Thursday, June 29, 2006

You Too Can Be an Entrepreneur

State 4-H Public Speaking Competition

Olivia gave a very good speech Tuesday entitled,

You Can Be an Entrepreneur.

It was a great topic and she did well, though she did not place. This was her first time going to this level.
This event was a good reminder for us the importance of being able to communicate with confidence.

You Can Be a Entrepreneur
By, Olivia Brodock
Would any of you like to be able to buy what you want when you want it? Do any of you like being in charge? If so, listen to this!
85 Years ago a little boy was born. 8 years later that boy went door to door selling ice cold coca colas, later magazines, after that by the age of 12 had his own established paper route. Immediately after high school, he was drafted into the military where he served honorably until he was discharged. After being discharged, he and his older brother Ben had the opportunity to purchase a small restaurant. It only had four tables and was appropriately titled “The Little Dwarf” Unfortunately; two years after their grand opening his brother Ben died in a plane crash. He continued to grow the business and in his ‘spare time’, he worked on a small creation of his. The “Chicken Sandwich”. Every one had eaten chicken and every one had eaten sandwiches, but for some reason they had never been put together. After 12 years of working on the “creation”, he had perfected it! He went to market; he got it into the mouths of every one he could convince to try it. He even brought one personally to Lady Bird, President Johnson’s wife. Due to its popularity, he trademarked it, Entitled Chick-fil-A! S. Truett Cathy, owner and founder of Chick-fil-A, one of the biggest chicken fast food chains in the U.S. made over a billion dollars in year 2000. That same boy, who went door to door selling coca colas, now owns 2000 restaurants!
Why not you? You could be just as successful as he is.
The most successful entrepreneurs had two things in common strong character and a willingness to work. Some of which character is:
They WOULD NOT put off till tomorrow. They got up early. Mary Kay got up at 5:00 every morning after realizing that by doing so she had a more successful day! Also included in the 5 o’clock bunch are Donald Trump, S. Truett Cathy, and world famous entrepreneur and founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton. Mary Kay also contributes her success to her “$35,000 list.” Before bed, she writes a list of “to-do’s” she had to accomplish the next day.
They use wisdom to make practical applications of truth in daily decisions. They never stop learning. They read extensively. Some even endeavored to read for 2 hours each day! They knew that by reading they opened a completely new world. You can learn anything if you can read.
Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 2% inspiration and 98% determination” Nothing is worth having if it is not worth working for. The most successful businesses were made successful only by hard work and determination.
They also have highly competitive spirits. They not only compete with their industry, but also rule their industry by competition. Their real competition was not other businesses it was against themselves. They were such high achievers that they set a goal and not only topped that goal, but also tripled it many times! Learn to compete against yourself. Set your own goals. Set them high! Then, top those goals! You will only be as great as you really want to be. You are responsible for yourself and yourself alone, no one else will reach your goals for you. The Greek philosopher Cicero said, “The greatest waste is the difference between what we are and what we could be.” (-Cicero)
The most successful entrepreneurs knew that if they wanted there business to last they had to make it family. Some thing they could share with their spouse, children, grandchildren, even great grandchildren. In so doing they have made their business something that will last for generations. To this day, S Truett Cathy’s’ whole family is involved. His wife, his sons, daughter, and grandchildren even his 12 great grandchildren all participate. If you want your business to last, make it something that you can share with your existing family and generations to come.
They were living their lives with purpose they wanted to achieve much. They set high goals with an even higher purpose and reached them! In turn, they changed the culture and the world around them and became history makers.
Through looking at their life stories, we see how God prospers the faithful business owner. They made history! So, what about you? Do you want to be a history maker? Find a need in your community, find a way to fill need, find what your good at, and follow that. I am not saying that you will not fail, you probably will 9 time out of 10 but that one time you might hit it big!
You just might be the next billionaire! You might even be the next Donald Trump. Initiative, Wisdom, Determination, Competitiveness, Family and Purpose, these are the things that make an entrepreneurs successful.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Death of Common Sense

Yesterday, I sat in a 4-H State speech competition with Olivia and one of the students presented an excellent speech that opened with the following story, and I just had to post it!The Death of Common SenseLori Borgmanwww.loriborgman.comThree yards of black fabric enshroud my computer terminal. I am mourning the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.His obituary reads as follows:Common Sense, aka C.S., lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the millennium. No one really knows how old he was, his birth records were long ago entangled in miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape.Known affectionately to close friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he selflessly devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done without a lot of fanfare, whooping and hollering. Rules and regulations and petty, frivolous lawsuits held no power over C.S.A most reliable sage, he was credited with cultivating the ability to know when to come in out of the rain, the discovery that the early bird gets the worm and how to take the bitter with the sweet. C.S. also developed sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adult is in charge, not the kid) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fiber and orange juice).A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, the Technological Revolution and the Smoking Crusades, C.S. survived sundry cultural and educational trends including disco, the men's movement, body piercing, whole language and new math.C.S.'s health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus. In the following decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal and state rules and regulations and an oppressive tax code. C.S. was sapped of strength and the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional baseball and golf.His deterioration accelerated as schools implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing classmates, a teen suspended for taking a swig of Scope mouthwash after lunch, girls suspended for possessing Midol and an honor student expelled for having a table knife in her school lunch were more than his heart could endure.As the end neared, doctors say C.S. drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding regulations on low-flow toilets and mandatory air bags. Finally, upon hearing about a government plan to ban inhalers from 14 million asthmatics due to a trace of a pollutant that may be harmful to the environment, C.S. breathed his last.Services will be at Whispering Pines Cemetery. C.S. was preceded in death by his wife, Discretion; one daughter, Responsibility; and one son, Reason. He is survived by two step-brothers, Half-Wit and Dim-Wit.Memorial Contributions may be sent to the Institute for Rational Thought.Farewell, Common Sense. May you rest in peace.

Friday, June 23, 2006

More About Tea Parties

A couple of months ago, my daughters hosted a tea. It is so much fun planning and doing a Tea.
It is so much fun to watch these ‘girls’ try to act so prim and proper.
When you host a Tea you get to use all those pretty dishes, and make dainty little finger foods,
but most of all, it is the enjoyment of having a little time
with your friends to giggle and chat.

Joannas Twilight Tea

Joanna’s Twilight Tea Party

We have some very dear friends with daughters that are younger than ours. One of the daughters has really taken to Olivia, and Olivia is very fond of her. This sweet little girl celebrated her 4th birthday a couple of weeks ago. At the spur of the moment, we threw together a Twilight Tea Party for her.

It was nothing fancy, we just used a few things we had already fixed, grabbed a tablecloth, candles, picked some fresh flowers, filled our favorite teapots with lemonade, and there you have it. Doing something kind for someone does not have to be, and usually is not, a huge ordeal. Our hope is that this precious little girl will remember her Twilight Tea Party, and know that she is loved!

Confession of Sins

Before attending the church we are now members of , I would have frowned at any 'pre-written' prayer as something not from the Holy Spirit, but God has taught me so much, and I am so thankful for His tender mercy to me. Now each Sunday, as I sit in worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, together we come before the Throne of God and confess our sins, first privately, then corperately, because we are His people, speaking with one voice. The words in our corperate prayer are always so convicting to me, and they are teaching me how to pray in a deeper way during my private prayer times.

This was the Confession of Sin that was in our litergy last week. >>>

Our Father in Heaven, we come before you this morning as a people in need of Your saving grace. We confess that we have given ourselves to sin and temptation far too readily, and have been slack in guarding our hearts and lives from that which displeases You. We have knowingly embraced the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and have wondered if we are truly your children if we love our sin so much. But, O Gracious Father, who delights to show mercy, and whose grace more abounds than our sin, be pleased to draw us back to Yourself. Our only hope is in Your son, our Savior; our favor in Your eyes is found only in Him. Grant to us the peace from the guilt of our sin that only Your grace can give. Restore our lives to the path of Your word, so that we might live as Your special people, zealous for good works, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen..

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Art of Hospitality The art of hospitality... making others feel welcome and sharing Christ through acts of kindness.


Romans 12:9-13 Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; ...Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

In a day where most people are so busy running from one activity to another, we seem to have forgotten the command from God to practice hospitality. It is a rare site to drive past a home and see neighbors visiting each other on their front porch and enjoying a glass of lemonade, or 'sweet tea' if you live in the south.

Our homes are no longer a place of rest and relaxation, nor a place to minister to the needs of others. It seems to have become a place to grab a quick shower, maybe something to eat and a few hours of sleep before we are rushing out the door again to take part in what is commonly called the 'Rat Race'.

Our homes should be a place where those that live there can be recharged and rest in the fact that there is love and peace. A place where there is forgiveness and a willingness to serve each other, remembering how Jesus came to serve us, and be our forgives of our sins.

Our homes should also be a place of advancing God's kingdom. We do this by husbands and wives loving and serving each other. We do this by raising children that will grow up knowing Him and impacting those around them with the gospel, by walking out their faith in everything they say and do, not perfectly, but righteously.

Our homes should also be a place where others can feel welcome to just stop by and visit. Our doors should be open to those needing a place to stay or a meal to be served.

It does not matter the size of your home or your economic status to practice *real* hospitality. There is a major difference between hospitality and entertaining. This page will not be about entertaining, but the art of hospitality...Making others feel welcome and sharing Christ through acts of kindness.

Some Suggestions

We have a small 3 bedroom, one bathroom house. When we have overnight guest (married couples) we are happy to let them have our bedroom. We recently had 2 couples spend two nights with us. One couple stayed in our room, and the other in our daughters' room (twin beds). We had so much fun making little hospitality baskets for them and placing them on the night stand. We filled each basket with packages of crackers, peanuts, packs of gum, hard candy, a couple of bottles of water, a small note pad and pen, hand lotion, foot lotion, an Alabama post card for them to mail to someone, and a men's magazine and a woman's magazine. Because these couples were from the north, we chose to put Southern Living magazines in...ha-ha!!! Emma, age 11, also made them each a little card, that we placed in the basket, that said, Welcome, we're glad you came to see us." We had so much fun getting all of this ready for them, it was kind of like the excitement of Christmas. I know they enjoyed the baskets, but I think we enjoyed making them more!

Matthew 25:35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

Plan Ahead
If you know you have guest coming for a meal, try to make as much of it the day before if you can. Keep it simple. Know your limits with time and money.

Do lots of decluttering and cleaning a few days ahead, so all you'll have to do is hit the high traffic areas before guest come.

Don't aim for perfection, that causes you, the hostess, to be miserable and your guest will know it and not feel welcome. I know most women struggle with being more of a Martha, than a Mary (I know I do!). Remember, you want to practice hospitality, not entertain. Most guest would rather have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich served with a pleasant, calm spirit and a smile, than someone that is exhausted and grumpy. Hospitality is about serving others and showing Christ's love with acts of kindness. Your goal is to make people feel welcome, not put on a show.

Keep conversation pleasant. Depending on your guest, try to avoid topics that will cause strife. There will be times that controversial topics will arise and you may need to make a 'strong statement' about your views, but be sure to do it with kindness and in a spirit of love.

Teach children not to ask personal questions that might make a guest feel uncomfortable. Children can be part of the conversation, but they also need to know that they do not need to comment every time they have the urge. It is better to listen than to speak. Children need to be taught discreet ways to interrupt an adult conversation. For example, a little tug on a sleeve and then wait patiently for Mom or Dad to respond.

Be careful to stick to topics that your guest can relate to. Don't try to impress them with big words that they would have no clue about. You want to nurture a relationship, not come across arrogant and boastful.

If you are having a hard time getting conversation going, ask people about themselves, where they were born, where they went to school, how they met their spouse, their job, etc... Try to relax, remember your goal is to make your guest feel comfortable.

Make It a Family Affair
Make sure the family knows and understands that you practice hospitality because it is a way to serve others. It is about the family working as a whole.
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The children, even small ones, need to know it is their ministry also. They 'need' to know they are important and have a duty. They can help get the house ready. Older children can help with food preparation and clean up. Be sure someone greets the guest at their car, especially if they have small children and ask if they can help carry something. Be sure to stand on the porch and wave as the guest leave. This really does make your guest feel like they are important to you.

Adults need to know where their children are at all times. A child left to himself brings shame to his mother. We want to be good host and good guest.

Unexpected, but Welcomed Guest

If we spend just a little time each day trying to keep our homes in some sort of order (again giving all children a duty to do) it is easier to welcome unexpected guest with less stress. Our homes do NOT need to be spotless to open that front door if someone drops by for a little visit. We are real families, that 'live' in real homes. If we remember that we (speaking to the women) are the keepers of our homes (Titus 2:5), and make that as one of our missions, we will be more likely to open that door with a smile.

If possible, keep a dozen or two of cookies or brownies in the freezer to take out and serve with a cup of coffee or tea. A simple glass of lemonade on a hot day is a refreshing treat!

Other Ways to Practice Hospitality
While remodeling our one and only bathroom we had some friends invite us for supper one day, but we had to take a raincheck because we knew we'd still busy with the bathroom that day. Deferent insisted on bringing lunch to us.
We were all so moved by this friend and her family's act of kindness that I can hardly put it into words. She brought 2 large baskets full of rolls, 3 kinds of chips, mint patties, plates, napkins, and then a platter of lettuce, lunch meat, cheeses, pickles and peppers. All arranged so beautifully! Along with a jug of ice tea and lemonade, flowers and balloons!!! She, her daughter, age 12, and her infant son brought the food with beautiful smiles, right at lunch time! What a blessing!

We were so humbled! So thankful! This act of hospitality caused our hearts to flow over as we remembered God's love for us. We did not experience a death, a birth, a fire, or a serious illness to merit such a kind act. Just as God showers His blessings on us everyday when we are so undeserving. Their act of hospitality showed God's love to us in ways that can not be explained. I hope this will encourage you, as it has us, to be creative and find ways to serve others, to bless others when they least expect it.

Our cup runnith over!