Archive for the ‘James’ category

ANOTHER SETBACK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

January 26, 2015

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4, NIV)

frustration

Really? I’m supposed to be happy when trials come my way? What about if I lose my job, my career, my financial stability, or my marriage? How are any of these things supposed to bring me joy?

Each of those things has happened to me. Every time, my first instinct was to blame God. During the process of blaming Him, I found myself opening His Word and searching for answers. I began to realize that these “burdens” were actually bringing me closer to Him. My burdens were helping to create a new “me”. I realized that they were not random incidents at all, but were all parts and pieces to a puzzle that was designed to make me more mature, more focused, more rugged, and more fruitful. I began to realize what Jesus was teaching when He said: He (God) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2, NIV)

I’ll be the first to admit that I have not fully enjoyed the struggle, the hardship, and the pain of my past, but I am beginning to “like” the person that I’ve become as a result. I definitely prefer my post-burden self to the person I was before.

It’s still difficult when trials come my way, but I have a new understanding of what they mean to me. I have learned to welcome them into my life as a way to get closer to my Lord and Savior! There is no more blame – only love for the One who has saved me.

If you are going through a tough time right now, recognize the pain. Talk about it with those you trust. Don’t try to escape it. Let it do its work. And, trust that it will not last forever. Trust that, after a while, it will go away and you will emerge with a better vision of yourself. Turn your trials and hardships over to the Lord. He has orchestrated these things to bring you closer to Him! Really!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

COMFORT A FRIEND!

February 24, 2014

“Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:7, NIV)

comfort

I’ve noticed through the years that those who have suffered are quick to comfort others who may be hurting. When a young couple suffers the loss of a child, another couple who also lost a child asks if they can help. If a couple loses their main income, almost immediately another couple steps forward to offer their aid, remembering their own journey through foreclosure years earlier.

Again and again we see people supporting and encouraging one another. They have learned that they can use the trials they’ve been through to reach out to others going through similar difficulties.

Have you been sick? Lost a loved one? Been imprisoned? Unfairly treated? In all of our trials, God promises to bring something good out of even our darkest moments (James 1:2-4). One way this takes place is when we share the comfort He offered us with those who are now going through trials.

As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, we are comforted by a Savior who knows our suffering, and we honor Him when we share His comfort with others.

Take a look around your workplace today. Do you know anyone who is suffering or in pain? Imagine yourself in their shoes. If we know the path another person is experiencing, God will help us guide that person into His presence. He comforts us so that we may bring comfort to others.

Be a little more like Jesus today. Comfort someone you know with the love of our Savior.

Work for ChristEnjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

WHEN WILL I LEARN?

November 1, 2013

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:7-8, NIV)

No Internet

You might be wondering where I’ve been all week.

On Monday morning before I began to write, I sat down to check my email. To my dismay, there was no internet connection. I followed Microsoft’s troubleshooting procedures and – nothing. No internet! What could have possibly happened from Sunday evening, when everything was working fine, until Monday morning? All I did was sleep. I assumed my computer was sleeping too. But some how, some way, a little “bug” crawled inside my computer and disabled the internet.

Then I discovered another problem.

I use two screens when I’m working. One is for my Office documents; the other is projected from my computer onto a large monitor so I can view architectural drawings. Well, my computer was now unable to project onto the second screen. What was I going to do? How was I going to get my work done? No internet. No second screen.

I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances. I panicked! Thinking I could fix everything myself, I began “googling” the problems and identifying solutions. I tried them all, but nothing worked. In fact things kept getting worse. For three days I tried everything, but no luck. I had an appointment yesterday with one of my clients and needed everything to work, but nothing was happening. I was going to have to cancel and miss out on a “paycheck” this week. That’s exactly what happened. I called, explained the situation, re-scheduled for next week, then sat back in my chair – dejected, defeated.

I began to pray.

“Really?”, you’re thinking, “You went from Monday all the way until Thursday before you asked for God’s help?” I’m sorry. I’m human. I was so caught up in my problems I completely forgot to bring God into the situation. I honestly thought I could solve these things on my own. After all, what does God know about computers, anyway? And besides, it’s not like I completely forgot about Him. I still said grace and included Him in other parts of my week. I just thought I could handle this on my own.

You can probably figure out what happened. Right after I prayed, I sat back, closed my eyes, and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in me. All of a sudden, it became obvious that I needed to take my computer to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Once I did that, within fifteen minutes, my computer was running like new again.

Why couldn’t I think of getting help from someone who actually knew something about computers on Monday? Why did I let this “little” problem ruin my entire week? I’ll tell you why. There is someone living among us whose job is to bring us down – to destroy us. Satan is alive and working on each of us every single day. I spent three and a half days with him this week. He beat me up every day trying to convince me that I didn’t need God’s help in my life. He nearly had me convinced. But finally, I remembered to get in touch with the One who brings peace and comfort to those in need. God, through the Holy Spirit, came into my life and brought me through again. When will I learn? I hope you’re not as weak as I am.

Walking with the Devil

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

CALLING IN SICK!

October 24, 2013

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24, NIV)

Reflection

A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal published a survey conducted by the Princeton Religion Research Center which measured a range of moral and ethical behaviors in the workplace. The questions addressed subjects such as calling in sick when not sick, cheating on taxes, and taking office supplies home for personal use. The results were disappointing.

What researchers found most startling was that there was no significant difference between those who attend church and those who don’t when it comes to their ethics and values on the job. In other words, despite the fact that more and more people attend churches, churches seem to be having less of an impact on the moral fiber of their people, at least in the workplace.

Most of the professionals I know, and especially most men, hold a mild skepticism toward their faith. They feel that something as abstract as faith could never stand up to the harshness on the streets. They attend church on the weekend, but religion is a sort of “hobby”, like golf or fishing. When Monday arrives it’s time to get back to the “real world.”

My point is this – just because you attend church, it doesn’t mean you live according to Christian values! Christians, by definition, are those who follow Christ. To follow Him, we first must study His life and become familiar with His teachings. Ultimately, our goal should be to become more like Him in everything we do – that includes our work! Jesus would not call in sick unless He was sick. He would not cheat on His taxes. And, Jesus would not steal office supplies for His personal use.

Today is a great day to change our attitudes – to make a new commitment. Let’s all take a second to close our eyes, bow our heads, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His power so that our Christian values pour out into our daily lives, and especially into our workplace.

beingspiritfilled_GMS

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CONNECTION?

October 17, 2013

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NIV)

Internet Down

I woke up one day last week and discovered that my internet connection was down. I immediately contacted my service provider. They sent a guy out about two hours later. He conducted some tests and concluded that my modem needed to be replaced. “Sounds great,” I said, “go ahead, replace it.” But he didn’t have a replacement with him. The earliest he could bring one was the next day. I “freaked out” when I thought about being without my internet for the next twenty-four hours! “How in the world am I going to survive for that amount of time?”

Then I asked myself this question, “Would I be as upset if my connection with God was lost for a day?” What a humbling thought! I am ashamed to admit it, but there have been way too many times that I’ve been so busy I have completely forgotten to include God in my day. Believe me, those days haven’t been intentional, they just happen.

The author of Psalm 119 recognized the importance of a connection to God. He asked God to teach him His statutes and give him understanding of His law. Then he prayed that he would obey it with his whole heart, walk in the path of God’s commandments, and turn his eyes away from worthless things (Psalm 119:33-37, NIV). By meditating on God’s Word and then applying it, the psalmist stayed “connected” to God. And, so can we!

When my internet was down for the day, I did the unthinkable – I opened a book and began to read. Just like I did before the internet was available in every home throughout America, I opened my Bible and studied the “old-fashioned way.” And, guess what? It was wonderful!

God's Word

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

OUR SUCCESS DOES NOT BELONG TO US!

October 15, 2013

“God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6, NIV)

Roman Parade

In early Rome, when a general returned home from a victorious battle, the town would throw a parade to celebrate his victory. The parade would include the general’s troops, as well as “trophy” captives who had been brought along as evidence of their success. As the parade made its way through the city, the crowds would cheer their hero’s success. To prevent the general’s ego from becoming unduly swollen, a slave would ride along with him in his chariot. Why? So that as the crowds praised the general, the slave could continually whisper in his ear, “Remember, you too are mortal.”

Often, when we are successful, we too lose sight of our own mortality and allow our hearts to be filled with pride. James points us away from the danger of pride by pointing us toward humility and toward the Lord. He wrote, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, RSV). The key to that statement is grace. Nothing is more wonderful! Nothing is more powerful!

Many of us are surprised when we realize that our achievements, success, or greatness do not come from our own hard work or from within ourselves. The truth is, they are the product of God’s grace. He alone deserves the thanks and praise for all our successes and achievements. And He deserves the thanks and praise for the grace He has showered upon us.

God’s grace is His infinite love expressing itself through His infinite goodness.

Grace2

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

SHARE THE LOVE!

September 18, 2013

“Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:7, NIV)

Share the Comfort

I’ve noticed through the years that those who have suffered are quick to comfort others who may be hurting. When a young couple suffers the loss of a child, another couple who also lost a child asks if they can help. If a couple loses their main income, almost immediately another couple steps forward to offer their aid, remembering their own journey through foreclosure years earlier.

Again and again we see the body of Christ supporting and encouraging one another. These Christians have learned that they can use the trials they’ve been through to reach out to others going through similar difficulties.

Have you been sick? Lost a loved one? Been imprisoned? Unfairly treated? In all of our trials, God promises to bring something good out of even our darkest moments (James 1:2-4). One way this takes place is when we share the comfort He offered us with those who are now going through trials.

As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7, we are comforted by a Savior who knows our suffering, and we honor Him when we pass His comfort on to others.

Take a look around your workplace today. Do you know anyone who is suffering or in pain? Imagine yourself in their shoes. If we know the path another person is experiencing, God will help us guide that person into His presence. He comforts us so that we may bring comfort to others.

Be a little more like Jesus today. Comfort someone with the love of our Savior.

share the love 2013

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”


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