September 30, 2009

What Is Your Workplace?

I retired toward the end of 2007, so I thought at the time that I no longer had a workplace.

I realize how wrong that was.

I was limiting myself to the workplace as defined by the physical boundaries of the office of my employer at the time. I still define my workplace as the office of my employer. But it is a vastly different scope now. In seminary, in ministry, in volunteer situations, I am seeking to do the will of God, to be His servant and to focus on His workplace.

That workplace is the world.

As I look at what I try to do now, working for His kingdom, seeking His everlasting glory, I realize how fleeting, how ephemeral all the treasures of the world really are. Seek the approval of humanity, and those treasures will vanish in the cleansing fire of divine judgment. Seek the Lord and treasures get stored up in heaven, treasures that will not rust, nor be eaten by moths, nor stolen away from you as noted in Matthew 6:19.

It is liberating to work for the Lord, creation is His workshop so you are never out of place doing His will anywhere. No boundaries are set if you are following hard after Him. And there is always plenty of work to do, productive work to please the Master.

How I wish I had expanded my mind to grasp this sooner, for I spent too much time in too limiting a place; the workplace of man as opposed to that of God.

Glad I have a new job now, one that offers true job security and the most unbelievable benefit package off the face of the earth.

So what is your workplace?

September 28, 2009

Be In and Of the Body

Yesterday morning, both my wife and I were a bit under the weather. In an act of self-mercy (as well as being merciful to others) we stayed home and watched our church services via webcast at the 121 Community Church webcast.

It was good to be able to participate in the worship service, to be able to hear the weekly sermon, especially since the whole church the study Experiencing God over a nine week period. Basically, you do the daily devotionals, come to church on study and listen to a message grounded in what was covered that past week, and then over the upcoming week discuss both the personal and corporate reflections in a small group setting. And we are doing it 1st graders and up. A pretty cool thing to do. (By the way, we have some good sessions on evangelism coming next weekend.)

But while my wife and I got to participate via a webcast, it drove home one point with crystal clarity: for us, there is no substitute for worshiping in person in the body as the family of Christ. It was good to be part of a service yesterday, but it was not what we would have chosen to do otherwise. Although it opens an avenue to worship when events require other than traditional, in person attendance, there is nothing like the genuine article. To open our church to others who may not experience our worship services is a great thing, but I pray it brings people in to worship with us in person when circumstances allow, I pray it drives a hunger to do so whenever possible.

There is nothing that strengthens a personal walk with God like spending some time walking it with others:

"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB)

It was a good reminder in this age of burgeoning social media, where we can stay "connected" to others as never before, how alone we can truly become if we do not exercise that part of us that requires us to be social beings, in concert and connection with others on an intensely personal level. Do not be lulloed into thinking thatany connection is as good as being with people; being with people in heart, in spirit and in body.

Be in the body as well as being of the body; especially as you try to be be in the world but not of it.

September 25, 2009

Dead Bloggers Society

I did not blog during the period of June 28 and September 18, 2009. I found an interesting statistic during this time. The subscriptions to my blog stayed about the same, and on some days actually went up. More people were subscribing when I was not blogging. I am now about where I was before I took my hiatus. We will see where the subscriptions go from here, now that I am semi-active again.

It just proves that bloggers, like artists, poets, and the occasional president, are more popular when people think they are dead.

September 23, 2009

A Day in the Life

Looking at a page in my journal, the one that has room for thoughts on the same day over 5 years, here are the Bible passages that I recorded over a period of four years:
  • For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. - Romans 8:5
  • For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother. - Mark 3:35
  • O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. - 1 Chronicles 29:16
  • For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. - Ecclesiastes 12:14
What struck me about these as I looked back at what I wrote was that I could see a thread running through the thoughts I wrote down each year as a thought about the bible verse for the day, that same day.

To me, somehow it was a about having the mind of a steward but the heart of a servant. Tending to the Lord's work and will as if it were the job appointed to, but doing it with a heart desiring to serve Him who is my master. Doing something as if it is my occupation, but doing it as if it is also my vocation.

I will try to go through the days ahead with the mind of a steward, the heart of a servant and eyes firmly fixed on the coming kingdom of God.

September 21, 2009

George Swinnock

I have recently read some excerpts from the writings of George Swinnock called Trading and Thriving in Godliness. I found it an enjoyable and easily understandable read, not always the case with 17th century Puritans. While I enjoyed the whole book, there was one particular section that stood out for me, three excerpts from his book, Christian's Man's Calling, which is entitled The Value of Godliness. These excerpts all bear in their title the word great. here are a few of Swinnock's thoughts:

  • Our Great End - Now the great end to which man is designed by God, is the exercising himslef to godliness...Man is made of glass, to represent the perfections that are in God. A glass can receive the beams of the sun into it, and reflect them back again to the sun.
  • Our Great Weight - Now godliness is, amongst all man's works, of greatest weight...We must say of this work of Christianity, compared with all other works, what David said of Goliath's sword, "There is none like it;" (1 Samuel 21:9), this is soul-work, this is God-work, this is eternity-work, and therefore of greatest weight, and requireth us all to make it our business; such blows as these three are, one would think, might force fire out of flint.
  • Our Great Reward - The reward of godliness is of infinite worth, the end of holiness (as of hope) is the salvation of the soul, the eternal immediate enjoyment of God in heaven...And can we think the God of nature will give men to know him, as they are known of him...while they lie lazying on the bed of idleness?
So much more here, but just a taste towhet the appetitie of the inquisitive. He is our great end, our great reward, and worth the great weight we carry through this life, but which we only succeed in shouldering with His infinite assistance.

September 14, 2009


I have not blogged in a while, and it has been a productive use of my time, a centering of my core as it were. The desire to take a break from blogging was building for a while, and I was not sure where it was coming from. With the thought and reflection that has accompanied the absence of a daily blog, I believe it has become clear to me why I felt the need to stop for a bit.

I was blogging daily (not that there is anything wrong with that) and started to think in terms of streaks and stamina (the metrics driven life). It came from a desire to give my reader(s) consistency, I felt the need to blog daily, no matter what. It turned out to be a misguided notion, in that I blogged because I had to, not because I had something to say.

I really felt I was saying the same thing over and over. If I cannot expand my journey, I am wasting your time even more than I am wasting mine. My posts were staying on the surface, I was not getting deep into my feelings, my spiritual journey, my struggles and concerns.

Going forward, I will try to blog in a more heartfelt manner, and it will not be on a set schedule or pattern. This may be cause for celebration for those who bother to read, knowing that any given day may be free from having to read a new post from me

So, I am back to see how round two goes. I have almost started up the blog again and half a dozen times, once coming within ten minutes of publishing a post, but something has held me back until now. I knew I had to wait until I really felt ready, really felt the call to do this again. I knew I had to wait until this was no longer my timing.

I figure the worst thing (or the best thing) that will happen is that I will stop blogging and wasting everyone's time again.