Are you a different person at work?

Ephesians 4: 22-24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by it’s deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”

Consistent. It’s one of the most difficult things to be. Whether it’s how you behave at work or how you behave at home. If someone at work could see you at home would they say ‘Yes, I recognize that person”? Not your face but how you are as a person, your character and personality. If your close friends or family could see you at work would they notice any difference in you by the way you act and the things you say?

If the Holy Spirit is at work in us then we will be consistent because God is in us. If we’re behaving differently then it’s us and not God at work.
I understand that we have to use certain aspects of our personalities in different ways. We do have to show that more assertive side at work, especially if we’re leaders or managers. And as long as we are respectful and well-mannered there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m talking about the things that others would be shocked by. Bad language, careless talk (gossip), bad jokes, flirting, drinking excessively. The list goes on. Have I ever been any of those things? Most certainly I have over the past 26 years. But when I’m closest to God those things don’t come anywhere near me. They run away from me! Or, I run away from them! That’s why a regular relationship with God, and not a once a week Sunday sit down is important.
That’s why I write this blog. It’s written for other people but most of the time it’s a ‘note to self’. It’s a great reason to be with God. When I’m with Him I feel less vulnerable. As it says in Psalm 23, You prepare a table before for me in the presence of my enemies’. The evil.

So, Let’s be ourselves to-day. And when I say ‘ourselves’ I mean God and us. With him, we are who He wants us to be. Without Him, sometimes we’re unrecognizable to others and to Him.

Prayer

‘Heavenly Father, We pray for consistency in our lives. For us to be steadfast in glorifying you always’ – Amen!

Ready for battle?

Lyrics to ‘When a Knight won his spurs’

‘When a Knight won his spurs in the stories of old, He was gentle and brave he was gallant and bold. With a shield on his arm and a lance in hand, for God and for valor he rode through the land….No charger have I, and no sword by my side, yet still to adventure and battle I ride. Though back into story land giants have fled. And the Knight s are no more and the dragons are dead. Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed, it’s the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed. And let me set free from the sword of my youth. From the castle of darkness, the power of truth.

Whoa…that’s a bit heavy for a Monday morning! We sang that song at school in England. If you click on the title above you can hear it. It has a lovely tune. The song has stayed with me with all of my life. It pops into my head when I’m about to venture into an environment or situation that I’m not particularly looking forward to. The word’s in bold on the ones that I say to myself. It’s an emotional piece for me because I know that God is with me. Always. I know he is because He’s proved He is over and over. So, as I venture into my next battle, it’s a case of “Here we go again God, the same concerns and worries. Sorry, I can’t stop having them but as long as you’re with me I guess I’ll be okay.”

Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed!

Prayer

‘Heavenly Father, Forgive us for ever doubting your presence and help us remember when you’ve been with us and how you’ve helped and protected us. Encourage us to look to you always for strength’ – Amen!

Have you ever seen the sunrise at Harlem 125th St Station?

Genesis 1:31

‘And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day’

I work in Advertising so by the time I’m going through 125th Street the sun is usually well and truly up. But one morning during the winter, when I was on an early train, I was fortunate to look up and I saw one of the most stunning sunrise’s I’ve ever seen. Not just the colors but by the way it was presented to me. When the train moves through 125th Station the light is blocked by the buildings except through the streets that go down to the river. So, the eye gets these bursts of flickering light that enter in to the train. It’s similar to a film strip or flicker book. When you’re going through there one early morning during the winter, look up and praise God for such beauty. For me, it was a joy to behold. All the more rewarding because I’m sure I did not want to be on that train at that time of the morning! God does show himself to us when we least expect him to. Look out for Him today!

Harlem at sunset

A sunrise at Harlem by the river

What keeps you awake at night?

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along right paths for his names sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil. for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

When it comes to great writing it doesn’t get better than Psalm 23.

I’m not a fantastic sleeper. Thinking about work keeps me awake. It’s a mixture of thoughts in my head all buzzing around at a 100 mph. My brain is on fire. I may be worried about something or thinking about how I need to deal with a situation. Did I send that email? Did I offend that person with what I said? Where’s the next pay check coming from?

I’m normally wake up between 3.02am and 3.08am. Not before and not after. This has been going on for years. Sometimes I use it to my advantage and actually work things out but I’m exhausted the next day. One night, I think God spoke to me. He suggested I speak to him by praying and saying Psalm 23. It’s the only passage in The Bible that I know word for word. So, I did as asked and I was asleep within 30 seconds. Probably quicker. I felt like it was God reassuring me that all was going to be fine. “Go to sleep”. I’ve prayed the same prayer ever since and it normally works. Not always but usually. I know this sounds crazy but I can’t help but believe it to be true. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be. God can be with us in all aspects of our work life. At times when we may not think he is. Like 3am in the morning. He’s at work in us even when we’re not working!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are with us always. You know our hearts and minds. Help us to talk to You when we need your help no matter how small the matter and may we be thankful – Amen!

….No, God loves us!

John 3:16

‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’

 

I saw this on the train this morning and was a little shocked. I have compassion and forgiveness for those that wrote it and the fact they had a near naked woman portrayed as an angel. I was talking to a friend yesterday morning and he mentioned that in Revelation man will wave their fists at God in anger. And I suppose this only confirms that. So our job (beyond out work jobs) is to tell those that are angry that God does love us. Enough to sacrifice His only son to save us.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? The same place that God sees it?

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

That’s a classic piece of scripture, part of the all time top ten bible verses, but it’s relevant to me today.

This is the first day of me being self-employed. The past year has been a long journey of planning, praying and occasionally being disobedient! And to also being somewhat naïve to how I went about being self-employed. Just ask my wife.

But being locked away in a midtown office isn’t my future and New York is a city of opportunity when it comes to the creative industry. It’s changed over the past 2 or 3 years mainly due to the recession. People had no choice except to start doing their own thing and I suppose I’m benefiting from that new-found optimism and the ‘Yes I can’ attitude. ‘If they can do it, so can I’.

But much more than that I felt that my creative skills were being all consumed by the corporate world and they were being suppressed. I was also spending all my energy trying to please man and not God. It’s time to re-address that balance. I don’t know God’s plan for me or my family but I do know that if I have more time to do His work then that’s in keeping with scripture. And it could be that His work is also paid work. Only He knows!

I’m an independent person. Not prone to towing the line. But I now need to take the frustration I had in the full-time workplace and channel into doing good for the community I live in and the world. I have no excuses.  And at the same time be joyful in doing it.  God has already started to bless me with a few opportunities and for that I’m thankful.

So, I ask anyone that follows this blog to keep us in their prayers as we begin this new journey with God.

God Bless you all.

-Andrew

It was like Christmas in Connecticut this morning!

Who’s really providing for our families?

Phillippians 4:19

‘And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus’

Conversation

I love my family and I care for them very much but I know I should love God even more. I should love him for all that he’s created and for all that he’s blessed myself and my family with. So, It’s God who is the final provider. At this stage in our family life things seem to be going well. Everyone seems happy. I have a good job. We are blessed to have a very happy son in College and two happy girls in school. My wife has a wonderful job as a Mission Associate. A job that couldn’t be more suited to her. I pray that it’s all for God’s glory and that we’re following his path. And if for some reason God was to change all that then I know that He loves us and He will carrying on providing and caring for my family because I know that He loves them even more than I do.

So. Let us accept God as the Father of our family and let us not try to give for our families or each other through our own strength. So much more can be achieved when we trust in God to provide!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you are indeed our Father. Our provider. All gifts and blessing come from you. Through good times and bad may we follow your path and keep loving you – Amen!

How many more storms to come?

Mark 4:39

‘He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm’

I couldn’t write something today without referring to a storm. I was staring out of the window on Tuesday watching the trees bend back and forth and I thought to myself that there really is nothing I can do to stop or control this. We were helpless. We prayed for our safety and the safety of others but what was going to be, was going to be.

When we feel truly helpless and vulnerable we often turn to God. Stopping a hurricane isn’t part of our job spec. We leave that one to God because we read all about the miracles in The Bible that Jesus performed, like the calming of the storm while he was out on the boat with the disciples.

But there are other equally damaging storms in our lives that we should place in God’s safe and trusting hands – tension in our work lives, disagreements with work colleagues or a neighbor. Perhaps there’s situation’s where we haven’t forgiven others because our pride has the best of us? (Those storms can go on for years). Even dealing with our children when they’ve been disobedient, disrespectful or if there’s a problem at school. All of these are storms in our lives. We try to deal with them ourselves but we can seek guidance from God, our Heavenly parent through prayer and scripture. As it says in Isaiah 40:29 ‘He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless’

I’ll have some of that!

The storm in the Sea of Galilee

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Help protect and guide us through the many storms of life. Above all, give us peace in knowing that through faith and prayer we can leave it all in you safe hands – Amen!