"For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls,
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it." Proverbs 8:11 Amplified

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


“Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Be Still                 Be Quiet               Be Motionless

Simple, but difficult.

Shhh, hush, be still.

Happiness may be passing and it is looking for a soft place to alight.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pull Up Your Britches

Today is May 11, 2011 and there is snow falling and accumulating on my deck. I know everyone says we need the moisture, but can’t it come in the form of rain?

God has promised us the seasons and they do show-up, but sometimes there is a teasing that the next season has arrived only to have it snatched away by a sudden reversal.

This happens in our lives too.

A dark season that has been hanging on seems to be ending, light has begun to spill through and we turn our faces towards it, feeling the warmth. With our eyes closed and our face lifted to the heat, a shadow suddenly chills our heart.

We open our eyes to see the clouds have once again rolled over us. Discouragement digs its tentacles into our mind and we are tempted to shut the door on hope. That is the one thing we must never, never do. Hope is our anchor.

Just as I know in the next few days the sun will be shining and I will be outside in my yard planting flowers I know the despondancy that thinks it has a hold in our life will melt away like the snow.

We are filled with questions, screaming for answers which may or may not come. God has His reasons for not revealing all His plans to us but He gives us hope through His promises. As God guarantees that the seasons will continue He gives us assurances in His word concerning our lives.

I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers. You will worship me with all your heart, and I will be with you and accept your worship. Then I will gather you from all the nations where I scattered you, and you will return to Jerusalem. Jeremiah 29:11-14 NCV

My choice: Do I throw a pity party and call all my friends to join me or do I take a deep breath, pull up my britches and call out to God:
“Good morning Lord, I'm reporting for duty, what do you have for me today.”

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dream Enemies Part Three

Your Dream Enemies: you, friends and family, peers and experts.

You are determined to pursue your Dream, you have overcome self doubts, you have set yourself to press through the opposition coming from family and friends and then you are confronted with another enemy.

Yikes, is everyone against you?

Peers, and so called experts, can shoot holes in your Dream faster than you can duck for cover.

Why would they do this? Jealousy, insecurity, pride, meanness.

Those who have allowed their Dreams to deteriorate are convicted by your risk taking.

They have deserted their Dreams and they don’t want you to succeed with yours so they pile on the criticism and ridicule.

Those who attempted to follow their Dreams but were stopped by one of the other enemies want to stop you too. They have a truckload of broken Dreams and since there is still room in the truck they want you to throw in yours too.

Are you beginning to wonder if there is anyone who is for you?

You have a huge fan, He is the Dream giver:
So what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
Romans 8:31 Message Translation

God will bring each of us the right person, or persons, who can share our Dream, not only share it but help us fulfill it.

If you haven’t found that person it may be wise to hold your Dream close to your heart and not tell others right now. Dream crushers are everywhere.

Walt Disney had a dream of an amusement park for children and adults. He had to overcome discouragement too. Concerning Disneyland this is what he said: “Many people thought it was great, some thought it wasn’t going to work. Never Give Up. Don’t listen to people who discourage your ideas.” What kept him going was the belief that nothing was impossible.

Your Dream is not just for you. It may be for millions, or for one, but it has purpose. Someone is waiting for you to complete your Dream, don’t disappoint them.

Close your eyes, picture your Dream, see yourself in your Dream, know that it is yours. Write down your Dream, write the steps needed to accomplish it. Do the first thing on the list.

You are now one step closer to the fulfillment of your Dream.

Dream on.

Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, But there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above. Phil 3:13-14 NCV

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Knock Your Socks Off

Dream Enemies Part 3 will be posted on Friday.

I wanted to talk about Customer Service today.

Growing up I was taught customer service is key to a company’s success. Company loyalty was also ingrained in me. You work hard for a company and stay with them and they will take care of you.

It saddens me these two principles, which had a huge impact on the growth and prosperity of our nation, have been tossed aside and the principle that seems to reign now is: Our doors are open but don’t expect us to be excited you are here, we may help you and then again we may not because I don’t know if I will have a job here tomorrow.

Because it has become rare to experience exceptional customer service, knock your socks off service, we are surprised and definitely take note when we are the recipient of it.

Yesterday was a day of pleasure because it was wrapped in this gift.

The morning started with a trip to Rudy’s. A friend from church told me about their breakfast tacos so my husband and I went on a date. The food was good. We each had a taco, you choose your toppings, I had a small coffee (it wasn’t really small) and Bob had a large. This yummy breakfast rang up at $6.15, total, not each. It wasn’t just the food that impressed us but the friendliness of the staff. The manager stopped by and visited us several times. My husband asked if the tacos would freeze well. The manager didn’t know the answer. Bob said the next time we came in he would order a couple of extra ones; we would freeze them and let them know how well they did. Before we left the manager came to us and handed my husband two tacos wrapped in foil. You know we will be going back and we will let them know how those tacos tasted after being frozen.

My next stop was Discount Tire on Forrest Hills Rd. in Colorado Springs where I was having my studded snow tires removed and my regular tires installed. While waiting I was able to observe experts in action. These trained service men watched their customers exit their cars and observed the make of the vehicle. Each person entering was acknowledged even if the service person was involved with another customer. Because I am a repeat customer I am in their computer system. I only needed to give my phone number and my account was displayed. There was more than one car on my record but since they had observed me when I existed my car they knew which one I was getting serviced. I have only one set of wheels and they suggested purchasing a second set to avoid having to pay a mounting charge each time I came in. They showed me what was on sale and what my cost would be. I declined, it wasn’t in my budget, but I appreciated them suggesting it.

After changing out the tires, the snow tires were placed in plastic bags so my trunk would not get dirty. The individual who changed my tires called me to the counter and gave me the paperwork and told me my car would be brought to the front door.

Every customer was taken care of quickly, each phone call handled with efficiency in a personal way. Doesn’t it mean a lot to you when a person actually looks at you and calls you by name? Did I mention how bright and clean the place was and there was free coffee, hot chocolate and tea?

My next destination was Delmonico Cleaners, I love this place. The owners are Christian Koreans and they always have a Christian radio station playing. As soon as a customer enters the shop the owner stops what he is doing and comes to the front. There is always a sincere smile of welcome.

They are experts in cleaning; I have had some bad experiences, but never at this place. The owner carried my cleaning to my car and hung it up for me. I was wished a Happy Mother’s Day and I am always told to have a nice day.

I remember the day I went into the shop and they had small American flags and red, white and blue bunting displayed all over. I smiled realizing what they were celebrating, they had become citizens. It truly was a celebration to them. I congratulated them and smiled all the way home.

You can sense a spirit of thankfulness on them, they are grateful to have the opportunity to own their own business and they understand how important customers are.

I had to share these experiences with you because they made me feel so appreciated and these businesses need to be recognized for the good job they are doing.

Where have you experienced exceptional customer service recently?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dream Enemies Part Two

In Dream Enemies part 1 I asked if you were your own worst enemy when it came to following your Dream. Okay, you have gotten past the self-doubts, you know what your God given Dream (your calling) is and you have set your face like flint to immerse yourself in it. In your excitement at this discovery you begin to share your Dream with family and friends.

You are stunned when the news is received with less than enthusiastic stares and head shakes. Mumbling words slip out of their mouths, “You can’t do that. Who do you think you are?” They bombard you with reasons why this can’t possibly succeed. Each phrase sends you deeper into a hole of dejection. You begin to think they are probably right. You must have heard wrong.

Well meaning family and friends can be added to your list of Dream Enemies. They discourage you because they love you and they don’t want to see you get hurt by your failure.

The Bible has examples of these well-meaning people.

When David volunteered to kill Goliath, he felt totally able to accomplish the task because God had prepared him and he felt called to do the work.

He was met with ridicule from his brother Eliab.
“Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
“Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” I Samuel 17:28-29

When David was brought before the king, Saul was apprehensive about the ability of this young boy to complete the task of a warrior.
David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."
Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth." I Sam 17:32-33 NIV

What if David had listened to Eliab and Saul. Would the Israelites have ever defeated the Philistines?

A young man had two dreams about his future and he shared them with his family.
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."
His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Genesis 37:5-11 NIV

The dreams were not received with joy in fact they led to a life isolated from his family.
Genesis 37, 39-46 is the story of Joseph’s life.

The dream Joseph shared with his family was ultimately fulfilled but not without many detours.

Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. Genesis 42:6 NIV

Opposition comes from a quarter we didn’t expect. We erroneously believe our family and friends are going to back us and when the discouragement is slung at us we begin to doubt ourselves again and back away from the Dream.

If we press through and begin the process of bringing our Dream to pass, each setback or failure will be met with “I told you so’s.” It’s not easy to keep on keeping on in the face of disapproval from those closest to you.

What do you do? Remember, this is your Dream, not theirs. They won’t be standing with you on judgment day when God asks you what you did with the gifts He gave you.

You can’t use the excuse, “I buried them because my friends and family didn’t think it was a good idea.”

"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
"'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' Matthew 25:24-30 NIV

If your Dream is cemented in your mind and heart you will be able to thrust through the resistance coming from yourself, your family and your friends.

If not, you will begin to see Dream deterioration on all sides.

Is the cement of your Dream dry?