Do you consider your work a gift?

Genesis 2:15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Do we think of our work as a gift from God? I sometimes do. But not always. But if I think back to 2014 and break the year out month by month I’m in awe of the amount of opportunities, blessings and grace that God showed me. The places I was able to visit with my work and the people I had the opportunity to work with and meet. I remember thinking it was a real grind to go to Wisconsin for 3 days especially as it’s not that easy to get to from Boston but what came out of that was wonderful. And on my birthday I  worked on a project that I realized was a true gift from God. There were countless other projects that I appreciated and others that I didn’t. But I should be thankful for all of them even though some seemed painful at the time. If I look back, I now know why those opportunities came my way because I know the outcome. Faith is all about not knowing and that’s contrary to our human instincts of wanting to know. So, this year let’s be thankful for all our opportunities at work regardless of what we think of them at the time. Even that 6:30am flight out of La Guardia!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for our work. We pray that we will see every work opportunity as a blessing in 2015 – Amen!

HERE’S JUST A FEW PLACES WORK TOOK ME TO IN 2014

October Filming in Wisconsin

October Filming in Wisconsin

Filming In Prague in April

Filming In Prague in April

Working in the rain in London

Working in the rain in London

My work to me to London in September where I could meet my Dad

My work to me took me to London in September where I could meet my Dad

Work takes me to the Bahamas in March

Work takes me to the Bahamas in March

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!

Hold your tongue!

Matthew 12:36

I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak

‘Careless talk cost lives’ was a famous slogan on posters during World War Two in London. A quirky cartoon of two elderly women gossiping had a picture on the wall above them of Adolf Hitler listening in on their conversation. I’m not sure how their chit-chat would have affected the war but hey, it was entertainment.

Our choice of words at work can affect the course of a day. When I was working full-time, the first words I spoke in the day sometimes affected how I would behave and communicate for the rest of the day. It set the tone, sometimes. How I greeted people, how I reacted to a question and how I spoke about others. It says in James 5How great a forest is set a blaze by such a small fire.  Bad words and gossip won’t necessarily ‘cost lives’ as in the poster slogan but it can surely affect someones life. The words can spread like the fire and cause destruction. There’s nothing worst then dreading coming into the office, worried about what’s being said about you or how you might be bullied that day. Yes, bullying isn’t only reserved for the playground. So, let’s think about how we talk to others today. Be kind, loving, caring and compassionate. Be like Jesus!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, Be with us today. Help us to hold our tongues and speak careful, kind words to out fellow workers. Help us also to be encouraging to others – 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!

Go where?

Genesis 12:1

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you”.

The title of this part of Genesis is ‘The call of Abram’. Also known as ‘Abram’s obedience’. And what obedience it was. What faith. Read it carefully….‘to the land that I will show you’. Abram didn’t know where he was going! But still he went!

I can’t deny that I have had a sense of this ‘not knowing where I am going’ feeling over the last 6 months. But each time I get that feeling God seems to direct me very clearly or things seem to fall into place. I can only talk about in association with my work as this is generally what this blog is about but, safe to say, it affects all aspects of my life and my family’s. Only last week I was thinking about where the next project will come from. Curious really, as I’ve been on this path long enough now to know God will provide. And when I think I tend to do it in a way that I’m talking to God. Wondering. Daydreaming! It’s quite a peaceful feeling. No panic or anxiety. Rather like stopping for a rest on a long country walk, breathing in the air and deciding what way to go next. No choice is a bad choice. Anyway, something did come up that’s kept me in London for a few more days that I believed to be God’s will. It’s not the path I would have chosen to take as I was looking forward to heading back to Connecticut  but as the passage says…‘go to the land that I will show you’ I’m in no position to say no!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, thank you for having the plan all laid out. Give us the faith and strength to live it out – Amen!

All you need is love.

Matthew 5:44

‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’

 

ThatcherI saw this today in London and was saddened. How can people hate so much? These are people who have lived with this hate for over 30 years. It’s been 20 years since she resigned as Prime minister. All we can do is pray for them and pray for those in the world and in business that put themselves in a place to lead but, for some reason, are hated for it.

Heavenly Father, We pray for those that are full of  hate. We ask that their hearts soften through somehow getting to know you. Fill them and us with your love Lord – Amen!

 

Is it my imagination?…

Philippians 3:14

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us

Last week was another week of Andrew fighting his continuous battle to achieve perfection. I sometimes wonder if the image in my head gifted to me from God can actually be achieved on this earth. In fact, I don’t wonder, I know it can’t because I’ve tried to imagine it too many times in too many ways and it’s never realized. There’s too many variables. Too many opinions and personal tastes that can stifle the process and the outcome. It’s not anyone’s fault. God created us as individuals. It’s just the way it is. It’s the same in any job, not just mine. So, as I sit staring at a snowy, slushy, wet and slightly imperfect London I know that I need to strive on with all the patience, kindness, strength, creativity and peace that God can give me. Then at least it will be in His name and of His will regardless of the not so perfect outcome. I’ll perhaps wait to see perfection in heaven.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, give us patience with those we work with. We pray that we’ll show them respect, kindness and love. For we know that if we love them, we love you – Amen!

What do I have in common with the guy that’s loading the baggage?

1 Corinthians 12: 4-6

Now there are different gifts, but the same spirit. And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them for everyone.

I’m staring out of the window at JFK watching the plane being loaded with bags. It’s a glorious morning and I’ve watched the sunrise over the terminal. As it has , the place has come alive. It’s making me think though. How everything is connected. How all our work is connected. I couldn’t go anywhere if that guy wasn’t loading the bags. Or if someone hadn’t designed the plane in the first place. Following on from my post last week, it’s really just a continuation of God’s work. Everyone working together to make things happen. The guy loading the bags his doing His work to the best of his ability. He looks like he’s enjoying it, laughing and joking with his work mates. He’s been given a skill by God. He’s fast, that’s for sure and he’s careful with the bags.  He looks like he’s a good guy to work with as well. I hope I can be like him in London. No matter that I’m doing a completely different job. He’ll have his problems. Faulty machinery, delayed planes, snow!  I’ll have my problems. Precious editors, frustrated clients, rain! So, we’re the same. Equally created by God. We have a days work ahead of us and through all the problems we can only work as though we’re working for God. As we all can, with patience, humility and joy. Have a great day!

Is a 2 hour delay a gift from God?

Romans 8:28

And we know for those that love God all things work together for good, for those that are called according to his purpose.

Looking for the good in things that on the surface don’t seem that good is all part of being a Christian. I found out at 5pm today that my 10.15 flight had been delayed until midnight. I wasn’t happy and I grumbled. But as I sit at the airport now I’m realizing that things seemed to go better because of the delay.

I was able to have more time at the church service and not worry about rushing to the airport at 7pm. I was able to spend more time catching up with people who I hadn’t seen in a while and I was able to relax and focus on the message which I may not have done if I was in a hurry. I had more time talking to my wife and I got one more hug from my daughter who I had earlier said goodbye to. Airport security was empty because it’s late and I’m now realizing that a midnight flight to London isn’t a bad thing from a time difference point of view. And, I can glorify God by writing about it.

I don’t know how God works and I will never know how he gave me that time. Can He delay planes? Or did He just allow me to see the good? How many other people benefited but don’t know it? Trying to work it out isn’t possible but I’m going to credit Him the delay anyway. Praise God!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, forgive us when we grumble about things instead of trying to find the good. We give thanks for the gifts you bless us with especially the gifts we don’t ever acknowledge or recognize – Amen!