Thursday, November 11, 2010

For a Day, OMR Becomes Part of The Working Woman Blog Tour

Hey gang!

Today, we have Rosemary Flaaten, author of A Woman and Her Workplace joining us as a guest author. Enjoy the read!

My coworker loves to gossip about the rest of the staff behind their backs. How do I deal with it
when she wants to unload the dirt on me? What if I’m the subject of her chitchat?
Workplace Gossip
by Rosemary Flaaten
Gossip is a nemesis that runs rampant in workplaces. A tantalizing snippet of information or a morsel of
exaggerated juicy news goes a long way to spice up a humdrum work environment. But, left unchecked, it creates a
toxic environment that will suck the health out of workplace relationships.
The effects of gossip can only be felt when they are passed from one coworker to another. When your gossiping
coworker starts to share with you the latest bit of ofDice gossip, it is best to simply stop it. Interrupt her monologue
and say “I really don’t want to hear this about this person. I don’t want to get drawn into gossip”. You’re not
slamming her behavior; you are simply setting boundaries on your involvement. Chances are she will be surprised
and may even mutter something like “Well, you’re no fun.” or sarcastically exclaim, “Aren’t you all high and mighty.
We’ll give you the Miss Perfect award.”
Unfortunately, you may Dind that your unwillingness to participate in her gossip circle may make you the brunt of
her gossip. But, know that doing the right thing is always the best rule. Perhaps your courage to stand up and stop
being engaged in the gossip will make a positive impact on the workplace environment.
Jesus had a great deal to say about how to get along with the people in our lives who are our enemies – people who
gossip about us and even slander our character. Jesus evidenced for us the value of speaking the truth in love but
He went even further to give us relational pointers that will reverse the toxic nature of gossip. C.S. Lewis referred to
the topsy‐turvy nature of God’s kingdom and these four points from Luke 6:27‐28 are indeed counter‐cultural:
1. Love your enemies ‐ If loving your coworkers is too high of a hurdle to stride, use the work care instead. Caring
for this coworker means that you will not force your convictions on her; you will forgive her for the offensives she
has made against you and you will take pleasure in only the truth about her. If this seems impossible – you’re right,
it is, on our own. We must open our heart to God and allow His love to Dlow into us so that we can become the
conduit of Love to those people who desire evil against us.
2. Do good to those who hate you – Kindness disarms hostility. Find ways to show kindness to her, even while she
continues to gossip or slander you. Raise the bar. You have the opportunity to bring kindness and benevolence into
the workplace.
3. Bless those who curse you – blessings involves desiring good things to happen to and for others. Blessing is the
antithesis of retaliation. When given a chance to say something unkind about someone who has been spreading
gossip, choose to Dind something good to say about them. Follow the adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t
say anything at all.”
4. Pray for those who mistreat you – As Christ hung on the cross, he prayed for those who had orchestrated his
cruciDixion. Praying allows God to transplant our bruised heart with a supple heart that turns our focus to God
rather than the mistreatment we have received by the words of others. True heart change will occur when we start
It is never our responsibility to try to change the gossiping habit of our coworkers. We are simply responsible for
our behavior. Deciding that we will not even be a receiver of gossip will break the cycle. Being on the receiving end
will necessitate a decision between retaliation and love. Treating our enemies the way we would want to be treated
is living out the Golden Rule.

Rosemary Flaaten’s successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-ofwork
relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships in A Woman and Her Workplace. Her
Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada's top Christian literary honor. A dynamic
speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as
opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What In the World Is Going On, Dr. David Jeremiah review

Hey gang!

We keep asking the question, “How bad can it get?” Unemployment is still high, BP is still cleaning up the Gulf Coast, our dollars are going down the toilet, so what else can happen? In David Jeremiah’s book, What In the World Is Going On?, 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Miss, these questions get tackled.

Without giving up all the clues, I can tell you that this book is insightful into the current world. Here are just a few things I learned from the book. I didn’t know that the US is 13th in oil production in the world. Most of the top producers are in the Middle East, but I didn’t realize how far down we were and how much that affects power in the global scale.

That isn’t enough for you. Dr. Jeremiah explains how Israel was born and what conflict that it caused and continues to cause today. My favorite part of the book was the explanation that America might not be a big world player by the final days. He explains everything thoroughly with scripture and with what has already happened in world events.

This book is a must read for anyone trying to figure out “What in the World is Going On?”

I love you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneakers At Work Day is September 17, Rosemary Flaaten Joins Us

Hey gang!

Learned about a day that I never knew about and wanted to share it with you. Friday is National Sneakers At Work Day. Well, I will let Rosemary Flaaten, author of A Woman and Her Workplace, talk a little about her obsession with sneakers. Enjoy a fun holiday with lighter shoes in the workplace.

Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?
By Rosemary Flaaten

By the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?

The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.

So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?

As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency?

It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability. Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable. Sounds a little like stilettos.

Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.

If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.

In defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work" day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!

You can read more of Rosemary at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Can't Take God Away

Hey gang!

Tonight, one of my close friends here in town came to me on the internet. He gave me the good news and the bad news. The good news was that he was asked to represent his Christian organization on his college campus at the college student government meetings. I thought, “Man, that is awesome! You can really reach people for Christ this way.”

Then he gave me the bad news, the student government wants to do a couple of events that don’t sit well with him and the organization. He wants to speak out and say why they don’t agree, but there is fear. The organization is already being harassed by the college gay and lesbian group with threats of trying to take them off campus.

I won’t talk about two of the three events. Let’s just say that they aren’t things that Christians will want to be a part of. My attack plan is simple. If you can’t beat them and they are going to have the event whether you say yes or no, give them an alternative. I don’t mean student government. I mean the people here. They can run their event and you can offer a post-party or a booth near the event to evangelize. You are not running against the events, you are offering people truth and a choice.

The third item I will mention. The gay and lesbian group suggested a day of silence. They are tired of being harassed while walking around and I do understand that. But I think their targets are wrong. I would care to bet it isn’t Christians harassing them. It is ignorant people that are harassing them. They are ignorant as to why gays and lesbians would even choose their lifestyle. Truthfully, ignorant people don’t want to know. They want you to know you are different. Ignorant people give the same language to Christians, too.

But the day of silence is a great idea. I wish every campus across the United States tried this out. Why? Glad you asked. Here’s the thing, in my silence YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD AWAY!

Sure, I can’t walk around and talk with you about Christ today. You don’t want to hear the Word of God for one reason. The Word of God NEVER returns void. He promises us that. If you hear the Word, you now walk under the conviction of the Word. It just might put groups out of people.

OK, I understand. So, yes, I love a day of silence. Here are the rules. I will shut up provided you let me be a Christian in every other way. I promise not to put up signs. I won’t need them. Are you worried about all the noise in the student union? There won’t be any. I can still pray. I can still read my Bible. Most importantly, I can still be a Christian by example of following your rule of keeping my mouth shut. You may not hear me. But God will. And so will others who are watching. Some of those other groups will look and go, “You know, those Christians respected our rights and we respected theirs. There may be a middle ground. There may also be evidence that things need to change.”

Above is a video of Audio Adrenaline’s You Can’t Take God Away. I hope that it inspires Christians that want to be the example rather than speak the example that they can still make a difference in silence. Here are the words to this powerful song.

Lyrics | Audio Adrenaline lyrics - Can't Take God Away lyrics

Just remember my friends, YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD FROM ME!

I love you guys!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Not Forget...But Neither Will They

Hey gang!

Today is September 11th and I don’t need to tell you what happened nine years ago. Every year I get asked where I was. I can tell you easily. I had just finished the night shift at SunTrust’s call center and drove home. My friend Alvin was visiting because Night of Joy was the previous weekend. He was still asleep when I got home and I told my grandmother that I was going to sleep for a few hours.

Before I fell asleep, I decided to watch some TV. The local area had a tire plant that had recently caught fire and when I saw the smoke, I thought it was just more pictures of the scene at the plant. I had no idea that the smoke they were showing was from the World Trade Center. I flipped off the TV and slept for about two hours.

Alvin woke me to tell me what had happened. For the next three hours, we were glued to the TV. I couldn’t watch any more. We knew that Disney and Sea World were closing or had already closed so we figured to drive around and see what we could do. We stopped at a mall out near Disney and they decided to close at 3pm. Not much time for shopping.

That night, I still had to go to work. We were surprised that work was still going on, but I think all of us needed it to know that the world was still going on. Most of the night, we were able to talk because other than people checking balances occasionally, it was pretty quiet.

I remember in the days after that we decided to visit the Holy Land Experience. While other theme parks were closed or having limited hours, the Holy Land was on schedule and it was busy. One of the positive things that came out of the experience was that some of the population had a hunger to understand God more than ever.

I also remember the number of flags and flag decals and all the pro-USA stuff that was on cars, houses and businesses. There was such a unity of pride for our country. It is the likes of which I have not seen before or since. One bumper sticker said it all, “Don’t Mess With the U.S.”

Before long, we saw Congress pass a bill to proclaim the day Patriot Day. America began to use the day to take pride in country and another time to honor the veterans that protect and serve to give us the freedom that we have.

As citizens here in the United States, the slogan of the day has become We Will Not Forget. I think that has positive and negative connotations though. The positive remembrances are easy. We remember the 3,000+ people that gave their lives that day. Almost everyone I know either lost a family member or a friend, or it seems that way. These people are remembered for the differences they made in the lives of those that were left behind. They are loved.

The negative connotations are also easy, even though most of us really don’t want to talk about them. First, the United States now understands that we are no longer secure in that terrorism won’t happen to us. It was a wake-up call. A bitter, nasty reminder that the world does not all love us.

September 11th also reminds us that whether we want to believe it or not, racism still exists. While we united as a country, every person that is Muslim in America or looks like one is looked at differently. There is that look of “Can I really trust them?” out the corner of peoples’ eyes. While it might be somewhat good to be skeptical, it isn’t good to go full tilt and say things like, “Can’t trust a Muslim, period.”

The one thing I’ll say here that has come out of the last few days with this pastor and his congregation wanting to burn Korans (or Qu’ Rans), is that every group of people has a few nut jobs that the rest of the group wish would just go away. As badly as I wish these people in Florida would go back under the rock they came from, many Muslims wish that the terrorist acts never happened. I think both sides of the equation realize that what this small number of overzealous crazies try to do make everyone look bad.

But this celebration of what is now Patriot Day and our slogan of We Will Not Forget leaves me with one question that should make us all uncomfortable. Before I ask it, let me say here first that I know that most Muslims do NOT think this way and I am speaking of these extremists that love the acts of terrorism that was done here and everywhere else in the world.

The question is this: Knowing that we commemorate today, do you think that there are some that treat today like a holiday in the other way? That the extremists treat today as some High Holy Day of victory over the evil USA and/or Christianity? Are there parties going on somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, or even right here in the U. S. of A. celebrating that America and/or Christianity had their hat handed to them today?

I know that’s a scary thought. We Will Not Forget, however, I don’t think they will either.

I love you guys!