Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Seemed A Smart Idea At The Time.

Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men and made his fortune from being financially shrewd. Yet I read that a Furniture Store Chain, one of Four owned by him, has come a real cropper through an idea that must have seemed pretty safe and even clever at the time.

It seems that at the beginning of the recent Baseball Season, Jordan’s Furniture Chain came up with the idea of running a promotion offering customers all their money back; if the Boston Red Soxs won the Baseball World Series.

Well,now at season’s end, the Red Sox did their bit for the customers and won and now Jordan’s have to reimburse customers for more than 30,000 sofas, tables, and beds. Just as well for insurance hey? For although no one is saying how much, insurance cover is said to only cover $21.7 million, as some people apparently spent over &100,000 each re-outfitting their whole homes.

Taco Bills, apparently also offered a free deal but they were a little more cautious in their offer. They only had to provide a free Taco to anyone who turned up between 2pm & 5 Pm on October 30. Much less attractive maybe, but more realistic and affordable don’t you think?

Just shows that all of us make mistakes or over estimate the odds at some stage. Even the smartest do, so don’t sweat it when you do too! If it is a one off event!

If you keep making mistakes, then I think you do have a real problem and need to look into it straight away, don’t you? However, if it is only an occasional one and a new one every time, that is not so bad, and in fact shows that you are prepared to take some risks, doesn’t it?

It has been said that the only one who makes no mistakes is the person that does nothing. If they do nothing then there is no way they can make mistakes, is their thinking. However sometimes not doing anything is the biggest mistake one can make.

So as you look to and plan for the future, don’t be afraid of the odd mistake, but at the same time don’t take unrealistic risks (like Jordan Furniture) unless you have the financial wherewithal to back it, no matter, how unlikely it may seem of happening at the time.

So get out there and live your life; take a few risks, but make them measured ones, and don’t keep repeating the same mistakes, and have an interesting life!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You’re Leaving This For That?

Well here I am 3 months into my new job and day dreaming about some of the ‘Memories” of the old job. My last week or so at the Kiosk at the Railway Station was an interesting and emotional time for me. A very humbling one too, as I never realized how appreciative people would be for what really is little more than a smile and a cheery greeting. Because of the circumstances, there are no deep and meaningful conversations there, so I usually did a little stirring and people seem to love it. (In fact I even had one lady who I would swear that I had never seen before, jokingly rebuke me for not abusing her like I had the previous customer, whom I knew very well!)

You see I had a very good and easy rapport with the majority of my former customers. Although I’ve never had a religious discussion with any of them, I had never hidden my Christianity, and especially so when asked what I did on the weekend, so everyone knew I was “Religious” but that never stopped them from chatting with me about what I did ‘last weekend”.

One young chap during my last week there, that usually stirred me un-mercifully about my support of the Tigers, came up and overheard me say to someone else that I was leaving and I gave him a card as he left hurriedly to catch the train. The next morning I put out a few cards on the bench for anyone to take. Well this young bloke came back saw the cards on the bench and started to get stuck into me in his normal manner about advertising myself on company time. So I told him the reason for the cards (As in the June Blog, What Do I Do with This?) and his reply stunned me as he said, “You’re leaving this to do that?” He went on to say that he knew all about my Church activities but that he had no idea I was quitting this part-time job to take up that job full-time. He was equally stunned too!

As one couple have always given me a Christmas present and since they found out about my Christianity, one at Easter too, so I was expecting a present from them, and maybe one or two others. Well one of the others, was this young man above (which was most definitely not expected). Again I was floored by his appreciation of me, when again all I have ever done for him has been the above friendly smile and ‘Cheery abuse” each morning.

Again I am amazed at how little one has to do to be appreciated. It is both humbling and frightening that so little can be so appreciated and it makes me wonder how unfriendly the rest of the their world is.

So all that is left to ask is, what is it that you are currently doing, as small as it may be, to encourage others? And how can you improve on that without trying to dominate others.

Remember, a cheery smile and warm hello can make a world of difference to some people! So why not give it ago your self and let me know how it went after a few months. Walter

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who’s Attitude Problem?

Recently saw a young lady with a slogan on her Tee shirt that took my fancy. I don’t agree with the sentiment but loved the audacity of it

It said, "Some people think I have an attitude problem. Those people are stupid.”

Does that sum up your attitude too? Do you see any and every problem you have as being the cause and fault of others? Do you automatically reject everything that you don’t agree with, rather than analyse it first to see if there is any truth in their statements.

Whilst there is also the danger that we can go to far the other way and see ourselves as the cause of all problems when we are not, I feel it is wrong to reject all criticism with out thinking about it first.

I don’t accept all criticism at face value but I do assess it all, and then make a decision. A decision whether to take some, or all on board, or to reject all of it. Analysing criticism helps to keep you on the straight and narrow, whilst also helping you to see where other people are coming from.

I am not saying that you should go out seeking criticism, but nor should you reject it out of hand either. Analyse it first before making any decision what to do with it. What say you?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who pushed Your Buttons in the past?

Recently John Ilham passed away unexpectedly at only 42 years of age, from a heart attack while out jogging/walking his dog. John was an Australian success story come true. A Turkish immigrant that came here with His family when he was 5 and grew up in one of the roughest neighbourhoods in Melbourne. After starting work in a factory with his parents, he moved on to sales and at the age of 26 went into business for himself, selling mobile phones in a small shop. A notion that prompted one of his mates to call him, ‘Crazy”. A term he accepted proudly and used it with his name to make it his trademark. Now 16 years later “Crazy John’s” has 120 shops and is the biggest seller of Mobile phones in Australia. Recently John’s personal wealth was valued at 310 Million making him Australia’s 126th richest Person. Not bad for a poor immigrant child from the wrong side of the tracks, hey. So who pushed his buttons and inspired him to strive for better things?

On the days after his passing, two of our major TV networks showed in-depth interviews with him and his family done recently. And in both he remarked back to his last day at school where one of his teacher’s said goodbye to all the students and wished them luck or gave them words of encouragement, whatever. However when he came to John he was very negative and said he would never amount to much. And those words were the spur that drove John on to prove his teacher wrong.

Sure, the first few years produced nothing to do that, but John had dreams and ideas and followed them and eventually he succeeded even beyond his own expectations, even if death has now cut short further expectations. But this one person, evidently pushed his button’s enough to inspire him to do better than what would be expected from one from a ‘Broadie Boy”. (One from the suburb of Broadmeadows.)

What about you? Who has, or who can push your buttons?

What were your Dreams and expectations? What can you now do, even at this late stage, to bring them about? I don’t expect that you will ever achieve the wealth of Crazy John but who knows how far you will go, until and unless you try, hey? So will you? Over to you: Walter

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Finally Cured At long Last!

Once upon a time, way back when. I really can’t remember the date but it has to be at least 15 or maybe even 16 years ago, I was mugged at knifepoint.

It was in a far away country and was in itself an almost comical event with the knife wielder and friends more scared at the time than me. As there were 4 of them and just me and my 8 or 9-year-old daughter, there really wasn’t much I could do at the time and it was all over before we could even get scared at the time.

As I said, the actual event was almost comical and not scary at the time, and I can say the actual event caused no physiological problems, but the aftermath did.

Even though this event happened out in the wide open spaces, I developed an extreme concern every time I went into confined areas like at the Post Office Private Mail Boxes or even public toilets.

However as bad as that was, it way nothing on the panic that occurred when ever I heard running footsteps behind me when out and about.

You see that was the last sounds I heard and the first inkling that I had that we were in trouble, a split second before I was confronted by my shaky knife wielder and grabbed from behind by another.

As I said that was another place and time but the anxiety of running footsteps has always been with me. Well until just recently that is.

A couple of day’s agio I decided to walk from the new place down to the Shops in Croydon in the late morning. As I did so I needed to cross the Railway tracks and did so at the Pedestrian Crossing at the Station itself. Now even though it wasn’t a bad time to be there Croydon Railway Station doesn’t really have a good reputation at the best of times, yet despite this I was happy enough crossing there. Although I must admit I did quickly pass a couple of guys who looked like it wouldn’t take much to set them off. Shortly after this, just as I was about to turn a corner and cross the track itself I heard really loud running footsteps and I just automatically checked it out of the corner of my eye and seeing someone running really fast, just jumped back against the fence. Not out of fear like in the past, just to get out of the way of being bowled over.

Well my reaction must have made the person running think I was scared (which amazingly I wasn’t) and so she said, “its all right mate, I just want to get to the Loo.” We both laughed.

It was only then that I realised that for the first time that I can remember in 15 years the sound of running footsteps evoked the right reaction and not one of fear.

How about you? Has something happened in your past, maybe even more traumatic than my “Incident” that has provoked an extreme result that you have since had to live with and live down? I have no answers here other than to say don’t sweat it and give it time. The more you worry about it, the longer it will bother you. As hard as it may be to do it, sometimes you just have to let it go and go with the flow. What say you? Walter

Friday, October 26, 2007

Back On The Computer.

The other night my last-born came around and used my computer and switched it off for the night. The next Morning I could not open the system at all, as it kept claiming it was shut down improperly and I had to do certain things to correct this. However when I did those certain things nothing happened, so I rang my computer expert and He said, “Yeah Dad what have you done this time?’

So I explained my problem and he said he would call by that night to see what he could do, and he did. I had to go out to a meeting and when I came home briefly before going to another, I saw him sitting at the Computer. With his phone in one hand to his ear and his other hand tapping at the Keyboard. He had tried to fix it himself but it was beyond him and so he was on the phone to his Mate who works with Computers getting further expert advice. I am still not sure what the real problem was as when I got home the second time it was fixed and he was gone.

Isn’t my computer saga a little like life itself? It seems that things are going well for a while and we don’t need anybody’s help or assistance and then for whatever reason, maybe our own or someone else’s, things go wrong. Some we can fix by ourselves, but with others, we need to call in help, whether it is from family or friends. Usually we go with those we know and try to keep the expenses down. But at other times we need to call in more ‘Expert” help than was first available. Sometimes, like that night you can still get this expert help for free, but at others you need to pay for it.

So forgetting computers for the moment and looking at life itself, is there something in your life now that you need to get help with? Perhaps you have tried to fix it yourself and failed, and maybe it is now time to go to others for help. Maybe it is even time to call in the experienced experts, the “Big Guns” for help? Sure it may be expensive, but you are worth it aren’t you? What say you? Walter.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reply To A Question.

Recently I received the following comment on my Blog site. “I note from your profile you ask...Do you really know where you stand before Jesus Christ? What do you mean by that?”

I don’t normally post “religious items” on my blog site, but as I was asked the question once, I thought others might also be interested in my response and so I will this, one time, share a ‘religious” item with you. So here is my response to the question.

As to the question on my blog site, “Do you really know where you stand before Jesus Christ?”
I guess that that comes out of my time as both a Missionary and a Pastor. I have found that in talking to people, many claim to “Know” Jesus Christ, but when you talk to them, you find that they have a different picture of Christ than what the Bible has.

There are some weird and wonderful ideas out in the world about who or what Jesus is/was and what their relationship to Him should/could be.

Whereas the Bible says that not only is Jesus the Son of God who came as a Perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty of Mankind’s sins and to restore redeemed mankind into relationship with God, (John’s Gospel Chapter3 Verse 16.) but that He is the only way. (John’s Gospel Chapter 14 Verse 6.) And that we are to live a new life empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Book of Romans Chapter 7 Verse 4.) And if we don’t live this life then we are not standing saved before Christ as Romans Chapter 8 verses 5 to 9 say.

I hope that I haven’t come across too preachy here, but what I meant in my question was, not so much are you saved and born again, which is the ideal, but do you just know if you stand redeemed before God through Jesus Christ, or whether you know that you are not one of God’s Children. (Romans 8 verses 12-17.)

Again I don’t wish to come across too preachy here, but as a Bible believing Christian, I feel it is important that people know where they stand before God, and not remain ignorant, even if they still wish to reject God and Eternal Salvation.

If you have any further questions, I will be happy to try and answer them, and hopefully not come across too heavy. Take care there. Walter

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What if everyone was like ….

Just a short blog today. Short but one that I hope will cause you to think about yourself seriously. Recently our small group was asked to ask ourselves this following question:

“What kind of group would my group be, if everyone was like Me?”

An interesting question and one I am not sure I really want to think about myself but know that I should. I know what sort of Person I think I am, but is that really how others see me? And would I really be proud of the “Me” that others see? And would I even like them, let alone want to be with a whole group of them?

Enough of me, what about you? That is your “homework” for today. Answering the following question. “What kind of group would my group be, if everyone was like Me?” Over to you for your response: Walter

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Question Interview

I was looking at a web Link from a Friend’s blog a little while back and came across a blog about an Interview session to learn more about people you know but don’t really know.

I thought it a good idea but I wasn’t overly excited about the questions used and as it encouraged others to try it using their own questions, I wondered what questions would I ask of people I scarcely knew but wanted to know more about.

In my line of work the second question this other person used was relevant and so I use it as originally asked, as I do with her first question. The rest are of my own inquisitiveness.

  1. What's your earliest childhood memory?

2. Were you raised a religious person? If so, what religion? Are you still religious?

3.What do you like others to do for you? What do you like doing for others?

  1. What don’t you like others doing to you, and do you do the same thing to others?
  2. Think of one thing you would do differently. What would it be? & Will you do it now?

Well that’s me! What would be your priorities in getting to know someone new?

As a postscript I would also ask you to give some consideration to my last question, even if you don’t answer any of the others or reply back: Good thinking to you! Walter

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bird feeders: Good or Bad or indifferent?

I have an American friend who recently bought and set up a Bird feeder on her Patio, to feed the hungry birds nearby. It was a wonderful thing to do wouldn’t you think? Yet it wasn’t too long before she removed it completely. Why?

Here is the reason in her own words: “I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the
continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table ... everywhere. Then some of the
birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it
got low on food. After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be ... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.”

Isn’t that a great illustration of how bad habits often come into our lives? We see something pretty and attractive ‘out there’ and so we set out to encourage “it/them’ into our lives, only to find that along with the ‘Pretty” comes “the pretty nasty” too, and pretty soon the nasty and noisy take over and start to dominate our lives, building their “little nests” and leaving their excrement, anywhere and every where they please, with absolutely no regard to us.

The only way to deal with this problem is like how my friend dealt with the birds. Stop feeding them and removing their “nests’ or hold on you. Stop encouraging them, and soon they will drop away and find easier pickings elsewhere.

Sure one or two will probably hang around but you have to be careful even then not to feed them either or else you will start the whole cycle all over again. Once is more than enough as my friend with the birds has discovered. So what is your “Hungry, angry Bird”, and what do you need to do to remove its attractions. Along with not continuing to feed them, what nests do you need to remove it, and how much “poop” can/will you remove?

There comes a time when you must take personally responsibility for what you have done. Like my friend who first put out the seed, it was also she who had to stop doing it and clean up the resultant mess. What about you too? It is not enough to want to change things in your life; you also need to take positive action too. Again like my friend it will often be one step at a time and in correct order too.

It would have been pointless for her to clean up the “poop” and even remove the nests, as long as she kept feeding and encouraging them to stay, wouldn’t it? So what are you going to do about the “Noisy, Messy Birds” in your life? It really is all up to you! Walter


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Strength In Fact and Not Just In Words.

Some time back I was in a bargain store in our local Shopping centre and saw some flat stones with words engraved on them that could be used for Paperweights or some such. They were in my opinion quite cheap and so I ended up buying half a dozen, although I only intended to buy one or two initially!

They had various Words on them but being a Bible practising Christian, I only bought those who leaned towards the Fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5: 22.

However upon buying them I had a small problem, what was I going to do with all of them? Sure I could use one or two as a paperweight, which is what attracted me to them in the first place, but I didn’t have the room or need for 6 of them, did I?

Shortly after this I had to move my Cactus garden at the side of the house so that the Re-stumpers could get to the underneath of the house on that side. As I had already decided to put the Cactus garden somewhere else in theory but not yet in practise, this gave me the impetus to do so. So when I had moved the cactus patch and re-settled all the small white pebbles back around them I got the idea to put these flat stones with their one word messages on them, scattered about the new area, as a talking point. When I did so, I got one or two comments from visitors

One of those to comment on them was from one of my brother-in-laws that upon seeing them remarked along the lines of, “Oh you have them too!” It turns out that his wife; (my sister) had bought some too. Among the ones she purchased was one that said ‘Strength”. The only trouble was that my sister somehow managed to drop it from a very low height and it broke! So much for its advertised strength hey?

But isn’t that a bit like us sometimes? We dress ourselves up and tout ourselves as having some special ability but when the crunch comes and we are put to the test, we fail at the first drop so to speak?

Many years ago I heard a Charlie Pride song, of which the title escapes me but one of the lines has stuck in my memory and I have tried to model my life on it ever since.

I can’t even remember if I have the words 100% in order but it contains the lines; I’m not the worst or the best! I’m just me! I try to be exactly what you see. Nothing more or less, not the worst or the best, just me!”

Again what about you? Are you always trying to be what you are not, instead of what you really are? Instead of trying to be something or someone else; instead of trying to be the best this or that, why don’t you just try to be the “Best YOU” there is? Don’t worry about what you are not! Just be the best "you" there is and leave it at that! Walter

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finally, Fully Moved Now.

Well here I am back again after a longer break than originally intended. We have officially been in this house for a month now, but as a couple of things, (mainly the fish Tanks and especially the Computer,) were still at the Children’s house, we have been flitting back and forth ever since, so that I could do my Computer generated work, (Correspondences, sermons preparation, Bulletins, etc.)

That and all the myriad of things to do in settling into a new home have also taken their toll on time and energy. Thus we tended to spend our time on the important and the urgent things, and the Blog site was not considered one of them. I had originally written the ‘Making Sausages’ Blog over 5 months ago but had not found a real need to send it until recently when I found doing everything and the blog was difficult, so I momentarily dropped the blog. First for just one day, which then became 3 days, then 4 and finally it is nearly 3 weeks now. Doesn’t time fly when you let it, hey?

Well that’s me! What about you? What is it in your life right now that is dominating all your time and energy? Is it something really worth all that you are missing out on, and hope will it soon come to a natural end or do you actually need to take control and end it now?

In other words I am asking you, what are the current priorities in your life right now? And are they the right ones? If so enjoy them.

If not, what can you do about it? See it to its brief and imminent end like I did with the move, or take more drastic steps to finish it? What say you? Walter

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are You Making Sausages?

Recently I have been very busy with a whole host of things that had to be done basically there and then. So much so that I really didn’t have time to put out a daily blog. I don’t have to, but I had earlier decided to restrict my output to that, at a time when I had plenty up my sleeve. Lately I have used them up and although I have ideas for over half a dozen floating around in my head, I haven’t had time to isolate them and put them down in print.

So if you don’t find something from me everyday, it is not because I have run out of things to say, just the time to separate my thoughts from real life, and put them on file. Which is what happened lately, and may happen again. Maybe more than once too!

The other day when I realized that I didn’t have one for that day and really didn’t have the time to do one to my satisfaction. I did think of jotting something down, just to make my self-imposed quota, but resisted the urge just to churn them out like sausages,

I basically started writing these articles for fun, family and relaxation, and the blog site was an after thought. I enjoy writing these items but I don’t wish them to consume my life.

So what about you? Has your work or hobby become an obligation rather than a release? Something that was once fun but now a burden?

Are you staring to lessen the quality of your work, just to keep up the quantity? To the point that it seems that you are just churning out sausages.

Don’t get me wrong, I love sausages, just not all the time that is. There is a time and a place for sausages. The question is, “Do you know that time and place, or have you already become a sausage maker? And maybe not even a good one at that, and now you need to learn how to relax again. And even to prioritize what is really important over what is urgent! I did! What about you now? Over to you: Walter