Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

3/30/09

Political Interviewer Gets Interviewed (Bill O'Reilly)

I'm not a fan of political talk radio/TV, finding it generally to be histrionics (on both sides). At best, funny. At worst, bitter. However, this interview of Bill O'Reilly is interesting. A bit of a softball piece, but intriguing.

Away from his political proclivities, he sounds like a pretty thought-out guy. These guys take a lot of heat, much deserved, some just politicking, but to do what they do, they need to be sharp, hard-working and anything but naive.

I'm still not likely to turn on the radio to listen to him (or his liberal competitor), but I'm impressed.

FYI: The title of the article has little to do with most of the interview. Read: Fox News' Bill O'Reilly boycotting Sean Penn films

3/28/09

Dystopia and the UnAmerican Dream

Hopeful? Pessimistic?

Forget all the bumper sticker politics for a moment. Think hope. Hope in something real.

Lights are going off for an hour in many cities. Why? Send the message to save energy. That's good, but there's a hard reality coming.

Energy will eventually end out, the sun will run out of gas, and anyone left living will die. My blog will no longer be updated. Sorry about that, but it is true.

No matter what we do, the end is near. How near? Ask God. No, don't. I did, and He's not telling.

So how can we hope?

While the light are off, remember the Light of the World, the lamp at your feet, the maker of the sun and the moon.

In the meanwhile, do what is right. Dystopia, or 'pessism porn' seems to be the tension in American society. Some blame men, others blame society in general. Some blame a few people close to them.

Americans are a long way from believing in the American Dream. Is this correlated with the empty church syndrome? I don't know. I do know that it sed to be understoofd that an American could do anything if he tried, lived right, and maybe had a little luck. Now, who do we depend on to lift us up? Not pluck. Not luck. And sadly, not ourselves.

Step up. Do what is right. What is right? Start with helping widows and orphans. Start with driving politely. Start with saying hello to people in the hallway at work.

Start.

3/25/09

Word:Word - A Game of Relationship

A word game for you. Please jump in with comments.

The rules:

Each word is returned with a relating word. The relationship must not be obtuse nor vague.

If I say 'brown', you say 'dog' and then I say 'cat' and you say 'milk', and I say 'cookies', and so on.

It cannot be direct, like 'yellow' then 'orange', but not so reaching as 'yellow' then 'pancreas'

First word:

scissors

Another similar game:
Word Game for the Wordy

3/20/09

CareFest 2009 - A Service Effort in DuPage County


Facebook and I are gaining a strange relationship. At first, I looked at it with disdain, and generally useless. I was wrong.

Technically, it has been a breeze. Things to learn? Sure, but mostly, it is no different than a content management app on steroids.

As a result, I have learned the value and use of Facebook groups. I have created many, from silly ones to pragmatic ones to strategic ones. So, if your name is also Anthony, I have a group for you. Running a marathon? Yup. Went to my grammar school? That's a bigger one.

And now, an even more important one. You guessed it (you cheated, didn't you, looking at that subject line and logo?).

CareFest on Facebook
CareFest is something I have been involved with for a couple years. If you live around the DuPage area, consider getting involved. Volunteering is easy, and, after (and before) May 2 is just as important. However, on May 2, you're part of an organized effort. If you have no skills or very strong skills, there's a place for you and your family.

I first got involved two years ago when my consulting business was at a dead stop. Unemployed/underemployed people have more time, and, like me then, are able to offer time helping set-up. Consider the upside of not having a job is you are "free to move around the county."

Check out the official press release below. Join the Facebook group if that's your thing, or call Wheaton Bible Church for more info: 630.260.1600. Drop me a line here if you are going.

CareFest 2009
A Service Effort in DuPage County

CareFest is a one-day missions trip to DuPage County. The goal is to build bridges of light into our community.

We will spend Saturday, May 2 serving schools, parks, our local ministry partners and local not-for-profits. By serving sacrificially, we communicate that we care and love our community. Projects will last all day, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. These projects include cleaning, landscaping, painting and light carpentry or plumbing. If you have a special skill, i.e. a plumber or an electrician, please let us know. Families with young children (under eight years old) will be assigned to projects the whole family can enjoy.

CareFest is for everyone. This is an opportunity to fulfill Jesus’ command to serve one another and to learn about the needs in our community. We hope your small group, Adult Community and/or family finds a place where you can serve on a regular basis.

CareFest will start at 8:15 am with a kick-off rally at Wheaton Bible Church. We hope to see you there!

3/17/09

Of Course The Macaroni and Cheese Is Green (You Should See the Milk)

Always. Hungary gets a big nod in my home most days, thanks to Aliz and my dad's side of the family. Not today. I have greened up my food since a boy on this day every year. Milk included.

You know what March 17 is - St. Patrick's Day. A lot of lies and lore about the real man. Secular people use it as another Mardis Gras, to drink until drunk. Some people really believe the tale about snakes. It goes on.

The real story isn't food coloring on mac and cheese, but what my friend Mary Carrington wrote about St. Patrick in Christian History Magazine. I'll tease you with the beginning:

Patrick the Saint
Behind the fanciful legends of the fifth-century British missionary stands a man worthy of embellishment.
Mary Cagney
October 1, 1998

A fleet of 50 currachs (longboats) weaved its way toward the shore, where a young Roman Brit and his family walked. His name was Patricius, the 16-year-old son of a civil magistrate and tax collector. He had heard stories of Irish raiders who captured slaves and took them "to the ends of the world," and as he studied the longboats, he no doubt began imagining the worst.

With no Roman army to protect them (Roman legions had long since deserted Britain to protect Rome from barbarian invasions), Patricius and his town were unprepared for attack. The Irish warriors, wearing helmets and armed with spears, descended on the pebbled beach. The braying war horns struck terror into Patricius's heart, and he started to run toward town.


To all of this I say -- Easter is Coming!

3/15/09

When Basketball Mattered: Greatest Game Intro Music Ever (video)

Go ahead, say Michael Jordan wasn't the best, or that Scottie Pippen was a jerk.

Do not, however, dispute that the Chicago Bulls introduction is not the best ever. Any sport, any team, any time.

3/13/09

Feeling Groovy on a Cold Day

Getting groovy at La Spiaza. More pictures on my Facebook account.
photo credits:
Dan Stultz

It is 18°F. Cold, but a great day. The end of a long week, which will be followed by another long week, but all is good. Spring is coming. Long, lingering runs on the Prairie Path are ahead. Sipping coffee on my patio at dawn, reading a book - also just a few weeks ahead.

Times are tough for many people. A friend pointed out that this is a time to help each other out. If you are out of work, do something with the free time. Help your neighbor. If you are blessed with work, invite a friend over for dinner. In the meanwhile, enjoy the inexpensive things: sun, borrowed books, coffee.

Complaining, becoming bitter, blaming politicians or business leaders will not improve anything but your odds of feeling depressed. Roll with it all, and be joyful. Always.

3/11/09

Bright Life Through Glasses Dimly: Hope in Crisis


I see life through these. Those are my glasses, as seen yesterday in a photo I took to test my camera. I'm near-sighted, and read more than many people. This combination requires specs. My eyesight is not bad, but, without them, Earthly life is fuzzier.

(I'll avoid continuing the wordplay above, as found in my post's subject line.)

It occurred to me how too many look at life without hope. Scroll down a couple of posts to see my Charlie Parker video. That's me talking about true hope: not in riches (though I realize I am enormously blessed), or good circumstances (job, life, marriage), but in God.

Granted, if you do not believe in God, hope is a more existential thing, and, if the economy is shot and you are dead broke, sure, I'd be depressed and hopeless too.

But I do believe in God. He's my lens. He doesn't show me everything, which frustrates me daily, and I don't see everything He shows me. I suppose that frustrates Him. Just the same, what I see is good. I see a few things: He put me here. 'Here' is His creation, and under His control. The world will go downhill, and, at some point, He's coming back to take me home. Maybe I'll die first. Either way, I'm going there when I'm done here.

I also see, in the meanwhile, I can do a few things on His behalf. He's asked me too. Feed the poor, help widows and orphans. It goes on, but this is not a Sunday school lesson on doing the right thing. It is about hope.

I'm loaded with hope. I've been knocked down many times in life. Some of it has been a direct result of my own actions, and sometimes, someone wronged me. Other times, it involves a thorn in my flesh. That thorn causes me to limp, so to speak, and I have not always limped well. All that is to say, I know something about hard times. There are people with even harder lives -- much harder -- but my point is the same. Just because things go awry does not mean God does not love us.

Hope is an odd concept. Barack Obama politicized it in his 2008 presidential campaign. At best, he offers existential hope, that life on Earth will be easier with him as president than with John McCain. No one can really say, as we cannot compare what a McCain presidency really would have looked like after fours years. Obama is our president, and I believe he wants to bring hope. A lot of people have bought into this, and, maybe he will improve the economy and all.

The true audacity of hope does not involves the goodness of Man, but the holiness of God. Obama does not -- cannot -- offer true hope. His solutions involves opening the doors to easier, cheaper, government funded abortions, as well as economic solutions. His kingdom, just as George W. Bush's kingdom, will be built on sinking sand. Bush gave us war, and Obama is giving abortion. Hope?

Real hope transcends death. Real hope moves us to love, and gives us eternal life. Both Bush and Obama claim to love Jesus Christ, but, as we know, all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I doubt either man would deny that they have sinned. So have I.

But God reigns. His promises are solid, like rock. More so. His promise is transcendent of my sin. He's taken care of it.

My glasses are built of glass, a result of superheating sand. I see life inadequately, though the sand sinking beneath me, and in front of me. My soul sees a better place. No glasses can show me this. No crisis can destroy this.

Unrelated
On widows, incidentally -- as a man actively divorces his wife, she is, as far as I can tell, a widow. Christians are divorcing their spouses at a disgusting rate. Some are being actively dumped. One guy's passively divorcing his wife and kids by moving away. Another is passively divorcing his wife by not fighting her initiated divorce. A couple more are flopping back and forth, not really married, but not divorced. All are using excuses. In the cases mentioned above, all are Christians. Only one man of the five situations is actually standing against the divorce. The other four are acquiescing and doing what God hates. (As I write this, I'm cognizant this will be read here, and on Facebook through a feed by several friends dealing with this.)

3/10/09

Disappointed - Sniveling Franky Schaeffer

I just read "Addicted to Mediocrity: Contemporary Christians and the Arts," by Franky Schaeffer. A full review is on the way, but it will be hard to write. I had hoped to read a book pointing the way to be a better artist writing on behalf, and for the glory of Jesus Christ. Instead, I read a sniveling, whining, bitter book.

Good points exist, and I will get into those as well, but, I read a book filled with kitschy op-ed style cartoons circa 1974 (it is a 1981 book), repetitive ideas, I read a book complaining about art, while demonstrating none of it.

Schaeffer correctly points out strengths of Renaissance painters, but romanticizes them, and ignores the greater challenges of art in the day. He forgets the economic realities of art, both then and now.

Sorry, Franky, but whatever you were going through 30 years ago came through likely like a lonely fan boys' snarky Star Trek website. You had a chance to lead a artistic horse to living water, but you decided not to think.

Addicted to Mediocrity: Contemporary Christians and the Arts

3/6/09

Love Song for Charlie Parker - Video

Poetry performed with funky guitar.

Anthony Trendl in spoken word performance of "Love Song for Charlie Parker," with Scott Davis at guitar at La Spiaza coffeehouse in Wheaton, IL as part of the Lively Arts Christian art show. Style vaguely reminiscent of Jack Kerouac reading "On the Road," complete with a beret (which Kerouac had the good sense not to wear.)



recorded March 5, 2009

Art exhibit until April 5, 2009.

for more: http://anthonytrendl.com and http://anthonytrendl.blogspot.com

3/5/09

Join Me Tonight for Poetry Performance in Wheaton, IL

Today, March 5 at 7:00 pm

Lively Arts at La Spiaza Coffee House

What is this about.

Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: La Spiaza Coffee House
114 N Main St
Wheaton, IL
630.221.8772