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”
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
Yesterday was a day of service at our church. Over 400 people went out into the community to serve in many ways. Yard work, delivering food, singing at a homes for the elderly, clearing trash and lots of other things.
At the end of the day we had a service of celebration and some testimonies from the day. One person encouraged us to take the feeling of joy we had that day and to carry it on the next day and continue to show the light to others. It was a great insight I thought. Is that always possible in the work place? It’s difficult. When doing things with fellow christians it’s not too difficult to behave in the way God would want us to. We encourage and support each other. The scripture above was the theme for our service day. But it’s the theme for every day as it is straight out of The Bible.
There’s a short video of the day below. A lot of joy. A lot of happiness. But just one day. How about a video for every day. What would that look like for us? It’s an interesting question. Throughout the video you will see words like Thanking, Caring and Loving. Words that are appropriate for every day.
So, April 3rd was our official day of service. Let’s try and make April 5th one as well
Trust in the Lord with all you heart, and do not lean on your own understanding
I love the words ‘Strange’ and ‘Mystifying’. I find the unexplained and the unknown fascinating. Strange thing, mystifying is the title of a song from Jesus Christ Superstar. The disciples can’t understand why Jesus decides to hang out with tax collectors and prostitutes, even though Jesus has told them over and over again what it means to be a follower of Him. Sometimes what happens in our work lives makes no sense. We work hard for a company for 20 to 30 years and then we find ourselves surplus to a company’s requirements. Strange thing, mystifying. Or we get demoted and not promoted. Strange thing, mystifying. The perfect presentation falls flat or you’re the perfect candidate for a job but you don’t get the job. Strange things, mystifying. We may spend all of our careers wondering why things that should happen, don’t. Or why we don’t have what others have. But following God means taking the road least expected. The good news is He’s on that road with us and He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Have faith. Pray and keep praying. Think of the unknown as a fascinating and exciting thing. Don’t try to work it out by yourself. Instead, accept that It’s unknown to us but not to Him. Strange thing, mystifying!
Heavenly Father, we give our lives and careers to you. Bless us Lord and show us grace as we navigate the path with you – Amen!
I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my path
One of the things I’ve become more aware of is what it means to have a relationship with God. I think it is quite easy to get involved in the relationship and to trust God but at the same time not enjoy it. Most journeys should be fun and exciting. Think about the movies. Dorothy was ‘off to see the wizard’ but she had many mini-adventures on her way. So what is it that sometimes makes it a struggle for us on our journey? For me, it’s occasionally not accepting the fact that it’s the way God wants it to be instead of what I want it to be. Even though I am following God’s way, I’m not happy with the way it’s going. I reluctantly follow it. But that’s a waste of my energy and time. Many passages in the Bible talk about being joyful in everything even in the tough times. I sometimes find that hard to grasp but I try to go with it anyway. I have decided to make it simple. Regardless of what happens I will try and be happy that it’s part of God’s plan. And when I do that it by far outweighs the fact that I may not personally be happy with any outcome or situation I find myself in. To put it simply, if I don’t get a promotion I want, I am happier that it’s part of God’s plan then I am unhappy not getting it.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, teach us to be joyful always and to have gratitude for all that You give to us – Amen!
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint
Yesterday it was about doing nothing. Today it’s about waiting. It must be one of the hardest things for us to do. Waiting. In life, we don’t like it. Waiting in line. Waiting for a plane. We just want to keep moving forwards and not stopping. But a big part of doing nothing is the waiting. That involves a huge amount of discipline and patience. God has a plan for us all but it only plays itself out if we take the time to wait and then listen. It’s a little like walking through a forest and stopping to hear the bird sing. How dreadful is it to think His plan for us never materialized because we never stopped to listen. But it’s not too late. We still have time to wait.
Heavenly Father, we pray that we can stop and listen to your plan for us. Through faith, may we have the patience to wait – Amen!
‘…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’
Throughout our lives things are continuously coming and going. There’s never any real permanence. Even when it feels like there is, there really isn’t. We may live in the same house all our lives but life within that house changes. Children come. Children go. Our loved ones pass away. Jobs change. Cars change. Brown hair to grey hair! We’re happy with the wallpaper but 2 years later we change it. We plant a tree but 20 years later we cut it down because it’s blocking out light.
As believers in Christ, it’s possible that God comes and goes in our lives. We may think about Him some days more than others. Or even go through periods of weeks and months when we forget He even exists. Amazing that someone who we know in our hearts is incredibly important to us, can disappear from our minds. Our God is a gracious and a forgiving God. And even though we forget Him, He never forgets or stops loving us. He’s waiting for us to connect with Him. There’s many ways we can do that. Opening our Bibles and reading just one verse can re-boot that relationship. Praying a simple prayer for God to guide us. Downloading an app that delivers a verse to your Smartphone. I have Proverbs and Psalms apps that pop up on my phone 3 times a day. It’s amazing how timely they can be. Making that effort means we are inviting God into our lives and asking Him to speak to us. For any of us in business I highly recommend a few Proverbs verses a day.
So, wherever you are now perhaps stop reading those emails and go to the apps store and download one. There are thousands of them and most of them are free. You won’t always read them but not to worry, there will be one the next day and the next and the next…
Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us, even when we’re not with you. We pray we can be with you through prayer and scripture. And with faith! – Amen!
‘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?
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!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding
It’s good to know that God loves us all equally. And that, in His eyes, we are all loved for what we are regardless of our shortfalls. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us more. No amount of success in the work place is going to make God proud of us either. Or make Him say to himself “Now that’s what I call a successful creation”!
So, when something happens at work that is a disappointment to us like someone else getting a promotion or a position we thought we should have, God probably has us just where He wants us. What we think is a failure is a most likely a success in the eyes of God, as much as we may find that difficult to understand. The Proverbs verse implies we will never understand it. It’s actually a good feeling to know that we’re not meant to. It makes it easier because we can just let it go. Not even someone who is a million times smarter than us can understand it! All we need to do is use out heart and have faith. (notice the Proverbs verse doesn’t say ‘Trust in the Lord with all your brain’!) No, God has better plans for us. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope’.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for planning our own lives and then thinking that any disappointments are failures. Help us to know that you love us and will always want what’s best for us. Allow us to accept that success maybe just be where we are now, not where we think we should be – Amen!
Do not cast me away from Your presence. and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
At the risk of sounding like a child I sometimes wish that I could see God. Sit down, over a coffee and have a chit-chat. Ask questions like “So, what do you have in store for me this week” or “Do you think I should take that job”? Or maybe just have a good old grumble! God exists in three persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three persons! And we still can’t see him? Yes, we can see him. He is in everything and everywhere. Does the sun on your face make you feel good? God’s gift. Someone gives you a reassuring smile or gesture? From God perhaps. Getting good advice from a close friend? God speaking. Of course, prayer comes into it. Praying for God to speak to you is important. He then speaks through different channels. At that point, we need awareness. If we’ve prayed for guidance in a work situation it could come from anywhere. Scripture, something someone says in a meeting or during a phone call. An article online. God speaks to us everywhere. A keen eye, ear and a heightened awareness will help us. By doing that, we get to have a closer relationship with God. Let’s not think of Him as someone who’s ticking ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on stone tablets somewhere in the universe. He’s our Father. He loves us and wants to chit-chat with us here on earth. Be on the look out!
Heavenly Father, teach us to look out for you when You speak to us. We pray for guidance and answers from You. And may we seek guidance in a way that glorifies You, and not ourselves – Amen!
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