Message from Phil

I love caramel apples.  They are a treat.  I don’t eat them all year long.  They are a fall thing for me.  I can be a bit lazy at times…  I don’t want to unwrap all the little squares of caramel, melt them and dip the apples. That is just too much work.  So this year Kimberly and I stopped at The Candy House in Springfield and picked up several of their decadent and wonderful caramel apples.  You can get any topping you wish on an apple:  chocolate drizzles, sprinkles, nuts, marshmallows…. the list is amazing.

I walked out of Candy House with a masterpiece; “a pecan, caramel apple!”  Like a kid on Christmas morning I unwrapped the gift to myself.  I pulled out my pocket knife and cut a wedge right out of it.  Just as I had hoped, it was delicious.  But what I found to be most amazing was the crispness and bright flavor of the actual apple.  At the moment it seemed as though it was the best apple I had ever eaten.

What surprised me was how much I noticed the apple amidst all the layers of caramel, and pecans.  Those accessories did not overshadow or cover up the authentic perfection of our Creator’s work.

As human beings we accessorize ourselves, our businesses, our services, our presentations.  Our accessories need to be beautiful and appealing and differentiating.  But our core – – our authenticity – – our soul needs to be true, bright, crisp and connected to the real purpose of our being.  We serve others with honesty, compassion and patience.

Gang, what really matters, is what is at our core.  I had a good conversation with a staff member today regarding our X Factor, and the need for all on our leadership to truly live it.  My challenge to all of you is that you join me in committing to never let our success, workloads, desired impressions etc. overshadow our core need to stay fully committed to our X Factor, because without a strong CORE, we become fragile and risk structural failure.  We have worked too hard to ever allow this to happen.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Phil 🙂

If we magnified our blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier – John Wooden

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