The Next Day

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16

Yesterday was a day of service at our church. Over 400 people went out into the community to serve in many ways. Yard work, delivering food, singing at a homes for the elderly, clearing trash and lots of other things.

At the end of the day we had a service of celebration and some testimonies from the day. One person encouraged us to take the feeling of joy we had that day and to carry it on the next day and continue to show the light to others. It was a great insight I thought. Is that always possible in the work place? It’s difficult. When doing things with fellow christians it’s not too difficult to behave in the way God would want us to. We encourage and support each other. The scripture above was the theme for our service day. But it’s the theme for every day as it is straight out of The Bible.

There’s a short video of the day below. A lot of joy. A lot of happiness. But just one day. How about a video for every day. What would that look like for us? It’s an interesting question. Throughout the video you will see words like Thanking, Caring and Loving. Words that are appropriate for every day.

So, April 3rd was our official day of service. Let’s try and make April 5th one as well

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Do the right thing.

romans7-15

There are some verses in The Bible that feel like they were written today. The verse  above from Roman’s is one of them. And it’s one of those verses that makes me smile. If you read it again, read it as someone who’s frustrated and waving their arms around in the air. Almost like they’ve done something over and over again but can’t stop themselves doing it.

Business is a tough place. We’re all jostling for position and trying all we can do to make an impression. Sometimes, we find ourselves doing something just because we’re fighting to keep our jobs. It could be something we say in a meeting or a decision we make that we know is doing ‘the very thing we hate’. Awareness of doing the wrong thing is good. But doing the right thing is a big step. It may put us to the bottom of the list in a promotion or jeopardise our position in the company.

Pray to God for wisdom as you go to work today. Pray that he will guide your heart and head. Allow him to enter into a situation at work and give you the right words and actions. Ruled by God’s plan for you and not your own ambitions. Romans goes on to say in verse 8 – ‘If God is with us who can be against us’ and in Matthew 34 – ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own’. It doesn’t get more right than that.

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, Guide my thoughts, words and actions today at work. Be with me in every situation so I can glorify You – Amen!

 

Certainly.

Job 19:25

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!

Let’s hope there’s no fires!

The view from my basement window. Is there anybody out there!

The view from my basement window. Is there anybody out there!

My walk to work. Where is everyone?

My walk to work. Where is everyone?

Can't take a seat and rest!

Can’t take a seat and rest!

We can’t all be CEO’S

James 4:6

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

There’s role for all of us at work that God has planned out. When you feel like your itching to move on or your longing for more money and a grander title take stock of your current position and assess everything. And when you do that, look around you and look at the people who you work with, the ones you work for and the ones that work to you. Do they need you? Do you feel like you may have been put in the position for them? Even the ones that you work for? Has God got you right where he wants you to be? It’s possible he has. And as much as it’s tempting to go bigger you may be doing God’s work right where you are. It could be it’s where your meant to be. No higher. No Lower. It’s not often the way we look at our careers but The Bible tells us to be humble and to put others before ourselves. And anyway, even if you do end up in a higher position you’ll still be working for someone. God.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, humble us today. We give thanks for the work we’re doing. Help us to put You first when we’re considering career changes – Amen!

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

Christmas every day.

2 Corinthians  9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift

This time of year does give us time to appreciate the true gift of Christmas. Our savior, Jesus Christ. Sadly, it’s too often a gift we throw away in favor of more material gifts. But God shows us grace and continues to present His gift to us every day. There was a Christmas song when I grew up – ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ which is  all about Christmas trees, snow, gifts and food. That would get boring very quickly but with Jesus it is Christmas every day. The precious gift that is waiting, freshly wrapped every morning when we wake up. Happy Christmas!

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, You are our indescribable gift. Forgive us when we discard You for our own selfish gifts. We thank You that You are here for us every day – Amen!

Here’s the song. Enjoy!

“Be Kind”

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets

My wife will sometimes move closer to me, look me in the eye and says ‘be kind’.

It’s not that I’m necessarily being unkind but I might not be behaving as lovingly or as graciously as I should be. But those words always jolt my conscience and I get myself into a better place. But then I wonder how many other people in my day would want to say those words to me? The ticket collector on the train. The person I brush past because they’re walking too slowly. The work colleague who’s trying their best but I’m somehow making them out to be useless. It can happen to us all occasionally.

If we can’t think about our own actions then maybe we can think about someone’s response to them? If it’s the words ‘be kind’ then maybe we need to check ourselves. In a way, it’s being kind to ourselves.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, shine kindness through us today – Amen!

Here today. Here tomorrow.

Matthew 8:20

‘…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’

Throughout our lives things are continuously coming and going. There’s never any real permanence. Even when it feels like there is, there really isn’t. We may live in the same house all our lives but life within that house changes. Children come. Children go. Our loved ones pass away. Jobs change. Cars change. Brown hair to grey hair! We’re happy with the wallpaper but 2 years later we change it. We plant a tree but 20 years later we cut it down because it’s blocking out light.

As believers in Christ, it’s possible that God comes and goes in our lives. We may think about Him some days more than others. Or even go through periods of weeks and months when we forget He even exists. Amazing that someone who we know in our hearts is incredibly important to us, can disappear from our minds. Our God is a gracious and a forgiving God. And even though we forget Him, He never forgets or stops loving us. He’s waiting for us to connect with Him. There’s many ways we can do that. Opening our Bibles and reading just one verse can re-boot that relationship. Praying a simple prayer for God to guide us. Downloading an app that delivers a verse to your Smartphone. I have  Proverbs and Psalms apps that pop up on my phone 3 times a day. It’s amazing how timely they can be. Making that effort means we are inviting God into our lives and asking Him to speak to us. For any of us in business I highly recommend a few Proverbs verses a day.

So, wherever you are now perhaps stop reading those emails and go to the apps store and download one. There are thousands of them and most of them are free. You won’t always read them but not to worry, there will be one the next day and the next and the next…

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, thank you for always being with us, even when we’re not with you. We pray we can be with you through prayer and scripture. And with faith! – Amen!

Listen.

Proverbs 18:13

If one gives answers before he hears, it is folly and shame

 

The business world is full of talking. People talking over each other. Some of us go into a meeting desperately needing to make a point. Many are so wound up about something that we go into it already frustrated and just need to blurt something out. (especially on Monday mornings). That’s normally when we regret something we say.

Everybody wants to be heard. And, of course, someone has to talk. But listening is a skill. As the song goes ‘Silence is Golden’. Listening for a length of time without talking can work wonders. We’ll be tempted to jump in but we have to stop ourselves. And actually not saying anything can solve it! I have seen so many people talk themselves into a solution or simply run out of steam. Or they get to the point where they have to say “What do you think”? That’s the best place to be then a few and considered and wise words is all that’s needed.

This isn’t a lesson in management, but we all need reminders. Scripture has many verses on the subject of speaking and talking. None of them, as far as I know, tell us to talk and talk without listening. Hear what I’m saying?

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, give us peace today in the work place. May we surrender our instincts to talk so we can let You guide our hearts and ears to listen to our colleagues – Amen!

Is this the happiest day of your life?

John 8:47

‘Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God’

We were recently moving house. One of the men that worked for the moving company seemed particularly happy. After a while he came up to me and said “Today is the happiest day of my life”. Moving us made it the happiest day of his life? No. It turns out the man was going to see his Mother next month. He is from Brasil and his Mother had been granted a visa to visit the USA. He had not seen her in 10 years.

I almost felt like crying. He really did have a reason the be happy. And then it made me think. I am not always at home. I am away from my family a lot. But I can see them as often as I like and I’m not that far away from them. Even my family in the UK are not that far away. And, unlike the moving man, who couldn’t pay his way back to Brasil, we can occasionally afford to go back to the UK and visit. I felt fortunate compared to him. He was probably in his late teens when he left his Mother. God blesses us and shows us grace in abundance but sometimes we need to hear someone else’s story to appreciate how blessed we are.

The man was very happy. He was not sad. Not that day. But I am sure he had many sad days up until then. Praise God for sending his Mother to him and praise God for sending me His message through that man.

Pray with me

Heavenly Father, we ask that we can be attentive to Your word both through scripture and other other vessels You choose to communicate with. We pray that we will pause and listen carefully to the message You send us – Amen!