Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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What are You Willing to Risk?

I tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to risk. I can remember years ago when our church was still renting property and were looking to build a church building. Some of the church leaders were on one side of the debate, saying that we needed to take a risk and trust that God would provide the funds. I was on the other side, and though I certainly believe in trusting God, my mind was wondering how we were possibly going to be able to pay the monthly payment on the building loan. Another example is the investment strategy that my wife Tammy and I have. We would like to make a fair return, but we are not willing to take a high degree of risk with our money.
In all walks of life, I tend to take well thought out, or informed, risks. I gather as much information as I can to make a well-informed decision. Over the years, I may have frustrated some by not taking more risk, or making decisions more quickly, but that’s the way I approach significant decisions. Continue reading


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The Biggest Risk I Took in My Career


Are you a risk taker? Some people are, but I’ve never been one to take big risks without looking at an issue from all sides, getting input on it, and praying about it. I remember one IT department leader telling us (about implementing changes into our infrastructure) that if we do our homework (testing, etc.) and something went wrong, he would be right there to support us. However, if we had not been diligent, and something went wrong (the change took the system down, for example), we would be dangling in the wind without his support (as he slowly waved a piece of paper back and forth).
One time, about a third of the way into my career, a mentor suggested a consultant position to me that if I was chosen, would have resulted in a promotion. However, the position would have resulted in a significant amount of travel. After my wife and I discussed this, we decided that the downside offset the advantage of the position, and thus I did not pursue it.
One of the risks I did take was when I applied for a leadership position that was a step up from the one that I was in. The position would be a challenge for me, and I would have to take a lot of difficult classes. On top of that, I loved the position I currently had (leading a group of Planners). I remember praying about this decision, and not getting any clear answer one way or the other. I decided to make the move and it was one of the best decisions I made in my nearly 38-year career.
But the biggest risk I took was changing departments exactly halfway into my career. Continue reading