Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trust the Tools!

In a previous life, as a field service engineer for a major oil-field service company, I ran high-tech down-hole logging and directional tools; first for a company called Teleco in Broussard, LA and then for Baker-Hughes-INTEQ. The easiest way to explain it seemed to tell people that we took computers, packed them into heavy steel pipes along with a lot of other complicated electronic equipment and then ran them several thousand feet into the ground at temperatures up to 200 degrees, then abused them with many thousands of pounds of stresses while drilling through rock to find oil. The sensors told us a lot about the kind of rock we were drilling in, the fluids in the rocks (like oil, gas, or water) and also the direction and orientation of the tools so that directional drillers could steer the hole to a desired location where they expected to find oil or gas. The tools also transmitted that information up the hole to computers that interpreted the results in real time.

As a field-service engineer, we were often faced with very difficult judgment calls on what to do regarding running the equipment back down the hole for more work. Should we pick up a new tool that is not yet proven? Should we rerun the previous one that may be on the verge of breaking? The best advice I ever received came from a mechanic that actually assembled the tools in our company shop. Carey told us to always trust the tools. If it was running well when it came out of the hole, then never doubt that it would run again when it went back down the hole. In his opinion, it was always riskier to try an unproven piece of equipment. So, if in doubt – bet on the tools.

I applied that advice many times in my career and never once regretted my decision. In fact, several times I had superiors contradict my recommendation and run new tools when that decision caused problems that had not been anticipated. That’s the law of unintended consequences.

How does this apply to the LIFE business? It’s simple, LIFE is a business built around providing people with great information. The tools are life changing information. Always bet on LIFE’s tools. When you have the best, you don’t need to worry or doubt. When people listen to a CD – they will receive information that will positively impact their life in a good way. When they read a book, they will continue a process of healthy transformation. When they watch a DVD, they will see more good, life-transforming information. The tools work. The tools work very well. Never doubt it.

Always trust the tools. Have you shared some of LIFE’s life-changing information with your family or friends yet? With your co-workers? With those in your church? Listen to all the tools yourself. Make it part of your daily habit, get engaged with great information. LIFE teaches you to read, listen and associate with the community that’s going somewhere! Remember, always trust the tools!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gathering roses...

The tears force from my eyes though I fight to hold them back.  My Mom changes into dry diapers and clothes, ashamed that she may have wet the seat of my car. I don’t care about the seats of my car and I relax a bit as I realize that my Mom will quickly forget these events. I realize that one day, she will forget me. But not yet. Not yet.

Walking down the beautiful hall to her suite, that we call her apartment, it occurred to me that she would pass away while a resident of this hall. It is a very nice place, but it is still a last stop nursing home; assisted living, whatever. It is, her last home.

The love lived by my Mom knows no bounds. All that I learned early in life about love I learned in our family; the family born through her blood, sweat and tears. The family held together by her wisdom, her work and her will; and the family that one day, must carry on without her.
My tears run for what must come. We remember even as she forgets. Our names that she barely recalls now, will one day claim space on a stone marker like hers. Eileen Stenner Kendrick – a girl born to Ellen Jane Robinson, mistakenly thought to be Nellie Black, of Belfast, Ireland, and Camden, New Jersey and Franz Joseph Stenner of Koenigstein, Germany and Camden, New Jersey. On a great day, May 7, 1923, Eileen entered this world and on a sad day to come, she will leave us. She will join her Lord and Savior Jesus on that day and we will rejoice.

As dinner time rolled by and I just wanted to stay with her, I turned on NCIS which has been her favorite TV show. Over the last 3 years we have watched 9 years of reruns on DVD over and over and over again. And each time the next episode came on she would say, “I’ve never seen this one before.”  Alzheimers is like that.  While at her apartment I found a note that she left for the workers in the facility… it is written by her beautiful though somewhat shaky hands, “Please, please, please don’t take any more clothes. I just have enough to work in decently. Eileen. All were given to me by our loved ones because they were needed.” She does not remember that she hid those clothes, or boxed them up and sent them away with us, or had other friends take them to prevent them from being stolen. She has forgotten.

One day, it’s possible that I will forget just as my mother has. But for now, dinner won’t wait and the tears collect, then fall. As we walk back down the hall together, I lean down to her and quietly say, “I love you mom.” She tells me she loves me more than I will ever know – and I can be assured of that. For that moment, she was right there again.

I will spend as much time as I can with mom, and with my mother- in -law. Love them where they are, while you can. Learn from the experience of others, call your mom. You’ll be glad you did. God Bless.