Archive for March, 2010

Lord, you have assigned my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  Psalms 16: 5-6

I was talking with a group of folks the other day about the present state of our economy and all that goes with it.  For the most part people were pretty negative about our collective state of affairs.  I’m sure you have been in those kinds of conversations.  It can really bring you down and at times that is not what I need to hear.  So it is always refreshing to run into another friend of mine who when asked, “How’s it going?” he always replies, “Things couldn’t be better.  I am blessed in so many wonderful ways.  And the point is, he REALLY means it.

It is such an encouragement to bump into someone every now and then who is content with his or her lot in life.  As we keep plowing ahead in this economy, many are being challenged to think deeply about what  brings real contentment. Many as well work continuously to acquire more and more, thinking that the secret to a happy, contented life is having more toys.  Then when adversity strikes and they suffer loss, the level of discontentment soars.

The problem is that the covetous can never be content. Their desire is insatiable.  Some people are satisfied with little while others are dissatisfied with much.  And no wave of the wand of wealth will bring contentment.

Many have learned like Paul to be content whatever the circumstances.   He knew sorrow and joy; distress and comfort.  Yet he learned to be independent of all external circumstances.    Centuries before, David had made the same wonderful discovery.  He said, ” The Lord….makes my lot secure.”  And with this knowledge, he was happy and content in life.

As we find ourselves tossed about from all kinds of external circumstances, make it a part of your daily devotion to rehearse all the things that you are thankful for and this will usually silence the demon of discontent.

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One day I asked Mr. Ron, “Mr. Ron, all these white folks be inviting us to their Bible studies?” How come none of ‘em’s inviting us to their Bible doins?”

I ain’t sayin it ain’t all right to study the Bible. You got to study the Bible to know the rules of life. But I notice a lotta folks doin more lookin at the Bible than doin what it says. How we gon’ know God for real lookin for Him in some kinda religion, in some kinda system? I don’t mean know about God. I mean really, honest know who God is?

Jesus said God gon’ separate us based on what we did for folks that is hungry and thirsty, fellas that is prisoners in jail and folks that ain’t got no clothes or no place to live. What you gon’ do when you get to heaven and you ain’t done none a’ that? Stand in front a’ God and tell Him, “I didn’t feel led”? You know what He gon’ say? He gon’ say, “You didn’t need to feel led ‘cause I had done wrote it down in the Instruction Book.”

Denver Moore, co-author “What difference do it make?…Stories of Hope and Healing” from the authors of “Same kind of different as me”.

What a powerful message! That from a former homeless man who could not read or write until recently!

Our heart at WorkMatters is growing daily for the “sick and the poor”. Our vision has been expanded greatly to help those in need. The Joseph Project is our first major initiative to do just that. There will be more in the future.

As marketplace leaders, what can we do? Sometimes we feel we have to do something major. Maybe we should just keep it simple and say…”make a difference today”!

Father, will you give me the wisdom to know how to “make a difference today”, and the courage to “make a difference today”, even when it’s hard? Amen

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Pray, Work, and Watch

Need some Monday morning inspiration? Some simplicity to focus on? Several years ago, Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God, gave me this pray, work and watch idea.

 Take a minute and read this powerful scripture:

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:33-34

 I know so many of you are struggling at work. I hear it day after day in my job at WorkMatters. That struggle is impacting your home life, your marriage, your lifestyle. Sometimes it seems overwhelming.

But this scripture points us to a simple approach…seek God first. Some of you already have done this today early this morning. But if you didn’t, it’s ok. Seeking God first means we can do that all day long!

Let’s try that today. Let’s pray, do our work…then watch and see what God does.

Father, thank you for these powerful verses. For this simple instruction. Give us the courage to live that way today! Amen

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We spent the month of February really thinking about one of our Seven Pillars of Faith and Work…Integrity.

It was an interesting experience. We spent time thinking about and talking about men and women we knew who we thought had great integrity. Time after time, we would bring up a name, then we would say, “yeah, but remember they had that issue at work with…” Or, “don’t forget their marriage situation”. Or, etc., etc., etc…

It was an amazing process! What became painfully obvious is that none of us are perfect!  That Integrity is extraordinarily difficult to achieve day in and day out. That we have all stumbled. I found that often one party feels there was an integrity issue and the other absolutely does not.

Friends, this is what I learned. Living with Integrity everyday is a very, very difficult thing to do. The gray zone between right and wrong is often just that…gray.

This past Friday morning we hosted a powerful Eight-to-Five event. Andy Wilson, Executive Leader at FBC of Springdale, AR and Church at Pinnacle Hills was our speaker on this subject of Integrity. He shared two powerful stories.

One story involved his encounter with Mr. Sam Walton as a 29-year-old VP at Wal-Mart. You can hear the entire talk and this story on our Eight-to-Five iTunes Podcast at http://graenark.libsyn.com/rss, but I wanted to share the “key learnings” Andy had from Mr. Sam:

  1. Humility is not a weakness
  2. Check your ego at the door
  3. Arrogance consumes everything and everyone
  4. Create an environment of open dialog
  5. Unite people and ideas

 This week, can I challenge you to really embrace this word Integrity? Consider what the Bible says about it. Pray about how to live it. Listen to Andy’s talk.

“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.”   1Chronicles 29:17

Father, integrity is easy to talk about, but really hard to live. Please give me the wisdom to know what’s right, and the courage to do what’s right…even when it’s hard.  Amen

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