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Sunday, December 04, 2016

When Your Coworker is Laid-Off.

Rumors had been spreading around the factory floor, people were being laid-off. Then I saw him coming from the office with red eyes and a tremble in his lips. He told me he was gone and had been laid-off. Then I saw others coming toward him and I quickly whispered in his ear that I would be praying for him. I felt bad for him, knowing that I was once under him and he had seniority over me. But I did not feel guilty, I had worked hard to be where I was without stabbing him or anyone else in the back. The main hurt in my heart came from the knowledge that I really did know what he was going through. I had been in his shoes many times and it was not pleasant. Even when I confessed my trust in God rather than men, I was always afraid. So I knew my friend was going through a really bad time.
Even with my feeble attempt to comfort him, I felt I could have done more. Remembering back to my days of lay-offs, I remembered those who tried to comfort me. So here is some advice to help you help them, not listed in order of importance:
  1. Don't ask them if they had applied for unemployment benefits. It is insulting.
  2. Prayer is needful but not as a cure all when you don't know what to say. If you believe in prayer, reassure them by praying with them face-to-face.
  3. Pass on any resources that you feel they could use. I informed my friend that because he had been laid-off, there may be funds from the State that could help him further his education. He had expressed his desire to further it in previous conversations.
  4. Remain their friend on social media and wherever you socialize with them away from work. It is hard to know what to say to friends in this situation and easy to just let them slid out of friendship. Stay in contact but don't feed them information about work that would make things worse.
I am sure there are many other ways to help your friend and maybe resources to guide you. But the most important thing to do is to treat them the way you would want to be treated. Love them and give them hope. Let them know they are not alone. Pass their info to others in your network that could use their experience. In closing, if you can't do it for the love of a friend, do it because one day it might be you.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Off to Work I Go By Bobbi Richardson

Every morning hundreds of men and women go off to work in offices, stores and other places of employment.  Does being a Christian make a difference?  As a Christian should you act, look or speak differently? Has God placed you in the position you hold for a reason?
Employees
The definition of an employee is one hired by another usually for wages or salary and in a position below the executive level.
Most of us would fit into that category as office workers, clerks, sales persons, and the many other jobs we do to earn a living and that put us under the authority of an employer without the perks and benefits of executive status.
While the word employee is not specifically used in most versions of the Bible, there are many principles that can be applied to employees.
As children of God, it is our responsibility to obey His commands and live by His principles.  This is true in the workplace as well as anywhere.
What does it mean to succeed?
We all want to be a success in our jobs, the question is what does that success look like and what are we doing to succeed?
In our current culture success means to get ahead (usually at the expense of others).  It means to continually  strive to do what someone else expects of you (even if deep down inside it is not what you think you should be doing).  It means to always be concerned with how you look, how you sound, how you act.  It means concentrating on you.
This type of success is not lasting and does not accomplish much.
God's way is to concentrate on others and let Him take care of you.
As Christians our goal should be to hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  Our ambition should always be to accomplish God's plan.
Slaves and Servants
Throughout the Old Testament God's people were instructed on how to treat those who were less fortunate; the oppressed, the poor, widows, orphans, slaves and servants.
In the Bible a slave could be one who is actually in bondage or enslaved by another as when people were taken by a conquering army and put into service to the conquering people; or one who was in bondage as punishment for a crime.
Jews who were unable to pay debts were often "enslaved" by their fellow Jews.  However, they were to be considered hired workers until their debts were paid.
The Old Testament also refers to slaves as bondservants and there were laws governing the fair and humane treatment of slaves with punishment for those who treated their slaves harshly.
God's care and rescue of Hagar is an example of His compassion and love of those enslaved by another. (Genesis 21:14-19)
Servants were usually free men who were hired to work for someone as an administrator of their household or as a scribe to write letters or other communications (a secretary).
As employees we can look at portions of scripture that focus on slaves in that we are working for someone who determines what our work is and we must follow their rules and procedures.  We can look at portions referring to servants in that we are hired to work for an employer and are under their authority and direction.
Jesus as Servant
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28-NLT)
If Jesus' mission was to serve and give His life for others, as His disciples it is our mission also.
Jesus ministered to all who came to Him.
As Christians we are in the workplace to serve.  We serve God by serving others; our co-workers, our customers, anyone we come in contact with in our daily work.
We give our lives by putting aside our desires, our plans, our feelings in order to minister to and serve others.
Instead of looking for what we can get from our employers, we can try to find ways to serve them.  In learning how to do this and in redirecting our focus in this way we develop humility, compassion, patience, faithfulness (loyalty) and forgiveness.  We see all of these qualities in Jesus.
As Christians it should be our goal to live as Jesus lived; to follow Him; to obey His commands.
God is constantly building the character of His children.  He has placed us in whatever position we now hold.  He tells us to serve others as a general command.  If we view our employment as an opportunity for service and look to God to show us how, we will be following Jesus' example and teachings.
What Should We Do?
There is much in God's word that speaks to how we should conduct our daily lives whether as employees or in any other capacity.
Some principles that apply to employees are:
Always do your best work and keep on doing what is good.  (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Don't be discouraged or easily give up because of lack of results. (Galatians 6:9)
Persevere and let nothing distract from the purpose; the mission; doing God's will; accomplishing His plan. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Some characteristics of Godly employees are:
Respect for authority-All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. (1 Timothy 6:1-NAS)
Loyalty-Slaves must obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but they must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. (Titus 2:9 & 10-NLT)
Obedience-Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.  (Ephesians 6:5-NLT)
These are not popular principles in the workplace.  You will not find seminars on how to develop these characteristics.  There are no motivational speakers encouraging you to act this way in order to further your career.  What you hear and read will totally contradict these principles; these characteristics will be scoffed at and rejected by most.
Our choice as Christian employees is whether to listen to those around us and strive continually to be a success on our own or to "lay down your life" and obey and follow Jesus' example, which leads to blessings now and stores up treasures in heaven for the future.
Good Employees
God's word makes it clear that He does not look on His children as slave or free, but all are equal in His sight.  This is our promise and comfort that God loves and cares for each of us individually no matter what our position in life or in the workplace.
It is our responsibility to reflect His presence in our lives no matter what our individual circumstances.
It all starts with a good attitude (a good way of thinking).
We should, like Jesus, joyfully serve the Father's purposes.
Hebrews 12:2-3 says, "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.  He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward.  Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.  Think about all He endured when sinful people did such terrible things to Him, so that you don't become weary and give up." (NLT)
Here are a few practical suggestions that you can try the next time you enter your workplace:
Arrive on time, dress well, speak politely and smile readily.
Don't indulge in gossip or complaining.
Develop the art of listening.
Be kind, compassionate, forgiving, loving, patient (demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit who lives in you).
Pray - for your co-workers, your boss, your company, your customers.
Ask the Father to show you how to be the employee He wants you to be.
Does being a Christian in the workplace make a difference?
Try some of the suggestions above and see the reactions for yourself.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Laborare est orare

As we enter into the Labor Day season I want to mention the area of prayer. Prayer as we work or laborare est orare, "work as prayer". This is a hard concept for some to see. Can a person pray as they work and not get their hand caught in a machine press or drive the forklift into a support beam? Can we focus on the Lord and focus on your work at the same time? I say yes, but not in the traditional since of prayer. Prayer as in doing your very best for no other reason but to please God. When you do your job in this attitude, you are in a mode of prayer. Prayer that worships the King of Kings and petitions the Lord of Lords.
This labor day make a commitment to do your job only for the love of God and focus on doing a job well done. Like I heard a speaker on the radio say the other day. "Your job is a gift from God, How you perform it is your gift to Him."

Monday, August 08, 2016

Secret Saboteurs by Toni Babcock


I had a co-worker many years ago who discovered she was the victim of secret sabotage in the workplace.  She was an energetic salesperson with a pleasing personality, who had the ability to really connect with her clients.  She was attractive, magnetic, and her positive attitude brought true value to the company we served.  None of us knew why anyone would have her in their cross hairs. What we did know was a happy vivacious saleswoman, now began to appear frustrated, anxious, and defeated;  fearful as to when the next work place incident was going to unravel her success.

When she brought her suspicions to management,  it seems they initially balked.  How did they know for sure she wasn't imagining things?  The person she was implicating was an otherwise good employee that no one else would have suspected.  But as time went on, the evidence became too clear and irrefutable, and the saboteur was eventually called into question.  He was thoroughly grilled by management and presented with the evidence.  Finally, he was forced to come clean and confess  his outrageous schemes and mind-games used to destroy a fellow employee's sales success, while creating a negative image for the company.  He was promptly let go of his position and basically fired on the spot.  

In God's kingdom just as in everyday life, we humans can become a real hindrance to one another. Perhaps you wonder why you are dealing with a person who appears to be against you when you are "just trying to do your job".  You don't understand why they seem to seize every opportunity to discredit you.  These may be people who appear dismissive, overly critical, or discouraging.   People who, when you attain personal success are strangely silent, but who suddenly appear like flies on road kill every time you make a mistake.  Soon you begin to feel like road kill just waiting for the next truck to run you over.  If you have ever been there, this is precisely where the devil wants you, because when you begin to feel like road kill, you won't succeed in doing anything worthwhile in the world, or in God's kingdom.   Satan's strategy accomplished.

Here is my take on what is really happening.  When this becomes our experience, somehow we have gotten our eyes off of Jesus and onto people.  We are looking to the wrong source for spiritual strength and validation.  We've crossed the line somewhere, and now we are suffering the ill effects of our own self-sabotaging ways.  Yes, by looking to the wrong source for validation, WE have succeeded in becoming our own saboteurs!  In the process, we have begun to feel a bit too sorry for ourselves.  All is not lost however.  Jesus is still on the throne.

Learn to view these negative experiences in a positive light. Consider how God may have allowed this person into your life to make you a better Christian.  Stop feeling victimized.  Take a new perspective.   Humbly look for something your critic is saying you actually might need to hear (even if it comes across too judgmentally).  Who knows,  maybe they feel constrained to point out your mistakes for the good of God's kingdom.  If so, figure out what it is God may be trying to tell you, even if you feel like you're being run over rough shod.  Bury the hatchet.  It takes grace and humility to turn the other cheek and not retaliate.

The fact is, antagonists can come in handy.  The psalmist wrote "Let the righteous smite me - it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities," (Psalm 141:5 KJV).  Take whatever good you can out of the experience and grow in Christ without laying down and assuming  "road kill" status. Remember, God allowed this person into your life for a reason, and Jesus is watching how you handle it.

Paul's words to the church at Rome ring true for every believer in any stressful situation: " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which in in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 8:35-39 KJV).  Paul's theme is repeated to the Corinthians when he wrote:  "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."  (II Corinthians 12:10 KJV).

Copyright 2016 (Revised from previous post of same title).

Toni M. Babcock is author of The Stone Writer, Christian Fiction for Young Readers and Teens.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER 

Friday, July 01, 2016

Spiritual Warfare Study Part One

I will be taking a little time from the subject of this blog to share from my Facebook discussion group, which at the end I will tie it to our workplace issues.

I have seen lately how Jesus spoke often of Satan, Demons and He actively delivered those oppressed by them. So I have started studying the practice of Spiritual Warfare. The Church I was part of taught and practiced this since the early 80s. We practiced it as we learned. Some things we did were way off base like believing that the little scrubbing pad frogs in our kitchens were demonic, but the Lord centered us. I have read many books on the subject, but have decided to start from scratch.
All post will be approved by me before posting. I will not allow off topic post or discussion of demonology, we know our enemy, we don't need to get in bed with him. And I will adjust rules as needed.
I will be marking each point as Step 1, Step 2, efc... so you can search the group to go back over the steps. REMEMBER that these are just guideline points. I do not presume to say I know what I am saying. I am letting you join in in my study of the practice. At any point in your spiritual develop, you need to Pray, Don;t wait on doing battle.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1808979212666505/

Here is the first post:
Step 1 in coming against an enemy is to be sure you have no allegiance to him.
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:15
And Jesus said:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever." John 8:34-35
So if we are giving ourselves over to sin, than we are siding with the enemy.
We need to get free from this bondage first of all.
Read John 6

 ...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us... Hebrews 12:1
Can you think of anyone in the Bible (real person, not parable) that had a secret sin and it cost them everything?
 Hollywood portrays Judas as a poor misunderstood disciple. That he just wanted to help Jesus reveal Himself. That he had no choice in the matter, he had to fulfill prophecy.
Judas had a secret sin, he was a thief. See John 12:6. He spent three years hearing Jesus teach on being a giver and in that whole time he stayed a taker.
And when the time was right Satan entered him. See John 13:27 and Luke 22:3
So here is an example of someone following Jesus, but let the sin that ensnared him kept him bond to the enemy.
Can you think of a book, movie, TV show that illustrates this point?
In Steven King's movie, "Perfect Storm", an evil man/creature chooses a small island town to find his new replacement. He chooses the town because the residents can keep secrets. And he reveals the sins of all the residents as proof. The local minister has a deep secret and when the sheriff quotes scripture to try and get the people to resist the evil man, the minister is held back by unbelief and guilt and because of his sin was unable to combat the enemy. Because of sin evil was aloud it's way.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Is the First Step For a Muslim Take Over of U.S. Complete?

Yesterday at work, while I was operating the press brake, this thought just came to me. I do not dwell on such things and I am not saying "thus saith the Lord",but here we go.
The thought was, The first step in a take over by Islam in the U.S. is complete. Our military is weakened and there is no incentive for our young to enlist for bad benefits and pay to risk their lives.So were will the bodies come from. From the multitude of Islamic refuges that have come over to spread Islam. They will now be told that they can gain citizenship by joining the military and those with combat or military experience and rise as and officer. Without taking oaths of allegiance to the nation. Then it would be easy to join with UN forces to move in. This is a scary thought and I pray I mind was just running a muck, but it is just to plain to ignore the possibility. Every non-Muslim should be a little concerned. Watch the news and pay attention to world events. Not in fear, just to be ready. I have peace that God is in control. I have read the end of the Book. And I know the Price of Peace. Islam says that it is a religion of peace. But do not explain what that means. It means that the only way to gain real peace is for everyone to convert to Islam. This is the same view as us Christians, except we do not believe in forced conversions. Converts are made by God's Spirit, not threats of being beheaded.
So again I pray I am wrong, but I felt I needed to share this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Episode Two of Podcast: Religion is Not a Four Letter Word



Description: Have you ever used the phrase,"I'm not religious, I just love the Lord!" Then you need to hear this. Podcast includes the song,"I Believe in You" by Bob Dylan.

Click Here To Hear Podcast

Podcast: When the Big Dog Comes to Town


Wayne shares how to Not be stressed when the Boss come to visit. Also shares the song "Live What You Say" by Dallas Holm and Praise.