You Can Choose to Accept Love or Not

Just Know That Not Accepting, Makes It No Less Real

There are too many people out there who have not experienced real love. For whatever reason they find themselves in situations that may be called love but is not.

I’m fortunate to have been blessed with a loving biological as well as church family. God knows that I did nothing to deserve it. It’s part of a bigger plan that only He knows. My part in this is to share this love with others.

Love is the foundation for everything.

In Matthew 22:34-46 the religious leaders of the time had lost sight of that foundation. They had gotten caught up in the worldly perspective of the law. They overlooked the foundation the law was built on.

Not that the law isn’t important, because it is. It just isn’t the foundation. They were loving the law more than God. They were attempting to make God into their image of what they wanted Him to be. Be careful to not love the law more than God.

In Verses 37-40 Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your soul, all your heart and all your mind. …Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”

This sounds a lot like a foundation.

There was a young Christian man who wanted to share his faith with others. Not being super educated or sophisticated, he was surprised when he felt lead to share the message of Christ with a brilliant local attorney.

When he attempted to share his faith, the attorney laughed at him and had an argument for every point the young man made. The young man realized he was in over his head and felt ashamed for thinking he could do this. In his shame he gave up and as he left, he said,

“I just want you to know that I came here because I love you.”

Within a few hours of the young man going home and shutting himself in his room, the attorney showed up and knocked on the door. The young man’s wife tried to get the attorney to leave, but he was adamant about speaking with the young man.

When the young man came out to speak with the attorney he said, “I suppose you’ve thought of some more arguments to prove your point.” The attorney said, “No, I just want to know more about your faith.”

The young man said, “Every time I tried to tell you, you came up with an argument that I couldn’t answer.” The attorney replied, “Yes and you came up with an argument that I couldn’t answer.”

When you said that you loved me…I couldn’t argue with that.

God is love. He saved us out of His great love. You can accept or reject it, but it doesn’t change the truth of God’s love.

You can’t argue with God’s love!

Which will you choose? To accept it or not.

A Cornerstone Is the Foundation of the Foundation

What Is the Cornerstone You’re Building Your Life On?

Getting distracted and losing our focus is easier now than ever before. We are flooded with information that can wash away our foundation if we aren’t careful.

This even happened when Jesus was alive. In Matthew 21:33-46 Jesus points out to the priests and church leaders that their foundation was eroding and going to collapse if they didn’t get them aligned with the Cornerstone.

The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone.

The Cornerstone determines the outcome of the entire structure.

The foundation is the most critical part of building. If the foundation isn’t square and straight the building won’t be either. It is critical to refer back to the foundation constantly and repeatedly.

The quality of the foundation determines how we make it through the storms of life. A wise man builds on the Rock not the sand. Building on the Rock will allow us to better weather the storms.

The kind of foundation we build on is up to us.

What if we started our building on a poor foundation? It’s not too late. Remove the bad one and put in a new and solid one. Our lives are under construction until we die. The sooner the foundation is corrected and aligned with the Cornerstone the better. Don’t wait…

Build your life on The Cornerstone!

Building Your Life on a Solid Foundation

Core Values Are the Building Blocks of That Foundation

We’re currently working on designing a process for grading or scoring our production teams. We’ve been considering this for years.

One of the parameters that we’re looking to base this system on is our companies core values. As we were discussing those core values, I realized that I hadn’t finished sharing our core values with you. (I got busy fighting hot fires.)

Important things become less urgent when we get sidetracked fighting a hotter fire.

In January of 2017 I wrote about using core values as a life filter. In that post I defined what core values are and shared ours. Core values are a combination of things you are good at and come naturally. They also consist of things that you aren’t so good at but deep down you know you should be.

CORE is – the central or most important part of something. This is the most inner part of who you are. This is like your conscience. The deep down, on the inside, who God made you to be.

VALUES are – the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something; a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. This is the part that you choose. How you want to be, how you will treat others, etc. This doesn’t mean they have to be good. Some people’s values may be selfish or greedy.

You can choose what values you will live by.

Here are the foundation blocks that I am building my life and business on.

1 – Honor God in all that I do

2 – Pay attention to detail

3 – Spend time wisely, there is a limited amount

4 – Never be satisfied with mediocrity

5 – Find and maintain the balance in everything

6 – Move the mountain one shovel full at a time (Sharing the shovels)

7 – Remember that I have two ears and one mouth

8 – Take off the blinders, be more observant

9 – Intentional action (the importance of intentionality)

10 – Avoid drama

11 – Be accountable

12 – Make all I can, Save all I can, Give all I can

Like building a building…you can choose the foundation your life is built on.

Like I said earlier I neglected to finish sharing our core values with you so…I’m holding myself accountable (#11) and going to share the last three over the next few weeks.

People Are the Foundation of the Church

Jesus Is Building “It” On Believers

In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks those following Him, “Who do people say that I am?” Peter’s answer was “You are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Who do you say that He is?

Jesus tells Peter, “You are the rock on which I will build my church.”. This is the first time that “church” is used in the Bible. Too often, people think of a building when they hear the word church.

Jesus was not talking about a building when He spoke about the church. He was talking about believers. People who believe that He is the Son of God. Too many people think of church as a building.

Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord.

C. S. Lewis said in his book, Mere Christianity that…

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse….”

Believing that Jesus is the Son of God makes you one of the foundation stones.

There is a responsibility that goes with being part of this foundation. The weight of the church rests on it. The more blocks that are in the foundation the lighter the load is on each block.

The load appears lighter to those who choose not to be a part of the foundation, in reality, the load we carry alone is much heavier. The load is lighter when it’s shared.

If we choose to be a foundation rock, we have a responsibility to the other rocks. To share the load with the other foundation stones while showing those who aren’t yet, how to be one.

We have a responsibility to be the best foundation that we can. It’s our fault if the building falls down.

Round Three of the Construction Questions

 

 

These Are About the Physical Process

 

This is the 3rd in the series of answering the questions asked by the Scout group. The first week we discussed the willingness of these young people to ask questions, unlike most adults. Last week we answered some basic construction questions.


As was the case last week, most often answers to questions need answers to other questions. With this being a one-sided conversation, I’ll answer these questions without having any specific answers to additional questions.


Do you hire the electrical/plumbing or does the owner?


This will vary on each project and will depend on the customer’s needs and goals, but as a general contractor I usually provide subcontractors. As an example of varying between projects, the owner of the project we’re currently working on is a retired electrician, so he’s doing the wiring on this project.


What equipment do you use most often?


I think the piece of equipment that I use the most often is a hammer. Some people would probably consider equipment as something motorized or powered. According to Collins dictionary, “Equipment consists of things which are for a particular purpose,” which would include a hammer. If you insist on only power tools being equipment, the second most used piece of equipment would be a cordless screw gun…there are you happy. 😊

 

Do you prefer to use more manual or electrical equipment?


Here we are again, manual vs. powered. I definitely “prefer” using electrical equipment or most any power tool over manual. Power tools make most tasks they’re used for easier. However, depending on the task being performed in some cases the manual tool is better suited and more productive. For example, you shouldn’t use a pneumatic nail gun as a hammer to drive a board into place.


How do you dig a foundation?


The size of the project will usually dictate how the foundation will be dug. If the project requires moving a large amount of dirt, for example a basement, then typically a large excavator (link) will be used. If it’s something smaller, we would most often use a mini excavator. (link) If the project is small enough or inaccessible to equipment then it could be dug by hand with a shovel.

 

 


These next three questions relate to the dangers of construction.

 


Where are the dangerous places on a construction site?

 

Everywhere on a construction site is dangerous. Sure, some are more dangerous than others, but heights are among the most dangerous. Falling is the number one cause of construction site injuries. Some other dangers on a construction site are; power saws, pneumatic tools, electricity, heavy equipment and cave ins of ditches.


How often do injuries happen?


This answer depends on how we want to define “injury”. Some people would consider a splinter an injury. For this answer I’m going to define injury as something requiring medical attention, i.e. stiches, broken bones, requiring a doctor’s attention, etc. During my forty plus years in construction I have personally witnessed or actually been injured 8 – 10 times. If I take that number of times over the forty years, that’s .000137%. As dangerous as construction sites are and as much construction that’s done, surprisingly it’s not as often as one might expect. The key is working smart and safe.


Have you ever broken a hard hat?


This is one of the most interesting questions asked and easiest to answer. I can answer it with a resounding NO. This is not to say they can’t be broken, but it takes a lot to break one.

 


There are still several questions left to answer so next week we’ll look at types and specialty forms of construction.


If these questions raise additional questions for you, send them to us in the comments below and well answer them.

 

How Can I Know Who I Am and What I’m Here For?

 

 

 

 

 

By Digging Down To the Foundation

 

 

 

Who am I and why am I here, are questions that we’ve all asked. Finding the answer is the tricky part, not to mention we may not like the answer once we find it.


We will never know who we are until we determine WHO’s we are.

 

 

There are a lot of lost people wandering around seeking purpose in money, a job, a relationship or some other worldly treasure. Not that any of these worldly treasures are wrong, in and of the themselves. The problem is when we build our lives on them. Making these things the most important is like building a house on a sand foundation.

 

 


Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:24-27, what happens if we build on sand. He tells us to build on the Rock. If we use Him as our foundation everything we build is solid and steady.

 


To use Jesus as our foundation requires us to get to know him. The more time we spend with Him the better we will know Him. Just like parents, grandparents, spouses or children, after spending large amounts of time together you recognize them by their smell, shape, voices, actions, etc. The same is true for spending time with Jesus.


The Master Architect has designed our lives, it’s up to us to read the blueprints.


This past week was youth Sunday at church and Hannah (the youth leader) gave a super message. Here’s a link to a short video titled “Who I Am”, by David Bowden that she used as part of the service.


Who are YOU and what are YOU here for?

What Are the Rules That You Live By?

 

 

 

They Will Be the Building Blocks in Your Life’s Foundation

 

 

 

We all make choices everyday about how we will live our lives and how we will treat those around us.


Often, we adults make things more complicated than they need to be and it’s really pretty simple. All we really need to know we learned in kindergarten, just ask Robert Fulghum.

 


Here’s a partial list:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

 


These are just good common-sense things that will be great foundation blocks for building a better world.

 


We can make a big difference by doing small things, even though at the time it might not seem like it. The story of the young boy and the starfish is a good parable that makes this point.

 


“One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked, he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.
The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”

 

 

Use good blocks for building your life.

 

What Does It Take to Be A Builder?

There’s So Much More to This Building Thing Than Just Construction

I regularly go back through my life plans, especially at this time of the year, reviewing and revising them as needed to build the best life. Just like a construction project needs reviewed and revised in different phases of the project. Whether a building or a life, this process shouldn’t stop once the initial construction is complete. It is an on-going process until the end.

It is amazing to me the correlations between building a business, a life or doing construction. Building terminology is used everywhere. As a part of my life plan review, I was going back through some Michael Hyatt’s Platform University training. One of the things that caught my attention were the words that were used. In the first two sentences of the instructions I found this; “…building your website…”, “…lay an important foundation….” and “…platform-building…”.

The use of this construction terminology is a great analogy with life building as is evident in the more than eighty times it’s used in Scripture. You can find some examples here. In Luke 6:48 (NCV) it says, “…everyone who comes to me and hears my words and obeys. That person is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the floods came, the water tried to wash the house away, but it could not shake it, because the house was built well.” This sounds like a pretty good plan for building a life to me.

If you have read more than a few “Weekly Solutions” posts, you will have noticed the connections with building in many of them. Here are just a few – Building the Life of Your Dreams, Building the Best Life, Means It’s Always Under Construction, The Importance of Intentionality for Building Your Dream Life and Building Your Business Is Critical to The Survival of the Business. This really is the underlying theme for Solution Building. The central purpose is to “help people find solutions for building their dream business and life through improved communication, better business systems, quality construction projects and life lessons.

Most importantly any kind of building, whether it’s a construction project, a life or a business, needs to start with a solid foundation. My foundation is my CORE VALUES built on the SOLID ROCK of Jesus. 1 Cor. 3:11

As we move forward into this new year, we will be sharing more specific examples and systems to help you build your dream business and life. If there are areas in your business or life where you need a solution, let me know in the comment section below.

How to Simplify A Complicated Business System

Focusing on One Shovel Full of the Mountain at A Time

With my years of construction experience, I tend to view things from a building perspective. The things needed to build a good structure are the same for building a good business.

 

These things are:

Purpose – The why, the reason for building it, who is it going to serve?

Design – How is it going to look, how is it going to serve (products, services or both)?

Style – Personal preference of the finished project, not everyone wants everything to be the same, we are all individuals.

Foundation – This is what supports everything else, the core values of the construction.

Framing – This is what sets on the foundation and connects everything, it is the system of operating.

Tools – These are used to put everything together and maintain it daily.

Team – The people employed to put the pieces together and to perform the daily operations.

 

There is a lot that goes into building something. I have written about how building and operating a business can be like standing in the shadow of an overwhelming mountain and the importance of having a clear plan and being organized. It is easy to be pulled in many different directions when trying to build and operate all the different pieces of a business.

 

By nature, I tend to make things complicated (sometimes more than they need to be). This is in part due to my focus on detail and isn’t all bad. The down side to being like this is that things don’t get done very fast. I know that I need help to build my business and move my mountain.

 

I have been working to get better at sharing shovels. I have determined that one of the things I’ve done in the past is to overwhelm new team members. So, to avoid this I am working on ways to simplify the system and to focus on one shovel of the mountain at a time.

 

Our business has three areas of focus; Sales/Marketing, Production/Operations and Administration/Finance. There is a lot in each of these areas and they all are critical to the support of the business. Keeping them operating equally is one of the most important and difficult tasks.

 

The focused shovel today is preparing a Proposal. This is the area that I’m currently working on in preparation for my Administrative Assistant. It involves things that both I need to do and things I can delegate.

 

Preparing a Proposal involves:

Meeting with the customer – Finding out what the project consists of and helping them figure out what their dream is. Take pictures, get measurements and make the necessary notes needed.

Writing down the scope of work to be done – Fill out the areas and categories of the Bid Sheet with the explanation of the work to be done.

Preparing the price for doing the work – Use the information gathered to determine lineal feet, square feet, cubic feet, etc. of the different areas described in the Bid Sheet and enter it into the Worksheet.

Compiling this information on to the Proposal – Take the information of the two previous bullet points and put it on the Proposal to be presented to the customer.

I know that I have almost forty years of developing this system and I need to get it out of my head, simplify it and put it on paper if I ever hope to move this mountain.

Move the Mountain One Shovel Full at A Time

The Size of Your Shovel Is Not Important

I had a conversation with Brett at Engineered Door Products earlier this week about how busy he was. He told me how he was working late into the evening and coming in early of a morning in an effort to keep up. I could feel his frustration. I have had this same conversation with too many people, too many times and deal with this myself almost every day. It reminded me of an earlier blog about spinning too many plates at once.

There are so many great things to do. How will we ever get them done? Why do we continually find ourselves in this place? Who’s fault is it that we’re so busy? 

WE ONLY HAVE OURSELVES TO BLAME!

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m always so far behind and what I can do to get caught up? Looking at this huge mountain in front of me is overwhelming. How will I ever get it moved?

Looking at a blueprint for a new building can be one of those mountains. There is tons of information on all of those pages. Where do I even start? With the first next thing, that’s where. Determine the first next thing that needs to be done and do it. If I don’t stop looking and start shoveling the foundation will never get poured.

 

It doesn’t matter whether you have a teaspoon or a steam shovel. What matters is that you start shoveling and don’t quit. Failure only exists for the person who quits.

 

 

Another way to move the mountain is with help. Two shovels can move more mountain than one. Sharing the moving of the mountain can be hard for us micro-managers but is critical to accomplishing the task. If the mountain that needs moved is much bigger than a mole hill or unless you have a really really big shovel, some help moving the mountain will relieve some of the weight of that mountain.

Moving the mountain one shovel full at a time is one of my twelve core values. My core values are the root of who I’m meant to be. The list falls into two different categories. Some I’m naturally good at. These I want to constantly reinforce. The others…don’t come so naturally.

This post is to remind myself to keep shoveling my mountains and to let you know that you aren’t the only one standing in the shadow of a mountain that needs shoveled.

KEEP SHOVELING

Here are some links to previous core value posts. We’re getting closer now, only four left.