Sunday, September 13, 2015

Money Musings: 01

To everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

We are so often waiting and looking for a good deal or an opportunity. A big score! So often we don’t find it. I propose the reason. Perhaps because they come to those who have. How many stories pile up of peoples success which seems like luck. But in reality it was they ‘had’ so when the opportunity came, “more was given” to them.

I want to strategically set myself up in the ‘has’ category. If I set myself up in the have category, I will be able to seize the opportunities that present themselves and then will I have the 'luck' that is so often an elusive apparition. Luck, as it is so often called is not chance. But rather the taking advantage of opportunities. And at the root, it is diligent preparation so we "has", at that moment when we need it to seize the opportunity set before us.

I want to have, so I can trade. The earnings from trade in any amount is growth that would not have been gotten without trade. So a small growth is better than no growth or simple consumption. And I am not talking about the stock market. A small sure trade is better than a risky high return. John Rockefeller kind of lived by a statement that is something like, “Trade dishes for platters.” In other words, always figure a way to trade up. Making win / win deals is trading up.  

So, guess what... I am in pursuit of wealth. In pursuit of wealth, for me, it is in reality a result of pursuit of being wise… with my resources, or to be biblical with my talents. I have never been ‘money hungry’ per say. But in getting wisdom and understanding from biblical principles, I find being wise (the goal) lends itself to prosperity. It says that wisdom's right hand holds long life and the left hand holds riches and honor. To say I don’t want riches, in a way, ignorantly pushes back the holder of those things, wisdom. Proverbs says, "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." It's hard to criticize someone who has saved up a large sum if you consider this scripture.

My knowledge and understanding are still growing. But I believe I can say now, I need to 'has' as the verse above says. If I will ever get to "more will be given". It is a natural progression. Setting aside motive for now, the first building block is the 'has' part. 

Wisdom with understanding is critical. There is a huge difference in knowing I should be a saver (has), and understanding it. I have known since I was a child to buy something you have to have money. So, simple 2nd grade math tells me if what I want to buy is more than I have, than I must save more than I have to get the sum of what I want to buy. But understanding that goes beyond simple knowledge, lends its self to greater than the sum of any savings account. The value surpasses the money I possess. In so many areas of life, when just about ANYTHING happens and you have saved up, it provides greater confidence to handle things, it minimizes the negative impact to my family, it removes so much jeopardy to other areas of life. And it opens doors that otherwise I wouldn't even know about, little alone have a chance to walk through. Know, but sometimes it takes longer to understand. But seek to understand. 

Some would say, talking so much about money is carnal. I disagree. Jesus said if God can't trust is with money, how can he trust us with true riches. The very first chapter in Proverbs starts off talking about ill-gotten gain. That means when Solomon, the wisest man in history, wanted to leave his son instructions, he started the conversation off by talking about money. Then, in chapter 2, in his reference to diligently seeking wisdom, it was compared in a positive light to treasuring up and seeking silver. 

One of the first commands in Proverbs that will bring you success before not just God, but also man, is steadfast love and faithfulness. If we desire to be good stewards of what God puts in our hands, we must be faithful and we must have love. Not greed, hate, or deceit. But compassion and authenticity. After that he says (Pro 3:9-10) Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

I think these three things go hand in hand. He said much more in these few first verses of Proverbs 3. But I can only focus on so much at a time. I am going without saying things like, in all our ways acknowledge him. I am making the assumption we all agree on that. So, for now, I think these go hand in hand. Steadfast love and faithfulness in the first statement, and in all that also honoring the LORD with our wealth through firstfruits lead to promises. Promises of success. That's Bible, not me. 

I am not diving into motive, heart, greed, generosity or any of the other components in this conversation now. These are random musings of mine. They may not flow well yet as I am just documenting my thoughts. There are so many supporting thoughts that haven't been expressed yet. Like any one layer of an onion. Each one as potent as the other. But takes all of them to make a whole onion. This is just thoughts on one layer. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Pastor


When you stop and try and define the roll of a Pastor, all the descriptions have the implications of the sacrifices the man of God makes on behalf of those he is leading. Many of us have had moments of divine intervention when our Pastor spoke to us personally in words that brought a heavenly peace in time of great trouble. Its like a soothing balm on a deep wound. Or perhaps we can recall the times when the words our Pastor spoke to us brought to birth the call of God that has taken you to where you are today. I can’t speak for all of you, but I need a lot of grace. I can remember times when God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness were mediated to me, and I was able to accept it because my Pastors words that were fitly spoken.

The bible says, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” Sometimes the ‘mist’ is more like a tornado whirling us about into confusion. And somehow even in those times, he is able to have a ‘peace be still’ effect on us with principles of wisdom and sound direction.

All the things I have described cannot be done on a whim. What I mean is, a Pastor is personally invested in each and every one in his flock. We as humans are not infinite in our resources to support and lead others. It’s like any mother who would lay down her life for her children because she loves them so much. If asked at the end of a long day she will admit it takes a toll on her as she looks to take care of her family. If we stop and think about it, our Pastors investment in us comes at a cost to him. The concern, prayers, words of wisdom, personal guidance, diligent study and delivery of the Word of God… we are the beneficiaries of the sacrifices our Pastors make to help lead us as we lead our families and change the world.

If you have ever decided to take someone and be a help and a support to them for a long period of time, you know that there is a cost, though maybe not financially but very real, to helping people. A Pastor has decided to take on each of us, our babies we hold dear, our victories and defeats and invest his life in seeing us be used by God. You can’t put a price on that kind of sacrifice.

So, be sure and show your appreciation to your Pastor. The next time you feel like grumbling about the way someone is involved or something didn't get done, remember how much he is investing personally in you and yours.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Saga Continues - Office 365

I would say overall the process which isn't complete yet (90%) has been pretty smooth. Because we had to recreate everyone's outlook profile it had to be highly coordinated.

If there was one pain point it has been the calendars. All calendars, even in the new profile, that you had access to must be deleted and re-added. If someone shared a sub-calendar, they must re-share it since you can't search for someone's sub-calendar.

We also had to re-add any full-access permissions that were added previously.

Finally on the calendars, if we add full-access permissions to a calendar, and then try to re-add it to our outlook client, we do not get the permissions until we recreate our outlook profile. Even after waiting a day for any sort of possible replication.

But overall, there has been very little complaining about the move with this exception.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Office 365 successes and failures

I have been working through the challenges of a staged migration to Office 365. It has been quite the experience.

Testing went pretty good. All the users in the pilot we moved 1 or 2 at a time with some pretty lengthy moves. No surprise as I had been warned. So I began calculating the time to migrate the users and realize this is no 2 week project for sure.

I hope somewhere in these next few posts I can describe or help someone else who faces the same challenges. I know for me, the move to this solution is still a great fit but it has been more challenging than expected.

So much of the process is scripted, that if there is a hiccup you aren't sure what it changed all the time.

Some gotchas... not in order of significance. More as I think of them.
  1. legacyExchangeDN - make sure you get them all right. Any errors create havoc in the organization. Copy the legacyExchangeDN into an x500 address and you should be fine.
  2. Number of items seem to be more important than the size of the mailbox - so far.
  3. Randomly, the mailboxes in a batch fail to move because it couldn't move 1 item in the 5 hour window. So you restart the batch. Then you get impatient and delete the batch and create a new batch. After a few times, it seems like restarting the batch is fine.
  4. The detailed information on a mailbox in the batch stops accumulating time. There are 4 primary areas that it shows in the details (listed below). I had several mailboxes do this. So far, after spending 10-12 hours at a time trying to find the problem, patience pays off. Though it should have went in the 8 hours that the status was syncing and nothing was happening, it seems the only remedy is to try again and let it time out. Try again and let it time out. I even went so far as to archive a users mail up to the current day. When I ran the batch that night, they had less than 5 meg of email. Still took them 5 hours before it started moving them. This of course is in the same batch with other users whose mailboxes all moved in 2 hours totaling about 75K mailbox items (just estimating).
    1. Queued duration: Got to a point and stalled
    2. In-progress duration: was blank for a long time.
    3. synced duration:
    4. Stalled duration: would accumulate about 5 minutes of time and stall
  5. More to come

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bear Fruit

Jesus said, a branch that doesnt bear fruit is cast in the fire.
Jesus said, abide in me and you will bear much fruit.
Jesus said, keep my commandments and you will abide in me.
Jesus said, this command I give you, love one another as I have loved you.

See the reverse progression? To love is to obey, to obey is to abide, to abide bears much fruit, to bear fruit keeps you from being cut off.

So, before you can bear fruit you must love others. And it must be genuine. If it isn't genuine, your duplicity will breed distrust. Your lack of sincerity will gender distain. So, to know how to love others you have to love as Jesus loved you. More than lip service and a clearing of the conscious. He forgives you. He shows mercy to you. He is longsuffering with you. He is kind with you.

When Jesus gave, whether it was a miracle of healing, food for 5 thousand, healing the blind, he gave without expecting in return. His ultimate gift at the cross shows us true love. When we didnt love back, he still forgave us. He still laid down his life. He still took our sins.

So, be fruitful. By serving, loving others. Just as Christ loved you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I do always....

To be like Jesus. To be able to say, "I do always the will of the Father."

That is to be like Jesus.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bro Ballestero's Blog Quote

I read this, liked it, and am now posting it. Go Bro. Ballestero. Ditto!

I know how I am going to die.

I am going to die in LOVE with this wonderful Acts 2:38 new-birth message.
I am going to die believing in SEPERATION from the world.
I am going to die believing in OLD-TIME HOLINESS.
I am going to die being a WORSHIPPER. I am going do die in love with the
Old-Time preaching, praying, singing, shouting... kind of church services.
I am going to die being FAITHFUL to my Darling Wife.
I am going to die LOVING her.
I am going to die PRAYING everyday for God's intervention and guidance in
my children's lives.
I am going to die at PEACE with my fellow man.
I am going to die so that my children won't be ashamed when they go through
my belongings.
I am going to die trying to take others to heaven with me.
I am going to die LIVING like Jesus could come today.
I know how I am going to die.

(Once you got that all settled in your mind, the rest of your life seems

God Bless You All Richly

In His Service,
Martyn Ballestero Sr.