can match in his area of interest. Type "Judson Portzer" into your browser if you are a connoisseur of fine art. I've followed Judson's work for most of his life. What makes his work unique is the power of drive and focus combined with a river of interest and natural talent. If you ever got in a conversation with him one secret he might reveal. He would tell you that he feels as though he should have lived in the period of the Renaissance. Can you explain why? 

Stained glass the old-timey way is quite rare in comparison to computer-generated artwork of today. He has a passion for putting himself into his work as artists have done during a period of long ago. Producing such original and enduring specimens is not cheap and takes time which we seem to have in limited supply. We all may like to get our money's worth, but most settle for economy over uniqueness and rarity. That necessitates the utilization of modern techniques. It's called production. However, If you want one-of-a-kind and something unique and tailored just for you in the old genre, expect to pay more. Today we do like to have something unique that no one else has. It gives us a sense of satisfaction. (to be continued) 

Jun. 16, 2019

Women in Aviation

Glass ceilings have been around for years. Breaking them is not new. I'm amazed to learn of women who chose to get out of the kitchen every once in a while to follow their dreams. It was a beautiful day in Evergreen, AL when an aviation enthusiast under the shade trees mentions women in aviation. We were discussing the old warbirds of WWII.

History buffs are familiar with "Rosie the Riveter" who labouriously engaged in the war effort while the men were fighting for our freedoms. The informant in our discussion mentioned that some of the women were trained to fly the planes they were building! I'd not ever really thought about that. I found it most interesting, being a student pilot myself. Yes, the women ferried those big brand new planes to their destination before the men got hold of them. 

Since that critical October day, I have since met ladies who were involved in aviation, some during the war. Today some ladies can outfly some of their male counterparts. I wouldn't want to compete with them (the likes of Patty Wagstaff)! They win my respect. Come to think of it; I recall a rare visit to the local airport in Jasper. AL as a teenager and meeting a woman pilot who didn't even have a driver's license to operate a road vehicle. Respectfully, women may not be as braggadocious as men with big egos. They seem to demonstrate power in silence quietly.

Take a look at the picture. In the front of the nose of the B-17G restored flying fortress, "Aluminum Overcast" is a pretty lady as attractive and as vintage looking as the bomber. Look at that hairstyle!

I had an opportunity at the controls of this plane in October of 1995 at Evergreen but was not distracted by the lady. Seriously, I was instructed to bank to the left toward the runway before the landing gear was extended for the final approach. Wonderful experience! If you have the opportunity in any of the 60 cities each year to experience the thrill of flying this aircraft, you will also be donating to a worthy cause while adding to your list of accomplishments.

Jun. 12, 2019

Galileo's Heresy

Today, June 12, 2019, is a special day of the year because of a phenomenon you can witness in the night sky. You can also reluctantly or enthusiastically learn depending on your attitude a spiritual lesson of a lifetime.

Here's the story: Galileo in 1610 made a discovery which flew in the face of the all-powerful Church orthodoxy and set the stage for his life and death threat. The Church held to the concept that the earth was the center of celestial motion. Galileo's scientific discovery and exposure is a reminder and of the similar weight and impact of Martin Luther's theological "95 Theses". Tonight you can see what Galileo saw even better than he could because of better telescopic lenses. You can see Jupiter, the giant planet (diameter 11 times that of the earth) and with binoculars its four brightest of the 79 moons (Galilean Satellites). The best view will be when the planet is almost due south. 

Minds unfettered by traditional, religiously correct limitations, might experience an epiphany. One of my favorite descriptions of a hero is a "heretic who's been dead a hundred years." Galileo is a good example. 

King James First, head of the Anglican Church (Church of England) insisted that the ecclesiastical word "church" (appearing over 100 times in the NT) be kept and not translated "congregation" in his 1611 King James Version as in earlier versions. King James' action helped bolster the powerful "Clergy" over the religious populace, much like the political elite in civil government. In short, he set in place a word that would perpetuate the power inherent in the institutional church. So, when you read the NT, you get the impression that church refers to an institution rather than a community relationship Jesus had in mind as per Matthew 16:18. Ask yourself whether He was referring to a community or an institution. 

Let's view the phenomenon tonight and remember the price and persecution connected to struggle for fact and truth in the face of the powers that be. I don't know about you, but I side with any so-called "heretic" whose agenda is to place truth above tradition. That's integrity! Sometimes the popular stance is wrong when measured by fact. 

I identify with Galileo concerning heresy. My own experience as a heretic has cut off my equality and acceptance in my spiritual heritage.  The honor goes to anyone who seeks truth and does not back down in the face of brutal threats.

Jun. 5, 2019

Rollingstone Restaurant

After intense, three-days preparation, to make a successful move to the town of Rollingstone, Judson and I finally arrived. At about lunchtime, we noticed a little restaurant by the name of Bonnie Rae's Cafe and decided to have lunch there. We talked to the waitress about her work experience as she took our order.

I would not recommend driving a thousand miles for the experience. However, I would suggest that if you're ever near Winona, MN, that you experience a nice meal at Bonnie Rae's Cafe. 

There's something special about such a quiet little town. Rollingstone is located just a few miles northwest of Winona which is about one hundred twenty miles south of Minneapolis. The experience was like revisiting the so-called,  good ole days. 

May. 24, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

Memorial Day is usually on May 30, a day of remembering our military soldiers who lost their lives for our American freedom. It falls on the last Monday of May. This year it's May 27 which was my date of birth in 1947. For some reason, I always associated May 30 with Memorial Day because it was my late father's date of birth in 1923.

It is formerly known as Decoration Day referring to decorating graves of fallen soldiers. On May 30, 1868, Union General John Logan called for an official nationwide day of remembrance which was not a date of a particular battle. In 1950, Congress called on Americans to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace. It's interesting how our Government took into account the Higher Power in the forming and operation of our Nation.

I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful for our President who promotes high honors for our military. It is almost inconceivable how that many today do not respect the Day as intended. Freedom, peace, and unity in our lives are so precious. Sadly, many have no clue as to the cost of the freedoms we have. Once freedom is gone life as we know it will be a thing of the past. The value of liberty is high, as seen in the fighters who were willing to pay for it. What a tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of we who enjoy this gift to pass it on to our posterity!