Monday, June 6, 2011

A Personal Post - Allen Family Foods

As many know, I work for Allen Family Foods in Harbeson, Delaware.  Recently job hours have been cut and a lot of rumors have been going around.  This post is for those who work there and follow my blog to understand what is going on - as far I have been told.

Due to the hardships of this depression, and that is what it is, many prices have gone up for the company.  Feed corn for the chickens, transportation costs - fuel in particular, loss of companies to buy chicken from Allen's, and drop in meat sales have all combined to add to the problems that the company must face and address.  The companies that AFF normally deals with have faced hardships themselves.  Some have even gone out of business (various A&P stores and their distributors in particular).  This all affects the bottom line.

From the employee perspective, this is reflective in lost hours.  During the summer when overtime is the norm, employees are facing 30 hour work weeks, and days off.  When workers would normally save for the slow winter months, they are barely keeping on to pay bills during the summer.  If it slows even more during the winter....well, winter is not here yet.

Allen Family Foods is trying to increase sales, cut costs, and continue to produce a great product at an affordable price.  This is not an action that happens overnight.  While the 21st century depression continues, belt tightening may be the only option left.

If things go well, Allen's could increase sales in markets that it has not sold to before.  And if the movement to open international trade works well this year, Allen's could be on the bandwagon of other industries to address food needs overseas.

The unions are powerless to do anything about loss of jobs.  Companies must do what they need to do in order to remain in business.  But with cut in hours and possible loss of job, many will go without medical coverage soon.  A sad effect of union waivers.  Otherwise, regardless of hours worked, a union worker could still get medical coverage.

I made a promise to stick this out and do my very best for the company.  Still, I personally find it a deterrent when a company does not keep communications open and keep hopes alive by filling upper management positions with loyal workers.

As with many, I must wait and see.  Sadly, my lenders will not be so patient.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Matter of Ethics

Ethics Defined
As Christians, we have an obligation to place into practice that which Christ taught us.  Even when we do things lawfully, we still have a higher standard we must keep.

In all things we are to judge righteously.  We prove all things by two or more witnesses.  We set the standard all things by the commandments of God.  We test all things by the Word of God.

Our personal interests and feelings only are one witness.  Even of this Jesus said he could be bear witness of himself as his witness would not be true.  He was only one, not the two required - thus his witness would not be considered true.  Even as a measurement can be considered not true.  That is not to say it is a lie as we are not judging to see if it is a lie.  We are looking in the truth of things.  If the truth is not there, it cannot be used.  Much like the measurement that comes up short, that which we measured cannot be used or be considered.

So in work, we set not a goal, but a measurement.  The standard to which all employees and management must hold themselves.  If they do not measure up, then they must change or not be considered.

Sadly, even where I work, this is not followed.  In advancing individuals to positions, they show gross favoritism rather than to choose those who are qualified, and showed that they can do the work.  This even includes the objections of others who might otherwise have no say in the matter.

Being ethical is not prejudging anyone.  It is going with the facts and accepting them.  Not letting personal bias or the bias of others to change or exclude the facts.  Its doing the right thing even when everyone else objects.  Its doing the right thing, even if it means taking the blow of the outcome yourself.  Yet your actions set a higher standard conduct, but if you choose to ignore ethics (morals) then you become something less. 

Romans 14:13  Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 
14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 
15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 
16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 
18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 
19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 

21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 
22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 
23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Paul gives an example where food is considered.  While it may be lawful for Christians to eat of the item, it may not be lawful for others, based on their beliefs or feelings.  If we as Christians can abstain from such foods and set an example of not causing an offense, then we should do so.

This is also true with business.  If your actions are within the law, they may be perceived as unethical, or worse - as an injustice.

While you may feel that your actions are fine, the effect of your actions can cause others to stray.  If there is something that you know is perfectly benign but someone may perceive it to be something else, then it is your responsibility to be an example to those around you and do that which encourages lawfulness and ethics.  For while you have an intention of good, if more than one perceives it as that which is less than good, then it is witnessed as less than good.

When we deal with ethics, it is a standard where we subject ourselves to a peer review for all the things we do.  Our first and foremost peer is God.  His word sets the high standard.  The fruits of our actions and works is the second witness.  particularly when others are involved.

In business we must apply the same principal.  If we do something which is within the law, but can be perceived as being a company without standards, we risk loosing the customers we have and/or risk driving those who would be our customers away.

As businessmen and businesswomen we have to make hard choices.  When we hire people, when we promote them, and - sadly - when we have to let them go. These choices define our character.  Even though we are within the law to do so, are we within the moral law, are we within the boundaries of what is acceptable within our industry and our society.

The same exists within our personal life.  How we respond to situations and other issues are seen by others.  Most importantly, by God!  Let us be a Godly example.

Yet we must understand there is a difference between ethics and lawlessness. While man can set a "ethics" standard, if it does not first meet the standards set by God's word, or by the laws of man, then it is of no worth.  Gangs set their own standard of ethics, or conduct, but it is lawlessness and as such becomes of no worth.

Even when we see an injustice at work.  Such an injustice can be a violation of common ethical conduct.  While it can be lawful, and within the boundaries of a contract, it can still be seen as an act of injustice - something of no or negative worth.

Advancing someone above another without regards to the protocols and common ethics involved with job advancement - such putting personal preference over someone with more skills and more seniority than the one chosen - is unethical.  It is an injustice.

But we also must consider the rule of two - it takes two to bare witness to something.  Perhaps there is something you cannot see.  Maybe for some reason they chose that way because of other circumstances involved with the person who would have been more qualified.

In this we must also apply ethics.  A higher moral standard.  We know our life and we must continue in that life as children of God.  Our very actions must be accounted as Godly, and the fruits of our hands worthy of praise - both by those who we work for, and most importantly - by God.

In this we become ministers of the truth.  We become that standard which ashames others and condemns unrighteous choices of management.  Above, in verse 19, it is written: "...let us purse what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding."

Strive for peace among those you work with, but continue the fight to set things right.  Not by your standards, but GOD's.  He will bless you for it.

Getting Back Off The Ground

Well, hard times have fallen and like so many of you it has pinned me to the ground for a while.  My newsletter "SNITCH" for the prison ministry is finally starting back up after a long shutdown.  Requests for me to begin my ministry at full steam are starting.  But things did not look so nice before this time.
    In the past year, I have lost my father to heart disease and diabetes.  He left to be with the Lord in March.  My attempts to heal my marriage failed the day of his burial.  While the sins of my past have been the start of the failure, my rededication to God in 1995 and attempts to do what I can since then were not enough.  Just when I thought that all my loyalty to God and rebuilding of the Man of God that God wanted me to be from the beginning was for nothing, he brought a beautiful voice to me, calling me to church.
    What you have to realize is a prayer I made back in 1995 included these things: that God's will be done.  That my efforts to save my marriage would be by The Book - The Bible.  If God showed me that my wife wanted to part based on offense to Christ or my Christian ministry, then I would let her part.  That I would not seek another, even afterwards.  That I would not trust my heart to choose because it might select someone who is not of God - again.  That knowing is not good for man to be alone, that God would guide a woman of God to me, and that she would have a love for God that would keep me founded in the faith and continuing in the ministry. 
    In March of that same year (2010) at the end of the month, three weeks after the burial of Dad and what I call the final end of my marriage, a old friend called me to go to church with her.  She encouraged me to start the prison ministry back up and to get things together to do the will of God. 
    The interesting part of this all is she was the first gal I asked to the prom.  At the time, she said "No."  As I told her, in that day I was not the man God wanted me to be for her.  She is amazing.  Cissy I love you dearly.  My joy with you knows no bounds.  Because of you, by the will and power of God, the ministry is reborn, strong and active!
The Skelton Ministry
The ministry was reborn! My life was renewed, and a new hope was established.  The passing of my old life had a wonderful, peaceful, end.  My life as a full time minister and the future hope of being a husband once more fills me with wonder and joy.

    The Skelton Ministry is a prison ministry.  God has shown me it will grow to something much bigger and more wonderful that I can imagine.  But it will take time and resources.  You don't build your tower without planning and having all the items needed to build it - including the workers of the Lord.

    I have also been lead of the Lord, and His will confirmed through others, that I should begin my new life as a writer.  Me? Mr. Cantspellathing?

What books?

How To Cook A Ruby Red Dragon
A story of a "young man" who lost all that he felt was important in his life.  Forced to enter the world alone. Perhaps if he smiles, no one will notice he is a Ruby Red Dragon.....

A Utopian world.  A race that followed God's word and will.  One that has been blessed with knowledge and power.  Yet one son shall conspire to kill the child yet to be born - the child that can keep him from becoming Emperor!  A coming fight that may very well destroy the world he wants to rule...

A Christian Verse by Verse Comparative and Commentary of the Bible and the Quran.

...and the one book that will eventually have me hunted and killed - as God has shown me will happen in my latter years...

After dealing with apologetics with Muslims and even some radical elements of Islam, the one thing that is common for most ministries is the lack of understanding of what the Bible says, and what that Quran says.  Where do they say the same thing, and where do they differ.  This book will go verse by verse in the Quran and give a Biblical response, along with commentary.  With color coding of responses to show same, neutral, or opposite teachings or facts.  This is one book that will take a very long time to complete.

....and so on....
    I hope that you all continue to read these posts and freely post your comments.  I will make an effort to update this blog as I am able.

God Bless You All!

Friday, July 9, 2010

In The Beginning

But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.
(Matthew 25:31-46)

Its an odd thing to think about.  Imagine, you having to go to prison and talk to someone there to comfort them.  Or simply to visit and talk about stuff.  Imagine once they get out and come to your church.  Do you want a convicted sex offender sitting next to you praising GOD for his forgiveness?

Imagine that.  Now imagine that GOD, Christ Himself, required that of you prior to admission to Heaven.  Got that on your resume?  It matters not what you did, it is what HE told you to do.  ...and you didn't do it...

The Skelton Ministry is a ministry dedicated to delivering this one message: God Forgives, and he forgives completely.  Men and women in prison are brought to Christ every day.  Some of their church services are the most profoundly blessed events, even in comparison to any church service on the street.  For when you have nothing else and you give it all to God, blessings can only follow.

Sadly, many only read what they want to read and leave out the requirements of God.  So called Christians are not the only ones guilty of this.  If one was to be a Muslim and ignore the requirement to kill all Christians and Jews (for in Islam they are worse than Pagans, and pagans are to be killed where they stand), what does it say about being a Christian where is is required that you help those in need, and visit those in prison?

What greater testimony do we have than this: that we obeyed GOD.

God Bless.  I look forward to your continued readings of this blog and of the newsletters that will be posted.