Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Starting businesses and ministries
I'm digging up this old septic tank. It makes a good metaphor for parts of our life.
Journaling is a habit I need to reestablish in my life. There are many things happening in our lives and it would be a good idea to keep a record of these events. I sacrificed much to help Harry and Lola at A-1. It brings great sadness to my heart to see how that failed. I told them in the beginning that theirs was a spiritual problem, not so much a business problem. Sure there are business problems but they are the fruit of deeper spiritual issues. I tried, even begged, to find a time they would agree to meet together with me and unite with a simple bible study. It never happened and evidently was not important to them. If it was they would have found some time in their life. At the end they were both screaming at me, calling me a hypocrite, fake Christian, proud, arrogant, and a whole list of things I don’t recall. What is profound in that is the day before I wrote them a letter and stated that, because it would be uncomfortable for them to acknowledge God brought me into their life to help, they would attack my faith. And they did.
I know there are no accidents in my life, that God has a plan for us, so there are reasons we were placed in their life. One of those reasons I suspect is that the lessons learned will be part of one of the books I am to write. Another is that I believe many of the things Cherie and I have experienced since God restored our marriage are designed to train and prepare us for the future God has mapped out for us. There will be some hard times for sure and we will need all the faith and wisdom we can find.
Work on the Oasis store is progressing slowly. Partly because I have to learn how to do things like plaster walls and relearn drywall repair. There were people I had lined up to provide labor but drugs and alcohol issues have caused them great personal harm. One went back to Nebraska, where he checked into a drug rehab program. That was good news. We had lost track of him and I got a phone call last week where he let me know he had realized he was in trouble so went back home and got help. That was an answer to prayer. The other person has fallen off the map and did not respond to text asking that he let us know how he is doing. Last I heard he was playing with meth, one of the really scary drugs out there.
One of my big motivations for creating the Oasis is ministry. In fact that is my primary motivation. I have seen and experienced the destruction that comes with substance abuse, whether it’s alcohol or drugs. While at A-1 we had a steady stream of people coming in to work who had addiction issues. There were many who walked from the nearby Salvation Army center, where they stayed due to being homeless. I talked with them and told them about the love of God, how Jesus can set them free of all the things that have them bound. It always breaks your heart to watch people continue down a path that you know has an unhappy ending. You can try and try, throw them a hundred life savers, but it is always their choice in the end. For so many it is the “friends” the crowd they run with that continually entices them to fail and I hope to provide a place of safety, a place that provides direction and protection for them. I understand that many will still choose to not follow the right path but I hope to increase the percentages of those who will choose life over death.
Stopped by A-1 today and dropped off another invoice for the $7500 in back pay they owe me. It is a sad thing to see the people I tried so hard to help still tied up in bitterness and a love for money that is not healthy. It was uncomfortable to say the least. Lola said “We already have a copy of this invoice” to which I replied that I would bring one by every week. I asked when they intended to pay this and she said they were talking about it, which means very little in reality. I had warned them last week that if there was no action at all I would turn this over to a collection agency. It is almost as if they think that if they ignore a problem it will go away. This is what has gotten them in trouble many times in the past and it cost them several businesses. They let me know that they are making sure I could not access email and were bringing in an “expert” to provide some kind of internet security. I told them “I am not your enemy” and once again said that if they needed any help with anything to call me.
One of the suppliers they lost due to not paying the bill is Flash Furniture. Flash imports chairs and has really good prices. I had applied to become a dealer for them in order to be able to sell chairs through A-1. That application was just approved so now that I am no longer working for A-1 we are starting our own chair business. I can get any kind of chair you want. Stacking, folding, church, office, leather, living room, and even Ashley designs. And I can get them at prices that are half of what you would pay in a store. If you need any chairs let me know.
Still working to get details figured out on the Oasis project. There is much to do for sure. Getting things in order for investors so I am sure I do it all the correct way. I don’t have a background or education for that end of things. Then there are designs for septic systems, cabins, landscaping, and all kinds of things. You can check out that project at Oasis