Design And Efficiency

Design And Efficiency

Sunday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Darrell Dubree

For everything there is a designer. There is an expected level of efficiency for the product that is created or designed. Or maybe labeled as its intended purpose or job. Just for example purposes these parts are out of a 400-ton, Carrier Centrifugal Water-cooled chiller. Running at peak efficiency and full load this machine in a residential setting would have the cooling capacity to condition the air for 100, 2400 square foot homes or 240,000 square ft. of living space. Each part performs a specific job that will add to the final efficiency that the designer planned for the machine. Each part has a different monetary value. The impeller is $10,000 and the Main Processor board $5000, but the individual electronic parts that make up the board $1 or less at Radio Shack.

All the parts are equally important in reaching the efficiency the designer intended for the machine. In this particular machine and many other microprocessor-controlled machines, there are sub level microprocessors that are controlling a specific function in the overall operation of the machine. These sub level processors are constantly collecting data and communicating to the main processor. They are content with all that is going on and all is well, or they are requesting a change or an adjustment in their area of operation. The main processor contains a micro chip which contains the designer’s operational software. In order for all the boards to communicate efficiently and effectively they must all be operating with the same operational software.

The operational software sets the parameters and adjustable setpoints which the main processor will use to grant or deny changes requested from the sub level processors throughout the machine. The main processor will take all these requests into consideration. The main processor will compare to the operational software and make a decision based on the operational software and the overall operation of the machine.

For example, depending on many variables and conditions the machine has to be considerate of the overall operation and keep the machine online and efficiently operating. Some request are granted or denied, depending on different operating conditions and stress on the machine. Stress being the difference being, operating on a 70-degree day with no humidity or starting from ground zero on a 100- degree day and a building full of miserably hot people.

Most of you look kind of interested, but some of you have the look of, I’m trying to get my brain wrapped around what your saying. What does this have anything to do with me as a servant of God???? 😊

Let’s compare this principal to the local body of servants of God. Actually, there are many similarities.
Designer: God
Operational Software: Gods inspired word, The Bible.

Main Processor: The local Eldership Sublevel Processors: Deacons Other parts: Members
Just as parts of this machine, all members are equally important in the efficient operation of the body (1 Corinthians 12: 14-31).

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that:

  1. God looks at the heart, not the physical appearance (1 Samuel 16:7)
  2. God shows no partiality (Romans 2:7-11).
  3. Good knows our hearts (Luke 16:14-15).

As we strive to fulfill the work that God intended in his design of the church. May we consider one another and take into consideration all the members and different areas of work. Just as the main processor of this machine considers all areas of the machines operation before a change is granted. How will this request affect the body short term and long term. Will it edify and build relationships or will it teardown and slow the work and efficiency of the body. The doctrinal decisions are the easy ones. We have had centuries of biblical scholars who have taken these apart and reassembled them. It is the non-doctrinal decisions that are difficult. Those we are forced to address in a situation that we have no former experience in dealing with. Hopefully passages like Philippians 2:1-18 will help us in this.

In any recipe or in smooth operation of machinery, there is that secret additive or ingredient that makes it just perfect. God has given us something far greater than a secret lube additive or a special secret ingredient to a recipe: Love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Hopefully these passages will help us all perform the work of the church efficiently.

a 400-ton, Carrier Centrifugal Water-cooled chiller

It Is What You Do With What You Have

It Is What You Do With What You Have

Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent

Brent Pollard

“Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” is a French children’s song born from an anonymous pastoral tune in 1740. However, this melody is so well known to us that we use it to sing three English songs: 1) “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” 2) “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and 3) “The Alphabet Song.” From a musical perspective, one might think that being a “children’s song” would make the tune simple enough for a child to plunk out on the piano with a single finger. And, indeed, in the hands of a beginner, that is true. However, one might be surprised to hear what a few renowned composers did with “Ah! Vous dirai-je, maman.” 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote twelve variations on this piece. Mozart’s composition has Köchel listing number 265 and is called “Twelve Variations in C on ‘Ah! vous dirai-je Maman.’” The melody has a length of about fourteen minutes! And no one listening to it would consider it “child’s play.” Not to be outdone, harpsichordist and composer Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach created eighteen variations on the tune for the keyboard. It takes about ten minutes to play “Bückeburg Bach’s” piece, “Variations on “Ah! vous dirai-je maman” in G major.” Even romantic pianist Franz Liszt had a crack at “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman.” Liszt’s version was short and sweet, taking only twenty-two seconds to play. But Liszt still managed to embellish the song with his flourishment despite its brevity. 

So, though it is the same song, its complexity and appeal derive from the musicians’ abilities. This truth reminds me of a parable of Jesus. A master departing for a journey entrusts his valuables to three of his servants (Matthew 25.14-30). One servant received five units of currency, another received two, while the last servant, later called “lazy” and “fearful,” was given but one. When the master returned, the servant given five talents gave to his master five more which he had earned. The two-talent servant likewise doubled his share. But that lazy and fearful servant hid the money given to him in the ground. This servant claimed fear of loss caused him to hoard what the master entrusted to him. 

We cannot ignore the original context of this parable which is money. A talent began its life as a measurement of weight. By the New Testament, the talent equaled the buying power of that weight in gold or silver. Most scholars believe that the talent to which Jesus referred was equal to 6,000 denarii. If you recall, from Matthew 20.2, employers paid workers a denarius for a day’s wage. So, one talent equaled the salary earned from 6,000 days of work! Thus, the master entrusted the “one-talent servant” with about 16 years’ wages. So then, how much more impressive that the five-talent servant increased his master’s investment by an amount that would have required the ordinary worker roughly 82 years of labor? (If my math is correct, that is.)  

Today, we tend to remove our Lord’s parable from its fiscal context to refer to our stewardship over the abilities and skills we can muster in God’s service. Or we might use talent to refer to all the resources at our disposal as we worship and serve. That it is about money is seen in the master’s scolding of the lazy servant that the least he could have done was put his talent in the bank to allow it to draw interest (Matthew 25.27). The master’s rebuke implies that the lazy and fearful servant could have still been productive despite his character flaws. All he had to do was make a safe investment of his master’s funds with the bank. See how Jesus knew about compounding interest! Compounding interest is so incredible that even Albert Einstein’s genius esteemed it as man’s greatest invention. (Granted, interest rates must be more than they are now to grow wealth. I know one fellow who only earns about fifteen cents a quarter with the current rate.) 

Elsewhere, the apostle Paul reminds us that a bountiful return follows when we sow bountifully (2 Corinthians 9.6). This Scripture is also about money. So, wealth reflects what we do with what we have. Returning to Jesus’ parable, one notes that the Lord specifies that the master knew the abilities of his servants and used that knowledge to determine how much he would entrust to each man. For this reason, Jesus could also say that God expects more of the one to whom He has given more (Luke 12.48). Please understand I am not promoting the prosperity gospel of such charlatans who play preachers on the TeeVee. If you aren’t a wealthy person, it is unlikely that God will shower you with money from Heaven simply because you prayed the prayer of Jabez or sent in “seed money” to someone’s ministry. 

No, the Lord has already given you something. Using what God gives you may be like the previously mentioned child striking single keys with his fingers. But that is okay since it is what you can do with the tune. However, your brother or sister may be capable of making twelve or eighteen variations on that tune, making your jaw drop. Worry not; their talents are not an indictment of your own. You are still capable of playing a lovely song. Therefore, it is a matter of ensuring you play it your best. Don’t do like the lazy and fearful servant and hoard your talent. Such people rob God (cf. Malachi 3.8). In these difficult economic times and times of future prosperity, God will judge us for what we do with those talents with which He has entrusted us.      


Franz Liszt at the piano (public domain)
Twelve Ultimate People Skills

Twelve Ultimate People Skills

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail

Dale Pollard

Some people just seem to be born with great people skills. Perhaps their personality type just naturally draws others to them. While natural ability may give some a leg up, the great news is that anyone can learn to work well with others and you can develop better interpersonal skills. In fact, it’s really a biblical command!

The church is made up of all kinds of people and that being the case, we must all be in the people business. Thankfully, our Lord doesn’t leave us high and dry to try and figure these things out on our own. Dispersed throughout the Bible we find several sections of scripture that teach us how to communicate, empathize, and get along with others effectively. God’s interpersonal skills cannot be matched. As the Creator, He understands exactly how humans think and behave. Here are twelve insights on interpersonal skills sent to us from above.

1. Speak evil of no one (I Thess. 5:14)

2. A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger(Proverbs 15:1)

3. The wise of heart is called perceptive, and pleasant speech increasespersuasiveness (Proverbs 16:21)

4. Be gentle and show courtesy to all people (Titus 3:2)

5. Do good to everyone (Gal. 6:10)

6. Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2)

7. As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them (Luke 6:31)

8. Discern your own thoughts, identify your intentions (Heb. 4:12)

9. Treat others like you would treat Jesus. How would you interact withHim? (Matthew 25:40)

10. Season your speech with grace. It’s the saviors All-Spice for everyrelationship building goal (Col. 4:5-6)

11. Praise God and be joyful, it attracts people (Psalm 100:1-5)

12.Be ready for every good work, speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, begentle, show courtesy to all people (Titus 3:1-15)

Notice how many passages in the Bible command us to speak differently than everyone else? All of these insights can be simply summed up in just one sentence. Talk, walk, and live more like Jesus. He was perfect in every way and that includes how he interacted with others. Modeling ourselves after the Savior will not only improve our relationship skills with others, but also with Him.

Jesus also teaches us that no matter how gentle and loving we are, we’ll still make some people upset. That’s alright! As long as we’re acting like the Lord in all things.