Archive for December, 2011

God in the Workplace

God is omnipresent. A big word that means He exists in all places at all times. He is everywhere. He is there, but we may not always recognize that He is there. One of the tactics used by the World, the Flesh, and the Devil is to put God into boxes and then shrink those boxes. While this doesn’t really work in terms of limiting God, it is often effective in limiting our awareness of God. The solution is very simple; maintain a close relationship with God and the reality of that intimacy will overwhelm any attempt to shrink God into a box.  The practical application of this is sometimes a little harder to achieve.

One of the early lessons in my walk with Christ was that I am not always capable of the success and achievements I aspired to.  But God did want me to be successful.  I believe that is true for every one of us.  God wants us to be successful, but not necessarily in the way we have pictured in our mind.  For me there have been goals that have had to be laid down because they did not line up with what God had planned.  And the interesting thing has been, when those have truly been surrendered, what has replaced them has been so much more fulfilling.

I was a project engineer early in my career.  I had a project to install several pumps, piping, tanks and assorted equipment.  I had $4.5 million to spend and a timeline to meet.  As a young Christian God was really training me in many areas.  One of those was an amazing season of prayer and God’s faithfulness.  As it approached crunch time on the projects with the paper machine outage and installation at hand, I was overwhelmed by my inadequacy to anticipate all the demands of the job.  I had done everything I knew to do, but I was also sure that questions would arise that I was not prepared for.  This drove me to asking for Gods’ guidance.  Not just a quickly uttered prayer as I rushed out the door, but a true covering-the-work-in-prayer type of prayer.  I knew in my own limited knowledge and understanding I would not be successful, however I trusted God to provide the wisdom and guidance I needed each day as I faithfully asked.  As the project progressed the questions and challenges did arise, but in every case the answers and solutions came.  Sometimes they came directly to me from out of the blue (God exists in the blue since He is omnipresent).  Sometimes they came from other persons.  Sometimes they seemed to resolve themselves.  At the end the project was a major success… on time and under budget.  The biggest take-away from that project was that the Lord’s faithfulness carried the day.  I offered up what little knowledge and skill I had and applied them to the job while surrendering this meager offering to the Father who supplied the remainder.

Today I get to that place of surrender on occasion, but unfortunately not always.  Because I have a lot of experience now in my field of work I sometimes just do what I have done before and not take the time to surrender each situation to the Lord.  In many instances it goes fine and when there are bobbles I can usually make the necessary adjustments.  However I realize anew how desperately I need the Lord’s help to be the man he wants me to be.  In the work I do, in my role at husband and father, with my grandson and the people I meet every day.  I want to be a success in the manner God wants me to be successful.  As I head out the door is a few minutes I am reminding myself that everywhere I go and in everything I do, God is there and aware.  Since He is a gentleman He patiently waits to be invited to join in.

I want to be your man Lord.  I want to do your will.  Father I offer the work I do this day, the people I meet this day, and every conversation, action, and thought I have this day to You.  Be glorified in and through me today.”

God’s peace to you and yours today and always.

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I must admit during the Christmas season it is sometimes easy to become so busy with the hustle and bustle that I can lose track of the real reason we even celebrate… the birth of God’s Son, Jesus. I don’t mean it doesn’t cognitively come to mind, but I mean do I really reflect on this amazing fact long enough for it to do the work in me that I know it is supposed to do. Celebrations in general and Christmas / Easter especially, are times to rejoice and recognize the good things that have happened. In the case of Christmas we get to visit anew the Creator of the World who existed eternally and outside of what He had created condescending to enter His creation as a baby… a helpless, needy baby.

The circumstances of Jesus’ birth were crude in the extreme. A woman in labor is not a pleasurable time. And entering a strange town late at night that is vastly overcrowded is intimidating even if you have hotel reservations, which Joseph and Mary did not. But to come to the time of delivery inside a barn almost comes across as cruel. But God in His love and wisdom chose this means to begin an entirely new thing… our eternal redemption through the sacrifice and work of His beloved Son.

This past weekend has been a memorable one for us. Our youngest daughter graduated from college with distinction and our youngest son’s soccer team won a state championship with Sam contributing in fine fashion. All four of our children and most of our extended family joined us for parts of the weekend making this a special time of reunion and celebration. As I have been basking in the afterglow of these great experiences, I am humbled to think of what our Heavenly Father has done for us. These recent blessings make me think of past blessings AND past difficulties the Lord has brought us through.

Which in turn makes me think – do I really get Christmas. My devotion this morning was from Psalm 34. Verse 7 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” God has given us infinitely more than we can ask or imagine – life, love, a family of believers, wisdom, beautiful vistas, enjoyable games, good friends, great books, wonderful meals.  The list of fine things that we should pause and be thankful for may be slightly different for each person, but we all have much to celebrate.  In the final analysis though these are all modest gifts from our Heavenly Father in comparison to the gift of a vibrant, living relationship with Him through His Son. Jesus entered this world in a time and place to become one of us and to do what we could not do – pay the penalty for sin. In so doing He made us His brothers and sisters… His family in the truest and most complete sense of the word. And that entering – the incarnation began some 2000 years ago in a stable in Bethlehem just as the prophets from hundreds of years earlier had said it would. Wow!

That’s all I have today. Feel free to join me as I catch up with the shepherds, and wise men, and angels and all God’s creation in celebrating the Saviour’s birth!

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