Thanksgiving: What Are We Thankful For? To Whom?

What are we thankful for this year? To whom are we thankful? Looking back more than 200 years.

George Washington

New York, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America; a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

How’s your faith?

Trust: CAN I? vs. DO I?

I’ve been noticing the words Faith, Belief, and Trust a lot lately. They are almost synonyms, but not quite. It’s easy to use one as part of a definition of another. I’m especially thinking about trust and the difference in the question “CAN I trust God?” and “DO I trust God?” Do they seem like the same question? Please hear me out.

Glass Bridge

You are probably familiar with the glass bottom bridges that are being built over some very deep gorges? Let me just say it, I respect the design and I’m happy for those who like the excitement of walking across them, but I’m not going to be joining you! It’s not that I don’t believe the glass is safe. I understand the engineering. I’m convinced that I could go out, along with a hundred other people, and jump up and down on that glass, and it would support me. I absolutely believe that. But I’m still not going out. Do I have a trust problem?

Maybe this is a bit like trusting God. I believe He can, and does, amazing things. I CAN trust God. 100%. But DO I? Hmmm. Maybe that’s how I should consider faith. When what I CAN trust and what I DO trust match perfectly, then I have complete faith.

How’s your faith?

Inspired by Dean Lisenby, posting in Prayers for Tripp, on the challenges of faith.

PS: I actually got sweaty palms creating this post!

Welcome James Wilder Dye

James Wilder Dye

It’s been 32 years since a male child with the Dye name has been born into this family. Please meet James Wilder Dye, born on 5/28/2020, to Peter & Kelly Dye. 8 lbs, 15 oz. 20 5/8 inches. This proud grandpa can’t wait to see him close up. (Darn Covid-19 is making that harder.)

James Kelly Peter

All are happy and healthy (and maybe just a little tired).

First Manned Launch (times 5)

What an exciting time when SpaceX launched the Dragon a few days ago. I heard a comment about how this is the first launch of the fifth class of US manned space vehicle, and I had to think about it for a few seconds. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Shuttle, and now Dragon. And then I thought about “first” of each. I’m not sure of this … I was pretty young, but I think it’s just possible that I saw (via TV) each of those firsts!

Sort of leaves me wondering where I’ll be for the sixth!

The Perfect ChMS Add-On

 

I’ve been looking to help a few churches with the “perfect” Church Management tool add-on.

Over and over, churches need a better, or easier, or friendlier, or find your own phrase that fits, solution for queries and selections.

Most churches, occasionally, need to do some wild and crazy query of their database. Something like “find all men, over age 30, who have kids, who have attended the missions class, who have not been on a mission trip, and are not part of the special services events team.” When we use words, that sort of makes sense. But in most of the ChMS products, it’s not so easy. Some products let you get under the covers and use SQL statements, so then you have joins and includes and Boolean stuff, but how many regular church staff can work through that?!

The software developers don’t have a chance of pre-developing this type of query because it is, totally ad-hoc. And once you get those results, undoubtedly you’ll discover another condition you want to add.

Maybe there’s another answer. What if we used a person, instead of software? What if we had people at these churches, or even in consulting roles, who would do these queries for you. You explain in everyday language, and these people do the special work to accomplish the task. Somebody who does this every day is a lot more likely to get it right than the typical staff member who only attempts this once or twice a year.

Instead of fixing the software, let’s try using a people resource. Too easy?

Do you know any people like this?

 

What Makes for a Good Work Ethic?

WorkEthic3

I’ve several times made the claim that I have an old-fashioned work ethic. Lately, I’ve begun to question what that actually means. I’ve met other people who don’t seem to have a good work ethic, but when asked, they say they do. Hmmm. Is “work ethic” totally subjective? That doesn’t seem likely. So, what does make for a good work ethic?

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Further below, are ideas gathered from various sources and friends, but here’s one thing I’ve noticed over and over. If somebody comes in with a sour attitude, no matter how good they are at what they do, the attitude tarnishes everything. On the other hand, if somebody comes in with enthusiasm and a smile, and again, it may not matter how good they are at the job, they seem to have a good work ethic. So, I don’t want to go so far as to say that enthusiasm and a smile are a measurement, but maybe they are a strong hint!

I’m going to choose to be enthusiastic and smile.

Two other especially strong thoughts for me:
1. Always go beyond the minimum requirement
2. Taken from The Outward Mindset, when there’s a problem, take the attitude of “As far as I am concerned, the problem is me.” At first that one is scary. Then it becomes liberating!

Talking with some retail managers, it’s fun to hear some of the challenges.
1. Get people to just show up!
2. On time
3. Dressed right

More thoughts, “borrowed” from many others:

From QBQ newsletter:
1. HUMBLE: Self-deprecating humor, takes no credit for wins, downplays their strengths. Acknowledges it’s a “team effort.”
2. ACCOUNTABLE: Quick to own mistakes and failures with little to no blame and finger-pointing. And definitely not a whiner! (See the QBQ! book)
3. COLLABORATIVE: Don’t have all the answers, know they can’t do it alone, and open to ideas they did not generate. Shares AND listens.
4. DECISIVE: No “paralysis by analysis” here. Flexible, but not wishy-washy. Possesses opinions that are thought through.
5. ENCOURAGING: Praises people, provides positive feedback, and slow to criticize. Lifts others up with their words.

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  • Showing up to work, on time (preferably before your appointed office hours), appropriately dressed, and ready to take on the day.
  • Being present at work – different than being “on time” being present is the sense that you are doing what you can do for the company first, and for yourself second. You are thinking constantly about how to make the company better – in turn, you will be better at your job.
  • When you are at work, you are giving it your all, 110%, thinking of your colleagues and about advancing the company. Your company and colleagues are part of your extended family and you will do whatever is legal, moral and ethical to advance their careers and the cause of the company.
  • You don’t whine or gripe about tasks that have been assigned to you or ones that you have been volunteered for. You do the work with a sunny, optimistic attitude.
  • You defer to your manager’s decisions, even if in your opinion they are wrong.
  • You understand that you are an employee of the company, 24/7 – you are never really “off” the clock.
  • You are always selling your company’s product or service and you are always looking for a chance to advance your company’s product or service even if it is at a dinner party, a wedding, gas station, etc.

What other thoughts would you add for a good work ethic? Or is smile and be enthusiastic enough? And yes, I’m smiling as I ask that question!