RSS

Category Archives: Education

It Takes a Village to go Back to Back…..to Back to Back!

Never before in the history of the UIL, (the University Scholastic League is the organization that creates rules for and administers almost all athletic, music, and academic contests for public primary and secondary schools in the state of Texas. It is the largest organization of its type in the world.) has any Texas high school’s athletic teams won back to back State Championship Titles in two separate sports. Never before, that is, until this past weekend in San Antonio when the Canadian Wildcats  won their second consecutive State 2-A Championship in basketball…..to go along with their two consecutive State Championships in football!

Consider the fact that every public school in the state of Texas competing in a variety of sports for no less than 106 years….this feat has not been accomplished. A few others came close, but just couldn’t close the deal. Understandable!!

■ Dumas: Class 3A 1961-62
■ Duncanville: Class 5A 1990-91
■ Southlake Carroll: Class 3A 1992-93
■ Everman: Class 3A 2002-03
■ Cayuga: Class 1A 2009-10
■ Idalou: Class 2A 2010-11

Last year when Canadian won their State Championship in football, and then followed that with their basketball championship, they became only the 7th team in 105 years to accomplish that feat. In the past two years they have amassed a 24-0 (Football & basketball combined!) playoff record on the way to their titles. 

The highly regarded Harris Ratings System that has been ranking every football team in Texas since 1963, tagged the 2015 Canadian team as the greatest in small school football history. In sharp contrast their basketball team got off to somewhat of a slow start this season losing two games to district rival Stratford. But they peaked at just the right moment to do what’s never been done before!

“It Takes a Village”, a book written by a certain current presidential candidate, focuses on the impact individuals, and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and advocates a society which meets all of a child’s needs. And while I disagree with the book’s premise that a ‘village’, or community, has more of a responsibility to raise up a child than a family (totally disagree!). I would agree that in the case of the Canadian Wildcats….it has literally taken a village to produce this amazing group of young men!

Canadian has been behind their young people (not just the athletes) maybe more than any town I’ve ever seen. That didn’t recently just start happening….It’s been going on for awhile! And while it takes a high-level of athleticism to accomplish what they’ve accomplished….it can’t do anything but help when you know you’re not just competing for a trophy….but an entire community.

I’ve written a couple other blogs about the Wildcats and each time I’ve deliberately left out the names of individuals who are the ‘standout’ athletes in terms of yards gained, or points made. I’m stickin’ with that here, too. You can look ’em up and make them heroes if you want to. Nothing wrong with that, in fact. But in my opinion, if you’re going to start recognizing individuals….you’re going to have to recognize several thousand who have had a profound effect on the success of these teams. 

So, I’m congratulating the whole Village! The athletes, of course, coaches, all the support staff, but also parents, grandparents, pastors, churches, school board, school administration, teachers, student body, merchants….and an innumerable number of fans, many of which don’t live in Canadian and never even went to school there!

The whole ‘Village’ has made an incredible investment in these teams,(if nothing more than their sheer support)…..to the degree that we all consider them “Our Team”

Click here to read Amarillo Globe News Report

You’ll want to check out my other blogs @ the Wildcats, too:

Fist Fightin’, Pool Shootin’, Gun Fightin’…and Bull Ridin’! …….and I Guess, Now, High School Football!

All-Time Favorite Sports Franchise – Canadian, Texas Wildcats

Canadian Wildcat Update

2016WordpressSignatureSM2

 

Tags: , , , , ,

VIP #11 – Steve Jobs

Knew him well! You didn’t know that?!! …….No, not really. But I’d like to have know him. I’ve kind of had a fascination for Steve Jobs for about ten years, or so, now. Not sure why that started except maybe when I first bought a Mac computer I started to pay attention to whoever it was that headed up the Apple organization.

I was needing a new cell phone just about the time the first iPhone came out….but the Blackberry was the ‘going thing’, at the time. So, I bought a Blackberry. Julie took a chance on the iPhone. I played with her phone for 5 minutes and hated the Blackberry from then on! (the Blackberry doesn’t even exist anymore!) I was so impressed with their products (still am!) as compared to anything else out there that it seemed obvious that someone, somewhere really had an edge in the technology industry.

I’m far from being a high-tech person (I’m past low-tech; I guess you could say I’m, mid-tech, lol) …..but I really appreciate it. I’m fascinated by technology, always have been….ever since I got my first little transistor radio for Christmas when I was just little kid in grade school. But Steve Jobs is, in my opinion, in a class all by himself. You’d have to consider Bill Gates, I guess. But as far as I’m concerned…they’re not even close. In fact all of Apple’s competitors have been playing ‘catch-up’ for several years now. There’s several competitor versions of the iPhone, and iPad out there….but Apple still leads the pack. *(by the end of 2010 Apple had amassed over $76 billion in cash reserves!) Not bad for a business/company that was started in a garage!

When Steve Jobs’ book  (click to see) was released….I bought it that day and literally read straight through it. What an interesting guy; Quirky, driven, extremely hard to work for, visionary, incredibly intolerable of anything other than outright excellence, reclusive, very hard on employees, ruthless negotiator. Steve Jobs had a dream a generation ago that everyone on the planet needed a laptop computer…..before there was even such a thing!! One of my favorite stories in the book involved John Sculley, CEO of Pepsi Cola. Steve wanted to hire John to head up Apple. As was his custom Steve would walk with people in his extremely affluent neighborhood (barefooted) and talk business. After a long walk Sculley was unmoved in leaving Pepsi and coming to Apple. Steve closed the deal by saying to him, “Well, John, you need to decide if you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water…..or changing the world.” Sculley left Pepsi for Apple!! You should read the book!

Steve Jobs, whether you admire him or not, is one of the most influential figures of our lifetime. In the final analysis he will need to be compared to men like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. He has affected your life in some way whether you choose to accept it or not. That’s why I consider Steve Jobs a VIP!

PS-I have a dream somewhat like Steve Jobs. One of these days I’ll tell you about it.

*Check out other VIP Blog*Read them all by going to the “Archives”:

VIP’s #10 – Cliff & Charlene Taylor

VIP #3 – Ronnie Chadwick

2016WordpressSignatureSM

 

Tags: ,

Now, If I Were a Lawyer…..

…..which I ain’t…..but I almost was. I went to college right our of high school on a rodeo scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. My grades were good enough but It was mostly all about college rodeo at the time and not much about education. Looking back…not very smart but it was what it was. We did have a very competitive team at Eastern. I was second in the bull riding in the  region with a lot of good bull riders….and our team was 3rd nationally at the College Finals in Bozeman, Montana. But after a year there I’d had enough of college life and headed back to the ranch and to rodeo full-time.

I started thinking about what I would do after rodeo. Actually, looking back, not many of my rodeo friends gave much thought of what they’d do ‘after’! Again, not wise, but it was mostly a fact. I had always had an interest in law and the whole legal system, even as a young adult. I remember watching every episode I could of Perry Mason, then later Barnaby Jones and every other TV show or movie about lawyers. So, I set my mind to pursue that kind of career. My plan was to get a business degree and then on to law school. I put rodeo on the back burner, for the most part. Got another rodeo scholarship to Southwestern State in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Took some summer school classes so I’d be eligible for the fall college rodeo run. All was going right on schedule, made the Dean’s Honor Roll in both my summer and fall classes. 

When the PRCA winter rodeos cranked up I went; Denver, Ft Worth, San Antonio, Houston. I could do that and not miss too much school. I rode good, but didn’t draw good at all and up until the Astrodome Rodeo in Houston I hadn’t won a dime. But the week following Houston I ‘hit a lick’! In rodeos in Montgomery, Alabama, San Angelo, Texas and Phoenix I brought home over $5000, which was quite a bit in those days (1976). It positioned me to make a good run to go to the National Finals Rodeo. I never went back to another class at Southwestern! Again, pretty dumb (seems like I keep saying that quite a bit!), but it was what it was. My run for the NFR was squelched when I got injured at Sidney, Iowa on August 12, resulting in major shoulder surgery.

I never again pursued a law career for a number of reasons. I still think about it every week, …..sometimes daily. I still watch whatever I can on TV and movies, I read nearly all of John Grisham’s books up to a point, and I have a few friends who are lawyers. I still enjoy picking their brains about their career, it still fascinates me.

I think I would’ve made a decent lawyer. and when I’m having a bad week it does still go through my mind to go back to school and get that degree. (dumb again! Way too far behind the curve now!) But, I guess, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Although there’s plenty of people who don’t think so……and at times I really wonder, myself. But, God has a way of getting us where He wants us to be.

So, in the meantime, I’ll just have to live that life vicariously through the few I know that are actually doing it. So, David K, Abby C., Michelle R., Deb M., James W., Lynn F. or Brian H…..if I get on your nerves (it could happen!) questioning you about what you’re doing….you have my permission to tell me to ‘back off’!

*Some great timing; finishing my blog and on the Today Show there’s a story on Dickie Scruggs, a lawyer who took on Big Tobacco…and won! I’ll be busy for a few minutes!

*You might like this one too! *(click on the highlighted link)

August 12… “A Day That Lives in Infamy”….at  Least For Me!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Virtual Reality

We only started hearing that term around ten years ago. Now we hear it fairly often. “Virtual Reality” is a term given for ‘an artificial environment experienced through sights and sounds generated by a computer that mimics an actual experience’. The technology has come a long way in a short time and is advancing at warp speed. You can, with the computers help, fly a plane or a helicopter without ever leaving the ground, or even take a visual trip through the human body. Pretty amazing stuff, huh?!

But as amazing as the technology is……when I hear the term, ‘virtual reality’, it makes me want to give my own definition. My definition is simply this: “Almost real”.It appears real. It feels real. It can cause the same emotions and reactions as the real thing……but it’s just not real!

We should be careful these days to make sure that the church is not just a church of “virtual reality”! Most everyone wants their church experience to be without problems, snags and negative happenings of any kind. That’d be great with me too……but it ain’t reality!! The truth of the matter is that there’s all kinds of problems in any church. As people…..we’re pretty flawed (sorry if that hurts your feelings!), and in our process of being ‘renewed’ we make all kinds of mistakes and blunders. And when we come together on Sunday, there’s a whole house full of messed up people. 

We could try to fake it (…and most do!!) and act like we don’t have a problem one,……but that would be “Virtual Reality”, almost real. Or…..we could see it, and live it out, as it really is. You can always look around the room (in church) and find somebody more ‘messed up’ than you. Although most of the time when I do that….I can’t seem to find anyone that fits the bill! But you know what?? It’s REALITY!! 

Next time you go to church (hopefully that’ll be soon) and look around and everything appears wonderful, meticulous with everything just ‘oozing’ perfection, “Heads up!!” …….you’re experiencing “Virtual Reality”. If, on the other hand, everyone is obviously far from perfect and both you and them have problems that look like they’re too big to overcome……

Congratulations!! You have found the “REAL THING’!!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some of It’s ‘Taught’……But Most of It’s ‘Caught’!

After observing for over half a century, and looking even closer the past 20 years or so it just seems to be a fact. We can spend a good deal of our time teaching or being taught…..and I’m definitely for that. I’ve committed myself to be a ‘learner’ up until my last day on the planet. And so far it seems to be working. It’s easy to be a learner if you want to be one. And, if you are really serious about being a learner it’s wise to understand that you can learn a little something from just about anyone.

Learning comes in a lot of different packages. (Experience is a great teacher. I’ll write about that later.) Some of our learning came in the classroom. Especially, early on, we learned from teachers (or our parents) how to read, how to write and basic things like that. So, obviously, a lot of what we have learned in our lives has been taught. But as I look at myself and my life it’s clear that much, maybe even most, of what I know, and what I’m actually living out….I’ve ‘caught’ from others along the way.

When I look at how I think and reason, how I behave and how I react to different situations it becomes pretty clear that I picked a lot of that up from my folks growing up and then being around them as an adult. I admire them to a great degree. I see them at least a few times a week (they’re in their 80’s) and I’m still ‘catching’ things from them. We have a tendency to ‘catch‘ things in life from those that at are ‘over’ us; parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders, etc.  It’s especially true when those people have been ones that we trust or admire.We can even ‘catch’ things from our friends who are on an even level with us. I think that ‘s a good thing. Even Paul in the Bible said, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” 

So, from here on out, I think we should commit ourselves to both….what we’re ‘taught’..….and what can be ‘caught’. As I write this I kinda wonder what people might say they ‘caught’ from me.

I really hope some of it’s good.

If you liked this one….I think you might like these too:

*Click on highlighted link to read.

There’s Just So Much of This Stuff in Life We’re Gonna Have to Learn the ‘Hard Way’!

Listen More …….. Learn More!

There’s Something To Be Said For Not Knowing Anything!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If You See God “Wrongly”…….You’ll Never See Yourself “Rightly”!

There aren’t many discussions any more important than this one; Who is God? Big question, to say the least. And my fear is that God has been grossly ‘misrepresented’ in our world. Mainly by those who know ‘about’ Him…..but don’t really actually ‘know’ Him! It’s a huge problem if you ask me….and it needs to be fixed ASAP!…..not only for each of us as individuals….but for the whole world in general!

There are a hundred good reasons to connect with the Father relationally. It’s really what our lives should be all about. It’s the answer for everything that ‘s wrong. It’s the ‘cure for mankind’. When you ‘connect’ relationally with the Father you begin to find out “Who” He really is! But if we never do connect in that way we’ll always have a ‘secondhand’ perception of Him.

If you only see God as “Judge” you’ll always be somewhat ‘fearful’ of Him. You’ll always be mindful of your failures and all the things you’ve done to ‘let Him down’. And you’ll be scared about what He might say to you on that ‘final’ day! I have plenty of conversations with people who have made this their reality. They see themselves as not really ‘measuring up’. It’s a ‘wrong’ perception!! It’s not a little wrong, ……it’s a long way from the actual Truth! You see your self ‘wrongly’ ……because you are seeing God ‘wrongly’!

The only way we’ll ever see ourselves ‘rightly’ is when we start to see God for Who He really Is……and that is as a Father. The next step, then, is to begin to interact with Him at that level……as a son or a daughter. Now listen….it really does have to go beyond acknowledging Him as Father; it must be relational or we’ve totally missed the point. Don’t make it hard!! It’s the easiest thing there is for a child ………to naturally relate to his/her Dad. 

When you see God for Who He is, you’ll start to see yourself just like He sees you!

            You’ll see yourself ‘rightly’!!

            You’re gonna like what you see!

            I guarantee it!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There’s Just So Much of This Stuff in Life We’re Gonna Have to Learn the ‘Hard Way’!

It seems like it’s just a universal trait of humanity; this learning stuff the hard way. I was re-reminded of this a few days ago when my littlest grandson, Maverick, got his most recent knot on the head. He’s a year and a half old and the cutest little guy you’ve ever seen. (a little partiality here, but you understand!) He had two wrecks in the span of about 4 days that put two good-sized nicks in the ‘ol noggin’! The first one happened when he tried climbing up on a big heavy chair made from a old style tractor seat. You can imagine how heavy that was. Well, he got up about one step and the chair tipped over backwards with him and the edge of the heavy seat caught him right under the left eye. Miraculously, it missed his eye or it could’ve been really bad. Off to the ER they went to get him tended to. We were out of town when it happened but I “Face-Timed” Cole & Kelly (his dad & mom) later and got to talk to Maverick, himself. It was just an hour or so after they got home from the hospital. His eye was swelled shut but he was already in a good mood. 

The other wreck happened as he was playing with the front yard gate at his house. It’s just a little 4′ gate made out of inch and a half square tubing. He was just having fun pushing it all the way around one way….then all the way around the other way. He built up a little confidence and got a pretty good run at it pushing it around. Well, you know, every swinging gate has a ‘stopping place’…..and Maverick found it…with his little forehead! I saw it coming from 30′ away but no way to get there before it happened. Immediate tears and a fifty cent piece size knot on his forehead reminded me again of how our lives go sometimes. Five minutes later he was running and playing again!

As much as we try and help our kids and grandkids avoid those kinds of things…it just seems like a fact of life that quite a few of our lessons are going to be learned that way. We could only wish those kinds of hard lessons ended with our childhood….but not to be true. It even seems that as adults we’re determined to defy logic, intuition and common sense, sometimes, to learn those lessons.

The good news is that “experience is a great teacher”!! Nothing like a hard lesson to help us not to do it again! And, you know, the Lord will let us just run past the wisdom, foresight and instruction of the Holy Spirit if we’re determined to. I’m trying to do better. I’ve had all the “lessons learned the hard way” that I really want. I think I’ll spend more time trying to listen to the Lord….and pay attention to what He’s saying to me!

IMG_0608

**Disclaimer: Being a ‘Taylor’ might make one have to learn more than their fair share of ‘hard lessons’!!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: