It is extremely annoying to hear someone’s cell phone ring during a church experience, the movies, a formal speaking engagement, weddings …….. Come on; just turn the thing to vibrate or silent. More importantly just turn it on vibrate all of the time, because no one really cares about those goofy ring tones except for you. Your phone is generally in your pocket, your purse or on your hip, so vibrate really makes sense. The really annoying ring, is that ring that gets louder and louder and louder and louder. Here is the funny thing about “The Annoying Cell Phone Person,” they prompt those of us who have some decency to check our phones even though we always have ours on silent or vibrate. Next time someone’s phone rings in church or the movies watch everyone else check theirs. In the spirit of love please check yourself, your spouse, friends and co-workers and encourage them not to be “The Annoying Cell Phone Person.”
Do you have the gift of no? I am not talking about saying no when it’s absolutely necessary; I’m talking about saying no simply for your own convenience. You know what I’m talking about, when your kids ask you if they can do something and you just say No! Most of the time there is not any rational reason for you saying No, except for the fact that it is convenient and easy. It sounds like this in my world with my 8 and 4 year old sons: “Dad can I get a Popsicle?” “No” “Dad can I stay the night with Johnny?” “No” “Dad can I help with that?” “No, your not big enough”………… and the list goes on and on. Research shows that 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive. Children that grow up in an “average household” hear “No” and are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they are 18. (Ouch) “Sounds like we need some Joel Osteen, in our lives.” J I recently talked with a buddy of mine about this and he acknowledged that his wife has similar struggles with saying no to their two daughters. Hmmmm….. Maybe it’s some sort of “Just Deal With It” mentality for our children that are the same sex. I have personally been convicted and I am learning to give away, The Gift of No! I am turning into a Yes Man, and my kids and wife love it.
My wife and I took our two boys to see Transformers this past weekend. It was definitely not what I expected, however I was pleasantly surprised. What I expected to be a animated movie or cartoon turned out to be an amazing action filled battle of good vs. evil and a classic love story all rolled into one. You had the Transformers the “Good Guys” and the Decepticons “The Bad Guys” battling. I thought that there was some cool irony as it related to the evil Decepticons and how they were very similar to the clever, crafty, deceptive and dangerous nature of the “Master of Deception” Satan himself. I am certain that if you decide to see this movie, you will enjoy the rich imagery, action and life metaphors that can be extracted from the story. As a matter of fact, I am going to go and see it again, by myself, just for life application sake. Oh, did I mention that the nerdy kid ended up with the hot girl.
I was listening to a sermon several weeks ago by my Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel about Jonah. As I processed the information about Jonah, it made me realize that that we all have a little bit of Jonah in us. That even includes Ms. Paris Hilton! Everyone, including myself loves to rip her for being ridiculous and sometimes just downright stupid. Paris had found herself in the belly of a really big fish called jail. The cool thing is that Paris did not fight or complain about her sentence; as a matter of fact she agreed to go back into the fishes’ mouth to finish her 45 day sentence without any appeal. Paris’ worst nightmare was exactly what she needed. In an interview with Barbara Walters Hilton was quoted as saying “I feel that the purpose of my life is to be where I am, My spirit or soul did not like the way I was being seen and that is why I was sent to jail. God has released me; God has given me a new Chance.” I find myself believing her and giving her the benefit of the doubt. If you are finding yourself in the belly of a fish, be reminded that your worst nightmare can be a Big Time Blessing!
A champion knows when to pass, when to shoot, when to sit back and when to just flat out take charge. I was watching the NBA Finals several weeks ago and realized that’s what separates Lebron James from the Michael Jordan’s and Magic Johnson’s. Don’t get me wrong I think Lebron James is a stud kid and can be the next Michael Jordan. Lebron does a great job of engaging his team mates and passing the ball very similar to Magic Johnson and he’s has shown signs of flat out dominance, especially when he scored that last 25 points for the Cavs in an earlier playoff victory. The reason Lebron is not a champion and the Cavs did not compete in the finals, is because he does not know when to just flat out take over, and that’s one thing Michael Jordan did know how to do. This applies to organizational leadership as well, we must know when to shoot (make a decision), when to pass (delegate), when to sit back (allow employees to develop) and when to take charge (cast vision and take the organization where it needs to be). If we want to be champions in our particular roles, we have to Know When To…….
What are the differences that you notice when you visit a Target, as compared to visiting a Wal-Mart? The initial difference for me is that Target has somehow received a cute, French like nickname Target “Tar-jay”, while Wal-Mart has to settle for “Wally World.” It’s obvious that Target is becoming the new Big Daddy of retail. That’s right; Target is on their way to taking out the former Big Daddy of retail, Mr. Wal-Mart. I am not sure if that will happen in 10, 15 or 20 years; however I am confident that it’s going to happen. Right now you are probably saying, “Give me a break, no one can take out Wal-Mart.” If you don’t believe me ask our old forgotten about friends Mr. TG&Y and Ms. K-Mart. You might be saying “Who are they,” if you don’t know just ask your parents. Target is more than just a cleaner, sleeker, sexier, khaki pants, red shirt, and customer friendly version of Wal-Mart with red phones, to ring an associate to your service. No No No my friends, research shows that Target’s prices are very competitive to Wal-Mart and are only a couple of cents off on average and many items are actually cheaper. Target has made a believer out of me. I’m reminded of Target’s goodness every time I go to particular Wal-Marts and have to stand in line for an hour, or perform a self-checkout. I find myself saying that I will never shop at Wal-Mart again. Unfortunately, I sometimes go back and re-visit Wal-Mart out of habit. Don’t get me wrong, some Wal-Mart stores are better than others; however Target has hit the spot in my world. It is so refreshing to go into a store that has real clerks to check me out, it’s clean, it seems to be in touch with relevant culture, employees seem happy and it just overall feels good. The sad thing is that those comments used to describe Wal-Mart and Mr. Sam Walton is rolling over in his grave as we speak. Target “Gets It” and they understand Big is The New Small, that’s why their priorities and customer service are on Target.