Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Goodbye Windows

Posted: April 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well I have taken the plunge and abandoned Windows.  And I can say that I do not regret it. Goodbye windows, Hello Mac, I’m back!

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On Sept. 15, 2009 Sidra was with her brother when she was unexpectedly surrounded by 16 Muslim men.  As the 15-year old daugher of an evangelist, Sidra knew what would happen next. The men beat her brother and then kidnapped her… for the second time. Sidra continues to be held against her will. 

Sidra has been kidnapped twice in the past two years because of her father’s bold evangelistic work.  Her father, Javed, holds monthly prayer meetings in his home and invites both Christians and Muslims. One of Javed’s neighbors, was infuriated that he held Christian prayer meetings. especially on Firdays, the Muslim day of prayer.  To retaliate, the man and his mother kidnapped Sidra for the first time in February 2008.

They locked her in a room and forced her at gunpoint to sign marriage papers making her legally bound to her kidnapper.  ” Your father and your brothers have been thinking to themselves tha thtey can do anything, like prayer meetings. we brought you here to teach a lesson to your father,” the kidnappers told Sidra.

She was held for six months. She was raped daily. later, her abuser tried to turn Sidra into a prostitute.  Sidra convinced her first customer to let her use his cell phone, adn she called her father.  ”  I’m coming home,’ she said. Then she ran out the door. Sidra returned toher family, but they lived in fear that the kidnapper would abduct her again.  He lived just minutes away from her family.  They often saw him in their neighborhood.  Still their faith remained strong.  Tragically it did not take long before the fears of Sidra’s parents were realized.

Sidra was at home with her family for just a year before she was kidnapped a second time by the same man. Her parent know ho has her. They are struggling to get her back. Javed needs help to hire a lawyer and pay court costs.  Voice of the Martyrs is currently providing assistance to him.  We are praying that Sidra will be reutrned soon.  But we know that there are thousands of women like Sidra all over the world, kidnapped for their faith and waiting to be returned home.

The show must go on…

Posted: April 2, 2009 in Uncategorized

You ever have a moment in your life when the curtain is pulled back and you see the whole stage?  Not just the small part that you have been performing on but the entire play is unfolded and it makes sense.  And at that moment you realize that there on the stage you have acted poorly, unwisely and the play that you were performing was a sad mockery of what you were suppose to be doing.  What do you do then? How do you recover? How do you continue on with the show when you don’t even know what the production is anymore.  When everything that defined who you are is shown to be incomplete, inaccurate, or wrong?  When the script you have been working turns out to be the work of a childish mad man?  How does the show go on?

Do I ask because I have an answer, nope? I ask because I need an answer.

my blindside… His Foresight

Posted: February 9, 2009 in Uncategorized

I guess this will be the final entry for this blindsided series.  As corny as it might sound, and as trite as might sound I went to church today and found God waiting.  I left this morning with a burning hatred and anger in my heart towards this whole situation.  I might have resigned myself to accepting it but I will freely admit that I did not like it at all, and cannot say as I do more now than I did this morning. But something changed, I brought the situation to God and found He had a different idea than I did about this whole situation.  I am not going to say that God told me to be all cheery and be happy about the situation.  I am not going to say that he mystically took away my anger, and frustration over the situation.  I will say that he gave me a new perspective on the situation.  Or actually showed me that while I might have been blindsided he most certainly was not and knew it was coming the whole time.

Earlier this week I was preparing, as I do each week, for my weekly supervision meeting with  my supervisor.  I jot down notes on subjects, situations and other things that need to be discussed and a supervisor’s stamp of approval or disapproval be placed on them.  One thing that I had written down of my own accord was that I would need another project to be working on. Things had slowed down and I was having time on my hand, so there was the idea of my own accord that I would need something else to be focusing on.  So already he was preparing my heart for a change.

And if I may put words into the mouth of my teammate at the office that is being transferred he was preparing him I think for a new task as well.  Thursday evening he and I were speaking on the phone after hours about the situation of another staff member quitting their position from the foster care team without proper notice.  I wish that this was a new thing but here lately in our office it has been an most too uncommon thing.  And as this was where he had transferred from, he shared the thought with me that he could offer his time to them to help in the interim so that the program could continue to run smoothly.  Of course I told him to keep his mouth shut, because I was being selfish and didn’t want to loose him.  But sure enough the very next morning the news rolled down and back he was going.

And the final support was there before I even knew it.  As a part of being a small group leader at the church I receive, on Wed. afternoons, the outlines for the Pastor’s sermon on Sunday mornings.  This is so the small group leaders can incorporate the subject matter into their lesson plans and maintain a congruity in all the services and ministries of the morning.  Well on Wed. I read the outline and pondered it for the remainder of the week. But I let it settle before I received the news on Friday morning of the pending changes at the office.

Then this morning I went into the service to help with the invitation during the first service which I normally do not attend.  But occasionally will come in during the altar call to assist as a counselor. As I waited outside in the hallway for the Pastor to reach the prayer time so I could slip in without disturbing the service I heard the last part of his message. And I heard him speak of disciples going through trials so that God could not deliver them from the trial but help them through the trial. In order that that person might be a picture, witness of beacon to others to point them to God.

I left the service and afterwards in between that service and the next asked the Pastor to pray with me so that I could receive guidance regarding how to proceed with the situation.  Then during the second service I listened to the message in its entirety.  And realized that the points that he discussed where extremely relevant to me and had been there before my supervisor shared the news with me.  The senior pastor shared the news that trials are there to discipline, develop and display.  Now there was much more to his sermon but these three D’s I focused on.  It is entirely possible that he is disciplining me for arrogance, pride or a whole other host of things that I will not deny that I am guilty of.  I will not doubt that to walk through this trial and the days ahead will develop my character and who I am.  And I hope that when this trial is over that it will display not me but Christ and his example through my actions in the coming days.

I began this rant with saying that I do not like it, and I still don’t.  Perhaps that will be part of the developing part.  But whether I like it or not, whether I was blindsided or not, Christ knew it was coming saw it coming, designed its coming.  If I am going to maintain my integrity it has to be developed that in the days to come I focus on displaying a Christ like attitude and behavior in how I respond and carry out my duties at the office.  Blindsided or not, the response can’t be different.  It has to display Christ and not me.

Blindsided, but refocused

Posted: February 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

So the decision has been made.  And no surprise, no one asked me what my thoughts were on the situation. So there is nothing left to decide, but is there?  The decision I have left to make is how will I respond, something completely under my control. And how I decide to respond will speak to my character but it will define what integrity I have.

I could leave the company and turn in my resignation come Monday morning.  That is one option that I have.  But this is not a reasonable response to the situation.  My partner who has been given the option of transferring it might be more of a consideration for him as he does not have choice in the work that he would be doing. I am returning to more work but it at the minimum is work that I signed on for when I came to the company as my wise wife pointed out, despite the fact that it is a little more than originally created. 

So that means that I stay.  And how I will stay is how my integrity and character will be defined.  There is always the option to act like a little child and throw a temper tantrum.  I could do half an effort, put half the work in to it, and do bare minimum of what is asked of me.  That does not indicate a man of character that I was raised to be. 

The man that I was raised to be was to give your best in everything that I do.  To do what is asked of you and to do it to the best of your ability.  If you are asked to walk a mile you not only walk the mile, but you walk it with focus, determination and purpose.  Walking in a way that the tracks you leave behind point to a man of honor, dedication and integrity.  If you do not walk in this way you do not walk at all.  There is no ninety percent in this effort.  There is no partial integrity, you either maintain your integrity or you don’t.  For once your integrity is lost it is lost forever.  It can not be reclaimed, so it must be protected with all effort and at all costs.

And there is the rub.  To maintain my integrity I have to not only do the job but do the job to the best of my ability with all my effort.  And that is hard, because I will honestly admit part of me wants to pout, stomp my feet, tank my efforts to spite those in authority.  To be the team player only benefits them, and they continue to get what they want with continued growth of the office and department. 

While the company reaps the benefit of the effort, despite how difficult it might be, or how hard a pill it is to swallow.  It must be swallowed and it must be stomached.  To please the company, absolutely not.  To please myself , no.  But to please my heavenly father, absolutely.  He has given me my integrity.  It is a gift from him, and I am responsible to Him and Him alone for it.  One day each one of us will have to answer for all the decisions that we made in this life.  We will be turned around to look at the path of our life and look at the foot prints that we left behind in this world.  And when I get to the end of my life, and it is my turn to look back and account for my decisions in this life I want to do that with integrity and a clear conscious. 

So there is no decision to make.  Monday morning I have to follow through to maintain my integrity.  Some might not agree with it and think that I am stupid. Some might think that I am stupid for even having to think through all of this.  I have to be who I am. The decisions that others make are theirs alone to account for one day.  The decisions I make are mine, and that includes how I respond to the effects that others decisions have on my life.  I can not control their decisions but I can control my actions. Integrity…….

So here it is what I am coming around to. There are two sides to every situation and there are always many perspectives that need to be considered. So I am looking at the two sides of this situation, from the two different perspectives. One side being the top down from the company’s perspective and the second from the employee’s perspective looking up.

So let’s look at the company perspective.  It is no surprise to anyone that times are tough economically.  Everyone is making decisions that effect a lot of people, and those types of decisions are hard to make.  I do not envy those who have to make those decisions.  In the office I work in you have the second largest department in the state. second only to the department housed out of the corporate headquarters.  Growth that has occurred in the past two years has brought this department to this new level, that has been unrivaled.  Now in this office you have two partners that are working to continue this growth by one person recruiting and one training.  In the past there was one person doing both the recruiting and the training.  In either case the growth remained comparable equal, only about a fifteen percent difference in the growth between the two different operational styles.  And in all fairness the growth under the one person style was slightly higher than the two person approach.  So if I need to tighten the budget a little bit, it is a logical, economical place to start.  Go back to the one person modality, maintain the growth, and trim the budget.  Appears to be a win, win, scenario.

But there are two sides to every story.

So let’s look at the employee’s perspective.  And I do want to point out that I am looking at the employee who remains in the department, myslef. Not the partner that was being transferred to another department after learning that his position is being cut.  So I want to be fair to him that what I am now writing is completely selfish.  The things that I am processing are by no means comparable to the decisions that he is making this weekend.  For that I hope he respects my selfish nature in looking at myself.  I hope that he knows that he remains my friend, and brother in Christ no what department of company that he works with in the future. 

Looking at the second perspective from where I am standing.  In the two years I have been with the company I have met or exceed expectations or goals that were placed on me.  The first year blew past the expectations of growth and development.  The second year during the transition to the new style and the staff turnover the growth continued but not at the same rate, acknowledged.  Now here we are two years later.  In the past six months the work load was halved between myself and my new partner.  Now that partner is gone, but the work load remains just one less person to do it.  So I am back where I was at the beginning.  High goals, a pat on the back and go out and keep growing the department.  Nothing is changed, the rewards that were offered are gone, the promotions have passed me by but I am suppose to remain loyal and dedicated in my efforts. With no hope for benefit, reward or growth in my own career. The only reward for hard work, more hard work with the words, “thank you may I have some more.”

Two perspectives, one from the view of the company and one from the view of the individual.  One placing the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the one.  One placing his needs ahead of the many. And yes I love Star Trek in case you caught the quote.  Which philosophy is wrong and which one is right?  I think the better thought is that they are both wrong and they are both right.

So what now is the question that lies before me.  It is one of integrity.  More to come……

Blindsided…..

Posted: February 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

As I was driving home this evening from work I was sitting at the traffic light waiting for my light to turn so that I could continue my drive home. Finally the light goes green and I lift my foot from the brake to the move it to the gas.  As my foot touches the gas pedal ever so lightly, and begin to press down. Thwack!  My heart skips a beat and my mind races to what just happened.  A bird drop a huge load dead in front of me on the windshield.  Blindsided by the unseen bird flying by at the exact right moment.

It was a fitting end to a day that blindsided me like none other than I have had in recent past. I wish that I could say I have figured it all out, but I haven’t.  A couple of days my supervisor emails me and said that she was coming down to my office.  This is a little unusual, as she has not frequently come down without a particular reason since her office is two hours away.  In the pit of my stomach I thought that something was up, but dismissed it as normal.

She comes down along with my teammates supervisor.  A few minutes before I am suppose to meet with my supervisor my teammate and his supervisor walk into her office. A few minutes later they walk out and my teammates supervisor tells me that mine wants to talk to me.  I go in at our regular scheduled time and sit down. After a few minutes of cheat chat, she lays it on me.  They just cut my teammates position.  And the other shoe, I get his workload back on me.

This is a position that I once had.  But I must admit that I had thought that I had gotten beyond that position, and more importantly the work load.  But now for nothing more than financial reasons the position was cut, but not the work.  So now I have double the responsibilities. 

The company treated my partner well, giving him the option to transfer into other departments where there was a need. Which I am thankful for.  I am trying to process it all and I guess I will have to figure it out over the weekend because I take on his responsibilities first thing Monday morning.  A couple of trusted friends have given sound advice that is good advice. A trusted friend said don’t take it personally.  My wife has said be thankful that you have a job.  Both true, wise and sound advice.  But the thing that I am honest struggling with is the reward for doing good work, the expectation that you will continue to do even more good work.

I guess that over the weekend I will be thinking about what to do from here.  All day I focused on getting through the day, processing what had happened, keeping my mouth shut so that my emotions did not overtake my logic and I do something that I regret. I guess that I will be processing it throughout the weekend.  More to come……