father in heaven

Submit Already

So you wake up every morning and going to work has become more of a chore than ever.  You’re not excited about the job, the boss, the people on your team – what do you do?  Quit?  Stick around? If you’ve read my Facebook devotionals you’ll see I’m all about seeking God’s will.  Logically, in this economy quitting your job for any reason is a risky move.  Spiritually, if you’re not in the place God wants you, sticking around out of fear is a risky move.  To my friends who know they are where God has called them to be, I share a message of endurance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Is all of your misery at work tied to one person?  Have you prayed consistently for them?  I’m not talking about a “Bless my butt head boss Phil” before bedtime, I mean really sitting down and praying for peace in their personal lives, wisdom when making decisions, and a softened heart towards other people.  You may be surprised how your heart softens towards them in the process.

Perhaps you’re miserable because you always feel like the oddball out.  People leave you behind when they go to lunch, leave the break room when you arrive, plan events outside of work without inviting you.  Think back over the last year, how have you impacted their lives?  Has your behavior reflected God’s love or his wrath?

Take into account that the situations you are in require a lesson to be learned.  What that lesson is, is between you and God.  Two things.  1 – If you fail, you can count on a retest.  2 – If you avoid it, you’ll find yourself being tested on something else.  Let me assure you that God is 100% committed your education, so rather than fight with him, SUMBIT ALREADY!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to teach me your ways just as any earthly parent should.  Continue to guide me and open my eyes so that I am reflection of your love.

Still Hungry?  Abraham personifies endurance in Genesis 12 – 22.

 

Originally Published in 2011

When I Was Young

  When I was a little girl my Dad would pick me up from ballet and take me to Baskin Robbins every week.  He sat in a big swivel chair and I sat right next to him in a kid size chair eating my daiquiri ice sorbet with a tasting spoon.  It was sour, not alcoholic and boy was it tasty.  I remember him brushing my hair, putting it up into pigtails and braiding them.  My hair, always adorned with the hand painted hair ribbons he made for me.  My favorite memory is singing show tunes with him in the kitchen, me singing the part of Annie and my Dad singing the lines of Daddy Warbucks.  “I don’t need anything but you,” we would sing together.

I can’t say that my Father is a man of many words.  Perhaps it comes from growing up with 3 sisters, or perhaps it’s 35 years of living with my Mom and 2 daughters.  That being said, when he does share nuggets or stories I listen.

A stubborn fool despises his father's discipline, but whoever appreciates a warning shows good sense.  Proverbs 15:5  (GOD'S WORD® Translation)

Despite the relationship you have with your father it’s important to understand that his life experiences are things you can learn from.  Sometimes you learn what you should be doing and sometimes you learn to walk in the opposite direction.

Each June we have the opportunity to celebrate and honor our fathers.  Take the time to truly honor both your earthly and heavenly fathers.  This is one seed you want to plant.  I believe I’m reaping my harvest now, I see it every week when my husband takes our daughter out on a daddy /daughter date to Starbucks and Toys R Us.

One of the greatest things my father said to me, while broken hearted in my early twenties, was, “Honey, if he doesn’t like you then he must be gay.”  You see, not all nuggets of wisdom have to be so serious!  I’m tucking that one away for my own daughter… when she’s 25!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven thank you for my Father & Husband.  Help me to find ways to continue to honor them even when they are difficult and make me want to scream.  Please continue to guide & protect them and they continue to do the same for us.

Take A Chance On Me

  When it takes you an extra 20 minutes to flat iron your hair, the Kurig won’t brew until you to add more water and your child wants a second breakfast before you walk out the door, you know you’re in for one heck of day!

Days are busy for this working Mom and sometimes I wonder, “Mama Mia!  How I’m going to get everything done?”  I’m certain I’m not alone and I’m grateful for my faith that God can make a 36 hour day fit into a mere 24.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation) 

God will see you through the day.  He’ll see you through your situation.  Just remember that our timing isn’t always in line with his.  When I’m overwhelmed and my faith is shaky I picture Funky Jesus singing, “Take A Chance On Me” by ABBA.  Don’t make fun of me!  I like to think that Jesus had a fun loving personality.

“Take A Chance On Me”    

If you change your mind, I'm the first in line

Honey I'm still free

Take a chance on me

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down

If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown

Honey I'm still free

Take a chance on me

Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try 

Take a chance on me

(That's all I ask of you honey)

Take a chance on me

-ABBA

And so ladies, today I leave you humming a song with a great visual and remind you take a chance on God.  He is faithful to complete the work he’s started in you.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you for being there to guide me and love me.  Help me to continue in the faith so that I may be grounded in your word.

Hungry for More: Noah built the ark in Genesis 6:1 – 9:17, Abraham offers Isaac in Genesis 22 & Jesus and Peter walk on water in Matthew 14.

I've Been Robbed

  While meeting with a co-worker during a one on one brainstorming session I presented a few ideas and she shared hers.  We had some great thoughts and after several hours of collaboration decided she would present the best one to the boss during their next meeting.  Trusting her turned out to be a big mistake.

 

“ ‘Do not steal.  “ ‘Do not lie.  “ ‘Do not deceive one another.  “ ‘Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him.  “ ‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.  Leviticus 19:11 & 13 (New International Version)

She presented the idea as her own and made it seem as though I just pulled some data together at her request.  To make matters worse, our idea is being rolled out to the entire company and it looks like it’s all her.  Did she want the glory?  A reason to ask for more money?

If you have been the thief in a situation like this it’s time to face the music.  Apologize to those you have hurt in the past and don’t do it again.  The bible reminds us throughout both new & old testaments that stealing leads straight to death.  In this case I’m thinking it could be a career ender.

Perhaps you, like me, have been the victim.  If that’s the case forgive and move on.  Remember that you reap what you sow and God’s got your back.

In case you’re wondering I have a new approach for idea sharing.  Either I share in a larger group setting or I send an email after a brainstorming pow-wow recapping the discussion.  Save a copy, print a copy… just in case.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you for blessing me with the job that I have.  Help me to work together with others and give us the opportunity to shine.

Hungry for More:  Proverbs 10:2 tells it like it is and 1 Timothy 6:3-10 reminds us what happens we think about money.

Gone Fishin'

What is it about the start of a new fiscal year that causes so many of us to re-evaluate all of the little things that make our lives our own?  We set goals to eat more vegetables and lay off sweets so we can fit into those stylish jeans.  We talk about buying organic & supporting local farmers while promising to wash our faces every night before bed so we don’t continue to age ourselves unnecessarily. All great changes to make, but all merely changes to the surface.  Roll up your sleeves and push back your hair ladies it’s time to GO FISHIN’!  People who are always to striving to change their outsides more than likely need some changes to their insides too and what better time of year to help our friends find a little Jesus.

He is the cardiologist to the heartbroken, chef to the hungry, father to the fatherless and it’s high time we show folks just what his love feels like.

"While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him."  Matthew 4:18-20 (English Standard Version)

Be transparent with the people you are in contact with daily.  Let his love shine through you.  Be open to answer questions about faith truthfully.  Above all, remain respectful as you share the word.  You role this time around may be as the seed planter.

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise."  Proverbs 11:30 (New International Version)

Most workplaces have No Solicitation policies, which often includes sharing written materials on faith.  Be aware of what you can and can’t do when it comes to fishing.  You can’t do much fishing if they take away your license.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for blessing me with all that I have and showing me all that you are.  Help me to show others all the wonderful things that your love has to offer.

"I'll Have What She's Having"

I began working for my current employer at the age of 18, my first job out of high school.  I earned my first promotion at the age of 19 leading people who were 1 – my parents’ age and 2 – multi year veterans with the company I had been with for only a year.  Going from peer to leader in the same building was a unique challenge.  I studied the management binders in the office, could quote polices and section numbers, and above all used the leadership skills God had given me to continue to excel in my job. I was the youngest supervisor in a 150-mile radius and there were some people who didn’t let me forget it.  No one left baby food on my desk, although I’m sure it crossed a few minds, it was the attitudes, tones and eye rolls that said it all and frankly, it was hurtful.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.  1 Timothy 4:12 (New American Standard Bible)

Remember when you’re hired by a business it’s because they see something special in you.  You have a skill, quality or trait that they want to incorporate into their business.  Be open to learn from your new co-workers who come from so many different backgrounds.  If you’ve been hired to be the new boss, treat people with respect and show them God’s love in your every day managing of the business.

Young or experienced, when you are exuding Godly qualities, it is tough for people not to be drawn to you.  As Christians we are called to be good role models and with the media romanticizing sex tapes, gossip and girls behaving badly we have our work cut out for us. 

Our goal should be for people to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven thank you for giving me the opportunity to show your love and faithfulness.  Help me to lead by example and not fall into the traps set our enemy.

Still hungry?  Learn a lesson from Jesus in John 13:12- 15.

Negativity & The Water Cooler

Is the water cooler half empty or half full?  What are you doing standing there? God delivered the Israelites from slavery & Pharaoh’s rule; His commitment to them was taking them to the Promise Land.  By day he guided them by a cloud, at night with fire.  He provided manna from heaven and water from rocks.  When they arrived at the border, Moses sent 12 spies to scout out the land; upon their return 10 had reports with a negative spin.  The land flowed with milk and honey, but it was ruled by powerful men in large fortified cities!

“And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored… the land devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size… we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.” Numbers: 13:32-33

Have you noticed that once one person has started complaining about work or the boss it's only a matter or minutes before everyone within earshot has put in their two cents.  Negativity spreads like an infectious disease. And while some, most or all of the statements may be true (I’ve been there!) they are far from necessary.  The most common response after a whining session is “well it makes me feel better”, but I have a hard believing that’s true.

Coughing up phlegm when you have a cough might provide some relief for an hour or so, but the reality is there is plenty more where that came from.  Yes, I’m comparing negativity to phlegm, because while you may have a few moments of gratification after sharing your negative thoughts with the office, complaining will not heal you.  In fact, the more you cough, the higher the risk of infecting the whole office.  And while misery may love company, it sure makes for a long day and a miserable work environment.

When you feel a coughing spell coming on, take a sip from the water cooler and ask yourself what seas God has parted for you.  Are you are dwelling solely on the negative instead of remembering all the positive things God has done for you?

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for providing me with the opportunities I have at work.  Please help me set my mind on things above and not on earthly things.

Still Hungry?  Nehemiah faced overwhelming negativity when he was tasked with rebuilding the wall aroundJerusalemin Nehemiah 1 – 6.