Roll up for the mystery tour

Genesis 12:1

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”

 

This verse always fascinates me and I think about it often.  If we research the scripture there is an interesting interpretation of ‘Father’s house’. It means the ‘place that provides’. When we think about our lives, that would be our place of work. The verse goes on to say ‘to the land that I will show you’. Meaning, have faith in Me (God) and I will show you exactly the right place to be. 

It’s possible that some of us are under difficult circumstances at work or we feel like there’s something better out there for us. Something more fulfilling or rewarding. It could be where we are already working but a different position or project. But we’re fearful of leaving the ‘place that provides’. Pray hard to God and ask Him to ‘show you the land’.  Things become a little more exciting (with a small dose of fear) when we know God has a plan and a place for us. If we have the faith, He has the place!

noroton-station_1Noroton Heights station after a recent snowfall

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for our place of work and the gift of work. Guide us in the work place and show us where You want us to be – Amen!

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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!

 

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!

Strange thing, mystifying.

Proverbs 3:5

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!

Pray with me

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!

 

 

 

 

The strength of silence

Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

 

In the work place, lots of talking and strong opinions can be the sign of someone who knows what he or she is doing and one to be listened to. Or at least, that’s the perception. But I’m more in agreement with the Proverbs verse. In whatever situation silence is strong. Whether there is an aggressive voice in the room or a voice that just keeps talking to try to make a point, there will come a point when silence will prevail or be rewarded. Staying calm in a heated discussion or hearing people out and then peacefully and thoughtfully stating an opinion nearly always works. And listening carefully allows us to really hear what people say. Many times, I am asked “And what’s your opinion Andy” and that’s usually the last opinion in the meeting. Whether it’s agreed on or not isn’t the point, it’s simply an effortless and less stressful way to go about the day. And that is the point. When we read God’s word and abide by it, things become much easier. Those words have been written as a guide for our lives. Not for us to read, agree with and then go off and do the opposite. Enough said!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, hold our tongues today as we enter the work place. We want to be wise with our words and show strength by being at peace – Amen!

 

quieter

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!