The Hard(ly) Working Christian

My husband made a comment the other day, about how some Christians seem to have poor work ethic, when it comes to their (pay-the-bills) job.
I thought about it for a moment, and sure enough, an example I had encountered from my own life came to mind. I recall working at a retail store a few years back. A young fellow was eager to tell me he was a Christian, about youth group and wanting to do mission trips. ( If I am recalling correctly) However, he lacked initiative, and otherwise just didn’t seem to have a clue. Common sense things like, if you don’t know what to do next, ASK. ( I don’t think shyness was an issue here…)
I sincerely hope this is not a real Christian stereotype. While, for sure, our focus should be on kingdom things, and kingdom first living, I don’t think everything else is to be deemed unimportant because it does not affiliate itself with Christianity.
Did that make sense..?
When I know that others at my workplace are aware that I am a Christian, I feel an even greater obligation – and desire – to represent Christ. To be hardworking, honest, non-complaining; to even work the occasional extra hour to make sure the job gets done, or to take a co-worker’s shift.
Forever in my mind is this line: We are ambassadors of Christ. I try to carry this with me wherever I go; whatever I am doing. Definition 3 from, defines ‘ambassador’ in this way:   An authorized messenger or representative.
I. Represent. Christ.

Well, that can seem a little daunting at times…

Thank God for the Spirit. 😉


I Prayed. At Work. Out loud…

was not teased, or judged, or mocked, or ridiculed because of it.
Allow me to rewind a little bit.
I am a Car detailer at a dealership. I clean cars; inside and out. It is not a special job, nor a hard job, but it has been a good job.  In my department, there are about 8 of us; from different backgrounds, and most of whom are not Christians.
It was a co-worker’s birthday, and also the last day in which all of us would be working together. ( Due to some major schedule changes) So one person brought in a cake, and we took some group pictures.
Right about the time the birthday guy ( Who is one of the only other Christians that I know of) was about to cut into the cake, he paused and looked at me;
“Can I ask you a favor?”
Thrown off guard, all I could muster was, “Sure.”
And he asked me to pray before he cut the cake.
I had no time to make excuses;
no time to second-guess myself;
no time to feel awkward or hesitant or shy.
So, I just dove right in, as everyone bowed their heads.

God opened a door, where I wouldn’t even think to knock in the first place.

I was surprised by how NOT awkward that moment was.
How no one scoffed, or muttered under their breath, or asked in a judgemental tone ” Why do you bother to pray?”
I am blessed by the people I work with; Christian or not.
I can only hope I am some semblance of the light of Christ, in this dark world.

A Colossal Truth in Colossians

Verse of the Day

Colossians 2:6-8 ~
6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ. 

I Feel like Feeling

Would the world be a better place if we did not feel? If we did not have emotions?20110721164608These are some questions implied in the movie “Equilibrium”, written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, which my husband and I watched last night. It takes place in a future dystopia, where all feelings and emotions and all forms of artistic expression have become outlawed, due to an ideology  that determined human emotion to be the root cause of conflict. In order to suppress these outlawed emotions, all citizens are required to take a daily injection. Then, one day, John Preston (Christian Bale) accidentally misses an injection and begins to question everything.
I found this movie fascinating, and I am sure there are so many psychological or philosophical debates I could not even dream to touch upon.
This was my favorite exchange in the movie:

Mary: Let me ask you something.
[Grabs his hand]
Mary: Why are you alive?
John Preston: [Breaks free] I’m alive… I live… to safeguard the continuity of this great society. To serve Libria.
Mary: It’s circular. You exist to continue your existence. What’s the point?John Preston: What’s the point of your existence?
Mary: To feel. ‘Cause you’ve never done it, you can never know it. But it’s as vital as breath. And without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock… ticking.

God gives us the ability to choose; to lead our lives as we see fit or to come to him. He gives us the capacity to feel; to love, to grieve, to rejoice, to be angry…
If we were just ticking clocks – if we were emotionless beings just doing what a higher being tells us to do – would we not be much more than a robot?
I look around and I see a world of beauty; A world of intelligence, a world of creation; A world of emotions…
But, I also see a world of destruction.
Some might say you can’t have one without the other; You can’t have good without evil;
Light, without darkness;
Heaven, without Hell…light-and-darknessYet, despite the imperfections; despite the pain and heartaches that might come with feeling – and having emotions – I am glad for it. Glad for this dynamic life.

What’s the point of your existence?

Mine is Christ.

Being and Doing and Morning

While doing my devotions this morning, included was this excerpt from The Community of the King By Howard A. Snyder;
” Truly Christian transformation of culture comes through Christ-like ( and hence sacrificial) love, community and being.
But this fact by no means cancels out the responsibility to do, to act, to walk in the words of God. Rather, the being and the doing go together. The being is fundamental, but the doing is a natural result. ”

Too easily I forget to live in faith; and what I do is no longer a result of a Christ-like life, but rather a forced task of my own efforts, in hopes of attaining Christ-likeness.
And doing things backwards can sure be draining.

My thoughts of the morning.

A Passing Shadow

Psalm 144:4
“4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow”

How  unexpectedly one might be reminded of this.  I’m wrapped up so tight in this life, I assume ‘tomorrow’ is just another promise to me from God. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to assume some extent of invincibility. Living like there’s all the time in the world. Living like this skin cannot tear,
these bones cannot break,
this heart won’t stop beating.
My dream in life is not so unlike that of those around me; to live a long, happy life with my husband, to have kids and grandkids and great-grandkids; to love and laugh, and not pass on until I am well advanced in years…

Confession time.
Death scares the bejeebies out of me. It overwhelms me, sends my head spinning and my heart somersaulting. Family in the hospital, a car accident that almost happened ( or could have been much worse), an unexpected phone call, etc. Diseases, trials, accidents, murder…
As Gandalf once said, ” It’s a dangerous business, walking out one’s front door.”
How easily I forget that the Lord has promised us so much more than this fleeting life!
John 14:1-7 ~ 14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

I hang on to my dreams and plans more fiercely then I hang on to Christ. Even when we’ve been promised so much more!
We need Christ.
What pulls us up from rock-bottom? What gives us purpose when all our personal endeavors have led us nowhere? When our dreams have been shattered? Who else shows us the way when we’ve been running in circles for so long?
It occurred to me the other day that, if God revealed to me that certain desires of mine would never come to be, my first reaction would be anger.
Which then caused me to ask myself,
On what foundation have I been building my faith?
On the hope that I will someday get what I want?
I don’t want to live afraid of life. Or live life afraid of death. I don’t want to balance my life on frail hopes and dreams, only to have it come crashing down in a thunderous Boom!
I want to build life on Christ the solid rock.
I need to.

“Keep Watch…”

Wow, what a good sermon today! We went through Matthew 24:45-25:30. As a lead  into the sermon, the pastor read V.42 : ” Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
But in this case, to keep watch does not mean inactivity or idleness; it does not mean dropping all we do, to keep our eyes on the sky for the coming of our Lord and Saviour.
In this passage, Jesus tells a few stories. The first one is about a servant whose Master goes away and puts him in charge. If the Master were to return and find this servant doing well, the servant would then be put in charge of all the Master’s possessions. But should the servant behave wickedly, and beat his fellow servants and eat and drink with drunkards, the Master will return on a day he does not expect, and “assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (V.51)
The second is the story of ten women, who took their lamps and went out to meet the lamp3bridegroom. Five were foolish and five were wise. The foolish did not bring oil with them while the wise had. It had come the time for the women to meet the bridegroom, but the foolish five were still without oil, so they asked the wise women, but they could not spare any otherwise they would all have no oil. So the five continued their quest for oil and arrived late to the banquet. “Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!” they said.
But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” (25:11-12)
coinsThe third story was the Parable of the Talents. A Man going on a journey, called upon his servants, and gave one 5 talents of money, another 3, and the last, 1, according to their ability. The first two servants used their talents and doubled what they had started out with. The last buried his one talent in the ground.
The man then returns, and upon learning of this, replies to each of the two servants “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (V. 21 & 23)
When he hears of what the last servant did with his one talent, he calls for the talent to be given to the servant who has ten talents, and says ” For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” ( V. 29)

The passage, in a rather large nutshell. So, what themes were taken away from this?
~ Selfless Dependability – What God has entrusted to me, share with others.
~ Prudent Equipping –  There are consequences to not being prepared.
~ Risky Disbursement – Playing it safe or risking it all?

We are encouraged and invited to Watch: To Actively pursue God and receive from him whatever necessary to serve and celebrate.
The pastor tied up the Sermon with this quote, which has stuck out most in my mind since this morning;
“What is the final message of Jesus in telling this story? It is: Step out! Risk! Live dangerously! Take constant chances with your life and goods for his name’s sake. Don’t try to bottle up your life so as to hang on to it at all costs. If you do that you will surely lose it. But surrender yourself to his cause, again and again. That is the way to find life. That is the way to watch for his coming. Having risked yourself to become a Christian, now risk yourself again and again as opportunities arise. Live dangerously! Or that also could be written, love dangerously! To live for Christ is to love men with his love. And that is always a risk.” – Ray Stedman
What a challenge! How often I live selfishly; how often I seek security, and put my faith in things other than Christ. How often I hang on to life, like it is all I have.
If I truly believe, and am truly grateful for all he has done, shouldn’t everything I do or say, proclaim it?
Step Out!
Live Dangerously!
Surrender yourself to his cause, again and again.


Something to think about.