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
Filming In Prague in April
Working in the rain in London
My work to me took me to London in September where I could meet my Dad
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!
I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my path
One of the things I’ve become more aware of is what it means to have a relationship with God. I think it is quite easy to get involved in the relationship and to trust God but at the same time not enjoy it. Most journeys should be fun and exciting. Think about the movies. Dorothy was ‘off to see the wizard’ but she had many mini-adventures on her way. So what is it that sometimes makes it a struggle for us on our journey? For me, it’s occasionally not accepting the fact that it’s the way God wants it to be instead of what I want it to be. Even though I am following God’s way, I’m not happy with the way it’s going. I reluctantly follow it. But that’s a waste of my energy and time. Many passages in the Bible talk about being joyful in everything even in the tough times. I sometimes find that hard to grasp but I try to go with it anyway. I have decided to make it simple. Regardless of what happens I will try and be happy that it’s part of God’s plan. And when I do that it by far outweighs the fact that I may not personally be happy with any outcome or situation I find myself in. To put it simply, if I don’t get a promotion I want, I am happier that it’s part of God’s plan then I am unhappy not getting it.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, teach us to be joyful always and to have gratitude for all that You give to us – Amen!
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!
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!
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you
It’s perhaps not in our nature to make things easier for ourselves. As we work our way up the ladder work gets more intense and pressured. Expectations are high and so are salaries. We feel we should be working hard to earn that money. And to be seen to be working hard. Early mornings and late nights. First in. Last out. The twists and turns inside our bodies can make our work harder. The worry, the anxiety, the stress, the frustration, the anger, the ego and the pride. We use up all our energies on them and it drains us. We look exhausted because of these things. There was a time when even though I believed in God, I couldn’t believe that He could help with the problems I faced at work. But through my own experiences and what I read in The Bible I came to believe and trust that God had control over all situations. Nowadays, when I remember to, I give it all over to God. And when I do that it all becomes much easier. I am aware that all the issues are still there. I can’t completely forget them but knowing He’s in control can give me tremendous peace. Of course, I don’t stop doing my job. I’m not sitting back and watching. I’m just letting God work through me and work out the situation. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I expected or wanted to, but that’s the way it works with God. If we give it all up to Him then we have to be open to a different result to the one we planned. So today, as you head towards your place of work, give any concerns you have up to God. Let Him do the hard work. I suspect it’s quite easy for Him.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we ask that You take on all our burdens so we can be at peace at work today – Amen!
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
I was on a business trip this week to Wisconsin. I drove though Wisconsin several years ago. I found very little of interest. Long straight roads with boredom stretching out for miles either side.
But this time I was taken into the heart of what was either side of that road. I had a glimpse behind the curtain and God revealed to me true beauty. Some soft and gentle. Other beauty, dramatic and exciting. It taught me a lesson. How could I dare think that God had created something boring? But still He invited me in. God’s beauty is everywhere. Beyond roads. Inside people or just round the corner of the road we are sometimes fearful of going down. And an 8 hour journey from Boston. It was a trek, but God wasn’t going to make it easy. But to answer my question above. Yes, it was a true pleasure.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, as we gaze out of the windows of cars, buses, trains and offices, we give thanks for all that you have created. We ask that you speak to us through the beauty you have made – Amen!
‘…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!
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for ones life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
I watched a documentary a few days back called ‘Tiny’. It was full of a lot of great messages. It’s not a christian film and it doesn’t have christian values as such but it does have in it many things that The Bible teaches us. A tiny house in CT is one of those 3 bedroom capes. In this movie those capes are mansions in comparison. It’s an inspiring film and will for sure get you thinking and maybe wanting. You can find it on i-tunes. Here’s the trailer:
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for film makers that get us thinking. And for those films that inspire and move us. May you speak to us through these films – Amen!
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!