Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Normal is broke, be weird!

Everybody should know about Dave Ramsey.  Dave is a financial talk radio host, best selling author, and TV personality.  He speaks and writes about getting your finances in order and most importantly...about getting out of DEBT.  The normal way of life for most of us is to live paycheck to paycheck.  But there is a better way to do things.  Each dollar can have a name and our money can do what we tell it to do, rather than the other way around (money telling us what to do).  We all wanted to learn from someone to have financial peace, and no one ever teaches us.  We get out of high school with credit card companies marketing to us, but school never teaches us how to get by without the credit.  Well, I encourage you to be weird...drop your debt and have some peace.  Then you'll have money to spend, money to grow, and the most to give away!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're having a heat wave...

A tropical heat wave. The temperatures have risen to about 40 degrees in Fort Wayne. Pretty crazy not to have to bundle up so tight. We had temps in the teens last week, with wind chill factors in the negative numbers. I don't know how long it will last, but it sure is nice.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Meditation for Epiphany

In the name of the Father and the +Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

O Daughter of Zion - your hill is the holy mountain of God. You have been citied high - for everyone to see. Your city cannot be hidden, yet you hide and desire sweet, sweet slumbers. For the air is thin and the view has become boring. So angels fill the still dark sky and beckon you to rise: "Hark the glad sound!" They sing. A thrilling voice announces to the ends of the earth: Behold, your Savior comes. Isaiah prepares your way. He has opened your gates and cleared your road of stones. John has warned you of the wrath to come! Preaching repentance, O Daughter of Zion, the Kingdom of God is at hand. Salvation belongs to our God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And that salvation is his reward for you to have. Upon the cross he has accomplished your freedom. God has become man and in that incarnation the almighty creator has taken on your flesh and your blood. Freedom is accomplished as God hanged upon the cross. There the Lord hath elected to show his love to you. Behold, O Daughter of Zion, Jesus has taken your sin and guilt and destroyed it there on Calvary. Your sin and punishment taken away - paid in full. Hark the glad sound - O you holy people of God. The Savior cometh. He cares not for the things of earth...nor the pleasures it doth offer. He comes and seeks you out for you he did suffer. Let us therefore be joyful - the Savior approaches and calls you righteous. Softly from his manger Jesus calls you: You are safe from danger, children you are freed from sin and death.

Behold, O Daughter of Zion, your Salvation comes, and has come and behold his reward is here. It is yours. Your city is not hidden, but exalted. You are the redeemed of the Lord.


Rev. Steven Cholak
CTS Kantorei Tour
Epiphany 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

McDonalds takes on Starbucks

I'm a big Starbucks fan. It comes from 6 months of employment as they slowly got me hooked on the java bean. It also comes from the ethic I saw as I worked there. They spent more time on training employees (called partners at Starbucks) then they spent on advertising. They were true to their mission and their love of coffee. I haven't worked there for about a year. But I would say they've gone down hill. I wonder if it is their focus on selling everything, but coffee. Whatever the case, the Starbuck's Experience isn't what it was even one year ago.

So McDonald's announces that they are going to install espresso machines and hire employees they will call "baristas." It seems that maybe they are just doing what Starbucks has done so well in the past year or so. You'll be able to get anything you want to eat or drink - even buy some fancy music on your iPhone - but you won't be able to get a decent burger.

I've never really liked McDonalds, but I've used them. When I have to eat, I stop. Their practices won't bother me, because it can't get much worse. Starbucks, on the other hand, grieves me. I hope it turns around...but in case it doesn't I should start a backup plan.

Where do you get your coffee?