Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Faith-Work Integration: Trendy or Essential? Mark Roberts writes “Doing our ordinary work in the Lord’s name is an essential, though often overlooked, element of our calling. So, whatever you do—whether managing staff, selling products, leading organizations, changing diapers, teaching children, building start-ups, preaching sermons, making films, writing books, molding clay, or cleaning houses—do everything, yes, everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
  • Work: Curse, Blessing, or…? Ross West writes “Work, then, is our divine assignment to develop our world on God’s behalf. Furthermore, work is the means by which we carry out that assignment.”
  • When Work Stinks. Greg Forster writes “We walk — we work — by faith, not by sight. We trust that God is at work in our work, even if we don’t necessarily see or understand what he’s doing. We trust that God is at work in the world around us, even in the midst of darkness and evil. The triumph of God’s holy love is our hope; it is our hope for eternity, and our hope for today.”
  • The Dignity of Every Kind of Work. Scott Sauls writes “Every kind of work that creates something new or enhances something broken or lacking is glorious because of how it intersects with God’s ongoing, creative mission in the world.”
  • In All things: 6 principles to Help Guide Your Work. Bill Wells writes “Whether paid or unpaid, for profit, or nonprofit, God doesn’t care as much about what we do as he does about how we do it.”
  • Eight Leaders Talk about Faith and Work. Bill Peel writes “The Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University and Jim and Martha Brangenburg of iWork4Him joined up to record eight interviews with some friends who are serious about following Christ in their work and all of life.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Gospel at Work: How the Gospel Gives New Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs (Updated and Expanded Edition) by Sebastian Traeger and Greg D. Gilbert
  • Snippets from the book ‘The Economics of Neighborly Love’

Continue reading


8 Upcoming Books That I’m Excited About

Here are 8 upcoming books, and a brief description of them, that I’m looking forward to:

The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes by Mark Dever
To be published March 1.
From Amazon’s description:
“In a time of political turmoil and religious upheaval, Richard Sibbes sought to consistently apply the riches of Reformation theology to his hearers’ lives. He emphasized the security of God’s covenant, the call for assurance of salvation, and the place of the heart in the Christian life. In The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes, Dr. Mark Dever gives readers a penetrating look into the life and theology of this fascinating figure.”
This book is a part of the Long Line of Godly Men series, edited by Steven Lawson.

Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results. Edited by Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell.
To be published March 6.
From Amazon’s description:
“We’ve all seen the negative impact of self-serving leaders in every sector of our society. Not infrequently, they end up bringing down their entire organization. But there is another way: servant leadership. Servant leaders lead by serving their people, not by exalting themselves. This collection features forty-four renowned servant leadership experts and practitioners–prominent business executives, bestselling authors, and respected spiritual leaders–who offer advice and tools for implementing this proven, but for some still radical, leadership model. Edited by legendary business author and lifelong servant leader Ken Blanchard and his longtime editor Renee Broadwell, this is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging guide ever published for what is, in every sense, a better way to lead.” I’m reading an advance copy of this book now. It includes contributions from some of my favorite leadership authors such as Ken Blanchard, Patrick Lencioni, Dave Ramsey, Mark Miller, Henry Cloud, Stephen M.R. Covey, Simon Sinek. It’s a wonderful book for those who want to lead like Jesus did.

Take Heart: Christian Courage in the Age of Unbelief by Matt Chandler
To be published March 20.
From Amazon’s description:
“The Christian culture that has underpinned Western society for centuries has been eroded. We’re now at the point where to disagree with people on issues such as marriage and sexuality, is seen as hateful. Christians are no longer seen as honorable, but as bigots. But history testifies that the more people try to destroy Christianity, the more it grows. So, we are entering an exciting period of time because we’re back in the place where Christ’s church can thrive – at the margins of society. In this stirring, passionate book, Matt Chandler shows us we need Christian courage like never before, and how to live with compassion and conviction, able to look around positively and reach out confidently. It encourages us not to be thwarted by fear, but to depend on God and have confidence that Christ will build his church, despite continual marginalization. A must-read for any Christian who wants to understand how to stand firm and walk forwards in an increasingly secular culture.” Continue reading

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday


The Gospel at WorkThe Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert. Zondervan. 152 pages. 2014.

The authors state that one of the greatest needs in the church is an understanding of how our daily work according to God’s Word ties in with God’s ultimate purpose in the world. They contend that on one hand, we find ourselves overvaluing work to the neglect of our health, our families and the church. In this way we make our jobs an idol. On the other hand, we undervalue work in a culture that fosters laziness and glorifies retirement. In this way we can slip into being idle in our work.

Traeger and Gibert offer helpful questions for us to ask about how our work fits into God’s intention for our lives:

  • Is my work shaping my character in a godly direction?
  • How can I do my work, not just as a way to put food on the table, but as a sold-out disciple of Jesus?
  • What’s the point of work in a Christian’s life? Is there any meaning to it beyond providing goods and services, making money, and providing a living for ourselves and our families?
  • Why does God have us spend so much of our lives doing this one particular thing?

The authors state that our jobs are one of the primary ways God intends to make us more like Jesus, and that the New Testament has some things to say about what we should think of our work (Ephesians 6:5,7, Colossians 3:22-24).

They tell us that no matter what our job is or who our boss is, what we do in our jobs is actually done in service to King Jesus. That is the big idea of the book – that our work has purpose and meaning because we are ultimately doing it for the King. Who we work for is more important than what we do.

The authors aim is to help Christians see more clearly why God has given them work to do and how they might be thinking about work in sinful ways. They hope to help believes forsake both idolatry and idleness in favor of a more biblical way of thinking about work as service to King Jesus.

I appreciated sections in the book about how to choose a job; how to balance work, church and family; how to handle difficult bosses and co-workers; and what it means to be a Christian boss.

Helpful “For Further Reflection” sections are included at the end of each chapter. I used this when reading the book as a part of a book club recently.

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • mentorThe Advantages of Informal Mentoring. Alvin Reid writes “The best learning comes not from simply listening to a mentor but from seeing truth lived out in the mentor’s life. In this way, informal mentoring offers several advantages.”
  • J.I. Packer on Vocation. In reading Leland Ryken’s wonderful new biography of J.I. Packer J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life, I read about Packer’s passion for calling and vocation. Here Justin Taylor shares some brief Q&A’s with Packer about vocation.
  • The Rising Third Wave of Productivity Presents the Church with Another Massive Leadership Opportunity. Glenn Brooke writes “We’re living at the front edge of this third wave of productivity. Christian leaders are beginning to recognize that what’s old in our history is new again. We can and should be leaders and guides for others as this wave approaches.”
  • Does God Care about the Work You Do? Watch this one minute plus video from Bonnie Wurzbacher, about whether God cares about the work we do. Wurzbacher was at the time of this video Coca-Cola Company Senior Vice President, Global Customer Leadership and is now Chief Resource Development Officer at World Vision International.
  • ‘What Is My Mission?’ – The New IFWE Bible App Reading Plan. Kristen Brown states that the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics (IFWE) is “pleased to announce that we’re releasing a new Bible app reading plan What Is My Mission?, a series that addresses the gut-wrenching, life-questions we’ve all struggled with: “Isn’t there more to life?” and “What am I here to do?”


  • Stop Working for the Weekend. Barnabas Piper writes “We don’t work to rest and play; we rest and play to work. That’s how God made us. We are designed to work, and because of that design we should find great satisfaction in the activity of working. We may not love our particular jobs sometimes, but we should always love work.”
  • The Most Unremarkable Thing Leaders Do. Dan Rockwell writes “The most unremarkable thing leaders do is worry about themselves.”
  • Does Family Compete with God’s Calling for My Life? Elizabeth Moyer writes “How does family fit into our job description? Family is a vehicle for us to fulfill the cultural mandate and the Great Commission – to multiply, have dominion, and make disciples.”
  • Daring Destinations, Part 2. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, Stanley concludes his conversation with author and CEO Cheryl Bacheldor on how to make bold decisions that drive superior performance.
  • Regrets. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that our greatest regrets come over things we haven’t done.leadership-blogs-2015
  • The Top 100 Socially-Shared Leadership Blogs of 2015. There are several leadership blogs on this list that I am not familiar with, but plan to check out.
  • Good Leaders Have a Limp. Steven Graves states that most remarkable leaders he knows carry a limp. He states that a limp “is a scar that comes from getting in the ring with God. A limp is the spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical (at times) recognition that we are not the supreme agent of life.”
  • Is Christian Business Offensive to Non-Christian Employees? Chris Patton writes “If you are in a position where you want to step out and make it clear that your business is a Christian company (without being offensive), then I have some advice. These are the steps I would recommend you take as you move forward. Don’t skip any of them or you could make it more difficult in the future.”
  • Mastering the Art of Creating Accountability. Dan Rockwell writes “Short-sighted leaders use accountability to pressure people. The context of pressure is resistance.” However, useful accountability is “drawing out the best in others.”procrastinate
  • Procrastination. In this “Minute from Maxwell”, John Maxwell talks about putting off things that they should do now for a later time.
  • Balancing Work and Family: 3 Tips for High-Achievers and Entrepreneurs. Andy Andrews writes “For you overachievers, if you always feel the need to be working, what if you could shift your perspective so that when you’re with your family, you’re actually working on your family? Make the time count.”
  • Are you a Leadership Hoarder, Lender or Giver? Scott Cochrane writes that how you answer this question will go a long way to determining what kind of impact you’ll have.
  • Succeeding with Three Challenges that Derail Leaders. Dan Rockwell shares the three challenges and then how to succeed with them.
  • An Artist’s Struggle Between Faith and Obscurity. Bethany Jenkins interviews Laura Waters Hinson, a documentary filmmaker, about her work.

Jobs and mission

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Integrating Faith and Work: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and WorkGood Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell

Book Review: Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation to Successful Leadership by John C. Maxwell


Should you do what you love, or love what you’re doing?

Can Work Ever Be Good News? Here is the beginning of a series of ten posts featuring artwork from the Christians in the Visual Arts exhibit, “Work: Curse or Calling?

Three Points about Common Grace Every Businessperson Should Consider. Dr. Vincent Bacote looks at the relationship between common grace and business that was addressed Calvin College Business Department and the Acton Institute co-sponsored the Symposium on Common Grace and Business.

Yes, You Do Know Your “Calling”. Dan Miller addresses the subject of calling and includes a 48-minute audio on “Is Your Job Your Calling?”

On this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell discusses the word ‘contentment’.

Only the Gospel, Not Our Vocations Can Truly Change Us. In this excerpt from his book Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work, Tom Nelson writes “Hard work, however noble, without a relationship with the Father proves empty, meaningless, and despairing.”

ReFrame has launched! ReFrame is a 10 week video-based discipleship course that helps you answer questions such as “how does my story fit into God’s story?” and “does my day-to-day life matter to God?”  It features lectures by Regent College faculty, interviews with prominent Christian thought-leaders, and stories of everyday Christians asking questions about how the Gospel reframes their lives.

Work is a glorious thing. John Piper writes “Come, leave off sloth and idleness. Become what you were made to be. Work.”

Why Most Web-Sites Are Hard To Use – And What To Do About It. Matt Heerema writes that most web-sites are unnecessarily difficult to use, and there is one core reason for this.

The Seven Qualities of Perfect Teammates. Dan Rockwell writes “Everyone is irritating. They either do things that bug you, or, they leave something undone, and that bugs you. What does a perfect teammate look like?”

What’s in It for Me? What motivates your leadership choices? A desire to succeed, a need for human applause, or a desire for God’s approval?

John Maxwell BookJohn Maxwell writes leadership lessons from the great prophet Elijah from his upcoming book Learning from the Giants.

Eight Ways to Honor Your Leaders. Brad Lomenick writes that “Leading is not easy. And it’s even more difficult if those on your team aren’t equipped well to follow. We all have leaders that we work with, for and around. And every leader I know values being honored and respected. Honor is a really big thing. And incredibly important as it relates to being part of a team.

How to Get Things Done: Using Your Calendar Effectively. Tim Challies continues his series on productivity from a biblical perspective. In this article he focuses on a scheduling tool – calendars.

What Does It Take to Manage Your Faith, Work, and Family? Diane Paddison writes “When you’re in that important meeting and your phone rings, you should take the call, but not before you’ve laid some important groundwork.”

Quotes from Matt Perman:

  • The role of the leader is to help build intelligence, judgment, and character. It is not to control people.
  • Servant leaders also see themselves as accountable to those they lead.        

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

What’s Best Next Book Club What's Best Next

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman

We continue with our overview of this new book on productivity from a Christian perspective. This week we look at Chapter 21: Managing Projects and Actions.

God at Work Book ClubGod at Work

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

When we recently visited St. Andrews Chapel where R.C. Sproul is one of the pastors, this book was the church’s “Book of the Month”. I’m excited to read it. We’ll look at a chapter each week – won’t you read along with us? This week we cover Chapter 3: The Purpose of Vocation.

The Gospel at Work Book ClubThe Gospel at Work

The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastian Traeger and Greg D. Gilbert

I’m involved in a book club with peers at work discussing this book. Last week we concluded the book with beginning with Chapter 10: Is Full-Time Ministry More Valuable Than My Job?


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Integrating Faith and Work: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work

 Quotable:  Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
– Jonathan Edwards, Resolution #5

  • My friend Kirk passed along that author and speaker Todd Gongwer will speak on “LEAD … for God’s Sake” Saturday, November 8 at 7:00pm at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. The event is free. Check out Todd’s website here:
  • In this week’s Tuesday Tip, Dr. Alan Zimmerman offers ten ways to building relationships that work.
  • Marcus Goodyear writes in “Your Work Is Not as Important as You Want It To Be: A Review of Mark Labberton’s New Book” that “This little book calls the entire faith and work movement to task, reminding Christians to focus on the First Thing. My career, my success, and my productivity are not elements of my primary calling. A Christian’s calling is not a personal one, but a shared calling with other Christians to something very simple and straightforward: love God and love your neighbor.” Read his article here:
  • “Counterfeit Gods at the Water Cooler”. In this article from the series “Idols at Work”, Caroline Cross writes: “Gossip, workplace or otherwise, indicates what St. Augustine called disordered loves. Keller and Chalmers attest that only the supremacy of Christ’s compelling love can heal our hearts at the deepest level. His perfect love can transform even our talk at the water cooler.”
  • Here’s an interview with Professor Sean McDonough, professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, about how to get the most out of the resources offered by the Theology of Work Project. Here are some of his thoughts on what’s been useful to him as he works with Christian students.
  • In his article “Should Your Passion Determine Your Profession?” Dr. David Leonard writes that “Whether you’re a full-time student or a stay-at-home parent, God has called you to use your vocation to serve others, to promote the common good, thereby acting as a vessel of his grace in a fallen world. That is certainly an ideal that we can all be passionate about, regardless of its practical outworking.”
  • “Does Your Team Trust, Respect, and Like Each Other (and You)?” Eric Geiger writes that “The healthiest teams share mutual trust and respect and like each other. They trust each other, have respect for one another’s contribution to the whole, and enjoy each other.”
  • Newbrand Analytics CEO Kristin Muhlner discusses all of the things she says “No” to at work. Check them out here:
  • The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job” by Marshall Segal of Desiring God. “Wherever we work, we’ve been deployed by God as agents of everlasting joy. So, let’s labor and succeed as those who’ve already won in Christ. And let us work — in whatever field — that others might experience the freedom, love, and security we enjoy with God.”
  •  In his article “100,000 Hours: Eight Aims for Your Career” Marshall Segal offers eight aims that should drive every Christian career path.
  • Here are ten time management tips from the Time Management Ninja (seriously):
  • In “The Biblical Meaning of Success: Working Diligently for the Master’s Glory”, Hugh Whelchel writes “Two great lies have been promoted in our culture during the past 20 years. They are told to children in school, students in college, and workers throughout the business world. The first great lie is, “If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be.” It is often sold as the American Dream, expressed in sayings such as, “In America, anyone can grow up to be president.” The second great lie is like the first one, yet it’s possibly even more damaging: “You can be the best in the world.” These lies are accepted by many Christians as well as non-Christians. Read Hugh’s helpful article here:
  • Productivity. Tim Challies continues his series on getting things done by first reviewing his definition of productivity: Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. Read this installment of the series on task management here:
  • In “How to Get Things Done: Organization and Systems” Tim Challies continues his series on productivity.
  • “How To Get Things Done: Finding the Right Tools”. Tim Challies writes that over the past couple of weeks he has been working on a series titled How To Get Things Done, and is continuing that series with this article. [Part 1: How to Get Things Done, Part 2: Define Your Areas of Responsibility, Part 3: Time, Energy & Mission]. He spent the first few installments of the series trying to lay a solid foundation. In this article, he chooses tools, because like any other work, the work of productivity requires tools.
  • In his article “Productivity is Really About Good Works” Matt Perman writes that “Chief among the reasons to care about productivity is this: Productivity is really about good works. That’s worth saying again: Productivity is really about good works — which we were created in Christ to do (Ephesians 2:10) and which we are to do eagerly and enthusiastically (Titus 2:14). That’s why productivity matters, and that’s why I write about productivity. My aim is to help Christians be effective in good works.
  • In “Representing Christ in the Workplace” Dr. Timothy Ewest, in part 6 of his series “Historical Practices of Christians in the Workplace” writes that “Representing Christ in the workplace typically takes either a verbal or nonverbal expression. Verbal representatives are not afraid of incorporating their faith into conversations when appropriate. Nonverbal expressions range from wearing religious jewelry to having religious signs up or performing charitable acts of justice.” Read his article here:
  • How Do I Change My Mindset from that of a Producer to that of a Leader?” John Maxwell’s new book is Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. Check out the answer to this question that came from his blog readers.
  • In his article “Sloth and Diligence”, Ken Jones writes that the Protestant work ethic is so named because “one of the things articulated or re-established by the Reformers is the idea that all lawful work (not just religious or church-related work) is sanctified by God. In short, the Reformers recaptured the biblical concept of the dignity of human labor.” Read his article here:
  • Are you going through changes in your job? This short e-devotional reminds us to seek God during those times as Daniel did. Read it here:
  • “What does it mean to live as a follower of Christ in the workplace?” That’s a question that I have been pursuing a lot this year. Matt Perman states that the answer to that question is to love your neighbor at work. Read his entire article “Work and the Kingdom of God” here:
  • “Repairing the World”. Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation, writes: “This week I went further up and further in to the vocation of “tikkun olam,” a calling that belongs to all of us, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that we are. The vision makes sense of the brokenness of life, of everyone’s life, of life for everyone—whether my son’s house or my colleagues’ business, whether your hope or the heartaches of neighbors a world away. We yearn for things to be made right, for life to be as it could be, as it might be, as it should be—as it is supposed to be.” Read his full article here:
  •  Grumbling at Work? Andrew Spencer writes “That it is important for Christians to avoid habitual complaining to represent Christ well and to increase our own joy in our labors.” Read his article “How Can We Keep From Grumbling at Work?”
  • In her article “Applying Scripture to Your Work”, Bethany Jenkins writes “Most people don’t work in places where public prayer is encouraged. They don’t open their business meetings by reading Scripture. But that doesn’t mean prayer and Scripture can’t be applied to our work. “Over the years,” says Lourine Clark, an executive and leader coach based in New York City, “I’ve learned that God’s truth is truth, and it applies everywhere.” Watch the full 21-minute video to hear David Kim, Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, talk with Clark about other ways she applies Scripture to her work and how she integrates prayer as a habit in her daily life.”
  • “You Do Not Labor in Vain”. I had two classes at Covenant Seminary with Dan Doriani. In this article he states “At work we have the greatest skill, training, time, and resources. If, by faith, we strive to love God and neighbors at work, then we serve him.’ Read his article here:
  • This article from the Theology of Work Project, Inc. states that “It is important to note that when work became toil, it was not the beginning of work. Some people see work as part of the curse, but Adam and Eve had already worked the garden. In fact, work becomes more important as a result of the Fall, not less, because more work is required now to yield the necessary results.” Read what happens to work in Genesis 3: 16 here:
  • In his article “The Christian’s Work Ethic” John MacArthur writes that “The chief reason God allows believers to remain in this world is so He might use them to win the lost and thereby bring glory to His name.”
  • Do you want to be a “Beyond You Leader”? In a video clip from this year’s Leadercast event, Andy Stanley discusses how to empty your cup by looking for opportunities to pour into people around you. Watch this third video in the “Beyond You Leader” series here:
  • Did anyone attend the Boston Faith and Work Summit last week? I found these posts from Marcus Goodyear at The High Calling of interest.
  • “A Prayer for Days When You’re Feeling Scattered” by Scotty Smith:

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

God at WorkGod at Work Book Club

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

When we visited St. Andrews Chapel, where R.C. Sproul is one of the pastors, recently, this book was the church’s “Book of the Month”. I’m excited to read it. We’ll look at a chapter each week. This week we cover material from CHAPTER 1 – Introduction: The Christian’s Calling in the World.

What's Best NextWhat’s Best Next Book Club

We continue with our overview of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman, a new book on productivity from a Christian perspective. I’ve highlighted a number of passages and would like to share from the end of Chapter 18 and from Chapter 19 – Weekly Planning.

The Gospel at WorkThe Gospel at Work Book Club

I’m involved in a book club with peers at work discussing The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger. Last week we continued with Chapter 9: How Can I Share the Gospel at Work?