Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure
I’ve started walking into big advertising agencies again. To meet people and for work. I haven’t really been inside one for a few months and I’d forgotten what intimidating places they can be. How big is the company you work for? It seems the bigger the company, the more distant it becomes. It doesn’t feel very intimate or friendly. Or, dare I say, loving? Loving isn’t a word we associate with the workplace. Not some of the ones I’ve worked in. But among all that intimidation and tension is someone that’s bigger than it all. God. Ridiculously bigger. We can’t compare. But even better, He’s incredibly close. Really close. He’s right next to us, walking with us. Big, close and loving. So, when that big place we work for becomes even more intimidating because of stress, worry and fear we can turn to God for a close, peaceful and loving relationship. He will be your strength, your rock. You just need to have big faith!
‘Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished’
The business world can be a lonely place. When we’re under pressure and stress it feels a like we have to deal with it ourselves and all the temptations that come with it. ‘Dog eat dog’ it’s called. No matter how much stress, pain, suffering and rejection we may feel we should know that God went through the same and much worst by becoming Jesus. There’s nothing we go through that He doesn’t have compassion for. Think about His pain and suffering. Fasting for forty days! In a desert! He understands how bad it can be. I realize that all may be well in your world today and that the things I’m writing don’t match up. It was true for jesus on this earth as well. A week before he was crucified, people were on their hands and knees praising and worshiping him. He experienced the ups and downs too. So, maybe nothing is troubling us today, but if anything ever does we just need to surrender it all to God. As it says in Psalm 23 ‘And even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me. Your rod and staff they comfort me.’That all sounds dramatic, but anyone reading this that has had the threat of redundancy over their heads, a new boss that for some reason doesn’t like them or their job riding on a big presentation will know exactly what I mean. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?Romans 8:31. Amen!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son to suffer for us. May we look to you in our own suffering for peace, love, wisdom, skill, guidance and strength, Amen!
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds’
Sometimes I don’t know what to write when I’m faced with scripture like that. Because it seems so clear and simple. It was in my daily reading yesterday and I felt compelled to bring it up again today. It’s a very comforting piece of scripture. I always find it very reassuring when it comes to the business place. In the world when I can never work out why certain things happens, with all the anxieties and pressures we all face.
It is easy to get wrapped up in our problems and worries whilst still knowing about the promise that God gives us in the scripture. We forget that scripture requires action from us. It says ‘present your requests to God through prayer and petition’.And only then will the peace of God guard out hearts. So, whatever is causing you concern today lift it up to God. Blurt it out! He’s listening. Don’t keep it to yourself no matter how ridiculous it is. But remember to also give thanks!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we lift all of our anxieties, concerns and worries up to you. Go ahead of us to the office place so we can have peace in knowing that you are there with us so you can free us Lord from the shackles of this world – Amen!
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you”.
The title of this part of Genesis is ‘The call of Abram’. Also known as ‘Abram’s obedience’. And what obedience it was. What faith. Read it carefully….‘to the land that I will show you’. Abram didn’t know where he was going! But still he went!
I can’t deny that I have had a sense of this ‘not knowing where I am going’ feeling over the last 6 months. But each time I get that feeling God seems to direct me very clearly or things seem to fall into place. I can only talk about in association with my work as this is generally what this blog is about but, safe to say, it affects all aspects of my life and my family’s. Only last week I was thinking about where the next project will come from. Curious really, as I’ve been on this path long enough now to know God will provide. And when I think I tend to do it in a way that I’m talking to God. Wondering. Daydreaming! It’s quite a peaceful feeling. No panic or anxiety. Rather like stopping for a rest on a long country walk, breathing in the air and deciding what way to go next. No choice is a bad choice. Anyway, something did come up that’s kept me in London for a few more days that I believed to be God’s will. It’s not the path I would have chosen to take as I was looking forward to heading back to Connecticut but as the passage says…‘go to the land that I will show you’I’m in no position to say no!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, thank you for having the plan all laid out. Give us the faith and strength to live it out – Amen!
‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’
I saw this today in London and was saddened. How can people hate so much? These are people who have lived with this hate for over 30 years. It’s been 20 years since she resigned as Prime minister. All we can do is pray for them and pray for those in the world and in business that put themselves in a place to lead but, for some reason, are hated for it.
Heavenly Father, We pray for those that are full of hate. We ask that their hearts soften through somehow getting to know you. Fill them and us with your love Lord – Amen!
‘The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.’
I really enjoyed my 4 days back in Connecticut. I was able to spend time with my wife and all 3 of my children. It was definitely a blessed time. I enjoyed the Easter church services and, like most people, I was reminded how much of a sacrifice it was for us. I can’t deny that I feel a slight emptiness and even sadness now that I’m back at JFK watching the sunrise yet again over Terminal 4. Who can I get close to now? Where’s the warmth? Where’s the love? Where’s the joy? I’m so glad that I can turn to God in prayer to find that love and strength. I feel pain for those that don’t know him. Those that are feeling the same as me this morning. Those on planes, in cars or on trains and buses, but they don’t know who to turn to or even remember who they should turn to! Even as Christians it’s easy to let life carry us away. We’re in the moment on Sunday shouting “Christ hasrisen!“ and on Tuesday we’ve forgotten how that connection with Christ felt. The feeling has gone. Everyone and everything has gone! The church building, friends, the Pastor’s words, the singing, the smell of the flowers, the joy and the peace. But God remains with us. Steadfast, unwavering love. And he loves us more than anyone can love us and he’ll never leave us. It’s written in Psalm 121. It seems ridiculous that I’m sitting here feeling a little sorry for myself when I have that promise! Chin up Andrew! Sunny London awaits…
He walks with you!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, give us strength and peace on our early morning commute to work. Help us to feel the same joy that we felt last Sunday and allow us the opportunity to spread that joy to others – Amen!
“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”
It’s that time of year again! It’s like watching a movie that you’ve seen a million times but still hoping that a certain scene won’t be the same and that things change. To this day, I still wish that Steve McQueen escapes in The Great Escape but he never does. Just like I hope that Peter could prove Jesus wrong and not deny him or perhaps only deny him two times! “There, you see, only twice Jesus!”But it was already planned. God’s will played out. What’s the difference in our lives? Absolutely nothing. A work colleague says “I hear you’re a religious type, you don’t believe in all that Jesus stuff, do you?”…”Nah, not me.”(Nervous laughter). I have said this in the past. Not in recent years but when I was first finding out about the story of Jesus it was difficult to then be open about my beliefs. But, I suppose I must have told someone otherwise I wouldn’t have been asked the question. So, we must try to be faithful to God outside of a 1 hour service on Sunday. In the comfort of our church buildings. And If God is with us, who can be against us? We must not under-estimate how people may see us if we’re Christians. They may notice something different about us, a certain peace or strength that we may not realize we’re showing. By saying “Yes, I believe in God.”we’ll probably just be explaining that difference. If our hearts are open to saying it, God won’t deny us the opportunity.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, forgive us if we ever deny you. Give us the courage and opportunity to tell others about you today and forever – Amen!