Showing posts from March, 2012

Risk: Not an Either/Or Decision

Over the years, I've seen that in the area of start-ups there are three types of people: Those who start things, those who want to do it but fear it, and those for whom starting isn't ever seen as a possibility.  America was founded by people who were willing to take the risk of getting into a boat and creating a new future. Today, we have become a culture largely afraid to risk. We tend to fall into the last 2 categories of people; we either fail to start because of fear, collapsing into a state of paralysis by analysis, or we don't realize starting is something we can all do.  In my experience, risk is not an either/or decision. It's something we all need to face daily in our lives whether starting up a business, interacting with others, or working for someone else. Today's world reward people who are willing to be creative in all areas of their lives and who are not afraid to act. Paradoxically, our culture is permeated by fear at the very time

Sharing the Love

When designing a job training program for a faithventure , don't forget the love. Nothing is more important than ensuring that love permeates all that you do. We love others because God's love fills up our own life and then spills over onto our day-to-day activities, ultimately impacting our work and our organizations.    I've seen other programs perfect in all respects but for one thing: the love was missing.  And if it is missing, we are nothing but Paul's clanging cymbal in 1st Corinthians 13. All of our efforts are misfiring and failing to communicate the most important part of the gospel message.     Love means fundamentally sharing your lives. You can have the greatest computer-based training program but if you are just using it to avoid entering into the messiness inherent to addiction, homelessness and prison, then the love is missing. Programs will never change lives unless there is a deep life-on-life component. Life needs to be shared, both i

Hood-Check: A First-Timer's Perspective

I've shared before how important our weekly Wednesday hood-check is to the success of our employment and job-training program at Bud's Warehouse . Madison Chandler, who along with Mark Smesrud is starting a Denver coffee shop to employ homeless young-adults under the Belay umbrella, writes about her first hood-check experience in a recent post on the Purple Door Coffee blog : Every morning before Bud’s Warehouse opens, the employees all meet for one hour with Andy, the manager of Bud’s. Depending on the day, the hour is devoted to education, personal check-ins or bible study. At the personal check-in meeting, everyone has an opportunity to talk about what is going on in his or her personal life. Some people talk about their children; some people talk about housing; some people talk about their relationships; some people talk about their addictions. It really is a beautiful time that is totally devoted to understanding the lives of the people that surround you e

Often perfection combined with fear is the enemy of progress.

You don't have to have it all figured out before you start. Just prayerfully sense God's call and start.  The path will become clearer as you move forward in faith. Don't allow yourself to become trapped in our culture's too common paralysis of analysis.  Simply write down your dream and two easy steps you can do towards that goal today.    And then prayerfully do it.  The results will open up new possibilities of action... two steps to accomplish the next day.  Repeat.  And over the course of time, the future will become focused and you will know what to do.  Because you will have already done it or been re-routed onto a new path.     And sometimes you will discover it can't be done. No worries. You don't have to have it all figured out before you start. Just prayerfully sense God's call and start.

We Need Your Help to Keep On Truckin

Over the last 13 years at Belay Enterprises , I have come to expect unanticipated problems whenever we start stretching ourselves to create new ventures to employ people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. I remember the fire behind our first Baby Bud's location the day after we signed the lease. Nothing evokes a crisis of faith like having to babysit an Aurora Fire Department smoke removal fan late on a Saturday wondering whether we will be able to open on time because of the smoke damage. Today when we start new Belay ventures without problems, I find myself wondering whether we have made the right decision.  This past year, Belay Enterprises has undertaken several new ventures including New Beginnings Custom Woodworks , Purple Door Coffee , and an innovative mattress recycling program . Over the last few months we've unexpectedly lost both of our donation trucks at Bud's Warehouse. One permanently and the other for lengthy periods o

Forgive and Never Forget

Jesus asks us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. How easily we forget. In the various Belay faithventures , we strive to be places of grace for people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. We provide jobs and career training for people normally shut out of the job market because of past mistakes. Belay believes a job is the second most important thing on the way to a self-sufficient life, just behind faith. With that in mind, it's hard to not get discouraged when participants in our program become unforgiving towards co-workers.  But then I look in the mirror. We all want grace when it comes to our own mistakes and judgement when it involves other people's sins against us. We are a hard headed, stiff-necked bunch. Jesus reminds us over and over to forgive others. It's why the people led by the older ones walked away one by one when Jesus invited those without sin to cast the first stone. Humans who have been around the sun