Trust Plumbing & Home Services, LLC

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Contact Name: Troy Ketchen, Owner

Business Name: Trust Plumbing & Home Services, LLC

Business Address: 533 Flanders Ave. Brookville, OH 45309


Business Phone: 937-329-6534

Business Description:
Trust Plumbing and Home Services is a residential and commercial service plumbing company. With 20 years experience and a master license, we are able to provide solutions to most any plumbing issue and ensure that the job is completed properly and to code. Our services include the repair and installation of water lines, drain lines, gas lines, backflows, water heaters (tank and tankless), toilets, faucets, sump pumps, storage tanks, well pumps, water softeners, boilers, bathroom remodels and much more. We also offer drain and main sewer line cleaning and camera inspections. We are located in Brookville and serve all of the Dayton and surrounding areas and we are available for after hours and weekend emergency services.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
For as long as I can remember, I always knew that I wanted to be a business owner. I fell into the plumbing world as a young man, not knowing that it would turn into a career where my dreams would come to fruition. I am good with my hands and I love to problem solve, so plumbing  has ended up being the perfect fit for me as I am always being challenged with a new problem to solve. I am a people person- so I really enjoy helping and getting to know my customers.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I attended a public school system through the early elementary years. Some friends of mine attended Dayton Christian and I remember begging my parents to send me there because of some bad experiences I was having.  I started attending Dayton Christian in 5th grade and that’s where the Holy Spirit began working on me. I was saved in 6th grade. I am so thankful for the teachers that poured their lives into their students. It was the Christ-centered influences at that lead me to faith in Jesus.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Glorifying and honoring Him in all that I do is what He asks of me. I pray that I am humbly serving Him in all things, including turning wrenches.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
My wife and I work with the youth at church. I enjoy being with students and  I have a special place in my heart for wanting to lead them.

Fix-it Frank LLC

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Contact Name: Frank McAvinchey, Owner

Business Name: Fix-it Frank LLC

Business Address: 485 East Sharon Road, Glendale, Ohio 45246


Business Phone: 513-382-6895

Business Description:
We are a family business dedicated to bringing excellent handyman, remodeling, and residential/commercial repair services to the Cincinnati area.  We handle anything from fixing windows, to completely gutting and remodeling houses, restaurants, etc. 

Some of our recent projects have been:  creating and installing window/patio door grids in a condo in Montgomery; repairing, upgrading, remodeling a 100 year-old house in Bond Hill, which has recently sold for a hefty profit; remodeling a 1959 ranch home in Blue Ash, which sold for a hefty sum; remodeling a home in Fairfield twp for a customer; gutting and remodeling a flooded basement in Fairfield twp; replacing drywall, finishing, priming and painting walls in a flood-damaged basement in Glendale; replacing a sump pump and adding in a water-powered backup, removing cabinets, installing backsplash and a rangehood in a kitchen in Monroe; installing a backsplash in a condo in Montgomery; installing flooring in a basement in Fairfield.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Having owned a lawn care company, my clients were continually asking me to fix this, install that, beyond just lawn care.  After awhile, it became apparent that there was much more opportunity in the handyman business than lawn care.  For quite some time we juggled both, but at some point it made more sense to jettison the lawn care and go full-time into Fix-it Frank.  About three years ago we dove in, starting Fix-it Frank LLC.  We’ve not looked back.  It’s been great!

How did you come to faith in Christ?
In 1980, upon graduating from high school in Michigan, I found myself yearning for a real relationship with the Creator of the universe.  After some serious soul searching, I made a commitment to Christ in early 1981.  A little later in the year, I joined a missionary organization based in Oregon, moved there and spent 5 years as a missionary, and a migrant worker.  That migrant worker status opened up many opportunities to share the gospel with our southern neighbors, who were “visiting” our country. 

In 1986, the organization I was part of relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, and that’s how I ended up here.  On the verge of returning to Michigan, I met Sharon, and fell in love.  33 years, and 4 kids, later, I’m still here, plugged in to Vineyard Church Northwest in Colerain, Ohio.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
I try to give my customers the best, friendliest, godliest service possible.  Is it always perfect?  Certainly not.  But, we strive to do our best, as unto the Lord.  We make every effort to treat our customers, and coworkers, the way we would want to be treated.  There’s always room for improvement, of course.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
I’m a worshiper, as well as a Spanish-speaker, so my interests and heart are focused on those two topics.  I’ve been fortunate to have been the leader of a house church, worship leader for a Hispanic congregation, part of CHOP in Fairfield, and part of a worship team at VCNW.

Marketing Strength Metrics Assessment – A simple marketing tool to highlight gaps in your plan

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By Dimalanta Design Group

To say that everything feels a little uncertain right now with the current pandemic would be an understatement. Many business owners are on high alert. Now is the time to assess your marketing strengths and weaknesses to reassess strategies on how to best reach your target audience.

When we first start with a new client, we always start at the beginning by learning where there are gaps in their marketing plan. We use a simple marketing assessment tool called Marketing Strength Metrics that covers 5 areas of marketing that will help you determine very quickly where the biggest gaps are in your marketing.

5 areas of marketing to assess:

1. Branding

Taking a hard look at all areas of your brand from the logo to the messaging is a great place to start when assessing your marketing. Getting feedback from your target audience could also be a great way to determine how people view your brand image and if that matches the messaging.

2. Culture

Oftentimes we forget that company culture ties directly to marketing. If there are a lot of internal disagreements and disunity regarding the direction, vision, or mission, this will severely affect marketing. When all employees and departments in an organization are aligned with the company’s culture, the marketing plan is on the right path to being successful.

3. MarCom

MarCom is short for Marketing Communications, which is everything from design collateral, advertisements, PR strategy, social media, e-newsletters, or any promotional material. Knowing what makes your organization unique needs to match your brand strategy through MarCom.

4. Sales

Over and over again, we see that sales and marketing seem to clash and are typically not on the same page. Sales and marketing strategies should complement and support each other. Staying targeted together by moving in the same direction makes a marketing strategy much more successful.

5. Customer Service

Having exceptional customer service should be a key factor in your marketing strategy. Good customer service means over-delivering, responding timely, and being transparent if there are issues with products. Treat your customers as an individual by building trust and a relationship so they don’t feel like just a number.

Take the test.
Answer the following and rate your organization on a scale of 0–10 with 10 being the best:

  • How confident are you in your organization’s brand? 
  • Is your organization’s culture aligned with your brand?
  • Does your MarCom match your brand strategies?
  • How are your sales? Do your sales activities coordinate with your marketing strategies?
  • How well do you deliver on customer service?

So, how did you score in these 5 areas? Hopefully, this will give you some insight into where the gaps are in your marketing strategies. Not sure where to start? Contact us at to get a free one-hour consultation from marketing expert, Ernie Dimalanta.

Get real-life examples by watch the Marketing Strength Metrics webinar at

D&L Termite & Pest Control Inc.

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Contact Name: Thaddaeus G. Laywell Sr., Owner

Business Name: D&L Termite & Pest Control Inc.

Business Address: 1223 Lagonda Avenue
Springfield, Ohio 45503


Business Phone: 937-322-2500

Business Description:
General pest & termite control on residential, commercial & industrial  properties.
General insects-spiders, roaches, fleas, slab ants, etc.  About 40 different creeping crawling insects.
We also treat for bed bugs, and all types of bees, wasps, hornets, etc.
Termite & other wood destroying insects.
We offer Wood destroying insect reports for property transfer-VA, FHA, & conventional.
We no longer offer animal trapping or removal.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
My father started business in 1975,  With six brothers, there was not enough work for all of us so at 19 I went to work in the lawn care field for about 12 years. In 2000, I noticed the company was not doing well for many reasons. At that time only my brother Calvin was working for our dad. I asked my brother, if dad would sell the company to us, would he be alright with me coming back & running company. Our journey started April 1st 2000. We are now in our 21st year owning company together and working side by side. I give our Lord Jesus Christ all the credit for working this out for us. Our father was hard to work for and really didn’t think he would sell company to us, but timing was right-in God’s time.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
My mother is a true saint of God, she always tried to make us go to church when i was young, but during my teenage years I didn’t want anything to do with God. At age 30, after thinking I had the world where I wanted it-it all came crashing down-my marriage failed, lost my new home, car, etc. I left with what I could in the back of my 68 chevy truck after 9 years of marriage. My sons were 9 & 6 at the time. My mind was not good then and God started dealing with my soul & I got saved on July 6, 1998. I was still going thru my divorce at that time but God still helped me quit smoking on July 17, 1998, wasn’t long after that I knew I found something in Christ I never wanted to give up & to this day, I praise him for my salvation. Two years later, I was in business for myself, got custody of my two boys, I know I could not have done this on my own. Had to wait on the Lord for 12 years, but he gave me a wife of 9 years now-so blessed.

How does your faith in Jesus impact the way you do business?
Just as the bible says-do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is our motto. We let our faith speak for itself-trying to treat others as Christ would.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
I am currently on the board at my church, I believe our youth are the future of the church and world so I would say my cause is to help in the youth ministry where I can. I organize a car show yearly with our proceeds going to help youth go to church camp, etc. I don’t see myself as a minister or teacher but willing to go where God leads me.

Polaris Family and Sport Chiropractic

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Contact Name: Randall Huffer, Owner

Business Address: 9383 south old state rd.


Business Phone: 6148462225

Business Description:
Chiropractic care for back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, knee pain, foot pain, wrist and elbow pain, jaw pain,  car accidents, workers comp,, sports injuries, home injuries.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I was attending Washington University Medical School while I was injured in a weight lifting  accident. I was treated by many therapists and doctors who could not help me. However,, I was referred to a chiropractor who could help me, and I discovered all of the benefits of Chiropractic without the invasive treatments. I immediately transferred from med school to chiropractic school in St. Louis, Mo. It has been a perfect fit for me as I thoroughly enjoy  helping others restore their health and well being.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was 15 years old in the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in high school when one of my coaches who was in charge of Young Life, a youth ministry, asked me and a bunch of my friends to go to camp in Colorado.  There for the first time I really understood that I was a sinner and needed a bigger Savior and I fully devoted my life to God. I am so thankful for His grace and mercy on my life!

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Our purpose in the office is to glorify God by using Chiropractic to help as many patients and their families as possible toward optimal health through natural Chiropractic care. We see each individual patient that comes into our office as a special unique child of God. Therefore we want to deliver the best possible care to our patients as are ambassadors for our Lord Jesus Christ.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
Our office has supported a young lady from Uganda Africa through a mission called “Food for the Poor.”  Also we have been very active with Young Life ( youth ministry) and the Christian Chiropractic Association for their commitment and passion to reach the world with the Gospel.

Finding Work-Life Balance in the Practice of Sabbath

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By: Dr. Andrew Spencer

Searching the phrase “work-life balance” produces an avalanche of results. The recommendations provided to create a work-life balance vary widely based on the author and the outlet of publication, but the popularity of the question shows that it is a significant problem for many people.

Among other mistaken predictions, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted an abbreviated work week as material prosperity increased. By 2030, he expected the average person’s work to consume as little as 15 hours per week. Despite our material prosperity, Americans continue to work long hours. Our work is stressing us out.

It may help to reexamine why we work. That will, in turn, help determine where the balance between work and the rest of our vocations should be.

The Problem: Over-Working

In 1970, economist Staffan Linder wrote The Harried Leisure Class in which he made the case that as cultures have largely defeated material poverty, they have only become busier. In industrialized societies, there often seems to be an inverse relationship between available leisure time and material wealth. This phenomenon has real social implications in the United States, as it reduces the sense of well-being and can often produce a sense of despair, even in households with a great deal of material wealth.

Linder argues that in “rich countries all slacks in the use of time have been eliminated, so far as is humanly possible. The attitude of time is dictated entirely by the commodity’s extreme scarcity.”

This poverty of leisure time has led to a focus on life hacks and time-saving tricks that can be helpful but often illustrate the poverty of time many experience. Left unchecked, our work can demand all our time and energy, leaving no room for rest. It can rob us of Sabbath. It can diminish our delight in God’s creation. 

The reaction to this strain is to look for a technological solution. We try to find an app, a widget, or a process that will help us do more with less. But technology can contribute to the problem rather than the cure. Daylight no longer limits the hours that productive labor can be done outside. Our cell phones make us accessible anytime and any day. The internet allows us to work at home—a great blessing during a pandemic, but it can erase the boundaries between our career and other parts of life. 

There are blessings that come with technology as it pushes back the effects of the Fall, as with the healing of diseases, but technology can also take blessings like work and turn them into something less. “Always on” technology can enable our work to become a master no less demanding than Pharaoh. In an attempt to overcome nature’s limitations, we may have allowed ourselves to be conquered. When the busyness of our careers drives us to forgo taking delight in God’s creation, our priorities need to be realigned.

The Solution: Sabbath Rest

Work is a gift from God. Creation was intended for humans to cultivate and keep the garden (Gen 2:15). This call to creativity, innovation, and diligence was not diminished by the Fall; it was made more difficult (Gen 3:17-19). Work is not a part of the curse, but it can become a curse if we fail to observe rhythms of work and rest, which can be seen through God’s gift of the Sabbath.

God gave humanity the Sabbath for our good. The Sabbath was not intended to be a barren duty, but a delightful rest. As Jesus tells the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) This is not a revision of the fourth commandment, but an explanation that when “the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex 20:11b), it was intended to be a blessing for humanity. The blessing of the Sabbath rest is even more explicit in Deuteronomy 5:12–15, since it roots the Sabbath rest in a memorial to Israel’s unjust toil while in slavery in Egypt.

There is no easy solution. Work-life balance will always be a give and take effort. There will be seasons when the demands of work crowd out our need for rest when we have an ox in a well (Luke 14:5). We must regularly return to Christ’s assurances that “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matt 4:4), trust that we need not be anxious about our life (Matt 6:25-33), and pursue faithfulness in the vocations we have been given.

All of our efforts in life should be done “with a good will as to the Lord and not to man” (Eph 6:6b), which reminds us that we can only serve one master (Matt 6:24). The master we ought to be serving is the one that calls us to come to him as we labor and are heavy laden so that we can get rest (Matt 11:28). Only when we find our identity in Christ and our purpose is honoring him through our work will we gain rest from the relentless demands of our careers.

As Augustine wrote in his Confessions, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.”

Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics ( The original article appears here.  

Should You Wear a Mask? A Modern-Day Corinthian Debate.

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By: Jacqueline Isaacs

Should you wear a mask or face-covering while returning to work and your regular activities?

While this seems like a question that should have a clear science-based answer, all it takes is a quick browse of your social media feeds to realize that well-meaning folks can disagree vehemently about how to answer the great mask debate.

As Christians, representing Christ and his kingdom, how should we respond? Do we wear masks when asked to do so? Or is it acceptable to assert our right to not wear a mask? As I contemplated this very modern challenge, I was reminded of a similar debate taking place in the first-century church in Corinth.

To Eat or Not to Eat the Meat?

The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is a powerful treatise on how to live in Christ’s freedom while residing in a world bound by sin. We might call this “how to be in the world but not of the world,” or how to live in the “now, but not yet kingdom.” The new church growing up in the Greek city of Corinth had many questions for Paul about how to do this successfully.

One of their questions was about the eating of meat that had been sacrificed to idols in the local temples, a common practice in Corinth at the time. Some members of the church felt strongly that believers should not eat the meat because it would send a signal to the secular world that they are no different, and it might even tempt new believers to return to their old idolatrous practices. Other members felt strongly that it was acceptable to eat the meat because they knew the idols were not real gods and therefore eating the meat was not a problem.

Wouldn’t you think there was a clear answer to this question? The church members in Corinth certainly thought so. However, this was Paul’s answer:

…food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Cor 8:9).

Paul essentially says that the debate over eating the meat doesn’t matter. What matters is how your behavior impacts others for the sake of the gospel.

Free to Choose Self-Restraint

Anticipating some push-back on this answer, Paul shares an example based on his own ministry. In 1 Corinthians 9, he explains that as a professional apostle, he has a right to live off of the fruits of his labor, just like a soldier expects to be paid and a shepherd expects to be able to drink the milk of his flock. The churches he plants and tends are the fruits of his labors, and as such, he has a right to ask them to support his ministry financially. And yet, he and his peers chose to support themselves (by tent-making in Paul’s case) and not by taking a salary from the churches. Paul explains, saying:

But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Cor 9:12b)

This passage can be confusing for us today, as I’m sure it was for the original audience. Paul is NOT saying here that pastors and missionaries should not take salaries from their churches—quite the opposite. He is saying that they absolutely have the right to do so.

Paul is using his personal choice to forgo his rights for the sake of the gospel as an example for the people of Corinth. If he can forgo his right to a salary, then they could forgo their right to eat the meat sacrificed to idols if eating it would “hinder the gospel of Christ.”

Paul even uses the very language that he anticipates being used in opposition to prove his point, saying, “Don’t we have the right to food and drink?” (v. 4) and “Am I not free?” (v. 1)

Following Paul’s Example

We may not live in a world that regularly invites us to eat meat sacrificed to idols, but we are living in a world that is asking us to wear masks in some settings while many people feel strongly about their right to not wear a mask.

As representatives of the gospel of Christ, we should be quick to sacrifice our rights to things of secondary importance. Why is this the case? Paul explains that doing so brings glory to God and makes us more Christ-like:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Cor 10:31-11:1)

There is no verse in the Bible that tells us whether or not we should wear masks in public. But there are a lot of verses that tell us to sacrifice our rights for the sake of the gospel of Christ.

So to borrow some language from Paul: wearing a mask does not bring us closer to God, so wear one if it makes you feel more comfortable or don’t wear one if you don’t think it will help. It’s your right. But be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not hinder your ability to share the gospel of Christ.

While there are certainly lines we cannot cross as we live out our faith, the debate over whether or not to wear a mask as we re-engage society is not one of them.

Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics ( The original article appears here.  

Kent Smith Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.

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Contact Name: Kent Smith

Business Address: 1251 Kemper Meadow Drive, Suite 600, Cincinnati, OH 45240


Business Phone: (513) 825-4466

Business Description:
The Bottom Line: We are in the Insurance & Financial Services business…we work with people and businesses that know where they want to go and don’t want to have their dreams interrupted or derailed.

But it is more than that. Our customers want us to know and understand them.  We help them plan for their future, manage their risks, recover from the unexpected and help them realize their dreams.  If you have read this far, we want to assist you with your life’s financial decisions. Our staff’s diverse experiences allows us to be understanding of your individual needs. Most importantly, our office motto is built on mutual understanding, integrity and quality service.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Actually, by accident I came to the insurance and financial services world.  As I told my wife one day, “I love what I do and it isn’t loving me back.” My daughter had some special needs for school and we needed flexibility in the day to be able to help her.  I was invited to change my career and I have never looked back because I learned that I can make a real difference in other people’s lives.  I wouldn’t say in the beginning it was easy but I did an “Emmaus Walk” and asked for help and I really needed to have faith.  I’m here 14 years later.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
My wife, Maureen, was very instrumental in getting me to go to church. She had a great Christian upbringing with a mother that went to church daily. Sometimes, I think they must have thought I was incorrigible, but she had faith in me and stuck with me. I took a Disciple Class about 22 years ago and that started me in a direction that I always wanted to with God. Not everybody is against religion. For myself, it was a constant seeking. I just needed a little help getting started.  I thank God she found me.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
You know that second commandment, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself?” Since I have changed my career, I have met a lot of people, and different people with different ideas. I have learned to listen and understand them. I try to bring up my Christian faith in the conversation and see where that goes. I found that it breaks down a lot of barriers when each knows the other is Christian. Even when I pick up that someone is not religious nor active in their faith, I still show them I care. I think it helps, and I am much more at ease especially when dealing with people when their lives are turned upside down for various reasons. I think I have the ability to “calm the storm” in a small way by talking with them or helping them find a solution. Whether it has been with someone dealing with a loss of a family member or a financial stress that could tear apart a marriage, for some reason, I think that I was sent to meet them to help in some way. I know when I go home late at night and I have to look in the mirror, I can say that I did the right thing.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
My Christian journey has allowed me to try different things. My wife and I were part of our leadership team at our church for several years, and we needed a reset. For those that have been there, you know what I mean. But it has allowed me to dive deeper into my faith, and right now I am leading/facilitating classes. Currently, I am leading classes on how others can develop small groups and try to make them sustainable, so that it can make their church more viable. The goal is to attract the “nones and dones” to church.

Human Injustice and Our Response as Christians

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It has been a very hard few months for our country and world.  The coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted our financial present and future, and brought fear into the hearts of people everywhere.  Now our entire country is suffering from the aftermath of yet another horrendous act of social injustice – the murder of George Floyd. Every human life is precious and created in the image of God, and deserves the right to be protected.

I have really struggled to find the words to say to the Christian Blue community regarding this situation, and address the re-opened wounds of human and racial injustice that plague our land.  It has made me both sad and angry – two emotions that I generally try to avoid.  But I am compelled to say something, trusting the guidance of the Holy Spirit here.  This situation affects us all.  We can no longer stand on the sidelines of injustice and inequality.  Not as Christians.  Not as brothers and sisters in Christ who hail from every nation, tribe, and tongue. 

My purpose here is to address the inhumane action of one man towards another that led to death.  I’m asking that you support our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are being affected by all this.  Unfortunately, the violent protesting and looting in the aftermath of this crime takes away from the critical message here – the voices of human and racial injustice that need to be heard. 

As a Christian, I believe that the church needs to take the lead, by “doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).  We cannot simply point the finger at the other guy.  We cannot change someone else’s heart.  But we can ask the Lord to “search me and know me, and test my anxious thoughts, and see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). As much as it depends on me, I can choose to live at peace with all people.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [people] to do nothing.” We must do something – every believer in Christ must do something to stand up to human injustice, racism, and misuse of force by those in any positions of power.  We need to call sin a sin and stand united against it.  

God calls his children to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our neighbors desperately need us.  May we, God’s people, humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways.  Then, as He did with Israel (in this 2 Chronicles 7:14 reference), God promises to hear from heaven, and forgive our sin, and heal our land.

In light of this, here are some action steps we can take as the body of Christ in response:

  1. Encourage your church leadership to begin the dialogue of race relations within the church body.
  2. Let your voice be heard in the judicial system by exercising your right to vote and embracing the summons of jury duty.
  3. Speak up against racist or derogatory comments made by others.
  4. Pray regularly that God in his mercy would heal the racial divide in the Church and our country.

Amen, come Lord Jesus.

Darrel Geis, President & CEO

Christian Blue Network

For more on the issue of race relations, see

3 Essentials To Remember as You Go Back to Work

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By: John Pletcher

Are you certain you are ready to go back to work?

For many of us, the current season is full of great eagerness and anticipation. Perhaps you’ve been working from home, and now there is the potential of going back to the office soon. Perhaps you were furloughed over previous weeks, but now you are hearing the news of being called back. Some places it’s a reality; in others, it’s still a wishful hope. For everyone everywhere, great patience is still required.

Serious question: Are you sure you’re ready to go back to work? 

I know, you’re chomping at the bit. You are probably ready to throw yourself back into your labors with great gusto. And that’s good. Very good! After all, God made you in his image. He wired you for creative productivity. But hold your horses. Pause long enough to ponder. You see, it could be very easy—tempting even—to just plunge back in and go absolutely crazy, bonkers about your labors. You might jump onto the job floor and become utterly consumed, giddy drunk in your endeavors, and utterly overwhelmed with your to-dos.

Before you head back, don’t miss the opportunity to hit reset. With advanced thoughtfulness, you can actually return to your labors with a renewed and strengthened perspective. Consider these three essentials. (I bet you already know these, but it’s really good in times like these to recall essential truths you already know.) 

Remember Your Work is a Gift

When God created humans in his image, he supplied his blessing, including that initial call (often dubbed humanity’s cultural mandate) to “rule and to reign.” He also supplied those initial resources. “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth . . .” (Gen 1:27-31). These are serious gifts “from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). 

In Made to Matter: Devotions for Working Christians, Randy Kilgore reminds us: “It isn’t adoration or statues or even the satisfaction of a job well done that is God’s gift to His children. It’s the work itself!” Timothy Keller, in Every Good Endeavor, supplies motivation: “A biblical understanding of work energizes our desire to create value from the resources available to us. Recognizing the God who supplies our resources, and who gives us the privilege of joining in as cocultivators, helps us enter into our work with a relentless spirit of creativity.”

If we don’t remember our work is a gift as we return to the workplace, we are likely to grow arrogant and too quickly self-reliant. As a result, our creative energies will likely be less than their best.

Remember Your Work is Service to Others, to the Glory of God

This truth is a game-changer when it comes to our purpose and motivation. Under normal circumstances, we struggle to remember such vital truth. We stumble through our busy days with self-serving, push-harder, do-it-for-my-glory perspectives. But during these upcoming days of exciting work comebacks, such self-serving attitudes could be all the craftier and more deceptive. Important reminder: our work is not all about us.

With winsome strokes in The Integrated Life, Ken Eldred reminds us: “The real goal of business is to serve others to the glory of God.” If we are not careful, that pure, simple, life-giving goal could get lost in the dust of our crisis-time comebacks. Let’s re-enter our offices and marketplaces with God-given clarity and fervor. We are there to serve others, to help make God even more famous.

Remember the Importance of Rest

One potential upside for many people during this season of downtime has been exactly that: downtime. Rest. Rejuvenation. Sabbath.

This was God’s brilliant idea on day seven (Gen 2:1-3). The amount of rest many people have been forced to take might be the biggest block of do-nothing that they have experienced since childhood. Oh yes, most of us have rushed to fill the void or been forced to add other side hustles. But no one can disagree. There has been a marked change of pace in work patterns. Less rush. More family time. 

With our return to daily labors, there will be the temptation to ramp up, work harder, push more, and drive harder than ever to get ahead. Let’s make certain we do not lose sight of the sacred value of rest, those regular rhythms to which God our Creator called us. He saw the importance of a finish line each week, a holy stop, an intentional time to pause, to celebrate, and to rejuvenate. Let’s not lose sight of the importance of rest.

Remember that work is our Father’s gracious gift. Remember our divine purpose, to serve others for his glory. And remember to “call it a day.” He did.

As we remember these essentials, we are more likely to be truly ready to go back to work.

Editor’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics ( The original article appears here.

Sims Investment Management, LLC

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Contact Name: Cory Sims, Owner

Business Name: Sims Investment Management, LLC

Business Address: 2101 Grandin Road STE A Cincinnati, OH 45208


Business Phone: 5132787467

Business Description:
Sims Investment Management was founded with an emphasis to benefit from the new market landscape. We do this with the highest levels of trust, integrity and respect while always keeping our clients’ best interest as our guiding light. Here at Sims Investment, we want to be more than just your financial advisor, we want to be your friend. In doing so, we will teach you the great truths about your finances so that you may lead a life of greater financial security and personal success.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
My mission in life and in my career is to help others lead a life of greater financial security and success. WHAT I do, is not nearly as important as WHY I do it. I run my company with the same values and beliefs that I live by, and that is by being a good and faithful servant to God and to my clients. My WHY is to teach and coach others to recognize and maximize their God given gifts by making my work my ministry. How I live out my purpose, my why, is through educating others. I believe that I can empower others to expand their minds and have faith in the plans that we set in motion, ultimately leading them to reach their personal and financial goals. My hope is that together, we can create a life you’ve always dreamed of living.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
Faith was instilled at me at a very young age through my family and the wonderful community I grew up in at Our Lady of Fatima in Huntington, WV.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
We work to be positive and rational advisors in a time where clients are bombarded with secular messages that cause them to make poor financial decisions based on emotions.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
During the Covid-19 crisis, we started hand writing notes to send out to clients and have sent out close to 100 books by Jon Gordon called Stay Positive. We look at this as our way to get clients to have faith in the bigger plan that God has for us and that optimism is the only real realism. By turning off the secular media cycle, we can listen to God’s voice and word and realize his plan to use the gifts he has blessed us with.  Attached is a photo of one of the rounds of books we sent out.

Plum Tree Realty

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Contact Name: Steve & Tina Callahan, Realtors

Business Name: Plum Tree Realty

Business Address: Springfield, Ohio


Business Phone: 937-838-0400

Business Description: Real Estate

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Steve has always enjoyed working with homes. He has fixed/flipped & built MANY homes. He then decided he would utilize his knowledge of homes in a different way so he obtained his Real Estate license. Steve’s knowledge of homes increased his success. He became so busy that his wife, Tina, decided to help him. She enjoys the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finding a home that makes their clients smile. They both enjoy meeting new people. They don’t believe in pressuring people to buy homes that they wouldn’t buy themselves. They consider a referral from a past client a high compliment & confirmation that they’re doing their job right. They list homes for ONLY 1% on Seller Side. Most Realtors charge 3%. If you’re looking for integrity & experience, Steve & Tina are your Realtors.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
God made Himself real to Tina on 1-1-86 & she’s never been the same since. AMAZING LOVE! If you would like to know more about her relationship with Jesus, she would be happy to tell you. Just ask her. Steve’s Grandparents took him to church as a child & he attended, off & on, as an adult. But God became more real to him when he was at one of the lowest points in his life. This inspired him to spend more time with Jesus. They enjoy online church with Curry Blake (John G Lake Ministries) Dallas, TX. They have learned more simple Bible Truth about healing from Curry than anyone else.

How does your faith in Jesus impact the way you do business?
We respect everyone & handle every aspect of the process with integrity. We don’t force Jesus on people but are happy to share Him with anyone who asks.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
We believe that Jesus took stripes on His back to heal all & He died on the cross & rose from the dead to save all. We are happy to minister to anyone who needs healing &/or salvation.

C.J. Victor Attorney-At-Law

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Contact Name: C.J. Victor, Attorney-At-Law

Business Name: C.J. Victor Attorney-At-Law

Business Address: 6601 Dixie Hwy, Florence, KY 41042


Business Phone: 859-525-1441

Business Description:
A full service law office performing legal work in multiple areas such as bankruptcy, family law (such as divorces and child custody/visitation matters), real estate matters, contracts and criminal law.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I first gained interest in being an attorney from watching my father (who was a great role model) negotiate bargaining agreements for a large company in Cincinnati.   Much of my father’s personality flows through my veins, such as being patient and to the point when dealing with critical problems.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
By everyone around me praying for my salvation.  They knew long before I did, how much I needed Christ, and how empty my life was without Him.  Their faithful persistence was rewarded in due time when my heartfelt an overwhelming need to set my life straight and serve the One who created me and all world around me.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
After 37 years of legal practice, all the local Judges and attorneys know that I am a person of high morals, integrity and professionalism.  My faith has taught me to use my words in my law practice carefully “saying only what you mean” and “meaning what you say”.    Contrary to some other attorneys who have crossed my path, I won’t lie, cheat or steal to get what isn’t deserved for my client, but I will work hard to get what my client deserves legally in the right way.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
My household has recently accepted an infant foster child who was born under less than ideal circumstances.  The Word clearly says it is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves.  We hope that this child, and any others to follow, will be given their chance to fulfill God’s special purposes for their lives.  All we can do now is water the seedling, and see what harvest God can accomplish with our small offering.

American Heritage Insurance Group

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Contact Name: Michael Rice

Business Name: American Heritage Insurance Group

Business Address: 9675 Montgomery Road, Suite 101
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242


Business Phone: 513-984-5255

Business Description:
Home/Automobile and other personal insurance and Business Insurance for small and medium sized organizations.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I grew up around a small independent insurance agency founded by my grandfather and later run by my father. I avoided the family business by attending law school and then practicing law for a short time with the Taft law firm. After a 15 year career with Great American Insurance/American Financial, I was persuaded by a gentlemen I had met through a mutual Christian friend to start an independent insurance agency.  Twenty years later…

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I grew up in a loving, Christian home where we went to church services every Sunday morning, youth group on Sunday night and Wednesday night gatherings.   As a family we always shared our faith and when I was a teenager I accepted Christ as my Savior at an altar call and was baptized the following Sunday.  My whole life has been journey in my faith.

How does your faith in Jesus impact the way you do business?
My faith and the faith of each of our employees are the foundation of our core values for American Heritage Insurance Group – Supportive (Always have each other’s backs); Transparent (Truthful, Open, Caring) and Altruistic (Devoted to the welfare of others).  Our fourth core value is Knowledgeable (Lifelong Learners).

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
We have many causes/ministries that we support.  Each month we sponsor a charity or cause that one of our employees or clients nominates.  The donations come from social media activity, Jean’s Fridays,  in kind donations, etc.  The organizations we have helped support are Matthew 25, Free Store Food Bank, Water for DR, Life Center, Teen Challenge, Operation Give Back and many, many more.

D1 Training – Cincinnati

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Contact Name: Chris Witzgall, Co-Owner

Business Name: D1 Training – Cincinnati

Business Address: 9573 Fields Ertel Road, Loveland OH 45140


Business Phone: 5135492353

Business Description:
We are a non-traditional fitness training gym in Loveland that offers programs for all ages and every fitness level. From first-timers to professional athletes, we are dedicated to making a difference in your life and helping you achieve a common goal—being your best self. Our gyms offer customized, state-of-the-art equipment, sports science-backed programs, and workouts that target your specific goals. Stop in and discover why Men’s Health named us a Top 30 Gym.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I believe as a Christian that our greatest gift from God is our bodies. Like any of the gifts and talents He has given us, we are to be good stewards and use them to glorify Him. Taking care of our bodies through healthy lifestyle is a requirement for everyone and we started D1 Training to help others achieve this goal.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was raised in the Catholic faith growing up, but truly became a Christian on February 28, 2016 when I was baptized and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
My faith gives our business a solid foundation on how to operate. We developed a set of guiding principles based on the Christian faith that mainly says it all belongs to God and we will use it to glorify Him and lead others to do the same.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
We champion and support multiple causes with our business that include Cleats 4 Kids, Special Olympics, CancerFree Kids, and Women of Alabaster Ministry.
We champion these because we feel strongly that God has provided us the opportunity with the business to bless these causes.

Affordable Automation LLC and Affordable Analytics

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Contact Name: Gary Slaughterbeck, Owner

Business Name: Affordable Automation LLC and Affordable Analytics

Business Address: 1630 Mills Road Wilmington, Ohio 45177


Business Phone: 513-442-9210

Business Description:
Affordable Automation ( creates custom database applications for both desktop and the web.  We design and develop custom software for our clients that will meet the specific needs of their business.  Advantages of custom software include: it’s tailor made for your company, increases productivity, easier integration with existing software, and a smart long term investment.

Our mission at Affordable Analytics ( is to empower businesses through analytics. Affordable Analytics gives our clients an affordable entry point into data analytics.  Every company has meaningful data. The question is whether you are using that data in a meaningful way. Most likely, a large amount of time, money, and effort has been spent in capturing this data. Since you already have the data, why not get a return on that investment?  We can link to your existing data in your existing applications. Also, we create dashboards accessible from anywhere, even smartphones!

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I had worked in the corporate world for almost 23 years when I felt God calling me to leave that arena in 2008.  At first, I was not sure what God’s plan was for me, but eventually He showed me He wanted to lead me in starting a family business.  God knew what He is doing!  This has been an incredible spiritual blessing on my family.  I have been given the opportunity to work with all 3 of my sons, providing me precious time to disciple my sons for many more years than I would have otherwise.  Family life means so much to me and I feel very blessed God provided us the family business.  My hope and prayer is this business will continue for multiple generations.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was raised in a small conservative farming community and regularly attended a local church, yet I had never heard about being born again.  I had this false notion that if I relied on my thinking and hard work, then life would go exactly how I thought it should.  By the time I reached the age of 25, I was completely to the end of myself.  This started me on a search to find out what was missing in my life.  About this time God brought into my life some spiritually mature and strong Christians who began to walk with me down the path to Jesus.  It wasn’t much long after when I met my future wife, and we both became born again Christians.

How does your faith in Jesus impact the way you do business?
“Do for others just what you want them to do for you.” Luke 6:31  We have lived this out to the best of our ability over the past 12 years.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
There have been two main areas of ministry the Lord has brought to our attention:

The first is feeding the hungry through supporting a local ministry called Project 5-2. They are a conduit of redistribution of food, clothing, Bibles and supplies from God’s hand to front line ministries who at times, in their communities, don’t have the resources to feed and clothe those in need.

The other area of ministry we feel God has led us to is getting the word out on how loving our Heavenly Father is.  I think most Christians deep down in their hearts don’t really understand how much Abba Father loves them!  Once this knowledge moves from someone’s head to the heart, their life will be transformed.  The best resource we have found to help others deeply understand this is an amazing book called  He Loves Me! Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection  (by W. Jacobsen).  When we have the opportunity, we either give people this book or highly encourage them to get a copy.  After reading the book, most people come back and share how its message has really changed their walk with God for the better.  Just this week, we received word about a Christian who was struggling with depression, and reading the book really made an impact.  To God be the glory!  Please do yourself a huge favor…find a copy of this book and read it!!!!

Joseph’s Handyman Services, LLC

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Contact Name: Joseph Bily, Owner

Business Name: Joseph’s Handyman Services, LLC

Business Address: 8456 Island Pines Place Maineville, OH 45039


Business Phone: (513) 488-3947

Business Description:
I am a retired residential contractor with 30 years experience with skill in all facets of residential construction, including electric and plumbing. My previous wide range of experiences include home restoration and renovation; however, at this time  my primary interest is supplementing my retirement income and providing a service to our community. My reasonable rate is $65 per hour, while offering discounts for seniors and repeat customers. As an additional benefit, actual material costs are calculated directly for my customers without markup. The purchase of initial supplies is charged as a negotiated one-time fee at a reduced rate. At the completion of my work at your residence, consider my referral program that benefits both parties with rewards awarded based upon a complete and paid referral. I strive to a standard that you would recommend my work to friends!

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
My dad always made craftsman tools available to me growing up. I would follow him around the house as a young boy and learn how to use them. God gave me a gift of spacial orientation, and ability of nimbleness with my hands. Jesus put the desire on my heart to go into residential remodeling and use what He gave me. I worked with and studied computers for a view years, but always came back to working with my hands. The computer interest did prepare me for self employment and I feel God did that for a reason.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was brought up as a Christian and rejected Christianity early in my adult life. Because of this I had a good familiarity with the Gospels during my estrangement. During this period of my life I feel Jesus was carrying me. Later my daughter gave me the book, “Beautiful Outlaw,” by John Eldredge. This brought the world of Jesus, as a person and relationship, to me. Then, one Easter Sunday about 10 years ago I watched “Passion of the Christ” again with my daughter. On the way home I felt the strong presence of Christ with me. For the first time in my life I took the works of Jesus personally. “He did that for me,” I said to myself and cried. This was the moment I was truly saved. From this moment on I became a “sponge” for reading spiritual writings with the Holy Spirit. I always make my best effort to keep His presence in mind and follow Him.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
I see myself as no better than anybody else. Blessed with talents? Yes. All people are good at something. Jesus came to restore us and the world. This inspires me to do restorative work for others both worldly and spiritually. I want to do His work. I try to stay aware of the Spirit at all times, and help wherever I can. This enables me to establish trusting and loyal relationships with my clients. I try to keep contracts and business dealings fluid with nothing cut in stone, always living up to my job estimates.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
I have an idea for a ministry that I need help with. I am currently seeking individuals who might like to get involved. Some trailer parks and neighborhoods have residents having difficult times with resources, to do simple repairs around their home. I would like to start a ministry of craftsmen that would address these issues maybe meeting two or three times a month at these troubled places. I know there are many details to work out, and this is why I am looking for help.

This bit of restorative work can go a long way to restore a person’s peacefulness and faith. We all know how frustrating it is when an item doesn’t work or is awkward to use. Many people live surrounded by frustrations reminding them of their present unfortunate circumstances. These acts of kindness could restore a person or families faith that someone cares, and many good things could come from it.

Medicare Resource Consultants™

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Contact Name: Stephanie Ransom, Medicare Resource Principal Consultant

Business Name: B-Informed Insurance

Business Address: PO Box 453 Lewis Center, Ohio 43035


Business Phone: 833-672-6446

Business Description:
Offering Medicare options for ages 65 and over and those who are under 65 with qualifying disabilities.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
The opportunity to become a part of this industry first developed when I had to seek out Medicare options for my grandmother over 10 years ago.  I became aware of how vital it is to select a health care plan that is best suited for your unique healthcare needs.  B-Informed Insurance will help you make an informed choice regarding your health plan.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
As a child, I observed my grandmother’s relationship with the Lord.  She not only lead by words but was an example by the way she lived her life.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Prior to talking or meeting with my clients, I ask the Lord to work through me to be a blessing in educating and consulting my clients to empower them to make an informed decision regarding their healthcare coverage.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
B-Informed is in a sense a ministry as we pray for clients and their families daily.  Also, my family and I support World Vision ministry as a sponsor.

A Step Above Flooring & Installation

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Contact Name: Marty Dickhaus, Owner

Business Name: A Step Above Flooring & Installation

Business Address: 9634 Inter Ocean Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45246


Business Phone: 513-889-3915

Business Description:
We are a local and family owned flooring company serving the Cincinnati Tri-State and surrounding areas since 2010. Our principles are simple: We provide excellent customer service, offer high quality and value-conscious products, do the ‘right’ thing, give back to our community, and build strong, long lasting relationships. We will not trade our values and will not compromise our commitment, honesty, or integrity. We do what we say and say what we do. Our team is key to our success with our customers and each other.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I’ve been in the flooring industry for 40 years and have never gotten out of it. I learned the trade under my brother and it sort of became a part of me. There are so many aspects in the flooring industry that it’s not just, carpet or hardwood. Flooring is something that stays with you overtime and we want to help people improve and enjoy their homes. I’ve really enjoyed working with people, always have, and always will… I hope they like working with me as well!

How did you come to faith in Christ?
My mom and dad were very involved in the church and it was very important that we as a family were brought up in the church as well. They were the foundation of building my faith in Christ. Years later, after getting married and having a family, we drifted away from the church and let other things take priority over our lives… school, sports, the usual. At God’s calling, my wife came to Christ and was baptized in December 2014 and  has brought our family back to the church. It was at this time that our faith began to play a very big role in every single aspect of our lives.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Our faith at work dictates our values, goals and view of the world. As business owners, we’ve been entrusted with gifts from God and with those gifts of business ownership means that we are to honor God with everything we do – This affects each decision we make on a daily basis. Wherever we go, whether it’s home, the workplace, the grocery store, or taking a walk in the neighborhood, we must always follow Jesus and live our faith every single day. Doing these things not only affect the way we do life outside of work but affects how we do our work.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
We have come to know and support Milford Miami Ministries and their mission has made a huge difference in so many lives. They are supported by many churches within the community, as well as other groups that continue to make  a difference. They have a food pantry that is open during the week for families in need. It’s an amazing pantry and is so diverse that it’s like walking into a grocery store. They also provide financial aid for rent and utilities for those in need, as well as holiday meals and gifts for children. It’s a true blessing to work with the families in the community and to see how God blesses them each and every day.

Archadeck of Akron

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Contact Name: Patrick Sluss, Owner

Business Name: Archadeck of Akron

Business Address: 368 Cope Ave Akron Ohio 44319


Business Phone: 3307541044

Business Description:
Archadeck of Akron specializes in outdoor living spaces. We help customers with designing and building their dream outdoor space. We are one of the few outdoor living contractors.  We build decks, paver patios, concrete patios, porch roofs, screened rooms, pergolas, three season and four season rooms. We also build combinations of these projects, which tends is our specialty. Customers like only having to hire one company to do a combination project.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I grew up with a love of working with my hands. My hobby grew into a remodeling business. We still do remodeling (Sluss  Construction with the seasonality of outdoor work. Archadeck approached us and it was a good fit since we both believe in using quality products installed the best way to deliver a project that will last the test of time.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I grew up catholic and always believed in God. I didn’t know what it was like to have a relationship with God until I was in college. God lead to Grace Church and a life group at the University of Akron. The teaching clicked and I understood a lot more about God and what he did for me. I was also awesome to connect with other believers who where young adults.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
We are a business for everyone so my faith is not shared with every customer directly. I love when customers open the door to share and talk about it directly though. What we do tends to be more indirect. We provide a quality project at a fair price and we stand behind our work. We treat customers how we would like to be treated. Construction is a very unregulated industry that really anyone who wants to pick up a hammer can be a contractor in Ohio. We do our best to elevate customer’s views and trust of the construction business.

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?
My wife and I have done a  trip to Mazatlan, Mexico every year for about 5 years now. Sometimes two trips in a year. The people there are awesome and really focus on relationships. It is amazing to see their fire and passion for God. The ministry is called shoulder to shoulder that we work with. They come alongside local churches and work with them to become all that God has called them to be. ( It has had such an impact on us that we were married there two years ago. Really amazing worshiping the same God in a different language in another country. 

I also believe in serving at the local church. For 6 seasons now I have coached a 4-6th grade basketball team. I think it is important that they be exposed to God and shape their view of him at a young age.