Monthly Archives: February 2009

MAKING THE LIST

In the past few days, I have looked over two different lists that intrigued me. The first was a list of the best and worst airports in the United States (flight stats). The second was compiled by C-SPAN and lists the best and worst presidents from Washington to Bush.

The airport list was determined by on-time departures. The worst airports were: Chicago O’Hare (Ill.), Newark (N.J.), Miami (Fla.), Dallas (Texas) and New York LaGuardia. They averaged at least 30 percent of all their flights delayed. The best were: Salt Lake City (Utah), Portland (Ore.), San Diego and Oakland (Calif.). Surprised?

The second list was a ranking of the men who have held the office of President of the United States. The bottom five were: James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William H. Harrison and Warren G. Harding. George W. Bush was 36th on the list. His dad was 18th.

Abraham Lincoln was ranked the best. George Washington was second, followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Ronald Reagan was 10th. Bill Clinton was 15th. The survey graded each president on a scale of one (“not effective”) to ten (“very effective”).

So, what does “making a list” have to do with you? We are all on somebody’s list. The telemarketers know about you. We may not have a number attached to our names, but there are those who call us their “favorite” pastor, teacher, deacon, friend or, some, the “worst.” Others grade our preaching, teaching or conduct as “excellent” or “weak.” Others often place us according to our success or misfortune at one of our assignments. Even you have your favorite Christian personalities. Everybody is on somebody’s list.

Key for me is how our Lord grades us. I don’t think He ranks one over another because He loves us individually and unconditionally. However, there are some hints, such as Paul’s teaching to Timothy: “Be an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). And, in the word of the Lord to Micah, the Lord requires that we “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). There is a level of expectation for all of us.

If you had to rank yourself — and we often do — where would you be on your list? We can all move up — right? “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved … not ashamed” (2 Tim. 2:15).

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Pastor Rick

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HELP The Job Market is Falling

WOW! Times are difficult.  And I know many of you are looking for jobs or are afraid your job may end soon.  I read this article and thought it might be worth passing on to you.  You might find some encouragement or help in it.

In the current economy, every worker is looking for a leg up on the competition. But knowing how to advance your career or simply prove your value to your employer can be difficult. Consider the following six tips to position yourself for success in any economy, particularly an uncertain one like todays:

1. Be open to change
A common reaction when many aspects of your life are in flux is to cling to your usual ways of doing things. But uncertain times call for individuals who can adapt to new ways of working. Adopt an open-minded approach and remain enthusiastic even when there are shifts in organizational structure, procedures or workload.

2. Look for new opportunities
Keep in mind that changes to your organization or role aren’t simply something to cope with; they could bring new opportunities. If the size of department has decreased in recent months, for example, you may be asked to shoulder new responsibilities, which, down the road, could position you well for advancement. 

3. Don’t overdo it
Even in tough times, it’s important to establish boundaries. It’s never a bad idea to volunteer for projects that allow you to build new skills and experience, especially if your team is short-staffed. But taking on too much can lead to burnout and lackluster work. If you feel overwhelmed with the number of projects on your plate, ask your
manager to help you prioritize. He or she may be able to work with you to find a solution, whether it’s bringing in a temporary worker or delegating some projects to another colleague.

4. Keep a cool head
In the midst of
budget cuts or layoffs, it’s easy to be so worried about your own situation that you lose focus. While it’s natural to be concerned about your job, your colleagues and your company when business is slow, avoid obsessing over “what might happen.” It’s better to be the steady hand during turbulent times. Pay attention to your company’s situation and take action where necessary — after all, you don’t want to bury your head in the sand. Just avoid becoming so consumed with speculation that you fail to do good work

5. Know your skill set’s expiration date.
Prove yourself indispensable by staying current with all software and systems used by your company, and make sure your
customer service skills shine. Do so not only to maintain your value to your current employer but also to remain marketable if you do find yourself back in the job market. Whether it’s refining your communication skills or becoming an expert in a software program relevant to your field, always strive to continue your professional development.

6. Take your blinders off
No matter the state of the economy, keep your eyes open for new opportunities that allow you to advance professionally. You don’t want to jump recklessly from one employer to another, but you should be prepared to make a move if the right opening presents itself. Be sure your résumé is up-to-date, and keep in contact with people in your network to get a feel for what opportunities exist in your field.

It’s unclear how long the current downturn will last, but the above advice can help you weather the storm. Being proactive and keeping a steady hand when times are turbulent will benefit you now and pave the way for success once conditions improve.

Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit www.rhi.com.

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IF I HAVE NOT LOVE …

Now, I know that the origins of Valentine’s Day may have a pagan feel since it was established in Rome centuries ago, but the main emphasis of Valentine’s Day today is filled with expressions of love and appreciation. And so, this Saturday, February 14, many people throughout the world will celebrate with flowers, candy and cards with meaningful messages. Many of your couples will be involved in sweetheart banquets. Poems will be read and new commitments made to one another. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful thing.

Remember the old 1965 song by Jackie DeShannon:

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of …
No not just for some, but for everyone.”

The song went on to say, we don’t need any more mountains or meadows, but lots more love. Makes sense to me.

The Apostle Paul had a similar idea when he wrote to the Corinthians that I can possess all the characteristics of a Christian, “but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).

Remember when the preacher used to preach on the love chapter and would tell the people to put their name in the text? Such as “(Rick) is patient, (Rick) is kind, (Rick) does not envy.” I’m sure you get the picture. But, do we truly live the message of 1 Corinthians 13?

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