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!

Give to the one that gave.

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

I think that we can all agree that the corporate world can sometimes be a selfish place to be. I don’t think there’s that many people who go to work each day thinking about how they can help advance someone else’s career or improve someone else’s life.

But Jesus came to give all of His time for us. He gave so much time and energy. He was unselfish and tirelessly taught, encouraged, inspired, loved and cared for others. His ultimate sacrifice was to die for us.

The Bible tells us to be like Jesus. Which is difficult but that’s our bench mark. When we give back to others we give to God. And as that scripture from Matthew suggests, it also tells us where our heart is. When we’re focusing on others and not ourselves then we are being more like Jesus. That will then bring us closer to Him. And He will live and shine through us.

Have you ever had that wonderful feeling in your body when you’ve helped someone or done something good for other people? You leave with a feeling that is hard describe but it’s most likely a peaceful feeling. A feeling of calm, humbleness and joy. The joy that exists beyond Christmas! That feeling is most likely the Holy Spirit in us. On fire with God’s love for others. It’s a great feeling. Who wouldn’t want that? For Him to dwell in us? Pray the prayer below. It’s a simple and unselfish request to God. A belated Christmas gift from Him!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we pray to be unselfish with our time. Dwell in us Lord as we go about our work. Help us to put others before ourselves – Amen!

He loved

Testing, Testing…

Ephesians 4;32

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Last week there was a massive power failure on the train line going into Grand Central. One of the most disruptive incidents I’ve ever know while commuting. It took me 4 hours to get into Manhattan. It usually takes less than an hour. It’s not going to be easily fixed either. It could go on for days and weeks. The link at the very bottom will give you more information, if you’re interested!

If the commute goes smoothly and it gets us to our destination on time then we’re programmed to deal with all the stuff that we’re faced with in the office. We expect ‘disruption’ there! But if the commute doesn’t go smoothly then that’s an entirely different matter. I would not have expected to turn up at the platform last Wednesday to be confronted with a 4 hour commute. It was testing to say the least. All humanity goes out of the window when we’re fighting to get into New York. I observed it all. The pushing, the shouting, the anger, the arguments, the frustration, the disrespect for fellow human beings and travelers. And this was just a power failure on one line, in one state. What if something even more disastrous happened?

Knowing God is a wonderful thing. In past years, I may have been the person sitting 3 rows back taking the incident out on the ticket collector. Or the guy that insisted on keeping his bag on the seat so no one could sit down. In truth, we were all too exhausted to argue with him. And I’m not blaming those people. I’m not perfect and on another day I may not have checked myself but knowing God and having some form of relationship with him does mean we have the ability and awareness to check ourselves and realize that the situation is no big deal. It’s an opportunity to allow Jesus to shine through us by having peace and then kindness toward others. The next day I was able to help a few people out as I had memorized the revised schedule before I went to the station.

We will all face disruptions. The one’s that take us by surprise are the ones that really test our Christian beliefs and the way we behave. So, watch out! There might be another one just around the corner! May God be with you when it happens.

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for being so close to us that you can shine through us in tough situations. Forgive us when we forget about you and go about our lives thinking only of ourselves and our own well-being – Amen!

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Power-problem-paralyzes-Metro-North-4841862.php

How often do you thank God?

Psalm 95:2

‘Let us come to Him with Thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him’

I was on a film shoot last week. There were many times when something happened and I knew it was God’s work. I acknowledged in my head that it was but I didn’t give thanks. I had prayed for various things. Selfish prayers mainly. All for the good of me and my well-being and for that I pray for forgiveness. However, as I sit here now I can look back and give thanks to God for 3 glorious days of weather. For surrounding me with incredibly talented and enthusiastic people. For putting the light right where I needed at the right time. For keeping me healthy even though I felt dreadful leading up to the filming. (God delayed it 3 days because I now feel dreadful again). For allowing me the time during the shoot days to pick my Mother-In-Law from the airport so my wife didn’t have to. For providing me the job in the first place.

I think we sometimes pray and then just simply forget to give thanks, especially when it’s work related. Work can be ‘hard work’ and not necessarily something we feel we need to thank God for. But He gave us the skills we need to get work and therefore He provides. So, perhaps we should reflect on the last few weeks, months and perhaps the year and give thanks to God for all He has done for us in our work lives. You may need to think for a moment about what that is but it’s worth doing.

After all, when someone gives us wonderful gifts. It’s only polite to say thank you!

God put the light on Manhattan bridge right on time. 8am!

God put the light on Manhattan bridge right on time. 8am!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Forgive us for when we don’t praise you and give thanks for all you have done for us at work. We pray that you will continue to encourage us to glorify You and for You to shine through us – Amen!