Thursday, January 31, 2008

Welcome to New York! Wednesday Jan.30

Wow! What a welcome awaited me! Most men can only dream of such a welcome. My daughter Renee made a wonderful supper of Turkey Scaloppini With Capers and Lemon, Pennslyvania Dutch Noodles, Green Beans With Toasted Hazelnuts and Roasted Pears With Almond Crunch for dessert. Talk about gourmet!

My wonderful wife of almost 37 years greeted me with huge hug and an absolutely wonderful personalized fully spiced welcome home! I'd recommend all marrieds read "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Lehman and "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. There is nothing more wonderful than partners in the grace of life celebrating their love for each other!

This last week in Manitoba was very stressful. It included a roaring grief session in the shower. After 12 years and 12 patents my 2 partners in business staged a takeover while refusing to discuss the details of the one-sided forced buy/sell. When all is said and done, the deal was not so much financially unfair, as it was grief and shock at the process. They started a legal process that gave me 2 options: 1. Buy the Morris operations and sell the Arborg / Teulon operations or 2. Continue the legal process and see what a judge would have to say.

We did not have the emotional energy at this time of stress to pursue option 2, so, against the advice of my lawyers, we signed the papers under duress. We switched lawyers the day before the deadline. After they managed to negotiate a few changes the signing happened 15 minutes before the arbitrary deadline.

In their original documents I was required to assign all my intellectual property rights to them. Their lawyer had drawn up the agreement so that I would not have any rights to build anything for the next 5 years that would have chains, sprockets, electric motors or anything else that was part of any products ever made in Arborg. They kept insisting they would not make any changes. The break came when their lawyer agreed that the IP and non-competes were absolutely restrictive. Finally they were open to an add-on document that gave a reasonable definition of the IP and non-compete clauses. But their lawyer refused to make changes to the original documents. He left me with the impression that he had never touched a keyboard.

Even though what happened is humanly unforgivable, we need to lean on God's promise of forgiveness and forgive as we have been forgiven. We do not want that root of bitterness in our lives. Bitterness first destroys the bitter. We will continue to suffer the grief of loss and experience pain due to the process and the timing for years to come. Jesus said we must forgive 70 times 7.

I'm reading "The Lord & his Prayer" by N.T. WRIGHT. In it he says: "failure to forgive ... isn't a matter of failing to live up to a new bit of moral teaching. It (is) cutting off the branch you are sitting on. ...if you (don't) live forgiveness, you (are) denying the very basis of your ... existence."

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