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Soon after that, Caroline and I entered into another faith-building endeavor, when we tore down our 50-year-old house and built a new home for our family. God provided so abundantly, coordinating the timing of different approvals with the county, a special-order window arriving on the day the bricklayers reached the opening of the window, and ensuring that the gas, electric, and phone companies were all onsite on the same day so that we could move in on time. Each step of the way, we learned to thank God for each answer to prayer and to trust Him for what needed to happen next.
I remained with Bank of America until late 2005, when I accepted an opportunity to manage the Washington, D.C., office for KeyBank Real Estate Capital. And, once again, the real estate market and banking industry are currently having a few “issues,” which you may have heard about in the news.
“He Faithful Will Remain”
Thinking back on those years, a phrase in the song “Be Still My Soul” encapsulates a lot of my experience: “In every change He faithful will remain.” Throughout my career, my trust in God has increased as He has provided me with courage in many new business challenges, wisdom to work through very difficult lending and personnel situations, patience and control of my tongue when dealing with demanding or irate clients, and peace when my anger was ready to take over.
Many times, the pressures and demands of work have made me feel like throwing in the towel. But in those times, God has strengthened me for the work He has given me to do. And He has reminded me that He puts each of us in our positions because that is where we are to glorify Him. Sometimes He changes our circumstances, but we are to always “do [our] work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord [we] will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ [we] serve” (Col. 3:23-24).
How I work with people matters. How I lead matters. In leading others, I endeavor to help them develop their potential by treating them with respect and dignity, looking after their best interests, listening attentively to them, not allowing the need to complete a task cause me to treat them with disrespect, helping them to grow and develop, and caring for them as individuals. I try to create an environment that fosters hard work and a sense of enjoyment. I look to elevate others’ reputations, not mine, when they do a good job.
In a very sensitive way, I promote the idea of real tolerance, which results in some lively conversations over the lunch hour! We talk during lunch about all kinds of things that are generally not talked about among co-workers—God, politics, social issues, etc. We all enjoy a very good relationship and ask lots of questions about what each one believes. We have Christians, a Zoroastrian, a Jew, agnostics, and atheists. I get asked a lot of questions about what I believe. Over one lunch, things got very tricky when I was asked why Christians like to proselytize so much. After a quick prayer, and with some anxiety, I asked if everyone would like me to answer the question (hopefully covering the legal front!). When allowed, I said that Christians have the greatest news to tell everyone, and I started from before the creation of the angels all the way through Revelation, all in about seven minutes or less! I laid out the entire redemption story, and I said that if all of it is true, and I believe it is, why wouldn’t I want to tell everyone? There were some interesting follow-up questions and conversations, and obviously they all didn’t agree, but they got an answer that they indicated they understood. I am very sensitive to everyone’s beliefs, but will challenge them as much as they challenge me. It is said that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” and that applies here. So I spend a lot of time building relationships.
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