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Monthly Archives: March 2010

For several years I have started the majority of days at the local coffee shop.  A lot of people give me a hard time about it.  I think they are just jealous because they can’t do the same thing.  Because of what I do for a living and how I do it, I have a great deal of flexibility in my schedule.  I like starting my day with a good cup of coffee and the friendly banter of men who love and accept me.  We kid each other about our group making up the best church congregation we have ever been a part of.

We are a pretty tight group.  We come from different backgrounds and earn a living in different ways.  There are two chaplains, a CFO, a retiree, a mortgage broker, college professor, and a home builder.  What we have in common is our relationship with God.  That relationship binds all the other relationships together.  In that relationship we find the strength to love and support one another.  We find the ability to be honest and transparent.  Through our individual relationships with God we find the desire to love one another differently than others.

These men are my “bar ditch friends” or in a day many years ago, the guys who I would call for help to get my wagon out of the ditch.  They are men I know I can count on.  They love me in spite of what I do or say.  They are faithful to God and to me.  And if something happened to me, I know they would care for my wife and kids.  I know these things because we love God together and I would do the same for them.

I have said for many years that I have more close friends than any man has the right to have.  My wife says I have friends because I am a friend.  Trust me.  Friendship is worth the price you pay.  Decide now to make the effort and take the time to develop some new relationships.  It is worth it!

I can remember when I realized for the first time that I could count on the Bible.  I was on into my adult years, raised in the church, had a minister for a dad, and frankly, had quite a bit of Bible knowledge.  But the realization that God’s Word was true and reliable was something new to me.  It changed my life forever!

In our world today many things compete for influence in our lives.  The culture we live in promotes a “me mentality” where all of life evolves around the individual.  We learn to trust anything that tickles our ears and tells us what we want to hear.  We end up counting on only those things that benefit us at the moment.  Yet what our lives need more than anything is the reliable Word of God. 

The Bible is sufficient in our lives.  In contrast to the theories of men, God’s Word is absolutely comprehensive.  The Bible does not change.  Unlike the opinions and wisdom of man, God’s Word is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. 

Most importantly, the Bible is true.  It is true all of the time.  Proverbs 30:5-6 says, “Every word of God proves true.  He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.  Do not add to His words or He may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.” 

For two years I sold pretzels for a living.  Really.  I had three partners and we owned and operated eight Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzel stores.  It was my baptism in the workplace.  Up until that time I had earned my living as a minister, working on church staffs and running a counseling ministry.  But for those two years I learned what running a business was all about.  And quite frankly, I was bad at it.  But I persevered and at the end of those two years I went back to what I do best; ministering to the needs of people.  But after learning a little about the business world and how hard it is to make a living, I find that I am better at nearly everything I do.  I would not take anything for the experience.  It was so valuable!

Not everyone has the opportunity to do what they want and what they enjoy.  But if one has any control over the direction in one’s career, then that direction should include what one enjoys.  Pursuing a career at which one excels and enjoys may mean sacrifice in some way.  Perhaps not as much money can be made or one’s location is not ideal.  But the benefit of finding great success and meaning in one’s work and career will be worth it.

God says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).  Whatever direction your career takes you, your focus should be to please God with your work.  The more you can please him, the more you will be pleased with yourself.  Work for yourself and for God and do not worry about everyone else’s work.  Do what you know you do best!