Humility on Sale for $120

Family on Bike
A few weeks ago I dropped off my friends motorcycle at a Shop and left the equivalent of about $120 in Khun A’s hands to change the registration.  My friend, Rick, ended up picking up his motorcycle and paying for the work that I had already prepaid.  A couple of days later I went by to pick up my $120 and Khun A had no recollection of me leaving it with him.

He went and checked his book that he “usually” writes down when he gets money from someone but didn’t have an entry in it.  I told him it wasn’t right and he said we should both take some time to see if we could remember our story differently.  I think that was Thai for, “I don’t like this situation and I would like it to be over for now.”

That was over a week ago.  Yesterday I was thinking of stopping by the shop to see if he remembered me giving him the money but as I stopped in front of the store I decided to keep on driving.  Last night before dinner my friend Rich asked if I could drive him over to Khun A’s shop so that he could pick up his moped.  As I was driving over I felt God whispering “Humble” in my ear and I knew what he was saying.  I had thought earlier as I drove away from Khun A’s shop that pride was the reason I never wanted to use Khun A’s services again.  I felt that I had been taken advantage of and my pride was causing me to say I would find a new mechanic and a new person to do my registration each year.

As I dropped off Rich, I asked Khun A to put air in my tires and he realized that there was plastic burning on the muffler and as he fixed that he showed me that there was a dangerous split in the rear tire.  So I humbled myself and asked him to change the tire and change the oil while he was at it.

God’s whisper caused me to be kind instead of forcing my own outcome.  The downside of an extra measure of a desire for Justice is that I often fight for my own Justice instead of fighting for the things that are really important.  In this case my own humility and the eternal destiny of Khun A are far more important battles than whether or not I have another $120 in my pocket.  Pride could have easily led me to drive away without giving Khun A any more business which would have been foolish and disobedient to the Lord.

I know that one of my colleagues here has had Khun A over to his house and share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ with him.  This morning I woke up thanking God for selling me another helping of humility for $120 and begging him to open Khun A’s eyes to his need for Jesus.

Business As Mission

 

Mark and Jo Plummer are a couple of our friends here in Chiang Mai, Thailand and probably the only friends in our lives that we will ever eat dinner with 4 times in a week like we did the first week that our families started getting together.   They also happen to run www.Businessasmission.com and a bunch of different training events throughout the year.  If you are interested using business to make disciples and further the kingdom I highly encourage you to check it out.  They are starting their first business Discipleship Training School in 2013 as well.

You can check out their facebook page here  http://www.facebook.com/businessasmission

Memorizing Scripture

An Easy way to Soak Your Mind

Memorizing Scripture

One time in college I had been working on memorizing James Chapter 1.  At that time the phone was in my name so I was responsible for figuring out who made what calls and then totaling up the calls and adding the tax and then collecting the money from each of my suite mates.  One month there were a number of calls that I was fairly certain belonged to a suite mate of mine but could not prove it so I ended up eating the cost of the phone calls.  The next month there were again some of the same unclaimed calls that I knew had to have come from this person.

After reading the bill, I remember leaving my room ticked off, my pace and heartbeat quickening as I entered the hallway.  At the base of the stairs I jumped up to the third stair.  In Mid air this verse hit me.  “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  Knowing that I had quickly become angry I turned around in mid air and went back to my room.OK.  I didn’t really turn around in mid air but I did turn and go back down the stairs so I could cool off.

The times when God has brought to mind something from his word to challenge, motivate or encourage me are too numerous to count.  God’s word is powerful and active.It’s living.It changes and shapes who you are.  What better to be shaped by than the word of God?

I would like to share with you a simple method for allowing God’s word to sink deep into your own life and to be always a part of you so that if God chooses to speak to you, you will be ready to hear it.  I call it the 1-2-3 Scripture Memory Method.  Because you will have three steps for the verse before you have it memorized.

Preparation Step 1.First take out the top four cards and write: Daily, Twice a Week, and Weekly, and Memorized on one card so that you now have four cards that look like this:

Step 2.

Twice a Week

 

Step 3.

Weekly

 

Memorized

 

Preparation Step 2.Write out any verses you already have totally memorized.These you can place in the memorized pile.Though it doesn’t take much time if you don’t review a verse that you have memorized once in a while you will forget it.

  1. Work on a verse each day (at least 5 times during the week) until you feel that you have it down pretty well.
  2. After you can say it without looking for two days transfer it to the 2 times a week pile and continue to review the verse.This will stretch your retention time and continue to allow you to work on it.You may want to pick two specific days like Tuesday and Friday.
  3. Finally move it to the weekly pile.This will further stretch you retention time and help you to know if you really have it memorized.Don’t hesitate to move a verse back a pile if you come to realize that you didn’t know a verse as well as you thought.

Once you have a verse memorized you can put it in the memorized pile and review this pile every few weeks.Eventually this will be your largest pile and you will need to review once in a while to keep the verses fresh and at the front of your mind.

Supplies Needed:

1 pack (50 or 100) 3X5 Cards

4 Thick Rubber Bands

X marks the site for Christian Entrepreneurs

Chi Ro Symbol for Christian Entrepreneurs

Chi

Contrary to Popular Belief the X in Xmas was not started by Jesus hating pagans who were trying to remove Christ from Christmas.  The Chi which looks like our X is the first letter in Greek to spell out Christ.  You may have seen the Chi Ro symbol in the past.  In my quick internet search I found that it was used in Europe in the 1500′s.  Probably true but who knows.

When I was thinking of a short catchy name for a site for Christian Entrepreneurs I thought of XTrep.  I hope you aren’t offended and that you are blessed by what you find on the site.  Actually, I don’t care all the much if you are offended but if you are not offended I hope that you are blessed.  If you are offended I have a feeling that it will be nearly impossible for you to be blessed.

We will be offering great thoughts, resources, advice and encouragement for Christ’s slaves who are interested in running their own businesses.

Peace,

Buddy

Lead Generation

I have been checking out different methods of Lead Generation for small businesses.

If you are looking for a way to do the lead generation for you business yourself you might want to check out lead generation from buzzoodle.com. It likes like the have a pretty cool tool.

Check it out and let me know what you think. If it helped your local business I would love to interview you to find out what steps exactly that you took.

5 Characteristics of a Bad Life Coach

tree-in-a-sunset1There are lots of life coaches out there and it can be difficult to choose the right one. So here are 5 characteristics of a bad life coach to help you weed out the ones that will not do you any good.

  1. Proclaims to be able to work with anybody on any problem – although many claim to be able to help anyone with anything, the reality is that you want a coach who specializes In the area or areas that you would like coaching in. find someone who can really meet your needs.
  2. Makes claims that are to good to be true – beware of life coaches who claim to give you all the answers and guarantee your life will be perfect after meeting with them. You really want to look for someone who is down to earth and honest. You do not want someone who will just give you those quick fixes to make you feel good.
  3. Does not give a trial period – this is pretty simple, if the coach does not offer a free trial, whether over the phone, through email or in person, then you should probably not consider them. They either are hiding something or are to busy. Either way, consider someone who will give you a trial period.
  4. Pressures for commitment and your money – if they are pressuring you for a payment before a trial period or they want you to commit to some sort of deal, they are probably just after your money and they do not really care about helping you. Do not pay anything before you are convinced they will be a good fit for you. Do not give out your credit card information until you are sure they are trustworthy. Although there are lots of great life coaches available, there are some who are just trying to get rich.
  5. Has no credentials, references, or real experience – do some background research on any coach you are considering. Ask other coaches about them and try to find out as much as you can about who they are and how they do things. If you find mixed reviews and problems, that is a good indicator that you should steer clear of them. If you cannot find any information on them, and they offer no references on their website, then they might not want you to know about their past, so that is also a strong indicator that you should avoid them.

And of course remember to be smart about looking for a life coach. If something or someone looks fishy, they probably are. Hopefully with this information in hand you will be able to find a life coach that will meet your needs.

If you would like more information or would like to learn more about life coaching and its importance, please check out the other articles here and also feel free to contact us.

photo by Paulo Brandão

Effective Leaders Make Decisions

A major part of being a leader is making decisions. In fact, some would say that it is key to being a leader because a leader’s role is to make decisions for others and then lead them forward towards wherever that decision takes them. As a leader, I am sure you sometimes make a bad mistake here and there, but you must not let that get you down, keep pressing on and keep leading.

making-choices-trees-in-the-pathWe all make small decisions every day. We decide if we will wear a blue shirt or red one, if we will eat at one restaurant or another, or if we will have one cup of coffee or two. These all seem like easy decisions because you have probably made them before, you have already considered the benefits of another cup of coffee and the only factor left is if you have time for it or if the coffee is already made. When you have a harder decision, it is usually harder only because you have not had to make that kind of decision before, or because you have not really considered the benefits and costs fully.

Decision making is something that takes time to work at and practice. You practice making decisions, and sometimes you make great decisions, and other times you do not. When you make a bad decision, you must learn from it, and then move on. A mentor once told me that decision making is something that you will always need to work at and practice, and it will become easier, but never easy.

I can remember one business class I had in college where the professor told us that all he wanted us to learn in that class was how to make good decisions. Everything we did in that class was aimed at helping us become better decision makers. It really was more of a transformational leadership class than a business class, but it has helped my leadership and decision making skills in many lasting ways.

So where are you at today? Do you avoid making decisions? Or maybe you are a fairly decent decision maker? No matter where you are, you must remember this; making good decisions takes practice, so get out there and start practicing, and soon your leadership and even life, will benefit from better decisions .

As a final note, if you are facing a big decision, it is imperative to include God in that decision. He knows the answers and he is willing to guide you. So rely on Him and his expertise in decision making to help you make better decisions.

photo by Rickydavid

The Need to Inspire

In anything a leader does, he or she must inspire those around them. In the toughest situations or the darkest of nights, a leader who is still courageous and inspiring can give new hope to followers.

Be Inspirational, Be like sunlight coming through the clouds

Be Inspirational, Be like sunlight coming through the clouds

I remember one time when I was at a youth camp. We were planning to play some outdoor games all afternoon. Games like kickball, tag, and dodge ball. However, a few hours before the whole camp was going to take part in these games, it started to rain. And it kept raining. I, along with almost everyone else, was disheartened and frustrated. Now we would probably have to sit inside and play boring inside games or something equally  unexciting.

Yet the youth leader of the camp was unfazed and recognized the situation. He immediately announced that we would still be doing games outside, but they would be games suited for wet weather. He proceeded to talk these games up so much that everyone in the camp was soon even more excited about these new wet weather games than the other games we had planned. Even today I still remember all the games we played that day and the fun everyone had because of one inspiring leader.

A leader who can look at a situation, change plans, and then inspire others to follow is a great leader. It is not easy at times to throw out plans and come up with something new, but it is necessary to do in certain situations.

So how can you do a better job of inspiring people? The next time when your plans do not work out very well, try to be flexible and change, and then be excited about the new direction you are heading. You will be surprised by how many people are willing to follow an inspirational leader who is genuinely excited about leading.

photo by B Tal

5 Steps to Follow to Make Great Decisions

To reach our goal, we often must make a decision at a fork in the road

To reach our goal, we often must make a decision at a fork in the road

Decision making is something we all have to do, but few of us enjoy. Many people often make bad decisions for many reasons, but one reason is because they simply did not know how to make a decision. So if you would like to know how, or if you just want to make sure you make good decisions, check out these five steps to making a good decision.

5 steps to making a decision:

1. State the problem – begin by defining what the decision you need to make is. Try to put the problem into one sentence and make it as clear as possible. This is both for your benefit and others in case you are not the only one involved in this decision.

2. Identify alternatives – what are the options? Take time and carefully look at the deferent solutions to your stated problem. This is like a brainstorm session, so do not get rid of any solutions no matter how outlandish they might seem. Look for every possible alternative or solution.

3. Evaluate alternatives – which option is best? Look at all the factors involved, you might even need to put some criteria together to help whittle down your options. This is probably the longest step of the process and it requires some careful analysis of each alternative. Here is where you throw out the alternatives that do not solve your problem or are just impractical.

4. Make a decision – choose the best option. You have analyzed and found the best option to fix your problem, so go with it and do not second guess yourself.

5. Implement your decision – follow your decision and do whichever option you chose. This is the most important step. You must implement or your problem will remain unsolved.

Let’s look at an example to help put all these steps together.

Let’s say that you are in charge of an organization and you want to do some sort of stress relief activity for your workers. The first option you have is to do a stress relief party. This would cost $100. The second option is to get stress relief balls for everyone. This would only cost $50. Which option should you take? Well follow the steps. Define your problem, which is that you need a stress relief activity. Then look for your alternatives, the two options. Now, evaluate each option. Which one would be a more effective stress reliever? Which one is more cost effective? Which one has a combined better value? After figuring out the answer to these questions, make a decision on one of the options. Now, the last and most important step of all, implement your decision. You will never know if you made a good decision if you do not implement it, and you will never solve the problem if you do not act on your decision.

Follow the five steps and the example and you should be able to start making better decisions today. Remember, it takes practice to make good decisions, so do not get distressed if your first few attempts end badly. Just keep trying and keep learning and very soon you will be a better leader.

Photo by pfly