God wants you on his team!

Colossians 3:23

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!

He’s here. He’s there. He’s everywhere.

Psalm 51:11

Do not cast me away from Your presence. and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

At the risk of sounding like a child I sometimes wish that I could see God. Sit down, over a coffee and have a chit-chat. Ask questions like “So, what do you have in store for me this week” or “Do you think I should take that job”? Or maybe just have a good old grumble! God exists in three persons. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three persons! And we still can’t see him? Yes, we can see him. He is in everything and everywhere. Does the sun on your face make you feel good? God’s gift. Someone gives you a reassuring smile or gesture?  From God perhaps. Getting good advice from a close friend? God speaking. Of course, prayer comes into it. Praying for God to speak to you is important. He then speaks through different channels. At that point, we need awareness. If we’ve prayed for guidance in a work situation it could come from anywhere. Scripture, something someone says in a meeting or during a phone call. An article online. God speaks to us everywhere. A keen eye, ear and a heightened awareness will help us. By doing that, we get to have a closer relationship with God. Let’s not think of Him as someone who’s ticking ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on stone tablets somewhere in the universe. He’s our Father. He loves us and wants to chit-chat with us here on earth. Be on the look out!

God with us on vacation in Cape Cod. Every day was a gift!

God with us on vacation in Cape Cod. Every day was a gift!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, teach us to look out for you when You speak to us. We pray for guidance and answers from You. And may we seek guidance in a way that glorifies You, and not ourselves – Amen!

Here we go!

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

For many people, today is the first day back to work after the summer vacation and the first day back to school for the children. The trains will be fuller and the highways thicker with traffic. Even though the summer hasn’t ended it does feel like it’s coming to an end. And there can be anxieties that come with walking back into a building again. Unfinished projects, new environments or problems that we managed to brush under the carpet for a couple of weeks. To some of us, these are daunting things. But the scripture above tells us that we need not worry. God is not only with us but He has gone before us! The command is clear and quite abrupt. ‘DO NOT be afraid’. ‘DO NOT be discouraged’. Not ‘It’s okay, it will be alright’ but ‘DO NOT’. Why so commanding? Because God requires us to have faith and belief in Him. Our all-powerful Heavenly Father. But a simple prayer asking for our burdens to be taken on by God is all it takes. Then we can be at peace. As it says in Psalm 46:10 – ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Now we know that God is with us and we have faith then we can approach our work with vigor, energy and joy. That might be a lot to ask of us on a Monday morning but not too much to ask God for!

Pray with me

‘Heavenly Father, we pray for all of those that are going back to work today. We ask for you to go before us and with us. To give us strength, peace and love for others in the workplace and may we also give thanks for all You do for us today on our journey home tonight’ – Amen!

 

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!

How are you?

Psalm 145:18

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?

It’s not complicated.

Mark 9:36-37

He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

In the business I’m in everyone talks about simplicity and how to communicate a message in the simplest way no matter how complicated or basic the message is. The skill is to get straight to the point and not let the complicated stuff get in the way.

This past Sunday I listened to a girl sing a hymn. Sophie was her name. I think she’s no more than 8 or 9 years old. It was beautiful. She’s blessed with a wonderful voice and the words were all about ‘Jesus’. Uncomplicated words. In the quietness, the words she sang seemed so simple. Suddenly all the clutter and the stuff that complicates life and gets in the way of my relationship with Jesus blew away in the morning breeze. An image came into my head as the girl was singing. It was of two paths. One all overgrown and thorny and the other clear. Jesus was at the end of both. It was like I had a choice. I could take the tough path to Jesus or the clear one. Children were running down the clear path with Jesus smiling at the other end. The clear one seemed more appealing. It was the simple, less complicated path. Together with the words from the song it all seemed so clear. God can speak to us in any situation. I don’t think I was expecting it to come through an 8 years old girl’s voice! It was like a whisper. We have to be listening carefully and paying attention to when God is speaking to us. Of course, I have to look at all the stuff that gets in the way of my relationship with God but it was a peaceful, satisfying image. I thank God for Sophie, her voice and the moment of clarity. I just wish I could turn back time and film her singing it. Perhaps another time!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the children. Fo their pure and peaceful lives among our complicated ones. Help us to simplify our relationship with you so we can come to you like little children – 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!

Big Job. Big company. Even bigger God.

Psalm 147:5

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure

I’ve started walking into big advertising agencies again. To meet people and for work. I haven’t really been inside one for a few months and I’d forgotten what intimidating places they can be. How big is the company you work for? It seems the bigger the company, the more distant it becomes. It doesn’t feel very intimate or friendly. Or, dare I say, loving? Loving isn’t a word we associate with the workplace. Not some of the ones I’ve worked in. But among all that intimidation and tension is someone that’s bigger than it all. God. Ridiculously bigger. We can’t compare. But even better, He’s incredibly close. Really close. He’s right next to us, walking with us. Big, close and loving. So, when that big place we work for becomes even more intimidating because of stress, worry and fear we can turn to God for a close, peaceful and loving relationship. He will be your strength, your rock. You just need to have big faith!

Small prayer

Today’s the day!

Psalm 119:105

‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’

Following God isn’t easy. Sometimes I wake up and think ‘Today’s the day’. The day I don’t put myself before others. The day I don’t ignore what God wants me to do. The day I don’t selfishly chase after the things that have no value to me like money, success, material things, and the day I simply pick up my Bible and read it. Just read and read more. And then meditate on the word and pray. Doing that is actually a lot easier than chasing after all that other stuff. But it’s just a discipline. We have a huge amount of discipline in our work lives. Making deadlines. making money for our companies, making meetings on time, getting home from work for social functions and so on. All we need to do is channel some of that discipline toward God and take a ‘time-out’. Thankfully, through his grace, God gives us a fresh start every day. Is today that day?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not looking to you for guidance in our lives. May we look to your word always. Light our path, Lord. The path that glorifies you, Amen!