Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God
‘Expect’ or ‘Expected’ are the words that are used a lot in the office. “You are expected to be in the meeting”. “We expect you to work the weekend”. “You are expected to attend the conference”. “We expect you to work late”. If you read the dictionary, the word is actually used out of the context of what it really means. Or it’s been twisted. Regardless of that, it’s hardly ever used in the context of pleasant things. I don’t ever hear “You are expected to take a vacation”. Or “You are expected to see your family”. “We expect you to take a lunch break”.
We have many expectations asked of us and most of the time it’s important that we live up to them. After all, we are getting paid for it. But when someone doesn’t live up to our expectations of them be careful not to judge. Outside of the work place our colleagues are living lives. In some cases, lives full of illness, suffering and pain. They have families to look after. And with that comes many problems and genuine worry, to the point where they simply can’t do their job as well as they would like because they are distracted. It’s perhaps not up to us to investigate someone’s problems. But showing we care by having patience, showing kindness as well as understanding regardless of the situation, is sharing God’s love through us.
So, share that love today. If the moments right, tell someone you expect them to do something pleasant. Something they would least expect you to say! I think that is God’s expectation of us.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we pray that we can humble ourselves before others. May we be gracious, loving, kind and understanding. Give us the wisdom and the skill to navigate through all our work situations – 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?
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!
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’.
Pray with me
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!
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!
View from the train heading to New York from Boston. Thursday March 20th, 6.20pm.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
I think that we can all agree that the corporate world can sometimes be a selfish place to be. I don’t think there’s that many people who go to work each day thinking about how they can help advance someone else’s career or improve someone else’s life.
But Jesus came to give all of His time for us. He gave so much time and energy. He was unselfish and tirelessly taught, encouraged, inspired, loved and cared for others. His ultimate sacrifice was to die for us.
The Bible tells us to be like Jesus. Which is difficult but that’s our bench mark. When we give back to others we give to God. And as that scripture from Matthew suggests, it also tells us where our heart is. When we’re focusing on others and not ourselves then we are being more like Jesus. That will then bring us closer to Him. And He will live and shine through us.
Have you ever had that wonderful feeling in your body when you’ve helped someone or done something good for other people? You leave with a feeling that is hard describe but it’s most likely a peaceful feeling. A feeling of calm, humbleness and joy. The joy that exists beyond Christmas! That feeling is most likely the Holy Spirit in us. On fire with God’s love for others. It’s a great feeling. Who wouldn’t want that? For Him to dwell in us? Pray the prayer below. It’s a simple and unselfish request to God. A belated Christmas gift from Him!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we pray to be unselfish with our time. Dwell in us Lord as we go about our work. Help us to put others before ourselves – Amen!
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
As we approach Thanksgiving it’s worth pausing to think about thankfulness. What are we thankful for? I am occasionally guilty of being thankful for something that is beyond what I usually have. An example is being thankful for a pay increase but not being thankful that we even had a job in the first place! And how far can we go back? Where do we stop being thankful? We don’t. Because we can be thankful for the fact that we actually exist. And that we have been gifted with the skills we need to do our work. And that God created the earth for us to live in – ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’Or that he created people who paved the way for us to live our lives in relative peace. Or people who made breakthroughs in our business that allow us to work and think in different ways. In truth, the list of things to be thankful for is mind-boggling. Perhaps with humility we should just close our eyes, bow our heads and simply tell God we’re thankful for Him and for everything He does for us. I think He likes being thanked!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we’re thankful for You and all You do for us – Amen!
And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have done among them?”
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt it was no smooth journey. Moses, sent by God to do His work, was constantly moaned at and despised by the people he went to save. Even God got miffed and punished those that went against Him. Messy stuff. Good intentions, that for a while, went wrong. When we put all of our faith in God, things may feel like they’re going wrong or getting worst. And because it feels that way we start to distrust God and do things our way. That’s when it gets messy. In truth, things may seem to get worst because it’s not going to our plan or how we may imagine life to be. That was also true of the Israelites. Because they hadn’t reached the promised land within 30 minutes of leaving Egypt (an exaggeration) they decided that it was a mistake and they actually wanted to go back to Egypt. Back to being ruled over and mistreated by the Pharaoh. God delights in us and will not let us come to harm or forget us. But His plan, is not always our plan. In fact, it’s probably a better plan. But that plan will not come to fruition if we try to do things our way. No, we have to patiently wait on God and not let things get messy.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, forgive us for not trusting and putting our faith in You – Amen!
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!
And he said to them, “Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
With God’s guidance and strength I have written a book based on my posts over the last 12 months. It’s a very quick and easy read with pictures and diagrams. I have inserted a few pictures into this post. If anyone reading this feels like they would like a copy please let me know, whether it be for individuals or church members. I feel it could be of value to a church with a big commuter population. I would just need to cover printing costs and shipping. My plan is to print more either by self-publishing or getting the support of an actual publisher. The more I print via self-publishing the cheaper it is. Also, the more interest I get, the better I’ll know the best way to publish it.
‘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!