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Hooray from Hollywood!

Posted: February 26th, 2010

Dateline- Hollywood, Beverly Wilshire, February 23, 2010

Dorsey, Pam, Jane Seymour, James Keach

What an exciting evening! We just celebrated our 18th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire at Rodeo Drive with some 600 Hollywood executives and celebrities! We sat up front with our guests, actress Jane Seymour and her husband, director James Keach. We had rented their castle outside Bath, England a few years ago and have been building a friendship. Jane made the climatic film presentation of $100,000 to the executives of The Blind Side, whose writer/director John Lee Hancock promised the cash to disadvantaged youth causes. James had been nominated a few years ago for Walk The Line, which he directed about the life of singer Johnny Cash.

The purpose of the awards gala is to promote inspiring and uplifting movies aimed at the family audience, because the Film/TV industry has been shown to have a profound impact on our culture. In the late ‘60’s the industry took a turn for the dark side with increasing sex, violence and perversion. Fortunately, since Movieguide began its push, we’ve seen R-rated movies go from over 70% to only 22% last year; actually only 2 of the Top 25 at the box-office were rated R. Ten films were nominated in the 2 categories- Family and Mature Audiences. The Disney/Pixar animated UP took top prize in Family while The Blind Side walked away with Mature. Also honored were 4 others in each category as the producers/directors came to the stage to accept their awards after clips of their work was shown.. Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of Nelson Mandella in the South African sports flick Invictus showed how to unite a people after the end of apartheid. “We lead by example and that in this requires forgiveness. Forgiveness leads to reconciliation!” TV and screen-writers also got into the prize money. One aspiring writer received $15,000 for a script entitled “The Shoebox.” You can imagine her excitement when I introduced her to the lady who started the Shoebox Movement in 1984!

To see some of the excitement, you can check out the web site which is running 7.4 million hits a month now. This non-profit group started by Dr. Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Commission works on a shoestring budget and is worthy of donations you want to send their way. We have served on the Movieguide national board of directors for more than a decade, even working the Cannes Film Festival as press. Our mentor Dr. Francis Schaeffer of Switzerland taught us the value of trying to reach the influence makers in society for the good of future generations. Having a Ph.D. in social/cultural history and a daughter writing scripts in Hollywood also drew our interest here. Some of last year’s Movieguide Gala can be seen on You Tube.

If you want to see how Dr. Baehr would have voted for on the Oscars, see this link


Winter Olympics 2010- Inspiring!

Posted: February 23rd, 2010

The Olympics always inspire me. Even the sound of the drums and fanfare of “Bugglers Holiday” get my juices flowing.

It was an old friend who helped me appreciate the inspirational value. Bob Richards of the USA won the pole vault in Helsinki and Melbourne and became the first face of Wheaties. He became a motivational speaker all over the world, and even reached the top in our business. We were chatting in his ranch home outside Gordon, Texas, when he said, “I have spoken 1000’s of times to tens of thousands of people and as I look in the faces of the audience, they all seem to ask the same thing, ‘Tell me I can do something with my life’.”  The stories abound of those who worked for “higher, faster, stronger.”

These Winter Olympics are especially inspiring if you paid attention. I did, because my son Jeff took his family to beautiful Vancouver for the first week. If you watched the spectacular Opening Night Ceremony which showcased Canada’s beauty and talent, you wanted to become a Canadian!

Who could not be inspired by the heroics of US  Gold Winners, Lindsay Vonn in women’s downhill skiing,  Shaun White and Seth Westcott in snowboarding, and Bode Miller in Combined downhill, the old guy still skiing to win it for his young daughter.  Upsetting the Russian domination of men’s figure skating was USA’s harder-working Evan Lysacek with grandparents in Atlanta.  Especially moving was the victory of the veteran Chinese pair figure skaters Shen and Zhao who had won every prize except Olympic gold. Four years ago after Silver,  Shen proposed marriage to Zhao still on the ice. However, they postponed their marriage until after Vancouver for one last try. The whole world was cheering for them and their performance was flawless, the highest scores ever given in the short program!

Let me tell you, if you have a passionate dream and a strong work ethic, YOU CAN DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE!

Let’s WIN in our Words

Posted: January 12th, 2010

Another new decade! The years do seem to gallop by! Each year we resolve to make it better than the last. We plan to lose weight, get out of debt, exercise more, spend more time with the family, etc ad nauseum. Statistics tell us that 30% are broken in the first week! We tend to expect to fail after a while, and guess what- we do! The same can also be said of our goals for the year- personal, health, business. Andy Stanley suggests in his New Years message online that we should first decide what we want to be, then what we should do. From Stephen Covey he was stressing to Begin with the End in Mind. Covey’s definition of success can be summed up in how close you come in reality to what you hope your parents, spouse, kids, and boss would say about you at your funeral! Things like integrity, generosity, faithfulness- that stuff.

Over a decade ago in Winnipeg I was sharing with Dr. Robert Schuller, the author and pastor, with whom I shared the platform on a few occasions, how helpful his sayings had been to me. With glee he said, “I have a new one!” “Tell me.” “We have to say that we are what we wish we were if we ever hope to be.” Instead of RESOLUTIONS which we expect to break, make daily AFFIRMATIONS about the person we want to become to shape the self-image in the subconscious that will effect the outcomes. To be correct, they should conform to the 5 “P”s- Present tense, Positive result, Personal, Picturesque and Powerful. Instead of “I am going to quit smoking,” say “I now enjoy the smell of fresh air and the taste of foods.” For “I am going to lose weight,” craft something to say like “I feel great in my new clothes at ____ lbs.” Say these daily with feeling and in several weeks the change should start. My own affirmations begin with, “I daily enjoy affirming the dynamic and thriving person I am.”    

Another Major Milestone passed!

Posted: December 7th, 2009

Today I reached 70 years of age. It seemed inconceivable to me to live that long when the Japanese ruined my second birthday party by attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the “date which will live in infamy”(FDR). Yet now I feel so blessed to be in robust health and financial security with a happy family life with 45 years married to my best friend. Two achieving children and two beautiful grandchildren– all close. I look back on 40 years of family business success, 33 years of teaching over 10,000 college students, travels in over 70 countries and wonderful friends and associates. My faith grows more meaningful every day. What more could a person want? Last month in Phoenix at a conference with Bruce Wilkinson at the Biltmore, a prominent speaker(next-door neighbor of Paul Harvey) cornered my wife and me, saying “I have been watching you two all week, and I feel compelled to tell you that I feel that your next ten years are going to be the best years of your life.” I’m taking that to the bank. We’re just getting started. As my kids say, “70 is the new 50.” The poet excites me when I read, “Grow old along with me/ The best is yet to be/ The last of life for which the first was made.” Join us. It’s going to be great!

Launching a Personal Web Site & Blog

Posted: September 10th, 2009

We want to join the 21st century, really, we do. It’s so hard to keep up with the technologies of social networking and still have the time to run a business and maintain a home and family. So many people- particularly the more youthful and non-technically challenged -have an almost constant presence in Facebook, Twitter, My Space etc. that we feel woeful backward and inadequate to compare our output with theirs. But our intention is not to compete, but to complete the thrust for social networking. Everyone wants to relate, but more on a meaningful level than the chatter that gets texted across the airwaves and unfortunately also the highways!

The fact that we are attempting to launch a web presence in the social media shows we feel that SOCIAL NETWORKING IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE when it comes to business and relationships. We would be foolish to ignore this vital channel just because the languages seem stupefying to us. What we want to do —our purpose in creating this site –is to share our strengths in the areas of mutual interest, and ask others to contribute theirs. We have succeeded in our own business for 4 decades and have amassed a knowledge of attitudes, skills and perspectives that we ought to share with those who follow. We hope we will prove worthy of your attention, and fortunate enough to benefit from your comments. Forgive us if we are not online every day or responsive to every post.

Just a few guidelines- NO NEGATIVES, NO PROFANITIES, NO PERSONAL ATTACKS, NO SPAM, Only positive please!