New Blog Location

Hello! Hola! Bonjour!
Ciao! Salaam! Guten tag!

Hello everyone who has been a faithful reader and follower of my blog. There are many of you from around the globe who have stopped by to read a post, or two.

Here’s an update – I’ve moved locations!
You can easily find me at the clickable link:

www.MichaelGurley.org

It is a work in progress as I setup the new site,
but I will be posting daily, or thereabouts!

I’m also working on moving many of my existing posts over…

Please. Come join me!

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Change Needs Management

Change Needs Management: (Audio)

Chatting with a friend, Edwin Forkpa, over the past several days, we discussed the challenges any part of the world faces with the concept of change. He comes from Liberia, West Africa, and his country recently went through a Revolution and many were killed and displaced. Life was different during the change and is sufficiently different today than it was 30 years ago. He is my age and his experiences with life are totally different than mine. It has been an interesting conversation!

A major portion of our dialogue revolved around the differences between Revolution and Evolution. Forcing change versus allowing for change to happen over a longer period of time.

This brought me to a thought process about the changes I’ve been a part of in my life when was it forced on me, and how differently did I accept change as it evolved?

How do we make change happen? Or allow for it to occur?
Can new ideas be introduced efficiently?
Can change be sold as something necessary?
Or is it better forced down our throats?
Are we sure it’s beneficial for the greater good?
Do we resist more what we do not understand or agree to?

Add to all of this, “What do you do when no one listens, or cares, about the needs you express?” How do you deal with the changes that fail to come or the changes that overwhelm your life?

Repeatedly we have seen marchers hijack the conversation to present their case, demanding change, shouting down those in opposition and thinking they are right because they have the louder voice. I am resistant to this and will tune off and tune out the shout and the march.

Often, the change sought for is simply a knee-jerk reaction to perceived wrongs or needs. It may be there is some meat on the bone for what must be changed, but getting everyone to the conversation is difficult. If the change sought for has no proven gain or benefit, then no one will win even if the change occurs.

“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse;
as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach,
that it often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.”
~Washington Irving (Tales of a Traveler – 1824)

Change can be difficult. It can hurt. It can impact your life. You can be forced from your comfort zone into a place of new discomfort. Talk to any of us who have experienced a change in technology.

After a long weekend of migrating our keypunch card data to disk storage in 1978 or so, my manager threw up his hands and declared, “Let’s go back to cards!” “I’ll quit!” in jestful warning…said I…but not really. Cards were on their way out and it was past time to improve our world.

Change can be fearful! Just like staying with floppy disks was never a right move, adding multiple computers to automobiles have made them more efficient – and more difficult to diagnose and repair by the shade tree mechanic. Everything changes and is improved and better than ever before! Right? From cereal to automobiles, to homes! Now we hear of hackers from China reaching into the Tesla vehicles from afar and making their brakes activate without warning… That’s Change!  [Source]

Change can be forced and you have nothing to say about it! Just this morning I read the news that Apple is no longer producing two product lines – Nano and Shuffle. I have an older Nano that makes the trip around the yard, producing music for my ears while I mow. When it quits what will I buy to replace it? My world is shaken. It’s changing. How do I survive?

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” ~Chicken Little

Change can be negative just as easily as it can be positive. We are living in a state of constant change. Not just in one industry, but globally. We have migrated from snail mail to fax, to email, to text… what’s next? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s coming!

We need to learn how to manage the change as it impacts our personal world. You cannot change everything at one time, nor can you accept constant change in every area. You must choose what is important and necessary and migrate to your destination in a controlled fashion.

You must manage change.

Or change will overrun you! Not just the world around you, it will force you to migrate from your comfort zone, from who you think you are, to what everyone else wants you to be! It’s easy to throw up a wall to stop change, but if you do not learn how to manage change then you will be left behind. Terribly so!

“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” ~Peter Senge

I know I resist being changed! Who I am is important to me! What I am is important to me, and my areas of responsibilities! Who I choose to become…well, that’s a good thought process. I wonder…how much have I changed from the person I thought I was 40, or 50, years ago?

Before you think I’m rigid and set in stone, I’m a proponent of change that improves our options of living. I have lived through some radical changes of society and my viewpoint on many topics have changed over time. But there is still a core of me that yearns to be consistently the same.

Like the writers of the Old Testament penned the words of God, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” (Malachai 3:6), and in the New Testament, they spoke of Jesus Christ as “…the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

There is a spiritual and conditional living part of me that wants to remain consistent with scriptural teachings and principles.

I like to stay at the leading edge of technology, just not on the bleeding edge. This does not make me blindly accept every new thing that comes along. I’m willing to let it prove itself before I spend hard earned money and time!

Think with me a moment. If change is happening, what are you doing to infiltrate the events into your life?

We see the migration of automobiles from horseless buggies, to comfortable propulsion devices. The home went from a well you drew sustenance from the hole in the back yard to a water system that delivers consistent pressure to every opening in the house. That brick analog device first called mobile is now a sleek sliver of marvelous electronics that let you connect with the world.

There is much change happening every moment of the day! Managing the changes are important to all of us!

 

 

100 Years Old!

100 Years Old! (Audio)

Yep… The Ford F-100 is 100 Years Old today!… Bappy Hirthday! On July 27, 1917, Ford introduced the Model TT. For $600 you got the chassis and drive train, and supplied your own body… What a hoot!

But look where the truck industry has taken us!

My first car was a Ford (Falcon) and I’ve owned a number of Ford Trucks in my lifetime… Let’s see. 1953, 1967, 1969, 1992… and if I had money to spend, this number would be much higher! Ford always seemed to set the standard of expectations for truck drivers and continues to be one of the most highly rated vehicles around.

Now… Just so you know. I’ve always had an affinity for trucks… I’ve owned them all, at least the big 3. Ford. Chevy/GMC, Dodge. A bench seat, standard shift, and an open road ahead!

With all the changes happening in the auto industry, I thought about the life that owning a vehicle has given me. Essentially, freedom to go. Here are a couple of thoughts.

  1. When learning to drive, mom would toss me the keys and say, “Let’s go.” And we went. Normally later in the evening, and while she would sit and mull through life, I got to go anywhere I wanted. Freeway driving through Houston, downtown, across the ferry, into the country… Mom would give pointers every so often, but sometimes these drives lasted 2-3 hours!
  2. Sitting in dad’s lap learning to work the steering wheel, but not the pedals. Legs were still too short! Or sitting beside him and learning how to shift the 3 on the tree. He would explain the downshifting techniques that let the car slow without tapping the brakes.
  3. Uncle Eugene tossing me his keys so I could take him to the river to fish. About a 1950 five window Chevy truck. “Don’t use all the gas. Pick me up at sundown.” Let’s see. I was 10, maybe 11… Loved the country experience!
  4. Hours spent driving the driveway, or grandma’s front yard. Learning to parallel park, 3 corner turns, shifting, starting, stopping…. Hours! And we never went anywhere!
  5. Taking dad’s 1968 Dodge truck on a date often required you hosing it down, inside and out, to get rid of the paper mill smell. Whew! Stink-a-dena… (you have to understand the reference…just saying!)
  6. My first car was a wrecked 1964 Ford Falcon. Blue. I bought a 1965 Falcon front end. Aqua. Married them together. Two-tone car! Rebuilt the carb. Cleaned out everything. And drove that car for several years. Then on to my brother, and then to a guy who needed parts for his racer.
  7. My last car bought is my current truck. It’s 14 years old next month and has over 305,000 miles.

Through much of my life, I’ve sat behind a steering wheel and rolled the miles down the road. Over 1.5 million if my calculations are correct. Some folks cannot understand this love for the road. But there is an escape from the stressors of life that happens when you “Head em’ up, move em’ out! Rawhide!” Of course, you have to understand the life of a 50’s child enamored with the cowboy experience. Getting on your old steed and hitting the trail.

I’ve shared before, but this really sticks with me. While sitting in a hotel lobby about midnight, and trying to get some school work done on a trip to the UK and Germany with my brothers and dad, a mother and daughter asked to share the table. There were about 800 high school students all over the hotel and occupying every spare inch. The daughter had just graduated med school and was entering her practice and the mom was a retired school teacher. Among the many topics we discussed, the mom could not understand why we drive so many miles in our country. After all, she walked a couple of blocks, hopped a train, then a subway, then walked a few blocks to get to the hotel.  We were in London. She essentially traveled the length of her country in about 2-3 hours.

We calculated her mileage and time window…
I told her that wouldn’t even get me out of state, much less across the country. 

Just across the channel was Europe with all of its rail systems in place and it’s easy to modify to that style of life. Could not the US do the same? Sure. It never caught on, for some reason. We went by horse, wagon train, stagecoach, train…and then roads spanned the nation.

It was after WWII, about 1956, that the Interstate Highway system was born and Eisenhower put the nation to work. Not only was it a boon for the economy, it changed the landscape by opening up areas to road travel as never before. Why Eisenhower? He traveled across the country in WWI on the Lincoln Highway and then experienced the Autobahn in Germany during WWII. He could see the power of a highway system that connected the far flung portions of our nation. [Source]

Timing. Need. Experience. Economy. Technology. All these reasons gave us the opportunity to enjoy road trips like no other time in history. 

Of course, history never stays the same.

I’m not sure what the next generation of travel will be like. More and more people are moving to the cities and it changes the dynamics of life. Rural life leaves many of us to think they are absolutely crazy!

Toll roads. Self-driving cars. Uber/Lyft. Electric and battery vehicles. The cost of owning and operating a vehicle…wow! Never mind the cost of parking it in a garage as you make a commute to work or shopping!

Makes me want to head for the hills!

There’s a 1955 Chevrolet pickup for sale across the mountains. $6,000. Powder blue. Clean. 6 cylinders. Not a computer on board! And it’s my birth year… I wonder… Could I make it across the nation in this?

 

What Makes You Click and Read?

What Makes You Click and Read? (Audio)

For over 7 years I have been writing a blog, posting personal comments and insights, sharing scripture thoughts, and generally challenging myself with consistent writing and thinking. Even though I enjoy reading my past blogs and thinking through what I said years back, I often wonder what it is that makes YOU click and read one of my posts.

Will you click now and read the rest of the story?

Read More »

Rethink, Clarify and Restate

Rethink, Clarify, and Restate: (Audio)

Every morning, for over the past 15 months or so, I have been praying, asking for, and receiving a fresh morning thought. Maybe this is not unique to you, but when it seems the social world is constantly repeating the same quotes and ideas over and again…well, you can only dress up a pig so many ways, but it will always smell the same.

And when everyone seems to be on the same quote or scripture cycle, then seeing the same idea posted gazillion times a day only makes you question the reality of the world of social mechanics.

As I have repeatedly stated, I agree with Solomon:
There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Yet, I have not heard or learned everything there is to know!

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This is how my morning is going….

This is how my morning is going…

When you think you have things figured out, a simple question may leave you quaking in your boots… But why are we so constantly scared of this present world? Why?

I’m working on a week series of posts revolving around my thinking process. This is how it goes…sometimes! Sometimes you think the worst when you should be thinking the best. Why? We all fear the worst and think that is what will always happen to us.

As we learned yesterday, there is such a thing as simply remembering the promises of scripture. Emphasis mine…

Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. You will give truth to Jacob And mercy to Abraham, Which You have sworn to our fathers From days of old. (Micah 7:18-20 NKJV)

It matters little how bad we think our situation is… As the KJV states, “He will turn again…” He will again have compassion on us!

 

When DO You Take The High Road?

When DO You Take The High Road? (Audio)

It's amazing where your mind goes when you are tired. Not just in the flesh, but in your emotions. Your feeling of invincibility is sadly lacking and that ability you once had to control where your thoughts demand you go… well, it's buried underneath an avalanche of just plain old T-I-R-E-D! Tired…

Okay. I woke up extra early this morning and knowing that sleep will not easily return, I made my way to my favorite chair and tried to assemble enough energy points to allow me a few more minutes of rest. Or climb the stairs and unload my mind via this blog. Sleep did not win. Hence, I'm writing and thinking through this thought this morning.

Care to stay with me a few moments?

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