Monday, September 26, 2011
About a year ago I posted that I felt that changes were coming to my life. Little did I know that the changes would be so very dramatic and would test me and my beliefs--to my core.
As I have shared previously, I have had a real roller coaster ride. I worked at a job that decided not to honor the contract to which we had both agreed; slashing pay, benefits, and requiring me to work extra hours for which I received no pay. There was no negotiation to this agreement. In fact, I was brought before the rest of the staff for a period of public humiliation when I expressed displeasure at the changes.
Those last few months I was made to feel as if I were on Survivor Island and that deception surrounded me. There were alliances surrounding me and I realized that as people struggled for leadership, no one could be trusted. This was unexpected in what was supposed to be a Christian environment. I hope the children were unaware of what was going on with the adults.
In the end I moved on. However, I found that I didn't qualify for unemployment benefits and my car died!
--But changes kept coming! That was fortunate.
I have a friend who knows a mechanic who is giving new life to my car. I now have a new job that I really enjoy. Life is good again and I am reminded of this scripture:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result . . . Genesis 50:20 English Standard Version
Now, if I could get this writing thing going, I would have a perfect life.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
What can I say about this day that hasn't all ready been said? 9-11-01 is a day that is marked in U.S.A. history that may only be equaled to 12-7-41, Pearl Harbor Day. I remember watching the news day after day, praying that people would be found alive in the rubble of the Twin Towers. I was appalled to see the damaged Pentagon. I wept over the courageous passenger of flight 93. I wept and wept and wept.
Eventually, all the tears were gone. It was time to live again.
Ten years have come and gone. I have watched documentaries reliving the event and again I find myself weeping.
Tomorrow is 9-11. I will pay my respects. I will have a moment of silence. Then I will live again.
There are people out there full of hate. They never want us to get over 9-11. To love our country and to have joy in our lives would be our best revenge.
Monday, September 5, 2011
I have been thinking a lot about what makes a business a "Christian Business." Why? I have worked as a teacher in both public and private, Christian schools.
Here is what I liked about working in Christian schools (listed in no particular order) :
1. Children and staff were held to a certain moral standard and this standard kept behavior problems to a minimum. This maximized the learning environment.
2. Christian issues could be openly discussed. Discussions were often encouraged.
3. Honestly, rather than political correctness was encouraged.
4. As a teacher, I had a greater freedom with my curriculum.
Here is what I disliked about teaching in a private school (in no particular order):
1. Not everyone (student or staff) has to follow the same rules. What applies to one person, may not apply to another.
2. Many Christian school refuse to follow the same worker related laws that govern public businesses, such as salary, compensation, and worker safety laws.
3. Religious rhetoric may be used against and employee who feels unfairly treated during his/her tenure.
4. Most required chapel programs are more geared toward adults than the children or teens that are in attendance.
5. Many teachers in Christian schools have little more than a high school diploma and few have even completed college teaching courses.
Naturally, I have not seen these dislikes at every Christian school at which I have taught. Many of my teaching experiences have been quite pleasant. However my last teaching job was at a school that was desperate to keep its doors opened. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Those in charge felt they must do almost anything to keep the ministry alive. That included breaking contracts with teachers, withholding promised benefits, and extending workdays. It meant being less than truthful to parents. These were things that, as a Christian, I found to be dishonest
If God wants a ministry to survive, He will bless it. If He is finished with the ministry and ready to move to a new ministry, He will let the first ministry die. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Ecc. 3:1.
A Christian ministry should be more than rhetoric. It is about treating both customers and staff in a Godly way.
Perhaps there is no such thing as a Christian business. Maybe it is about Christians going about in the world, living Godly lives.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
It has been a strange odyssey for me. I left a secular job as a teacher in order to work at a Christian school. There were multiple reason for wanting to do this, but one was about the desire to want to impact the lives of young people in a spiritual way.
The experience of working with Christian schools has affected me in ways that I didn't expect. It also has caused me to wonder this: What makes a business Christian?
Is it about the rhetoric that makes a business Christian? Is the business Christian because employees know Christian phrases and Christian symbols. I can't count the times that someone (usually an auto salesman) has handed me a business card with a fish symbol on it.
Is it a Christian business because the owner is a Christian? By that definition the convenience store on one end of the street might be Christian and the one on the other end might be Muslim, and so on.
Is a business Christian because it makes products generally used by Christians; Bibles, crosses, photos, stained glass? If so, where do we draw the line. Is the business that makes church pews a Christian business.
Is a business Christian because it caters to a certain group of people? I love Chick-fil-a and it does cater to Christians with its contemporary gospel music piped in the stores and its policy about being closed on Sunday. Does that, however, make it a Christian business?
I don't know. I would, however, like to hear what others have to say about what makes a business Christian. I think people need to know--especially if they are considering becoming involved in a Christian organization.