Category Archives: Business

In Business As It Is In Heaven

When Jesus prayed “in earth as it is in heaven” did He mean that for business too? I think he did.

Recently, I heard a teaching from Bethel Pastor Bill Johnson on the Christian business website, https://heaveninbusiness.com/. He spoke on the basics of Christian principles in business and suggested that Christians have a critical role to play in the business world. Johnson said that Christians in the work world have a responsibility to show others what the Kingdom of God is supposed to look like. In other words, bring heaven down to earth by how we live and share God’s love. 

When Christians walk into work, we have a much bigger mission than just what is written on the wall. Sure, we need to turn a profit. Even more importantly, we need to leave a positive impact. We need to be the first to apologize and own up or what we have done wrong. We should model out servant leadership. Honestly, is there any other kind of leadership that truly works?

Bill Johnson stated, “You should make people at work thirsty for God.” You don’t have to preach. But you do have to live it out and extend invitations to a bigger mission.  One thing that Bill Johnson said he likes to do is adopt local businesses and just see how he can develop a relationship with the owner and bless the business. He will frequent the establishment and really pray for it. What would happen in the business world if more Christians followed this example? Before we have an encounter at work, we stop and turn our affection to God not that huge work problem. We become aware and conscious of the Spirit of God coming upon us.

Johnson explained, “The Holy Spirit lives in me for my sake, but He comes upon me for the benefit of others to impact the world around me.”

If we are going to bring heaven down to earth, then we better know a bit about heaven. What does it look like when the Kingdom of Heaven invades earth? I think it looks a lot like Matthew 5-7. God turns our value system up side down and makes us truly right side up. A Christian business shines and stands out not by its preaching, but by the freedom and the hope it brings to others. Christians in the work world should be diligent workers and peacemakers – the kind of people you want to have around because they focus on positive things and speaks words of life to teammates.

Pastor Bill Johnson told a story about a major word a group at Bethel received after a time of prayer. He summarized the spiritual truth, “The person with the most hope will have the most influence.” Wow, that hit me like a 2×4. Have I let fear and focus on what is wrong cloud my vision to what could be right? Do I bring hope to my workplace and other relationships?

Johnson said that if we let the size of our problem dominate our thinking we will never realize the miracle that could await. This leads us to focus on the details and not the big picture. It mires us down in all the problems. God wants to raise up business people for His glory to impact the world for good. And the business world is the last great unreached mission field in America. Many of us have been afraid to let the light shine because we didn’t want to make others uncomfortable. But there are ways to bring divine principles to bear in a way that can even bless a secular work environment. A city on a hall is a place that stands out in the dark as Johnson explained. It is a refuge and a comfort for those who are lost.

As the salt of the world, the Church needs to bring flavor to the community. And flavor is influence. Johnson declared that Christians have a duty and responsibility to bless our community including the local businesses with God’s hope, love and generosity.

So, what does this look like for me to live out Matthew 5-7 in the work world? I am struggling every day. Hopefully, each new day I am a bit better than the last day. Johnson talked about how the shadow of the apostles was able to heal people. He asked, “What is released in our shadow?” He then explained, “Your shadow will always release what overshadows you.”

This means if you are full of anger, bitterness, fear or resentment, that will come out. You can’t hide it. If you are full of God’s love, hope and faith, that will overflow and bless others. Those things follow us and leave a positive or negative wake behind us.

So, what’s coming out of your shadow?

 

 

 

There’s A Revolution Brewing

Today’s Tea Party Rally was a good time. But it was a little sad that rallies needed to be held at all. Thousands gathered in Richmond to protest massive deficits and government spending. 

The federal government is simply out of control. This is not a new phenomenon. But the problem has mushroomed under President Obama and a more liberal Congress.

Both major political parties have failed the American people. The U.S. national debt has swelled to                                  $11, 177,148,418,577.99 according to the National Debt Clock at  http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

That number is unbelievable. President Obama has doubled the national debt according to the Heritage Foundation. You can read more at http://www.heritage.org/research/budget/bg2249.cfm

This chart tells it all.

alc_46_300px_1

All Americans should be concerned about the size of the debt and what it means for future generations. While I am all for good government, I am not for excessive government.

I want to encourage all my friends and anyone who reads this blog to contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to curb excessive spending. Second, you should strive to elect or re-elect people who do more than just talk about reducing debt and taxes. We need to elect real patriots who do the right thing no matter the political cost.

You can find out more about government spending from these Web sites:

http://www.fedspending.org/

http://www.ntu.org/main/

http://www.usbudgetwatch.org/stimulus

http://www.recovery.gov/

http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb_1208-51.pdf

What Is the Future of Reporting?

B2B Magazine recently carried articles on the the future of newspapers and newsweeklies. These two articles identified issues that have haunted me for a while. The news industry has sure changed from my college days at Mizzou. You can read the article by clicking on the links below.

 http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090119/FREE/301199990

http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090119/FREE/301199995/1149/ISSUEMB

With rising distribution costs and dropping circulations, it is only a matter of time. The news industry is suffering from Internet fatigue. People want news quickly, and the value of professional journalists as gatekeepers seems to appear less important. It is funny. Google doesn’t produce any original content. But the Internet (especially sites like Google) is helping to kill news content producers.

Some news brands still have a lot of public value. But the actual results for advertisers appears to be dwindling as ad dollars decrease at the same time. Some news companies will take advantage of the changes and will rise from the ashes to be stronger players in the market. This is not the final gasp for breath from a former institution. But it certainly is a clear shock to the system.

I believe the future of reporting will be…

-More collaborative. Newspapers need to work to involve readers more as extensions of their newsroom. This means that there will be greater need for fact checkers and editors.

-Print will be a luxury that people will have to pay a high price to receive. Most people will get publications via the Internet.

-Community publications will be the most profitable, sough-after publications. I believe there will remain a strong demand for very local reporting because people like to know what is going on with their neighbors, school sports teams, etc.

-Newsweeklies will have to offer premium content. That means something you can’t really find elsewhere.

-Electronic readers and e-paper will decrease the need for print publications. Customers will adapt and learn to embrace electronic readers as they become more like print and less clunky.

-More content will have to be put back behind the firewall so that only subscribers can read it. Too much free content makes it appear as if good information should be free. 

-Many newspapers will go out of business. Journalists will look for work in related fields, such as truck driving. 🙂

The New Paper – Electronic Paper

While reading through Technology Review tonight, I came across a truly amazing product. And I am wondering how this will change the publishing industry forever. I first saw this concept as a kid at an exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, F la. Back twenty plus years it was heralded as the future. I knew it would come around some day. And it looks like the day may be here for true electronic paper.

Plastic Logic has developed a technology that provides an e-reader that resembles a pad of notebook paper. Using plastic electronics, the device is supposedly lighter, thinner, stronger and more durable than any other e-reader. It is supposed to be open source and will support multiple document formats.

The screen is much larger than an Amazon Kindle and is being marketed to the business audience.

Just imagine if you could carry around one piece of paper that stored all your important documents. Wow! I wonder if this thing will be as great as the developers claim.

Technology should make the next 20 years very interesting.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid980795693/bctid1778578839

Random Thoughts from the Last 48 Hours

Here’s an assortment of ideas that I have pondered over the last two days.

  • Some pundits and Eagles fans are calling for the team to move on from the Donovan McNabb era. While I am no McNabb apologist, who exactly would take his place? A rookie? The free agent talent pool is pretty thin. Choices include Kurt Warner, Matt Cassell, Jeff Garcia, Kyle Orton, Kerry Collins, etc. None of those look like much of an upgrade. Was the recent loss really McNabb’s fault? Was he the one who let Fitzgerald score three touchdowns in yesterday’s game? No, McNabb almost led back the team to victory. The Eagles need to resign McNabb unless he wants outrageous money. Also, they should get him some more offensive help. Desean Jackson is not enough to scare opposing defenses.
  • The Blackberry Storm should have come with Wi-Fi. I see no reason not to include it except of course planned obsolescence.
  • Paying $15 to check a bag on a plane. That is ridiculous. I paid yesterday for the first time in my life to check a bag. And I don’t intend to do it again. Northwest Airlines – you just lost my business. Now, it looks like I will have to fly on AirTran, Jet Blue, and Southwest when possible.
  • The Rockies are absolutely gorgeous. Whenever I see a large mountain range, I am reminded of the Scripture that says the mountains melt like wax before the Lord.
  • Many people in this country are hurting financially, and the federal government is spending more than $100 million on the Obama inauguration. I don’t care how much or how little was spent in the past. My concern has nothing to do with who won or lost the election. In a time when we are all being asked to make some sacrifices, when does the federal government lead by example? I think this was an opportunity for Obama to show that he truly is a different type of leader. It looks like the new president may just be more of the same.
  • On a slightly different note, I am praying for Obama that he will guide with wisdom, fear God and not man, and will work to shore up our struggling economy. I hope that his change is something that I can come to believe in…We’ll just have to see.
  • Skiing is a relaxing activity until you hear the sound of snowboarders closing in from behind.
  • Praise the Lord that hostilities in Gaza have come to an end. I pray that Hamas will truly seek a lasting peace and will refrain from firing rockets into Israel.
  • I’m still looking for a new favorite football team. No real winners yet. Every one of my contenders has let me down to this point. Maybe I’ll have to go back to my first love (the Cowboys). At least, I am not a Lions or Bengals fan.
  • A parent on the plane next to me yesterday mentioned the high cost of a college education today. When are colleges going to get it? $30,00-40,000 per year for a bachelor’s degree is nuts.

A Week After

A week ago, the American people voted and made history. Whether or not you agree with the outcome, it will certainly be interesting to see how the first black president responds to a very challenging set of circumstances that face him.

Here are my quick thoughts on the Obama presidency and our current economic situation.

  • If I had bumper sticker to suggest how I feel about the election, it would say, “I voted for McCain, but I am praying for Obama.”
  • There is no magic bullet for our economy. It took 20-30 years of bad policy to get us here. There is no one person or even party at fault. The only hope for a somewhat speedy recovery is ingenuity and the courage to do the best thing no matter what the public believes is the right decision.
  • The media is likely to give Obama a free pass for a while, which may help bolster consumer confidence as reporters look for positive things to report. Note: this doesn’t mean our economic situation is improving even if the media says good things.
  • The government will likely keep chasing good money after bad. Bailouts for everyone… except small businesses, non-union shops and reject retailers (Circuit City).
  • Obama ran as a new kind of candidate. He presented himself as the first postmodern candidate who would try to work across party lines and develop common sense solutions. That means he will have to be careful trying to push through too aggressive of an agenda. He can only do this if he convinces the American people his reforms are not “socialism” wrapped in an American flag. 
  • Obama promised to be a different kind of president. But it appears he has selected a Washington insider, a beltway shark, to run the White House in Rahm Emanuel. And those aren’t my words. They were writteny by a major D.C. reporter. Also, it is rumored that Obama will pick many former D.C. heavyweights to fill other top posts. How is appointing a bunch of Washington insiders anything new in government? 
  • Guns sales have gone through the roof. I guess many people don’t think that Obama will really be favorable to gun owners. Does that mean that Ray Schoenke was wrong about Obama in his radio ads? Or do gun owners just spook easy?
  • Obama may have to back off on some of his tax hike plans. Rich people are the only ones buying anything right now.
  • Good news – I just paid $1.99 for gas. Wow! I never thought I would be able to say that.
  • It looks like inflation is staying in check except for the cost of college tuition. Endowments took a major hit with the recent Wall Street losses.
  • In his first 100 days in office, I think Obama will throw some bones to some of his favor backers – that includes abortion rights groups, stem cell researchers, unions and environmental groups. I expect for Obama to reinstitute the ban on offshore drilling. He will make it easier to get federal funding for abortions, and press through reforms intended to help unions form in smaller companies. 
  • Housing sales should pickup some as more new people enter the market due to depressed prices. This will primarily be first-time home buyers.
  • It won’t be a great holiday season for retailers. A number of big names could take a wallop at the register. A few might even go out of business.
  • Smart investors will look offshore for opportunities to seek decent returns. Some good stock deals will be available in American companies if you are willing to wait years for a rebound. Overall, economic contagion will impact all economies around the globe even China and the other Asian powerhouses.
  • Obama’s election will likely improve U.S. relations with many countries around the globe. It may also cause a few rogue nations to test the resolve of the new president.

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