Archive for February, 2009

Rant – That’s not a Small Business!

Posted in Minutia with tags , , on 2009/02/26 by NY4JB

IMHO applies throughout.

NPR ran a story yesterday that got me ‘on my soapbox’ so here’s my rant.  The story was about the economy and small business but the example they used was a woman who owned two small telecom companies.  Now wait a minute!  I love NPR but sometimes they miss it big-time, somebody that owns two telecom businesses (however small) doesn’t fit into the category ‘small business.’  They said she’s only got one employee but what about everyone that is employed by these two telecom companies?  They count too, even if they are mostly contractors.  So this got me thinking, well what is a ‘small business’? 

Definitely a Small Business

  • Home-based business (as long as there are no outside employees or maybe just one)
  • Single location store with fewer than 5 full-time employees and annual revenues under a million dollars
  • Small Shop with fewer than 5 full-time employees and annual revenues under a million dollars
  • Mobile business with one vehicle (Ice cream truck, auto-detailing, mobile dog grooming, etc.)
  • Truck drivers that are known as owner/operator, they own their (one) truck, drive it and may have a driving partner/employee
  • Tent-Maker who travels around preaching the Gospel

Definitely not a Small Business

  • Owner makes more than $250,000 a year (this includes all compensation not just what they report)
  • A store or shop with multiple locations
  • Any business with more than one company vehicle

Somebody is going to say that doctors and lawyers in private practice make more than $250,000 but they are a small business, but they’re not small business, they are in their own class and are an exception outside of the normal person’s world.

So what do you call a business that is bigger than small but not a big business?  It’s just called a business.

Free Stuff

Posted in Bible Study on 2009/02/24 by NY4JB

Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!

link

Posted in Minutia on 2009/02/20 by NY4JB

This is too funny not to pass on…

http://www.theblazingcenter.com/2009/02/redneck-seafood-dinner.html

Decaf

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , on 2009/02/10 by NY4JB

I am writing from a hotel in a small town in Minnesota tonight. I don’t want to be here; I don’t like to travel very much; especially without my wife; this is a very small town and I prefer civilization. I’m only here because my job requires it; it’s the first time they have asked me to travel since September of 2001 so I can’t really complain about the amount of travel. The hotel room is fine but I have had a head cold and cough for over a week and would prefer to be at home where I have all the comforts of (…wait for it…don’t try to guess…) home. The particular comforts I’m thinking of are hot chocolate and hot tea which are soothing on the throat. I thought hotels usually had tea bags with the little courtesy coffee maker in the rooms but not tonight. So, I’m drinking some watered-down decaf coffee (I don’t like coffee), I know I could go downstairs and get tea, too much effort, “…be content with what you have…”

Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

By the way, I have seen the comment “emphasis is my own” underneath quotes from the Bible and thought I might point out that the Bible in its original form contained no bold or italic typeface; it did not have chapter and verse numbers; and was hand-written.

So, of course the emphasis is my own…or is it? Is it not the Holy Spirit that brought to my mind this phrase? “…be content with what you have…”

The first sip of coffee was terrible but then for a couple of sips I was content with it. Now, I think, I will find the coke machine.

Heavenly Father,
You created the heavens and the earth, and provide everything I truly need. Please, help me to be content to know that you are God and that minor discomforts on earth are not important. Your son, Jesus, was made to suffer and die for my sins, so that I would have eternal life. Yet, I complain when I don’t have my favorite beverage.  Lord, please forgive my ingratitude and allow me to speak boldly about your love for humanity, in Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen

The Sabbath

Posted in Observations with tags , , , , , , on 2009/02/06 by NY4JB

My friend Chris did a nice post on the Sabbath (http://soldierinchrist.blogspot.com/2009/02/sabbath-who-needs-that.html) and I told him I would throw him a curve so here’s something to think about.

Since I’m one of the many people who serve (basically work) during the Sunday morning church service (I’m thinking pastors, ushers, parking lot attendants, nursery workers, kitchen staff, technicians and in my case musicians) how does the Sabbath play out?  Honestly, by the time I get home from church, unload my gear and have lunch I’m ready for a long nap.  Also, based on my belief that every member of the church should serve in some ministry this should be common to most of the congregation with only those who are visiting getting a free pass.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do this by choice and wouldn’t want to do church any other way but how many people fit into this category and how then should we keep the Sabbath?

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in your house.  If it pleases you, allow me to continue to serve you for all my days on earth.  In Jesus’ name I pray
Amen

PAID IN FULL

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , , on 2009/02/04 by NY4JB

I was looking through some old receipts today and on one was stamped in big red letters PAID IN FULL.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for showing mercy on me by sending your son to pay my debt, for I am a sinner who could not have paid otherwise.  Oh Lord, give me the courage to tell others about him for Jesus’ sake I pray.
Amen

Become Like Children

Posted in Bible Study with tags , , , , , , , on 2009/02/03 by NY4JB

Matthew 18:3 (ESV) and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I don’t believe it would be wise for me to attempt to address woman with regards to this verse as I am unfamiliar with the workings of relationships among the female gender.  Therefore, I will address it based on three stages males go through.  When Jesus refers to children I believe we should look at how an eight year old boy looks up to men and particularly his father.  To a child at that age his father is the ultimate man; he can do no wrong; the child’s greatest desire is to spend time with him; whatever he is doing the child is interested and wants to be involved.  I have been a witness to this from many angles, starting with being an eight year old and looking up to my own father.  Although, I never had kids of my own I had friends who did and I saw that gleam in the child’s eye, even doing things that would bore an adult the child is happy to tag along just to be part of the event.  It is a shame for a boy to go through this age without a father in the house.

By the age of twelve something begins to happen, what good old dad is doing just doesn’t seem important anymore; at fifteen, sixteen and seventeen, somehow dad becomes an idiot.  My step-son was fifteen when I met my wife; I was cool when I was giving him money to go to the game room but other than that we both knew the deal.  Of course, I knew that someday he would grow out of thinking that I’m an idiot, he didn’t know that yet.  These teenage years are time spent wandering in the wilderness, thinking we know everything and not looking up to anyone, except maybe peers who are in the same phase of life.  We would never bring our problems to our father during this phase; we would rather ask our friends because our father just doesn’t know what it’s like to go through whatever it is that’s going on.

Once again a change is coming, at least for most men, right after they move out on their own, running up into their thirties.  They start to notice that they don’t know everything and dad was right about a few things; maybe he wasn’t an idiot after all.  Once they have kids of their own they will really start to see the pattern and may even ask their father how to handle different situations.

So what is Jesus saying to us?  It seems that so many of us are stuck in the teenage phase when it comes to God; we know everything and think in terms of earthly wisdom.  God’s word is nice but not practical in the real world.  Our hearts are hard, we won’t listen to anybody other than our peers and we wouldn’t even think to bring our problems to God.  It is only by the work of the Holy Spirit softening our hearts that we can even consider listening to our Heavenly Father.  And this is the stage that Jesus is addressing, can we go back to when we were eight only this time look up to God as our Heavenly Father, for He is truly the ultimate father.  Can we admit that we don’t really know much at all and that earthly wisdom has done little for our souls.

If we are to see the kingdom of heaven we must start as a child, knowing that God is our father and holds all the cards.  Avoiding the teenage years, which would be filled with spiritual pride, can we make the jump from child to mature Christian; humble, yet able to help others on their pilgrimage.  Even if we stay as children forever and just adore God we will certainly be in better shape than those who refuse to yield their will.

Heavenly Father,
Your wisdom, patience and mercy are beyond human measure and yet we are a proud, impatient people.  Please, help us to be humble and to adore you as a child adores his human father.  Let the lesson be gentle while you teach us that our pride is misplaced and as a boy grows to be a man, let us grow in spirit to glorify you as our Lord.  As Jesus died on the cross we must die to ourselves that our foolish pride can no longer block us from receiving your wisdom.  And just as Jesus was raised from the dead, let us live again for your glory, for it is in His great name that we pray.
Amen