Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

Col 323 Quote

  • Your Work Matters to God, But Does It Matter to the Church? Gaye Clark writes “I know there has to be balance. The church needs volunteers for its specific purposes or it cannot function. Still, I believe looking strategically at where your flock spends most of their time during the week could translate into greater opportunities to advance the gospel.”
  • Work as Worship. I appreciated this short devotional from the Lead Like Jesus ministry.
  • Stop Using “Work-Life Balance” and Start Using “Work-Life Integration”. Michael O’Hara writes “Work-life integration is the idea that you’re the same person, not two separate beings, throughout your day, so you shouldn’t try to switch on and off between work and home. It’s about recognizing when and where it’s okay to weave aspects of one into the other rather than struggle to be in two places at once. When you integrate successfully, you’ll have no guilt in allowing home and business to mix.”
  • The Key to Gospel Driven Productivity. Matt Perman, author of the excellent book What’s Best Next, writes “So what happens when we look at the issue of time management and getting things done from the perspective of the gospel? A surprising insight emerges.”
  • 7 Productivity Tips from Productivity Experts. David Murray writes “Ron Friedman invited 26 bestselling science and productivity writers to share their insights for achieving top performance and identified nine overarching themes that encapsulate their advice for peak work performance. Here’s a summary of the seven that I’ve found the most helpful.”
  •  Bob Chapman Interview. Bob Chapman, author of Everybody Matters, was recently interviewed by Charlie Brennan on KMOX in St. Louis.
  • A Sobering Reality Leaders Must Recognize. Eric Geiger writes “A leader’s negative traits spread further and faster than a leader’s positive traits.”
  • A Prayer for a God-Honoring Work Life. Check out this wonderful prayer from our friend Kevin Halloran. It is from his new book Word + Life: 20 Reflections on Prayer, the Christian Life, and the Glorious Gospel of Christ.
  • Break Your Bad Habits Before They Break You. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “To break your bad habits, you need to attack them from many directions. And the more ways you attack this enemy, the greater your chances of success.”
  • 10 Actions to Jump Start Your New Year. Selma Wilson writes “The new year is here and it holds many things for you and those God has placed in your arena of influence. Whether you make resolutions or not, here are a few intentional and easy actions you can take to put you in position to run the race before you this year.”
  • Six Diagnostic Questions for Life and Work. Steven Graves, author of The Gospel Goes to Work, writes of these simple diagnostic questions “They aren’t particularly profound or complex, but they get to the heart of our life and work. Perhaps best of all, they’re versatile. You can use them when evaluating a strategy, a product, or even your own performance.”
  • Five Questions that can Release the Power of Humble Leadership. Dan Rockwell writes “It’s important for you to believe in yourself. It’s even more important, from a leadership perspective, for you to believe in others.  Successful leaders learn how to have confidence in others.
  • Five Ways Leaders Lose Credibility. Eric Geiger writes “In the book The Leadership Challenge, researchers and authors, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner claim that the most important leadership characteristic is credibility.”
  • How to Build a Compelling Culture. Paul Sohn interviews Dee Ann Turner of Chick Fil-A, the organization I most admire, about how to build a compelling culture. I plan to read her book It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture soon.
  • Trustworthy. In this “Minute from Maxwell”, John Maxwell emphasizes the importance of being a person others can depend on.
  • The Purpose of Vacation: Preparation for Vocation. Dr. David Leonard, in looking at the relationship between vocation and vacation, writes “If we’re ready to take our vocation seriously, then we ought to take our vacation just as seriously.” 
  • 3 Reasons to Keep Praying. Michael Kelley writes “As leaders we frequently find ourselves praying the same thing over and over again. Prayers for the same people with the same issues. Prayer for wisdom to attack the same problem. Prayers for direction, day after day.”
  • The Courageous Leadership of Winston Churchill. Albert Mohler writes “One thing Christian leaders must always remember is that leaders are speakers. Leadership requires bold, convictional, and clear communication. Churchill knew this principle and we would do well to learn from his example.”
  • 5 Secret Objections to Change. Ron Edmonson writes “In the world of change, I’ve learned there are some common objections. I’ve previously written objections people use to criticize change, but in this post, I’m addressing the root cause of that criticism. These are the secret objections.”

10 Favorite Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

Faith and Work Quote

  • Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self-realization slowly crushes a person. Tim Keller
  • A true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself but for his neighbor. Martin Luther
  • Living the mission of Jesus means taking your faith into your work and your life and praying for it to change people’s hearts toward God. Tim Keller
  • The greatest leaders have learned to take the blame when things go wrong, and give the praise to others when things go right. Andy Andrews
  • Christians ought to have a different approach to business. We should view work as both service and a form of worship. Charles Colson
  • Religion does not take a man away from his work; it sends him to his work with an added quality of devotion. B.B. Warfield
  • God not only wants to join us in our work but to increasingly conform us into greater Christlikeness while we work. Tom Nelson
  • Just be who God has called you to be right where you are, with the people he has called you to serve. Michael Horton
  • If you waste your time, you waste your life. Steven Lawson

Faith and Work Book Clubs – Won’t you read along with us?

Don't Waste Your LifeDon’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Crossway. 192 pages. 2003  

Other than the Bible, this small book by John Piper has had the most influence on my life. It played a key role in my returning to seminary after ten years in 2005. I have read it almost each year since it was published in 2003. Listen to John Piper describe the book in this less than two-minute video.

This week we look at Chapter 5 Risk Is Right— Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It

  • If our single, all-embracing passion is to make much of Christ in life and death, and if the life that magnifies him most is the life of costly love, then life is risk, and risk is right. To run from it is to waste your life.
  • I define risk very simply as an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury.
  • Risk is woven into the fabric of our finite lives. We cannot avoid risk even if we want to.
  • One of my aims is to explode the myth of safety and to somehow deliver you from the enchantment of security. Because it’s a mirage. It doesn’t exist. Every direction you turn there are unknowns and things beyond your control.
  • Queen Esther is another example of courageous risk in the service of love and for the glory of God.
  • Esther did not know what the outcome of her act would be. She had no special revelation from God. She made her decision on the basis of wisdom and love for her people and trust in God. She had to risk or run. She did not know how it would turn out. So she made her decision and handed the results over to God. “If I perish, I perish.” And this was right.
  • The great New Testament risk-taker was the apostle Paul. He had two choices: waste his life or live with risk. And he risked his life every day. And this was right.
  • It is the will of God that we be uncertain about how life on this earth will turn out for us. And therefore it is the will of the Lord that we take risks for the cause of God.
  • What happens when the people of God do not escape from the beguiling enchantment of security? What happens if they try to live their lives in the mirage of safety? The answer is wasted lives.
  • Risk is right. And the reason is not because God promises success to all our ventures in his cause. There is no promise that every effort for the cause of God will succeed, at least not in the short run.
  • We are wired to risk for the wrong reasons.
  • God has given us another way to pursue risk. Do it “by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). And the way God supplies his strength is through faith in his promises. Every loss we risk in order to make much of Christ, God promises to restore a thousand-fold with his all-satisfying fellowship.
  • The bottom-line comfort and assurance in all our risk-taking for Christ is that nothing will ever separate us from the love of Christ.
  • On the far side of every risk—even if it results in death—the love of God triumphs.
  • It is simple trust in Christ—that in him God will do everything necessary so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. Every good poised to bless us, and every evil arrayed against us, will in the end help us boast only in the cross, magnify Christ, and glorify our Creator. Faith in these promises frees us to risk and to find in our own experience that it is better to lose our life than to waste it.

wanting less

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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