Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A day on the tracks

I spent the day today roaming Cherokee County with the Jacksonville Leadership Institute, a group that was kind enough to allow my knucklehead to join them for the year as we explore the in's and outs of life in our area. Each time we meet (just once a month), we cover a specific genre or theme of life here. Last month, it was Education. Next month, it's politics in Austin. This month was History and Tourism. We visited the Rusk Heritage Center, the Rusk, Footbridge (547 ft in length!), the Texas State Railroad, the KOA Campground (what a view!), Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari and Love's Lookout.
Without a doubt, the best part was the Texas State Railroad. Although I've never been a huge fan of trains, I, like most, are intrigued by them. Even more so today. We were given the "back-stage" tour of their shop where they work on the trains keeping them operational and rebuilding them back to their vintage glory. Since there's no instruction manual for their work, they make it up as the go along. What that spoke to me was that their work was more art than science. Talk about a giant jigsaw puzzle! I was amazed to see the bazillion parts lying on the racks, on the floor, on the shelves - and to think of these men as the ones who will piece them together to make all the trains run properly is astounding to my small mind. I can't imagine making that work. Hats off to those who run the trains! Visit there and enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Honorable James P Lankford and a passed bond

I've never been a political animal. It's not in my nature. Growing up, I was always told to leave politics and religion alone. I messed up the religion one, but I've kept the politics one intact.

Until now. For the first time in my life, I watched the election returns with a deeply vested interest for two reasons:
(1) The JISD bond election. As a member of the facilities committee, we spent hours this past summer working on the proposal that now finds life with the passing of that bond. It surprised me how emotional it was for me to see that it had passed. It's a HUGE step forward for our city and the children of Jacksonville.
(2) James, my dear brother in Christ for all of my adult life, was up for election as the US Congressional Representative for the 5th district in Oklahoma. It was riveting! To see the returns come back with James' lead seeming to increase each time we saw it was thrilling! Today, we wake up to a new world where James is no longer James. He's now The Honorable James, the gentleman from Oklahoma. Wow.

When James asked me in Sept 2008 what I would think about his running for public office, I didn't bat an eye. Although I was surprised, I wasn't shocked. The reality is God's been preparing him all of his life for this moment in time. We're just witnesses to it.

So what happens now? For starters, we're going to pray for James, Cindy and their daughters with a new fervency. We'll pray for Jeb Hensarling, our rep from our district. We'll pray for our nation and our leaders. We'll commit to serving the Lord with faithfulness right here in Jville for the sake of our city, our state and our nation.
One last thing it means: if you're a CBC member, I'm ditching you on the first Sunday of the new year. Julie and I are going to DC to see our man James sworn in with the new Congress!