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!
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!
The view from my basement window. Is there anybody out there!
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!
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!
The Lord is near to all them that call on Him, to all that call on Him in truth
Whenever I’m asked that question I usually say “I’m fine”. It’s one of those questions asked out of politeness. More a greeting then a genuine enquiry about my well-being. But how are we really? Could we reel off a long list of things that aren’t so good? Most probably. In the same way, if we thought about it more, we could list a lot of things that are good. Imagine God asking you the “How are you” question. It’s one way of starting a relationship with him. It’s a question we can quite easily reply to. We can tell Him about the things we’re struggling with at work. The stress, the politics. Perhaps there’s someone at work we would like to get on better with. Maybe we don’t like our job and we want a change. All of these things we can speak to God about. We can also thank Him for the fact that we have work. If we have good health, then we should him thank Him for that. For our houses, families, cars and the earth we live on. These are all gifts from God. Temporarily given for us to enjoy. God wants to know how we are. He loves us. Cares about us and wants us to tell Him all about it. So, how are you?
‘In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my god and I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry reached his ears.’
I can’t remember the last time I cried but I remember as a child crying and then feeling better afterwards. We’re in business and we very rarely cry even though we may sometimes feel like it. We can pour out our troubles to God though. Cry out and scream if we want to. He’s listening. He knows our troubles already but that’s fine because He wants to hear them from us anyway. Why? Because that shows faith and trust in Him as well as us wanting to have a relationship with Him. And it proves that we cannot do anything alone. For a while maybe we can, or maybe even years and decades but eventually we will need to cry out to God. He will be there waiting, listening and taking on those troubles. So, pack them up and ship them to God. ‘Urgent’ shipping. And then be at peace. You will feel a lot better afterwards.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we pray that we can simply let go and put all of our burdens on you. Thank you for always taking them on and being there to listen when we cry out to you – Amen!
‘Here I am! I stand at the door at knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me’
‘Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, i will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends’ – Revelation 3:20
As I’ve probably said before this is one of my favorite images of Christ. Knocking on the door of a thorny, overgrown doorway. How many doors do we have into our lives? The office door. Our front door. The train door. The elevator door. The list goes on. We may let Christ into one but of them but slam another one on him. Happy to let Him into our homes perhaps but not into the meeting room? Into our bible study but not a restaurant, taxi or hotel room? It’s been a challenge for me being on the road a lot and out of my routine. So many doors that I’m going through. It’s a discipline to let God not only come through with me but to go before me and to already be there. Praying that He will be somewhere that I am going to like an edit suite, meeting room or business dinner. When I forget to pray about that I sometimes have a feeling of dread going into those places but when I do remember it’s a much more pleasant feeling. It’s a child like feeling that’s difficult to explain. A little like the security and comfort I had as a child when I jumped off the top of the stairs and my Dad would catch me. I had no doubt he would. A child like faith! That’s the best analogy I can think of!
Heavenly Father, We open all our doors to you. Guide us every step of the way and be there to catch us when we have to take a big leap! – Amen!
‘I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.’
Getting to know God means having a relationship with him and not just believing in Him. I’m sure God has everything in common with us but, as human beings. it’s probably good to find something that allows you to see God or something that sparks up a conversation with Him. Perhaps your work is that? I think it is definitely mine. I’m blessed to have my work evolve around creation, light, form and beauty. All of which has come from God. When I see something I like, I try to credit and think of God. And thank him. When I have an idea (good or bad) I know it’s from God. But it’s really just a conversation starter for me. A reminder that He exists and is everywhere. And like any relationship, it grows stronger as you find more things to talk about and more in common. You may become more open to Him. So, God wants to connect with you! He has similar interests!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we know you long to have a relationship with us, we pray we can seek you and realize that you want us to talk to you about everything we do, like children do. Help us find those conversation starters – Amen!
‘Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us’
Can our personal ambitions ever be as ambitious as those that God has for us? I think we sometimes have an image of God as someone who’s ‘been there and done that’. An old guy with long white flowing hair and beard from the ‘old times’. Not someone we can relate to. But He is not separate from us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us (when asked for through prayer) so He is in us. However, if He is not then any ambition we have might be fruitless because its not of Him and maybe not that ambitious at all! Spending 5 years working toward a promotion may seem like a huge ambition, and there’s nothing wrong with working hard to get there but with God’s guidance who knows what ambitious plans he has instead? And that’s the thing. Not knowing. It’s the hardest part because God only lights the path a few steps in front of us, the rest is based on our faith. But when we take into our own hands we have the full beam on. The path clearly lit all the way to the destination where the word SUCCESS! is brightly lit with fireworks going off around it! At least that’s what we see. It may well end spelling something different if it’s not on God’s path. I’m not suggesting it will be a path to destruction. It may well be fine but perhaps an uphill struggle? Against the wind? A feeling that you’re fighting against something? We’ve all felt that. The times that I’ve switched the full beam off it’s felt easier. More freedom with the wind behind me. It can start with a prayer. A simple request to God to guide us in our work and careers, to make the right choices and have the right ambitions. To glorify Him. Then it’s all in his hands. It’s so much easier when you let someone else do the work!