We are in the midst of the Lenten season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Coming from a Protestant tradition, that hasn’t meant much to me over the years. Even if it did, I don’t get drunk, I don’t smoke, I’ve been on a diet since March 2013, so I didn’t have anything to give up for Lent anyway. Or so I thought. Continue reading
Posts Tagged With: Proverbs
I must admit that I act like a petulant child sometimes when prompted by my Lord to do things out of my comfort zone like: invite people to church, forgive the unworthy, show grace to the ungrateful, and be grateful in difficult circumstances. But.. but, but God — I don’t wanna! Continue reading
We usually shut our 15 year old beagle in the living room when we leave the house.
He’s old, he’s lethargic and sleeps all the time, and he hates his kennel. He behaves perfectly well in the living room.
But he’s the Tasmanian Devil in the kitchen. He got in it today while we were at church. Continue reading
I’m a big fan of tongue-in-cheek humor and a frequent user of sarcasm and satire, so this was right up my alley. Prepare to get called out and convicted:
I’ve been reading Harry Potter to the girls after bedtime devotion and prayers. They’re fun reads, with good vocabulary and great themes of bravery, good v. evil, selflessness and the power of unconditional love. Leah, my eight year old, has a bad habit some nights of interrupting a particular section and asking “Why?”. I find this more frustrating than I should. Perhaps it’s because I’ve already read the whole thing before and I know that the “why” she wants is usually irrelevant to the story, or is often answered by what happens next. If she’d just listen and enjoy the ride there’s a great and exciting story with a happy ending to follow. Getting caught up in “why” just interferes with hearing the story.
There has been a lot of tragedy going around our corner of the world in the last 6 months. It is easier to see the potential workings of God in some of it than others. The loss of a job could mean a better job around the corner and more time with family now. A severe injury can lead to miraculous healing, or inspiring others through God’s provision and endurance. A young person or parent with young children contracting terminal cancer is a lot harder to comprehend.
It’s easy to get consumed with wanting to know why God would allow such a thing to happen. In times like this, it can be good to remember Leah. Refuse to get sidetracked in the why of your story. Instead, concern yourself with what happens next.
“And then, she did the bravest thing imaginable…”
“And then, for the first time, he completely gave his life over to God’s will…”
“And then, she understood her need for God and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ…”
“And they were adding to their number daily…”
We know how the story ends. We know Jesus is the hero. We know that His side wins. We know that those who believe in Him shall not perish. Keep in perspective that all of life’s triumphs and tragedies are a part of HIStory, and be determined to be more concerned with the “and then” and leave the “why” to Him. (And then, He will give you the strength to do it.)
I have a pet peeve.
My kids love to ask me about what is going to happen. When are we going to do ______? Are we going to be able to ____? What are we going to _____? It could be about dinner, vacation plans, or just about anything. The problem is, the answers are usually (lawyer alert!) “It Depends”. They hate that. Even worse, sometimes I give a specific answer and then change my mind or the circumstances change and it doesn’t happen as I said. They REALLY hate that. So they get mad when I can’t tell them specifically what the future holds, and they get mad when it doesn’t happen like I told them. That’s my pet peeve.
And yet, I do that with God all the time.
We here in Lee County in central North Carolina just got some bad news: the Lee County Economic Development Corp announced that the unemployment rate rose from 11.0 percent in May to 11.2 percent in June while the labor force declined from 26,887 to 26,818. Honestly, these statistics merely confirm the feeling of economic malaise that pervades this area of the state. Even sadder is how many folks are not part of these statistics because they’ve given up looking for work or because they do have a job but it’s not what they want.
I wish these folks could know the joy we’ve come to know in our family the last few years. We’ve been so blessed in our family that Emily found Thirty-One Gifts, which allowed her to build a business, quit her full-time work, stay at home to be a mom to our girls, and even earn us trips to Disney World, Cancun, and Dominican Republic. I just want to stand outside the unemployment office and sign people up!
See Thirty-One’s Income Disclosure Statement here: IncomeDisclosureStatement
Emily and I just got back from the Thirty-One Gifts 2013 National Conference in Atlanta. 16,000 hootin’, hollerin’ consultants and a handfulof husbands. I loved this video they showed of some of the husbands taken during last year’s Leadership Incentive Trip to Cancun.
Emily has learned a lot about sales in a relatively short period of time with Thirty-One. I know she has raved about the tips she has gotten at National Conference every year. She has learned by the examples of other Directors. She has listened to her fantastic coaches. But some things you learn the hard way.
When someone contacts you about buying something, setting up a party or for more information on joining your team, you must respond immediately. Chances are, that person has made inquiries in more than one place. The person who responds with a thoughtful answer first is more likely to convert that sale or sign up a new team member. We learned this the hard way back when Emily still worked full-time in addition to her job as a Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts. She would not be able to call or email in response until that night or maybe even the next day, by which time the person would have in many cases moved on.
No matter what else is going on (sometimes including sleeping and eating), those initial inquiries about joining Thirty-One or a new customer get answered immediately. So far, this policy is yielding dividends. Note: while it is important to be attentive to current customers and team members, this policy is for new inquiries only. It would be way too stressful to apply this to every single business call or email and have the potential to run you ragged. It’s like ER triage in a way; the existing team members and customers are like stabilized patients and the new contact is fresh off the ambulance. Both require attention, but it’s important to prioritize.