Lawrence Ford

Communicating with precision and style

Celebrate Dad!


Wise old King Solomon had a lot to say about fathers and mothers and how we are to respect and honor them. Regardless of our age or theirs, taking time to let our parents know how much we appreciate their labor of love for us will mean the world to them.

Did you know that our modern-day celebration of Father’s Day began more than a hundred years ago? It happened after a mining disaster in West Virginia, Read more…

Honoring Those Who Sacrificed

memorial-dayAmerica was founded on the service of men and women who sacrificed much for our freedom, especially on the battlefield. Memorial Day finds its roots in the midst of one of our nation’s greatest battles, the Civil War.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.  (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs)

Of course, the legacy of honoring fallen heroes lives on today in our nation as we remember those who died protecting and defending these United States.

This Memorial Day, we express our profound gratitude for our fallen soldiers and their families. America has been blessed to have these heroes go before us. And we pray for those now serving in our armed forces.

God bless America!

9 Keys That Will Unlock Recruiting Success


The competition for IT talent is brutal. Why? Because technology professionals are in high demand and have the luxury of frequently declining offers or holding out for better ones. In many cases today, IT managers and recruiters are missing out on the best talent due to ineffective recruiting processes (e.g. we’ve always done it this way) or unqualified recruiting staff (e.g. he’s got such a great phone voice) or both.

Technology is truly the backbone of most every industry today, and companies needing highly-skilled IT talent would be wise to approach the hiring process with care if they want to attract and retain the best talent available.

That’s the essence of Tim Smith’s insightful article titled “The War for Talent is Real” in which he describes nine key questions that every company should ask regarding their hiring process.

  1. Does your company make candidates feel wanted?
  2. Have you asked your internal recruiters to share how they present your company and the opportunity?
  3. Is the interview process being explained?
  4. Do you know the candidate’s motivators?
  5. Are the recruiters perfectly clear on the technical and functional requirements, and how to properly screen for each?
  6. Is the interviewer using your requirements checklist just to screen people out?
  7. Are you sharing the good, the bad and the ugly?
  8. Are you following up appropriately?
  9. Are your pipelining?

(Read Tim Smith’s entire article here. It’s well worth the time.)

Here are three key observations.

Read more…

Where Evolution Has Gaps, Creation Might Offer Answers—If We Will Listen


(Ghostwritten for the author and originally published on February 2, 2009 for U.S. News & World Report)

During this last campaign, the topic of science—specifically, creationism and evolution—was pushed out onto the stage of the presidential debates. So much so that USA Today/Gallup released the results of a poll in which 66 percent of Americans stated that they believe in creationism. Not some hybrid theory mixing creationism and evolution. Not intelligent design. But specifically that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.” Which is pretty much how the book of Genesis explains creation.

Last year, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times conducted its own poll on teaching creationism in the public schools. Not surprisingly, nearly two thirds of registered voters were not convinced of evolution’s merits.

However, despite public opinion on the issue, creationism, in any form, is not allowed in our classrooms.

Should it be? Americans seem to prefer it, or at a minimum favor a critical discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. Even the National Science Teachers Association—hardly a right-wing fundamentalist group—insists that “teachers must be free to examine controversial issues openly in the classroom . . . to maintain a spirit of free inquiry, open-mindedness and impartiality in the classroom.”

So, what kind of science is being taught to our children today? A philosophy of science, actually, rooted in a worldview that deliberately disbelieves in anything supernatural. No God. No angels. No Intelligent Designer. Everything happened quite by accident.

Read more…

Are You Going Nuts in Your Job?


I think I hit a squirrel on the road the other day. I didn’t mean to, but the poor little guy was skittering all over the road so fast, so confused, that he didn’t really know which way to go. That’s pretty much a squirrel’s life if he lives near a busy road. One day he might not make it to the other side.

Sometimes employees can feel like they’re just skittering about so fast, so confused within their companies that they just don’t know which way to turn and how to get to the other side. They may have been given a path to take, a goal on the other side, but here comes a manager roaring down the road, putting unreasonable demands on staff, and it’s all one can do to stay safe.

That’s the inspiration from a pointed article by Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff titled “The Three Worst Habits of Clueless Leaders.” See if you’re in a company environment whose leaders are like this, as de Haaff describes:

Expecting the impossible. For example, does your boss give you a concrete deadline but keep you busy with meetings and unrelated tasks up until your deadline?

Changing direction on a whim. Does your manager routinely roll out plans to the team and then change directions midstream?

“Strong leaders know where they’re headed before they set out, and they carefully consider the cost before making an about-face.”

Not respecting employees’ time. Work is work, and we all know the necessity of going above and beyond to get the project complete. But how often does your boss expect you to be available at his or her beck and call, even after hours?

(Read Brian de Haaff’s entire article here.)

While there is no perfect work environment (or bosses), there are some actions employees can take to keep sane in a squirrely company.

First, keep good accounting of project expectations, deadlines, interruptions, and Read more…

Is Your Recruiter Connected?

Smiling Group of Professionals

Everyone is “connected” today. With the explosive expansion of the internet, social media feeds, cloud-based computing, and IoT (the Internet of Things), our world is shrinking rapidly. Desktop and laptop computers are headed toward obsolescence while smart phones and tablets are consuming more of our time, especially for work.

However, connectedness is not all about technology. There’s still the old fashioned use of the word, when two or more people initiate and maintain a relationship, whether as family, neighbors, or co-workers. And how we relate to one another, especially in business, can mean the difference between success and failure.

For the job seeker, the connectedness of his or her recruiter could mean the difference between landing that plum job and getting back in line at the unemployment agency.

Good recruiters fill jobs for businesses. Great recruiters place exceptional talent in exceptional companies. Connectedness is the key to working with a great recruiter who will help you take your career to the next level. There are three key relationships that great recruiters maintain.

Great recruiters are connected to an industry.

Just because you’ve been contacted by a recruiter about a job doesn’t mean you should work with that recruiter. Not all staffing professionals are alike.

If you’re in marketing, for instance, wouldn’t you want someone representing you to a client who knows something about marketing? If you’re a .NET Developer, isn’t it important for you to have confidence in your recruiter’s ability to know the world of IT?

Read more…

Light the Torch


Imagine 100,000 torches all across America, shining from New York to San Francisco, from Miami to Seattle, from Houston to Minneapolis—lights in every small community of our nation, in every city set on a hill, in every church that teaches the truth of Scripture. What an encouragement to know how bright we can become as individuals joined together in local churches to impact our communities and our nation!

That’s the vision God gave Phil Alexander, founder of Move the Mountain Ministries.

“I see each church as a point of light—tens of thousands of lights across our nation,” says Alexander. “Imagine a torch lit to represent every one of these congregations. But because they lack the right resources, the lights of these churches are dimming year by year by the thousands. What’s the result? Pastors burn out. Congregations disband. Communities are left without a spiritual influence. In the end, our nation grows dark.”

A businessman who puts Christ and the Church front and center in his work, Phil Alexander’s vision for reaching 100,000 small churches in America began nearly twenty years ago when God used him to start CallingPost Communications, a nationwide voice messaging service used by tens of thousands of churches, scouting groups, membership organizations, and youth leagues in North America. The mission of Move the Mountain Ministries is to reach families for Christ in local communities by revitalizing local churches with practical and innovative resources to foster outreach and growth.

There are three fundamental steps to accomplish these goals:

  1. Pray. Move the Mountain ministries believes that we cannot successfully reach families or revitalize churches without the foundation of intercessory prayer. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much, and our desire is to gather an army of intercessors to humbly ask God to restore our families, our churches, and our nation. MTM uses innovative processes to encourage and assist in this critical task.
  2. Partner. Only through the faithful participation of Christians throughout our nation can we dare to embark on such an ambitious ministry that will reach 100,000 churches and millions of individuals in our land. Move the Mountain Ministries seeks to partner with Christian leaders, mission-minded churches, Christian-owned businesses, and concerned believers everywhere to establish an innovative network of resources that will enable us to revitalize local churches.
  3. Plant. With faith as tiny as a mustard seed, Jesus said, we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom. Move the Mountain Ministries, in partnership with dedicated Christians around the country, will begin to plant the seeds of revitalization within local churches who are struggling to reach their communities with the hope of the Gospel, with the Light of the World.

“We can once again see these tens of thousands of flickering lights become shining beacons of spiritual light to a dark community, nation, and world. Our darkest hour is the perfect time to plead to the God of light to use us to make our nation bright with the light of His love,” says Alexander.

Join us with your intercession, partnership, and seeds of faith to reach and reclaim our families, our churches, and our nation for Christ.

Relationships: The Key to Great Recruiting


Lou Adler, noted hiring expert and author, recently described in his article “How the Best Recruiters Prep Their Best Candidates” that one of the best experiences a job candidate can have with a recruiter is thorough interview preparation:

An interview is far more important to the candidate than any business presentation they’ll ever make. Most professionals spend hours getting ready for these presentations and meetings, yet most candidates wing their interviews. Companies want to hire candidates who are professional. And the key to being professional is thorough preparation and practice.

In his article, Adler gives six key steps for recruiters that will enable their candidates to succeed, including the SAFW concept (Say A Few Words).

Most recruiters give their candidates just enough data necessary to understand the requirements of a job. But great recruiters take time with candidates to prepare them to have a winning presentation during the entire interview process. This requires more research, frequent phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and even role playing to help each job seeker understand more than just the job requirements. Successful recruiters prepare candidates with knowledge about the company, its culture, and even the personalities who will be conducting each interview. It’s an investment in people that in the long run pays huge dividends for the candidate. Great recruiters build great relationships.

Catherine Bencheikh recently landed a job at a major insurance technology firm in the Southeast. Here’s what she has to say about the advantages of working with Core Technology Solutions:

Core Technology Solutions really gets to the “core” of placing potential candidates into a company that is the best fit based on their skills, knowledge and expertise. They go above and beyond in getting to know you professionally and personally.

Rainer Neely was my recruiter. He is highly professional and it is obvious how much he enjoys working with people. He has the charisma to get you excited about anything. He really ensured my needs were promptly met in each stage of the interviewing/hiring process. His manager, Jeff Rogers, has even more charisma and I could not believe when they asked me to personally meet them in their office to prep for the interview. I have been in IT for 19 years and not one recruiter has ever done that. They really care about your success.

It was refreshing to experience their way of recruiting—building relationships.

In fact, I interviewed on my birthday and not only did Jeff call me that morning and sing “Happy Birthday” to me, but the owner of Core Technology Solutions came out and met me with a birthday card right before the interview. For the first time I realized I was no longer a number in a recruiting agency.

I was Catherine, a real person, and I got the job!

Catherine is just one of thousands who have experienced the relationship-focused approach of Core Technology Solutions, where candidates never “wing it” at any interview. It’s a win-win-win game plan for clients, recruiters, and candidates.


The Agony of Easter


If one word could describe the atmosphere of that first Easter on the streets of Jerusalem, it would have to be agony. Think of the anguish of everyone involved and what it led them to do.

The disciples agonized as they watched their Teacher arrested and taken away by the soldiers. Had their dream just been crushed? Had those three and a half years been for naught? Their agony quickly turned into fear and disappointment and despair, and they hid themselves.

The high priest Caiaphas let his agony over Jesus’ popularity boil into anger. How could he, the chosen priest of Israel, allow this Nazarene to lead the Jews astray from his own authority? That’s no Messiah! Caiaphas could not stand by and accept a suffering servant. His agony over the words of Isaiah, in the face of Jesus, led him to angrily take matters into his own hands (or so he thought).

The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, agonized so much over his part in the Easter drama that he abdicated his authority to do what was right, and let the crowd spill the blood of this Jew. But for Pilate, no amount of agony or authority or justification would wash the guilt from his hands. It would haunt him the rest of his life.

The mother of Jesus stood at the foot of the cross in agony, looking up at her son hanging from a tree, as the Scriptures prophesied. However, Mary’s agony turned into a profound love, the love of a mother—the most blessed of women in the world—for a son she knew from the beginning to be the Savior of the world. Mary had finally come to terms that truly her son was God’s Son, that He was not hers at all, but He came for the whole world.

The agony of Jesus, of course, is the most profound sense of despair and grief and finality that mankind has ever witnessed. He gave of Himself, voluntarily, to suffer on the cross for the sake of the whole world, for you and for me. And yet, the Bible says that Jesus faced His agony with joy—”for the joy set before Him He endured the cross.”

Jesus knew, from before the beginning, that His destiny was to leave the throne of heaven, to live and suffer on this earth, in order to satisfy the holy demands of the Father and bear the sins of humanity. It was Jesus’ love that compelled Him to an agony that He faced with joy, knowing that we would be restored to the Father.

The agony of Easter, from the balcony of heaven, became the goodness of that Friday and the hope of the first Easter Sunday morning.

As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:11

The agony of Easter, from the blood-stained height of the cross, became the divine love that only Jesus could have demonstrated for us.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The Light of the World


There are two great spiritual truths about light in the New Testament. First, Jesus announced that He is the Light of the world. And second, Jesus appointed us—His followers—to be lights in our world.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. (John 1:6-7)

When Jesus broke through history, humbly appearing as a baby in Bethlehem, there had been some 400 years of silence. No prophets. No word from the Lord. No light. And then came John the Baptist to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.

Later, Jesus sat teaching the people in the temple courts, with the Pharisees looking for opportunities to trap Him with His own words. And yet, Jesus declared openly, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Notice three significant truths in Jesus’ statement:

  1. Jesus is the Source of light.
  2. Following Jesus frees us from darkness.
  3. Those with the Light are promised life.

Combatting the darkness in our world and in our communities can only be accomplished when we follow the Source of light. Without His light, we have no light of our own, but remain in bondage to the darkness. But with His light—and life—we have a gift to share to those around us, in our homes, in our communities, and in our world.

However, we have to make our light visible if we’re going to light the way for those around us, so that they, too, may find safe harbor.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke to His disciples about living in the world—that we are to be in the world, but not of the world, and yet have an impact on the world.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Salt preserves food and enhances flavor. As believers, we are to maintain our saltiness, preserving a standard of righteousness in a decaying world.

Light identifies and attracts. The distant lights of even the smallest towns give hope to weary travelers that life is near. Jesus admonishes us to not hide our God-given light, but rather to lift it up and put it on a stand for all to see, and for all to find their way.

Notice the effect. If we hold forth His light properly, others will see us. They’ll see what we are doing, which means that our testimony should be evident to all. Our lives should be noticed. Our “good deeds” will be remembered.

The result? Applause—not for ourselves, but for God in heaven. The glory is His. Our goal is simply to use our lights to point the way. Just as someone uses a torch to light their way through the dangerous passages of a cave, we are to allow God to use us to light the way for others.

The brighter our flame, the more our light will impact our neighborhoods, our towns, our nation, and our world.

How bright is your light? Are you keeping your flame held up high for your family to see, for your neighbors to notice, for your co-workers to remember?

Christ has given us the light. He expects us to keep our torch burning brightly.

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Lawrence Ford

Communicating with precision and style

Cyber Saturday Dallas

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