Christian Living Culture

Lord, change me first

What motivates people to change?

Here’s a list of things that I’m coming to terms with…

Things that I see which don’t change people or organizations but should: (Generally speaking)

  • Biblical truth
  • Their current reality, state, or condition
  • Current position, authority and/or aspirations of
  • Scientific research or law
  • Reading books about other organizations or people who change the world
  • Inspirational stories on the internet, television, or radio of success and/or failure
  • A new program at their school, work, or place of worship

Now, if you are part of an organization, think about the amount of money you spend on the list above. Probably most of it.

Chew on this…

Things that I see which do help people and organizations change behavior: (Generally speaking)

  • Selfish ambition, money
  • Accessibility to something which feeds their ambition, money
  • Fear of losing their family, friends, position, income
  • Losing family, friends, position, income
  • Fear of being discovered
  • Being discovered
  • Peer pressure, positive or negative
  • Cultures laws, mores, and taboos

Thought #1: Behavior change isn’t the point of the Gospel.

Thought #2: Behavior change can be a manifestation of the Gospel in an individual or organizations life.

Thought #3: The majority of ¬†my time/my resources/my energy is invested in things that should change behavior but don’t. There’s a gulf between “ought to affect change” and “does affect change” that people I need to wrestle through.

Thought #4: When I stop trying to be the answer for the top list and start building community where the bottom list is shared openly, then I see the Gospel go places I never thought it would.

Thought #5: As a believer, according to Scripture, I am the answer to the change the people in my life so desperately search for. The question for me to wrestle with is this, “Do I want to be the person people expect me to be and focus on the things that ‘ought to affect change’ or do I want to look in the mirror, deal with my own mess, and help people exchange solutions that don’t fix a thing for solutions that are really hard but affect long-term change.”

hmm... thoughts

Open to Change?

My byline is: “Crazy enough to change the world.

Mutability. Change. Delta.

The concept of change is the fulcrum of the Gospel message.

Am I willing to look at myself in the mirror, accept who I am, (not) and commit to the hard work of change?

The Gospel message is about change. Changed hearts. Changed lives. Changed motivations. Changed intentions. Changed directions.

Without change– a life with Jesus becomes good information at best and good entertainment at worst.

Without change– the Gospel is devoid of value.

God changed the course of human history when He sent Jesus to die on a cross. He changed how he engaged humanity so you could change your life.

To anthropomorphize it, God changed in the hope that we would change.

Accepting Jesus is accepting that you need to change.

But I wonder how many people are actually open to change in their lives?

Am I open to change?

Are you?

Is change a part of your life? Or do you just talk about it, asking others to change, but you are too good for that?

Or are you afraid to appear weak, displaying a changed heart?

If my byline is “Crazy enough to change the world” that implies that I’m always on the lookout for people, organizations, groups who are willing to change.

Sadly, among Jesus followers, few seem open to change.

They refuse to accept who they can become, thus refuse to change.

Pride sets in, change becomes impossible, and we become “about the Gospel” without living into the Gospel.

Christian organizations would rather go out-of-business, accepting failure, than change.

Churches would rather reach a decreasing congregation in an increasing population than change.

This deeply saddens me.

Oh, that we might be a people changed by the Gospel.

Customer Service

A few new customer service annoyances

It seems like every day I either have great customer service or horrible. Here are the last few that I’ve encountered.

  • #1 Delta Airlines. To say that our flight from San Diego to Atlanta on Monday was a disaster is an understatement. We’re a family of four traveling together. Do you think you’d seat children with their parents? It would seem logical that a parent would be seated next to a 4 year old, wouldn’t it? But not on Delta. They seated Megan and Paul together and Kristen in the same row, just other side. Then they stuck me way in the back. Long story short, I had an empty seat next to me. I asked if the flight attendant could go to Megan’s seat and get her for me so that I could sit by her and then Kristen could move to sit by Paul. He said… “No problem. Actually, there is a way to all sit together if you move up to their row.” So I got up… and as soon as I got up he moved a lady/child into my seat and then told me he couldn’t really get us together. He tricked me out my seat to solve his problem. Thus putting me in a worse situation! I went from a window seat with an extra next to me to a middle seat surrounded by other adults. I said to the flight¬†attendant, “You know you just totally screwed me right? I trusted that you were telling me the truth.” He went on to try to say that the other lady wouldn’t sit apart from her child and that it was the only way the flight could take off. When I, rather bluntly, told him that what he did was lie to me to prioritize that family over my own and that he was wrong… he tried to be empathetic with me and offered us “free videos” on the flight. Of course, being Delta even that didn’t work. So Kristen and I were roughly near the kids but not next to them. It gets worse… so we were scrunched next to people and the kids were alone. Of course, our seat mates promptly fell asleep so that no one could easily go to the bathroom. Then to make matters worse, the flight attendants spent 4 hours peddling food and credit cards to us! I can’t believe that in order to fly I have to listen to a credit card offer and buy $6 snacks. Give me a break Delta. Kristen got off the plane and aptly described the flight as “the worse flight of my life.” So if you fly Delta, look out for flight attendants who lie and peddle stuff to you the whole time. Totally annoying.
  • #2 Semco Energy. This is our local natural gas vendor. Their billing system is totally jacked up. I never get bills from them anymore. I don’t even get late notices. Their phone system calls my cell phone all the time but doesn’t say anything… literally just blank air. The only time I hear from them is when they drop off a disconnect notice! The crazy thing is that I typically pay via their online payment system. Well, starting in May they started rejecting my online payments. I have no idea why. They keep telling me that my routing numbers are off… but they aren’t. (Pay almost all my bills online!) Then about 3 days after I try to pay I get this really ugly letter from them. Then I get a hand delivered disconnect notice. Calling their customer service line is nearly as much fun as calling AT&T. After 40 prompts and entering my account number 2-3 times, giving them my SSN a few times, and verifying my billing address at least twice. I get told the same thing over and over again. “Our system is fine.” The best part about our latest disconnect notice is that it’s for so little money AND our bill isn’t even late! So my bill is due 7/28 but they are going to disconnect our gas today. Brilliant customer service. Morons.
What about you? What companies are treating you like dirt?