Posts belonging to Category Work

Don’t Waste Your Unemployment

As many of you know I am currently in between churches and looking for work. This is a tough economy to be looking for work in, and there is not a lot of movement in churches either. Pastors that might normally have been open to move are staying put, while older pastors who had been looking at retirement suddenly find they need to keep working. This is actually a good thing for many churches who can use the stability, but it makes it tough when you are trying to transition into a church.

So, in the meantime I am trying not to waste my unemployment. This is a time to grow in my faith and dependence on the Lord and an opportunity to give testimony to his faithfulness. I am extra conscious of the fact that I need God’s daily provision, and the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” has taken on new meaning for me.

The truth is, we are always daily dependent on God. Even when we have steady employment, we need to recognize that God is the one who provides and look to him, not our job, for security. “Everything I have today, I have because of God.” God has been faithful, and he has provided for all our needs.

Of course, I am also working hard at being productive during this time. In between job searches and resumes, I have been able to make good use of these extra hours God has given me each day. I have taught myself some new skills and worked on some larger projects. The end result so far is the birth of a new business and the completion of a book project. I will be sharing about both of these with you in the coming days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers for me and my family during this time of transition.

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    • Ebook Formatting for the Ipad, Kindle and Nook
    • The Bible Memory Version
    • Church Search
    • Pastoral Profile

A Mother’s Work and God

Ann Voskamp offers this thoughtful reflection on a mother’s work and God:

All work is sacred work, worthy of the diligence, the effort. I pick up lost legos, dry the pots, whish the toilets and this serves God. For if I can’t meet God in my work, where do I meet Him? If I don’t serve Him here, where do I serve Him? Are we not called to serve God in the work – not merely in some imagined, mirage place outside of work?

In a model of Christian work, we live one-piece lives, all weaving together into a sacred cloth as unto the Lord with no false seams between God and our days.

And in our work, sacred work because there is no such thing as secular work, we first serve God. I’ll put away the laundry, sweep the crumbs, polish the windows not to serve my family primarily, but to serve God.

If you are a mother, or even if you are not, I encourage you to go to Ann’s site, read the whole article, and enjoy the music and pictures.

5 things to say if you’re caught sleeping at work

Here are the five best things to say if you’re caught sleeping at work:

    5. They told me at the blood bank this might happen.
    4. This is just a 15 minute power nap like they raved about in the
        time management course you sent me to.
    3. Whew! Guess I left the top off the white-out. You probably got
        here just in time.
    2. Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when
        you put your ear down real close?

And the number one best thing to say if you’re caught sleeping at your desk:

    1. Raise your head slowly and say, . . . “Amen!”

(Original source unknown)

Related posts:

Worship While You Work

Charles Drew is the author of A Journey Worth Taking, a book about work and calling and finding your purpose in this world. Here are some wise words from Drew about worshiping God while working in a fallen world:

It is not always easy to worship while we work. Thanks to the fall, there is no job—whether it is raising children, running a bank, or working as a carpenter—that does not have its dreariness. Nevertheless, God made us for work, Jesus is present with us in our work, and Jesus will one day completely fix work. For these reasons, we should seek occasions to thank God for and in our work.

He then goes on to give these 5 reasons why we can be thankful to God for and in our work:

  1. Simply to be given something to do that brings order into our life is cause for thanks. If we get paid for it, all the better.
  2. Work often presents us with people to love—and this is good for us (especially when it is hard).
  3. There are, or course, those occasional jobs (or occasional tasks within a particular job) that we actually enjoy doing—for which it is only right to worship God.
  4. Then there is the recollection of how much worse work might be for us if we lived at a different time or under different circumstances—a recollection that should train our faith to see the hand of the Redeemer at work, and to thank him.
  5. Finally, there is the promise of consummation—of a coming world in which all toil will finally be taken from our work—and for this hope we worship God (especially when we are acutely aware of the toil in what we are presently doing).

Average American Work Day Chart

Here is an interesting chart on the average American work day from the American Time Use Survey, released by the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics. The chart shows time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25-54 with children. Data include non-holiday weekdays and are annual averages for 2005.

Time use on an average work day for employed persons ages 25 to 54 with children

So, how does this compare to your typical work day?

Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics page provides many other interesting charts, organized in the following categories:

HT: Lifehack

You May Be a Minister and Not Even Know It!

Are you a minister? You may be a minister and not even know it! Marcus Goodyear has a great article over at The High Calling on how we all fulfill the role of ministers when we serve others by doing what God asks us to do, whether in the church, the workplace, at home, or any other sphere of life.

In the article Marcus reflects on Jesus’ miracle of turning the water into wine at the wedding in Cana (found in John 2:1-11).

The ministers in this story are the servants. The people who follow the commands of Jesus by fetching the water he has told them to fetch—and serving that water to the master of the banquet. It must have seemed like a strange set of commands, but they did what he asked them to do.

That is the role of every minister in and out of the church. When we do what God asks us to do, he works miracles through our work.

And we need to pay close attention to the location of these ministers. They aren’t just obeying God in the temple or the synagogue. The place where people traditionally met to worship and talk about God was not their place of ministry. Their place of ministry was their daily work. They were just going about their normal business, and Jesus showed up.

At one church where I served, we had a saying: “Our church has two pastors, but many ministers.” Every Christian is called to serve – not just the pastors. And as Christians we are called to serve God in all areas of our life – not just in church. Your daily setting is your place of ministry throughout the week when you serve God and others in that setting.

So . . . are you a minister?

Advertising Discontent

Twice a week I work out at my friend Dan’s house. Earlier this week, during conversation between weights, Dan shared with me the following story from the book Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton.

An American company opened a new plant in Central America because labor was plentiful and inexpensive. The opening of the plant proceeded smoothly until the workers at the plant received their first paychecks. The next day none of the villagers reported for work. Management waited . . . one, two, three days. Still no villagers came to work. The plant manager went to see the village chief to talk about the problem. “Why should we continue to work?” the chief asked in response to the manager’s inquiry. “We are satisfied. We have already earned all the money we need to live on.”

The plant stood idle for two months until someone came up with the bright idea of sending a mail-order catalog to every villager. Reading the catalogs created new desires for the villagers. Soon they returned to work, and there has been no employment problem since then. (Howard Dayton, Your Money Counts, pp. 46-47.)

This is a fascinating story on many levels (economics, culture, work ethic, outsourcing, etc.), but it clearly shows how advertising can create discontentment leading to increased spending. The tribe’s story is almost a microcosm of the consumer culture that has developed in America. Now of course the answer to all this is not to stop working or to stop purchasing all products. Both of those solutions would bring the economy to a grinding halt. But we should be aware of the market forces that drive us to spend so that we can make better choices and manage our money more wisely.

Dayton finishes off the story with these three helpful facts about spending:

  • The more television you watch, the more you spend.
  • The more you look at catalogs and magazines, the more you spend.
  • The more you shop, the more you spend.

How To Do a Phone Interview

Boston Globe columnist Penelope Trunk has five great tips on how to do better in a phone interview:

1. Attend to your surroundings. Get in a good spot physically . . . Don’t take the interview when you are at your desk and can’t talk freely. Don’t take the call when there is too much noise in the background . . . If you did not schedule it beforehand, feel free to ask the interviewer if you can call back at a better time.

2. Dress for the part. Consider getting dressed up for your interview, even though no one will see you . . . When there’s a risk of you sounding too casual or unprofessional on the phone, dressing up a little can actually change how you sound.

3. Stand up. You’ll sound more self confident and dynamic if you stand while you speak than if you sit. Walking around a bit, but not too much, also keeps the call going smoothly . . . Using hand gestures is very natural for talking, so allow yourself to use them, even though you’re on the phone.

4. Prepare for the most obvious questions. Be prepared to give organized, rehearsed examples of how you have performed at work in the past in order to show your skill set. Also, be ready for a question about the most obvious problem on your resume — often frequent job changes or big gaps in work. These are answers you should practice.

5. Don’t forget to close. Your goal for a phone interview is to get an in-person interview. So don’t get off the phone until you have made some efforts to get to that step. Ask what the process is for deciding who to interview face-to-face. Ask for decision-making timelines, and try to find out who is making the decisions.

And don’t forget a key component of a successful interview — even for a phone interview: A thank you note.

You can read the full article at Penelope’s blog here.

HT: Lifehacker

Changing Your Attitude at Work

Max Lucado shares the following statistics from Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love:

  • One-third of Americans say, “I hate my job.”
  • Two-thirds of your fellow citizens labor in the wrong career.
  • Others find employment success, but no satisfaction.
  • Most suicides occur on Sunday nights.
  • Most heart attacks occur on Monday mornings.

If these statistics are accurate, then clearly a lot of people are struggling with satisfaction at work. However, Lucado advises that before you go looking at changing careers, perhaps you should first try changing your attitude towards your job.

God calls us to glorify him in all our life – not just Sunday mornings at church. For most of us, that means we are called to glorify God during the week through our work. Whatever your job, you can glorify God by doing it right and giving him your best.

Intentionally offer your work back to God as a sacrifice of praise to him. If you are a plumber, then glorify God through your plumbing. If you are a student, then glorify God through your studies. If you are raising your children at home, then glorify God through your parenting. Martin Luther once said, “The cobbler praises God when he honestly makes a good pair of shoes.”

Max Lucado has some good thoughts on this subject (and of course some good stories) in his article, The Lord’s Career Advice. By the way, please keep Max Lucado and Oak Hills Church in San Antonio in your prayers as Max steps down as pastor due to health concerns. You can read Max’s letter to his church family about his decision here.