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Dozens of samples of my writing for a variety of media during 25 years as a professional writer are available on this website. In addition, some of the best examples of my work are the pages of this website itself. In addition to my Professional Portfolio below, this site has 100+ pages for your perusal, including:

WEB PAGES promoting my services as a freelance writer (such as my Home page and this page promoting Brochure Websites) ... INSTRUCTIONAL and HOW-TO articles about writing, marketing, search engine optimization, etc. (see Articles) ... and BLOG POSTS on my blog, Paper Plane.

There are three ways to view my PORTFOLIO OF PROFESSIONAL WORK done for clients and for publication:

(1) THIS PAGE: Just scroll down this page to find several EXCERPTS from my portfolio.  To enable you to quickly survey the breadth of my writing experience, the excerpts are not grouped by categories.

(2) SAMPLE-BY-SAMPLE: Under PORTFOLIO on the left navigation bar, click page-by-page through my samples.  Each sample occupies its own page and includes a link to the next sample.

(3) BY CATEGORY: To review samples in a specific category, click below to go to the corresponding page in the SERVICES & SAMPLES section:

         Web Pages            Websites           Features/ Essays
 
Business Blogging            Nonprofits         ► Faith
 
Newsletters
    (mail, email)
FundraisingHumor
 
BrochuresAnnual ReportsEditing/ Rewrites
  
Research 
     Reports 
Press Releases


  EXCERPTS FROM MY WRITING PORTFOLIO

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 1: Feature (newspaper article)

“Unemployed Family Man Hoping for Best in Bust.”  Enid News & Eagle; June 7, 1986.

The chain letter that came to Waukomis that April afternoon spoke temptingly of good luck and alluded sinisterly to a curse.

Oilfield driller Rick Green, 33, had worked 16 days during the past 2½ months.  His wife, Sheila, had been laid off from her office job the month before.  The two were stretching their unemployment check to make house payments and support their family of four. 

"In 1978, I would have threw it away.  I wouldn’t even have thought twice,” Green said about the chain letter.

But this was 1986.  The second wave of the oil bust had hit, overwhelming an industry already struggling to tread water, carrying the Greens and thousands of other oil families further from prosperity.

There were mouths to feed, bills to pay.  And now, a chain letter beckoning, threatening.

FOR THE REST OF THIS FEATURE, CLICK HERE: “Jobless Family Man Hopes for Best in Bust.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 2: Research report

Special Report: The Legacy of September 11.  Flame Retardancy of Towers Studied After Collapse.”  Flame Retardancy News; October 2001.

Could modern flame retardancy and fire safety technology have prevented or delayed the September 11 collapse of the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center?

A host of civil engineers who have analyzed the collapse concur that what reduced the mammoth structures to rubble was not the initial impact of the jetliners, but the subsequent fire. Jet fuel from the planes erupted in flames, creating a prolonged inferno that reached an estimated 1500°F. 

The impact of the planes knocked out several steel perimeter columns, weakening but not destroying the structural system that held up the buildings, experts say. However, a massive volume of jet fuel from the planes spewed throughout the floors into which the planes crashed.  The jet fuel fed the flames, and the intense heat weakened the remaining steel supports.  One floor ultimately collapsed upon another, creating greater weight and momentum, thus causing both entire buildings to collapse.

Most engineers agree that there is no known material that can withstand extended exposure to a 1500°F fire.  A goal, then, in preventing another tragedy like the one of September 11, is to prevent such a high-temperature fire from occurring.  Several factors are being considered regarding that goal.

FOR THE REST OF THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE:
"Special Report: The Legacy of September 11."


PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 3: Press release

New And Upcoming Makes It Remarkably Easy to Find What’s New and What’s Next.”  Press release; June 19, 2011.

ARCADIA, CA -- A new “visual browsing tool” is making life easier for movie and music lovers who just want an answer to the familiar question: Is there anything out there worth watching and listening to?

The new website, NewAndUpcoming.com, offers an extensive menu of the latest movies, music, games and books in a remarkably simple and visually appealing format. ...

“There are other new release sites out there, but most of them are long, boring pages of text, and many are really hard to navigate,” said creator Jeffery Honoro, a Los Angeles-area web developer.

By contrast, New And Upcoming offers an enchanting graphic display of movie posters, album art and book covers. The beauty of New And Upcoming is its simplicity and ease-of-use. No more clicking through a maddening maze of hyperlinks. On New And Upcoming you are always just two clicks away from what you’re looking for.

... Visitors choose between “Newly Released” and “Upcoming” in seven categories ... When you see something you like, one more click takes you to an Amazon page where you can learn more about the product ... add the title to your Amazon wishlist -- or if you wish, pre-order the product, so you can have it in your hands before anyone else when it comes out two weeks from next Thursday.

FOR THE REST OF THIS PRESS RELEASE, CLICK HERE: New And Upcoming Makes It Remarkably Easy to Find What’s New and What’s Next.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 4: Humor (Newspaper column)

“Let There Be a Cutlass.”  Enid Morning News; Feb. 5, 1988.

I was delighted the other day when, flipping through the mail, I discovered I had won a new car.

A 1988 Cutlass Supreme, the letter said.

Being a believer, I immediately recognized this as an answer to my prayers. Norma and I and our 16-year-old, Scott, drive an '80 Honda Accord and a '68 Volkswagen bug.  That's stretching it a bit, because the bug's only use right now is as a garage ornament.  Both vehicles have surpassed the 100,000-mile mark.

Obviously, the Lord had looked down upon the Hulls, and in his mercy had decided it was about time to do something about our woeful transportation situation.

“Let there be a Cutlass Supreme,” He had said, and it was so.

The good news had been sent to us by the firm Heilman, Silverman & Stein, the letter said.  I'd never heard of them, but' I liked the sound of their names. They sounded Jewish, adding to my conviction that an act of God had occurred in our lives.

My excitement was checked, however, when I read further and discovered I actually had only a 50-50 chance of climbing behind the wheel of that Cutlass. Standing in my way was "Mrs. Murphy of Ohio."

Only one of us would get the Cutlass.  The other would have to settle for a movie recorder and player, the letter said.

FOR THE REST OF THIS PIECE, CLICK HERE: “Let There Be a Cutlass.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 5: Newsletter (email)

Refresh email newsletter, Pastoral Care Inc.  “The Pastor and Addictions”; July 2010.

Since 2009 I have edited a monthly email newsletter for Pastoral Care Inc., an Oklahoma-based ministry that provides support and assistance to pastors and their families of all denominations nationwide.

The newsletter is called Refresh, and its content is geared directly to pastors.  Each month’s issue focuses on a theme; recent themes have included: “The Pastor’s Devotional Life,” “The Pastor’s Salary and Benefits,” “The Pastor’s Health,” and “Making Your Marriage Work in the Ministry.”

Each newsletter consists of 6 to 8 short articles, for a total of 2,500-3,500 words.  I write most of the copy and edit the pieces submitted by the ministry’s executives.  I then send the copy to a web designer, who creates the final product.

FOR A PDF OF THIS ISSUE OF REFRESH, CLICK HERE: Refresh, “The Pastor and Addictions.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 6: Nonprofit (magazine)

Feed The Children magazine.  Summer 1990.

Feed The Children, a world hunger relief organization based in Oklahoma City, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofits.  In the 1990s I served FTC as Director of Publications.  I oversaw the writing, editing, design and publication of a 16- to 24-page full-color glossy magazine sent bimonthly to 200,000 addresses.  I had the privilege of working with a talented OKC graphic designer, Ken Treagesser, who handled the design and layout.

TO SEE FEED THE CHILDREN’S SUMMER 1990 ISSUE, CLICK HERE: Feed The Children magazine.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 7: Press release

“Citigroup Ordered to Pay Former Broker $264,768.”  July 30, 2004.

San Francisco, CA -- An arbitration panel has ordered Citigroup Global Markets, formerly Salomon Smith Barney, to pay $264,768 to a California broker whose stock plan contributions were withheld after he left the company.

The National Association of Securities Dealers arbitration panel announced its award on Thursday, just one day after the hearing concluded in San Francisco.  The panel ordered Citigroup to pay the award to XXXXXXXXXXXXX. 

“Citigroup and other retail brokerages can no longer threaten or intimidate their employees with veiled anti-compete clauses and unfair financial penalties and expect to get away with it,” said XXXXXX’s attorney, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, a securities litigation firm in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

From 1997 to 2002, XXXXXX had 25 percent of his income, totaling more than $400,000, deducted from his wages to purchase restricted Citigroup stocks and options under Citigroup’s controversial Capital Accumulation Plan (CAP plan).  When he resigned from the company in March 2002, the company refused to pay him $292,584 still due him under the plan, XXXXXX alleged in his complaint against Citigroup.

FOR THE REST OF THIS PRESS RELEASE, CLICK HERE: “Citigroup Ordered to Pay Former Broker $264,768.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 8: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 9: Business blogging

"Who's Minding the Store? You'll Never Believe the Answer!"  Terra Extraneus blog; Mar. 25, 2009.

How did Bernie Madoff, the hands-down all-time winner of the title “world’s greatest thief,” get away for so many years with bilking so many investors out of so many billions of dollars?

Madoff awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to 11 felony counts in a Ponzi scheme by which he swindled investors out of $65 billion. Inmate 61727-054 has settled into his new home: a 7½ x 8-foot cinder block cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York City.

How could Madoff get away with such a massive fraud for so long? Don’t we have regulatory mechanisms in place to protect investors against crooked brokers and investment advisors? Yes we do — sort of. If the Bernie Madoff super-con has provoked your ire, how do you react when you learn that one of the people entrusted with preventing such skullduggery was – wait for it – Bernie Madoff. Keep reading.

FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST, CLICK HERE: "Who's Minding the Store? You'll Never Believe the Answer!"

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 10: Newsletter (mail, by subscription)

Flame Retardancy News; May 2003.

From 2000 to 2005 I was editor of Flame Retardancy News, a market research newsletter sold to a niche international subscribership of scientists and business leaders.  FRN was a monthly publication, 14 to 16 letter-size pages. 

I did all of the research: searching Internet news and publications, reading scientific conference papers, mining the U.S. Patent database, and conducting telephone interviews.  I did most of the writing and edited some pieces submitted by others.  I sent the completed copy to Business Communications Co. (www.bccresearch.com), where BCC staffers handled design and layout, printing, and mailing.

FOR A TYPICAL ISSUE OF FLAME RETARDANCY NEWS, CLICK HERE: Flame Retardancy News, May 2003.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 11: Faith (Christian testimony)

“Legless Man Walks by Faith Across America.”  Sapulpa Daily Herald; December 12, 1984.

Because he has no legs, Bob Wieland is walking across America on his hands.

With his brawny hands gripping thick rubber pads, Wieland swings himself along, step by step across America.  On the stubs of his legs and across his rear end he wears a thick leather covering, worn deep with tread marks caused by the constant pounding on the pavement.

He walks three or four miles a day; the most he has ever traveled in a single day is nine miles.

He set out from southern California two years and 1,500 miles ago.  He hopes to reach Washington, D.C., by the end of next year.

Wieland truly knows what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight.”

Wieland passed through Sapulpa Monday, and I had the privilege to walk with this incredible man for an hour.

Fifteen years ago in a Vietnamese jungle, Wieland stepped on a mortar mine.  The mine exploded, blowing off both of his legs and throwing him to the doorstep of death.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK: “Legless Man Walks by Faith Across America.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 12: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 13: Business blogging

“What Do You Think: Big Splash or Lots of Ripples?”  Terra Extraneus blog; October 18, 2007.

I had this thought this morning: “Effective marketing is not so much about the big splash as it is about countless continual small ripples.” Knowing that there are no new thoughts, I Googled “marketing + big splash + ripples” to see what others have said.

• First, I came across Jeffrey J. Fox’s book, How to Become a Marketing Superstar (2003). Fox is an award-winning marketing consultant and best-selling business writer, who also wrote, How to Be a Rainmaker (2000). In Marketing Superstar, Fox has a chapter titled: “Always make a big splash, instead of a lot of ripples.” Guess we know where he stands.

• Second, I came across an online article, “How We Must Learn To Face the Consumer Again,” by Jarvis Coffin. Coffin is CEO of the web consulting firm Burst! Media, and previously was an ad director for the LA Times and USA Today. Coffin contrasts the approaches of Google and Yahoo in capturing the Internet advertising market. He writes:

“Therein lies the online problem for an advertising and media culture reared on big fish and small ponds: it’s not about splash, it’s about ripple effect.”

FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST, CLICK HERE: “What Do You Think: Big Splash or Lots of Ripples?”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 14: Nonprofit

“Feed The Children Helps America’s Most Desperate.”  Feed The Children magazine; Summer 1990.

"The other side of the tracks.”  Where people hurt.  Where hope is gone.  Where poverty rules.  In ghetto neighborhoods, behind prison bars, or in a lonely corner of a nursing home or mental institution.

Most of us avoid the other side of the tracks.  There is nothing for us there.  And nothing, we think, that we can do to relieve other people's suffering.

Then there are those rare people who, just the opposite of the rest of us, are irresistibly drawn to the other side of the tracks.  While we are thinking there is nothing we can do, they are insisting: we must do something.  While we are looking away, they are reaching out -- with a kind word, a prayer, and a helping hand.

Long before Feed The Children existed, Larry Jones was demonstrating that he is one of those rare people.  As newsletters from the first days of his ministry reveal, Larry has always had a heart for people "on the other side of the tracks.”  As a young preacher traveling from town to town holding crusade meetings, Larry and his wife, Frances, often visited jails and prisons and reached out to the youngsters of impoverished inner-city areas.

Some preachers wouldn’t have bothered.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE: “Feed The Children Helps America’s Most Desperate.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 15: Essay (newspaper column)

“Convenience Store Robber Saved My Life.”  Enid News & Eagle; January 8, 1986.

The teenager, trembling like a frightened animal, said he had a gun.

It was about 2 a.m.  I was a college student in San Jose, making ends meet working the graveyard shift behind the cash register of a Seven-11 store.

The boy whispered his command to fill a paper sack with money.  He spoke so softly his message was difficult to understand.

I was not inclined to obey his order.

I  had had several weeks to ponder this moment.  Convenience store robberies are as common as rundown tenements and greasy taco stands in that district of San Jose.  I knew it was only a matter of time before I would face a hold-up.

I was all of 20, my head still littered with idealistic notions about life as I thought it should be.  Goodness lies dormant within all men, I believed.  Anybody can be made to see reason, I thought.  Surely, with a few well-chosen words I could lead any robber to repentance.

The boy never showed a gun, but his hand fidgeted nervously inside his jacket pocket.  His body shook as if he had just stepped out of the shower to find himself standing wet and naked in a room full of strangers.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE: “Convenience Store Robber Saved My Life.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 16: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 17: Opinion (newspaper column)

"George W. Bush: A Cowboy For Our Times."  Edmond (Okla.) Sun; Oct. 28, 2005.

Is George W. Bush the smartest person to ever set up shop in the Oval Office?  Probably not.  Is it true, as it sometimes seems, that he’s just making this stuff up as he goes along?  Maybe so.  But is it also possible that a cowboy president with more audacity than diplomacy, more bravura than brilliance, is just what we needed at this moment in history?

Iraqi electoral officials confirmed this week that Iraqis by an overwhelming majority have adopted a constitution.  The constitution formally establishes a democratic government in a nation that endured a reign of terror under Saddam Hussein for almost 30 years, and clears another major hurdle toward a democratic future in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a majority of American citizens continue to disapprove of President Bush’s performance, and his handling of Iraq in particular.  A Zogby poll this week puts the president’s positive rating at 45%. However, future generations will not judge George W. Bush by how he fared in current opinion polls, but by the ultimate result of the democratic experiment in Iraq, which the president unilaterally thrust upon them and us.

FOR THE REST OF THIS OPINION PIECE, CLICK HERE: "George W. Bush: A Cowboy For Our Times."

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE NO. 18: Research report

“EU Nixes Ban on Retardants.”  Flame Retardancy News; October 2001.

The Council of the European Union has decided unanimously to reject the European Parliament's recent decision to ban the brominated flame retardants, octa-BDE and deca-BDE. The Council says no such ban will be considered until risk assessments on the brominated retardants are completed later this year. Any such ban requires the approval of both the Council and Parliament.

The Council did accept another Parliament action that limits the amount of penta-BDE contained in octa-BDE to 0.1%.

The Council is composed of ministers of the 15 member states of the European Union. The Council and Parliament are acting on proposals submitted in January by the European Commission, the continent's executive branch. The Commission sought a ban only on penta-BDE. The Commission's proposal recommended against an immediate ban on octa-BDE and deca-BDE, stating, "The risk assessment's results should be available by the end of the year, and the Commission could therefore, if appropriate, take measures concerning these two ethers based on new scientific evidence and depending on the availability of reliable substitutes."

In September, Parliament surprised the Commission and Council, as well as chemical producers and other observers, by not only adopting the Commission's recommended ban on penta-BDE, but extending the ban to also include octa-BDE and deca-BDE.

FOR THE REST OF THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE: “EU Nixes Ban on Retardants.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 19: Business blogging

“The Single Most Important Rule of Law Marketing.”  Terra Extraneus blog; May 12, 2007.

What are the tools of successful law practice marketing?  A sleek website.  An informative blog.  Cultivating referrals.  Lots of networking and community involvement.  Outstanding client relations.  All of these are important factors.

However, I challenge any marketing guru to identify a more important rule of law marketing than this one: Follow through with the prospective clients who have already come through the door.

This is an aspect of law marketing that is too little mentioned, perhaps because it is too often neglected.  However, obviously, follow through is absolutely make-or-break for the success of any law marketing campaign.  What good is an elegant, flash-animated, SEO-primed website, or a provocative blog that is conquering the ecosystem, or dozens of qualified contacts from seminars and social events, if the attorney doesn’t follow through with the prospective clients who come his or her way?

I’m not talking about “follow up” (with contacts), I’m talking about “follow through” (with prospective clients).  Marketing efforts generate contacts, and of course it is important to “follow up” with contacts.  But when a contact approaches you about his own legal need, your “follow through” with that prospective client is the single most crucial step in your marketing strategy.

FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST, CLICK HERE: “The Single Most Important Rule of Law Marketing.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 20: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 21: Fundraising

“Now More Than Ever.”  Letter from Feed The Children President Larry Jones; January 1990.

Dear Friend,

Now more than ever.  As the exciting work of Feed The Children enters the 1990s, those are the words on my mind.

In 1980, after a life-changing visit to Haiti the previous year, I called a news conference in Washington, D.C.  I announced a simple plan to feed the world's hungry.  I would receive gifts of surplus wheat from farmers and ship it wherever it was needed, depending on charitable donations to pay the shipping costs.

When I made that announcement, I was a preacher from Oklahoma.  I had no experience in hunger relief.  I had no tie to the starving people of Ethiopia or Haiti.  I must have seemed woefully naive. What could one man accomplish against a goliath-sized problem like world hunger?

For the past 10 years, God has shown what He can do.  Feed The Children has delivered more than 50 million pounds of food and grain to the people of 48 countries, as well as residents of 48 American states and the District of Columbia.  

So much has been accomplished. So much remains to be done. Now more than ever, the work of Feed The Children is desperately needed.

FOR THE REST OF THIS FUNDRAISING LETTER, CLICK HERE: “Now More Than Ever."

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 22: Essay (newspaper column)

“Tradition Abounds at River Park Fireworks Show.”  Sapulpa Daily Herald; July 6, 1986.

Tradition once hung on me gallingly, like a scratchy wool sweater on a hot summer day.  Now, as I approach middle-age, I find tradition suiting me better.

I took my family to the Tulsa River Park fireworks show Friday.  All the traditions of an uniquely American Fourth of July were in abundance.

The scorching sun was still overhead when we arrived with our picnic supper of fried chicken and baked beans.  Hundreds of people were already there as we spread our blanket on the west side of the Arkansas River.  Thousands more soon joined us.

We amused ourselves by watching the crowd pass by, whispering sarcastic remarks about the colorful, bizarre and sometimes offensive summer garb that adorned our fellow citizens.

The sound of a rock ‘n’ roll band performing in the outdoor amphitheatre wafted across the park, mingling with the music of many portable radios scattered throughout the crowd.  Concessionaires hawked hot dogs and sno-cones and funnel cakes.

A 20-foot papier-mâché Statue of Liberty stood in a truck bed on the park grounds.  A dozen yards away, next to the booth of a cold drinks vendor, stood a giant-sized beer can.  Two symbols of an American summer.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ESSAY, CLICK HERE: “Tradition Abounds at River Park Fireworks Show.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 23: Press release

“McKinzie Seeks County Commissioner Seat.”  Press release; June 2, 2010.

ENID – Dennis McKinzie, an appraiser in the Garfield County Assessors Office, has announced that he will file on Monday to seek the Republican nomination for Garfield County Commissioner, District 1.

McKinzie, 50, of Enid, seeks the seat held by Steve Hobson (R-Covington).  Hobson has served two four-year terms and is not expected to seek re-election.  The statewide primary is July 27.  District 1 is Precincts 101-110, which includes most of east Enid including Brookside, as well as Fairmont, Douglas and Covington.

“I’ve been driving the roads and serving the people of Garfield County my entire adult life,” McKinzie said.  “I have been with the Assessor’s office for four years, and I was a UPS driver for 20 years before that.”

“If my goal is to get to know every single county resident by name, running for county commissioner is just the next logical step,” McKinzie joked.

McKinzie said as commissioner his focus would be on maintaining the quality of the county’s infrastructure: roads, bridges and public safety.  He would be a friend to county residents who makes himself available, he said.

FOR THE REST OF THIS PRESS RELEASE, CLICK HERE: “McKinzie Seeks County Commissioner Seat.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 24: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 25: Annual report

Feed The Children annual report, 1989.

One of my big projects each year as Director of Publications at Feed The Children was the annual report.  The goal: communicate the need and what we are doing about it in a compelling way.  Below is a link to our 12-page 1989 annual report.  I wrote all of the copy and had the privilege of working with a talented graphic designer, Ken Treagesser of Graphiken Design, Oklahoma City, on the design and layout.

TO VIEW THIS ANNUAL REPORT, CLICK HERE: Feed The Children annual report, 1989.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 26: Essay (newspaper editorial)

“Testimony To Two Patriots.”  Enid News & Eagle; July 4, 1988.

On an Independence Day 162 years ago, two U.S. presidents died.   On July 4, 1826, John Adams, the nation’s second president, died in Braintree, Mass., the city of his birth.  He was 90 years old.  A few hours later on the same day, in Charlottesville, Va., our third president, Thomas Jefferson, also died.  He was 83.

The two founding fathers died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Both men had been members of the committee that produced that document; Jefferson was the Declaration’s principal author.

Adams and Jefferson were warm friends, but many marks distinguished them.

Adams was a northerner; Jefferson was born on the Virginia frontier.  They differed broadly and sometimes bitterly in their political beliefs, and opposed each other in the presidential electrons of 1796 and 1800.  Adams narrowly defeated Jefferson the first time; Jefferson was victorious the second, making Adams the nation’s first one-term president.

But the two patriots served together often; their lives were intertwined up to the day of their deaths.

FOR THE REST OF THIS EDITORIAL, CLICK HERE: “Testimony To Two Patriots."

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 27: Research report

“Link Between Antimony, Autism?”  Flame Retardancy News; October 2002.

A Scottish scientist who is a leader in research on autism has found that autistic children have high levels of antimony in their blood.  Gordon Bell of the University of Stirling (Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA; Tel: 44(0)1786-473171) says a study of hair samples from a group of children, including 24 with autism, found that the autistic children had five times as much antimony in their blood as the nonautistic children.

All of the autistic children showed higher levels of antimony.  Also, 92% had higher levels of lead and 54% had higher levels of aluminum.  Among the nonautistic children, 50% had high levels of antimony, 25% had high levels of lead, and 12.5% had high levels of aluminum.

Antimony’s primary use is in the form of antimony trioxide, a flame retardant synergist used in combination with bromine-based and zinc borate-based retardants.  U.S. consumption of antimony trioxide flame retardant products is approximately 70 million pounds annually, constituting approximately 8% (by volume) of all flame retardants in use.  Antimony trioxide is used as a flame retardant additive in many applications, including plastics for computer housing and components, and textile applications such as furniture, draperies, wall coverings, and carpets.

FOR THE REST OF THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE: “Link Between Antimony, Autism?” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 28: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTOLIO SAMPLE 29: Fundraising

“Who Should We Let Come to Church Next Sunday?”  Joshua One Ministries fundraising appeal, January 13, 2011.

Are you a pastor or church leader or Bible study leader or Sunday School teacher?  Have you ever had to decide WHO TO LET COME to your worship service or class – and WHO TO TURN AWAY??

I want to tell you about a phone call I had Tuesday evening.  Tuesday morning, I sent you an email describing our many ambitious plans for our eight-day evangelism trip to Costa Rica, which begins this coming Monday.  I asked you to please help us with the remaining expenses for this journey.

We have received some very generous responses to that appeal!  Thank you to each precious one of you!

On Tuesday, we needed about $6,000 to close our budget gap.  As of right now, we still need about $4,000.  We are four days from departure.

Tuesday evening, I was on the phone with Rodrigo Rojas, our senior evangelist in Costa Rica.  For the last several weeks he and I have exchanged dozens of calls and emails, working out the budget for this week of evangelism.  Lots of expenses: building materials, health clinic supplies, soccer stadium rental for our convention, etc.

FOR THE REST OF THIS FUNDRAISING LETTER, CLICK HERE: “Who Should We Let Come to Church Next Sunday?” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 30: Humor

"Mall Fist Fight Prompts Outbreak of Christmas Spirit.”  Joshua One blog; December 27, 2007.

I saw a mass outbreak of Christmas cheer during a fist fight at the mall cineplex on Christmas Day.  Everyone in the concession stand line seemed to agree that what we witnessed was much more interesting than the movies we were there to see.

Christmas Day is the busiest day of the year at movie theaters.  That no doubt riles the religious sensibilities of some.  After all, the Bible certainly doesn’t say that the proper way to celebrate Christmas is with popcorn and soda at the movies.  However, I confess that it has been our tradition for years to cap off our holiday observance with a family trip to the theater on Christmas evening.

We aren’t the only ones.  I knew what to expect, so we arrived at the 24-screen Oklahoma City mall theater almost an hour before our movie was scheduled to start.  Good thing we did.  We stood in line for 20 minutes to buy our tickets.  Then the rest of the family went to claim our seats, while I stood in line at the concession stand.

... Loud voices drew my attention back to the front of the line.  A fellow close to the front, also in his 20s, and one of the young women who had cut into the line were standing face-to-face, about an arm’s length from each other, speaking in loud, angry tones.

FOR THE REST OF THIS PIECE, CLICK HERE: “Mall Fist Fight Prompts Outbreak of Christmas Spirit.” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 31: Opinion (newspaper column)

“What Makes ‘Outstanding Students’ So Outstanding?”  Sapulpa Daily Herald; February 13, 1984.

I visited one of Sapulpa’s grade schools last week to snap a photo of “Outstanding Students of the Month.”

A teacher ushered six cute kids, five of them of the female persuasion, into an empty classroom where I was to commit their faces to film.

While setting up the shot, in order to put the children at ease (and because I enjoy talking to kids anyway), I asked them what great feat they had accomplished to distinguish themselves as outstanding among their peers.

They all stared at me blankly, saying not a word.

Being a bit on the stubborn side, I repeated my question.  Not a peep.

A third time I asked them what made them so special, and finally an adorable little girl answered, “We keep quiet.”

If you stop and think about it, that’s a pretty funny story.  If you think about it a little longer, it might make you wonder what our public schools are teaching our children about themselves.

I taught school for a year.  One year was plenty.

FOR THE REST OF THIS OPINION PIECE, CLICK HERE: “What Makes ‘Outstanding Students’ So Outstanding?”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 32: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 33: Faith (Christian testimony)

“The Mighty Things of God.”  Feed The Children magazine; Spring 1990.

If you’ve ever sold insurance, you know it would take a super salesman to write half a million dollars worth of business in 30 days.

Don Richardson did it.  Twenty-five years ago.  When he was still in his 20s.  It set a production record that stood for years at the major insurance company he represented.

Not bad for a young man in Hollis, a tiny Oklahoma town just a stone's throw from the Texas border.  Don, who at 52 has been Feed The Children's international director for eight years, discussed his younger days recently during an interview about how he became a Christian and a Feed The Children staff member.

Back then, Don recalled, he and his wife, Gwen, were just starting their family.  Don said he was seeing a lot of success, making a lot of money -- and heading for a lot of trouble.

"I wasn't old enough or mature enough to handle it," he said.  Success went to his head, he took up drinking and became what he describes as a “periodic alcoholic.”

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE:  “The Mighty Things of God.”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 34: Opinion (newspaper editorial)

“Can’t Change The Weather?”  Enid News & Eagle; July 5, 1988.

Pop quiz: Which four years were the hottest on this planet in the past century?

Answer: 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1987 have brought us the warmest temperatures in the past 100.  Those four years may have been the hottest in history; records of global surface temperatures have only been kept for about a century.

It appears 1988 may be another record-breaker.  If it is, five of the past nine years will be all-time scorchers.

What in the world is wrong with Mother Nature?

According to some scientists, the problem is in the atmosphere.  This century has seen a dramatic increase in the burning of coal and petroleum, which emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants.  During the same period, mankind has razed many of this world’s forests, which absorb carbon dioxide.  It is theorized that a cloud of carbon dioxide and other pollutants are enveloping the planet.  As the theory goes, the gases allow the heat of the sun to enter the atmosphere, but do not allow as much heat to leave, causing a “Greenhouse Effect.”

Much attention was focused on environmental concerns during the 1960s, but many citizens wrote off such talk as the misguided fears of liberals and young people.

FOR THE REST OF THIS EDITORIAL, CLICK HERE: “Can’t Change The Weather?”

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 35: Faith (newspaper article)

“Country Churches Take on World Hunger.”  Enid News & Eagle; 1986.

Slick brown paper soaked up puddles of blood that dripped to the floor of the church gymnasium.

Men hacked at buckets of beef with butcher knives, preparing tons of meat for canning.

Their wives -- wearing no make-up or jewelry, some of them with black “prayer coverings” bobby-pinned over their hair -- stood beside them, wiping grease from and pasting labels to the finished products, thousands of 29-ounce cans of beef chunks.

“Food For Relief: In the Name of Christ,” the labels read.

Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, is a modest country church, located on a paved road south and east of Fairview.

About 75 Mennonites from several Northwest Oklahoma communities met at the church Monday and Tuesday for their annual meat canning.

The work began at 4 a.m. and continued well past 9 each evening, converting 17,000 pounds of boxed beef, plus meat from the carcasses of nine head of cattle, into about 11,000 cans of beef.

To a citified onlooker, the event was as close as one might ever come to the barn-raisings or corn-shuckings of country lore.

Farmers dressed in coveralls, farm women in modest dresses that draped below the knee.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE:
“Country Churches Take on World Hunger.” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 36: Placeholder

This is a placeholder for future additions to my Writing Portfolio.

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 37: Faith

“What’s Wrong With This Picture of Jesus?”  Joshua One blog; March 8, 2006.

            

 Does this image of Jesus bother you?  Is there any reason why it should?  Perhaps it provokes something in me, or I wouldn’t be asking.  Is there anything wrong with this picture of Jesus? 

Would we prefer a Jesus in his late 40s or early 50s?  If you have adult children, as I do, maybe you can relate to my sentiment that it’s hard to imagine following someone in their late 20s or early 30s.  Do you ever find yourself listening to a preacher quite a bit younger than you, and you can’t get past the thought, “What does he know?  He hasn’t even been around the block yet.”

I wonder how many older people followed Jesus in his day.  The preferred age for membership in the Sanhedrin was 40; I wonder if the difference in ages played any part in the Sanhedrin’s inability to accept Christ.  I wonder how old Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were.  I wonder how we Baby Boomers would respond to a modern 30-year-old Jesus.

Setting age aside, what’s wrong with this picture of Jesus?  Is it his clothes?  Is it the leather jacket?  Would we prefer a Jesus in an expensive business suit?  Have you seen the dapper duds Joel Osteen wears?  No wonder he’s the pastor of America’s largest church.

FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, CLICK HERE: “What’s Wrong With This Picture of Jesus?” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 38: Research report

“Retardants Separated from Plastics.”  Flame Retardancy News; December 2002.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (1006, Oaza Kadoma, Kadoma, Osaka 571-8501, Japan; Tel: 81-6-6908-1121, Fax: 81-6-6908-2351) has developed what it describes as the world’s first recycling system capable of separating flame-retardant chemicals from used plastic, while maintaining the plastic’s physical properties.

Matsushita is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and is best known to U.S. consumers for its Panasonic and JVC brands.  Matsushita says it will put the recycling system on the market within the next 15 months.  Such a system could play a significant role in the future of brominated flame retardants, especially in Europe, which is moving toward strict recycling requirements.

Brominated flame retardants have been the first choice of many manufacturers for polymers used in electrical and electronic appliances, such as computers and TV sets, because of their effectiveness and cost.  However, the incineration of brominated compounds produces dioxins that can pose a significant health hazard.  Therefore, products containing bromine are generally discarded rather than recycled.  But with computers and other appliances moving from homes and offices to trash bins by the billions, concern is growing about the escalating volume of waste.

The Matsushita recycling system crushes the plastic parts, then heats the pieces until they become soft.

FOR THE REST OF THIS REPORT, CLICK HERE: “Retardants Separated from Plastics.” 

 

PORTFOLIO SAMPLE 39: Nonprofit (newspaper editorial)

“Hunger Doesn’t Take Vacation.”  Enid News & Eagle; June 30, 1988.

Jesus said, “You will always have the poor among you.”  Fortunately, there also are always organizations like the Horn of Plenty.

Just a couple of months ago dozens of Horn of Plenty volunteers went door-to-door in Enid.  Donation boxes also were set up in many local churches and businesses.  The campaign was a success, netting about 20,000 food items and more than $1,000 in cash donations.

But the Horn has a huge task on its hands, trying to make sure everybody in Enid has enough to eat.  Already, the Horn’s warehouse is almost bare.

As the organization’s president, L.G. “Bud” Everitt, said recently in a letter to this newspaper, “Hunger doesn’t recognize a proper vacation time, but continues all summer while many of us take it easy.”

While some of us are feasting during the coming holiday weekend, others will be thankful for the tuna, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, crackers, dry milk and such that they received from the Horn of Plenty and the many agencies it supplies.

But when the Horn’s cupboards are bare, this city’s less-fortunate citizens may not even have those staples to be thankful for.

FOR THE REST OF THIS EDITORIAL, CLICK HERE: “Hunger Doesn’t Take Vacation.”

 

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