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Day 21

Surf’s Up

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As I was reading through a You Version devotional from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest, I came across the following paragraph:

“Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against—tribulation, suffering, and persecution—are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).”

How does this shape your attitude towards the difficulties you are facing today?

 

 

Leading With Laughter

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I was once accused of having a strange sense of humor ….. ok, well, maybe more than once.  But, I’m convinced that humor is much needed in our lives and in our workplaces. Humor helps us see ourselves from a healthy perspective, and allows us to develop stronger relationships with the people God has placed in our lives.  It’s also good medicine (Proverbs 17:22).

Watch this video from Paul Osincup about Leading With Laughter. You might get a smile out of it, or even something deeper.

Smooth Sailing ?

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I was recently reading in the Daily Encouragement devotional from You Version. The selection focused on  Acts 27, which describes the shipwreck that Paul encountered on his way to Rome. The author made a statement that really stuck with me. “The plans and programmes of men are subservient to the purpose of God”. As I reflected on that, and how it applies in my current situation, I heard God say two things. First, God doesn’t guarantee we’ll have an easy voyage, but He will get us to where He wants us to be. The second point was more personal. God said ”Seek Me, do your best, but leave the outcome to Me.” I can envision something like that floating through Paul’s mind as well (floating … that’s a pun). And just like Paul, our lives are not always smooth sailing, especially as we aim to glorify God through our work. Even so, may these words, and Paul’s example, be an encouragement to you 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

Run In Such A Way

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