About revcahill

Learning to be a Prodigal Father, reaching out to those children of God who are in ministry in order to embrace them with His love and healing.

Coming Back

I don’t know if you’ve missed me, but I’m posting this episode after an absence of more than two months.  I’m not going to go into gory details, but I thought I’d take this episode to tell you what’s been going on, and how I hope to go from here.

Before today, the second-last episode of The Basin and Towel Podcast that I posted was on March 24, and I titled it “Five Unexpected Ideas to Help You Prepare for Holy Week.”  As I was writing that episode, I did not expect that I would be heading to the Emergency Room on the evening of Holy Thursday and wheeled into surgery in the early afternoon on Good Friday!  Turns out I had a perforated diverticulitis, but the surgeon discovered that the perforation had already started to heal over by the time she got to it.  So apparently after a couple of quick stitches and a look around, she closed up the laparoscopy and called it a day.  Instead of leading worship on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I spent the weekend healing in the hospital and went home on Tuesday of the next week. 

Meanwhile, the scheduled Good Friday event was cancelled, and one of our Elders, retired pastor Wayne Giesler, stepped up to volunteer to do the Easter Sunday worship schedule.  Although everyone at church was surprised at this turn of events (none more than me!), Easter Sunday at Christ the King Lutheran Church went off without a hitch.

Wayne also stepped up further, and volunteered to do the worship services himself the following week.  I told him that I thought I might get back into action the week after that (the third weekend in April), but he kindly persuaded me to let him lead the service and I would just preach.  He was right about that, because I was more tired after that than I thought I’d be.  We did the same partnership on the fourth weekend in April, and by the first Sunday in May I was able to do the services by myself again.

In the meantime I was healing gradually, getting strength back day by day, and slowly easing back into the schedule.  Some meetings got cancelled; some events got postponed; some items on my To-Do list just dropped off for a while.  This podcast was one of those. 

By the time May rolled around things were almost back to normal, but my wife and I began to plan for a vacation that we had scheduled for the end of May and early June.  It was only going to be a ten-day vacation, and the church council was very good about encouraging us to take it “especially” they said “after the April that we’ve just had!”  Once again Wayne stepped up lead the worship services, and our organist JoAnne Zurell re-arranged her playing schedule so she could play those two weekends.  The vacation was very relaxing and turned out well not only for me and my wife, but for the church as well.

I don’t know about you, but through the years my wife and I have had conversations and even arguments about vacations.  Not that we don’t like going on them; it’s just that I don’t like getting ready for them.  I’ve always felt that during the two weeks prior to the vacation I have to do double work – not so much the travel and housing arrangements, and the packing – but making sure that the church work that needs to be done for the vacation time, gets done before we go – and that’s on top of the usual church work for the weeks before we go.  My wife never quite understood the tension that brings until she became a teacher – then she realized that if she wanted to take time off she had to come up with lesson plans for the substitute!  In those times, other things go by the wayside; and this podcast was one of them.

So here we are in mid-June, and I’m finally turning on microphone at the Basin and Towel Podcast again.  Besides the opportunity to learn directly about the mercies of God as He used a whole bunch of hospital workers to take care of me in April, and the relaxing reminder of His power and love as my wife and I rode the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls in May, He reminded me of the tender love that flows through the people of God in the community of saints that is called Christ the King Lutheran Church in Lodi, Ohio.  I don’t really know what the next several months will bring, but I’m eager to see what God has in store for us.  

Meanwhile, I hope the future of this podcast will include some book reviews, some recordings from a pastors’ conference that took place at Christ the King in June, and more reflections and thoughts that may encourage both of us in our ministry, wherever that might be.

What can I do for you?

On the Sunday just past, one of the Scripture readings assigned for the day was  Mark 10:32-45, and it reads like this in the New International Version:

[Jesus and His disciples] were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 

“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Like most pastors, I’m familiar with being in meetings when I thought I was being clear about something, only to have somebody else immediately come up with some question or issue out of left field that I was totally not expecting, and completely unprepared to answer.  Like most pastors, I’ve preached a sermon or two that included what I considered a throw-away example or illustration, only to discover afterward that everyone was gushing with enthusiasm about the example and seemed to have totally missed the point I was trying to get across.  Like most pastors, and maybe like Jesus in this section from Saint Mark’s Gospel, I have been caught responding to somebody’s seemingly innocent question or request with a deer-in-the-headlights look on my face and a rush of brain cells trying to figure out how to choke out an answer that might make some sense.

I don’t want go down any of those rabbit holes today, though.  Instead, I’d like take you in a completely different direction.

Today this section from Mark’s Gospel reminded me of something I read a few years back in William Willimon’s book “Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry” in which he says that his ‘colleague Stanley Hauerwas has accused the contemporary pastor of being little more than “a quivering mass of availability.”’  Willimon goes on to say that ‘Practicing what I have called “promiscuous ministry”—ministry with no internal, critical judgment about what care is worth giving—we become victims of a culture of insatiable need. We live in a capitalist, consumptive culture where there is no purpose to our society other than “meeting our needs.”’

How often have you pastors walked blindly into a conversation that started, “Pastor, can you do me a favor?”  Of course, when it happens often enough red flags start to wave madly in your imagination, but you still kindly and courteously answer “I don’t know.  Please tell me what’s on your mind.”  Then comes the ask, and you have to decide how you’re going to answer. 

You might decide that you are certainly capable and willing, and have the time and resources, to do what they ask, and so you gladly agree.  But how do you decide whether their request is something that you should turn down?  You could be up front and tell them directly that you don’t want to do it, or you could fish around for some kind of excuse.  Jesus gives a hint to a much better approach in this Gospel lesson:  remember what God has called you to do.

Jesus reminds James and John, and the others, too, that He did not come to be served, but to serve.  He reminds them that being His disciples should be about learning how this applies to them, too, if they’re really going to be His disciples.  (By the way, it’s possible Peter learned that lesson a little TOO well, since he refused Jesus’ offer to wash his feet in the upper room; but that story is in John’s Gospel, not Mark’s).  And maybe a pastor also learns the lesson a little TOO well, when they translate the “call to serve” as “granting every request everyone asks” and so ultimately becoming that “quivering mass of availability.”  

Some years back our church took delivery of a farm tractor with a mower deck for our 4-acre lawn at the church.  As a couple of us were watching the delivery guys rolling the tractor off the trailor one of our members said to me “So, pastor, are you going to learn to drive this tractor?”  I said that I didn’t think so.  He said, “That’s good! If somebody tries to get you on it you should ask them if they pay you to preach and teach or do they pay you to mow the grass.”  I took that message to heart, and in the years since then I’ve never once mowed the grass at church (even during a few lean summers, when we had trouble getting volunteeers to do it).

That’s the point I want to bring out about this Gospel lesson today.  As a pastor, I do want to be available in ministry to our members, even when it’s inconvenient to my schedule or sometimes to my family’s expectations of me.  But as Jesus hinted to James and John that day, and to us too, the fact that I am here to serve does not mean I am called to grant every favor, and neither are you.  As pastors and church workers, you and I don’t have to be “quivering masses of availability” to people expecting us to meet needs they think they have.  You and I are called to the ministry of sharing the Gospel of Jesus, whether that’s from the pulpit or in the classroom, in the sick room or in a counseling conversation.  The sharing of the Gospel that Jesus did took different forms on different days, too – preaching and teaching one day, healing and casting out demons another day, apologetics against the Pharisees a third day – but Jesus always kept His mission clear in His mind and heart.  He came to serve us by dying on the cross, trading His life for ours to give us the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of heaven.

People sometimes ask if there’s anything Jesus couldn’t do, and in this Gospel lesson it’s this:  He couldn’t grant James and John’s request, because it was outside the bounds of His call and His mission.  That’s something for us to keep in mind:  If Jesus the Son of God could say, “I can’t do that,” then with some honest thought and prayer you and I might feel free to say the same.

Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry

Transcript of the episode “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry” from The Basin and Towel podcast, January 28 2021

It’s no secret that this year-long pandemic has taken a toll on all sorts of people and vocations.   With the shut-downs of restaurants, food service workers have faced unemployment by the tens of thousands.  Some folks can work from home, and even supervise their children’s online education at the same time, but that’s stressful for parents and children alike.  Then there are others whose work can’t be done from home, like grocery store employees, bus drivers, and sanitation workers.  They’re out in the public, often facing resentment and challenges that have nothing to do with them personally but are not what they signed up for.  First responders and medical personal are under incredible stress; funeral directors and their staff in some areas are exhausted and at the brink of burn-out with the inability to keep up with the mounting death toll.

And then there are pastors and church workers.  They face unique challenges in their vocations, too, and like lots of other folks a lot of them are taking things one step at a time.  But the emergency needs that come out of left field, the desire to minister with prayer and Word and Sacrament to people who have long relied on the comforting presence of a pastor, the adjustments to progamming and conducting everything from a worship service to a church board meeting – all of these things are enough to make a pastor’s head spin and his stomach to clench.

And now I seem to come along to say, “But you’re no use to anybody else if you don’t take care of yourself first.”  I know how that sounds, because others have said it to me and I kind of growl at them (internally, at least).  They’re right, of course – it’s like the flight attendant who says “when the oxygen mask falls out of the ceiling, put your own on first before you offer to help someone else with theirs.”  But where and how do we find the time and energy to do that?

For years Grace Place Wellness Ministries of Saint Louis, a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, has provided a ministry to pastors, workers, and their wives to give them opportunities to care for themselves retreat settings.  Hundreds of ministry couples have participated in Grace Place retreats, and come away from them refreshed, renewed, and with hope-filled plans to continue to address their own well-being in a variety of ways.  Many others have seen the Grace Place promotional material, or seen one of their one-hour, bare-bones video, or even attended a one-day or weekend mini-retreat – but either could not make the time or didn’t have the money to attend a full-out, week-long retreat.  With the pandemic upon us, Grace Place Wellness Ministries realized that, for the time being at least, the retreat format is not an option.  So they reformatted their model, retooled their offerings, and are once again doing what they do best – teaching pastors how to think about their own well-being.

The Grace Place wellness model centers around a simple diagram called the Lutheran Wellness Wheel (you can Google that for a picture – it’s also called a Wholeness Wheel).  The hub of the Wellness Wheel is Holy Baptism, where you and I received our new identity as a New Creation in Christ.  The rim of the Wellness Wheel is our Spiritual Wellbeing, that holds the whole thing together.  It’s also at the rim because as Christians, that’s where “the rubber hits the road” for our lives – we live our lives the way we do because we are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ – not because we’re intellectuals, financial wizards, fitness junkies, or something else – but because the Holy Spirit is daily and richly at work in us all our lives.

Between the hub and the rim the wheel has six segments, for the other six aspects of our well-being.  There’s one for Intellectual well-being – that’s what are you learning?  How are you learning it?  What keeps your mind sharp and active and aware?

Another one is for Vocational well-being – how are you doing in your various vocations?  As a pastor?  As a father?  As a son?  As a spouse?  As a man?

A third is for Relational well-being – how are your relationships with other people?  How are things between you and your wife and family?  How do you get along with the people you serve?  How about the people you do business with?  Other people in the community?

Then there’s Financial well-being – do you have “enough” money – and what does “enough money” mean, anyway?  Are there some aspects of your finances that you don’t have to worry about?  Are there some that you are worried about?  Do you have a plan to address the worries?

There’s also Physical well-being – this one is about diet, exercise, whether you walk the dog every day (even if you don’t have a dog!), what kinds of medications and supplements you’re on, what underlying health conditions you have.  Whether you go to the doctor when appropriate, or say (like my grandfather would have said), “Aww!  What does he know, anyway!”

And there’s one about Emotional well-being.  Are you aware of the effects the stresses and strains of the current crisis are having on you, or do you just tell everybody, including yourself, “I’m doing fine”?  What do you do to keep yourself emotionally balanced and upright, if you couldn’t take a vacation this year and are isolated from the people you love to serve?

These aspects of wellness are just the beginning – they’re just a framework for what comes next.  In Grace Place wellness retreats, each segment of the wheel gets it’s own segment of the retreat for learning, contemplating, planning, and practicing.  The learning and contemplating are correlated with several aspects of the story of Elijah the prophet as he was running from Queen Jezebel and King Ahab in 1 Kings 19; the planning and practicing are correlated with the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.  And in the retreat setting there are plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind.

But as I said before, the folks at Grace PLace Wellness MInistries realized that the retreat format would not be a viable option for them right now, so they reformatted their offerings.  Now Executive Director Darrell Zimmerman has pulled the retreat teaching segments, the story of Elijah, and the correlations with the Fruits of the Spirit that Grace Place has been focusing on into one book, titled “Reclaiming the Joy of MInistry:  The Grace Place Way to Church Worker Wellness.”  Pastor Zimmermann not only gives the reader the didactic content of a retreat in convenient and well-written book format, he also pauses periodically to ask “How well does (or doesn’t) this section describe your current circumstances,” and asks some reflection questions at the end of each chapter to help you explore a little deeper.  

By the way, if you read the chapter titles together in sequence, leaving out the numbers, you get a pretty clear expression of the theme of the book:  “Ministry is great, but hard, because ministry is the way of the cross and overwhelmed is a way of life.  So don’t try this alone.  Joy is fuel for ministry, but ministry threatens the joy of life with God, and ministry threatens the joy of life in community, and ministry threatens the joy of ministry, which makes daily healing essential.  Therefore, self-care has to be intentional.”

This book is just the first step for Grace Place.  There is also a new online community for training and support, which you can access from their website.  You can also order a copy of the book there, too. Next to come will be several “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry” Workbooks, each one to focus on a different aspect of well-being.  And finally, when things begin to look a little more like they used to, maybe, there will be time for Grace Place conferences and retreats once again.

To learn more about Grace Place Wellness Ministries, go to their website here at https://graceplacewellness.org/.  You can order a copy of Darrell Zimmerman’s book here, read articles from his blog in the “Health and Joy” section, subscribe for updates, and find out more about the Grace Place online community.  You can also follow Grace Place on Facebook @www.graceplacewellness.org.

Keep on Learning!

Transcript of the episode “Keep on Learning” from The Basin and Towel podcast, January 27 2021

In the last episode of The Basin and Towel podcast I asked you to think about a Pastor’s Self-Evaluation Tool that you might be expected to complete for your church body, District, Presbytery, or other governing body.  I suggested that our experiences during this past year of the COVID pandemic might give us the opportunity to address in those self-evaluations some of the changes and adjustmentes we’ve made.  I used some questions from the form I’m expected to fill out to nudge you to think about new strengths in ministry that might have been revealed in you.  I asked you to reflect on some changes you’ve made in the way you do ministry.  I talked about changes you might have made in the way you engage with your community; and I wondered about how the circumstances of your extended family have affected you.

I also said that there is one area on my own Self-Evaluation Tool that I would leave to this episode, and that’s Continuing Education – and maybe it’s on your list, too.  So let’s get to it!
I hope that your learning didn’t end when you graduated from the seminary!  I once heard about a pastor who thought that all he needed to do was to re-read some seminal seminary texts each year, and he’d be fine.  I don’t know how long he kept that up, but I don’t think that was a good idea.  But in my particular church body, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the entry-level degree for serving as a pastor in most cases is the Master of Divinity degree. 

We’re also one of the few vocations that has that entry-level requirement, but no requirement for continuing licensure.  Doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, lawyers – in most states these vocations and professions require a set number of continuing education units to renew a license to practice; but it seems that’s not so in many ministry settings.  I don’t know how you’d feel about going to a doctor that hasn’t done anything to renew his license in years, but we often let pastors slide on their continuing education.

I know that some pastors don’t want to keep a of list their continuing education courses for the same reason they don’t want their seminary diploma on their office wall – sometimes they call that humilty, and they say that pastors shouldn’t try to pad their resume.  But if your Self Evaluation Tool for your District or church body asks for your Continuing Education coursework, to be accurate and up-to-date on that list is definitely a way to tell others what you’ve been focusing on (like, counseling or evangelism) as opposed to what you haven’t been fodusing on (like, youth ministry or prison ministry).  That way, if your district supervisor is looking to fill a ministry position with someone with an evangelism background, he might look at you; but if he’s looking for a youth pastor he’ll know to look at someone else.

So where can you find continuing education coursework?  The most obvious place for people in ministry to look is at seminaries themselves.  Whether you take classes online or in-person, if you’re interested in in-depth theological reflection,seminary coursework offers the depth of theological reflection that isn’t available elsewhere.  It really wouldn’t hurt to take a seminary course periodically because part of your pastoral call is to bring a theological and spiritual understanding to the issues and questions your congregation is facing.  If you take enough seminary courses, you could also earn a certificate in a certain focus area, or even another degree like the Doctor of Ministry.

There are other non-seminary options, of course.  If you lean toward counseling, for instance, sometimes coursework and maybe even a degree is offered by a seminary.  Often, though, coursework in counseling is offered by a university, or even an agency.  Try connecting with a local agency or county coalition of counselors and social workers.  They sometimes offer seminars that meet CEU requirements for their licensees, but they might not turn away anyone else that wants to learn.  Community-based courses like Mental Health First Aid or Bridges Out of Poverty are usually open to anyone in the community.  And if you’ve logged any hours in Clinical Pastoral Education, don’t forget to add those in also.

Let’s talk about less formal Continuing Education opportunities that you might consider.  Even though I’m not a licensed Counselor or Social Worker, I’m on an email list in my county to receive notifications of one-or-two day seminars and conferences coming to our area.  These seminars have helped me over the years to keep up with current thought and practice in these parallel professions, and given me a broader understanding of some of the critical issues many people face every day.  I’ve attended several multi-day conferences and continuing education modules where I’m the only ministry person in attendance, but that hasn’t prevented me from learning a lot or from being welcomed.

Of course, there’s a lot of Internet-based learning out there, too, from 10-minute YouTube videos to webinars on a variety of subjects.  Especially during this time of the coronavirus pandemic, the webinar format has taken off like wildfire!  You can contact your denomination’s or district’s office to find out what webinars are available to your specific denomination, but you can also just wander around the internet in areas that seem of interest.  Be sure to check out good quality programming from reputable sources, though – not everything you read on the internet is true, but not everything is garbage, either.

There’s also the old-school standby of reading books.  If you graduated from the seminary more than a few years ago, you might be surprised at what scholarly work has occurred since then.  New books in all theological areas are being published all the time!  If you have a particular area of interest, try going to the website of your favorite seminary, look through their course catalog, and see if you can download a syllabus of a course that interests you – then order one or more of the books that are required reading and get started.

I’m also a strong believer that since we Christians believe, teach and confess that Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine, we owe it to our growth as persons and people in ministry to be as curious as possible about the whole range of human activity.  That means that whether you take a community education course in conversational Russian, welding, beginning watercolor, ice fishing – or whatever tickles your fancy – you’ll be a better pastor and person for it!

One last thing – the format of the required Self-Evaluation Tool that’s used in my church body doesn’t permit me to add all the possibilities I’ve mentioned here – it only asks for the ones that are offered by our own denomination or its colleges and seminaries.  Here’s my work-around (that I borrowed from my son, who teaches at a university) – make your own personal website that functions as an easily-updateable resume and Continuing Education tracker, then paste the website address into an appropriate place somewhere else in your Self-Evaluation Tool.  I’ve included a link to my personal website in the show notes, and there are also links to some of the other resources I’ve mentioned here.

  1.  To see what a personal website that tracks Continuing Education might look like, here’s mine: https://chris-cahill.mystrikingly.com/
  2. Here are some websites for continuing education courses mentioned in this episode:  Mental Health First Aid; Bridges Out of Poverty; Look Up Indiana; Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training

Self-Evaluation Time

  • Transcript of the episode “Evaluating Yourself – What’s New?” from The Basin and Towel podcast, January 25 2021

Ministry is not all fun and games, uplifting worship, or times of intense prayer.  Sometimes pastors and church workers have to do paperwork, too – the annual report to the Presbytery, District, or church body with your congregation’s statistics, for instance.  You might be asked to do an annual self-evaluation of your ministry.  If you’re a pastor in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, every year you’ll get a request from your district office to fill out a self-evaluation tool (called the SET).  It’s a standardized form, and if you fill it out once, you’re set for life, right?  Well, not really.  That’s kind of like saying, “I changed the oil filter in my car ten years ago; why do I need to do it again?”  Well, maybe you don’t – but you really can’t tell unless you take a look at it, right?  That’s also true with any self-evaluation tool.  There are some responses that you’ll probably never change, but why not take a look at them anyway – not because you have a requirement to meet, but maybe to give you the chance to think about where God has shed his grace in different ways in your ministry since the last time you looked.

I’m in the process of looking at my own Self-Evaluation Tool, or SET, right now, and I’ve discovered that I wanted to tweak the wording on several of my responses, and in some cases redo them completely, especially because they bring up adjustments or changes I’ve had to make in my ministry because of the pandemic we’re all enduring.  Here are five of them:

Question 7  is “What do you consider to be your strengths in ministry?”  I don’t know about you, but I have had to take the lead in making most of the adjustments in ministry in the past year here at the church I serve.  I’ve had a lot of sleepless nghts, and been under considerable stress.  But as I think back over the last year I realize that one of my ministry strengths has been curiosity, and a willingness to learn new skills.  For me, that’s been in learning to use the technology needed to live stream worship services.  But what about you?  What has your pastoral response in the last year revealed about ministry strengths you hadn’t thought about before?

Questions 9 and 10 are about “your preferred practices” regarding the use of worship materials produced by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and other sources, and about so-called “alternate forms of worship.”  If you’ve had to move from permanent hymnals to disposable handouts, from in-person worship to live-streaming, from including liturgical music in the worship service to limiting the singing to only one or two hymns, this is your opportunity to say so, even if none of this is your preference – and please feel free to say that, too.

Question 20 is about your “preferred practice” regarding the use of common or individual cups for Communion.”  At the church I’ve served we’ve used both, on alternating Sundays, for years.  However, early last year I determined to use only the individual cups, to distribute them and the wafers by myself without the help of elders or Communion assistance, and to wear medical gloves and a facemask while I’m distributing communion.  If you’ve made any modifications to the way you distribute Holy Communion, here’s the place to say so.

Question 27 is about “community or extra-congregational activities in which you have participated.”  Whatever has been on your list here in previous years, what could or should be added because of this past year?  Did your church have more food drives?  Did you personally volunteer at distribution centers?  Did you find yourself working more closely with community leaders or groups outside your church to help the people in your community?  Here’s the place to tell about that.

Question 35 is about special health or personal needs that “would enter into your consideration of a call.”  Since I last filled out the SET a couple years ago, my dad has died and my father-in-law entered an assisted living facility and is now in a hospice program.  My wife and I live less an hour from my mom and father-in-law, while my brother and sister live more than 3 hours away, so we’d be hard pressed to move out of the area for a while.  What about you?  What has changed in your immediate family, or your extended family, that might indicate a change in the way you responded to this question the last time?

There’s one more area that I want to deal with in a separate episode of the Basin and Towel podcast, and that’s the area of Continuing Education.  But this is enough for today.  Please take a look at the Self-Evaluation Tool, and at least give some thought to the areas I’ve mentioned here.  And don’t hesitate to get in touch with me through the Basin and Towel website if you have any questions or comments!