Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Managing the differences in cultures

I have been working through the extreme edges in my world. I recently wrote about politics and I wanted to spend a few minutes in the area of cultures.

Prescott, AZ is an odd mix of retirees, many from California (they are different), add in the "granolas" and some people grew up in the country and you have my current home town.

Together, this group of people become "Prescottonians". I think that is the secret! It's the word TOGETHER, and when we live and work in that environment we stop being only retirees or whatever, we become the people of Prescott.

As cultures blend in the United States I think it's fine to retain your own culture, but TOGETHER we are Americans!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My mind has been consumed with the differences I see in my world.
*Political differences

What I observe is that each group seems to move to extreme edges. This polarizing further develops the idea that "my view" is correct. Perhaps this confidence blinds each group from "listening" to others. I believe that our political leaders should strive to do what is best for the entire country...Oh that country is very divided as well.

Who will stand up and lead from the center? Who will begin to make some hard choices that meet the needs of people? Who is willing to "loose" some battles in order to do what is best for the USA?

I am tired of leaders implying that if the "others" will come all the way over to my side then i will do something. That goes for Democrat or Republican. Shut up and do something that helps...that or GET OUT!

Our differences can make us better as a country, but only if they are understood and accounted for. It's time to work TOGETHER!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Managing the differences

My mind has been consumed with the differences I see in my world.
*We have political differences that differ from political parties too conservative & liberal.
*We have cultural differences such as the practices that immigrants bring to America from their home country or even how people live in different regions in America.
*We have differences in religions and even down into Christianity, there are vast differences in theology and practice.

So, my thoughts revolve around managing life through all these differences. In my work, we operate on concensus and use these differences to make the best decisions we can given all the information we have. If we gather new information we may change our minds, but we work to listening and understanding to move forward. This can work, but only if people are willing to seek understanding and be flexible.

So over the next few days I will be unpacking some of these concepts and seeking your input to learn and share together. Perhaps we can become better people, a better nation and for me, a better follower of Jesus Christ!

Looking forward to the dialogue

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How times change

Today at camp we will formally say goodbye to some staff members. Matt is going into the Navy and Jenn is relocating to Oregon. Going through this process makes me think about the past and all that we have come through together.

One thing that seems to be true about God is that He changes people. He has this way of helping people travel through life and grow in that process. Did Matt think that after his time here that he would be going into the Navy? Did Jenn ever imagine not working at a camp? I don't know, but I know that over time people change, grow and often get better.

While I am sad that these friends are moving on, I know it's for the best! I am better today than when I began this work at camp 8 years ago! Time moves on and I can embrace it for the good change that God desires...today, that will be my attitude.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bailouts frustrate me

I just saw another ad for credit card bailout for individuals! "If you owe more than $10,000, there is help". On the one hand I understand the struggle with not being able to pay the bills and that is mad more difficult with job loss, etc...

HOWEVER, these same individuals had no problem spending the money the first time. I resonate with "personal responsibility" and how to really help people. As a nation wouldn't it be better to 1) teach people to handle the money better, 2) provide help to pay off debt as the individuals make some progress in paying off their debt (example; matching their debt payments).

Truthfully, Lori and I spent a long time paying off the debt that WE BUILT and we had partners who helped pay it off. The real value in paying off debt was learning to live with LESS. Bailouts are a quick fix that may do more harm than good because new habits of money management are bypassed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Standards of behavior

I was reading my Bible this morning from the book of Amos. The language used in a dream that Amos had involved a "plumbline". What God was saying by using this imagery was that a plumbline will ALWAYS be the same. Is is only capable of a perfect straight line.

In our world we often see these absolutes a blurry or flexible. I want you to consider if that is true or even healthy. In your home you have standards/rules/guidelines that you ask your family to follow. These expectations are a "plumbline" for success in your home. The same can be said about speed limits or any other law regarding public behavior. These are all examples of behavioral standards.

In my opinion, having a parent pre-determine the boundaries for a child is a wise way to lead a household. There is tons of FREEDOM inside the guidelines. Perhaps our American society would do well to re-establish some basic guidelines and enforce them. I would ask you to begin in your own home.