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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Does It Matter Where Women Work? Carolyn McCulley writes “Bedroom or boardroom, the Bible makes it clear that God wants us to think strategically about how to create everlasting value through our labors at home and in the marketplace.”
  • How Much Time Should I Spend Developing Relationships at Work? Russ Gehrlein writes “Which is more important: the accomplishment of the mission or taking care of people?”
  • Is Your Work Life Biblically Balanced? Bryan Chapell writes “There is a genuine busyness that flows from dedicated devotion to God’s purposes. But it’s not a devotion that excludes him. Biblical balance keeps us available to God. Hellish busyness makes us unavailable to God.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • 4 Ways Christians Can Stand Out at Work. Bethany Jenkins writes “Driven by a unique view of humanity and a love rooted in the wisdom of the cross, we can stand out at work in at least four ways.”
  • Working with Dan Doriani: Sandra McCracken. In this episode of the Working with Dan Doriani podcast, Dan visits with singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken about the nature of songcraft and inspiration.
  • Dear Graduate, It’s Time to Consider Your Calling. Art Lindsey shares three ideas to keep in mind when considering your calling.
  • How Culminating Moments Make Work Worthwhile. Phil Stuczynski writes “Putting in the work isn’t a thing that should be below us, and in fact, it’s something we have a number of examples to point towards.
  • Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • Seeing Your Work as a Craft Featuring Dave Hataj. This episode of the Denver Faith & Work Podcast features an interview with Dave Hataj, president of Edgerton Gear, a precision machine shop that combines old-world craftsmanship with new-world technology. (Read my review of Dave’s book Good Work: How Blue Collar Business Can Change Lives, Communities, and the World here). The discussion includes talking about the difference it can make when you shift from thinking about your work as just a job to treating it as a craft.
  • Lessons in Church Leadership: Earthing a Vision. Alistair Begg writes “Nehemiah’s pattern for visionary leadership began with a burden, moved to prayer, and culminated in action.”
  • Our Work and Our Character. Enjoy this sermon from Tim Keller’s series “The Gospel and the World.”

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Godly character is a compass that teaches us to navigate the landscape of work. Dan Doriani
  • In His covenant love and faithfulness, God wisely places men and women where they need to be at the right place and time for His glory. Russ Gehrlein
  • The way to find your calling is to look at the way you were created. Your gifts have not emerged by accident. Tim Keller
  • Work has dignity because it is something that God does and because we do it in God’s place, as his representatives…We are called to stand in for God here in the world, exercising stewardship over the rest of creation in his place. Tim Keller
  • Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties, the thing in which he finds spiritual, mental, and bodily satisfaction, and the medium in which he offers himself to God. Dorothy Sayers
  • Retirement is the chance to pick up the strands of your calling that might have been latent during your career and develop them more fully into your life’s work. Jeff Haanen
  • The pattern for work: rearranging the raw material of God’s creation in such a way that helps the world thrive and flourish. Tim Keller
  • The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. Dorothy Sayers
  • Neither work nor career can be fully satisfying without a deeper sense of call – but “calling” itself is empty and indistinguishable from work unless there is Someone who calls. Os Guinness

Faith and Work Book Review:

Retiring Well: Strategies for Finding Balance, Setting Priorities, and Glorifying God by John Dunlop, MD. Crossway. 178 pages. 2022 

This book is written by a geriatrician, a physician who specializes in the care of seniors. It is about setting our priorities in retirement, keeping them in balance, and living according to them. The book is written from a Christian perspective, with the author quoting a lot of Scripture throughout the book and including many stories, including from his own experience. The book is organized around ten different strategies toward a retirement that brings glory to God. There are “Questions to Ponder” at the end of each strategy that will help you evaluate where you are and what changes you need to make. Each chapter ends with a prayer. The book ends with a helpful “Recommended Reading” section.

The author tells us that there are three prerequisites for a good retirement:

  1. Financial planning.
  2. Talk to other spiritually mature friends who have retired, especially those who have retired recently.
  3. Seek God’s wisdom and guidance in prayer.

This book would be most helpful for those who have not yet retired, though it will also be helpful to those who have been retired for a brief time.

Here are the ten strategies and quotes from each of them that I found helpful:

Strategy 1 Determine Your Priorities

  • God’s glory must therefore be our greatest value, our highest priority, and the overriding goal of our lives. Everything else we value must be secondary, and a means to display God’s glory.
  • God has gifted us with these years, and he calls us to use them not for ourselves but for him. He wants us to do things that will count for eternity.

Strategy 2 Retire at the Right Time

  • A successful, God-honoring retirement starts with retiring at the right time.
  • The loss of work identity associated with retirement may be difficult, but God can use it to allow good results in our spiritual transformation.

Strategy 3 Retire in the Right Place

  • The quality of our retirement and ability to glorify God in these years will largely depend on the social relationships we develop and maintain.

Strategy 4 Take Care of Yourself

  • An essential way to maximize how our retirement years can bring glory to God is to take care of the body and mind he has entrusted to us.

Strategy 5 Love God

  • The goal of a sabbatical is to start retirement living according to your God-given priorities, and to establish life balance.

Strategy 6 Make Good Friends

  • Friendships open new worlds for us, allow us the joy of serving others, and open opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with those who do not yet know him.

Strategy 7 Enjoy and Strengthen Your Family

  • We must talk to our grandchildren about God frequently. God can use us as a means for them to come to faith, learn to fear him, and do what is right.
  • Involvement with family may be the greatest way we can glorify God in retirement.

Strategy 8 Avoid Destructive Pitfalls

  • Retirement can be rather fragile. It can provide a lot of good for our lives, but it doesn’t take much of a mistake to destroy retirement’s potential to give glory to God.

Strategy 9 Get Busy

  • Older men and women need to accept their role as seniors, and to embrace the fact that they have something to offer those who are younger.
  • Volunteering allows you to choose what you do based on the potential for doing good and having an eternal impact, with a motivation that goes beyond making money.

Strategy 10 Be Flexible, Adaptable, and Resilient

  • The valley of the shadow of death isn’t necessarily our own death, but may be that of someone we love, have shared life with, and have accompanied on their final journey. We may be tempted to despair, but we can look to our Shepherd to comfort us. And with that, we can keep going through such a difficult time.
  • Adjusting and being resilient to the problems that come are essential throughout our later days.

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

We are reading Agents of Flourishing: Pursuing Shalom in Every Corner of Society by Amy Sherman. Sherman is also the author of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, a book I first read in my “Calling, Vocation and Work” class at Covenant Seminary.
Every corner, every square inch of society can flourish as God intends, and Christians of any vocation can become agents of that flourishing. In this book, Sherman offers a multifaceted, biblically grounded framework for enacting God’s call to seek the shalom of our communities in six arenas of civilizational life (The Good, The True, The Beautiful, The Just, The Prosperous, and The Sustainable).

This week we look at Chapter 1: All About Flourishing. Here are a few helpful quotes from the chapter:

  • The problem isn’t that we want to flourish. God wants that for us too. The problem is our definitions of human flourishing fall short of God’s.
  • Shalom signifies spiritual, psychological, social, and physical wholeness.
  • God designed us for flourishing.
  • True biblical flourishing involves the good of others as well as our own good. Flourishing is meant to be a shared experience.
  • Throughout the Scriptures this vocation of flourishing others is described as the work of the royal priesthood.
  • We were made for a purpose. Humans were created to image God in the world, offering up our worship to him alone, and to reflect his character in the world. We were made, in short, for worship and mission.
  • We were made to be with God and to work in the world as his royal priests, bearing his image.
  • What are we made for? Flourishing. How has God designed that to happen? By giving us the vocation of the royal priesthood.
  • When we live in Christ as the priest-kings we were always meant to be, we experience flourishing ourselves and we contribute to the flourishing of others.

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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