Roll up for the mystery tour

Genesis 12:1

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your Father’s house to the land that I will show you”

 

This verse always fascinates me and I think about it often.  If we research the scripture there is an interesting interpretation of ‘Father’s house’. It means the ‘place that provides’. When we think about our lives, that would be our place of work. The verse goes on to say ‘to the land that I will show you’. Meaning, have faith in Me (God) and I will show you exactly the right place to be. 

It’s possible that some of us are under difficult circumstances at work or we feel like there’s something better out there for us. Something more fulfilling or rewarding. It could be where we are already working but a different position or project. But we’re fearful of leaving the ‘place that provides’. Pray hard to God and ask Him to ‘show you the land’.  Things become a little more exciting (with a small dose of fear) when we know God has a plan and a place for us. If we have the faith, He has the place!

noroton-station_1Noroton Heights station after a recent snowfall

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for our place of work and the gift of work. Guide us in the work place and show us where You want us to be – Amen!

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Do the right thing.

romans7-15

There are some verses in The Bible that feel like they were written today. The verse  above from Roman’s is one of them. And it’s one of those verses that makes me smile. If you read it again, read it as someone who’s frustrated and waving their arms around in the air. Almost like they’ve done something over and over again but can’t stop themselves doing it.

Business is a tough place. We’re all jostling for position and trying all we can do to make an impression. Sometimes, we find ourselves doing something just because we’re fighting to keep our jobs. It could be something we say in a meeting or a decision we make that we know is doing ‘the very thing we hate’. Awareness of doing the wrong thing is good. But doing the right thing is a big step. It may put us to the bottom of the list in a promotion or jeopardise our position in the company.

Pray to God for wisdom as you go to work today. Pray that he will guide your heart and head. Allow him to enter into a situation at work and give you the right words and actions. Ruled by God’s plan for you and not your own ambitions. Romans goes on to say in verse 8 – ‘If God is with us who can be against us’ and in Matthew 34 – ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own’. It doesn’t get more right than that.

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, Guide my thoughts, words and actions today at work. Be with me in every situation so I can glorify You – Amen!

 

Are we ‘up to the job’?

Isaiah 48:17

‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.’

Rejection. It’s tough. Feeling worthless and incapable of doing something we thought we could do but then being told we’re not ‘up to the job’ is one of the hardest things in the business world.

I have been rejected for very senior jobs in ad agencies that I was fairly confident I could do and it was odd to me that I wasn’t getting them. But after a while, I just said “Okay God, what is that you want me to do”. Just because I hadn’t been given the opportunity I wanted it didn’t mean that God didn’t have something else equally challenging for me. For example, I was filming in Prague this past week, merrily going about my job as a Commercial’s Director. When filming, most of the crew stand behind the Director’s chair and the actors stand in front, obviously. For most of the shoot, I had been comfortably doing the job but I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t give direction because my brain froze. In that moment, the actors were staring at me. (Actors that didn’t speak much English) and when I glanced behind me all the film crew were looking at me as well.  And there was this weird ‘are you up to the job’ silence. They were all looking to me for direction. And I had to act quickly. Something came to me and I shouted out some words and I was back on track. I sensed that God had put me in that place and thankfully given me the words to do my job. I also realized that I was in a very senior position on the set but not the position I had once expected, during those times of rejection. I don’t crave or seek out senior positions any more but God had put me in one. One, that in many ways was more challenging than that of being in an ad agency but I believe it to be a better use of my skills. I also believe that it’s all God’s work. So, ‘are you up to the job’? Maybe not the one  you think you want but God will have something else for you that’s most likely even more challenging or unexpected. Are you up for praying about that?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we ask that you guide us in our work. We want to follow your path so we do what you have planned for us not what we plan for ourselves. Give us the confidence and strength to believe in you and take that leap of faith when an opportunity arises that we weren’t expecting – Amen!

He feels your pain

Matthew 27:46

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”?

Have you ever had one of those conversations with someone and at the end of it they say “I feel your pain”. It’s usually in reply to something we’re moaning or complaining about. I suppose it’s just a sympathetic response.

But we all have times when we are genuinely feeling pain. Not physical pain but a mental and inner pain that really aches. It can be with for us for a long time. Who can we turn to apart from the sympathetic colleague? God knows all about the pain. If we think we have it tough then we should take a look at what He went through in the form of his son, Jesus. Is this an obvious thing to say? Maybe, but The Bible does tell us to be joyful in all circumstances and not complain. And when I think about what happened to Jesus versus me having to go backwards and forwards to Boston each week then I feel ever so slightly humbled. And when that happens, something else happens. I start to look at all the positives. All of the blessings that I have in my life that I should be thankful for but hardly ever am. I think that is one way to view joy. Joyful that He died for us and anything life throws at us He can deal with for us. Not so painful after all.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, You took it all on for us. Thank you for helping us overcome our pain through the joy of knowing that You are with us. Always. Amen!


BostonView from the train heading to New York from Boston. Thursday March 20th, 6.20pm.

 

We are His.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of his pasture

The business world is often a difficult place to navigate. It’s accepted that people are in different positions of authority. Often based on talent and the level of experience. Depending on where we are at we are either a manager or being managed. In truth, regardless of what position we hold there is always someone managing us. But we are not owned by anyone in the work place. No one has the right to claim ownership of us. We work with people and respect each others authority and talents, we listen to wisdom and take advice from more experienced people but we are not slaves to someone’s authority. Neither should we be judged by them.

But we do belong to God. He owns us. He created us. He knows us better than anyone can know us. We answer only to Him. He is the judge of us especially if we judge others! Matthew 7:1 ‘Do not judge or you too will be judged’. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our work environment and start to believe that someone else’s opinion of us is right when the opinion isn’t favorable. In fact, it can really drag us down and we lose all confidence in our abilities. But know this. God has gifted talent to us all. We are all capable of doing our work very well. Amazingly well  if it’s through Him. So, we should not listen to what others say if it’s demoralizing or an abuse of power and position. Pray and listen to God instead. He says in Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’. Or Joshua 1:9 ‘…Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go’ The words of a true leader!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, You are our leader and we put our hope and faith in you. May we look to you for wisdom, advice and encouragement by reading your word then let us be at peace – Amen!

Go that extra mile.

Mark 9:19

“You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long  shall I put up with you?”

I read those words from Mark yesterday and I smiled. They sound like an impatient parent who’s just about had enough of their child’s antics. Did Jesus almost lose it? I don’t think He did but it showed that He was human.

The words sound like they were written today. An ‘unbelieving generation’ could quite easily apply to many parts of the USA and the world. Just like the disciples we sometimes just lack faith. How long will He put up with us? It’s written that Jesus will one day return. Why doesn’t he just give in and get on down here and sort us out? It’s because there’s still a lot of His work that needs to be done. For those that are believers it’s to bring as many people to faith as possible. In our community and the world. To put in more hours and find that extra ounce of energy to do His work. But do we have time for that? Funny to think that it’s really the only job we need. If we have faith and we’re fully committed to Him than He will provide all that we need. Maybe not in the way that we want, but He will supply the energy and the time. Meanwhile, He is putting up with us. Continually forgiving and showing grace and mercy. In return, we should perhaps go that extra mile. For Him!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father,  forgive us for always falling short. Help us go that extra yard in our faith, so we can fully live our lives through you – Amen!

Be prepared!

Ephesians 6:13-14

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness

If we take a train, we have some time to prepare ourselves for the day ahead. I like the words in Ephesians – belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness. It seems only right to arm ourselves with these things. But, without us knowing, they may fall off as we wander from meeting to meeting or from thought to thought. We need to keep them firmly attached to us through prayer. So, lets ask for this while we’re prepare for the day ahead of us. And then allow it to sustain us as we go about our day.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for your presence in our lives. Sustain us with your gift of the truth and righteousness. Help us not to wander away from these things or get drawn into bad ways. Keep our armor intact – Amen!

God wants you on his team!

Colossians 3:23

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than the people

I recently met someone about some potential work who said to me “You’ve been around a bit. Done ‘some’ good work”. I feel like I’ve dedicated all of my energy over the last 26 years to the business I’m in. I’ve pushed any creative skills I’ve been blessed with as far as I can. And occasionally further than I could ever imagined. I was at first put out by what the guy said. “Done ‘some’ good work” but I wondered later if they were words from God. On my path with God “Been around a bit. Done ‘some’ good work” is probably a fair review. I haven’t excelled but I don’t think God isn’t looking at me and thinking ‘You’re best years are behind you’. I believe I have my best work for God ahead of me because I don’t feel I’ve reached my potential with Him. And I find that an exciting prospect. God loves us and knows we have tremendous potential. In his eyes we’re fledglings about to embark on a career or journey with Him as our leader. This is not about us all giving up our day jobs or trying less hard at them. But as my very first post on this blog said ‘It is God who we work for’. It is He who judges our performance and how successful we really are, not anyone else.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, help us realize that our best work is done through you and for you – Amen!

Here we go!

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

For many people, today is the first day back to work after the summer vacation and the first day back to school for the children. The trains will be fuller and the highways thicker with traffic. Even though the summer hasn’t ended it does feel like it’s coming to an end. And there can be anxieties that come with walking back into a building again. Unfinished projects, new environments or problems that we managed to brush under the carpet for a couple of weeks. To some of us, these are daunting things. But the scripture above tells us that we need not worry. God is not only with us but He has gone before us! The command is clear and quite abrupt. ‘DO NOT be afraid’. ‘DO NOT be discouraged’. Not ‘It’s okay, it will be alright’ but ‘DO NOT’. Why so commanding? Because God requires us to have faith and belief in Him. Our all-powerful Heavenly Father. But a simple prayer asking for our burdens to be taken on by God is all it takes. Then we can be at peace. As it says in Psalm 46:10 – ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Now we know that God is with us and we have faith then we can approach our work with vigor, energy and joy. That might be a lot to ask of us on a Monday morning but not too much to ask God for!

Pray with me

‘Heavenly Father, we pray for all of those that are going back to work today. We ask for you to go before us and with us. To give us strength, peace and love for others in the workplace and may we also give thanks for all You do for us today on our journey home tonight’ – Amen!

 

You may have lost the contract but you haven’t lost God.

1 John 5:4

‘Faith is the victory that overcomes the world and without faith it is impossible to please God’

It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves when the deal we were meant to seal doesn’t go our way. Or the job we were certain we were going to get doesn’t come off. Or even the plan  we set for ourselves doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. Feeling as though we’ve been ‘robbed’ of something is actually a selfish approach to life. If everybody got everything then business wouldn’t work. But how does ‘not winning’ affect our lives? Do we take it home to our families through anger or, perhaps worse, silence? Do we take it into a bar or bar car where we carelessly rant about whoever else won? Do we blame our work colleagues? God has plans for us. He knows what’s around the corner. He knows our future. If that is true, and we believe it is, then we just need to have faith and trust in God that it just wasn’t meant to be and then have peace. It’s not the right path this time. But don’t give up. The idea of boldly and confidently trying to win is fine if it’s achieved in God’s name with Him at the center and not us. If done with the boldness, strength, skill, and wisdom that God provides through our prayers. Win it with God. Lose it with God. Both equally as important because both ways allows us to say “I won it the right way” or “I lost it the right way”. God will eventually reward those that work in His name. It’s really a win, win situation!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, be with us always through good and bad. May we put our faith in you so we can remain at peace in all work situations – Amen!