Banquet drawingWhen Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it was with food.

When the floods receded and Noah left the Ark, he offered a sacrifice to God and had a celebratory picnic.

When the Israelites commemorated their delivery from Egyptian slavery, they had a meal.

One of the great miracles in the Gospels is the feeding of 5000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Continue reading →

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 →


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.



Kindness 01Gavin Whitsett wrote the book,, Guerilla Kindness, and was the father of the Random Acts of Kindness movement.  Whitsett said that he wanted to remind people of the kind impulses that all of us had.  In a world that is often rude and unkind, it’s nice to have the reminder.

The Bible also reminds us of the importance of kindness. Micah said in answer to the question, “What does God require of you?” Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God, Micah 6:8.

In today’s sermon we began a list deeds that are expressions of kindness.  All of these deeds require attention and determination, and they do not occur by accident.  Below is a beginning list of suggested kind deeds.  Kindness, by its nature, is otherly.  What would you add to the list?

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Missio Dei

Missio DeiFred Peatross, from Huntington, West Virginia, is a friend of mine that I’ve never met in person.  Our relationship is facilitated by e-mail.  I live in California.  We became friends because of Jim Henderson who lives in Seattle, Washington.  West Virginia, California, and Washington—this is a great picture of our times.

Fred’s new book, Missio Dei, is an insightful look at what is happening in Western culture, particularly as it relates to disciples of Jesus.  Twenty years ago the e-mail relationship Fred and I have developed would have been unheard of.  Also blogging, Google, My Space, and social networking.

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A Misunderstanding

KohlsBev was looking for a new dress to wear to the Chamber of Commerce dinner and installation.  We went to Turlock because Bev likes shopping there, and we ended up in a Kohl’s.  I found a chair in the customer service area and took up residence.  Why stand when you sit?  I had a book to read.

That’s when I became aware of tense voices at the service counter.

A lady was trying to return some dishes she had purchased the day before.  I had a hard time trying to figure out why she was returning them.  I do know that she and the Kohl’s person waiting on her were not communicating at all.

Continue reading →