Lightning Strikes…

Lightning Strikes…

West Texas has had several storms this year that have been memorable in that they have been filled with lots of rain, thunder and strong lightning strikes. It’s beautiful to look at and to listen to and I must admit I love to open my door and watch the power of God rocking the world around me. That being said, there are times when the beauty and grandeur of it all causes destruction. The other day a house in my neighborhood was struck by lightning and it caused a pretty significant fire in that house. It was shocking to the owners as they were left with fire damage they needed to overcome. I cannot imagine having a perfectly secure home get lit up by a storm. I also cannot imagine the aftermath of a house fire that requires finding a Texas Public Adjuster to get the necessary money so that you can put your lives back together. But, it has to be done – recovery of security and recovery of a home.

All of the above brings me to the point of this blog, which is to make a strong recommendation for those who find themselves in this tough situation. If you are currently looking for an insurance claims company that handles Texas fire damage claims I want to point you to a group that has successfully worked out several insurance claims for people I know. This company, Abba Claims, is run by a very professional staff that has as its leader a man who gets very passionate about over-delivering on his promises. They say that they will get you the money you need to rebuild and renovate your home and they often get you more than you are asking for to get things back in shape. I want to suggest that you check out this group at www.abbaclaims.com. Even if you don’t yet have a problem like water damage or fire damage, I would tell you to go ahead and put this company down as a first choice. You don’t want to be reactionary – being ready for something like what happened to this family I mentioned above. They couldn’t have ever thought that something like this fire would happen to them and they of course would have never been prepared to call on a company that would help them get back on their feet. But, I am glad to be aware of Abba Claims – a group that works passionately to help everyone who they take on as clients. So, mark them down somewhere just in case. You never know when or if you will need them, but maybe you can recommend them to friends who are struck by this sort of struggle.

So readers, have you ever had to count on an insurance claims company, which did what they said? If so, what was your experience? Was it a good one or a bad one? I’d love to add to the list of solid companies who might be of help when these situations arise.

Thanks in advance for your comments…

Praying Business – Week Thirty-Nine

Praying Business – Week Thirty-Nine

Word was already good for the three of us pray-ers – Liz felt less stressed with the catering in Lubbock business she runs – she shifted around some workers to better suit schedules and she felt less responsibility. Josh successfully fired his Lubbock lawn care and Lubbock holiday lighting client. And I hired two people for my staff who I felt I was led to hire. We practiced praying over Psalm 16 today – “I said to my Lord, you are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” All of got a lot out of it. Josh focused in on the word “Lord” and he said that he often just thought of God as a savior rather than as his master. Liz focused on the phrase, “Apart from you,” and said that there were times that she got so busy with this world that she found herself feeling apart from God. She said that she needed to remedy this. I focused on “good thing” and felt that I have been given so many good things that I needed to be more grateful for everything – even the tough times. Anyway, prayer was great as usual.

As for the larger business gathering, we had a speaker who was in one of the other prayer groups and they actually got into the subject that I had thought of sharing – becoming a business that prayed. The speaker’s name was John and he got into how he had started seeing major improvements in his customer and employee relationships ever since beginning every morning praying for his business. He spoke of how bringing God into the mix only made the “impossible” things feel possible. He also talked about various ways that he had brought prayer into his business. He said that he gave everyone twenty open and clear minutes a day to pray either with others or alone. He said that there were some people on his staff who didn’t believe in God and he just told them to do what they wanted during the time that everyone else prayed. He mentioned that one of those people who didn’t believe at the start and who thus didn’t pray had approached him about learning how to pray. John also said that he had taught groups at work how to pray in different ways. Most people were receptive and they had seen good things happen as a result. It was a really good talk. He encouraged the whole group in the larger gathering to join with the other seven groups who were praying before the big gathering to join the rest of us in prayer. It was a daring move to speak this openly about prayer amongst fellow business people and I congratulated him afterwards for being bold enough to share these things. I told him that he had risked being seen as a religious zealot that would be seen less seriously, but that he had done so well in his presentation that he seemed more sincere than I would have been.

So readers, what do you think about praying at your business? Is there a stigma at your place of work? Have you seen the whole culture of your business change as a result of praying at work? Let me know what you think…

 

It was an overall great time.

Attitude Coaching

Attitude Coaching – Week Thirty-Five

 This week is the thirty-fifth time we have met at this amazing business group – over half a year of time spent with business colleagues who are trying to network and to improve the way they go about their leadership.  Of course I have my inner circle of three – Josh and his Lubbock lawn care business and Liz with her Lubbock catering tilt-a-whirl.  We got together early again today and shared a bit about our weeks and then we took it to prayer.  We have made it a habit to lift up the larger gathering every time we meet because we want to see them flourish from a supernatural side as much as we have.  We also prayed for Stan who had the wreck last week.  All in all it was a nice time in prayer that I felt was beneficial, because I do believe God is listening to us.

The larger gathering did have a speaker who showed up this week – a woman named Claire who is known as an Attitude Coach.  She will speak to us next week as well as this week.  She was teaching us how important it is to establish a culture of good attitudes.  Claire said that this good-attitude shift had to begin with us as business leaders so that it could trickle down to our workers.  Her first recommended shift was that we must not complain about anything.  She said that complaints can kill businesses if it becomes the habit.  She said she has gone into several companies as a change agent and as a consultant and that her visits have all revealed a culture of complaint – leaders whining about how hard it is to manage such lazy workers – workers complaining about their small paychecks and about how things are run so badly.  Claire said that we should hang messages all over our offices about not complaining and about staying positive.  Then she said we should follow that up with a staff meeting about this part of office culture.  Finally, we should not only live out this non-complaining behavior, but we should give out a monthly award to the person who has exhibited the most positive attitude for that time period (include a cash prize with it).  She said all of this would turn workplaces into places where people would want to work and where they want to spend their eight hours per day.

I totally agreed with Claire about this.  I have noticed that it has become like second nature to complain about stuff rather than to see the positive sides of things.   And the worst part is that I am the one who is the number one complainer.  I should know better and I will do better from now on.

Hey readers, what do you think about promoting good attitudes and even rewarding them at the workplace?  Have you ever tried to change the culture of your office in the ways that Claire recommended?  Let me know what you think…


Worry-Free Financial Planning

Worry-Free Financial Planning – Week Thirty-One

In our prayer time this week, Josh reported that his father was continuing to improve and that his landscaping business was on an upsurge. He said that he had put some of the larger gatherings’ teachings into practice and had noticed significant improvements in his relationships with his staff. He did ask for prayer for his right knee. He said that it has been burdening him a lot. Liz asked for general prayers for her Lubbock catering business but said that the leader from the short-term furnished apartments business had asked that we pray for her and her declining health. We took this request happily. I just said I needed prayer so that I could plug in better evaluations for my staff. I had passed out the personality tests to my employees but had not been good at keeping them accountable to take them and give them back to me. This made me aware of my tendency to be lax in following through with the “non-work” parts of my job. Anyway, it was good prayer and we all felt refreshed afterwards.

The larger business gathering was about more personal dealings. Our speaker, who is a certified family financial planner, taught us how to manage our own money and how to stay out of debt. He said that while it may not seem relevant to our business, it made a huge difference. He said that if as owners we were suffering with our personal debt and if we were struggling with our own investments, the worry we have will spill over onto our employees. Makes sense. But, one thing that I realized as this man spoke was that I don’t even have a portfolio of investments to take care of – I pretty much take my check to the bank and keep it there until I need it. This is what I took from the meeting – the need to meet with a financial planner and to see what I needed to do to save long-term and in different ways. I cannot believe nobody has ever talked to me about how to diversify my profits so that my money can increase enough for there to be enough money for retirement. That’s the other piece from the speaker’s presentation – retirement and planning for it. Once again, oops. I’m in no way ready to retire. I keep thinking I will retire when I hit 65 or 70, but now I am wondering if I will have any money to do so. Silly me.

So readers, give me some advice on these subjects. Am I in need of a financial planner? What would you recommend as far as putting money into various funds? Should I try bonds and stocks? Feel free to tell me what to do. I appreciate whatever ideas you have for me. Thanks in advance…

Trusting in Tough Times

Trusting in Tough Times – Week Thirty

As it happens, Josh was back with us for prayer and for the larger gathering. He said that his dad’s condition quickly improved and Josh was told that he could get back to his landscaping and Lubbock holiday lighting business. Josh felt that his dad’s improvement was real and so he came back home to join Liz and me. When we came together, we praised God for this situation. God does still heal, you know. There’s no reason to think that all of our prayers did nothing for Josh’s dad and so we gave God the credit. I think there are some really powerful things happening regarding our prayers. Liz reported that her Lubbock catering business continues to grow and I could say the same for my heating and cooling business. All of us were excited for one another. Today, we practiced something called Lectio Divina, where each of us read the same passages from the Psalms and just listened to see if we heard anything from God via his Word. I had read about this practice after reading a book by Henri Nouwen called The Way of the Heart. This method of prayer asks you to focus on the Bible and to listen for God to open your mind to show you a short phrase or even one word from it to ruminate on. My word was Trust. I know that I trust God quite a bit, but I guessed that there may be some upcoming areas of life that I needed to remember this word. Anyway, we all got something from this use of God’s word and we committed to do it again sometime. I planned on doing it throughout the week in my personal prayer times.

At the larger business gathering, the speaker was a woman named Stephanie (insurance claims adjuster) who told us how to react to tough times in our business. She said that all businesses hit hard times and that it easy for owners to panic, when we should be trusting that things will turn around again (there’s that word Trust again). She also said that we should be the most calm persons on the staff because panic is contagious. She said that if we panic and we let others see it, the other employees might start looking for other job opportunities. The speaker said that we should be calm and take a close look at what areas in the business are weak. She said that some downturns are just natural movements in the business world, but that sometimes there are downturns are caused by weaknesses that we have overlooked because things had been going well. This woman also told us that in the good times, we should always be seeking to bring in preventative measures. She said that reactionary owners who wait for lean times to do anything are in danger at all times. She said it is always best to be checking on all parts of our businesses all the time so we can avoid bad times.

It was a fairly simple talk, but it did strike me. I know that I tend to get lazy in the good times and that I don’t evaluate all parts of my business when things are showing good results. I will do what she said and not only react to tough times with peace and calm, but also do complete evaluations every month to make sure that things are not going to catch me by surprise.

So readers, have you ever panicked during times of struggle in your businesses? And what sort of evaluations do you use to keep things going well? Let me know. Thanks in advance…