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!

 

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!

Certainly.

Job 19:25

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth

The snow has prevented any early morning running. So, instead I walk to work, which is about a 50 minute walk to Downtown Boston. On my way into work there are some days when the beauty is breathtaking. Fresh snow, blue skies and bright, vivid light. It’s a treat to be able to do that walk. When I was walking yesterday morning a young man was clearing snow on the sidewalk. He moved to the side to let me pass. I said ‘Thank you’ and he replied, with a smile, ‘Certainly’. Yes, I thought to myself, certainly. With all the beauty, the kindness of the people around me and my good health that allowed me do the walk, certainly there must be someone behind all of this. Certainly, there must be God. The world is full of terrible things that make us question His existence and His kindness. But surely, no one else can design a shrub that can survive a brutal winter and still produce beautiful flower come Spring. Or design a sky so blue that it contrasts perfectly with the whiteness of the snow that can be rolled into balls and sculpted into a snowman, all for the joy and pleasure of young children. Not forgetting the sound design of laughter that comes with that. Look around you today. Take in what has been designed around you. Really look closely. And be certain of God – Amen!

Let's hope there's no fires!

Let’s hope there’s no fires!

The view from my basement window. Is there anybody out there!

The view from my basement window. Is there anybody out there!

My walk to work. Where is everyone?

My walk to work. Where is everyone?

Can't take a seat and rest!

Can’t take a seat and rest!

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!

Christmas every day.

2 Corinthians  9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift

This time of year does give us time to appreciate the true gift of Christmas. Our savior, Jesus Christ. Sadly, it’s too often a gift we throw away in favor of more material gifts. But God shows us grace and continues to present His gift to us every day. There was a Christmas song when I grew up – ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ which is  all about Christmas trees, snow, gifts and food. That would get boring very quickly but with Jesus it is Christmas every day. The precious gift that is waiting, freshly wrapped every morning when we wake up. Happy Christmas!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, You are our indescribable gift. Forgive us when we discard You for our own selfish gifts. We thank You that You are here for us every day – Amen!

Here’s the song. Enjoy!

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!

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!

 

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!

One step at a time.

Psalm 18:28

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

If you’re anything like me, you might sometimes sit on the train (or where ever you may be) wondering what the future looks like. But, of course, we don’t know. And because we don’t know, we plan. We plan something that is our idea of what it might look like. Planning is good but only if we are looking to God for guidance. Even then, we can get carried away with our own dreams. “Dear God, I pray that you can guide me to Florida where I can retire.” That’s probably not the right prayer but we all do it. Or something similar. The Psalmist of the verse above is happy to have a lamp to guide him. Lamp’s won’t light up the entire path, just a few yards. Enough to stop us from going the wrong way. The future is now. That sounds like a cliché but it’s pointless planning so far ahead because we may be missing out on so much today! So, plan the next few steps with God and let’s pray a prayer for a future (today and the for the rest of our lives) that can in some way glorify Him. Sound like a plan?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, We thank You for always being with us even when we don’t know it. Lord, we offer our lives up to You. Our future is in Your hands. Lead us to where You want us to be. Give us the faith to follow You, one step at a time – Amen!