Welcome, one and all, to the Grand Campus of the Byblos Corporation, here in sunny California! Founded in the earliest days of the state, the folks here at Byblos have been committed to the little people. In fact, at Byblos, there are no “little people”! Our founding philosophy is “Because You Matter Most!” Here at Byblos, when we ask ourselves what matters most in life, you can bet that the answer will always be, “You.”
Since the very day this company began, the Byblos logo has always been a sign of affluence in America and beyond. We provide products and services for every area of life. If it’s not Byblos, it’s not worth the price! We at Byblos stand by our brand; observe how even the employees here on the Grand Campus use only equipment and products created and sold by the Byblos company. No other brand holds the standards that we do at Byblos; no other brand provides the same quality of service. The same people who bring you Byblos also wear Byblos, play with Byblos, workout with Byblos, work with Byblos, clean with Byblos, and even eat Byblos! The Grand Campus of Byblos also houses the Byblos employees, providing a comfortable, happy, “you”-centered living space for each and every person who makes this company successful. Once you buy Byblos, you’ll never need to compare prices elsewhere on the shelf, or shop at another store again! We have 24-hour online and telephone ordering services, so you can replenish your stock of Byblos product from the comfort of your own home!
And for those of you who choose to make a career with Byblos and join our team—welcome to the family! Byblos, with its diverse market and product line, has openings for every skill in the book, and no matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll have a home in Byblos, and you’ll never have to look for work again! Every amenity is provided for your comfort and to optimize your performance. Just ask, and we’ll provide, because you matter to us! Should you find yourself falling behind in your tasks in a given field, don’t worry! We won’t fire you; the Byblos Employee Quality Control Task Force is only a phone call away with an opening that will better suit your needs and your abilities, whatever they may be!
So the next time you see the Byblos logo, don’t hesitate! When you buy Byblos, you know you’re buying from a company that really cares about you. If you’re looking for work, look no further than Byblos! Log onto Bybloscorp.com and fill out an application today! It will be the best decision you ever make for yourself.
Byblos is here: Because You Matter Most!
Byblos Grand Campus, Sacramento, CA--1900
Serena Mandalord stood at the kitchen counter of her Byblos apartment, juicing oranges from the Byblos orchards with her Byblos-brand juicer. She poured the orange juice into two glasses from the Byblos Home & Kitchen store, and placed the glasses on the Byblos oak table in the breakfast nook. She set out two plates, also from the Byblos store, two forks, and two knives. Serena wiped her hands on a linen dishtowel bearing the Byblos logo and, from their Byblos ice box, removed two eggs—stamped with the Byblos seal—and cracked them into the cast-iron Byblos pan on the stove. Serena’s husband, Abraham, came out of the bedroom and walked into the kitchen just as the eggs were sizzling.
Serena looked with pride upon her husband. He was smartly dressed in his Byblos ditto suit, his Byblos shoes were brightly shined (with Byblos wax), and his Byblos tie was straight over his silk Byblos shirt. His teeth, carefully looked after by the Byblos dentist, were straight, and his hair—tended by the Byblos barber—curled gently over his head.
Serena moved the eggs from pan to plate with a Byblos spatula, and sat at the table to join her husband. Together, the two of them did something strikingly un-“Byblos.” They prayed.
“Dear God,” Abraham said, “please bless this food that You have provided us, and bless the work that we do here. Help us to live for Your glory, Amen.”
Serena shook her head as she ate her egg and sipped her juice.
Abraham noticed. “Was it something I said?” he asked his wife.
Serena looked down at her plate, at the fork in her hand, at the table underneath. “It’s Byblos who provides for us,” she murmured. “They provide the food, the dishes, the roof over our heads—“
“But Serena, honey,” Abraham gently reminded his wife, “We know that God is the one who brought me this job here. It is because of Him that we are blessed with so many things from Byblos. He made the chickens from which Byblos gets these eggs; He made the trees from which Byblos gets the oranges and the tables and chairs. God is at the heart of everything we have.”
Serena sighed and chewed her lip. Abraham knew her well enough to know there was something still bothering her. “What is it, my love?” he asked her.
“Abraham, why are we the only ones who believe in God?” Serena burst out abruptly. “No one else in the whole Campus even mentions His name. I go to the Byblos market, and everyone there only talks about how Byblos is so wonderful for providing so much for us, and every so often, it’s all about how Byblos has created a new product for our use—in their minds, it’s Byblos who is the Provider, not God. Where did you learn about God, anyway? The Campus Church talks about God, but to them, Byblos is God, and each person is their own God; where did you get the Bible that sounds so different from everything else?”
By this time, they had both finished breakfast. Abraham removed their plates from the table and placed them in the sink, then led his wife to the living room. She sat on the sofa from Byblos and watched her husband patiently as he opened the Byblos cabinet, and from the topmost shelf withdrew the large black book she knew was his Bible—the only one she had ever seen in the entire Byblos Grand Campus.
Abraham thumbed the gilt-edged pages. “This Bible was given to me by God Himself,” he whispered.
Serena had heard the story before; it thrilled her heart every time to hear him tell it.
“I had just begun working at Byblos, training under my Mentor in the Byblos Books branch. I didn’t know how to read very well, but I was in charge of unpacking the books from the big, ugly, wooden cartons, and re-packing them into the lovely book-boxes we got from the Byblos Storage department. One day, Byblos Books received a carton of Byblos Bibles. They were all trim books, with brightly-colored covers and gorgeous decorative print. These Bibles were all about Byblos, and had stories about Byblos’ history and what it means to be a Byblos user or employee, as well as short sayings which reinforced the Byblos motto: ‘You Matter Most.’”
Abraham flipped open the Bible and sat on the couch next to his wife. Serena pulled her feet up from the floor and tucked her bare toes under Abraham’s leg. She quivered with excitement as the story reached her favorite part.
“As I unpacked the Bibles, every so often I would pull one out and read as many words as I could in it. I was getting tired of all the Bibles, when I suddenly pulled this Bible out of the middle of the carton.”
“And it had your name in it, didn’t it?” Serena supplied, grinning at her husband.
Abraham laughed, “It did, indeed! It was a lot bigger than the other Bibles, and as I read it, I found my name, and I seemed to hear a Voice tell me, ‘This Bible belongs to the man whose name is written in it.’”
Serena giggled like a schoolgirl. “Then what did you say?” she asked, even though she knew the answer.
“I said to the Voice, ‘But who are You, and why are You giving me this Bible?’ and the Voice replied, ‘You are the Man of the Lord, and I AM the LORD. Read this Bible and learn more about Me.’” Abraham smiled and opened the Bible, looking over the countless pen markings (courtesy of Byblos) in that Bible—the book that taught him to read and to believe. “And so I did just what the Voice said; I learned to read, and I learned about God.”
Serena sighed as Abraham stood, “That’s all well and good, Abraham,” she argued, “but it still bothers me sometimes. Why is God so important to us when we’re living here at Byblos?”
Just then, the Byblos radio switched on, and Serena and Abraham heard the familiar Byblos “anthem”—the signal for all employees to depart to their offices.
Abraham stood and kissed his wife. “See you tonight, honey,” he told her. Serena frowned when she realized her question would not get answered just now. Abraham endeavored to explain, “Honey, God has chosen me for a reason; I just don’t know what it is yet. He even chose my name, Mandalord—‘Man of the Lord’—for a reason. Read this Bible, sweetie, and you’ll see that over and over again, God asks the men and women who trust in Him to do things that might seem strange at first, but everything turns out in accordance with His plan. I’m not asking you to trust me, and what I know; Serena, I want you to trust Him, and what He says.”
Serena lifted her eyes to her husband’s face. “I’ll trust him, Abraham,” she promised in a low voice, “and I’ll trust that He leads you.” She kissed him, and smelled the familiar scent of the Byblos aftershave on his skin.
“Thank you, Serena,” Abraham said, grabbing his coat and hat and departing for the day’s work.
Abraham Mandalord returned in the evening. Serena had their supper laid out for them, but she quickly noticed that her husband would not eat.
“Abraham,” Serena asked, her face full of concern, “What is it?”
Abraham sighed, “I spoke with the Chief Director today.”
Serena was so shocked she dropped her fork, “What did you say?” she asked.
Abraham grasped his wife’s hand, “The way Byblos runs the company, all the things they make and do for us and for other people—it’s all at the expense of our own privacy. I mean, Serena, look at this house.” He waved his hand around, the room, “Every single thing has the Byblos mark on it. They approve the music you’re allowed to play, the food you’re allowed to eat, even the hair products you’re allowed to use. Think about it: who was the last person you can think of who came up with a new idea for a product or service that would actually mean something to the world outside, one that would allow the worker to actually leave the Campus, and the Company allowed him to do it?”
Serena frowned in thought as Abraham continued, “Yes, it’s a company that provides products and services, but all Byblos does is take the products that already exist, buy the patents, put their label on it, and sell it for an exclusive price! That’s no way to run a company, Serena!”
“You—“ Serena’s voice shook, “you said all that to the Chief Director?”
Abraham smiled ruefully and shook his head, “Not in so many words,” he admitted, and just as Serena began to relax, he added, “but I did tender my resignation.”
Serena jerked up straight, “Abraham,” she reprimanded him, “how could you? You were a Production Manager, how could you give it all up like that?”
Abraham shook his head. “Serena, God spoke to me in a dream last night.”
“He did?” Serena cried, “Just like at the very beginning?”
“Yes; He told me that it was time for me to leave Byblos, that He wanted me to travel east to a place He prepared for me.”
“He told you to leave the place where you’ve spent your entire life—where I’ve spent my entire life? And go where, might I ask?”
Abraham shrugged, “He hasn’t told me that yet. All I know is that we need to leave tonight. There is nothing for me here, now that I’ve resigned.”
“Wonderful!” Serena sighed, clearing the dishes from the table and piling them in the sink. “You resign from your job at Byblos—your high-ranking job, I might add—and come home and tell me that we need to leave our house for who-knows-where, and all because God told you to? Abraham,” she moved to stand behind her husband and rub his shoulders, “We have every sort of luxury here, and your salary and this company provided it for us. Why can’t we wait until we have a family to consider maybe moving?”
Abraham sighed, “Serena, darling, I think that is exactly why God is asking us to move, don’t you see? We’re indebted to Byblos, maybe not financially, but it is because of Byblos that we are able to live comfortably, and when we look at it that way, we forget about God. I think God is calling us away so that we can learn to depend on Him alone, not some earthly company who gives us what they make us think we need. Remember what the true Bible says? ‘The greatest among you is the one who serves.’ God might be calling us away to better be able to serve others, instead of continuing here and being served ourselves. Byblos is no place to raise a family, not one that knows God. We must leave. Would you be willing to join me in this, Serena?”
Serena sighed and looked around the house; she had been living very comfortably; could she really live without all these things, out in the unknown?
Finally, she looked at Abraham, “If God has called you, then I will follow you. I trust God, Abraham.”
Abraham smiled, “Thank you, Serena.”
The couple left Byblos that night: on foot, with nothing but a small satchel apiece and the clothes on their backs. They walked until they came to the train station, where, after an hour of intense prayer, Abraham purchased two tickets for St. Louis, Missouri. Together, Abraham and Serena Mandalord followed God’s leading, resolved to trust Him all the way.
And so the adventure began…