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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Lately I have been trying to do without things in my life that I have become accustomed to having and which have been part of my busy life for decades.  As I get older however something seems to be happening that I was not expecting….imagine that!

I have always been a person that enjoys having stuff on….my radio, TV, stereo, laptop, iPhone.  Often all at the same time if possible.  Not sure why, but a couple of months ago, I started turning stuff off…not everything all at once, but here and there and from time to time.  Somehow I have found that I don’t miss it all as much as I thought I would.  As it turns out, turning off the noise has been a blessing and has allowed me to simplify my life.

I wondered about what was happening to me.  I still enjoyed my music, my sports talk radio, my Food Network shows, etc, but found that all that noise  kind of deadened me to other things going on around me calling for my attention and thoughts.

I have found that turning stuff off has been a blessing in many ways that I was not expecting.  Most of all, I have felt that I have been able to hear and discern that still small voice of my Creator which most often is heard in stillness and silence.

Most of you probably are way ahead of me on this.  But I also know many who like me, the noise has become so much apart of our lives, that we don’t even realize how much it has drowned out many other important sounds that can only be heard when we turn it all off.

Take a few days and just try it…what you may hear instead might amaze you!

Our 2013 Chick-fil-A Leadercast is about learning how to simplify your life in order to strengthen your leadership. Hope to see all of you there!

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How long has it been since you started a new job? Before you make that big move to the next thing you feel “called to”, let’s consider a few simple truths.

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I was reminded of this when a young professional friend who I co-lead a Leadership@Work Nehemiah Study with, started a new job on Tuesday. Josh Richardson moved from a global corporation serving Wal-Mart, to a super cool, high growth small company, also serving Wal-Mart. Talk about a 180. Here was his tweet yesterday: Day 1 at the new job was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined. Praise God for his sovereign timing, purpose, and design!

Josh’s experience reminded me of the sometimes bitter sweet experience of changing jobs. Here are a few simple ideas to consider:

  1. Commit to a six month increase in work life focus – before you say yes to the new gig that you are so excited about, make sure you deal with this reality. Your work life WILL need more focus and time. This is especially critical if you are married and/or have children.
  2. Finish strong where you are – in both execution and relationships.
  3. Enjoy powerful growth with God - because He makes things  “brand new” (Isaiah 48:7) in a new job, fear and anxiety can be very real. It’s a perfect season to sit daily in His lap.
  4. Be hyper focused – focus with intensity to build new relationships, learn the business,  and find small opportunities to add value to the business.
  5. Enjoy the new adventure - it will be stressful, but it will also be an exciting adventure of personal, spiritual and relational growth!

Have fun,

David

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Influence is the pillar we are focused on this month.  Spencer Frazier, SVP for Sales at J.B. Hunt brought a powerful message to our Eight to Five gathering last Friday.  He continues his teaching in our blog for the month of December.

Workmatters first pillar of faith at work is Relationship…abiding with God at work.  Everything starts there doesn’t it?

Last week we discussed the pillar Influence.  One of the keys to how we influence others is to choose to let God influence us first.  We need to lean into our Relationship with Him.  But how do we do that at work, specifically if we are faced with a challenging situation and we are just not sure what to do?

Listening to Andy Stanley the other day gave me some insight.  He said following the crowd may be easy, but their noise may filter the reality or voice of God.  Instead, he said to seek God’s influence or to hear God speaking to us, we should listen to our most trusted advisors.  Each of us have a small group of people we are plugged into for advice.  If they are aligned with God, we can Trust we will be influenced by the right voices and their light can help guide us to make the right decision.

The Message version of Proverbs 16:13 says… Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.

Their influence matters.

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Eight years ago today, I became the first employee of a start-up marketplace ministry called WorkMatters. It was a leap of faith that only God can orchestrate. The challenge, camaraderie and income of my VP, Sales and Marketing job at J.B. Hunt Transport was now fully in my rear view mirror. The excitement and fear of this incredible new journey was now front and center.

It has been an indescribable eight years at WorkMatters. Everything about it has been new. Everything about it has stretched me. Everything about it has tested and pushed my faith.

It is such a joy to reread some of my journal notes early this morning from September and October of 2003. To reflect, just for a moment, on this day eight years ago.

What about you? What are the markers in your life? Do you write them down? Put them on your calendar as recurring every year? This is more than birthday’s and anniversary’s. These are life changing moments.

If the answer is yes, take the time to meditate on those days when they arrive. Some are incredibly exciting, some are heartbreaking. All are a major part of your life, who you are, how God is moving you closer to Him.

If the answer is no, maybe now is the time to get started. Think back about your life markers. Put them on your calendar. Maybe it’s time to buy a journal. Keep it with you. Jot down the moments worth remembering. Use it to see what God is doing in your life.

Last…thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part (large or small) of this WorkMatters marker in my life. It has been an extraordinary blessing to be used by God in the marketplace!

For Him@Work,

David

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For those of you that could not attend the WorkMatters Eight to Five event in early September, here are some tools to help you on your faith@work journey.

This month we are focusing on the first and most important of the Seven Pillars of Faith at Work – RELATIONSHIP. Here are seven simple “how to” tips to help you be successful in abiding with God at work:

  1. Morning bible reading and prayer - include your work!
  2. Wear a wrist band as a reminder to “think God.”
  3. Meet weekly with trusted co-workers to discuss/pray for your work.
  4. Ask God for his peace in your work.  Start watching for it.
  5. Crazy but…the privacy of the bathroom makes an awesome prayer room.
  6. Over lunch one day, fast and serve in a food kitchen or homeless shelter.
  7. Be intentional with the Seven Pillars of Faith at Work.

What suggestions do you have?

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We are blogging this month on the first of  Seven PillarsRelationship. Specifically, how we can walk with God all day, every day, but especially in our work. But it’s hard, isn’t it? The menial tasks. The grind. Deadlines. Worry. Money…and the list goes on.

But God calls us to see it differently, doesn’t he?  He calls us to see our work as a blessing, not a curse. To understand that our work is a mission, or at least it can be if we let it. To treat our work as worship to Him.

Do you need some inspiration to see a higher purpose in walking with God at work? Watch this video. Watch it to the end because it’s the last five minutes that really matter.

Now…what do you do with what you just witnessed?

How can your life and your work have deeper meaning?

What does your relationship with God look like now?

It’s up to you…

“His master replied, ‘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!’  Matthew 25:23

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As we discuss the Relationship Pillar and this idea of abiding with God at work, the first question has to be…why don’t we do it?

We talked about this question in several discussion groups at last week’s Eight to Five event. Here are some answers:

  • Fear -  it could cost us something… relationship, $, promotion, job!
  • Busyness - #1 reason? We are going 100 mph all day long.
  • Enemy - you think?
  • Guilt – can’t live up to it; I don’t need that remorse.
  • Don’t think about it - literally, we just don’t think about God at work.

What do you see in yourself or others that keeps us from abiding with God at work?

Be thinking about this powerful truth:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me [abide] and I in you,     you will bear much fruitapart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

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What would happen if your work today was captured on video? I’m talking every minute…all day long. Every conversation. Every decision. Every action. Every reaction. Every thought (are you kidding me?)… all captured on video. Then tomorrow, we sit down together and watch the game film!

Monday night, I attended an incredible event…Raise the Bar Rally in northwest Arkansas. The organizing team, led by ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes, were praying for 700 men to come to a night of hope, challenge and change.

1,400 showed up! Four men shared personal real life stories that were as real and painful and direct as you can imagine. In addition, several current and former University of Arkansas coaches and athletes shared challenges via video.

Of all of the impactful words spoken, Jimmy Dykes shared one that really stuck with me. Watching the game film. He talked about how painful it is to see the mistakes you made and to see how you can get better. But that wasn’t the challenge. The challenge was “what are you going to do about it?” You have to act to get better!

Can you take some time this week to get quiet…and watch your game film? Where do you need to raise the bar? Write it down. Pray about it. Ask God for the wisdom to know what to do…and the courage to do it!

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”   James 1:22

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I read this message this morning from a “young professional” friend of mine   (his profession is pouring into Jr High and High School students). Read his message…and then consider how perfectly applicable it is to our work!

The only time I ever cry when watching a movie is when something bad happens to a dog. It’s absolutely gut wrenching, like a paper cut only a million times worse. You know which movies I’m talking about:

  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey – that part where Shadow gets stuck in that hole and has to give up until…well you’ll just have to watch it and see.
  • Marley and Me – that dog was crazy, but still there’s nothing like trying to hold back tears while watching that one with your future father-in-law.
  • Air Bud – don’t even kid, this may be the saddest dog movie of all time.

I guess you could say I’m a bit of a “Dog-Person,” especially today. This morning, I got a call from my dad. He told me that we were going to have to put our Golden Retriever, Zoe, to sleep. It wasn’t a surprise; we knew it was coming, but as I sat in the Chick-fil-A drive through bawling my eyes out, reality hurt. As I drove to work, I realized that there was something very special about Zoe. She’s always been there. She was there for all the fun of high school, often times adding a laugh by knocking something over with her insane tail wagging. She was there when I moved out of the house, and she greeted me every time I came back home. Even when I went through one of the darkest and most painful periods of my life, she was there to just sit and listen (with an occasional bark or face lick). It didn’t matter how perfect or flawed we were, she was there.

Today, Zoe has reminded me of something so incredible about who God is. He is constant. Nothing about Him changes. He is always just as big, just as merciful, and just as reliable. In his unchanging nature, He is always there. He is there in the times of our greatest joy and through our deepest sorrow. No matter how perfect or flawed we are, He will always be there.

Joshua 1:9 says: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I’m going to miss Zoe, but I know that even in a time like this, God is there.

Andrew Brown, Associate Director of Student Ministries, Central Methodist Church, Fayetteville, AR

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