Only You Can Do Your Job

Anyone may be able to explain the difference between weight and volume to a 6 year old – when to use a measuring cup or when to use a scale.

Anyone may be able to explain the metric system to a 10 year old – why kilo is one thousand but mili is one-thousandth.

Anyone may be able to make a 13 year old girl load the dishwasher – because it has to be done even when you roll your eyes.

Continue reading “Only You Can Do Your Job”

Elections: Midland and Bangladesh

With early voting in full sway and my name on the ballot in Midland for the first time, I sit here in the quiet morning, thinking back to evidence of an election I witnessed one year ago.

This time last year, I had the privilege of visiting Bangladesh with some dear friends. We went to see the work being done among the Rohingya people who have been exiled from their homes in Myanmar. As we drove out from the city of Cox’s Bazaar, along the shore of the Bay of Bengal, we happened across a village center which was covered with the political fliers and signs of candidates.



Continue reading “Elections: Midland and Bangladesh”

MISD Facilities Need Thorough Examination

As seen on 7/28/19 in the Midland Reporter Telegram op-ed article:

School Girl Raising Hand.jpeg

Do you remember the story of the Dutch boy who held his fingertip in the leak of a dyke, thus saving his community from certain flooding disaster and destruction?

We Midlanders have been plugging holes in the local dyke of MISD schools with the fingertips of children, teachers and campus administrators for as long as I can remember. As a child in Midland in the 1980s and ’90s, I attended Rusk Elementary, Lamar Elementary, Carver Center, San Jacinto Junior High School, Midland Freshman and Midland High School. Our school facilities were in need of expansion, repair and replacement even back then. Continue reading “MISD Facilities Need Thorough Examination”


Persistent Midlanders will lead our community into the future

If Austin is weird and Dallas is flashy, if Houston is humongous and Fredericksburg is cute, if Lubbock is young and San Antonio is cultured, what is Midland?

MRT file photo: Midland city skyline during the Tall City Golf Invitational Feb. 16 at Hogan Park Golf Course.

Midland’s Current Leaders Need to Train Next Generation

As seen on 6/9/19 in the Midland Reporter Telegram op-ed article:

Old man hand shaking with young man

If you graduated high school in Midland, Texas in the late 1980s or 1990s, chances are good you did not want a career in oil and gas. As you flipped through the course catalog of your chosen university, sitting there in your stonewashed jeans and floppy highlighted hair, I would bet you tried to skip right over engineering and geology. Am I right?

Continue reading “Midland’s Current Leaders Need to Train Next Generation”

Solving education problems in Midland starts with you

As seen on 5/27/19 in the Midland Reporter Telegram op-ed article:

All of Midland seems to sigh with relief, as we tie a bow on this school year and look forward to summer days, free from school lunches, homework, sports practices and stress. The 2018-19 school year has pushed us all to the breaking point and we are DONE. We made it to the finish line.

Group Of High School Students Running Along Corridor

Continue reading “Solving education problems in Midland starts with you”

A collaborative call to action in Midland shouldn’t go unanswered

As seen on 5/6/19 in the Midland Reporter Telegram op-ed article:

As Permian Basin energy production attracts national and international interest to our region, our beloved Midland, Texas, is getting a bad rap right now.  And … let’s be fair … much of that bad rap, we earned it.

From the roads to the schools to the health care to the affordable housing market to the looming generation gap to the general feel around town, most Midlanders agree: we have problems to address. Many of us also know that various businesses, politicians, nonprofits and other civic entities are working hard to develop progressive plans for the benefit of our city. But even some of the most engaged residents among us are functionally uninformed and ignorant about the happenings behind the closed doors of these decision-makers.

Continue reading “A collaborative call to action in Midland shouldn’t go unanswered”

A Small Shift with Big Consequences

I was wrong in my approach to the gender role issue and I’ll tell you why.

Since I posted last week about my perspective of gender imbalance in the church, I’ve received some gentle and kind correction from a few different people. They actually strengthened my conviction to continue asking, “where is the female image-bearer of God reflected in the leadership of the church?”  But they also helped me to see my confrontation of “imbalanced gender roles” was the wrong place to start.

easter 2018

Continue reading “A Small Shift with Big Consequences”

5 Years and 5 Big Lessons

As Octane Energy turns 5 years old this month, I’m sitting down to consider some hard-won lessons from our time in the oilfield service space in the Permian Basin. I’m sure you’ve all heard that the Permian is the largest oil producing basin in the US and is projected to soon be the largest producing region in the world. Midlanders seem to talk about our elevated status everywhere we go…and I’m not sure anyone else is as impressed as we Midlanders are, ourselves.


At any rate, that’s what the data indicates: the Permian is the place to be for exploration and production in this new uptick in the market. Octane experienced our share of difficult economic times during the last downturn but we have successfully, by God’s grace, weathered the storm and lived to tell about it. My late father, Mark Merritt, used to tell me that the people who survive through the turmoil and sorrow of the busts would do well to remember those hard lessons when the next boom comes around…and so we are endeavoring to remember: Continue reading “5 Years and 5 Big Lessons”

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