Archive for September 2012

PEACE LIVES IN ME!

September 28, 2012

 

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, NIV)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV)

A light blue ribbon is the symbol for prostate...

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer this past Tuesday. Since then, I have run around to different testing facilities trying to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread into my pelvis, my colon, my bones, or into any other part of my body. I am scheduled to meet with my urologist again toward the end of next week to decide a plan of action.

I was a bit surprised by my first reaction when I received the news. Believe it or not, the first thing I did was to thank the Lord. Was I crazy? Really? Thank Him for having cancer? I have had quite a few strange things happening to my body over the past couple of years, and I was actually relieved to finally have the answers.

It seems strange, yet I have a genuine feeling of peace about this whole situation. I realize that this disease was brought about according to God’s will and that He intends to use me in a mighty way. I’m not exactly sure what His plan entails, but I am fully committed to Him and am prepared to do whatever He asks. My anxiety has subsided. I can honestly say that I am resting in God’s peace!

Yesterday morning, after one of my MRI’s, I received a post from LivingMoreAbundantly (or should I say it came directly from God?). It  completely filled my soul. Thanks, LivingMoreAbundantly, for listening to your heart as you wrote this blog – it truly has touched mine!

Thank you all in advance for your prayers and well wishes. They are appreciated.

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (1 Peter 4:19, NIV) 

There is absolutely nothing to fear! God is in total control of all things.

Enjoy your Friday, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

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DO YOU EVER FIND TIME TO REST?

September 27, 2012

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NIV)

There are many people who feel that forty hours a week just isn’t enough time to get everything accomplished that needs to get done! The business world is full of people who think they need to work many hours because it’s their “job”. And, there are many ways to fool ourselves into thinking that we are doing something noble by working sixty to seventy hours per week. We even try to fool our Christian friends by saying we are working so many hours because we are doing it for the Lord.

Many of us have a hard time just slowing down – resting is completely out of the question! We really need to take time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. We just can’t seem to find the time. The Lord wants us to remember our priorities. He asks us to spend time with Him, to place our burdens in His hands. When we do, He will give the rest we so desperately need:

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30, NIV)

Psalm 23 says it beautifully, “The Lord is my shepherd … He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”

What a visual! Picture yourself lying out in a beautiful green meadow with a gentle stream going by as Jesus stands over you, protecting you. He is your friend! He wants to love and protect you, but He also wants you to rest.

Why do we really get so busy? Are we really working for the Lord? What does it truly mean to rest in His arms? I’m not a theologian, or a pastor. I’m just a guy who has received many, many blessings from our Lord during my lifetime! I’m still learning how to rest. He will always be my Teacher!

Spend time resting in His arms this Thursday. Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS!

September 26, 2012

 

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11, 13, NIV)

As a project manager/estimator in the construction industry, it was my job to develop relationships with various general contractors, prepare quantity surveys, develop budget pricing and proposals, and follow-up with various professionals to secure new business. The job entailed an enormous amount of communication within the office and with outside sources such as suppliers, subcontractors, architects, and developers. The goal was to secure enough profitable work to cover all expenses, plus to put a little money in the bank when the job was complete.

My goal was to secure 30% of the bids I prepared. Ironically, that meant that 70% of the jobs I bid were awarded to other contractors. Anyone could drop the price to get the work – the secret was to secure the work and to make a profit! Success was totally dependent upon the relationships that were developed. Success wasn’t about bidding work for less money. It was all about relationships!

Thirty percent may not seem like a great “closing” rate, but think of all the people who I was able to talk to – and listen to – throughout the day.

  • The sales clerk at my material supplier’s office who was going through a divorce
  • The project manager for the general contractor who was addicted to pornography
  • The developer that was cheating on his wife
  • My co-worker who just needed someone to listen

Relationships. Our work is designed for relationships. Our relationships with each other bring us closer together, and they bring us closer to Christ. Our relationship with Christ Jesus gives us the strength to be successful in all things.

Our worth doesn’t come from our job titles. It doesn’t come from securing more work. It doesn’t come from making more sales, or flipping more burgers. Our worth comes from something greater. It comes from being a child of God. Our worth isn’t about us at all! It’s all about our relationship with our Savior.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”.

“Working for Christ”

 

IT’S TIME TO SHOUT!

September 25, 2012

Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” (Joshua 5:13-14, NIV)

“Shortly after his encounter with the “commander of the army of the Lord”, Joshua was commanded to have his army march around the walls of Jericho, blowing their trumpets for seven straight days. On that seventh day, he was to tell the Israelites to shout, and the walls of Jericho would fall down. Really? Shout and the walls will fall down? Right! But as they began to shout – probably timidly at first – the bricks began to buckle and the giant walls collapsed.

Are you for me, God?” I often ask God the same question as Joshua. I tell Him that I’m working hard to give Him glory through my business, my decisions, this blog, and my time. His answer is always the same: “Are you for Me, Dave?” His response always sets me straight. He’s never going to follow what I’m doing, but I can certainly follow whatever He is doing.

Sometimes God calls us to obey Him when it really isn’t very convenient. He wants us to spend time in His Word when we are already overwhelmed and fatigued. And, He often asks us to pray when the answers seem difficult to see. It’s almost like He is asking us to march around, blowing our trumpets, waiting for the right time to tear the walls down around us.

When we feel drained, or when we forget why we’re marching, return to the “commander of the army of the Lord”. His sword is always drawn. Our battles are His to win.

We can shout and march around the walls of our lives every single day if we trust God’s timing. He’ll make the walls come down when He’s ready. We just need to remind ourselves that He will stop at nothing to claim every area of our lives as His own. All we have to do is blow the trumpet and wait for Him to tell us when to shout!

Enjoy your Tuesday, “Working for Christ”!

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“Working for Christ”

SPEND A LITTLE TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS!

September 24, 2012

“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.” (Matthew 17:1, NIV)

Have you ever wondered what Christ did when He wasn’t working? Christ’s life – from the time He was thirty years old – was His ministry. It was all about teaching, preaching, healing, and feeding. But a close examination of the Gospels show that Christ often took time alone to recharge.

When He got away from the crowds, His disciples, and other followers, He almost always went to the mountains. Some of the most profound parts of Christ’s ministry occurred in or immediately after He retired to high places – the Sermon on the Mount, the transfiguration, His betrayal, His crucifixion.

Our work, whatever it is, creates layers of concern that come between God and us. The “mountains” – those places we get away to spend time alone with God – allow the Lord to peel away those layers to get to the core of who we are. That process is both essential to our life with God and essential to being faithful people of God when we get back to work.

Petty disagreements with co-workers, bad presentations, figuring out which emails to send a reply, etc. don’t need to dominate the way we work. Our relationship with God should be the focus of our workday.

We need to trust God with “climbing the mountain”. The size of our problems doesn’t matter to Him. What matters to Him is that we fully rely on His power and His strength to get us through the day.

Psalm 46:10 says it best – “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Take a little time in the mountains this Monday. Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER!

September 21, 2012

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)

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Most of us appreciate positive feedback. For instance, your boss may say something like this: “I think you did a great job on that presentation. Here are a couple of suggestions I have to help you improve it.” That type of criticism is much more constructive than if your boss said: “That presentation was absolutely terrible. Next time do it my way!”

The way criticism is presented can mean the difference between a motivated, cheerful employee and one who is left completely broken down and discouraged. As Christians, God calls us to encourage and motivate one another in our daily lives. We are to inspire one another with confidence and help each other grow spiritually and emotionally.

Encouraging someone might mean helping them get out of a bad relationship, or helping them lose weight, or change careers, or make an important financial decision. At times, encouraging others may seem awkward and difficult. If it’s hard for you to encourage someone, challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Just like the word itself, to “encourage” means to inspire with “courage” – courage to talk with them, pray with them, and minister to them. You may consider asking God to show you how to encourage, rather than when to encourage.

Encouraging one another is an important aspect of our lives. In Colossians 3:15-17 NLT, Paul teaches:

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Ask yourself this Friday, “Who is it in my life that needs to be encouraged?” Perhaps you have been sent by God to make a difference in their life.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

YOUR LATEST FAILURE JUST COULD BE YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS!

September 20, 2012

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV)

Make the most of every opportunity! This phrase sounds like a business owner talking to his or her sales or management team, doesn’t it? Yet those who focus on “securing the deal” know that discretion is always needed to decide where, and on whom, to focus.

In Ephesians 5:15, Paul teaches us to live wisely. In business, we are often required to present ourselves as proficient and motivated to compete effectively. We’re trained to look at new relationships as opportunities for new business and to envision challenges as opportunities for growth.

God wants us to use our gifts and our talents, our finances, and even our place within an organization to glorify Him. This requires us to come before the Lord in prayer, asking for His priorities and the ability to see the opportunities that He presents to us throughout the day. We really don’t need to show Christ to more people in our day; we need to learn to see our days as God sees them – as opportunities to lay down our own goals and allow God to prioritize our actions and work through us.

When I lost my job a few years ago, I saw myself as a failure. God saw an opportunity for me to help others in similar situations. I had to decide where my ambitions lay: in trying to protect my self-esteem or in paving the way for God to work through me. Obeying God not only demonstrated His faithfulness in caring for my wellbeing but it has also enabled others to find Him where He didn’t seem to exist before.

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard the message that God wants to use you to minister to others through your life and work. I’m sure it won’t be the last. Please keep your eyes and ears open as you go through your day. Make the most of every opportunity – for God!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

“Working for Christ”

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