Find the Good News with Oran Parker
Ep. 24 - The Ascension Ft. Meagan Green - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 24 - The Ascension Ft. Meagan Green - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

January 30, 2019

Someone asked me how I go about finding good people, and determining whether or not they have good news to share. When I set out to Find the Good News I honestly just open a door, make an invitation, and give a person a safe and honest space to share what’s in their heart and mind, to share their story. It’s not hard to find the good in a person when those elements are in place. Sometimes, even if those elements aren’t in place you meet people that just give off a good vibe, that has an infectious joy and energy, and you want to see what they’ve got going on in their life. Local artist and art teacher Meagan Green was one of those people. Another Good Newsy recommended I get in touch with Meagan for the show, and they were spot on. I got a good sense about Meagan as soon as she showed up at the studio. For two people who didn’t know each other, we ended up sharing a lot of common territories, both spiritually and creatively. For me, as a confirmed Catholic, and the father of a gay son, her lecture titled “Opening a Dialogue for Queer Catholicism through Visual Art” spoke directly to me. We wandered into territory about our shared faith in this episode, and It’s my hope that what we share will open minds and soften hearts. Meagan is fun and funny, and I could tell that the creative spark in working in her. Her paintings and art installations are thought provoking, filled with meaning, and executed with the control of an artist well beyond her years. Beyond that, Meagan has been called to serve the next generation of artists as a teacher in Southwest Louisiana, pushing her students to explore new creative mediums, and exposing them to modern masters that are breaking through conventional artistic boundaries. So, how do I go about finding good people for this show? I just have to look. I have to listen. I’ll keep doing both, because when I do I rise up above the fuzzy and messy noise of sensationalism, and see people like Meagan Green there in plain sight, right here in my community, embedded in my faith,  ascending above the prejudices of the world, and sharing the good news of her life and talents with others.

==========

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT MEAGAN GREEN >> www.kmeagangreen.com or www.facebook.com/meagan.green.79 

Ep. 23 - The Way She Sees It Ft. Heather Arsement - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 23 - The Way She Sees It Ft. Heather Arsement - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

January 23, 2019

The lovely thing about Find the Good News is seeing one guest lead directly to next. Each visit I get to catch a special glimmer in the eyes of the person across from me, and I know that means they’ve had that “aha” moment—they want to tell me about someone good in their life. That’s exactly how I came to connect with conceptual photographer Heather Arsement, through that golden thread that links one guest to the other. I like the magical idea of this unseen thread, and it’s especially relevant in this conversation with Heather as she has an affinity and eye for the fantastical herself. Heather looks around the Southwest Louisiana landscape, and where we may just see a door, a tree, a rock, an empty lot—things that we blow by quickly, things to be barely considered—she sees the raw goods that, used in careful and creative combination, will come together to reveal a new reality. In this visit, for just a bit, I get to put on Heather’s glasses. When you get to know someone, really spend a little time with them and ask essential questions, you can almost get a glimpse of the way they see things. You get to see all of the parts, the little thoughts, experiences, joys, worries, and struggles. You hear the moments in their history that, on the surface, may seem insignificant, but when placed together in concert makes a more interesting individual. In that way, I’d say Heather is a lot like her works. Her interests and the details of her life have a direct impact on the fine art that she produces. We had a lot in common, especially in the pop-culture and entertainment arena, which just further illustrates how the ingredients of a life can blossom in entirely different directions to create unique people and works. I had a lot of fun talking to Heather. She is comfortable, friendly, kind, and so forthcoming about how her works are made. She reminded me that there is a world of wonder all around us, and sometimes it’s just waiting to be revealed in the most ordinary places and things. If we could each see the world as Heather Arsement sees it for a little moment each day, that could be all it takes to turn a bad day good and make a good day even brighter.

==========

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT HEATHER ARSEMENT >> www.facebook.com/heatherarsementphotograph or www.instagram.com/heatherarsement 

Ep. 22 - The Call To Care Ft. Jody Farnum - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 22 - The Call To Care Ft. Jody Farnum - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

January 16, 2019

I’ve always found it hard to ignore the suffering and strife of my fellow man, and during the times in my life when I actually could stiffen my neck and avert my eyes, I’ve been filled with something that I can only call shame. I’ve been guilty of looking around the world, seeing people in difficult times, and like many, I’ve said, “Somebody should do something about that,” only to continue about the business of me. As it turns out, people are doing something and they’ve been doing it in my hometown—Sulphur, Louisiana—for over 35 years. Jody Farnum, the Director of Care-Help in Sulphur, came to visit with me on Find the Good News and expanded my understanding of the extent to which Care-Help serves individuals and families right here at home. To say my mind was blown would be putting it mildly. Care-Help is serving the less-fortunate of Sulphur in a capacity that is really hard to comprehend, especially considering the modest location where they operate. To the average passerby, Care-Help might appear to be a simple thrift store that rejuvenates, repairs, and re-sells donated goods to the public. What you find out if you push through the surface a bit further is that the funds received from those sales are transformed into care and help in the form of food, services, and resources for a growing number of needy right here in our area. Sometimes, the difference between stability and despair is a matter of luck. Many of us, the lucky ones, don’t know what it’s like to be in dire straights, to really be at the mercy of human kindness and compassion. We know where our next meal is coming from. We can pay our bills. We have our health. Our jobs are secure. We have friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers that have helped us along the way, that care about us, and would assist us in our hour of need. For some, that security, that safety net, simply does not exist, and that is where the loving labor of Care-Help in Sulphur gets engaged. Jody is no stranger to struggles. She has been on the outside looking in. She’s climbed peaks, and fallen into valleys. Her experiences have given her eyes free of judgment, allowing her to look on her neighbors with love, and the vision to lead the altruistic employees and volunteers that she surrounds herself with. She told me that if you look, if you’re paying attention, then Christ will appear in your life every single day. For Jody, He often walks through the doors of Care-Help in Sulphur needing food, clothes, or things to make His shelter, His life, a little more comfortable, a little more bearable. Care-Help in Sulphur doesn’t turn people away. Care-Help in Sulphur turns the disregarded and leftovers into blessings, and the people they help often return the kindness by coming back to Care-Help to serve others. Good news looks different for each of us depending on our lot in life. For many people in Sulphur, Louisiana, good news looks like Jody Farnum and a little facility called Care-Help.

==========

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ON CARE HELP >> http://www.care-help.org/ 

Ep. 21 - The Music Box Ft. Paul Gonsoulin, M.A. PLPC - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 21 - The Music Box Ft. Paul Gonsoulin, M.A. PLPC - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

January 9, 2019

Before Paul arrived to visit me on Find the Good News I could not have imagined the quality of the conversation we would have, nor the variety of things we would have to talk about. I met Paul years ago while volunteering time with the Southwest Louisiana Arts Council, and while we had a friendly rapport, I wouldn’t have said we were good friends. We were more like friendly acquaintances. It’s amazing how serious listening and good conversation can change things. It had been years since I’d spoken to Paul, and my only real exposure to him during that time had been from afar while filming local music events and festivals. When I inadvertently contacted Paul, I had actually been trying to reach out to the new 1950s cover band “Cry Baby” to see if a band member would like to come on the show and talk about the joyful sounds they’ve been bringing to the good people of the lake area. As it turns out, it was an auspicious thing that Paul happened to be that band member, and as it ends up, we had a lot more to talk about than music. If you listen to this show you probably know by now that a recurring theme is transformation, change, and the hard work, experimentation, and even pain, that it takes to turn the dial on your life in a positive direction. That’s exactly what Paul has been doing in these years since I last spoke to him. He’s been changing his life, his mind, his habits, and his thinking He’s been doing the work, experimenting, and transforming past pains and anxieties into something good. In fact, I don’t think I’d be going too far to say that he’s learned to let much of that pain go. The man that was sitting across from me is passing on the good works shared with him through counseling. He’s used those shared works to step on the path to awakening, becoming a counselor himself, passing on what he’s learned, adding new insights along the way. It seems to me that Paul is taking a whole-life view, incorporating everything into his journey, from his lifelong love of music—with special favor given to the Beatles—to Vipassana meditation. I may have accidentally contacted Paul Gonsoulin when looking for a little musical good news to share, but what I got was even better than good news. He challenged me, and it was good to push through and gain some new clarity on things in my life. In visiting with Paul I feel that I’ve had a conversation with another human being that—as Paul might put it—will have a durable benefit in my life.

 ==========

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ON CRY BABY >> www.facebook.com/crybabylc/ 

Ep. 20 - The Umbrella Spoke Ft. Thom Trahan - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

Ep. 20 - The Umbrella Spoke Ft. Thom Trahan - Find the Good News with Oran Parker

January 2, 2019

What happens when the right person is placed in the right position to do the right job at the right time in history? For me, there’s no guesswork involved in answering that question. I don’t have to wonder about it. I only have to look right here in my hometown of Sulphur, Louisiana to see what that looks like, to see history unfolding. In fact, I only have to look a few minutes down the road to a little office at the Brimstone Museum to Find the Good News. That’s where my dear friend Thom Trahan has been passionately creating and curating for over a decade. There is an enthusiasm, cheer, and general feeling of happiness around Thom. Those were the first things I noticed when I met him at the Henning Cultural Center almost 10 years ago. As the Executive Director of the Brimstone Historical Society, Thom has eagerly worked with local volunteers to see the Cultural Center and Brimstone Museum grow from a couple of historic buildings to a complex that offers annual art galleries, workshops, cultural events, and festivals, as well as permanent historic displays. Thom is as humble a man as you will meet, and he is quick to shy away from personal accolades. I feel that it is very important to him that any accomplishment in our community be seen as a group effort because he knows that the spirit of togetherness is how change takes root in a place and becomes lasting. Thom has a long view of history, and he knows that everything he accomplishes today is one link in a chain of events. He understands that we each have to take our little place in the history. That’s why he finds great value in just being kind and leaving his little corner of the world better than he found it. He’s found his place in history, and I think that’s how history will remember him. I’m happy to know Thom, and I feel honored to call him my good friend. 

 ==========

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY PARKER BRAND CREATIVE SERVICES >> www.ParkerBrandUp.com

FOR MORE INFO ON THOM TRAHAN >> www.facebook.com/thomtrahan or www.brimstonemuseum.org