What are your ‘chips’?

Last week I read in Church Volunteer Central a story about how volunteers in churches need to feel value in what they do.  In the article a psychological experiment that had been conducted was applied.  They wrote:

A psychologist at Stanford University did a little research project. He hired a man as a logger. However, instead of asking him to chop wood, he told him to hit the same log over and over with the blunt end of the ax. He would even pay double the amount he would receive for actually chopping down trees. Sounds like a great deal, right?

Well, the man quit after just a few hours. As he left, he told the researcher, “I have to see chips fly. Otherwise, it’s no fun!” In other words, he needed to see the value in his work, that he was actually making a difference. Continue reading


Jesus and the Religious

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Guercino

Sunday I quoted a person I heard several years ago.  I struggle to remember who it was, but they said,  “If you’ve been a Christian for more than three years, read Jesus’ words to the Scribes and Pharisees with great care.  They’re written for you too.”  The point this speaker was trying to make (I think) is that the Bible is full of a description of what is a common problem, we come to God in a moment of clarity and then we seem to forget.  I like to think of the Pharisees as the elders or officers of the church of Jesus’ day.  That is a very analogous position.  They were the folks most excited about their faith.  Yet these are the very people who clashed most violently with Jesus.  That is a caution to you and me. Continue reading

Buying Happiness?

Marketing is an important part of modern companies.  I am aware of one company that completely abandoned manufacturing and became simply a marketing company.  People in other parts of the world now manufacture the items they used to produce.  This company buys the merchandise and focuses on marketing—telling people how much they need to buy these products.   They hire some very smart people so that they will be very effective in marketing.

A quote from an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December of 2008 came through my inbox this week.  It said:

“A consumer economy only works if consumption of goods provides only temporary pleasure. That is, if happiness is infinitely deferred, so that buyers continue to buy more and more goods and services. By definition, the consumer can never be satisfied, at rest or happy. Which means she will always feel lacking. The pursuit of this sort of happiness creates a vicious circle of growing anxiety and dissatisfaction.”–Tirdad Derakhshani Continue reading