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Category Archives: encouragement

Being Our Own Good Stewards

Being Our Own Good Stewards

I’m not a mortgage broker or a financial advisor–I’m just a neighbor.

I have actually spoken with three people this week who asked me how they could get out of debt.   I’m always too happy to give my opinion.

Sharing

I know a guy.  My “adviser” suggested to me that refinancing my mortgage when I am already paying more than the minimum amount is like hitting myself on the thumb with a hammer and then hitting myself on the other thumb to lessen the hurt on the first thumb. I’d just have two thumbs in a great deal of pain. Here’s what I was told–paraphrased.

If you refinance at a lower rate to obtain a lower payment, that is good if your budget is choked–keeping in mind that you are paying for that with additional fees and expenses that could be as much as thousands of dollars–even if those fees are rolled into the new loan, you’re still paying more money than you were originally paying. The only thing you currently get is a lower payment with good intention of later paying more to pay the loan off early. Some people will do this multiple times throughout the loan thinking they are saving money but not really.  If you are consistently paying additional amounts over your principle every two weeks or monthly, you are in fact saving money over the long term and you will pay the mortgage off earlier than the total time of the loan.

Now, let’s say we have a mortgage for $100,000–our interest rate can be whatever but let’s say around 4%–divide that by 30 then by 12 and our principle payment would be about $278 per month for 30 years (this is my example, I can make it whatever amount I want).  If only it were that simple. In reality, with interest compounded in ways that we don’t really understand, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance and taxes, our actual payment will be between say, $650 and $850 (remember, only $278 of that is principle).

Here’s the part that’s easier said than done but is do-able, pay more than required minimum and our overall interest will decrease.

The extra money paid is not really extra because we are paying it on the principle but we save on the interest charged on whatever principle is the balance each month. Our payment will stay the same unless taxes or insurance increase (which will most likely happen because of increased valuation of our property) but the principle will decrease at a faster rate therefore, allowing for interest amount charged at the same rate to be less each month, quarter, year. Keep in mind, if we only pay $5 or $10 dollars each month, it will go down but won’t save us a great deal of time over 30 years because it will take 2 or more years to make one single extra principle payment resulting in 12 years to accumulate one additional payment–we might pay the loan off one or two years early.

If our principle is $278 a month, then we are paying $3,324 per year in principle. So, if we pay say an extra $100 per month on the principle (example) then we are making an additional 4.33 payments per year–it will take 2.77 to 3 years of that to equal one year off our loan–in addition to the normal payoff amounts of just making regular minimum payments, first 3 years results in 28 years to payoff, 2nd 3 years = 27 years to pay off, etc. So, in the long run, we could pay off the loan in 20 years instead of 30 by paying a little extra each month (or even $50 every two weeks).

How to have an extra $100 a month to pay your mortgage off early: A medium latte at the local coffee shop cost about $3.65 + tax and tip (additional syrups extra) so about $4.00 or more per drink–if they have the type of milk you want or need because you’re lactose intolerant. Sorry…  If you have one a day during the work week that is $20 per week.  And, if you indulge on the weekend–you get it. If you’re not going to make your coffees at home like I do with my mini espresso maker, try getting a small drink instead and save yourself a little money overall; find other areas in your life where you can cut back.

Some Things I do:  If I go to the fast food places near my work I spend about $35 to $40 per week on lunches. However, I actually spend about $20 per week going to the local Neighborhood store and purchasing groceries and preparing at work or home for my lunches–sometimes I take left overs. I save about $80 per month on lunches with an occasional outing to a fast food or nearby restaurant. So, I do not frequent coffee places and I bring my own lunch saving me about $150 a month. That’s $1,800 per year I can put toward the principle on my mortgage which is 6.5 payments and is a year off my loan every 2 years, now paying off the loan in less than 20 years–about 15 years.

Other ways to save money to pay down your loan: Got credit cards? No matter what the interest rate, pay the minimum on the rest of the bills but pay the smallest balance off first, as quickly as possible, by paying more than the minimum—I paid the minimum + the finance amount until I was able to pay additional amounts.  As soon as you fully pay that one, put all of that amount + the minimum payment (more if you can budget it) on the next smallest card or bill–do that until all your bills are paid. It follows the same as the mortgage early payoff plan, you are paying principle off sooner and therefore, paying less interest. If you do that part first, you will have the money to pay on your mortgage.  You may say that you can’t afford to do that, actually, you can’t afford not to but start as soon as you can.

Now, let’s say that we save $2,500 dollars (in payments) a year by paying our cards and bills off early. That is $208 per month we can put on the mortgage instead of partying or splurging on stuff we don’t actually need. That is only, get this, $69 less than our principle payment of $278 per month (in our example).  Use your imagination to find extra monies to make a double principle payment each month and be debt free much sooner.

A few ideas:  Save change—it adds up; go through the garage and sell items that are no longer used; clean out and sell items in storage unit (close storage unit to reduce additional bills); clean out the closets and sell old, useful items that you don’t want to donate; if you’re younger and fit, rent yourself out when you’re not volunteering your time…there are plenty of things that can be done in your neighborhood or town to acquire more money—take on clients to tutor or train in one of your talents, hobbies or knowledge areas (tutor English, math, computer usage, how ’bout teaching people how to build a solar battery bank back up system for personal use) also, handyman (person), also,  pet or house sitting, for example.  Oh, spend less, that’s a big one to help save money.  If you don’t need it, check your desires.

With all our other bills paid off first then the mortgage, we can provide our family a better lifestyle through attending events, or pay for college, a vacation home, a travel trailer, a newer car–all bought and paid for with cash (that we have saved by no longer paying a mortgage or high bills) or with large down payment to avoid extended payoff periods–pay it off in a year or 2 instead of 5 to 7 years.  I was able to do extra remodeling after the tree fell on the house and the insurance company paid a little less than the upgrades we wanted.  Here’s another idea, with our, yes our, saved money we can now do the things we’ve been saying we’d do if we had more money: help others who are less fortunate than ourselves.  You know you’ve said it.

Be good to one another and be thankful in all things. We don’t always know what we’re missing when we didn’t get what we wanted because God knew it was bad for us and it didn’t fit His plan for us.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Jay 🙂

  • I do not endorse bankrate.com. However, I do use their calculators to help keep me on track.
  • http://www.bankrate.com/calculators
  • For expert advise, please see your locally trusted financial institution, financial advisor and mortgage specialists

1 Peter 4:7-11

7The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

 

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So, You Think You Know Me

I often wonder how you come up with the notion that you know me.  Too many times you have said that I am like this or I am like that.  You are only just seeing me but believe that you know what I am all about.  Let me ask you this:  Where were you:

When:  I was a child of 18 months in the early 1960s and survived an infection of spinal meningitis…at a time when the mortality rate was much higher than today.  Thankfully, I don’t remember it but apparently, I had to learn to walk all over.  To this day, I can’t stand cold showers–I was told that I was placed in ice water to battle the fever.  I have discolored and bad teeth attributed to the antibiotics used.  I was truly blessed.

When:  My parents divorced when I was four;

When:  I met my new older sisters; and subsequently, my younger siblings through the years;

When:  I was 9 or 10 — I was introduced to baseball, and I loved it; I was bitten on the finger by a garden snake while picking berries and suffered from acute appendicitis (not related to snake bite);

When:  I was 11 and 12 — I used to lay in my bed with my transistor radio under my pillow, pretending to be asleep but really listening to the evening baseball games; I dreamed of playing ball like Carl Yastrzemski;  I actually played baseball for a while but life took me in a different direction;

When:  I first kissed a girl — on the lips; my first date; getting my driver license and driving my first car;  and my first pickup truck with 3 on the column — it was missing 2nd gear;

When:  I wrestled, boxed a little and competed in gymnastics for a year;

When:  I enlisted in the Navy and left home;  arriving at boot camp; whoa — major life change!

When:  I arrived at the beach, at sundown, in San Diego, CA, on the 4th of July after driving cross-country to my first duty station;

When:  I flew in a helicopter to an aircraft carrier;  thinking all along there wasn’t enough deck for the helo;

When:  I met and fell in love with my first wife;

When:  I was at sea for months at a time — and later was divorced from my first wife;

When:  Iranian Hostage Crisis;

When: I first used a keypunch machine (1977); a computer (1981); my first microwave oven (1986) right after the shuttle Challenger blew up; my first cell phone (1987); I was studying computer programming; and got my first personal computer (1989);

When:  I visited numerous ports-of-call in many foreign countries being exposed to so many different cultures;

When:  I met my second wife;

When:  I was the third person in the world to hold my new born daughter;

When:  at 18 months old, I rushed my daughter to the hospital because she had eaten her grandmother’s blood pressure pill–I drove on the sidewalk to bypass traffic; and, at her bedside, I prayed all night for her recovery — God blessed us;

When:  I visited my mother, who had terminal cancer a few weeks before she died but because of “military operational commitments,” I could not be there when she passed but my brothers were with her;

When:  Desert Shield and Desert Storm;

When:  I got a second divorce; and lost custody of my daughter;

When: I didn’t get promoted, again — I retired from the Navy after 23 1/2 years’ of service;

When:  A heart arterial catheter angiogram;

When:  I was one of the last people to be with my former mother-in-law when she died — we had a rocky start but after her debilitating stroke, I read the Bible to her and we often prayed together in the last few months of her life;  I held her hand for a couple of hours in the hospital room the day she died–shortly after I left the hospital;

When:  I wandered, apparently aimlessly and selfishly, for several years;  searching for “happiness;”

When:  My first wife found me on the internet and after nearly 20 years we got back together;  we’ve been together for 11 years now.  She says she loves me…personally, I think she tolerates me;   😉

When:  My first granddaughter was born; I think I was about the 5th or 6th person to hold her but I was there when she was born;  there are now four grandchildren, two girls and two boys — the youngest is named after my dad and me;

When: My ex-wife unexpectedly died and I flew 3,000 miles to help comfort my daughter and two oldest grandchildren who knew her;

When:  I or my wife were out of work for extended periods of time; since 2006

When:  My mother-in-law had a stroke and came to live with us so we could help care for her; she is 87 now;

When:  five colonoscopies over the past 20 years;

When:  I draw or  paint pictures; or, (still WIP) writing a couple of books;

When:  After nearly 40 years’ as an administrator, I learned to:  publish ebooks, write a blog and build a solar battery bank by watching YouTube videos; It actually works the way it is supposed to– I’m stoked;

When: after many years of God’s prompting, I finally started ministry studies;  its not easy to find time to study, after working all day, as an olderly guy and still be able to spend quality time with my wife — she’s very understanding;

When:  that little boat has been sitting in my driveway for the past 2 years and hasn’t touched a lake yet, since I’ve had her…

These are snippets of my life — soooooooo much more has made the person I am today.  Yet, you think you know me.  You lie to me and tell lies about me; you steal from me; and, call me names when you think I don’t hear you.  I wonder, what is it really?

I know that you don’t really know me, you couldn’t regardless of how you try to portray yourself, especially at your young ages–remember, I was younger once, too.

God has told us to love one another — he didn’t say, “no matter how difficult your fellow man makes it…”

Matthew 22:35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

You probably don’t even realize that I pray for you daily but that’s okay.  I pray that God will open your spirit, your heart and your mind to the salvation of Christ Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for all of us; who is the way to eternal life.

No, you don’t know me and I don’t really know you even though I’ve been where your are and I know — for many of us, there is freedom when we surrender to the will of God, in the name of Jesus — His only begotten Son.

 

Jay 🙂

 

 

 

 

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The Difficulty of Forgiveness

The Difficulty of Forgiveness

How often have we thought ‘what a wonderful feeling it would be to ________ (fill in the blank)…’ the person who has caused us pain?

Who is it that has hurt you?  Was it your dad, mom, sibling, other family member, the neighborhood or school bully, someone outside of your normal surroundings?

How deep is the wound?  Were you devastated?  Is the wound a gash or a paper cut?  Did you think it was healed only to find out it only has a scab that you keep picking at?

Have you really tried to heal but there’s always something stuck in the back of your mind that you can’t shake it?

If you were a child and felt defenseless to the pain that was caused you and now you’re an adult you believe that you can not only defend yourself but you too can inflict some justified hurt in retaliation.  Perhaps that person is in your life everyday and won’t own up to their part in your pain.  Maybe they moved away or maybe they have since died and you can’t strike out against them in the manner in which you feel would give you the most satisfaction.

Don’t you just love it when someone tells you, “forget them…they’re not worth your time or energy;” or maybe, “it’s them, not you, get on with your life…”  Yes, just get on with your life.  But, they never tell you how.  How do you get on with you life when you feel as though you have no life because of your pain?  How do you stand up for yourself in a world where no one seems to really understand?

Family and friends are good to have around but we’ve got to be realistic when it comes to the influence that people have in our lives.  If we are with people who are mentally or physically abusive to us or we feel powerless in an environment where others are being abused, it cannot be good to be there.  Often we seek escape.  Sometimes we escape by leaving and often carry guilt if we left someone behind who was vulnerable to abuse.  But hey, we got out, right?  Sometimes we escape with alcohol, drugs and even to others, or lifestyles that are just as damaging even if alcohol and drugs are not involved.  Sometimes, some of us escape to death.  We often seek love–in all the wrong places.  Sometimes we seek help, most often from other people who may or may not be able to step in, provide sound advice or provide us some other form of assistance; sometimes we seek law enforcement aid, groups, or self-help guides; and then, some of us finally seek God.

Yes, God–often the last resort but the One with the most to offer.  The One who gave His only begotten Son so, if we believe in Him that was innocent, who was crucified to death, overcame death and arose after three days in a glorified body and ascended to be at the right hand of the Heavenly Father until a time that the Father declares and who will return to take the believers, first the dead in Christ and second those who are alive in Christ and will live eternity in Heaven with Him. (see John 3:16)

If we sincerely seek our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus with a true and humble heart, and as the Apostle Paul may have said,  trust Him with all our έντερο (gut), then we shall be forgiven of all of our sins because Jesus, (okay here’s the difficult part to wrap our minds around) Jesus, took every sin, every bad feeling, everything that could ever possibly happen to us that would keep us unholy and not able to even be looked at by God the Father, He took it all upon Himself for each and everyone of us.  What?!!  I know, right?  So there is actually nothing that He doesn’t understand.  Because, as God, He is the only One who can actually hold the weight of it all.  Therefore, when we give up our pain(s) to Him, He truly understands our individual pain(s).  And, by forgiving us of our sins He makes it possible for us to forgive others who have wronged us.

The two main commandments that God has given us that are most important are:  Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.

Forgiveness toward others who have hurt or wronged us in some way does not come easy but often, forgiveness is not always about releasing the other person, especially when sometimes that person is not around to know that we have forgiven them.  Forgiveness is really about freeing ourselves.  When someone tells us to, “just forget about them…” that’s kind of hard to do if we haven’t forgiven them because the memory of the pain is still eating at us.  Forgiveness is hard but so is living with the hurt and anger the eats away at our insides, our lives and the innocents around us.  Be free neighbors, be free.

Psalms 56:11 (NLT)

I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

The wounds are often deep and though some are paper cuts, ‪#‎forgiveness‬ is difficult for us. When we surrender our will to the will of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, forgiveness becomes familiar.

Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

 

Listen, for He calls your name.  “Here I am, Lord,” I respond.

Jay 🙂

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 9, 2016 in forgiveness, salvation, Uncategorized

 

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Are You Man Enough?

Yeah, I’m talking to you.  I’m talking to the construction worker, the plumber, the installer, the accountant, the race car driver, the race car mechanic, any mechanic.  I’m talking to you, sailor, soldier, airman, marine.  I’m talking to you preacher man, politician and administrator.  Yeah, I’m talking to you biker guy, cyclist, and go cart racer.  And you, fishermen, hunters and cowboys.  I’m talking to all you men.   I don’t care what your religion is; I don’t care what your gender preference is; I don’t care what gender you used to be.  I don’t care what your job is or your hobbies.  What I want to know is, are you man enough to undergo a colonoscopy?  You heard me, a colonoscopy.  You know, where they check inside of your colon to see if you have colorectal cancer, or possibly, pre-cancerous polyps.

I’ve heard some pretty lame excuses from men of all walks of life.  One of my favorites was a guy who said, “If God wanted me to have someone looking up my ass, he would’ve put a window in my back.”  That would be interesting on many different levels.

I truly believe that most men avoid the doctor and procedures like colonoscopies because they are actually afraid…afraid that the results will be bad and they may have to deal with other procedures or even their own mortality.  Get some facts here (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics) such as, Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,700 deaths during 2015.  Why do I think more men die from colon/rectum cancer? Probably for the same reason they die of heart attacks and strokes — I’m only guessing here, but it may be because THEY DON’T GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET THE CHECKUPS THEY SHOULD.  There are symptoms that can give you an idea that something might be wrong.  Many years ago when I was in my late thirties, I had blood in my stool—yep, you’ve got to be aware of stuff like that.  The doctor found nine pre-cancerous polyps and they were easily removed.  So, tomorrow, I go in for my fifth colonoscopy in 20 years. The last three were negative for polyps.  Today, I am preparing for the procedure.

What to expect.  Well, it all starts with your annual physical, or in some of your cases, an actual visit to the doctor.  If you’re over 50, I hear they recommend a colonoscopy anyway.  The doctor should ask you some questions that will determine if there is a problem, assuming you haven’t already discovered something.  Then you will be referred to a digestive specialist.  You will have an appointment with the digestive center (specialist) who may do a little checkup depending on if you have any problems.  In my case, they had a nurse come in and explain the procedures and give me a printout stating the preparation procedures–it took about a half hour.  Follow the instructions.  Get the proper stuff for the prep.  Make plans to take a couple days off.  Ensure that you have a person who can take you and drive you home after the procedure.  I have a really cool wife who does things like that for me.  If you don’t have a really cool wife, find someone who can assist you.  Maybe you can make a pact with one of your buddies…he helps you and in return when it’s his turn, you help him.

So, you’ve got to be on mega laxatives all day – don’t plan on leaving the house.  This is your day.  Let’s evaluate the positives in what would otherwise be a real “crappy” day.

For me today:  I’ve been able to spend the whole day with my two loving dogs; I got a load of laundry done; I got to catch-up read on FB, G+ and many of the posts of my fellow bloggers on WP and others places; I got to make somewhat asinine comments where and whenever possible; write this blog post (should’ve written more on my book but didn’t), paid bills, watched tv and gave myself a haircut.  The haircut part only works if you really don’t care what other people think about the way your hair looks.  😉 (If you cut your own hair it would be a good idea to get out the vacuum to get up all the little hairs—I know my wife expects appreciates it.)  Notice that you didn’t see me mention anything strenuous like yard work.  Trust me.

By now, you’ve probably figured that I’m not embarrassed to talk about this subject.  Not much embarrasses me—I’m the guy who sings karaoke without having alcoholic drinks first.

In reality, I want to encourage men to get their checkups.  There are so many silent killers out there that ensure we men die so much sooner than women.  Why?  I think, for the most part, we’re just as smart as women but we have something that gets in the way of us being man enough to take care of ourselves.  If you’re just waiting to get out of a bad marriage and you think that colorectal cancer is just a good a way as any, I say, “NO!” If you really want to make a point, outlive her.  That way, you get to decide where the bodies are buried.

I hope this gives you at least a small amount of encouragement, I hope.  Otherwise, maybe this will give you something to think about.  Do some research, find out what is involved.  Find out your family’s medical history and research other things, as well.  Also, encourage your sons and daughters; encourage your relatives and friends.  Encourage each other to do what it takes to live longer.  Don’t wait until you’re ill.  I’m sure you know someone who “died unexpectedly” and it turned out to be something that could’ve been taken care of if caught early enough or even prevented.  Start up a relationship with your doctor – take care of the whole body.  Know your body.  Lose weight – heck, I’ve already lost three pounds since yesterday.  😉  Know your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, know your blood pressure and heart rate; know your exercise routine; know your wife, kids and grandchildren.  And, as a Christian, I say, “know your God.”  Reduce your stress and do your best, in a cold cruel world, to enjoy your life.

Any women out there reading this, get your checkups and persuade your men; and your sons and daughters to do the same.

Oh…Sorry, gotta go.

Jay 🙂

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

 

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A Chill Day…

I know, it’s been awhile.  I’ve been busy with work–lightning fried my pc, modem, printer and check scanner–things at home and stuff going through in my head.  Yeah, that happens to most of us at some time or another.  I just completed several weeks of physical therapy involving my neck.  Well, that’s actually below my head 🙂 . I just want to say, physical therapists are great!  I have 95% less pain and am able to do more around the house and yard.

I’ve been watching the news, a great deal of it.  I see things going on that, as a Christian, I find extremely fascinating.  I see the rapid downfall of our country; more and more hatred directed at Israel and the United States; a great deal of anti-Christian sentiment in the U.S. and tolerance for peoples who say they are of a particular religion killing Americans in our own country; people doing their best to bring about racial discord, hatred and problem manipulation; the current topsy turvy political situation, as well as, an administration doing their best to destroy our economy.  Think not, do your own research.  Though I really hope I’m way off base here but it would surprise me if we don’t see the dollar fall on it’s face soon. *** A special thanks to a few brave Americans, on a train, in France doing what special people do.

Today, though, I set all that aside and spent a nice relaxing day with my wife and mother-in-law.  After church services, where we’ve been studying the book of James — today’s lesson — do not display favoritism.  Love everyone as you love yourself.  No one is above anyone aside from Christ God.

After services we stopped for lunch at a fast food place, I will not mention them because they are a national chain and I would hate to influence anyone’s take on those places.  Yes, I know it’s not rocket science but I will say, when I ordered my Natural Burger 😉 no mayo add mustard, there was not any mayonnaise but also there was not but a dot of mustard.  Oh, but there was more ketchup than a medium-size kid could eat over a weeks’ time, resulting in my bun and burger sliding this way and that when I bit into it.  Sticky fingers, no doubt.

Later, we went to a local place called the Muddy Creek Cafe to hang with my wife’s co-workers, one who was the afternoon’s entertainment.  Rob, more commonly known as Maui Mann, writes, plays the guitar and sings Christian music.  Although I checked the ballgame scores a couple of times, I had a very nice and relaxing time listening to Maui Mann sing and joke around with the audience.  Being a dad of a daughter and a granddad of four great kids, I was touched by one particular song that he wrote and sang for his daughter, an extremely cute little young girl hanging out with her mother during the festivities.  I took the liberty of recording it (not my forte and nobody told me I couldn’t) and uploaded to my YouTube place ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz5kfqxS8tE ).  (If you’re interested)

After we got home, I filled in a few holes Cheer (our American Dingo) dug at some point when we weren’t looking.  The Indians beat the Yankees (Yea!); and, we just chilled the rest of the day.  That’s pretty much it for today.  Tomorrow is another story. I think I’ll go and see what happened in the news.  I hope North Korea didn’t do anything bad.

Jay 🙂

Remember:  Everyday is someone’s judgement day.  Be prepared or be extra careful.

Isaiah 41:10  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand

 

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How Not To Get a Job…in my world

Wow! I feel like I’ve been away for eons yet, it has only been a week. I have been busy my friends.

As many of you know, my former assistant, Brittany, moved on to a new position with the company. I’ve heard some great things about her performance from her current manager. 😀

To the busy part. I’ve been working six days a week during the busiest part of the month while in search of a new assistant. This evolution has been the most frustrating.

I have read through over seventy resumes–that’s 70+ in 4 days. After the first 10, I found someone that I thought was good for the job. She went through an interview with me and my area manager a couple of days later. She was excited and said that nothing would prevent her from doing the job. She past the initial background check and I needed her to come in to complete the hiring process. No response to my phone messages for two days. I located her on FB and sent a message asking if she was coming in. She responded that she had too much going on. Wha? Back to square one.

Since then I’ve been bombarded with resumes. Most of the resumes list skills that have nothing to do with the job posted. I was quite specific. The job is administrative, customer service, must be able to learn and operate required software…and, it is only 12 hours per week – 7 hours on Saturdays + 5 hours during the week with an occasional 29 hours per week when covering for me on certain holidays, vacation or sick days. It is not manufacturing, phlebotomy, nurse’s aide, legal- or law-related; and it is not full time.

I started to get suspicious. When I called some of the applicants, I asked them if they had read the job posting. Most said no. So, you have no idea what you’re actually applying for… I thanked them for their time and recommended that in the future, they read the job postings in order not to waste time of the person doing the hiring. If they know in advance that they will not want the job then perhaps they will not apply for it.

I realize that people need jobs but going through resumes that have no direct correlation with the job applied for is an alternate time hack. I don’t want someone who is just trying to bide their time for a few weeks and then leave for “the real job” they wanted in the first place. I want someone who is looking for part time work and can do the job as necessary. Simple.

Of the persons that did read the posting I have three good candidates who are coming in to interview this afternoon.

In my world integrity is important. I need to know that the person I’m dealing with is genuine. Otherwise, we’ve started a relationship that may not, probably will not, be natural and lasting. Everyone does not always get along well but if you’re working with someone, for someone or supervise someone it is always beneficial to the environment if people do get along.

A person with an AA, AS, a BA or MBA, et cetera, can do this job but so can someone with a HS diploma or GED. It’s not necessarily about the education. It is about ability. The ability to learn, do and deal with people in general but a great customer service attitude will win every time. Understand that in the storage business, as in most other customer contact-related businesses, you are the company representative who is providing a service to fulfill a customer need. It’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s about the company that you work for and it’s about the customers that you serve.

If you don’t get it, please, don’t apply.

Jay 🙂

 

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We Live in an Ambiguous Society

Disclaimer: The following is an opinion diatribe…read at your own interest.
Wha?

Wha?

If bald is beautiful, why is hair restoration so important?

Vagueness seems to be common place in our society. Why?

Political Correctness, not wanting to hurt others’ feelings, personal and mental sensitivity; not being able to see past one side of a situation or object; or perhaps, we lack the ability to express or describe something for fear of all those things. Moreover, I think the answer is actually within us, personally, because we’re afraid. Yes, afraid of how we will be perceived.

Take the blunt person. How many times have we complained that person is a bully, contrary, argumentative or that they’re just a(n) (smart)ass? We often hear that he or she is just mean, not to mention the vulgarities used to describe them. Do we ever take into consideration of what they are telling us, regardless of how it is delivered?

Then there is the meek person, the person who doesn’t make themselves clear because they are afraid of how they will be perceived. And then, we call them weak, timid, shy and often make fun of them or just dismiss their views altogether.

How about the uninformed person? They speak to be involved even though they do not have a grasp of the facts of a situation, person or object. We are quick to describe them as a village idiot and also ignore them.

The gamers, liars, performers, politicians…just to single out a few, all bring up negative views in our minds but yet, we are reluctant to describe them as they truly are [perceived].

Think about how many times we denounce violent behavior but do nothing to stop it because the solution often requires, yes, violence.  How can we coexist with people who literally want to kill us?

Our personal standards of what is right and wrong, our own filters and barriers, our fears, fears of rejections, retaliation, or of being ostracized, often dictate how we describe the world around us.

I enjoy when people like me but I don’t care if they do. I really mean it. I am somewhat of an extrovert because my life has ran the course from here to there, so many “new” environments and places—personally as well as employment. I wasn’t raised to be meek but I have learned to tone down my bluntness; and I am now more reluctant to fight at the drop of a word—argue maybe but not fight.

In the midst of the destruction of our society, as we have known it, dialogue is so beneficial. However, when one group seems to have all the answers, for everyone regardless of our differences, no matter which side of the situation we are on, we will find the enslaved and oppressed on the other side. I do not say this about a particular group of peoples based on color, ethnicity or religion. I say this based on a free people of this country, the United States of America, which for at least the past decade has been anything but united.

It is ideology that is changing our way of life and regardless of the ambiguity of our situation, it appears ambivalence is a driving force. One size does not fit all, in spite of what “they” tell us.

No, violence is often not the answer but when survival is at stake, sometime we must defend ourselves. But what will be the reasons behind our fight? Will it be so that we can have more and someone else have less? Will it be so that we can be recognized for ourselves, our individual ways of life(styles)? Will it be for our religious freedoms and whether ours will be the dominate one? Will it be for our children, so that if there is a future, it will be a good and prosperous time for them?

Or, will it be for our freedom? Freedom from tyranny brought on by those that seemingly know what is better for us as a “society” regardless of what is better for us as individuals of a nation.  Regardless of what we really want?

I would hope that we cast our ambivalence aside and make a stand for our individual freedom over a society of leeches. When someone receives, it has to come from somewhere. Are we as a hard-working people going to let them take it (whatever the “it” is) from us without some kind of stand? I would hope not.

Open dialogue is good – intimidation is not. Do not allow yourselves to be intimidated anymore. Speak up before they tell you your speech is no longer free. Don’t be vague, tell us how you really feel about something. Ambiguity may be killing you.

I can’t see the top of my head, in your opinion, am I bald, yet?

Jay 🙂

 

 

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