Category Archives: Food for Thought


BNI-Logo-transparent_mYesterday our new BNI leadership team got its official training for the new BNI year that begins on Thursday.  The Director of BNI Central Valley came down for the 3 hour training, and we met at a local business’ conference room.

I have to say that I am really impressed with the quality of BNI ideas and training.  Part of the reason that BNI is so successful is that they invest heavily in keeping members trained and up to a certain (expected) standard of performance.

New members have to receive MSP (Member Success Program) training in order to be able to do the extended 8–minute infomercials.  The MSP program gives some basic information and skills.  It helps you to form your ideas for your infomercial so that it is as effective as it can be.

Occasionally an area BNI chapter will host a 2–hour conference on some subject relative to marketing business.  BNI members are encouraged to attend and to think of it as attending a marketing meeting for your company where all the attendees are members of your marketing department.

BNI leaves nothing to chance.  Everything that is done has a purpose, and that is to make each member as effective a marketing agent as possible.  Which makes me wonder why more organizations, including churches, do not invest in the training of their people in the same way.


Heifer Project

Water BuffaloeOur Tennessee grandchildren are visiting us this week.  Every Christmas Bev makes a contribution in their name to the Heifer Project, and she wanted them to be able to see first-hand what Heifer does. 

HP is a non-profit organization that donates animals to people around the world who need a way to provide food and income for their families.  A heifer, for example, would provide milk and cheese for a family.  The heifer’s first calf would also be donated by that family to another family so that the blessings are passed on.

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It was meant to be….

Nicole Ritchie 02I hear it all the time.  It comes in some version of “it was meant to be.”  People who are not God followers tend to talk about fate or some amorphous Cause that created a situation.

Believers credit God with the green car they just bought or the perfect job they just got.  The Christian version of it-was-meant-to-be is “God told me to do this.”  Oh really?

This is not a diatribe against being thankful to God for answered prayer.  The Bible actually encourages us to give thanks in all circumstances.  However…

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Ignorance is not a good thing!

Henry Ford 02“The only thing worse than training your people and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”  Henry Ford.


 Organizations that do not train their people are poured in ideological and methodological concrete.  In some respects they are like a university that never allows research or thought that is dated after a particular time.  This effectively freezes all learning, and the university (or organization) gets no benefits from new discovery.

Continue reading Ignorance is not a good thing!

The Global Rich List

I find that it is quite easy to feel sorry for myself when I use myself or people I consider to be more privileged than myself as points of comparison. Grumbling issues for me can include a wide variety of things.

That was until I went to the Global Rich List website. The website has a place where you can type in your annual salary, and then it compares your salary against the rest of the world. It is a sobering experience.

Global Rich List is not for the feint of heart. It shows what American dollars will purchase in the rest of the world. Here are some examples.

$8 could buy you 15 organic apples OR 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras to grow and sell fruit at their local market.

$30 could buy you an ER DVD Boxset OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.

$73 could buy you a new mobile phone OR a new mobile health clinic to care for AIDS orphans in Uganda.

$2400 could buy you a second generation High Definition TV OR schooling for an entire generation of school children in an Angolan village.

Imagine what Americans could do if they devoted even a small portion of their salaries to feeding the poor and helping Third World Countries! Enormous good could be done, and much of the anger that exists because of the frustration of poverty would be eased.

Simple Church

I just finished reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks, and I am greatly impressed by its profound treatment of simplicity. Rainer and Geiger concluded as a result of a lot of research that simple churches grow more and are healthier than churches that are complex in structure and activity.

I also attended a one-day workshop on small groups in Sacramento. It was sponsored by Church Coaching Solutions and hosted by Stadia. Jim Putman was the presenter, and he is the senior pastor at a 7,000 member church in Idaho that has virtually all of its members involved in small groups. They have a phenomenally high rate of involvement.

What was interesting was that what Jim Putman presented closely mirrored what I had read in Simple Church. Simple, basic churches are actually healthier than churches that try to offer too many things and who are too complex in their organization.

I don’t know how supermarket churches will fare in coming years. They will be constantly having to offer something that is new and delicious in order to keep their momentum and structure. Simple churches, on the other hand, train small groups of people to think in terms of meaningful relationships and serving others.

Relationships and service are highly portable ideas and do not require large, complex structures to enact. At LifeSpring Church this simplicity will enable us to minister effectively to this community without over-burdening our members. Simplicity is so incredibly wise and easy to do, provided that you can turn loose of unnecessary traditions and baggage.