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B.L.E.S.S.

By | Day 18, Day 22, Day 25 | No Comments

Although sometimes it’s hard to get out of our comfort zones, praying for others is a great way to engage people spiritually. It might sound “out there” for some, but it’s simple. And, rarely have I ever had someone tell me “no” when I say, “Can I ask God to bless you?”  So, how do we pray in a simple way that engages non-Christians?  Just B.L.E.S.S. them.  Pray for each of the following areas:

B – Body: Pray for good health, protection, and strength.

L – Labor: Pray for their work and their financial security.

E – Emotional: Pray for emotional health and a good quality of life; for joy, peace, hope.

S – Social: Pray for their relationships with their family and friends.

S – Spiritual: Pray for their salvation, that they will know God and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

 

It’s that simple.  Try it today.

 

Fix My Eyes

By | Day 06, Day 17, Day 21, Day 22, Uncategorized | No Comments

Do you ever wake up and just feel like you need a boost?  Some sort of reminder that God will do what He has promised, and that our troubles will not overcome us?  That happened to me this week, and God pointed me to Hebrews 8 for the solution. Where are you fixing your eyes?  Check out this video if you need a bounce in your step.

 

Heb 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Scattered

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 27, Uncategorized | No Comments

Have you ever faced challenges, especially when living out your calling in the marketplace? Today God took me to Acts 8:1-4 and asked, “what do you see?”  It was bad. Great persecution. The disciples were scattered, torn from their friends and families and everything that was known to them. They were burying the dead, the church was ravaged, and people were being dragged off and thrown into prison. But then there was also verse 4. A few simple words. Those who were scattered went about preaching the word.

Then God said to me, “Look again. What do you see?”  I saw a call to faithfulness in the midst of adversity. I saw a prayer that my core purpose in Christ would not be lost in the overwhelming flood of life’s challenges. I saw a reminder that God’s power is sometimes more obvious in times of our greatest need. I saw that God turned what looked like a terrible end into the real beginning of it all. These verses encouraged me to look at my circumstances in a new light. I pray you would be encouraged to do the same.

 

And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.   Acts 8:1-4

 

Spiritual Leadership

By | Day 13, Day 14, Day 17, Day 21, Day 23 | No Comments

One of the best books on leadership, especially how faith and work intersect, is “Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda” by Henry & Richard Blackaby. The book shares truths applicable to both business and church leaders alike. One common thread is the difference between vision and revelation, and which one should drive our thinking and action.  For example, here are three quotes:

“There is a significant difference between revelation and vision. Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive.”

“The world functions by vision; God’s people live by revelation.”

“Every time leaders choose to develop their own vision for their people instead of seeking God’s will, they are giving their people their best thinking instead of God’s. That is a poor exchange indeed.”

Which of these represents how you tend to view your work?  Which way is closer to how you do “strategic planning”?  Anything you need to change?

 

 

The Unseen

By | Day 13, Day 14, Day 21 | No Comments

In 2Corinthians 4:18, we read that “we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” A friend of mine was talking about this verse, and how it relates to business.  We observed that most people plan their business and make decisions based on best practices, or by using traditional metrics, both derived from the seen world. But in God’s economy, those things mean very little. God operates first in the unseen, which then impacts the seen. As my friend so aptly put it, “You can adjust any knob you want in the seen world, and it won’t affect the unseen at all. Period.”  When you reflect on your work and this verse, what does God say to you about living by the unseen?

 

 

Believe

By | Day 20, Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Chapter seven in Dan Grider’s book Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap is titled “The Power of Pisteuo”.  Grider explains how the Greek word pisteuo is usually translated as “believe” , or sometimes as “faith”. However, our typical church culture mistakenly thinks that by this Jesus meant “we should dispassionately repeat a set of sterile doctrines, theologies, and beliefs”.  Rather, it’s not about intellectual consent to a set of facts. In reality, Crider suggest that to capture what Jesus intended, a better translation would be “all in” or “abandon all competing ways to live and fully embrace the new Jesus Kingdom”.

Imagine what our world would be like if it was full of Christians who understood belief as all in, complete abandon, to truths working themselves out in every aspect of our lives. What a huge difference that would make!

The hard part for me is reading Scripture in light of this expanded definition.  John 3:16 would be “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever would be all in / sold out / fully abandoned to His way of life shall not perish but have eternal life”.  Now read John 3:18 or Hebrews 11:6 or Mark 16:16 with this pisteuo/believe definition in mind.  Calls us to up our game, doesn’t it?

 

 

Life’s Darkest Day

By | Day 05, Day 10, Day 18, Day 21 | No Comments

I came across the following post on Facebook, and thought I’d share it with you.  If you are facing a “darkest day” right now, I pray it encourages you where you are.

 

Today I find myself contemplating “Holy Saturday”, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I think about what it must have been like for the disciples to pass life’s darkest day … between the Cross and the Empty Tomb, between death and life, between hope lost and joy restored.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  It didn’t make sense.  Had God failed somehow? Fast forward two thousand years, and we often find ourselves in a similar place. Our dreams and plans, even ones dedicated to God, don’t always go as we expected. Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. We live in a bent world, one that only God can restore. Sadly, until Jesus returns, most of us will endure times like these. But, take heart. Easter is coming. God is faithful to the faith-filled. Where are you facing dark times right now?  Is it with your work? Your family? Your past? Your future? Be encouraged by Jesus’ words, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When things are darkest, remember that the Empty Tomb was not the end, it was a new beginning. And, best of all, Jesus offers that new life to each of us. Happy Easter.

 

 

Crucial Conversations

By | Day 10, Day 17, Day 20, Day 25 | No Comments

As part of a new approach to discipleship my church is embracing, we’ve been reading through a book by Dan Grider called “Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap”.  On the back cover, the author explains how this book gives you the tools to bridge the awkward chasm and initiate conversations crucial to helping people take an initial step of faith.  Jesus initiated vibrant, crucial conversations with a broad range of people who thought differently than He did. (In the book) we study how He did it to help you engage in honest, open, crucial conversations without awkwardness. The Father will use these new skills you master to transform the relationships in your life (and the world around you).

I am enjoying the blend of theory (rethinking traditional church paradigms and ideas of “evangelism”) and practical help (through the use of simple illustrations, tips and sample questions) which leads to deeper dialogue with people God has placed in your life. If you ever struggle with how to get beyond superficial chitchat without turning the conversation into a sermon,  you should give this one a read.

 

 

 

Share It

By | Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 22 | No Comments

In today’s blog, I wanted to share a post from the folks over at ScatterGlobal.com. It’s an article about how to share your faith at work, and it references an excerpt from Traeger & Gilbert’s book about the Gospel at Work.  Read on:

 

If you’re not being intentional here, how can you be intentional there? 

I think we’ve all heard this statement when it comes to evangelism in our daily lives and looking to make disciples in another part of the world. We think it is safe to say that we can all improve in the area of being “intentional” to share the gospel where we honestly, spend most of our time: work.

But what does that mean? And how do we share the gospel without creating awkward exchanges and forcing the message?

The Gospel Coalition shares an article by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert from their book, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our LivesThis article gives you 5 practical suggestions to help you share the gospel at work.

Read the full excerpt by clicking the link to the full article below. 

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-share-your-faith-at-work/

 

 

Coming To A Point

By | Day 14, Day 15, Day 17, Day 22 | No Comments

Lately I’ve been reading a book titled “That Hideous Strength” by C.S. Lewis. In it you’ll find the following conversation between a husband and a wife:

“Have you ever noticed,” said Dimble,” that the universe, and every little bit of the universe, is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?”
His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them.
“I mean this,” said Dimble, answering the question she had not asked. “If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family—anything you like—at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing.”

Although penned in 1945, I think these words still ring so very true today.  In light of our present world and the urgency of the Gospel, what might this say to us about our role as marketplace Christians?