A prayer picture for my country

Earlier this week, I read some of George Washington’s “Farewell Address.” In it, he warned of the tendency of political parties attracting people that just wanted to increase strife in discord for their own power.

So this morning, as I was praying, I found myself praying for the USA that we’ll heal inspite of the election. That those sowing discord and strife would be thwarted.

The Picture

Almost as soon as I was praying this, a fun image came to mind:
I saw people tossing seeds of thorn bushes and strife into well plowed rows. They were moving quickly.

But something remarkable was happening. Almost as soon as the seeds hit the soil, they sprang up into beautiful flowers that people naturally gathered around and admired together.

As the image ended, the sowers of discord turned around and saw what they’d planted had turned against them. The shock on their face was priceless.

Will you join me?

So I’m praying that picture today as we go through the elections here in the USA. Wherever you are, would you join me?

Jesus isn’t a misogynist; neither should we be

Happy International Women’s Day!

21 years ago today, I remember exhorting an audience at my prep school that the Bible advocates for treating men and women equally. That the rampant paternalistic misogyny in the world is one of the boldest proofs of the Fall talked about in Genesis. (Eve wasn’t to blame; Adam was. He stayed silent.)

As I see it, women are such a threat to the evil one, he keeps up an incessant attack on them in a vain attempt to keep them under his thumb. But they keep overcoming!

Jesus isn’t misogynistic

Jesus didn’t attack women, demean them, or try to keep them down. Despite His culture, he treated women with as much respect as men. He had a habit of lifting them up. He was a Jewish rabbi that had women disciples.

The first apostles were even women. (Matthew 28) An apostle is defined as one who has seen the risen Jesus and tells others about Him. Peter and the boys quickly took credit, but it was women who were the first “sent ones.”

Jesus still isn’t misogynistic. I want to be a man like Jesus.

Oddly, just last week I got an irate review on one of my books because I almost exclusively used “she” and “her” in talking about a donor prospect. The guy was really ticked. “Your book is way out of wack (sic) with reality…it’s poorly written with your constant referral to She (sic) as if Men (sic) don’t do this. I guess your secretary must be handling things while you promote your special skills.”

Shocking. Even with the bad grammar, we see this attitude all over. I figure we’ve used “he,” “his,” and “men” to describe all people for enough millennia, it’s now time to use “she” and “her.”

Equality is biblical; misogyny is evil

For those of us who follow Jesus, it has to go. Check out Galatians 3:25-28.

Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Can’t get much clearer than that.

Raise a glass

So today, I raise a glass to all of you with the two X chromosomes. Thank you for making our world a much better place. We’ve come along way in equality. Let’s celebrate that.

But we still have a long way to go. For those of us in the USA, let’s recommit to the ideal that “all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” (modification mine).

Introducing Eliot Cutler at the Waterville Rotary Club

Today I had the privilege of introducing gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler at the Waterville Rotary Club. Here’s what I said (at least what was in my notes!):

I’m honored to be able to introduce Eliot Cutler today.

As I was preparing my introductory remarks, I realized I ran the risk of taking up all of Eliot’s time in the introduction! So I’m choosing to limit my remarks to why I’m supporting Eliot Cutler for Maine’s next governor.

In this club, we’ve heard from both of the party nominees. These parties are going in directions many of us consider simply too extreme. Republicans and Democrats seem to be going through a seismic shift between moderates and extremists. This is cyclical in the history of US politics and is probably healthy.

But we in Maine don’t have time for that struggle to be played out in the Blaine House.

The first two years of the next governor’s term will be very tough. The next two may well be quite good. We need a man or woman versatile enough to navigate both the cuts needed in the hard years and the judicious investments needed in the good times.

I believe Eliot Cutler is that man.

Eliot knows Maine. He knows government, and having spent my spring as the campaign manager for Peter Mills, I now appreciate how important it is to know how government works. More importantly for me, Eliot also knows how to run successful international businesses. He has a vision for not just how Maine fits in the new global market, but how Maine can be a player in the global economy.

Eliot has a plan. As the party candidates have continued speaking the primary platitudes they’ve used all spring, Eliot has shared the details of his plan. It is so detailed, Maine media are saying it is now the standard the other candidates need to meet when they share theirs. Eliot’s plan honestly shares the uncomfortable decisions that will need to be made, and the more comfortable opportunities.

Eliot is a man of action. His actions impress me the most. This summer, while the party nominees were still just talking, Eliot brought a delegation of Chinese business leaders to look at the distinctively Maine industries of lobster, blueberries, and aquaculture.

Our current governor goes overseas on trade delegations. Eliot brings those delegations to Maine.

That’s why it’s a great pleasure to be able to welcome Eliot Cutler to our Rotary Club.

During Eliot’s entire talk, the Republican Governor’s Association’s tracker, Ryan, filmed every word. Both parties are worried because Eliot’s campaign is so strong. And both are throwing negative smears his way. As an independent, he doesn’t have the parties to help finance his campaign.

Would join me in helping him? You can make a secure donation over at:
http://www.cutler2010.com/donate/

Thanks!

A Thought on Memorial Day Weekend


This weekend, we remember the thousands of veterans who’ve fought and died for us to enjoy the privileges we take for granted.

One of those privileges is the ability to participate in choosing our leaders. A privilege the majority of us will blow off.

Here in Maine, June 8 is an election day. The two major parties will be nominating their gubernatorial candidates and as well as candidates for some state offices. We will also be deciding important issues for our state and our communities.

But it’s estimated that less than 30% of us will even show up at the polls.

Less than 30%.

Please, let’s remember the sacrifice of our veterans and those currently protecting us by turning out and voting.

Whatever your issue, whoever your preferred candidate, a republic like ours is meant to have direct input from each of us. Not just 30%.

Let’s remember our veterans this weekend and on June 8.

My new career: Starting in politics with Peter Mills

I’ve been told that Gen Xers will have 7 careers during their life, and multiple jobs within those careers. As of today, I’ve started a new job, and if you think of it as a switch from healthcare to politics, possibly a new career as well!

A few weeks ago, I gave my resignation from my position at Inland Hospital. Yesterday was my last day. My favorite gubernatorial candidate, Peter Mills, asked me to direct his statewide campaign and I said “Yes!”

I loved my five years at Inland. It’s a great hospital and a real asset for Waterville. I’m honored to have been able to take the annual fundraising from around $60,000/year to between $250,000 to $500,000 a year. An even more exciting accomplishment was bringing the cost of raising a dollar from $1.75 before I came to around $0.50.

But I never moved to Waterville to take a job at a hospital, as great as that job was. My family and I moved here to start a church. After we closed the church, we looked at moving to OH or PA, but found we’d come to love Waterville.

So this new position is awesome. In it, I get to use social media, use my fundraising expertise, use my marketing skills, use my coaching abilities–I get to bring my whole package to the task at hand!

People seem really concerned about what I’ll do after. And there are a number of hurdles to jump through:

  • We need to get 3,250 $5 checks by March 31. That will allow us to qualify for money to run the campaign. (We’re within about 500. If you’re registered to vote in Maine and would like to help, you can find the web page on the State site at: http://bit.ly/5forPeter.)
  • We need to get Peter nominated by the Republican voters in the primary on June 8.
  • And then we need to get Peter elected on November 9.

Somehow, all of these “known deadlines” seem a lot less risky than the seeming “sure thing” of a steady job. Perhaps it’s because I received half a dozen job inquiries in January. Or perhaps it’s because I continue to get speaking and training invitations. Or because my book on fundraising continues to sell. (Just shipped an entire case of 120 books to New Zealand!) I am also having a blast teaching a course at Thomas College in internet marketing.

Whatever it is, this risk feels more like an adventure. I’m honored to be married to a woman with a spirit of adventure too! (She did make sure I would apply to Starbucks if it didn’t work out so we could at least have health benefits. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Does Peter Mills have a chance?

I’m often asked if I really think Peter Mills has a chance.

I do.

I have no idea why anyone would make the decision to work on a campaign that they thought didn’t have a chance!

Peter ran in 2006, but he ran a general campaign in the primary. He had a great time connecting with people all over the state. He’s a great fit for Maine. He votes his mind–and he’s got a very smart mind! He researches issues, talks to people that are affected by the legislation, and often writes detailed reports This ends up in his votes being fiscally conservative and socially libertarian.

But I digress. In 2006, he ran a campaign to the whole state when he really needed to get Republican votes for a nomination. And even then, he came within 3 percentage points of being nominated!

More importantly, all the major papers in Maine said that if he’d been nominated in 2006, he’d have beaten the incumbent Governor Baldacci.

He’s definitely the most electable Republican in our state. And yes, I think he has a great chance of winning. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’d like to learn more about Peter, check out http://MillsForMaine.com.

Nerdy Medical Humor

As seen in today’s intranet at the hospital:

Doctors’ Opinions of the Financial Bailout Plan
The allergists voted to scratch it, and the dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The osteopaths thought we’re all being manipulated. The orthopedists issued a joint resolution.

The gastroenterologists had a gut feeling that it was not something they could stomach. The neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve, and the obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

The ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted; the otolaryngologists wouldn’t hear of it; the pathologists said, “Over my dead body!” while the pediatricians advised, “Oh, grow up!”

The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness; the radiologists could see right through it; and the general surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The vascular surgeons were thinking along the same vein.

The internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow; and the plastic surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter.” The podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the urologists felt the scheme wouldn’t hold water.

The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas; and the cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say much of anything.

In the end, the proctologists, concerned that we’re already in arrears, wanted a more probing analysis.

Unofficial Guide to a Republican Convention

I don’t know about you, but I’m experiencing political fatigue.

I’m amazed at how many of my sane, normally enjoyable, intelligent friends get so wrapped up in this election. Calling people names. Snide remarks about the candidates. Smug assertions of their own superiority.

As I see it, political conventions bring out some of the nastiest human tendencies–hubris, pettiness, vindictiveness–and brings them to a national stage. Mine included.

And this high level of emotional negativity is draining.

Yes, I believe it’s important to be politically involved. Yes, I am civically engaged. But c’mon. Democrats aren’t the anti-christ. And neither are Republicans.

Apparently I’m far more “moderate” than I ever thought I was! :0

Ironically, this morning I came across a copy of my “Unofficial Guide to the Maine Republican State Convention” from 2004.

I did my American duty and went. The technical process of politics was b-o-r-i-n-g. The level of groupthink was astonishing. And the intense seriousness that people brought to the convention was incredible.

The “Unofficial Guide” was my Gen-X nerdy way of trying to process the event. It’s a slightly irreverent six pages. My favorite portion is the section on Roberts Rules. I end the piece with “6 Ways to Make Your First Convention More Fun.”

I hope your experience reading it is as fun as mine was writing it! Click here for a PDF of my unofficial guide to the Maine State Republican Convention.