Customer Service

I just had a great customer service experience and wanted to share it. I am on a short trip with some friends in Columbia South Carolina. We had great day of golf (My team won the 18 hole challenge) and ended the day at a Japanese Steak house. That was fun and the food was great, but the story is about our hotel. We are staying at the Hyatt Place. When we walked in there was a pleasant smell and everything looked clean and inviting. When we got back from our meal I sat down to have a Cafe Mocha and read my FAST Co. Magazine. Greg was very helpful and friendly. He remembered my name and made a great Cafe Mocha. We had a pleasant conversation and I met another very nice employee, Jen.

This was by far the best experience I have had at a hotel. Everything from the room to the coffee was first class and pleasant. I am even Blogging from their computer.

It reminds me that first impressions really do make a big difference. I am much more likely to pick a Hyatt Place Hotel in the future. We need to be aware of how people are viewing our business, or in my case church. Are we paying attention to the little things like smell and eye appeal. Are we making people feel welcomed and comfortable. Our win on Sunday morning at NewPointe Community Church is to get people to come back. We believe that if they come back they will be introduced to Jesus Christ and be changed forever.

First impressions really do matter. Every smile, friendly hand shake and helpful act of service contributes to making a great first impression. The same goes for the second, third and fourth impressions. All those little things contribute to the experience and make it memorable in a positive or negative way. Thanks Hyatt place!

Loving Well

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about about what it means to be healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically. We talk and hear a lot about getting healthy physically, but how healthy are we emotionally or spiritually? We diet, exercise and think about our health, but often do nothing to grow more healthy in our emotions or to grow in our spiritual journey. I think that a lot of our physical problems come from being unhealthy emotionally and spiritually.

As a follower of Christ I want to be healthy in all three areas.

Some people have not grown into adulthood in their emotions or their relationship with God. What does that mean? It means that they do not love very well. They haven’t been growing deeper and wider in their love for God and other people. They are stuck emotionally. Many times it is because they have been hurt and have not worked through that hurt. The deeper the hurt the deeper the emotional damage.

Many of us tend to focus on ourselves and our own needs and wants. As a result many of our relationships suffer and get damaged. We tend to not handle conflict very well and we often try to bury the hurts we have experienced only to find those hurts coming out in our relationships.

Here are some questions I have been asking myself, as I try to become more healthy emotionally and spiritually:

How can I be quick to hear and slow to speak?
How can I be angry and not sin?
How can I watch my heart above all else?
How can I speak the truth in love?
How can I be a true peacemaker?
How can I mourn?
How can I not bear false witness against my neighbor?
How can I get rid of all bitterness, rage, and envy?
How can I forgive?

Those questions reveal Biblical truths that should be evident in our lives. I happen to believe that God loves me unconditionally, and He wants me to love Him and other people like He loves me. If you want to review what love is, read 1Corinthians 13.

Loving well requires us to grow more intimate with God which leads to being able to love people better. God made us for relationships, both with Him and other people. We cannot live fulfilling lives in isolation. That means taking risks with God and people and allowing them into your heart.

If we do not love well, we cannot use our gifts and abilities to further God’s kingdom. All that we have to give is worthless unless we love well. Jesus said that everything goes back to loving God with all your heart, soul and mind and loving other people as much as yourself.

I think we all have some stuff to work on.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is such a great time of year. It forces me to think about all that I am thankful for. I try very hard to do that throughout the year, but there is something about Thanksgiving that really brings it home for me. I believe that when we begin to give thanks our perspective and attitude change. A thankful and grateful attitude changes your outlook on life, marriage, relationships, work, money and possesions.

I am thankful for my wife Vikki and how important she has been in my life. We have been married for over 18 years and have been together for over 23 years.

I am also very thankful for both of our families. We have been blessed with great parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We got to spend Thanksgiving day with Vikki’s side of the family.

A great big thank you to Paul & Lynne for hosting it over the past several years. The food is always fabulous and the fellowship fun. The day was filled with food, laughs, football, cards, crafting and some sleeping. Here are some pictures of the day.



There is so much more that I am thankful for, but most of all I am thankful for how much God loves me. I know I do not deserve His love, yet He loves me unconditionally. That still amazes me whenever I think about it. God knows everything about us, the good the bad and the ugly and yet He loves us and wants a personal relationship with each of us. WOW! that is something to be thankful for.

Church Growth

I’ve been having some interesting conversations about church growth with some other guys. We have been discussing the reasons that some churches grow and add new people and others stay the same or decline.

One of the guys asked if the church I attend wants to keep growing. I immediately said yes, because there are still unchurched and lost people in Holmes & Tuscarawas Counties.

One of the other guys said that growth is not an option for a church it is a command from Jesus. You see, the church is the plan for reaching the entire world for Jesus Christ. Therefore churches should try to spread the Good News to as many people as possible. It would be easy and safe to sit back and protect our own and feed ourselves and forget about the people that do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Some people decide against going to a growing large church because they think it will be impersonal and cold. They think they will be ignored. Maybe they think its just a cool place to be seen and a status thing. So without ever experiencing it they choose not to go.

The truth is that there is a reason a church is growing and attracting new people. I have heard many stories in my church and other Church’s that the experience has been amazing. I hear over and over again how welcome they felt. How warm and friendly everyone was and how the music and the message really spoke to them. I hear comments all the time about how they could understand what was being taught and how they felt the pastor was speaking directly to them.

If you have never gone to a growing church, I encourage you to try it. It is probably much different from the church you grew up in or have heard about. Church can be fun and exciting. God is not boring or uninteresting. It’s all about changed lives and growing churches have stories of changed lives.

Ever Monday morning at our staff meeting we share stories, and there is never a time we don’t have several stories of lives that have been impacted because of the church. That is why we do what we do!

Reunion

Last night my wife Vikki and I went to my 20 year High School class reunion. We had a good time catching up with the people that came. We laughed a lot and I got to hear some interesting stories from some of my classmates. I find it very interesting to see how people have changed over the years. It is also interesting to see how we have not changed in some ways. As I reflect on my High School years there are things I regret doing or saying or maybe things I should have done differently, but all that is part of my story and how God has used it to shape me into the person I am today.

There we 49 in my graduating class. There were 24 that came to the reunion. That is a very good turn out.

High School for me was a time of sports, fun, getting in trouble, and starting to become a leader. Oh, I also learned a lot thanks to good teachers like Jeff Pratt.

Here are some pictures: