Teamwork in Action: A Real-Life Example

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Some time ago, I had the heartwarming experience of seeing teamwork in action on the church staff for which I had worked part time. It jazzed me to see things come together in such a seamless way. Here’s the situation:

A local ministry had requested to use the facility for a training session on helping the less fortunate. Our staff had already gone through this training several weeks before. I was the point person for this new event, as the church has a wise policy of having a “champion” for various events in case of questions and issues.

There weren’t a lot of details to handle, but there were a few logistics such as requesting coffee service, etc. I submitted the initial paperwork, and then the week before, something changed.

I had the opportunity to go on a mini-vacation, but it would necessitate me not being there for the event. One of my co-workers graciously agreed to my request to be the point person instead. I went around to the various departments (sound, food) to make sure all was in place for that Tuesday morning, and went on my getaway.

When I got back, I got the following email…”Please pass along our gratitude to all the staff who made our time at the church so easy. Having the coffee, water, and microphone ready was wonderful. When we realized that we had forgotten pens, all we had to do was ask and voila, they appeared.”

You can’t see my face, but can you tell I was delighted? THIS is what teamwork is about.

The following components came together:

Planning ahead: the event was on the calendar for some time

Confirming details: some email exchanges occurred closer to the event between us and the workshop leader. These confirmed details (such as the desire to have a microphone available) with enough time to make adjustments

Personal contact: sometimes face-to-face contact to remind or ask other staff members about their part in an event is a good idea rather than just relying on email or paperwork that could get buried. This happened within the week before the event.

Communication: when a backup plan was put in place, I clearly communicated this to the event organizer with copies to the affected staff.

Backup: maintaining peaceful and pleasant relationships on an ongoing basis with coworkers makes it easy to ask for help when you need it

Trust: I had to let go of control and enjoy my getaway

Celebration: I copied the entire staff when responding to the “thank you” we received. This was on purpose so that everyone could be part of celebrating teamwork.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of othersPhilippians 2:4

How about you? In what ways have you seen teamwork in action in your workplace?

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Coffee Break Bible Study: Hebrews 1-5 #bgbg2

Hebrews 5

Read Hebrews 1.

What is said about Jesus here?

What makes Jesus special?

Read Hebrews 2.

What great advice in verse 1 can apply to a situation in your life today?

Write out the first four words on verse 9 and ponder them.

Read Hebrews 3.

According to verse 13, we are to encourage one another. Who needs encouragement in your sphere of influence today?

How can you avoid hardening your heart?

Read Hebrews 4.

Why is it important to rest?

Who is our high priest, and why is that important?

Read Hebrews 5.

How did Jesus receive His priestly status?

Where are you in your Christian growth?

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The 7 Minute Organizing Challenge

CA-timer

Feeling overwhelmed by a messy home or office? Don’t know where to start to bring some order to the chaos? Try the Seven Minute Challenge.

1. Go to the area of the office, or room in the house, that is frustrating you the most. Bring an empty bag, box or other type of container with you.

2. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

3. From left to right, work your way around the area/room. DO NOT LEAVE THE AREA FOR FIVE MINUTES. As you find things that belong elsewhere, put them in the container.

4. Focus on doing a surface de-clutter, not a deep organization or even cleaning. If it takes less than five minutes to do the quick de-clutter, feel free to dust something or more deeply organize one very small thing.

5. When the timer goes off, set it again, for two minutes.

6. Spend the next two minutes putting everything in the container into the room(s)/area(s) where they belong, preferably in their assigned space, but at least in the room.

7. Take a breath and if you feel up to it, select another room/area of the house/office to attack, using the same system.

Keys:
1) You must stay in the room/area for the full five minutes, or spend up to two minutes making your deliveries.
2) You are not doing a deep cleaning…keep moving from left to right.
3) Only do as many seven-minute segments as energize and encourage you.

Let me know how it goes!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1

Coffee Break Bible Study: 2 Timothy 4; Titus 1-3; Philemon #bgbg2

Titus 2

Read 2 Timothy 4.

What are some of the thing that Paul specifically said to Timothy that you can take to heart today?

What do you learn about some of the personal things Paul shared at the end of the chapter?

Read Titus 1.
Who was Titus?

Why did Paul leave Titus in Crete?

Read Titus 2.
What are some specific instructions regarding various age groups?

What are principles that “slaves” were to follow that could apply to employer/employee relationships today?

Read Titus 3.
How should we treat those in authority?

How does verse 7 bring focus to you today?

Read Philemon.
What is the overall focus of the short book?

What kind of person do you think Onesimus was?

 

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“Beth Doesn’t Like Sticky Notes”

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During an all-day speaking engagement some time ago I mentioned that I am not a big fan of sticky notes. It’s becoming a bit of a known quirk now that “Beth doesn’t like sticky notes.” I don’t mind them as a temporary tool, but they quickly become permanent fixtures on desks, monitors and other parts of the office and that becomes visual clutter. So I’ve found an alternative for the times when you need to do some doodling, quick figuring, or keep track of something for just a few minutes–a dry erase board and marker.

I keep small dry erase boards at my desks/portable office bag for jotting figures that don’t need a life beyond that day, or even that hour, at my work space.

Here are some other cool things you can do with dry erase equipment:

1) Use a dry erase marker to jot a reminder on your bathroom mirror (or a note to your loved one.)

2) Keep a dry erase menu on your refrigerator that you can easily erase and update daily, always having several days of meal ideas planned ahead.

3) Use a dry erase marker on certain types of lids to mark whose lunch is whose (test on a small area first).

Your turn: How could you use a dry erase board to unclutter your desk surfaces?

But all things should be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40 

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My special opportunity at the races

I’m excited to let you know that from Thursday through Sunday I’ll have a special opportunity to be the social media race reporter for the NASCAR race in Charlotte, NC. Thank you to Five Hour Energy and Michael Waltrip Racing for this prize which includes being part of the team cheering Clint Bowyer on to victory!

You can follow my adventure on my social media channels, particularly the one I use for tweeting about racing: Acheckeredflag

I’ll be posting to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout the weekend.

The race will be broadcast on ABC Saturday night. Watch the pit road area–you may get to see us!

 

#goclintgo

 

CA-checkeredflag

 

Coffee Break Bible Study: 1 Timothy 5-6; 2 Timothy 1-3 #bgbg2

2 Timothy 3-16

Read 1 Timothy 5.

If you had to describe this chapter in one word, what would it be?

How should you treat the leadership in your church?

Read 1 Timothy 6.
How should you behave toward your employer?

What is something that can cause us a lot of problems if we fall in love with it?

Read 2 Timothy 1.
What type of legacy are you helping to leave for those who come behind you?

What stands out about Onesiphorus?

Read 2 Timothy 2.
Is God’s word hampered by trying circumstances?

Write out verse 15 in a way that personalizes it.

Read 2 Timothy 3:
What are some warnings about last days?

How can God’s word be used in life and work?

 

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Four Tips to Organize the Business Part of Your Purse

CA-money purse

CA-money purse

Is your purse full of receipts, coins, cash and cards? Simplify your life with these ideas.

Consider using separate change purses or sections of a wallet as an “envelope system.”
Keep your most used cards in a handy part of the wallet and consolidate lesser used cards into another section or change purse. That way you don’t have to sort through a pile of membership/debit/credit/health/library cards to get to the ones you use most.

Have a set place to put your receipts, either in the wallet or in the same section of your purse. Empty that section regularly.
Enough said.

Empty your wallet when you get home.
Well, not all of it. Just take out the day’s receipts and coins and store accordingly. For example, I put receipts in my monthly receipt box and take loose change and put it in a container for myself or the household, depending on how the original cash was spent. (I keep the cash in separate pouches.)

These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Mark 6:8

Refill your wallet as necessary.
I try to live guided by a budget so I have a certain amount of cash for spending each month. I choose not to carry the entire month’s cash at once, so I replenish as necessary when cleaning out my wallet.

If you get in the habit of cleaning out your purse regularly, before long it will be second nature.

 

*Note: I don’t recommend putting money in accessible pockets like the photo above. This image is just to suggest keeping things in set pockets for organizing purposes.

 

 

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Coffee Break Bible Study: 2 Thessalonians 3; 1 Timothy 1-4 #bgbg2

1 Timothy 2

 

1 Timothy 2

Read 2 Thessalonians 3.

What did Paul request the Thessalonians pray for?

What does Paul have to say about idleness?

Read 1 Timothy 1.

Who is Paul writing to, and why?

How did God’s grace turn Paul’s life around?

Read 1 Timothy 2.

What should we do for authority?

According to the Life Application Bible study notes, women in Paul’s day were not allowed to study. How do these verses show Paul opening a door for women?

Read 1 Timothy 3.

What qualities are important for a church leader?

How can women display good character?

Read 1 Timothy 4.

What is something to be aware of in “later times”?

How does Paul encourage Timothy in verses 12-16?

 

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Hope Cannot be Measured

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When you own a small business like I do, it’s easy to get caught up in measuring “success” by numbers–numbers such as how many people may be reading my posts or want to be on my email list, or what products or books are selling. Some churches measure attendance and offering amounts. Individuals track their to-do lists to see if they have accomplished what they want to in a given day. And of course, businesses report their profits and losses, hoping the profits are growing. As a rule, we humans are into tracking our progress and measuring “success.”

In some ways, the practice of tracking our progress on goals, budgeting our finances, and keeping lists are good tools to help us stay disciplined and on track. However, we must remember that we cannot always measure the impact our words, actions and disposition can have on others.

For example:

Do you still remember a certain positive or negative comment someone made to you growing up? Does that still shape you?

Do you have a certain opinion of a product or company because of one negative experience you–or someone else–has had with them?

Have you ever had someone tell you what you mean to them, or what some action meant to them, and you hadn’t a clue about the impact that one thing would have on someone?

Did a certain experience in nature, with music, or from a book have a profound impact on you and not necessarily on the people with you at the time?

Recently, I was blessed when someone shared about my writing having impact on someone they know–something I would probably never have guessed.  A couple days later, in an email dialog, an individual said, “thanks for all you do to make our lives better.”  I am grateful God allows these occasional glimpses, and am reminded that we may never know the impact something may have on someone else. That’s why it’s important to walk closely with God on a daily basis. We will never be perfect. We all may be the negative memory someone has, and people are responsible for what they do with those memories. But if we walk with God daily, and try to listen to His leading, we can leave more positive deposits than negative ones.

Let’s be especially open to bringing hope to others today!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

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