Thoughts for Graduates

I was reading one of the blogs I read regularly…. Murphy Klasing’s Conservative Blog.  He has a great post for graduates about the 11 Rules of Life you didn’t learn in school!  You can view the post here.

It got me to remembering about a commencement speech that I gave a few years ago to the 1999 graduating class of my High School alma mater in Tulsa.  I figured I would just reprint it here since this is the season of great advice for graduates. 

I can’t guarantee that I give great advice, but it was amusing for ME to read again at least. 🙂

I’ve copied excerpts of the speech below. 

The Full text of commencement address is here in PDF.  (I left out most of the introduction and congratulations and, in the interest of privacy, I also left out the high school’s name and other specific info.) 

Enjoy, hopefully!

1st Excerpt:

One other thing to remember about THE UNEXPECTED is that when you find life taking you into unexpected paths, you will find yourself thinking and praying and looking for answers and, even confirmation, that you are living the life that God intended you to live.

When I moved to California, it was difficult to leave my old company and leave behind much of my personal life as I knew it up to that time. So I constantly debated whether I was doing the right thing. I prayed and hoped and worked very hard to make it a successful move.

About two weeks after my move, I was sitting in my new office in San Diego. I had been given a desk that someone else had used previously. When I opened the top drawer of the desk, there was a brass label with an engraving. This label had obviously been attached to a statue or an award at some point, but now had found its way to this drawer.

When I read it, I knew that it was not an accident that I “stumbled” across this small piece of engraved metal. It said:


…..That, to me, was assurance that I had done the right thing, but in the larger scheme of things I was LIVING THE UNEXPECTED.

2nd Excerpt:

The last, and most important, idea I would like to leave you with is:

…….always remember to WATER YOUR ROOTS!

The ROOTS in your life consist of your friends, your family, faith in God, and even your hometown. Some of you may have deeper roots in some of these areas than others, but believe me when I say that at many points in your life you will depend at least one of these ROOTS and likely all of them.

Understand that friends may come and go, but there will always be a precious few that you should hold on to. Work hard to bridge the gaps with your friends; because the older you get, the more you need those friends who knew you when you were younger.

Some of you may have strained relationships with your parents or your brothers and sisters….. but trust me…they are and will be one of the greatest assets in your life…..

As one fellow put it:

“Get to know your parents. You never know when they will be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings. They are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future”

If you take away nothing else this evening, remember there is a God who made you and loves you. He provides Hope.

3rd Excerpt:

Garth Brooks had something to say about his Oklahoma roots….He found words for exactly what I feel. He said….

“Just to be raised in Oklahoma puts you on the board in the game of life.
Don’t be afraid to go anywhere in the world. If you were raised in Oklahoma,
you were raised with all you need.
There’s a rightness and goodheartedness there that’s not anywhere else.
There’s only one Oklahoma. And to be honest, I miss it.”

In closing, I am reminded of a famous saying:

“There are only two lasting things we can hope to give our children
….One of these is roots, the other wings.”

Today you get your wings!


In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA……

UDPATE: Post now comes complete with Merle Haggard video of “Okie from Muskogee”.   This one includes Tammy Wynette….which should make the Hillary fans happy 🙂

Well, I’m proud to be mayor of Muskogee! ( for those of you who know the song “Okie from Muskogee”, I just changed the words a bit!)

A 19-year-old has won the runoff for Mayor of Muskogee.  He is a registered Republican but says he’ll lead in a bipartisan way….

The senior class president at Muskogee High School in 2007, he served as president of both the Young Republicans and the Young Democrats clubs.

“I threw my name in both rings … and lo and behold, both groups elected me,” he said.

Hammons, a registered Republican, is Oklahoma’s youngest at-large delegate to the Republican National Convention. But when it comes to serving as mayor of Muskogee, an unpaid position, he plans to govern in a nonpartisan way.

“Politics stop at the door,” Hammons said. “If someone wants to talk politics, I will literally leave the office and leave the building if I have to. In this office, it needs to be Muskogee-oriented.”

I think this is very interesting….me being from Oklahoma and somewhat familiar with Muskogee, Oklahoma…that small city could use a good shot in the arm….maybe a fresh-faced 19-year old who has not yet been marred by the incompetence, ego and power struggles that seems to permeate politics these days, he may change the face of the city.

At the Club Lunch cafe in downtown Muskogee, owner Gary Armstrong said locals have grown weary of politics as usual at City Hall.

“He doesn’t have the baggage. He doesn’t owe anybody anything,” Armstrong said as he served up a plate of roast beef and mashed potatoes. “It’s sort of a fresh start for Muskogee.”

In a state that has not felt the pressure of an economic downturn yet ….and where houses are still selling at a good pace…..Muskogee, Oklahoma is a stagnant small city with little new business and issues with growth.

“I’ve always had it in the back of my mind to be governor of Oklahoma one day,” he said. “That’s always been a dream of mine. If I am lucky enough to be governor, I’ll probably flirt with the idea of trying to become president.”

I say kudos to the boy young man…maybe he could run for President now….he sounds a lot better than the potential three candidates we now have!

Full Story Here.

Sally Kern gets her say….

Sally Kern debated openly gay pastor from Cathedral of Hope on KFOR’s Flashpoint program in Oklahoma City on Easter Sunday.  They debated homosexuality and her comments that recently struck a cord with gays.  This discussion is in multiple videos at this link:

She did an excellent job of explaining the Biblical viewpoint vs. the convenient scriptures used by openly gay minister she was debating. 

Finally, Sally Kern was able to explain her words after the far left blogosphere shredded the meaning of her words over the last few weeks.  They also made false claims about Kern’s son and the he is gay.  Sally points out clearly that her son is not gay and how the lie was perpetuated.

She did a great job explaining her views and, at many points, silenced the gentlemen on the other side of the table.

I’ve posted on this topic previously here and here.

First Sally Kern, Now Guns–You’re doin’ fine Oklahoma!

Oklahoma is doing its best to keep Oklahoma firm on its constitutional  and moral grounding–sure there’s more work to do—lots of good things in the works and being passed in the state legislator…..and several conservatives who have stood their ground on the issues!

First, last week Sally Kern (state representative) did a great job of getting the left’s hate speech “sweeping down the plains” with her comments about gays.   She has stood her ground on her beliefs as she should! (Although I might have re-worded or left out comparisons regarding terrorism–it was totally misconstrued–most of what she said was clearly factual…’s been covered on this blog here and here)

Now the latest bill from the State House is a big step forward in protecting students on college campuses in the state.

……From Virginia Tech to Northern Illinois, guns rights advocates are calling for students to be allowed to have guns on a college campus. ……

Gaunder is one of fifty OSU students who support House Bill 2513. The bill would allow students at public universities, who have a concealed weapons permit, to bring those guns on campus.

“It doesn’t make any sense to say you can’t carry here because it’s a different area. We’re trained, we’re responsible and we’ve proven that,” said Gaunder.

Doesn’t it seem ridiculous to have campuses labeled “gun-free” zones?  That is just asking for a crazed, depressed, suicidal gunmen to invade that area….what’s to lose for the gunman?….no guns and victims can’t defend themselves…that’s been played out at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University

Other noteworthy positives coming from the state of Oklahoma’s legislature:

Requiring ID’s in order to vote (approved by Senate on way to house)

Oklahoma or US Flags flying at state agencies and public schools must be made in America – bill heading to House (Did you know that $5.3 million dollars  worth of flags were imported from other countries in 2006?)

 This state is at least showing some common sense on big and small issues….and some legislators seem to be doing a fine job not cowering and cracking under the pressure of politically correct thinking…..!

(sing)We’re only sayin’ you’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma….Oklahoma….O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A….Oklahoma….OK!

You are right on, Sally!

UPDATE 3/10/08:  Seems the subject of this post hits a nerve…..The (in)TOLERANT left in the blogosphere are very active on the subject of homosexuality. 

I’ve been called stupid, ignorant, narrow-minded, a bigot, KKK-like, compared to Hitler….. my post even warranted a summary in the Daily Kos comments, that famous blog that is a bastion of tolerance!   I believe the commenter thought my views were “mighty, mighty, disturbing”!

You should see, however, what the left blogosphere has to say about Sally Kern — most of it is not something you can reprint or repeat.  But they are the tolerant ones!

One other observation I have found in reading blogs and comments about Sally Kern.  Most of the (left) people commenting have taken her comments out of context.  For instance, there are some who thought she was comparing gays to terrorists.  But that is not what she said.  She said, ““I honestly think it’s the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism”.  She didn’t call anyone a terrorist or ask that anyone be killed for being gay.  She merely believes that this destructive behavior is harmful to our nation, just as terrorism is harmful to our nation.  So there are those who hear what they want to hear. 

In addition, for those of you who have miscontrued my comments, there is a big difference between tolerance and acceptance.   I am tolerant, but I won’t accept your lifestyle.  It appears to people like me that you don’t merely want tolerance, but you want to force us to accept something we believe is wrong.  And the agenda is trying to force it upon us through legislation, schools, and the workplace.   

Almost everyone knows, works with, has a family member, or has hired someone who is gay.  I have.  And I don’t hate any of those people.  Just because I know them or work with them, doesn’t mean I accept their lifestyle, but I can like them nonetheless.  For those of you on the left without an ounce of objectivity…..for once, just try to understand that concept and I think the discourse would be a lot more peacful!


You may or may not have heard the comments about homosexuality from Sally Kern who is an Oklahoma legislator.  (See article here)  She was speaking to a small group of people recently and was secretly recorded by the Washington-based political action committee The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

This group put the audio on YouTube and coupled it (bad choice of words, I know) with a video of gay supporters with signs like “I hear you”, “you don’t speak for me”, etc.  Well, I hope they listened to her…..most, if not all, of what she spoke was the facts and the truth.  But homosexual activists and pro-gay groups don’t listen to facts……it might mean they have to take a good objective look at themselves!

During the audio which lasts a couple of minutes she stated her beliefs about homosexuality….  I”ll list her statements and some paraphrased statements then list facts and opinions after them:

“The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it’s just a fact”

Read this post at The Ornery American.  It is long, but helps lay out the ideas about how the dissolution of family has harmed our nation and how homosexual marriage will add to the harm… is long, but interesting and well thought-out.

They (gays) have an agenda to infiltrate schools….and kids are not only being taught this lifestyle, but indoctrinated.

The gay agenda is in full swing and has been in progress for YEARS—-From the American Family Association website:
In their 1972 Gay Rights Platform, activists meeting in Chicago, Illinois, demanded “[f]ederal encouragement and support for sex education courses, prepared and taught by gay women and men, presenting homosexuality as a valid, healthy preference and lifestyle as a viable alternative to heterosexuality. Similarly, in their 1993 March on Washington, D.C., activists demanded that such radical instruction be taught on “all levels of education” — federal, state and local, grades K-12.”

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism”

I don’t know if I can compare it directly to terrorism, but I do know that both are dangerous & threatening to our life, our history, our traditions, and America as we know it!   Read on from the American Family Association:   “For more than 30 years, homosexual activists have been demanding that our Judeo-Christian culture capitulate and embrace their view of human sexuality, marriage and family. If Americans ever accept these demands, they can expect to live in a culture that will be turned upside down — literally unhinged from the sane moorings instituted by the God of heaven. Harvey’s prediction is of a grotesque culture that includes: “Lesbian bride dolls. Fourth grade ‘gay’ clubs. A king and king at the high school prom. Dating tips for same-sex teens. Bathroom ogling — and sometimes quick encounters — in the middle school boys’ restroom.”

(My thoughts – If you are objective, how can not see the consequences of shoving a gay agenda upon America?)

“I’m not gay bashing, but according to God’s word that is not the right kind of lifestyle,” she said. “It has deadly consequences.  For those people involved in it, they have more suicides. And, they’re more discouraged. They have more illness.”

Romans 1:26-27 – Because of this [idolatry], God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

I Corinthians 6:9-10 – Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

 From the CDC:  In the United States, HIV infection and AIDS have had a tremendous effect on men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM accounted for 71% of all HIV infections among male adults and adolescents in 2005

Some city councils across the nation are being infiltrated by homosexuals…..cities like Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and others.

From American Family Association: “One of the first actions of the homosexual controlled (Eurkeka Springs) City Council was to offer a “registry” where homosexuals could register their unofficial “marriage.”  City Council member Joyce Zeller said the city will now be promoted, not as a Christian resort, but a city “selling peace, relaxation, history and sex.” 

There is huge outcry from the gay community over what they call Sally Kern’s “hate speech”.   You know I get really tired of every last minority group accusing anyone who doesn’t agree with them to be guilty of “hate speech”.  To them, tolerance is fully agreeing with them, otherwise you must be hater!

Sally’s response?

Rep. Kern said the gay community, especially in Oklahoma, should not be surprised by her comments because she’s made similar statements in the past.

Kern said the attention isn’t necessarily wanted, but she says she won’t shy away from her opinions and beliefs, either.

“What is wrong with me as an American exercising my free speech rights on a topic that is a very big issue today?” she said.

“What I’m saying, I believe in,” she said.

As an American, Kern said she thinks gays and lesbians have the right to live how they want, but as a Christian, she said the lifestyle is immoral and she will not apologize for her beliefs.

 You go Sally! 

My thoughts—I don’t care if someone is a homosexual or not. But I do believe it is a sin. We all sin in many different ways—but we don’t all have to accept homosexual sin and condone it as OK.   I don’t hate homosexuals….but I am offended when the lifestyle and agenda are pushed upon me and my family through schools and legislation.  There is an agenda to push this into public schools and make my children believe homosexuality is “just another lifestyle”. Well guess what, I don’t believe it is a lifestyle, but a sin. Stealing is a sin….I don’t hate the thief and I surely don’t go and teach my children it is OK to steal because some minority of people who steal may want us ALL to accept their behavior.
What Kern said is NOT hate speech—-it is what she believes. If you don’t like it, don’t vote for her.  The push alone to have “gay marriage” has diluted the true meaning of marriage between a man and woman.  Furthermore, I can’t even sit down and watch primetime TV any more with my children because I have to explain some gay relationship on a show to my children who have no business learning about sex, much less homosexual sex, at this point in their young lives……those types of initiatives do destroy the principles and traditions of this country.

Many radicals pushing the homosexual agenda hide behind the “hate” word….they will call any words that don’t condone their lifestyle “hate speech” or will call those of us who belive in Christanity and our Judeo-Christian history as bigots or hate mongers.   Often times, they place their sexual preference up on the pedestal of race & religion…like saying their lifestyle choice is equal to being Jewish or black or a woman minority.  Well, that is wrong.  How you choose to live your life in the bedroom has no comparison to someone born as a black, white or,even Jewish person.  Your sex life does not warrant special civil rights.  I don’t talk about what my husband and I do behind closed doors— and I don’t want to know (and I certainly don’t want my kids to know) what you do behind yours!  

Furthermore, many in the homosexual community argue that their lifestyle is as normal as the The Cleavers!  Again, what you do in your own home is your business…..but many homosexuals DO engage in perverted and indecent acts in public. (Many heterosexuals also do at times and it is mostly not condoned by law and most people)  All you need to do is search for the “Folsom Street Fair San Francisco”  or find pictures here (warning: they are graphic) and you will see depravity and sex on display for all (including kids) to see.    An objective person doesn’t have to look at too many pictures before realizing how this type of behavior is harmful to society and individuals…..and that is why I agree with Sally!

An Okie softens my view of McCain?

Well, I didn’t even dream of this  happening in the past few days……but it may be quite ironic that it would take a conservative, pro-life Okie to soften my view of McCain!

Tom Coburn (Senator from Oklahoma) has endorsed John McCain and he introduced McCain at CPAC today.  You can see the video here at  I must say his introduction certainly approached McCain in way that very well could convince even the most staunch anti-McCain people that maybe we could look at McCain a little more positively… least maybe we can loosen a bit the plug on our noses when we vote in November.  (a reference to McCain’s own 95-year-old mother saying, “holding their nose they’re going to have to take him”)

 Time will tell how I end up feeling about McCain in November, but Tom Coburn did help me climb a little further out of the political doldrums today!

Happy 100th Birthday, Oklahoma!

Happy Birthday Oklahoma!Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907!

 Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain,
And the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev’ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin’ lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say–Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!
We’re only sayin’ You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma–O.K.