The Next Day

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

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Vinyl and cricket

Mark 11:24

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours

One of our clients has recently had a complete re-shuffle in it’s management so we’re going through the process of getting to know a whole new bunch of people. It’s never easy. So, they all flew into town and we did an all day meeting sessions and dinner. (Like you do). It can cause some anxiety, so prior to them coming I prayed that I would just simply be able to ‘get on with them’. As the day went on and we got more familiar with each other we started to talk about our personal interests. One of the client’s husbands turns out to be a record player repairer and the other one, who is Australian, a huge fan of cricket. What’s the chances? Collecting records is a passion of mine. (and her and her husband’s)  and, guess what?…my player isn’t working too well. One of the speakers cuts out occasionally. The other client was at the SCG in Sydney in 2003 when I was also down there for the Ashes. (cricket series between England and Australia). I won’t go into details but, needless to say, both topics lead to a lot of conversation and was a good ice-breaker. It was an exhausting day but when I got home I had to pause. I realized that none of what happened was a coincidence. I don’t know how God worked it all out but I do know He did. He had it all under control. A simple prayer was all that was needed.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, help us to turn to You in prayer when we are anxious – Amen!

We can’t all be CEO’S

James 4:6

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

There’s role for all of us at work that God has planned out. When you feel like your itching to move on or your longing for more money and a grander title take stock of your current position and assess everything. And when you do that, look around you and look at the people who you work with, the ones you work for and the ones that work to you. Do they need you? Do you feel like you may have been put in the position for them? Even the ones that you work for? Has God got you right where he wants you to be? It’s possible he has. And as much as it’s tempting to go bigger you may be doing God’s work right where you are. It could be it’s where your meant to be. No higher. No Lower. It’s not often the way we look at our careers but The Bible tells us to be humble and to put others before ourselves. And anyway, even if you do end up in a higher position you’ll still be working for someone. God.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, humble us today. We give thanks for the work we’re doing. Help us to put You first when we’re considering career changes – 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!

“Be Kind”

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets

My wife will sometimes move closer to me, look me in the eye and says ‘be kind’.

It’s not that I’m necessarily being unkind but I might not be behaving as lovingly or as graciously as I should be. But those words always jolt my conscience and I get myself into a better place. But then I wonder how many other people in my day would want to say those words to me? The ticket collector on the train. The person I brush past because they’re walking too slowly. The work colleague who’s trying their best but I’m somehow making them out to be useless. It can happen to us all occasionally.

If we can’t think about our own actions then maybe we can think about someone’s response to them? If it’s the words ‘be kind’ then maybe we need to check ourselves. In a way, it’s being kind to ourselves.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, shine kindness through us today – 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!

Listen.

Proverbs 18:13

If one gives answers before he hears, it is folly and shame

 

The business world is full of talking. People talking over each other. Some of us go into a meeting desperately needing to make a point. Many are so wound up about something that we go into it already frustrated and just need to blurt something out. (especially on Monday mornings). That’s normally when we regret something we say.

Everybody wants to be heard. And, of course, someone has to talk. But listening is a skill. As the song goes ‘Silence is Golden’. Listening for a length of time without talking can work wonders. We’ll be tempted to jump in but we have to stop ourselves. And actually not saying anything can solve it! I have seen so many people talk themselves into a solution or simply run out of steam. Or they get to the point where they have to say “What do you think”? That’s the best place to be then a few and considered and wise words is all that’s needed.

This isn’t a lesson in management, but we all need reminders. Scripture has many verses on the subject of speaking and talking. None of them, as far as I know, tell us to talk and talk without listening. Hear what I’m saying?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, give us peace today in the work place. May we surrender our instincts to talk so we can let You guide our hearts and ears to listen to our colleagues – Amen!

Respect not expect.

1 John 4:7

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!