Category Archives: service

Enough is enough!

What’s not to love about a smiling child opening a box of Christmas treasures? Especially when the child is poor, Third World, and whose parents are unable to provide such wonders.

Every year millions of these Christmas boxes are sent all over the world. In the year 2016 the sponsor of these boxes was hoping to send 12 million boxes to eager children. But the boxes are most valuable to the rich people who send them out, thus making them feel generous and benevolent in a cheap sort of way. (A typical box only costs about $15-$25.).

Continue reading Enough is enough!

Leading versus “lording”

Bad bossJesus was talking to his disciples and he said this.  “You’ve observed how….rulers throw their weight around and how quickly a little power goes to their heads.  It’s not going to be that way with you.”  Matthew 20:25, The Message.

Jesus’ statement came directly after one of his disciples asked for appointment to a seat of power for her sons in what she thought the Kingdom was going to be.  Sound familiar? Continue reading Leading versus “lording”

Do not trust these deceptive words.

Samuel 01Ancient Israel believed they had carte blanche with God’s approval.

Not unusual.  Especially among nations that are enjoying a modicum of political and financial success.  “God bless America” we hear so often in political speeches, implying that we have a special dispensation from God.

Ancient Israel’s mantra was “the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord,” as they looked proudly at the gleaming place of worship they associated with God’s dwelling place.  “Nothing bad could happen to us because we have the temple of the Lord” was the upshot of  this phrase. Continue reading Do not trust these deceptive words.

We want to sit at the head table.

Power 03“You let people walk all over you.”  A friend recounted how an advice-giver told him to “get a spine.”  Seemed like good advice.  Being everyone’s doormat is not a good thing.

Although…  Power is funny because it doesn’t always give what it promises to its possessor.   Continue reading We want to sit at the head table.

The Apprentice

Old School HouseBefore a teacher left his village on a long trip he entrusted his two best apprentices with the responsibility of insuring that progress in education continued in the small community.  The village had rudimentary needs, and there was much work to be done in the teacher’s absence.

The first apprentice was meticulous in his lesson preparations and in doing things exactly as the teacher did them.  Rules were strictly enforced.  Lesson books were carefully followed.  Lunch was always served at exactly the same hour.  The apprentice left for the day precisely 10 minutes after the students left.  He was keenly aware of the exact obligations of the job. Continue reading The Apprentice

Tapping the Brakes

Traffic JamThe highway traffic began to slow down.  Sixty-five was the speed limit, but when it hit fifty-five and then forty-five it was obvious that something had happened up ahead.  The curves and elevation changes of the road prevented seeing the cause, but everyone thought that it must be a bad wreck.

Forty.  Thirty.  Twenty.  Stop.  Nothing but tail lights and short tempers three lanes deep. Continue reading Tapping the Brakes

Letting People Down

down or depressedThe president began the meeting with, “We can’t do any business because we don’t have a quorum.”

It has happened before.  A carefully constructed agenda and set of to-do’s was turned into just an interesting conversation.  The meeting ended with nothing getting done in spite of the fact that the organizational clock was ticking.

Those who didn’t attend had lots of reasons.  Worked spilled over into the meeting time.  School called to ask a parent to attend to a sick child.  Second thoughts about belonging to our group.  Too many commitments and not enough time.  All legitimate reasons.  But all shutting down the actions of the group. Continue reading Letting People Down

Divine Abundance

Feeding the 5000If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom’s, you know you’ve had an extraordinary experience, especially if you needed additional service or even a refund.

A former Nordstroms employee told these customer service stories. A customer tried to return pants that had clearly been worn for an extended amount of time, but was still given a refund. In another case, Nordstrom split two pairs of shoes in order to fit a man with different sized feet. There are also plenty of stories about Nordstrom employees who have personally delivered items to customers’ homes. Continue reading Divine Abundance


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.