FOCUS.

Colossians 3:2

‘Set your minds on things that are above and not on things that are on earth’.

 

As Lent begins many of us are frantically trying to find things to give up. The usual things – chocolate, online shopping, Netflix. Instead, perhaps it’s possible for us to give something up at work and focus on God. What would we give up to make us humble? What we give up to show more respect for a work colleague or have forgiveness for someone who offended us? What would we give up to show compassion for someone who is having a difficult time. Perhaps this would stay with us beyond the 40 days if we remain focused on Him.

In Colossians 3:2, God tells us to focus on things that are above, meaning Him and His teaching. Let go. Give up the things at work that you know stop you from behaving in a Godly way.

 

Gods creation is something else to focus on during Lent. He shows us some spectacular things!

silhouetted-treesCove Island Park. Stamford, Connecticut.

The Light.

 

John 8:12

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying “I’m the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’

noroton-station-3

Since the beginning of this year I have rediscovered my passion for photography. ‘Light’ is one of the things that I can’t get enough of. As winter rolls on, the sunrise and sunset times are slowly changing and I’m very aware of when. The best thing about it is a connection I make with God and a heightened awareness of His creation. It’s amazing how the most mundane things can look beautiful under His light. The picture above was shot at around 6:30am at Noroton Heights train station. Not incredible, but certainly it’s Gods work peeking over the trees on the horizon. Our passions can find that connection with God. Think about it today and see if you can find a connection through your passions. 

 

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for Your Light in this world. May that light shine even brighter when we make that connection with You – Amen!

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!

 

Rest!

Psalm 23:2

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters

As we get back into the swing of things at work it’s easy to go full on and not rest. We’ve had a few days over Christmas to rest so we feel like we have to work really hard to make up for it! But the verse above applies to all times of year. Notice the word ‘makes’ in the verse. He urges us to rest. For the good of our bodies and for the good of our relationship with Him. Leading us by still waters could be a stroll at lunch time. Or actually going out of the office to have lunch. Find a meeting room in the office to just sit and read. Even staring out of the window and giving thanks for all of our gifts and blessings is worth doing. Pace yourself this year, be at peace and make time for yourself and God. The work will still get done. You can trust God for that!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, help us to rest and spend more time with You this year. We pray that our work will still get done and better! – Amen!

A Fantastic Journey

Proverbs 3:5-6

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!

Wait.

Isaiah 40:31

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.

Pray with me

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!

Here today. Here tomorrow.

Matthew 8:20

‘…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…

Pray with me

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!

Not a failure. A Success!

Proverbs 3:5

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!

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!

We are precious.

Isaiah 43:4

The Lord says, “You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.”

Precious is normally referred to something that’s fragile, rare or worth a lot of money. It’s not usually referred to in the context of a human being. But precious we are in God’s eyes. And so we should be to each other. In fact all of those words in Isaiah apply. That’s difficult to remember when we’re in the pressured work environment. When the deadline is close and someone hasn’t delivered the goods or simply hasn’t turned up, it’s easy to turn against them and moan about them. But before we do, let ‘s remember that people have lives outside of work. Lives full of challenges and all kinds of stress and anxieties. Mortgages to pay, bad health, children to look after and other family issues. The list goes on. Of course, I know from experience that sometimes we can get let down for no reason whatsoever. Just incompetency. But it’s good to keep an eye on our fellow workers. To ask after them if they haven’t been themselves or to offer help. It’s just us living out God’s love for us to others. That’s very precious.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, help us to pause and make time for others. To care for them as You care for us – Amen!