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    Preparedness

    Monday, December 1, 2008, 12:01 PM [General]

    This is the second year we dont have my dad. He passed two years ago.

    We always had Thanksgiving at his house. I lost my mom at 17, but we kept up the tradition.

    (An aside, my dad was from the old school. He believed in company that stayed too long soon became like old fish and began to smell. Soon after our Thanksgiving dinner, we would clean up wash dishes, and daddy would disappear then return in his pajamas and bathrobe. "You stay as long as you like, I'm going to bed." Most of the time we stayed on a while, and left when it suited us. Nothing personal, that was just my dad).

    Anyway, the point of the thread here is what we are thankful for.

    You could go to my dad's house a week before Thanksgiving, and the table was set. The dishes that are only used sparingly laid out, knifes, forks, spoons, glassware, napkins set and ready to go.

    You could go to my dad's house two weeks before Thanksgiving and see the same thing. He would have to dust the dishes once before Thanksgiving.

    He'd boil and bake a ham. We would provide the sides and deserts. My sisters and I felt fine to invite someone that maybe didnt have a Thanksgiving to go to. They would be welcome.

    It wasnt until after the first Thanksgiving without him that it began to dawn on me. The preparedness my dad had with regard to the annual meal was much like our Heavenly Father's preparedness for us. The Way (Jesus) He sent to prepared the way for us. The Father has set the table, it is ready and well appointed. It costs us nothing , just come and accept His meal. Bring whom you will, all are accepted. The difference being once sat at His table, you never hunger again. (And He doesnt come in, announce He is going to bed!).

    Being thankful for the Life I share in Christ with my earthly family tops anything else I could imagine.

    Being thankful for the memory of those Thanksgivings that help give me a glimmer of Christ, priceless.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    How I Got to Here

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 10:31 PM [General]

    In comparison, I am not nearly as educated as those that post here.

    I never finished college.

    I never went to trade school

    I went into business because a storm damaged the building where I was working and the owner was not going to rebuild.  I asked him to sell that part of the business to me.  He agreed if I could secure a $40,000 line of credit.

    First banker I went to turned me down flat.  I felt my "business plan" was solid.  I had had loans with him before, but he turned me down flat.  He told me I didnt have anything in it.  I had listed and valued everything I owned except my clothing.

    Second banker, I was smarter.  I went to my existing accounts with letters and invoices detailing my association with them.  I, again, listed everything as before.  I promoted myself much better.

    I got the line of credit.  I think my former boss was surprised.  I know I was.

    I was 24.

    I had no idea about being in business.  Not the business of business.  I could sell, that was easy.  You also have to collect, pay taxes, pay more taxes, collect taxes for the state and pass them along to the state,

    Nine months into business, one of my major suppliers sold to one of my competitors.  This supplier accounted for 43% of the revenues of the business I had just purchased.  I was a neophyte not knowing which end was up and scared to death.

    I had to manage people, manage sales people, deal with the banks, deal with accountants (3 mistakes), attend to cash flow, create sales programs, inspire sales people, purchase computer systems, upgrade computer systems, fire people, rehire , retrain, be sued, get audited, secure new product lines, change business plans (3 times, 2 upgrades), go broke, get back up, move the business, sweep the floor, turn out the light.

    No regrets in the end, only regrets along the way.

    I asked God more than once to take it from me, but He didnt want it either. 

    At least a half dozen times I thought I was putting the key in the door for the last time, but somehow a ray of Light showed up each time.

    We still pay the bills every month.  No employee ever missed a paycheck or had one bounce in over 20 years.  We havent always taken paychecks, but that goes with the territory, you take care of your people #1.

    So no, I dont have all the education of Harvard Business school, but I highly recommend anyone in the business or corporate world read an old book by Mark McCormick What They DONT Teach You at the Harvard Business School.

    Yeah, yeah school of hard knocks and all that, but I do understand what makes an economy tick.  It is the same on every level, just give me all the factors.  Going to give raises to employees or a few benefits, be prepared to stay with them.  If you take them away, you might as well have sliced them open.

    The bailout plan is in no way good.  Not as written.  Everything is still in place for the same type of thing to happen again.

    I call on doctors.  Mostly they pay on time.  One doctor (new account) was behind.  Called.  Promised a check, no check.  Put him on COD, no orders.  Sent him overnight FEdX letter indicating by friday his account would be placed in collections, his check in full was received on thursday.  He is no longer an account of mine. 

    The market will soar as foreign money sees our govt is willing to take money from its citizens to pay them.

    I believe you once.  Then doubt, then never ever again. 

    We are believing these clowns in congress are going to regulate themselves as they become a mortgage company. 

    You are serious?

    I could stop paying my vendors, just collect from my customers, grow my cash really fat.  But for how long?

    Most people working at jobs would like to see an 8-10 ROI,  their money working for them at that rate.  That is a good return for savings in a retirement account, most wont do that, and will settle for 6.

    Small business person doesnt think like that.  I want back 60% on each dollar I invest.  I invest in ME.  Small business puts 60% out there and works backwards. 

    Sound selfish?

    I have three kids that dont think so.

    I have six employees that dont think so.

    I have an accountant that doesnt think so.

    I have a federal govt that doesnt think so, though sometimes I wonder.

    I have vendors who make thousands of dollars from me, that dont think so.

    I have a banker that smiles to see me walk in, he doesnt think so.

    I am not trying to paint myself as something I'm not.
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    Monday, September 22, 2008, 10:59 PM [General]

    This is a difficult couple of weeks to say the least.
     
    You keep looking for God in situations, you know He is there.  And He is.
     
    I am often reminded of the piece called Footprints about the two sets of prints walking in the sand then one disappears showing a single set of footprints.  The man asks God, "You told me if I would follow you, you would never leave me.  During the most difficult times of my life, where there are only one set of footprints, why did you leave me?"  God (as only God can) looks at the man and tells him, "My precious, precious child....I never left you.  Those are the times in your life...... when I....carried you."
     
    I think about that and it makes me think I should lose some weight, so when God has to carry me, the load isnt so heavy.  Then I think deeper, if I can rid more sin out of my life, it does lighten His load, until I am strong enough to stand beside Him, and again walk with Him.  What I have to understand is HE gives me the strength to stand beside him and then to follow where He leads me..  It is nothing I can do, but should be everything I desire to do.
     
    God tells me if I continue to walk with Him, I stay in His grace, I will be blessed.  And I am!  He has done for me all I need, but promises me more and more as He desires our relationship.
     
    I continue to seek out God and seek out His blessings.  I dont think that is wrong.  But I do know, regardless of whether it is my God, or my wife,  a friend, my dad, or my child, it tends to work the same.  We give and receive blessings and for Christians, the model is by God's design. 
     
    You seldom give blessings to those you have no relationship with.  You might donate monies to a charity and your blessing is received upon the act, never knowing the result.  We leave that to God.  Our human natures desire relationships.  I see people striving to do what is right and I feel compelled to reach out and help or bless them.
     
    The difference with blessing people that we have little relationshihp with is some different.  We give, never caring for its return.  It is only by the Spirit in our lives that we give, and is returned by the Spirit in their lives.
     
    God's blessings for us are meant to be purely Spiritual.  Even being blessed with finances, a home, a car, a job, those belong to God and there is a spiritual component to them.  Sometimes God wants some of our financial blessings because another of His children need them.  Maybe some of His children need a place to stay or a ride somewhere.  He gives us these things to show His love to others through us, never of us.
     
    His Spiritual blessings sometimes are harder to see, or realize.  Sending His son to show us the way, that we know, we remain faithful to Him, what He has promised, not having yet attained it, but looking forward to it.
     
     
     
     
    "I AM that bridge over your troubled waters...trust me"
                                                                                     ~God   
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    Avatar

    Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 6:23 PM [General]

     2/27/08

     avatar is me approximately 90 feet up on a yard arm.

    My oldest son and I went on a God and Sea trip his senior year.  We ported out of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.  The ship was a two mast wooden schooner called the Shenandoah.

    We were a part of the ship's crew and actually took part in sailing the ship.

    In the avatar I am up there along side my son.  We were furling the sail or packing it back onto the yard arm.

    I was too old to do this.  The wind was blowing and you had to furl it just so or they made you do it again.  Furling the sail was optional, not everyone had to do that.

    A bit about the trip.

    The captain looked like he came right off of an Old Spice cologne commercial from the old days.  Really salty.

    The ship's only source of power was the wind.  It was told to us that if the tides or winds werent right, we didnt sail.  We were lucky and sailed every day.

    Most of the crew on the ship were young men between 17 - 24 years old.  They signed on for $75 per week and they received room and board on the ship.  Extemely low pay, but they did it to learn from the old captain.  They had a great deal of respect for him.

    The cook was hired on and all meals were aboard ship.  Everything was fresh and the cook did an outstanding job cooking on a wood burning stove.  The coffee was powerfully strong.

    The gally below was slick.  the tables were balancing tables that would stay level regardless of the pitch of the ship.  Sometimes you would go below and the tables appeared leaning when actually they were level an WE were the ones leaning!

    Our group was responsible for making up the gally one day, morning crew another, and night crew another.  We rotated duties so everyone got to do each crew.

    Being land locked, it was a pretty special trip.  We dont get to do such things often but was quite an experience.

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