"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creative Theft?

Thieves can be very creative, but Michael and Margaret Pollara, a mother-son team, have taken creative theft to the next level. They stole more than $2 million from Toys R’ Us, by simply walking out the door with toys in hand.

How did they do it? They would pull big boxes of cheap toys off the shelves, fill them with expensive toys such as Lego sets (valued at $150.00 apiece), and then sell them on EBay. The Pollora duo realized that when workers would ring up the boxes at the register, they would scan the bar codes on the boxes without ever even checking what was inside. Genius!

Now, the Pollaras were still spending their own money. They hit over 139 stores in 27 states, and spent over $7,000—but, they stole more than $2 million of product! Their parade finally came to an end when they were caught in Southern Florida after workers noticed items missing that hadn’t been paid for. Authorities were able to track down “Bonnie and Clyde” because the son used a Toys R’ Us Rewards Card. Not Genius!

Unfortunately, even Christians can be creative thieves with the same strategy. Paul tells us to be filled with the Fruit of the Spirit, and we might pretend to be; but then, when no one is watching, we pull out the right stuff and replace it with the wrong stuff. We exchange virtues like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness, for sins like hatred, fits of rage, jealousy, and discord.

If we engage in theft, like the Pollaras, we’ll eventually get caught. And when we get caught, we won’t answer to police or the courts; we’ll answer to the Great I AM, and anxiously wait for His verdict.

Are you guilty of creative theft? Come clean, before it’s too late.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Missing Promotions?

I read an interesting article this week that offered employees ten possible reasons why they weren’t climbing the ladder of success and entering into managerial positions. Here are a few I found eye-opening and insightful.

1) Gossip (Crossing professional boundaries and breaking confidentiality are bridges that are very difficult, if not impossible, to rebuild.)

2) Lack of Prioritization (Mangers need to look at a landscape of projects and define the most important tasks, and then stay focused on those goals.)

3) Complaining (Managers need to have the maturity to understand how the momentary negatives can strengthen the long term positives of a company. They also need judgment to raise concerns professionally through the right channels, rather than sharing negativity with anyone who will listen.)

4) Lack of Initiative (Promotions are given to those who go above and beyond the minimum.)

Why are these reasons eye-opening? They also explain why we miss promotions in our faith. These same handcuffs handicap our potential.

1) Gossip (The Proverbs writer said it so well in Proverbs 16: 28 when he wrote “gossip separates close friends.” Have you found this to be true?)

2) Lack of Prioritization (Paul said in Philippians 3:8 that he considered everything a loss comparing to knowing Jesus. Paul grew with this mindset, have you?)

3) Complaining (Paul told the church at Philippi in Philippians 2:14, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God…” Have you become blameless and pure?)

4) Lack of Initiative (Jesus said in Matthew 5:41, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” How many miles have you clocked on your odometer?)

You see, we struggle in our faith just like workers struggle in their workplace, but you can change the trend. Here’s a great place to start.