South Africa Missions

Today, May 24, 2017, begins with CallingPost’s founder, Phil Alexander, along with our ministry partner, RAMI, begin their first leg of travel to South Africa for a revival and spiritual awakening missions trip. He is part of the first team that is going. They will be visiting several areas of South Africa namely, Phalaborwa, Nelspruitt,  Middleburg, Pretoria, Rooderport, and Johannesburg. The teams will be providing leadership training, coaching training, discipleship workshops, evangelistic outreaches in schools, and preaching revival meetings in churches! Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ as they travel and spread the Truth of Hope in Jesus Christ!

6 Tips to Increase Healthy Laughter in Your Life

Feeling depressed or even physically ill? The best course of action might be to search out a comedian on YouTube or Netflix.

Laughter has long been called the best medicine, and now medical research is showing it’s a valid statement. It releases endorphins that reduce stress and promote a feeling of well-being, may boost cancer-killing white bloods cells (according to a one study), relaxes tense muscles and even burns calories.

Laughter also has emotional benefits. It promotes bonding between friends and it can often diffuse tense, argument-inducing situations. It can even promote learning, since people tend to remember things better in the context of laughter.

So how do you get a prescription for some of this “medicine?” Here are six tips to increase your laughter dosage.

Seek out humorous people. As mentioned above, YouTube, Netflix and other sites on the internet provide a wide variety of shows put on by comedians. You’ll want to use discretion because some comedians use crude humor that can be offensive to some. Tim Hawkins, Chonda Pierce and Michael Jr. are examples of clean comedians or type “clean comedians” in YouTube’s search bar.

Read funny stories and jokes. Whether it’s a compilation of jokes or stories about humorous life situations, these can provide smiles and even laughter. Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone stories or James Herriott’s tales about the life of a country veterinarian are examples of amusing tales.

Share with a friend. When you find something that helps you laugh, tell friends with a similar sense of humor. It can often be the boost they need. That’s why people say, “I really needed a good laugh today.”

Find the humor in situations. Life can be filled with frustrations, from traffic to work to raising a family. But almost all situations have some intrinsic humor or potential humor involved. And while your mind is trying to find the humor in the situation, it’s also thinking less about the frustrating part of the situation.

Take yourself less seriously. We all make mistakes but many can be quite humorous, like trying to dial a phone number on a calculator or using a word that doesn’t mean what you thought it did. They can turn into funny situations that have everyone laughing. You don’t want to come across as a moron, but don’t be afraid to share those funny little foibles that everyone can relate to.

Enjoy life. Get out and do things with friends and family. Hiking, bowling, dining in a restaurant, even chores, can create situations where laughter abounds. Whether it’s a wide grin or a full-on belly laugh, it puts your mind and body in a much better place.

6 Ways to Honor Administrative Professionals

In most companies you’ll see listings of the leaders – the president, vice presidents, board of directors. But in most of those successful companies there are the unsung heroes that make the job of those leaders possible – administrative professionals.

This is Administrative Professionals Week, and Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day. Administrative professionals, or admins as they’re sometimes referred to, are those who handle many of the typing, correspondence, filing, receptionist and other valuable office jobs that support the rest of the company.

There are about 22 million administrative professionals in the United States and 97 percent of them are female. That wasn’t always the case, though. Before 1900, it was primarily a male entry level position, then usually called clerk. But after World War II, more women entered the work place and preferred the administrative jobs, then usually called secretary positions.

The first Administrative Professionals Week was held in 1952, with the Wednesday designated as Administrative Professionals Day. It is a time when many companies show their appreciation for this often unsung work by doing something special. Here are six ideas of how to honor your company’s administrative professionals.

Broadcast. Use your social media outlets as a way to express your gratitude by name to your admins. Include photos if you can.

Lunch date. Depending on the size of your admin staff, take them to lunch or have it catered. Another alternative is providing a gift card to a local restaurant then allowing them to take a long lunch.

Gift baskets. A small gift basket shows appreciation. This can include food, coffee, lotions or gift cards. Knowing your admins’ preferences will help you choose the right items to include.

Bouquets. Most women enjoy receiving flowers as a sign of appreciation. There are also other creative options, like edible fruit arrangements.

Personal thanks. Public recognition and gifts are a fantastic way to boost your admins, but nothing beats a personal word thanking them for all the things they do. If possible, recall a specific instance when their contribution made a difference to the success of the company.

Don’t stop. To really show your appreciation, make your thanks known throughout the year, not just one day a year.

Make Reminder Calls to Boost Event Attendance

You’ve got a big event planned and excitement is running high. But the night of the event, only a handful of people show up. The most common excuse for the failure to attend is “I forgot.”

But there is a great solution to keep people on track with your scheduled events and meetings – automated phone calls, like those provided by CallingPost.

One pastor, for example, started making reminder calls on Wednesday afternoons about that night’s Bible study. He found that not only did weekly attendance increase, but the people who attended were more engaged and enthusiastic.

A mom in charge of an open house auction for her son’s pre-K class found that she had virtually no donated items for the auction just two days away. Using CallingPost, she sent out a reminder message and immediately had four parents call back offering to donate items, and three more donated the next morning.

Here’s what a few others had to say about the effectiveness of CallingPost to send reminders:

“We just had our biggest Leaders Conference of the year, and I used CallingPost to call all of our leaders. Our attendance was way up this year and CallingPost is a big reason why.”

“Our Bible study has increased by 10% along with our usher practices. CallingPost has increased our numbers and brought unity to our ministry.”

For more information about how CallingPost’s automated phone call system can help you send reminders about your events, visit CallingPost.

First Day of Spring Celebrated in Many Ways

There is something fresh and exciting about the first day of spring, pushing even those with gloomy dispositions toward optimism.

This year, spring arrived at 6:29 a.m. (Eastern Time) on March 20. That is the time the vernal equinox occurred – when the sun crossed the imaginary plane of the equator. It marks the day when nighttime and daylight are virtually the same length. After this, the number of daylight hours will continue to increase.

The vernal equinox (from the Latin words vernalis, meaning “of the spring” and equinox, meaning “equal night”) always occurs within the three-day period of March 19-21. Although the balance between day and night is roughly equal, it varies with the latitude. On the vernal equinox, you’ll also see the sun rise due east and set due west, no matter where you live.

Meteorologists tend to define the beginning of spring based on average temperatures for the local area.

Of course, just because the calendar is marked with the first day of spring on March 20, it doesn’t mean that “spring” as we know it actually takes place that day. In the southern United States, spring-like weather often begins earlier, and the southernmost areas like Florida and in California may not see a marked difference from the rest of the year. Meanwhile, in the northern United States and in Canada, spring weather may not arrive for another month.

The beginning of spring, whether on the vernal equinox or when the weather becomes truly spring-like, is a big deal around the world and many cultures have optimistic celebrations to welcome its arrival.

  • In Poland, celebrants created straw-filled paper dolls to represent winter then drown them in a river or lake to symbolize the end of winter.
  • In Switzerland, a large effigy of a snowman is burned in a public square to symbolize the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
  • The Netherlands and Australia both host flower festivals to mark the beginning of spring.
  • In Japan, people plan celebratory picnics under the cherry trees when the spring blossoms are in full bloom.
  • In India, celebrants of Holi, the first day of spring, are smeared with various colored powders marking the triumph of good (spring) over evil (winter).
  • The egg, the symbol of new life, is the center of attention in Bosnia’s Festival of Scrambled Eggs. Massive amounts of scrambled eggs are cooked in large pots on the first day of spring and handed out for free.

The United States doesn’t have any official First Day of Spring celebrations but it marks a time of year when people become more active outside, plant gardens and, of course, embark on spring cleaning chores. Often it coincides with Easter activities, although this year Easter falls nearly a month after the vernal equinox.

As spring begins, it means more outdoor activities – from sports to picnics – which also leads to the need to communicate with groups of people at the last minute when the weather doesn’t cooperate. CallingPost’s automated phone call system is a great way of making that communication happen. Simply record one message and quickly send it out to a group of any size. Instead of making dozens of phone calls, just make one and have everyone receive the information at the same time. For more information, visit CallingPost.

A Brief History of Daylight Saving Time

Changing clocks to take better advantage of daylight hours is an idea that has been around for almost 100 years, but only a mandated national event in the United States for the past 50 years.

Daylight Saving Time begins on March 12, when we turn our clocks forward an hour (yes, it means “losing” an hour).

For most people in the United States, DST has been an annual rite of spring and fall. Although Benjamin Franklin sarcastically wrote about the concept in the 1700s, the idea has only been implemented in the past century.

Why DST? The idea for DST is to coordinate daylight hours with most people’s schedules to conserve on the use of artificial light. Today most people get up later and stay up later than previous generations, so light later in the day is more important than in the early morning.

Canadians were the first. DST was first used in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1908. Neighboring areas adopted it soon after.

World War I makes it go international. Germany instituted DST in 1916 to reduce the use of artificial light to save energy for the war effort. England did the same the following year and the United States put it into practice in 1918.

Not a popular concept in the States. After just one year, the United States quit using DST. Since most people were farmers who started the day early, they preferred having more daylight at the beginning of the day.

Another World War. In 1942, during World War II, the United States again put DST into practice, which lasted until 1945. Then it was back to a free-for-all, with some cities and states using DST and others not.

Uniformity at last. In 1966, in order to end the confusion with areas using different time designations, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which put everyone on DST starting the last Sunday in April through the last Sunday in October.

Extending DST. In 2007, the length of DST was extended. It now starts on the second Sunday in March and goes until the first Sunday in November.

Not quite nationwide. Two states do not observe DST – Arizona and Hawaii. Indiana had been part of that group but began observing it in 2007.

International DST. Daylight Saving Time is observed in 70 countries, affecting about 1 billion people.

Reminding your friends. For many people who attend church services on Sundays, the time change can be confusing and easy to forget. Some people have even been known to be late for work on Monday because clocks and alarms weren’t changed. Now would be a great time to send out reminders to friends and colleagues. CallingPost makes that an easy chore. The automated phone call system lets you record one phone call and within minutes have it sent to a group of any size. To learn more about how this phone call system can help you save time, visit CallingPost.

It’s Time to Manage Time Wisely

Woman with clockTwenty-four hours.

That’s all we get each day. It is the great equalizer – the rich can’t buy any more, the elite don’t get an extra share, no apps exist that will extend the 1,440 minutes in a day.

The question, then, is how to make the best use of those precious hours. With the change to Daylight Saving Time looming on March 12 (when we “lose” an hour), now is a great opportunity to consider how to best manage your time.

Before starting to maximize your time, take a few days or even a week to record everything you do every minute of the day. This will help you determine how you’re utilizing your time now and will reveal your biggest time wasters.

Also before starting, determine what is truly important in your life and how to prioritize that. Many people claim the most important area of their life is family, then spend 70 hours a week at work, and many more at home preoccupied with thinking about work – with little actual time for family.

Once you have your time wasters in mind and your priorities organized, here are seven tips on making the most of your time.

Make a to-do list. Making a list the night before often helps you sleep better. Others prefer a list first thing in the morning. Either way, prioritize the items on the list. Not only will it help keep you organized, there’s a feeling of satisfaction every time you cross off a finished item.

Take small bites. The old adage is that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Focusing on all the things that have to be accomplished can be paralyzing. Instead, focus on one item at a time.

Maximize your best time. Whether you work best in the morning, afternoon or late at night, try to place the most important tasks in those time slots, when possible.

Take a break. When on a deadline, it seems like the best strategy is to push as hard as possible. However, an occasional 10-15 minute break to take a walk or play Words with Friends or even a quick nap can refresh the body and mind so that you’re more effective later. This is especially true for people whose jobs require creativity.

Just say no. Saying no to a request may seem rude, but when you already have a full plate, adding one more task just won’t be possible. You may not have to say no to the new request, though; you may instead remove a current one that requires a lot of time without much benefit.

Limit interruptions. When in the middle of a vital project, close your door (if possible) and place your smart phone out of sight – callers with important needs will leave a message and most text messages don’t demand immediate responses. Check it every 30 minutes or so and respond only to the most critical messages then.

Work smart. Tools like CallingPost’s automated phone call system allow you to maximize your time. Calling a group of people with the same message can be time consuming. CallingPost’s phone call system allows you to record one message and instantly send it to your entire group, no matter the group size. It also allows text and email messaging. For more information, visit CallingPost.