11% in Louisiana
16% in Kentucky
17% in Kansas
8% in Maine
250+ delegate gapiStock_000078487265_XXXLarge

Nomination battles are fueled by a compelling narrative and by momentum.

Marco Rubio’s campaign has lost both.

Following a worse-than-expected Super Tuesday, the March 5th “Super Saturday” results listed above confirm this and is the final indication that given the current circumstances within the Republican nomination fight, he no longer has a path to the nomination. EVEN if Rubio were to win Florida, he would still be 3rd place in delegates and too far behind to catch up. EVEN if this goes to a contested convention, he would not be the unity choice any longer to heal the party.

There will be much time for analysis and a proper autopsy as to why this didn’t work (the NH ambush they should have seen coming; the low-value of governor/Senate endorsements; poor strategic decisions as to where to campaign; overall timing issues). However now is the time to ‘do no further harm’. Drop out this week and let the Cruz Crew have their wish and see if they can get it done; an act of humility that even Cruz didn’t follow prior to his own home state contest. And this pains me to say because I am not a fan of Ted Cruz. Whether it’s his purposeful intellectual dishonesty about the government shutdown and the defunding Planned Parenthood, or the type of dishonest campaign he allowed his staff to run on his behalf or his sanctimonious embracement of the very identity politics that he claims to despise including playing the victim card whenever things don’t go his way or his role in creating the very poisoned environment we now find ourselves…in the end, he’s not Donald Trump and he is winning.

And for this election cycle, unfortunately, that’s good enough.

Since landing in the UK seven months ago, one of the first habits I quickly reestablished were my regular Starbucks runs. Now, I am not a coffee snob – in fact during the first years of my morning coffee runs with my Principal Global crew (shout-out to TP and BD!!), all I ordered was hot chocolates. (stop right now….shut it down….no judging!) Then I moved on to Chia Lattes. And finally, it was quite the momentous occasion when I finally progressed to caramel lattes!! (again…no judgement). I plan to graduate to full adulthood on the coffee continuum when I turn about 75.  HiRes

In any event, this is not a post to debate the merits and quality of Starbuck’s products, but rather a case study in…my name. That’s right…my name. For those that don’t know, the name ‘Randy’ in British culture has a, um, unique meaning. One that was clearly explained in any of the Austin Powers movies (YouTube as necessary). So there was some actual concern that when we moved here, that I would need to utilize a different name. However, we decided that since I would not be dealing primarily with teenagers day-to-day, we would charge ahead and just use ‘Randy’. (Although, in interest of full disclosure, April and the kids refuse to introduce me at school by anything other than ‘Randall’).

But back to our story…I’m in London. I’ve reestablished my Starbucks runs. However…I notice that the baristas seem to be uncertain, unclear or unwilling to spell my name correctly. Not just one or two or ten times. So below, I provide you with the 23 alternatives we have encountered thus far. I would love to know your favorite version. Cheers!

Wayni Willy Wexen Runie Rudy Rowlene Riny2 Riny Riely or Ridy Reynold Relly Redix Redie Rany Randi Ranch Ramel Raimy R.. R. P.. Briny ???


Look into my eyes
What do you see ?
The cult of personality.
I know your anger
I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be.
I’m the cult of personality like Mussolini and Kennedy.
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality

I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V. –
I’m the cult of personality.
I exploit you
Still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three.
I’m the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi.
I’m the cult of personality
The cult of personality

-“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour

Where to even start…

Large crowd of people watching concert or sport event

I debated even attempting to write this post as I know where it will lead and the passions it will invoke. But there are times when we are required to stand up and just say ‘Stop’ and speak truth. Please don’t confuse that statement with the abused, absurd and false political cries of “this being the most important election ever!’ (…until the next one) or “we are close to falling off the cliff / into a precipice / at a turning point” (insert favourite fork-in-the-road analogy). My marching orders of how to relate to any government, as written by the apostle Paul in Romans 13 (while under Nero’s rule mind you) worked then, works today and will work just fine tomorrow and for every election after. No, this isn’t a hyped-up, Drudge siren call to alarm…but a call to stop, reflect and think. Think about what you are doing, who you are supporting and what you are advocating. Make VERY sure that it lines up with what you intend to accomplish via the political process, as a citizen and, to the extent it applies to you, as a Christian.

So if you are choosing to support Donald Trump, you are wishing to promote:

And if you are choosing to support Ted Cruz, you are wishing to support:

Now, let me be clear on a few items….

First, you may not like my nine different sources from above – that is perfectly fine. Trying to agree on sourcing these days is difficult, but I always like to at least start somewhere for establishing fact. I am always open to new information and insight.

Second, I’m not saying that all the other candidates involved, from either party, are perfect or do not have their own flaws or skeletons in the closet. Far from it!! If you don’t like Sander’s socialism, Clinton’s elitism, Rubio’s experience, Carson’s naiveté, Bush’s entitlement mentality or Christie’s lack of integrity…that is perfectly fine. But I firmly believe that in Crump (Cruz/Trump), there is a new toxic ingredient to the political formula…the cult of personality. One openly embraces it (Trump). The other hides it behind finely-tuned rhetorical skills honed over years of high-level legal debates (Cruz).

This is what happens when you allow irrational arguments contrary to known facts go unchallenged for years (I’m looking at you “birther”/”Obama is a Muslim” crowd). This is what happens when you allow the misuse, misapplication and downright perversion of God’s Word to go unchecked (I’m looking at you Jerry Falwell Jr./Sam Clovis/Steve Deace). This is what happens when anger, revenge and fear are combined with a quest to feel powerful again.

Be careful what you wish for – such a combination never ends well.

Random musings nicely categorized so you can skip to what you care about (aka avoiding what you don’t)…


  • JJ Abrams was my one of my directorial heros prior to Star Wars. Star Wars puts him on the modern era Mount Rushmore.
  • You want a dark horse candidate for a spot in next 5 or 10 years…Ben Affleck.  Name me a better three movies out of the gate from a director in the last 20 years than Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo….  Still waiting…
  • Fargo Season 1…flawless. The Wire-level quality. I can’t think of another show where each and every character was so fleshed out and interesting to me. Shows yet again the beauty of contained, 10-episode story arcs.
  • Family saw their third London show (The Illusionists) since arriving in the city – we are averaging one every two months (train + Tube + tickets for 5 does add up!).  Which means we only have 9 left to see…time to get moving!!


  • IMG_0858I am close to officially choosing my adopted UK soccer team. Colin already chose Manchester City – that will NOT be my pick.
  • Vikings…please beat the Bears. Please!!  After the Cubs, Hawkeyes and JG falling just short, please don’t cap off the disappointment by missing the playoffs.
  • Ascot Racecourse…Best.  Track.  Ever.


  • Illegal immigration in the US peaked about 8 years ago and is down about 8% since then. But I’m glad so many make sure to not let facts get in the way of sound bites.
  • Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the illegal immigrants in the US are due to visa overstays. I’m sure a bigger wall will stop that as well.
  • To all the Border Patrol agents that have to listen to this debate…and who are suffering under a large spike in suicide rates as well as inherent risks from the job…thank you for your service
  • “America is stronger with the many immigrants who come here to make a new life and participate in the American dream.”  Bet you can’t guess who said that…  Still guessing?  Well here’s a hint – they are the only Republican candidate for president who has worked in all 3 branches of government and yet has no significant achievements to show for it. Quite the outsider credentials.
  • I think some people missed the memo, so I will reprint it here: the actual goal of being in government is, you know, governing.
  • Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee and will likely lose 2 of the first 3 actual contests.  Unless of course we change the voting process quickly to a Survivor or American Idol type system…then all bets are off!!
  • Not ready to declare my full primary scenario expectations just yet (I will publish prior to Iowa on February 1st) but two paths in play that people don’t realize:  a brokered R convention and R victory of White House but loss of Senate.

Until next time…


Spoiler alert – this is a deviation from my normal posts and is a political post.  You have been warned.

The first time I ever heard the above title spoken, it was by a Major League Baseball player during the pre-game festivities of his first All-Star game. Having reached the pinnacle of his profession and upon being in the presence of the very heroes of the game that he had looked up to, his only response at the time was to look, listen and observe. I have always enjoyed that quote and have leaned on it often when dealing with emotional and overwhelming situations. Reflecting on the last few weeksFlag_of_Cameroon.svg has once again returned that quote to my mind:

“Eyes open, ears open, mouth shut.”

Now I am a huge fan of the West Wing, having watched the entire series on at least 4 separate occasions. One of the techniques that Aaron Sorkin and the writing staff regularly utilized when dealing with an emotional issue on the show was to have one of the main characters (usually President Josiah Bartlett) list statistics in quFlag_of_Chad.svgick succession to reinforce the magnitude of the problem. In homage to that show, I provide the statistics below:

16:     The number of terror attacks in the last two months where more than 10 people were killed

786:   Total number of people killed in those 16 attacks

10:      The number of different countries where those attacks occurred (France, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Chad, Turkey, Iraq, Cameroon, Somalia)

Flag_of_Egypt.svgDo those stats stun you?  They are stunning to me. Not due to the magnitude, because there has been larger tragedies historically in terms of sheer numbers. But I am stunned due to the breadth of terror in such a short amount of time across 10 countries. And it mainly has been the work of two groups: ISIL and Boko Haram. Please, please, please educate yourself on these two terror groups. Look…listen…learn. And when you have finished with that, you will realize that the time has now come to speak.

I have been a student of politics for many years. I enjoy it from a strategic standpoint and a policy standpoint. I have enjoyed many debates with my friends and family over the years and plan on continuing to do so. I even ran for office once in 2004 (losing pretty easily) which opened my eyes even more to the political game. I can game plan for you how a certain candidate can best position themselves to win the election via a ‘SEC primary’ strategy or how another can be the establishment darling. I can even plot out how the Republican candidate could be decided by a brokered convention which would bring the biggest reality show ratings of all time. That is fun. That is amusing.Flag_of_Somalia.svg

That is not what I’m addressing in this post.

This post is meant to be a course correction. Because some have either knowingly or unknowingly allowed themselves to be pulled so far off course, they may not realize they can even come back. And reading this may even offend you. But given the horrific attacks of the past two months, including at a place I was fortunate enough to visit for the first time less than a month ago, and given the conflicts that our country will face for many years to come, I feel compelled to explain some c225px-Flag_of_Pakistan.svgonclusions I’ve reached regarding those that would like to help decide our next Commander-in-Chief:

  • It is not intellectually honest to claim that you love the United States of America and care for it as a country and then support/defend a candidate
    who is unfit or unqualified for the office of President. And yes, being unfit or unqualified for office includes being300px-Flag_of_Nigeria.svg willfully ill-informed, ill-prepared, ignorant, a racist, a misogynist and/or a liar. If you care for the country, then one must respect the Office. And those that want to earn that honored place, must respect it as well. And if you think I’m talking about your preferred candidate, then doesn’t that say everything you need to know about them as a candidate?
  • Flag_of_Turkey.svgThe only logical and intellectually feasible rationale for supporting an unfit or unqualified person for President is simply an unquenched desire to see the entire institution and system burnt to the ground out of anger and vengeance. They have a word for that – it’s called anarchy.
  • If you are adhere to a Christian worldview and place a high value on Scriptural authority, please remember that pursuing the previous path as explained above is explicitly NOT what we are commanded to do in relation to a governing authority.  And please recall that when those commands were
    Flag_of_France.svgwritten, their governing authorities were people like Nero and Domitian.

In summary, being a citizen of the United States should make us feel fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to live in such freedom. And we should seek every Flag_of_Lebanon.svg possible way to provide that same hope and opportunity to all within our country. That is a serious and sober pursuit. May we approach our tasks as citizens in just such a way.

(And P.S. – this also includes embracing those that would like to join our country, under the law, in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness – similar to the very people upon which this country was built.  But further discussion of that point is for another time…)

The Fun Stuff:

My food cravings are in bizarro world – Potato chips are my new comfort food. There HAS to be at least one kind/brand of chocolate in this country that I actually like. Thank you Ben & Jerry’s for being global travelers.

My musical tastes are going through a mid-life crisis – I hereby praise Apple Radio for streaming classical or 80s music whenever I want. I blame this crisis on the music that was deemed necessary to calmly survive driving on narrow streets, on the left-hand side of the road. GnR would have caused too many crashes.

Oh Corolla, where art thou?! I miss the Corolla – there I said it. After 10 years of my love/hate relationship with my milquetoast commuter car, absence has made the heart grow fonder. Why? Because the commute here is the third circle of Dante’s Inferno. Not on an absolute basis – no, no – many people have it worse than me. Totally on a relative basis. My germaphobia is almost cured. My personal bubble has gone AWOL – please text me if you find it. I’m somewhat educated but am quite unclear how it can be 1000 degrees in the Tube under every conceivable weather condition. I knew real estate was a luxury in London, but didn’t realize that applied to seats on the train! Serenity now.

It’s a small world – literally. On our street is an American family…that goes to our school…whose last name is Woodbury….and who has a daughter named Abigaile. I think we are cousins like 15 times removed – still working on that.

My wife and the weather – um…it’s complicated.

London - Big ben and houses of parliament, UK

London – Big ben and houses of parliament, UK

The Serious Stuff:

It’s a big world – literally. I love the diversity that I am surrounded by every day – on every scale. I love that I am being challenged to understand, relate and empathize on a different scale. Whether it’s in the furniture store salesman discussing the basic tenets of Sikhism or talking to the Irishman who’s a foster parent or the military family on their 4th assignment, being the stranger in a strange land (1 Peter 2) is now vivid and disorienting to me.

I worship at the idol of control. I used to think this was just me pursuing my faithful duty to be organized and prepared for any and all situations (work, home, church, life) – it’s not. It’s allowing my attitude and emotions, and ultimately, my hope, to rest in my own skills and abilities, in me controlling my environment. Things, situations, people, schedules. Not a “puppet master, evil villain” type of control but a “if I do this, you should do that” or “if I plan this, it should turn out like that” sort of control that can happen dozens of times in a day. Order and predictability. Things that were simple for the first 40 years of my life are now hard. Things that were predictable are now chaotic. I was soft. I rested my faith on my routine, my time management and the orderly pursuit of my honorable tasks and goals. God has started to chip away and mold me in this. Be flexible. Enjoy the process. Love people. It has been painful and maddening. Anger has risen. Tears have been shed. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

The adventure is just beginning…until next time…

“I am from a mid-sized city in the heart of the Bible Belt, home to a culture shaped by college football, suburbia, and our finest eAnkenyLogo_highres_177944BE0C07Dxport, cultural Christianity.”  With these words Rodney Calfee opens Tradecraft:  For the Church on Mission, the crew at Upstream Collective’s foundational treatise on how to regain the Great Commission where we live.  The reason these words jumped out to me is that they are a fairly accurate summary of where my family and I have lived for the last seven years:  Ankeny, Iowa.  Definitely not a city anyone outside the state of Iowa would know, Ankeny is a city of 45,600 that has been in a population boom, growing over 140% since 1990.  It is a commuter suburb to Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, a metro area with over 650,000 citizens.  So although not in the defined Bible Belt, the societal priorities of sports and suburbia spoke to me immediately.  But even though I have lived here for seven years, I still felt quite ignorant about what makes my city tick.  With a median age of 32 years old, a 96% graduation rate, a community college of 29,000 and a median income 45% higher than the state average, I already knew it was a well-educated, upper-middle class and young community.  But that was just skin-deep.  It was only until I started applying some of the mapping methods laid out in Tradecraft, that my eyes started to be opened.  When first encountering terms laid forth in the book like paths and nodes,Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.14.24 PM districts and edges, I was actually a bit intimidated.  It sounded like something more suited for a cartographer or city planner.  What what a portfolio manager with a finance background do with this knowledge?  But I persevered through, headed out into the city with my camera and my two boys…and started to see my city in a new light.  Through the Tradecraft method of mapping I learned:

I am oblivious I am too task-oriented and self-focused.  I need to open my eyes and really see.  Look around a bit and actually see the people.  See the need.  See the opportunity.  Until I started mapping, I never knew that from a city planning purpose, the entire city was split into four section based on two main nodes (roads).  Nor did I realize that due to the recent growth of the city and the establishment of two additional main nodes, that the city has basically been split into nine sections.  It is no wonder that the conflict and tension among different segments of the community has increased significantly.  And it’s also no wonder that due to this growth, the opportunity to get lost (economically and spiritually) in the midst of the growth has also increased greatly.

I need to get out more – It’s the curse of the commuter town – everyone is out with the sole purpose of going somewhere else:  to work, back home, to the store, to school.  So it’s not like I’m physically not away from home, but mentally I’m not.  I need to get out of my self-focused mindset and focus on getting INTO the community.  Change where I shop for certain things so it’s more local.  Take that extra 120 seconds to engage my barista, cashier or waiter.  Chose community theatre over the super-plex.  Little things…but important things. And just like when you save money, its starts to add up.ShowImage.aspx

Time to get to work – Mapping was just the first step.  Utilizing the methodology from Tradecraft was a fantastic start but more needs to be done.  Even in the mapping itself, it takes time to properly understand the social and spiritual layer of a city.  That is why throughout the remaining chapters of Tradecraft, the focus becomes more personal, more difficult and absolutely necessary.  From exegeting culture and building relationships to engaging tribes and thinking through alternative paths, the hard work cannot be done in an afternoon with a camera.  It requires a lifestyle change and it requires commitment.  Be we can do this.  We must do this.  I must do this.  It is what we were asked to do by our Savior.

So let’s go…