Money makes the ‘word’ go round.

Proverbs 19:17

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed

When we give to God we’re putting our money in His hands. In truth, it was His to begin with. A gift to us, of which we’re giving just a little back to help build His kingdom. If we ever wonder if it’s being put to good use then we just have to spend time in the company of missionaries. These are people who have given up a lot to help spread the word of God around the world. To people who have never heard the word of God and to some places where it’s against the law to read The Bible. But still they persevere. Their perseverance comes through a very strong faith in God. Faith that means they are willing to risk their lives to build the kingdom. Not everyone can be a missionary and not everyone should be. We all have our purpose on this earth which God has assigned to us. And giving is maybe one of them! If you’re in business now and you sometimes wonder how you can contribute to the word of God being spread then giving is a huge part of it. Without it, these missionaries can’t do the work they do. So, God is looking for cheerful givers…..spread the word.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gifts You give us. Help us to be wise in how we use these gifts and how we use them to build Your Kingdom – Amen!

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“It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m forgiven anyway”……

Romans 6:1-4

‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that,  just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life’

I found this video by a preacher at Mars Hill Church. I found the words quite compelling. In that, we can’t just run rampant and abuse God’s grace and forgiveness and expect to belong to Him.

Have a break. Have a chit-chat.

Philippians 4:13

‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.’

Most of us get on the same train everyday. It’s a routine that we’re in to. I’m sure we stand on the same part of the track waiting for the train. It’s a necessity really. We know what train and what car to get on to get us to the office in the most efficient way. Efficiency is an important part of our work. Getting the best job done with the just the right amount of effort. But I’m not sure if I ever have enough energy to get everything done. I think it’s because I don’t stop to refuel. The Holy Spirit is a source of energy for us all. It heals. It speaks to us. It gives us strength. But to refuel we need to stop. Not just go slower but come to a complete stop. Praying for The Holy Spirit to help us along can feel like a pointless exercise and sitting down and actually talking through our needs is a discipline and feels like hard work. “I’ll give it a go but it probably won’t work.” or ‘He’s probably not listening anyway.” are thoughts that sometimes cross my mind. But God knows what we need. I know I say that a lot but He does. If you feel exhausted then there’s a very good chance He agrees! If you feel like you just need to cut your workload or have a deadline extended then it’s well worth praying for. God has moved my calendar around on many occasions. Better than I ever could imagine. This isn’t a fantasy faith we have. A nice thing to believe  around Easter and Christmas. No, God is 24/7 committed to us even in the times when we’re not committed to Him. So, if you’re on a train now, stop and break the routine. Close your eyes and have a chit-chat with God. Let all your thoughts no matter how random head in His direction. He can take it all. Unlike you, He doesn’t need a break.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, help us to stop and look to You for energy and encouragement. May we find time to break our routines and spend time with You. Thank You for always listening and knowing what our needs are – Amen!

Pack up your troubles.

Psalm 18:6

‘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!

You may have lost the contract but you haven’t lost God.

1 John 5:4

‘Faith is the victory that overcomes the world and without faith it is impossible to please God’

It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves when the deal we were meant to seal doesn’t go our way. Or the job we were certain we were going to get doesn’t come off. Or even the plan  we set for ourselves doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. Feeling as though we’ve been ‘robbed’ of something is actually a selfish approach to life. If everybody got everything then business wouldn’t work. But how does ‘not winning’ affect our lives? Do we take it home to our families through anger or, perhaps worse, silence? Do we take it into a bar or bar car where we carelessly rant about whoever else won? Do we blame our work colleagues? God has plans for us. He knows what’s around the corner. He knows our future. If that is true, and we believe it is, then we just need to have faith and trust in God that it just wasn’t meant to be and then have peace. It’s not the right path this time. But don’t give up. The idea of boldly and confidently trying to win is fine if it’s achieved in God’s name with Him at the center and not us. If done with the boldness, strength, skill, and wisdom that God provides through our prayers. Win it with God. Lose it with God. Both equally as important because both ways allows us to say “I won it the right way” or “I lost it the right way”. God will eventually reward those that work in His name. It’s really a win, win situation!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, be with us always through good and bad. May we put our faith in you so we can remain at peace in all work situations – Amen!

STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK!

Matthew 6:33

‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’

The title for today’s post was a slogan for teaching young children road safety when I was a child. Click here to watch it. Try not to laugh because It was very effective. I have a feeling that it could also be an effective slogan for adults in how we communicate with God. As a freelancer it’s very tempting to always be searching for work and not spending my time meditating on God’s word. The answer for getting work isn’t necessarily found by firing off a million emails randomly but it can be found in scripture. The scripture above is a good example. Does the work I’m looking for allow me to also spend time doing God’s work? Does the opportunity allow me to pay testimony to Him in some way? Or is it just about the money? Does the work let me use my skills (skills I’m blessed with) in ways that God would want me to use them? Answers to questions like these dictate what I pray for. Prayers for God’s glory and not my own. That’s something to stop, look, listen and think about!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not seeking your guidance  when we look for opportunities. May our will reflect yours in all that we do, Amen!

Is it all about me?

2 Corinthians 11:30

‘If I must boast, I will boast of things that show my weakness’

The Bible is an incredible book. And it never ceases to amaze me how it says the opposite to what my instincts are. The campaign I’ve been working on for the last 6 months launched last week. The ad agency I worked for sent out an email to thank people for their hard work and they were kind enough to include me on it. It looked like there were over a hundred other names on the email as well. Who were these people? I can’t remember all of them sweating it out with me in London or all the other 10 countries I went to. A few of them yes, but not a hundred! Like all artists I can get wrapped up in my work and think of it as mine. ‘My baby’ they call it. But I had to check myself and acknowledge that many others contributed to its outcome no matter how big or small it may have been. In the corporate world we like to feel important. We like to be ‘the man’. People clapping enthusiastically as we enter out office buildings, looking at us in awe…..I’m getting carried away. But God is the one to look at in awe. It truly was God’s work to be able to make 12 commercials in 4 months. What I do is only a gift from Him anyway and as I’ve said before He can create way more than I can. He’s just letting me and the other hundred people have a go at it on his behalf.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, teach us to be humble toward others. Forgive us for not crediting you in all that we do at work. Amen!

Leader and follower?

Exodus 5:6-8

‘That same day the Pharaoh gave his order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people. “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw for making bricks; let them go gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before….”

Nothing has changed. People in power making life difficult for those with no power is a familiar story. Both in life and the work place. But instead of dwelling on those that can make our lives difficult, we should turn our focus to the one that can make it easier. God. He took care of the people of Israel and He’ll take care of us. We will enter the kingdom of heaven as equals, no CEO or world leader will be first in line. All of that power and self-importance will be left behind. It won’t go with us. So, whether we are in positions of power or not it seems pointless to toil away on this earth (in the limited amount of years we have on it) trying to prove something that will ultimately mean nothing! Instead, let’s behave in the way God wants us to behave regardless of our place in the corporate world. Loving, encouraging, respectful, honest, understanding and humble. The list goes on but those words even things out. We work with each other, respectful of each of our positions, but we work for God.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, be with us through our struggles. Whether we’re leaders or those following the lead. Give us respect for each other and help us to remember that you have the greatest power and that it’s you we work for. May we be joyful in the way we work together forever glorifying your name – Amen!

Don’t worry.

Philippians 4:6-7

‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds’

 

Sometimes I don’t know what to write when I’m faced with scripture like that. Because it seems so clear and simple. It was in my daily reading yesterday and I felt compelled to bring it up again today. It’s a very comforting piece of scripture. I always find it very reassuring when it comes to the business place. In the world when I can never work out why certain things happens, with all the anxieties and pressures we all face.

It is easy to get wrapped up in our problems and worries whilst still knowing about the promise that God gives us in the scripture. We forget that scripture requires action from us. It says ‘present your requests to God through prayer and petition’. And only then will the peace of God guard out hearts. So, whatever is causing you concern today lift it up to God. Blurt it out! He’s listening. Don’t keep it to yourself no matter how ridiculous it is. But remember to also give thanks!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we lift all of our anxieties, concerns and worries up to you. Go ahead of us to the office place so we can have peace in knowing that you are there with us so you can free us Lord from the shackles of this world – Amen!

 

 

 

Ever considered a career in Christianity?

Hebrews 13:16

‘And do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,  for God is pleased with such sacrifices’

It’s okay. We don’t have to become Pastors. But we can take on more responsibility as Christians. Whether it’s more of a mentoring role within a church or applying the skills in our paid work to helping others. When we reflect on our week, did it have the right balance between our time spent earning money and giving our time sacrificially? I have done very little of the latter since I’ve been on the road so it’s something I’m keen to re-balance now I’m home. When I was mentoring at The Bowery Mission in New York a couple of years ago, the last thing I needed on a Wednesday evening was to jump on the subway and head Downtown. But every time I did it I walked away energized. The Holy Spirit at work. Because it was of God. It is difficult to feel that way when we walk out of our office buildings every night. We should feel great but we’re human. We feel worn down by the same things. But a different kind of work can be a good replacement for a non-existent pay rise or promotion. The reason we crave the money and the promotion is because we need to feel better about what we do. Rewarded for the pain. It’s temporary though and the pain comes back. We can never find favor with God but finding other ways to work for Him where we don’t expect anything in return means it’s simply through love. Love for God and for others.

The Bowery Mission, Downtown, New York

The Bowery Mission, Downtown, New York

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for our careers and our jobs. We know that they are gifts from you. We pray we can find other ways to use our gifts or gifts we didn’t know we had to work for your kingdom and to glorify you – Amen!