Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Starting to sound better to me

In my life I have learned to love discordant sounds.
In my first church they used to sing before Sunday School.
The first time I heard it, they sounded bad to my ears.
Three years later, as I began the journey away from that congregation,
that same group and that same singing sounded ever so beautiful.

Now I have red breasted woodpecker in my back yard.
When I first heard her song, it sure sounded silly compared to the other birds.
Now both she and her song are ever so dear to me.

And so it is with differing voices in society and the church.
It is sort of difficult to take different stances and have differing opinions.
But I really do appreciate living in a country and being in a church
who seek to freely and passionately wrestle with ideas, try to find common ground, and at times agree to disagree.
That is becoming a sweet song and sound to me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day of Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and there are many things for which I am thankful.

  • My church. We are going through some trying times financially and emotionally. But I am thankful for wonderful Sunday worship and fellow Christians to join on our spiritual journey.
  • My family. I have two great daughters who I know will one day be two great women. I'm proud of them. My wife deserves all the credit, of course!
  • My job. I have a great job that I love, and although I'm behind the scenes, the college helps people find a better life through higher education. We are truly changing lives.

That is all I need, really. Everything else flows from these three things. Thank you, Lord, for what you have given me.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Freedom of Personal Religious Expression

Last week, a worker at a Home Depot Okeechobee, Florida was fired for wearing a button during working hours that read "One Nation Under God" and sported an American Flag. (See article in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

At least that's what he would like for you to think.

Home Depot employees wear orange vests. The company gives buttons to employees to wear that feature Home Depot products and services. There is a specific and clear company policy that bars all employees from wearing non-company sponsored buttons.

The ex-employee claims he wore the button for a year, that a supervisor commented favorably about it, and implies that it didn't become a problem until he started reading his Bible during his lunch break. The incident has all the elements to get people riled up: God, country and flag.

The bottom line is, this individual is wrong, and it saddens me that he is wrapping himself in the flag and the Bible while asking for special treatment.

Yes, it's true! Christians do have the right to express their religious belief in the workplace. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 lists religious expression as protected speech. However, employers such as Home Depot also have rights. They have a right to control the work environment and insure that business continues unimpeded.

In the years since 1964, a body of case law has developed specifically concerning personal religious expression in the workplace, and that defines the balance between employee and employer rights in that area. (Find more information at The Christian Law Association, American Center for Law and Justice, and First Amendment Center).

Simply put, Home Depot's button policy is not discriminatory. No one can wear personal buttons - NO ONE. When a policy is applied equally, there is no discrimination. If Home Depot did allow employees to wear personal buttons, and this employee was told he couldn't wear a religious button, THAT would be discrimination. What this employee is asking for is to be a special exception. Here is his most telling admission:

"I want to be a voice for the rest of the Christians and for the citizens of this country to stand up for the country. You know, quit being told to sit down. Say what you want to say and don't be afraid of the consequences." It's obvious to me that he planned this confrontation from the beginning, knowing exactly what the consequences would be.

Maybe God wanted him at Home Depot to minister to his fellow employees. Instead he chose to make himself a media celebrity. What a shame. He does not speak for me, as a Christian and a citizen of this country.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New Oubache

This blog was orginally created to be an online meeting place for a cohort of Emergent Christians who were unable to meet physically. Then it became Craig LaSeur's blog. He wrote from within the Spirit. He wrote about his travels. He wrote about his parents. Then he "just stopped."

Now, I hope to begin.

I've always wanted to write a blog. I started one once, about girls' travel softball. It turned out rather badly. Then I found Facebook, where I could communicate in a way that I was accustomed. On Facebook, I'm able to share links to information I find on the web, the books I'm reading and the music I'm listening to. Plus I can interact with friends near and far in a way that blogs just are not designed to do.

I turned 50 this year. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with jumping back into the blog pool, but now I find I need a place for longer thoughts that I don't want to appear on my Facebook profile. I'll probably still post about music and books and events, but in a deeper way.

I will write about the blues, religion, marketing, leadership, softball (and high school sports). Maybe I'll just post about whatever pops into my mind.
I'll try not to upset anyone, but please feel free to comment and respond however you feel.

So I have retained the Oubache title for what I hope to be "my" blog. Craig has an open invitation to return and post any time he feels the need.

And by the way, "Oubache" (Wee-BAW-Shee) is the French spelling for the Native American pronunciation of the Wabash River, the river that flows through the region where I was born, grew up and essentially never left.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I am done writing this blog.
Do you remember in the movie when Forrest Gump ran and ran back and forth across the nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific and then...finally...just...stopped.
Well, I just stopped.
Been writing these about weekly for a number of years now. I'm done.
There's was a time for the Qubache Blog, and there is now not a time.
Thanks to Tom for getting it started and those of you who have been reading.
Let us remember to
Love God,
Love our neighbors especially the wounded ones,
Love our families,
Love our selves,
and love and serve the kingdom that God is so faithfully creating even in the midst of the craziness.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

a day

Sleeping....being re-created, dreaming, silence, wholeness.

Waking...slowly, coffee, morning God focus, fixing up the body, more coffee.

Working...organizing, planning, communicating, computing and phoning, loving, challenging, doing team, doing one's little part to make a difference, making it through all the stuff with God's grace.

Being with my loved ones...sharing meals, conversing, serving, doing chores, laughing, getting on the same page, supporting, entering into each others worlds.

Moments of sabbath...reading, walking, celebrating the creation, music, tv, movies, traveling, embracing God.

Dreaming...remembering the big picture, trusting The Force to give direction, believing the good news of God's way for the planet being greater than the very real bad news.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day

I remember the love of my doggie Jamie.
I remember the courage, discipline, and sacrifice of soldiers.
I remember my grandma telling me if I kept rubbing my eyes they might fall out
and my preacher grandpa intentionally sneezing real loud to scare some girls walking down the street
I remember Sara and Ray Davis from my papa's church who were like my grandparents.
I remember Matthew who performed a horrendous crime...and I'm so sorry.
I remember Kathryn who made a homemade strawberry pie and had it waiting for us in the fridge when we moved into our first home.
I remember Todd who died at age 13, and I got mad at God.
I remember Jim, Dane, Bob, and so many more.
And I remember Jeshua.
Thanks to all of you who have blessed my life and the lives of so many more.
I remember.