Posts tagged ‘service’

November 9, 2012

Veteran’s Day

by pastortimfowler

Veterans Day

This weekend our nation will celebrate Veteran’s Day. It is the best holiday that celebrates a human. As a veteran, I know the sacrifices that our military men and women make in order for us to be free. Not only do they sacrifice, but their families do too. Unless you have been there, you will never fully understand this.
I use to think of veterans as those old guys who use to drink at the VFW. That is not putting anyone down, it is just where I first understood and got to know people who served in the Armed Forces. The VFW is a great organization that does great work. But far too often we forget that veterans are also young men and women who have children and live right next door. Many who served their time and returned to the civilian world don’t talk about their years of service and sacrifice. They did not serve to be honored or recognized, they served because they believe in our country.
I would like to suggest that you do something to say thanks. If you know a veteran, buy him a meal. Take him or her out for a cup of coffee. Shake their hand and just say how much you appreciate their service. It really doesn’t take much to let them know that you appreciate them. They don’t expect it, but they most certainly deserve it. If you happen to see someone who is still serving, no matter what day it is, thank them. I try to buy their drink and lunch if I can. But more than anything, the kind words from a stranger means a lot.
So this Veteran’s Day, be patriotic and let our vets know that you care. Fly a flag in the yard if you have one. Go by the recruiting office and drop off a box of donuts. Stop in the local Guard or Reserve unit and shake some hands. Help a spouse whose alone due to deployment. Take a kid of one who is deployed to the movies. But what ever you do, pray for them and be grateful for their service.
Thank you to all the brave men and women who served and are serving in the US Armed Forces! You are heroes and patriots and I am grateful!

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September 27, 2012

27 September, 2012 16:01

by pastortimfowler

Berkeley Bowl Cash Registers

My friend told me the other day about how he wanted to yell at someone in Walmart who was supposed to be working there but kept ignoring him and treating him as if he were in the way. I have blogged about my thoughts on customer service before and I feel his pain. I was at a sporting goods store today and there was one person working the register as 8 people were waiting to check out. Meanwhile there was a girl at the door greeting, or should I say supposed to be greeting, customers as they walked in. The two girls were talking to each other and even taking phone calls as we, the customers, waited. I began to frown.
We often say silly things like, “I wanted to slap them” or “I wanted to yell at them” when we are in these situations. We are conditioned to think that we should respond to a bad situation with something equally as bad. After all, don’t they deserve it? This sounds like the correct response, but if you are a Christian, it is not the right response at all. Romans 12:17- Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble.
If I had a dollar for every time that I heard a Christian say that they were justified by getting even with someone for what they had done, I would be a rich man. When I remind them about the verse above they often respond with, “But you don’t know what they did to me.” No I don’t, but I do know what Christ did for us and it was not giving us what we deserve. Need I remind you that in the same book of Romans we are told that what we deserve for our sin is death. God loves us and gives us forgiveness and life though. This surely is not what we deserve. I know that some of you were not as bad as I use to be, and can still be, and you may be thinking that you don’t deserve death for your sin, but none are righteous, not even one.
Arrogance and pride are what cause us to think that we should pay others back for not being as nice to us as we think they should be. The idea that if we were in a position to pass out judgement for things that others do and we would be completely righteous in our verdicts is quite funny. When we are rude or short with others, do we deserve a slap? Of course not. We are not as bad as that other person. Here is the problem with that thinking. When it comes to righteous judgement, only God can do that. He will use the standard of how you compare to Jesus and not how others compare to you or me. When that standard is applied, we all fall short. That is why God offers complete forgiveness when we ask and does not give us what we deserve until we face our final judgement and have rejected His Son’s payment for our sins.
So the next time you are in line and get treated worse than you expect to be, or the next time that someone really wrongs you and you think about revenge, think about what God does for us and decide to be more like Jesus than like, well, me.
Now excuse me while I go back to the sporting goods store and smile about the fact that I am fully able to stand in line and wait. That is a blessing that some are not able to do. Ain’t God good?

September 11, 2012

Never Forget

by pastortimfowler

Honoring Victims of 9/11

THANK YOU!!! This goes out to all who serve the public. Military, police, firefighters, medical first responders and anyone else who puts their own well-being on the back burner in times of others needs. This has been happening for years, well before the attacks on 9-11, 11 years ago. People have been serving the public and sacrificing long before this happened and sadly, it took a tragedy like this to have our eyes opened to these daily heroes.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center building. I was backing out of my driveway when the radio broke the news that an unknown explosion had taken place in NYC and that early reports from witnesses said it was a plane that had crashed into the building. I immediately pulled back into my drive and went in to watch the news, only to turn on the TV in time to see the second plane crash into the second building. It was then that everyone realized that this was not a terrible accident, but was probably something deliberate. As I watched in horror, the third and forth planes crashed and even more lives were lost and I began to pray for my wife who was in Charlotte. I did not know if this was something that was going to happen all across the country or was confined to a region. All I knew is that my wife was in a city with tall buildings and I was scared.
The news continued and I saw the first tower fall. Something inside of me knew that thousands of people were now dead. I began to pray and to cry and as I did, it was not long before the second tower fell and the pain inside grew worse. My only comfort was that I had heard from my wife and that she was okay. But meanwhile, I could only think of those who had died and those who were going to mourn for their loss.
Prior to the towers collapse, I saw footage of police and firefighters and EMS workers running into the burning buildings. I was overwhelmed with pride for their heroic actions. I thought about how many times they must have done that and how many times the lives of those in peril were saved because of their actions. This time, although there were some who made it out and the heroics were not for nothing, many never made out, including those who were going in to rescue the perishing.
Since that tragic day, as often as I can, I say thanks to everyone who serves the public as a first responder or military. If I have the money, I buy their lunch. If I have the time I tell them how much I appreciate everything they do on a daily basis and I shake their hands. I pray for their safety as often I they come to mind in my daily prayer time. I still weep when I hear of one of them loosing their life while trying to save someone else. I get really angry when I hear people who unfairly criticize police, firefighters and EMS as well as the military. Like in every other walk of life, there are those who don’t deserve the honor of the job because of abuse or corruption, but over all, those who work in these jobs are amazing people who deserve nothing but praise and prayers.
So again I say thanks to all who serve in the unselfish and sacrificial ways as public servants and military. Your sacrifices are known by many and appreciated and never forgotten. I pray for your safety and your families and for God’s grace on your lives. 9-11 is a constant reminder of the fact that there is evil in the world, but it is an even greater reminder that Christ’s words are forever true. Matthew 23:11-12
11 The person who is greatest among you will be your servant.
12 Whoever honors himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be honored.

June 12, 2012

Customer Service

by pastortimfowler

Central Market customer service.

I am not an economist so I can’t speak with great authority on the state of our economy, but I am pretty sure that it isn’t that good based on the anecdotal evidence that I see in my hometown. My wife and I went out to eat the other night and within a block saw no less than 7 businesses that were closed. When you ride down the main thoroughfare of our town there is business after business that is closed or going out of business. My friends who own their own business tell me that it is really tough to make ends meet. All of those millions of jobs that are being created don’t seem to be here, but like I said, this is purely anecdotal.
Anyway you slice it, business is not the best that it has ever been. And since the recession has started, and seems to never end, you would think that those who have a job would go out-of-the-way keep that job and earn your business. It is what use to be known as customer service. This is where the customer is served in such a way that they feel as if you appreciate them doing business with you and you try to ensure that they come back the next time that they need your service. I am finding it harder and harder to feel as if I ever want to go back to the places that I give my business to or in some cases trying to give it too.
I was in a store the other morning about 8:30am picking up a few items that I was going to need when I go to Cuba on my mission trip in a couple of weeks. At the check out when I swiped my card, the machine asked me if I would like cash back and I hit yes and asked for $20. The cashier looked at me and said, “You know ATMs are open 24 hours a day.” I was not sure what to say back to her. I told her “Yes, but the machine asked me if I wanted cash back and I said yes.” She again said, “You know ATMs are open 24/7”. So I asked if she worked for the bank or the store that I was standing in.
This store was not busy. It was not a small “mom and pop” store. They had cash in the drawer. I was only asking for $20 so I did not see the problem.
I have been trying to get the guy who installed our AC in our church to give me a quote on routine maintenance for our heat and air system. When we got our last unit installed I asked the owner 3 times for a quote and have called him twice since. I know that this time of year is busy for AC guys, but I want to give him money on a regular basis and hopefully for an extended amount of time.
A couple of Sundays ago, our fire alarm went off because something in our coffee shop started smoking. It was a piece of bread or something, so there was no threat. The alarm company called and I told them the situation and they said thanks. A few minutes later the fire trucks pull up and tells me that the alarm monitoring company said that no one from the church could be reached and so they were dispatched. I called to find out where the confusion was and in mid sentence was hung up on by the operator who monitors my church alarm system. When I called back to talk to the supervisor, she told me that no one hung up on me, that I was put on hold. I responded by saying, either way, I was in mid sentence when it happened, and that they need to have their phone system checked because their hold button hangs up on people.
The latest bout with non customer service is with the people who inspect our fire extinguishers. Every year they need to be inspected and a tag put on them saying that they are in good working order so when we are inspected by the fire marshal, he can see that we are meeting code. Every year we call to have them inspected and every year we tell them to put us down for annual service. So I am on my fifth day of leaving a message to one of the few people who do this and have still not gotten a return call. This inspection takes every bit of 15 minutes and they charge $75 to do it. That comes out to $300 dollars per hour and I can’t get them to even call me.
Customer service wins people’s loyalty. I know that some customers can be a real pain in the butt sometimes, but the majority of us just want some basic courtesy. We don’t want to inconvenience you by offering to give you money for a service that you provide. If it is that hard, we will find someone else who wants it. Thank you, is enough most of the time. Please come back, and is there anything else I can do for you today, would go a long way for most people deciding to come back. I have decided that as of today, I will not do business again with anyone who does not proved basic, courteous, customer service. Anyone want to join me?