Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1. Santa's Workload There are two billion children in the world, but since Santa doesn't appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist children, that reduces his workload to 15% of the total, or 300 million. At an average rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 85.7 million homes. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different times zones and the rotation of the Earth, assuming he travels East to West. This works out to 767.9 visits per second. So for each household with good children, Santa has about 1/1,000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the presents, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, into the sleigh and move on to the next house."
2. The Time/Distance Factor Assuming that these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the Earth, we're talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles.
3. Calculation of Estimated Speed This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound.
4. Santa's Payload Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-size Lego set (about two pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as "heavy." On land, normal reindeer could pull no more than 300 pounds, and even granting that flying reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, Santa's going to need 214,200 reindeer to pull his sleigh. This increases the payload to 353,430 tons, or four times the weight of the "Queen Elizabeth."
Conclusion: A craft of 353,000 tons, traveling at 650 miles per second, creates enormous air resistance. This will heat up Mr. Claus and his sleigh like a spacecraft reentering Earth's atmosphere.
Translation: If there is a Santa, he's toast.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
You see, Sunday, December 14th, marked my 6th anniversary as pastor of Westmoreland Baptist Church. To say it has been quite a ride would be an understatement. I want to thank God for His Providence in bringing me to this place of service and for the wonderful people I have had opportunity to serve with and to serve. I also thank Him for His Grace that has helped to make them six of the most precious years of my 38 years in ministry.
According to my records, in the past six years I have preached 708 messages; married 12 couples; baptized 70 people; taken part in 9 mission trips (six overseas trips and three in North America); made countless visits to hospitals and nursing homes; and conducted 64 funeral and memorial services. As pastor, I have visited in numerous homes; canvassed the neighborhood; organized two Upward Sports Ministry leagues; held three evangelistic block parties; sat in on dozens of committee meetings; attended numerous youth rallies and associational events, went to six Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meetings; served two years as state convention president; and began a five year term on the Board of Trustees of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Furthermore I have been blessed to shepherd a flock that is easy to love. Easy for me to love, because they are beloved of the Father.
During these six years, I have also managed to work in six surgical procedures (three on my feet and three related to my battle with cancer); two six month courses of chemotherapy and all of the CT Scans, PET Scans, blood work, and all the other medical stuff that goes along with the above. Perhaps now you see why I thank Him for His Grace!
Have there been some ministry challenges during the past six years? Of course! That goes with the territory. But God has been faithful to me and to His people in this congregation. Personally I would love to have seen more baptisms, but He has added souls into His Kingdom as He sees fit, and I am simply thankful to be where He has placed me at this time. We want to be busy in the work of the Father, but we do not want it to just be so much busy work and activity. We seek to magnify Him in worship, help build Christ Followers along the way, as we minister to people in Jesus' name.
Last night's service was a really special ending to a special day for me.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
The "Mixed Blessings" class, taught by Terry Perdue (pictured here) were the sponsors and hosts for this year's Christmas Dinner. And what a great job they did! The class members braved the snowy weather on Saturday morning to set up the gym and decorate for the dinner. Not only did they have the inclement weather to fight, there were also furnace issues which presented a challenge during the morning hours. This group was not going to let circumstances steal their joy, so they persevered, and the result was a beautifully decorated gym.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Life is good!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As you probably already know, the material found in this blog is somewhat varied and often personal. Here is an email I received from Dr. Strat, himself. In this particular case I don't think the good doctor would mind be blowing his cover. His secret identity is that of my youngest brother, Carl Adkins. Stadium Manager by day and guitar man by night, Carl has "had the music in him" since he was a little child. As you will see, he is donating the proceeds of the sale of his original music compositions from his eight albums to a good cause, The Guitar Center Music Foundation http://www.guitarcentermusicfoundation.org/ .
I have already passed this along to folks on my daily email list, but in hopes of reaching a larger potential audience, I'm also publishing it here. Perhaps you can help with this worthy charitable cause. Of course, I'm going to do so. Read on for all the details, and follow the links at the bottom to Dr. Strat's website and Facebook page. Here is the text of Dr. Strat's email:
Friends, Family and Associates,
Is there anyone you know who doesn't LOVE music? Whatever the genre, there is just something incredible about the vibrations created by the sound of music as it travels from your ear through your mind and body to eventually touch your heart and soul. Think for just a moment about your favorite song(s) and what it does to your spirit - how it makes you feel.
Sadly, I'm sure you're aware of how music classes and programs have been in a steady decline from school curriculums and other organized programs in recent years. For many kids, these programs truly hold the key to their future. After all, not everyone is cut out to be a Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant or Senior Vice President of Marketing. The fewer kids that find their calling in music, the fewer the compositions, the standards and masterpieces that will be written in the future. Not exactly what any of us would hope for.
Like many, I've struggled with how to be part of the solution. Excuses like "I don't know how I can help" or "I don't know where to start" or "I don't have the time or money to donate" are common ones. Guess what? We can make a difference! It's easy…Here's the value proposition: For as little as .89, you get a unique, all original Dr. Strat composition for your i-pod or computer with all of the artist proceeds going towards funding music programs or putting instruments in the hands of eager kids. How, you ask? Simple. It's as easy as 1-2-3
1. Click on any link below or, go to i-tunes store and enter Dr. Strat in the search box
2. Buy AT LEAST one song (feel free to buy more!) for only .89 or .99 cents
3. 3. Forward this message to EVERYONE in your address book and ask that they do the same (as a courtesy to others, please use the Bcc field when sending)
That's right – for every Dr. Strat song you buy, the proceeds will go to http://www.guitarcentermusicfoundation.org/ helping someone in the U.S. to have the chance to discover and embrace the power and magic of music. When I originally wrote and recorded these songs, it was a simply a creative outlet that made me feel good and allowed me to express whatever I was feeling at that time. Now it's my hope that the fun I had from the creative process will benefit others by giving them the chance to be exposed to music by your generous purchase of some fine Dr. Strat tunes.
I Thank You in advance for using the power of viral marketing to help keep the music alive for the future with your purchase and by sending this to EVERYONE in your address book and encouraging them to do the same. Oh yeah…one other thing…I hope you enjoy the music!
For more on Dr. Strat's music, please visit my website at http://web.me.com/drstrat or my Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Strat/31401608414
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Journalism died in 2008 after an extended illness. The grand old profession had it's roots in the messengers, couriers, and town criers of old. The object was to report the news. Advancing technology over the years, from print, to wire services, radio, television, and the internet allowed journalism to grow and thrive. Sadly, it had shown signs of failing health since the mid seventies and died an ugly death this political season.
By definition, Journalism is the profession of the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media. The word was included in Webster's dictionary in 1829 describing "writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine
writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation." When most of us think of journalism, we think of a "reporter", one who uncovers the facts and reports them to the public through his or her particular media.
Editorially, the management of various media enterprises can also present their points of view on current issues and report on the actions of the government, public officials, corporate executives, interest groups, media houses, and those who hold social power or authority. Journalism is described as "The'Fourth Estate.
In 1841,Thomas Carlyle wrote in On Heroes and Hero Worship these words:
". . . The affairs of the nation were there deliberated and decided; what we were to do as a nation. But does not, though the name Parliament subsists, the parliamentary debate go on now, everywhere and at all times, in a far more comprehensive way, out of Parliament altogether? Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or a witty saying; it is a literal fact,--very momentous to us in these times. Literature is our Parliament too. Printing, which comes necessarily out of Writing, I say often, is equivalent to Democracy: invent Writing, Democracy is inevitable. Writing brings Printing; brings universal everyday extempore Printing, as we see at present. Whoever can speak, speaking now to the whole nation, becomes a power, a branch of government, with inalienable weight in law-making, in all acts of authority. It matters not what rank he has, what revenues or garnitures. The requisite thing is, that he have a tongue which others will listen to; this and nothing more is requisite. The nation is governed by all that has tongue in the nation: Democracy is virtually there. Add only, that whatsoever power exists will have itself, by and by, organized; working secretly under bandages, obscurations, obstructions, it will never rest till it get to work free, unencumbered, visible to all. Democracy virtually
extant will insist on becoming palpably extant. . . ."
Generally, journalists are expected to be responsible and objective in their analysis, and are supposed to refrain from personal biases or prejudices. However, many today feel that objectivity is a myth. Grade the News, an American website, identified seven yardsticks on the basis of which it judges the standards of some local media houses' news quality. These yardsticks are :
- local relevance
- civic contribution
You can draw your own conclusions how the various broadcast and print media today are measuring up to these yardsticks. I have already stated my opinion, for what it's worth.
"Investigative Journalism" seems to have been spawned during the Watergate era. It somehow evolved to the point that the "reporters became the story". Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post became celebrities and the subject of a popular movie. As a result, men and women who had previously simply been "reporters" of the news seemed to begin to seek the spotlight for themselves.
Speaking at a national news correspondents convention in 1974, President Nixon allowed for a Q. & A. session. He called upon CBS' Dan Rather for a question. As the White House Correspondent for CBS, Rather had been doggedly pursuing the Watergate story. When Rather's name was spoken, the audience erupted into applause.
"Are you running for something, Mr. Rather?" Nixon quipped with a smile.
With a look of distain on his face, Rather countered, "No, Mr. President. Are you?"
That type of insolence has spread like an epidemic in recent years throughout the modern news media.
The most alarming thing to me about the demise of journalism is how the line between reporting and opinion has become almost unintelligible. Instead of reporting the news, some of our major broadcast media have crossed the line of objectivity. NBC is a case in point. Somewhere in the top floors of the General Electric Building on Rockefeller Plaza, upper management made the decision to not only report on the Presidential Election, but to influence the outcome of said election, by their unabashed support of the Democratic Candidate, Senator Obama. The news organization that gave us professional reporters like Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and John Chancellor, now brings us clowns like Keith Olbermann, disguised as news reporters – openly cheering for a particular candidate. Olbermann and Chris Matthews are pundits – commentators – opinion givers. That's fine, but when the network advanced them to be reporters at the conventions, debates, and during election returns, one should be able to expect some semblance of impartiality. Not so. They might as well have been on the DNC's payroll.
Fox News is just as bad on the other side of the ledger. Roger Ailes and his staff are most certainly sympathetic to the Republican cause. And why not? The only thing "fair and balanced" that Fox offers, is a more conservative alternative to the left leaning reporting of NBC, CBS, and ABC. Same stuff – different flavor.
Do you ever long for the days when John Cameron Swazye simply reported the news? Are you as tired of the network propaganda as I? Why can't they give us the news, and delineate clearly on what is reported news and what is opinion? What would you give for a modern day Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, or Huntley-Brinkley report, to bring you a clear and concise view of what is happening in the nation and the world?
Alas, I am afraid that type of journalism has gone the way of S&H Green Stamps.
Goodbye old friend. Rest in Peace.