Monthly Archives: December 2011

Aspirations for 2012

Notice I did not use the word resolutions.  As the New Year’s approaches, I’ve been considering some priorities for 2012. 1.  I will plant more trees on the farm.  Planting trees has been a life-long obsession.   I’ve already planted … Continue reading

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LACK OF ACCOMPLISHMENT DOES NOT SPELL FAILURE

Yao Lan Hua, a 23 year old foreign exchange student from the province of Anhui, China, had dinner with us recently.  After a delightful evening together, which included a short refresher course in Mandarin, I was flooded with memories from … Continue reading

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WHAT COMES FIRST – BUSINESS OR FAMILY?

In response to a survey taken of business people in China asking them if they had to give up either their family or their business, 60% picked their business over their family. Yes, you’re shocked.  So was I.  But upon … Continue reading

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MY BEST BLOG OF 2011 – HANDS DOWN

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to … Continue reading

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THE CONTAGION OF ‘LAYAWAY ANGELS’ AT K-MART

Not just colds and the flue bug are contagious – so is generosity. Three weeks ago an anonymous donor walked into a K-Mart store in Grand Rapids, MI and asked if she could anonymously pay down a few layaway purchases. … Continue reading

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APPLE COMPUTER STORES – THE FUTURE OF RETAIL

After reading Walter Isaacson’s latest book, the biography of Steve Jobs, I was intrigued by Isaacson’s observations that Steve Jobs had reinvented retail.  I wasn’t aware that he had.  To prove Walter wrong, I shopped at an Apple store this … Continue reading

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HANDING OVER THE REINS

The relationship between father and son, and between father and son-in-law is a process.  It starts out mentoring, attempting to teach them all of the important lessons you have learned in life. Much, if not most, of that learning is … Continue reading

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MENNONITE WOMEN – WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT THEM?

Have you noticed how women in general, but Mennonite women in particular, have a moderating influence on their men? During the coffee hour before church yesterday morning, I ended up at a table with all men.  There were seven of … Continue reading

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PROVIDE WHAT THEY NEED – NOT WHAT THEY WANT

Yesterday we were in the process of pulling together samples for a corporate buyer.  We were reviewing the samples that were being shipped before they were boxed.  John, our director of business development, was being extremely meticulous, following everything to … Continue reading

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SENTINELS, CANARIES, AND LEADERSHIP

It is not an urban legend that well into the twentieth century canaries were used in the coal mines to act as sentinels to detect poisonous gases such as methane and carbon monoxide. The miners would carry the birds in … Continue reading

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