Water of Life

Bottled water has become a multi-billion dollar business. National brands cost more per gallon than gasoline. Industry representatives spend millions annually touting the merits of bottled elixirs over tap water. However, studies suggest no discernible difference between designer and faucet water.

During my childhood, no one thought much about water. Every faucet tapped into an inexhaustible supply. We took long baths with shower heads that dispensed enough pressurized water to peel paint. Oversized commodes flushed away countless gallons with a satisfying rush of liquid. When the plumbing ran too long, jiggling the handle took care of the problem.

Bottled waterI recall the first advertisements about bottled water back in the 1980s. The concept dumbfounded me. Why would people pay good money for something they could get for free? I figured the concept would die along with other fads like cell phones, satellite TV, and Apple computers.

Today grocery stores dedicate shelf after shelf to bottled water. The name brands by the major bottling companies occupy the most space. However, flavored waters with exotic ingredients have carved a niche for themselves.

The ecologically conscious now recommend using reusable bottles with tap water. Many homes and offices recycle. We have all begun to realize that natural resources are not inexhaustible resources. Water is a precious gift of creation that must be wisely utilized.

Tap, spring, artesian, or bottled—water is life. As children of the Creator, we are called to be wise stewards of this valuable commodity.

Children’s TV

The Grand Miss Haisley, our adorable granddaughter, recently spent the weekend at our house. In preparation for the visit, we recorded a few family friendly videos on TV. Contemporary changes in children’s programming proved to be a big surprise.

Our children grew up in the 1990s with Barney. The purple and green dinosaur sang and danced his way into the hearts of American millennials. According to an internet search, Barney became extinct in 2009.

Big Bird

Our son and daughter also loved Sesame Street. However, the current HBO production bears little resemblance to the former PBS version. Many of the same characters remain, but entertainment rather than education now appears to be the goal.

VeggieTales also disappointed. The computer generated cartoons debuted in the early 1990s, featuring animated vegetables and fruits. The direct-to-video format featured unapologetically Christian story-lines. Scripture passages provided the theme for every episode.

Today’s Netflix production of VeggieTales has abandoned its religious roots like Esau trading his birthright for a bowl of stew. The morality tales teach mild lessons about ethics and manners with a passing nod at the Judeo-Christian heritage.

Money talks, and changes in children’s programming no doubt reflect the bottom line. However, I find myself missing older days when Mr. Rogers talked about simple truths with hand puppets serving as high tech.

Ultimately, it’s parents’ responsibility to teach their children about the faith. If we are depending on TV, Hollywood, or the government to do the job, then we’ll be eternally disappointed.

Raise up a child in the way they should go . . . including what children watch during screen time.

The Five A’s of Mistakes

The Northside Church staff leadership team recently attended a seminar and heard Danny Meyer speak. The renowned restaurateur emphasized the importance of hospitality in the service industry. In his best-selling book, Setting the Table, Meyer discussed the importance of servant leadership.

Although flawless service is the goal of every restaurant, miscues inevitably happen. Meyer teaches his staff team “The Five A’s” of responding to mistakes.

  • Awareness. Recognize a mistake has been made.
  • Acknowledge. Claim responsibility for what has gone wrong.
  • Apologize. Two of the most powerful words in the English language are “I’m sorry.”
  • Act. Match words with action. Do your best to right the wrong.
  • Apply additional generosity. Go the second mile with lavish graciousness.

Mistake 2

Meyer states that mistakes grant the opportunity to “write a great next chapter” in a relationship when one strives to “make it right.”

“The Five A’s of Mistakes” are not only good advice for restaurateurs but also for Christians.