Archive for July, 2012

A Good Word for Chic-fil-A

July 31, 2012

When my younger brother was 15, he went to work for a Chic-fil-A franchise. He worked there 3 years and learned plenty about running a small business, managing his peers and putting his best foot forward. They gave him a scholarship to college not because he was an academic wizard or a champion athlete. They saw potential in him and saw it as an investment in their community. The Cathys and their corporation have given millions in scholarships to average and special students without fanfare.

Chic-fil-A is a company based in sound business practices and solid Christian values. Their franchises are exceptionally clean, efficient and very friendly. I have eaten with them often and they have never disappointed me in product and excellence in service. They hire teens and adults from their community and teach them etiquette, small business skills and team work. They give generously to their communities and their owners and management are leaders in local PTAs, churches, service organizations & recreation leagues.

In every church I have served the Chic-fil-A employees have been model disciples and servant leaders. They respond positively when we request their assistance. I respect their policy of closing on Sundays. They do this so their employees can go to worship and/or spend time with family. Many economists have said this would have to change with the times or they would suffer. Their bottom line remains strong, before and during the recession, without changing their values and policies.

The founding family of this business, the Cathys, are life-long followers of Jesus Christ. They are known for practicing their faith in servant living. The reporter who interviewed Dan Cathy knew the answer to his question about marriage rights before he ever sat down with him. I think this reporter set him up to gain the public reaction he desired for his news article about the restaurant. This was poor journalism and was not the purpose of the interview.

This morning my men’s Bible & breakfast group feasted on delicious chicken biscuits from Chic-fil-A. We did so because they are really good to eat and also because we are so glad that this franchise serves and employs people in our community. Our choice is for their product, who they are as a quality business and a place of consistent values and integrity. My guess is Mr. Cathy and his partners in the local franchises will experience much support from many people who appreciate the same.

Advertisements

The Tragedy in Aurora reminds me we all need a storehouse…

July 23, 2012

One of our church members was on his way to San Antonio when he got a call that his client’s son was one of the victims of the shooting in the Aurora theater. He felt the Lord leading him to go directly to this family’s home and minister to them. He called our associate pastor on the way over and asked her what he should say and do. She talked him through this and he proceeded to their home.

The timing was difficult for him. He had lost a child himself several years ago and this tragedy brought back memories of this great loss. The Lord gave him peace and the right words when he sat down with his clients who are also good friends. He was amazed with how the Lord used him in his brokenness to speak words of hope and peace to a family torn asunder. It is truly amazing how the Lord prepares us and then uses us in times like these.

Someone reminded me today that we all need to invest in a storehouse of faith. Disasters, tragedy and great disappointment come to all of us. Are we prepared? How do you deal with the loss of a child when you lack a real and vital faith in a loving God? Where do you draw strength when life throws you a curve or you lose a job, a home to a natural disaster or a loved one in a terrible tragedy?

God’s word speaks of a storehouse of blessings for those who place their trust in the Lord. (Deuteronomy 28: 12) One of my favorite contemporary songs lifts up the storehouse of faith that we are to build. A storehouse that will feed us, give us shelter and be a source of hope when trouble rains down. Are you investing in this storehouse? Where will you turn when troubles come and life seems hallow? I pray you have a storehouse full of future hope.

ACCOUNTABILITY…it’s a good thing!

July 12, 2012

I believe Jesus formed the early apostles into a band for mutual accountability. Peter held Paul in check and Paul mentored Timothy, etc…We all need accountability. Without it, we can run amuck and live a life without checks and balances. In my church, I have given permission and empowered key laity and fellow senior staff to speak honestly and boldly with me. I need their input and feedback. I need for them to pray for me and point out my growing edges. I praise God that they love me and care for me enough to do this! My wife is an accountability partner too. She is one of the few people who will tell me when my ego is out of balance or my favorite sermon really bombed.

Everybody needs accountability: the president, pro athletes, teachers and even bishops. Being at the top of a large organization can easily be a head trip. An unaccountable life can be dangerous and prone to temptation and evil. Pray for those who lead you and insist they have clear accountability. I once mentored a young pastor that avoided this. He started with such promise and fell quickly. Last night I ran into an old detractor. When I was her pastor she was often critical and talked behind my back. When she saw me, she turned and went the other way. It’s a shame she cannot move on. She clearly needs an accountability partner, a fellow believer who will speak truth to her and hold her in account for her actions.

Are you trying to walk the Christian way without accountability partners? Ask someone to mentor you and speak truth into your life. The evil one will take advantage of your lone ranger mentality and your witness will suffer. If you are a leader, welcome and embrace accountability. It’s good for the soul!

 

Check out my son’s blog

July 5, 2012

Austin is doing an internship this summer with an evangelist/missionary stationed in London, England. The organization is KERYGMA180 and is committed to reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ. He is living in an old rectory in the city and recently traveled with the team there to Zambia. His blog is thoughtful, simple and based in scripture. I think you will agree he is growing in his calling to ministry and has some deep insights for us in today’s church and culture.

He is 21 years old and will be a senior next year at the University of Georgia. Check out his writings at:

http://www.thetruththelife.wordpress.com