Saturday, May 26, 2012

consistency (step 2)

When Mar and I were looking for God we started by praying randomly and inconsistently and we started looking for a church.

When we settled on Collingswood Church of Christ we were told this would be the 1st of many churches we would attend, this could not have been farther from the truth.

What we found @ Collingswood was the closest thing to unconditional love given by man that we have been able to find. Perfect, in fact about as imperfect as any I am sure. Since church is run by man there will always be imperfections, faults, and other human traits that are not pleasing, but what we have found is family. People who stick with us in good times and bad and stick with us for we are, not who we want to be.

There have been plenty of times I have not felt totally comfortable at this church, but upon reflection it was generally my issues that caused that discomfort.

In our journey with God we have found consistency to be our friend. I remember one Sunday evening when would normally attend the services and I was in the thick of a plumbing issue. We had about 20 minutes before we needed to leave and get to church and although I do not remember Margaret's exact words I recall her saying something about "consistency". It would have been so easy to just plumb away, miss service that evening, but instead, standing up, washing up, not looking 100% clean by any means and making the trek to church has proved all the worthwhile.

Consistency in who you are, what you believe and in this case attendance was all to important. Things will always get in the way of being consistent and sometimes they are needed to get in the way, but upon building that consistency of faith, hope and love by merely attending a service was all to important as we built a foundation.

It's not always ALL IN, but really "just in" that matters.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

words on integrity

 Integrity is STEP 1

Some time ago, at church, us men had some classes and looked to define INTEGRITY. I've kinda always liked the definition that goes like this- " integrity is what you do when no one's looking". I remember a friend,  Tony stating something similar, but adding Jesus into the equation. I've often tried to recollect his exact words and even have them written down in a journal somewhere. It went something like "integrity is a man after Christ's own heart".

Recently when attending a class, there was some commentary about a book written that contained interviews with billionaires. The author wanted to find out what the similar qualities that these billionaires all shared.

The #1 similarity between all these billionaires was one thing- INTEGRITY.
Their word was golden. If they said something you could believe it and if they said they were going to do something - - they did it. I perfect in all my ways; no.

Do I try to be a man of my word; yes.

We and I do mean we, my wife and family as well as my co-workers work hard and I do mean hard to have incredible integrity. It is not easy, but I can say, with all my heart. We do a pretty good job.

I loved what one of my bosses said recently. "we always want to do what is right".  This goes for doing what is right even when the norm or way of the world stands in the way of doing what is right.

My first real retail job 31 years ago at K-Mart is where I "bought into" this crazy idea of customer satisfaction. Their motto was "Customer Satisfaction Always" and you know something, I not only believed it, but practiced it and I loved it. Primarily since I am a known people pleaser,  I was given the opportunity to REALLY PLEASE PEOPLE. It was the foundation for a retail career that I still work in today and love and that is a career of service; service to others.

God practices INTEGRITY all the time and teaches us to do the same. I have been obsessed and not always very successful in following this verse- "honor one another above yourselves." This verse freaks me out. I am trying, and by doing this it shows integrity.

And lastly I do not condone Cole Hamels on his pitch intentionally hitting Bryce Harper. And in particular his possible intention to truly harm Bryce, but I do like the fact the Cole did not lie about what he did. What shocked me his how the general public felt he should have lied. That, to me, was sad.