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I sat watching one of our techs walk out of the office shocked that that day was his last day working with our company. It felt like death. The quietness fell in that building so deep, it was a trudge to walk to our truck. The relationships that were formed were crushed. The security of financial backing was washed up. Being fired from a job is devastating. A world in complete order gets tossed around into sheer chaos.
This is exactly what happened to my life just mere days ago. Without warning, I was told I wasn’t needed anymore. Six months of termite studies, two state certifications, one state license, customer service experience, and given to my craft obliterated in one simple sentence by one person with power.
Being a man of faith, I’m thankful that the one with ultimate power has no desire to sit me down and say, “Kevin, I have to let you go.” I’ve messed up more in my spiritual life than I have in my work life. I’ve done more intentional wrongs toward God than I have toward my workplace. I’ve been more devoted to my work in pest control than I have to God at times and still I have never heard God tell me He has to let me go.
Pest control can be a seasonal job. So can our work in God. There are times when we don’t feel like being a Christian. We don’t feel like praying. We don’t feel like being nice to someone. We’d rather get on the internet than read our bible. We’d rather ignore someone who’s in need. There are seasons in our walk where we feel far from God because of our own doings. II Timothy says preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Our walk with God can sometimes be seasonal too, but I don’t have a God who fires me because He thinks I’m not wanted when I’m in an off-season. I am always wanted by God. You are always wanted by God. If you’re feeling the same way, if you’ve been fired from something you love, If you feel like you’ve lost it all and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no answers, no feelings of joy, you ARE wanted… by God and you will never be let go.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do you want to know a cheap way to keep birds from building nests on your porch?
I’m sure by the title, you are well aware with where this blog post is going. I guarantee you were probably right. But let me set it up anyway.
I crawl under houses a lot. Unlike my boss, who jokingly calls me a wimp, I like to wear knee pads. I admit, it hurts sometimes crawling under houses without them. Set your knee down on a rock, ouch! Bang it against the block crawling in or out, ouch! So I protect myself from this unnecessary crime of pain.
Recently I had to buy a new pair because my old ones were wearing out. Typically when I do this, there is something I have to do. I remove the top strap. Knee pads that come with straps come with a top strap for above the knee and one for below the knee. I don’t like the top strap for two reasons. One is because it hurts when I keep my leg bent for a long periods of time which tends to happen under a house. The other reason is because it’s rather unnecessary.
Working without the top strap will keep the knee pad in place just fine. Working without the bottom strap and the knee pad will fall down the leg constantly. I’m not sure what law of God that made this became a scientific monstrosity but it did and is a real problem. So the bottom strap only it is.
Ironically we do the same with scripture. We pick and choose which ones we want to keep and which ones we want to throw out. C’mon, you know you do it. Even Thomas Jefferson did it. What he did is called Deism; throwing out the miracles of Jesus. Maybe you don’t throw them out. Maybe you just pay them no attention.
Either case, there are those scriptures we don’t readily accept because they cause us discomfort. Or maybe they’ll cause us to be made fun of or cause us to be called weird. Hey, if you’re a Christian, you’re weird. Remember, you believe in someone being born from a virgin, seas being parted, water coming from rocks, people being healed by having someone’s shadow pass by, people talking to themselves and calling it prayer to an invisible God. For goodness sakes, a guy being nailed to a cross and dying, being buried only to come back to life in three days. That’s all just weird.
So face it, it’s a weird book to be living by. But maybe dying to yourself isn’t fun. Maybe, serving other before yourself doesn’t seem like “winning”. Maybe, putting yourself last so by some means God will exalt you and bring you to the front doesn’t seem plausible.
Let me guarantee you suffering leads to comfort. Dying leads to living. Serving leads to being served. Giving leads to taking. I know. God is a weird God. That’s why he says he uses the weak to confuse the strong. He wants people to lean on Him and be obedient to His callings. By doing so, by giving ourselves in obedience, it always leads to bigger and better things beyond our imagination.
So I encourage you, the knee pads of life need both the top strap and the bottom strap. If God made it to come with both, don’t pick and choose which best suits you. God knows better and has provided us with what we need. It’ll work out. It may be confusing. It may be weird. I challenge you to name me one thing God has designed or purposed that doesn’t seem weird. I mean He’s three individuals in ONE! He’s a weird dude or duddette for all the sexists folks out there. But that’s for another blog post!
Today I got called out to an account that we had been having problems with ants all summer. the customer wasn’t upset she had been paying for pest control and not getting any relief. Upon arrival, I walked into her kitchen and found quite a few ants invading her counters.
When I get called to an ant account, I literally like to sit and watch them. I’ve found many of hideouts and entrances by just observing. One lady couldn’t understand why she had ants going over her door way into her cabinets where the M&Ms were but I found out why by sitting and observing their trailing. They weren’t coming from the outside. They were shacked up in a potted plant sitting on her microwave. Problem solved.
So this account, I just sat there. Finally they showed me where they were entering. Between the stove and the counter, I followed them half way down the wall and then they tucked in behind the counter where I couldn’t access. So I went outside and found two trails. One coming from a tree branch and the other coming up from a bird bath leaned against her house.
After further investigating, I found they were beginning to group up underneath the vinyl. I baited all areas outside and used phantom aerosol on the inside. Problem solved. Here’s a short video I took to show the customer what I had found and how I treated. I edited a little to make it fun for the blog.
What’s the dirtiest place you’ve ever found yourself in. The public trash dump? Cleaning out barn stalls? Changing a dirty diaper or a mess of vomit? Walking through a yard where the dog uses the bathroom? Maybe you work in oil and grease. Maybe you’re a vet and deal with sick animals. Maybe you’re a fellow exterminator. Whatever the case, we’ve all been in some moments that we didn’t want to be there because the stench or the place was the nastiest thing you’ve ever seen.
One of the worst accounts I’ve ever found myself in had roaches, fleas, ants, and mice. The kitchen was so riddled with roaches, they came out and greeted me when I walked in. they didn’t run away. There were literally thousands of roaches in every crevice of the bar, beside the stove, behind the fridge, in the drawers, in the kitchen closet, around the doors, throughout the cabinets. You didn’t have to look for them. They were everywhere in the kitchen and living room. Playstation, VCR, TV, and even the ferrets cage was riddled with roaches. No place was off-limits for these roaches.
The fleas were unbearable climbing all over me and no matter what I used to keep them off, it didn’t work. They were ruthless. They covered my pants and hid in my socks. They covered the carpets, the couch and chairs and made the dogs and ferret so uncomfortable.
The ants weren’t near as bad but they were present and making their way into the bathroom. I feared if they headed towards the kitchen they may find some resistance from the roaches. So they pretty much stayed towards the bathroom.
The mice were horrid. In the bathroom as well as under the sink in the kitchen, it was near impossible to see the floor. There was so much mice droppings it literally covered like a carpet. This was a serious health hazard.
The back door was missing a foot of the door at the bottom allowing her dogs to come and go as they please as well as any other animal that might find it well to come inside. As soon as it was time to move to the back yard to spray she realized she had a dead dog on her porch. This dog wasn’t dead earlier in the day.
I only wished I could explain how repulsed I was after leaving this place. It was the nastiest job I had ever encountered. When I left, I found the most remote place I could and literally stripped down to make sure I had nothing on me. As soon as I returned home, I showered and washed my clothes. When I laid in bed that night, the only thing I could think of was that homeowner was laying down to sleep as well… in that place. I cried!
When it comes to nastiness versus cleanliness, my sin is in no comparison to this home. This home is probably cleaner than my sin. My sin is revolting to God.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
Paul even speaks of those things that he had gained in life to the likeness of dung in comparison to Jesus’ righteousness. (Philippians 3:8) Everything he had done to accomplish his goals and be one of the greatest pharisees had become no less than a bowel movement in his eyes, something to flush down the toilet. Because in light of Christ, our righteousness is nonexistent.
When I walk into a house with so putrid of circumstances, the moment I walk in my stomach turns from the stench I can’t help but be reminded that my sin is just as sickening to God if not worse. Thankfully, God has the power to clean me up. He loves me enough to take me as I am but not leave me like He found me.
Thank God that by the power in the blood I can be washed clean though the amazing grace of God by faith! (Excuse my Christianise.)
- Spider bodies consist of two parts, the cephalothorax and the abdomen
- With the exception of one family, all spiders are venomous
- All spiders are predators
- Spiders can’t digest solid foods
- All spiders produce silk
- Not all spiders spin webs
- Male spiders use modified appendages called pedipalps to mate with females
- Male spiders risk being eaten by their female mates
- Spiders use silk to protect their eggs
- Spiders don’t move by muscle alone
This is an interesting video on DDT uses during WWII. Shout out to Insects In The City for sharing this on his blog.
Nothing is more important than knowing you can trust your team members. They’re not on the opposite team. They’re not the enemy. They’re not out to destroy you. They’re the ones who you’re supposed to count on, trust in, confide in, and rely on. Your team members are the ones you’re yoked with, partnered with, unified with. There should be no hostility between you.
That is why the other day when one of my team members done something wrong, I didn’t verbally attack them in front of the customer or the other team members. I didn’t openly correct them in front of others. We have a saying around here. We call that “throwing someone under the bus.” That I didn’t do. That’s not how you correctly and appropriately manage a team or handle an issue with a team member. That would be total disrespect toward those you work with. That is unacceptable.
So how do you diffuse a situation when it comes to relieving tension between you and a team member? One on won. Did you catch how I wrote that. When you speak one on one alone from others, you both win. No one is treated like an insubordinate. No one is being thrown under the bus. Two people talking about a situation that only involves the two talking is a win-win situation.
Understand that one may not understand the other. That’s when situations need to be brought before management. But a simple issue does not need to be discussed with customers nor team members uninvolved. One to won. It’s the best way to handle situations and both team members learn to work with one another and become better communicators with each other.
So when you feel the need to complain to your customer about a team member, DON’T! When you feel the need to complain to a team member about another team member, DON’T! It’s called gossip, tearing down, discouraging, and flat-out throws your team member, your team and ultimately the whole business under the bus. That’s bad for you, me, us and business all together.
I know using Matthew 18:15-19 might be a stretch but it’s principles still ring true. If you have an issue with a brother, go to him and discuss it with him. I like what verse nineteen says. “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” How awesome is that.
May you speech be encouraging and may it build others up and not tear down. Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
- Building Better Teams (leadingonpurpose.org)
I shot this footage at a customer’s house while doing termite work. These mosquito larvae were doing the buck dance in a flower-pot. You can see the larvae squiggling around.You have to be careful. Any standing water can be a breeding place for mosquitos.
Sorry for the volume discrepancies.