Monday, May 31, 2010

Dueling Tee-Shirts...

Dueling tee-shirts...

Pretty amazing.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Waiter, There's A Fly In My Soup...

I thought this was a great post from Michael Hyatt in which he suggests four strategies to use in responding to poor customer service:

Perhaps you’ve noticed: customer service has deteriorated noticeably since the recession began. Fewer waiters in restaurants. Slower room service in hotels. Longer wait times for support.

This is hardly surprising. With significant layoffs in almost every industry, fewer people are available to provide the level of service you have come to expect. Everyone is scrambling. Many are stumbling.

What can you do about it? More than you think. But it begins by adjusting
your attitude. This is what distinguishes leaders from non-leaders. They have the ability to lead themselves.

Therefore, here four strategies for responding to poor customer service:

1. Be more understanding. The people who are trying to serve me are no doubt overworked and underpaid. They are doing the best they can. They didn’t wake up this morning plotting how to disappoint me. They are not stupid or incompetent. Indeed, most of them are frustrated that they don’t have more resources to meet their customers’ needs.

2. Express gratitude. It’s easy to focus on all the stuff I am not getting that I think I am entitled to. Instead, I am going to work hard to thank people for all the little stuff they do for me. If I can set aside my expectations, it’s amazing how much more I will notice and acknowledge. A simple, heart-felt “thank you” can re-energize a person who is discouraged and ready to quit.

3. Demonstrate patience. Is my need really so urgent or am I really that important that I need it now? Probably not. I can use these delays and annoyances to polish my own character and better learn the virtue of patience. This comes down to a simple matter of treating others the way I would want to be treated in a similar situation.

4. Extend grace. Someone has said that mercy is not giving people what they deserve while grace is giving people what they don’t deserve. For example, that over-worked waiter didn’t give me the service that I might have received two years ago. But now he’s covering 50% more tables. And people are tipping less. I’m going to give him the full 20%. Why? Because I want to be a gracious and bless him.

None of this means you have to rollover or accept poor service as the new norm. But you are more likely to get good service if you have a good attitude rather than a bad one. And even if you don’t get better service, you can at least feel better about yourself and what you are becoming.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


ACEBPAASHTOTIIYCOOU = Acronyms can easily be perceived as a secret handshake that only the insiders in your church or organization understand.

Be judicious and thoughtful in your use of acronyms.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Church Became...

Somewhere along the way "church" for some people became a once-a-week event at a building... an event with no sense of community, and removed from the rest of their week and lives.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fight Back...

The Holy Spirit knew I needed the reminder found in this recent post by Pete Wilson:

Leading in any environment can be a difficult, exhausting, and lonely task. Whether you’re a minister, a mother, a teacher, a small business owner or the CEO of a large company you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I bet there are some of you who doubt whether or not you’re making a difference.

I bet there are some of you avoiding an important challenge.

I bet there are some of you tempted to abandon God’s values.

I bet there are some of you tempted to give up today.

Disappointment, discouragement, and divisiveness constantly hunt after the leader’s spirit.

Fight back.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gospel vs. Religion...


* Religion:
“I obey; therefore, I’m accepted.”

* Gospel:
“I’m accepted; therefore, I obey.”


* Religion:
Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.

* Gospel:
Motivation is based on grateful joy.


* Religion:
I obey God in order to get things from God.

* Gospel:
I obey God to get God – to delight in and resemble Him.


* Religion:
When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.

* Gospel:
When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle, but I know my punishment fell on Jesus and that while God may allow this for my training, He will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.


* Religion:
When I am criticized, I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a “good person.” Threats to self-image must be destroyed at all costs.

* Gospel:
When I am criticized, I struggle, but it is not essential for me to think of myself as a “good person.” My identity is not built on my record or my performance, but on God’s love for me in Christ.


* Religion:
My prayer life consists largely of petition, and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of the environment.

* Gospel:
My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with God.


* Religion:
My self-view swings things between to poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble but not confident – I feel like a failure.

* Gospel:
My self-view is not based on my moral achievement. In Christ I am simultaneously sinful and lost, yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad that he had to die for me, and I am so loved that he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deep humility and confidence at the same time.


* Religion:
My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work, or how moral I am – and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral.

* Gospel:
My identity and self worth are centered on the One who died for me. I am saved by sheer grace, and I can’t look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace am I what I am.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walking Along...

I found myself on a walking trail in a large park not long ago. Many of my fellow walkers/joggers/runners seemed to be most intent on their activity. I tried to take in those who joined me on the path. I saw...

"Basketball man"... an older gentleman who carried a basketball with him as he walked.

"Ohio State man" was decked out in an Ohio State hat and tee-shirt. He wore big sunglasses and listened to his iPod as he walked.

"Stroller jogging moms" (and an occasional dad) who have the latest in aerodynamic stroller technology (a three wheeler with big tires) that allows for speed and efficiency as they job while pushing Junior.

"Lady with the big stick"... an older African American woman who walked with a big stick firmly grasped in her right hand. I assumed it was a defence against loose dogs and not a weapon to be used on fellow walkers.

"Walker walking man"... older man who appeared to have suffered a stroke. He shuffled along behind his aluminum walker as he straddled the center of the path hash-marks separating the walking/jogging side of the path from the bicycle side.

Who did you see today?

Friday, May 7, 2010


Some videos are so hilarious (and convicting) you feel compelled to share them. This vid definitely fits that description.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Investment Questions...

Today was day two of Drive Conference 2010, and I enjoyed a challenging day full of "learnings." As I flipped through the notes I'd taken today, I noticed two questions in my notebook I'd both underscored and circled (which may or may not mean these were my key take-aways from the day). Regardless, I thought the two questions were worth sharing with you... as I believe the answers we arrive at to these questions say a great deal about each of us--both in terms of the people we have in our lives, and the kind of people we are to the people in our lives.

Here are the questions, and allow God's Spirit to breathe wisdom and insight into your heart and mind as you answer them:

1) Who are the people I feel are investing in me?

2) Who are the people who feel I am investing in them?

Were you able to come up with names in answer to both questions?