A MOMENT…

December 15, 2009

Oral Roberts, Evangelist

Oral Roberts died today in Newport Beach, California.  Thanks to Erin Amos for letting me know.

The following news outlets have the story:

According to this TulsaWorld article, he took a fall on Saturday and suffered some broken bones.

I’m deeply moved and still experiencing gratitude for the education I received at ORU.  More thoughts will follow later.

UPDATE:  The thoughts I have are echoed by fellow alum, Sarah, over at Emerging Mummy.  Key quote:

“I loved Oral’s bigness. There was nothing small about the man. He was huge – even his ears were enormous.”

I like that Sarah also says, “His faith was enormous.”  It’s so true.  My mother and I were talking about him yesterday.  The legacy that my mother and I discussed was Oral’s courage.  And Sarah mentions how his final years were spent telling us all to be obedient.  Let’s put it together.

Be courageously obedient to God.

That’s a good treasure to leave behind.

Advertisements

ORU LAWSUIT: ECFA ACCREDITATION!

May 6, 2009

I missed posting this in March.  So sorry!

Apparently, ORU has recieved their Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) accreditation!  Those following the news about the lawsuit since 2007 will know that this was a huge part of the problem at the time – that ORU had a history and a reputation for being massively non-transparent.  That ORU has recieved this accreditation, is a huge sign that things are certainly changing for the better under Mart’s leadership.

Thanks to the kids at SaveORU.com for the heads up!


ORU LAWSUIT: DEBT ALMOST PAID OFF!

April 29, 2009

According to this NewsOK article, the debt that ORU carried for many years is close to being eradicated.

Check out the Renew the Vision donation page here.  It’s fun to watch the bars go from right to left and vice versa.

Good news!


DC – THE FIRST FEW DAYS IN TULSA

February 5, 2009

Ryan and I spent most of the Fall of 2008 working on the feature film called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While I was there, I didn’t have much time to write.  So I’m going to spend a few blog posts now talking about my experiences in Tulsa.   Here’s the first of many!

I went out for pre-production in early October.  I stayed with our good friend and business partner Justin Monroe and his wife Kasey.  They were so gracious to give me the spare bedroom with a desk!  I was spoiled to be able to work late into the night and roll back out of bed early in the morning and keep working.  Perhaps that was some strategery on Justin’s part?  Nah…

The night I got there, Heather Roberts came over with coconut ice cream (made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk) and a back massage for me.  Thank you Heather!

I had been back a few days before I finally made it down to ORU for a visit.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know how I’d feel.  After having felt like I was escaping, seven years previous (having finished my last semester), and after all that’d gone on at ORU in the previous year (see this post), I was more than a little anxious to get the first visit over with.

Heather Roberts (who plays Angeline in the film) had told me on my first night back that when I went by ORU, I should just crack the doors of Howard “How Weird” Auditorium and breath in the air.  Memories, she said, would come flooding back.

As I walked toward Howard Aud., I felt that excitement that comes when visiting an old haunt.  So much of my life was lived within those curved walls.  So much of my artistic development and maturation…  So much of my pride and fear was cultivated and crushed…  The doors were chained.  So I did as Heather instructed and cracked them just a little.  And I breathed in the air that escaped.

It’s an unmistakeable smell.

I remembered auditioning in the lobby, playing sardines in the girl’s bathroom, running sound in the upstairs booth, designing makeup in the dressing rooms, sewing hundreds of yards of costumes in the costume shop, dancing across the stage, striding barefoot through the scene shop, tromping around in the orchestra pit…  tears, laughter, nervousness, eureka moments!  My memory was flooded with images.  Four years of my life flashed before my eyes.

And then I closed the door.  And paused.

As I slowly walked the rest of the campus, bathed in memories, I tried to put my finger on the emotion I felt.  I called my parents and talked it over with them as I relived discovering the campus anew.  Finally, it came to me.

Gratitude.  I felt gratitude!  I felt grateful for my education.  It came as a shock.  But it was honest-to-goodness gratitude.

Back at Justin’s I didn’t have long to dwell on my experience as I had a monumental task at hand.  It was a full six weeks before I would be able to return to ORU for a real visit with one of my favourite profs.  In the meantime, I produced a feature film.  More on that next time…


ORU LAWSUIT: MAKING IT OFFICIAL

November 14, 2008

I don’t have time to find a ton of links.  So here’s Phil Cooke’s post about it.


ORU LAWSUIT: SETTLED!

October 22, 2008

As prevously blogged, today ORU and the two professors Tim and Paulita Brooker had a mediation conference scheduled for today.  The result?  They have settled with the university, according to the TulsaWorld, NewsOK.com, and another TulsaWorld.  Wow.


ORU LAWSUIT: SETTLED?

October 9, 2008

Shannon Muchmore of the TulsaWorld writes about the potential mediation conference set for October 22.  According to anonymous sources, Tim and Paulita Brooker, former ORU professors who sued the university more than a year ago, will discuss possible settlement terms at this conference.

I’m not yet sure what to think.  Part of me would be glad to see things settle down; but part of me would be rather dissapointed for the truth not to have a chance to see the light and for the drama not to play out in court – probably because I’m a storyteller and I like conflict.  Almost like I crave organized anarchy.  It’s interesting.  Not to mention contradictory.  Digressing…

I, like many alumni, feel that Richard Roberts’ simple action of stepping down from leadership of the university and Mart Green’s generous “golden shovel” donation (to dig ORU out of its financial hole) were simply not enough.  Much of my generation’s issue with the ORU administration during our terms there was about the complete and total lack of disclosure!  It, among other actions (or lack thereof) generated, or contributed to, the culture of fear that we perceived as students.  Big things happened… and they weren’t addressed.  We were treated like sheep, not clients.  We were treated like carbon-copy Christian sausages instead of the thinking, intelligent, ready-to-tackle-the-world, whole men and women they purported to be turning out.  Our problem lay in the fact that we were not addressed as coherent adults.  On most important matters regarding the administration of the university, we simply were not addressed.

And so it continues.  No word has been given from the current administration about the discoveries of the internal audit.  Yes, it’s internal; but whether negative or positive, it’s findings are relevant to ORU’s stakeholders.

I believe that hundreds, perhaps even thousands of potential donors wait in the wings, patient that ORU will someday straighten up and fly right and begin to communicate with clarity, maturity and professionalism when matters regarding the leadership or administration require disclosure.  When that happens, when ORU’s leadership, past, present or future, can admit fault, can admit failure, can admit the need for help, then I think the giant golden beast can begin to move forward.  Maybe even go for a jog down Riverside with this guy.

So if this lawsuit gets settled out of court and the details swept under the Prayer Garden rug, I’ll be more than a little displeased and, quite honestly, ever still reluctant to send my potentially generous donations toward South Tulsa.  I still believe in the faculty of ORU; and its potential to churn out great Christian thinkers and artists and businessmen (as well as nurses); but it will take humility and honesty on the part of its leaders to generate hope within me that the modus operandi of the past has changed.  Until then, I think I might still be a little skeptical.