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As I sat in the office of a business owner this week, he recounted an event that occurred just the week before in another town with an employee. We will call the employee “Greg”.
Greg became employed in January and had proven himself to be a good hire. Well-liked, leadership skills, and diligence all qualities found in “Greg.” A father of 3 young children, a wife who was reared in the country, somewhat “slow-of-learnin’,” but in love with her husband and her children.
At 34 years-old, things were looking up for the family. Then “aneurysm” visited the house. “Greg” passed suddenly and unexpectedly. A new widow, 3 fatherless children, zero income. No life insurance, non-existent family support, helpless.
This owner however is a Christ-follower.
Does this make a difference?
Will things be handled differently?
Can the workplace be changed by the presence of Christ?
The widow has been placed on the payroll of the company that “Greg” worked for, and income is flowing. The widow had great concern about a “tombstone.” Whether country tradition, some wounding from her past, or ‘just the right thing to do”, she was very over-whelmed over the thought of “Greg” not having such a marker. She had no way to do it.
What happens? The Christ-following owner and his wife purchase the headstone out of their own funds. Purchased not out of the business account, not a collection from the employees, but sacrificial giving.
Christ-following owners, managers, and employees do make a difference in the workplace!
It started in 1st or 2nd grade, her name was Kathy Barco, a cute little blonde. Then in 4th grade there was Rosemary Cakmis, her dad was a dentist, but they moved away! In late middle school there was Rhonda Guidry, she moved to Texas. In high school, Daphne McSwain, was the love of my life. We stayed together all through high school…that was such a blessing. So little drama, God’s help in avoiding so many temptations of high school love, and she had a really cool car. I remember the moment I knew out relationship was changed forever.
However I had met a young lady the first day of college. We had been placed on a “Week-end Revival Team” with another freshman. The three of us prayed together daily, went to churches on various weekends to lead youth revivals. My heart was captured once again. It took many months of pursuit to get you to go out, thank you Sadie Hawkins Day! Her name? Patti Judah Woods, (eventually of course) BTW, her and Daphne became good friends. Ask Patti about the day in the mall in Jacksonville when she and Daphne were shopping together!
For 31 years, today, we have been blessed as husband and wife. I am so happy you said “yes” that evening at Lake Yale with the hidden ring in the rose bud. You are such a blessing for me, and to me. Wish I could buy you a fine ride, you deserve it…..wish I could buy you a ride actually. But I really cannot offer you much more today than I could the day we married….my love and my desire to follow Jesus wherever He might lead us! I love you more today than yesterday, but less than I will tomorrow.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
A short video clip saluting our Armed Forces this Memorial Day, 2013.
This video was prepared a couple of years ago for a contest. It was put together fairly quickly, so it isn’t as smooth technically as it could be. It was a fun project.
Our Armed Forces are awesome! So many have followed the example of Jesus by laying down their lives, or being willing to lay down their lives, that we might live!
Colossians 2: 2-3, My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
When disasters happen, God often gets the blame. I would like to posit at least one explanation for “Tornadoes, Gun Violence, and Bad Things that Happen.”
In the creation story, we read :
Gen 1 – 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Please note at this point in history, all was very good. I believe we can surmise then that there were no storms, no turmoil, no death and no disaster. That would change though. Soon in the story we read this :
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” and then after eating from the tree, this:
Gen 3 – 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Banished from the Garden, death has entered the world, turmoil and disaster is allowed to exist outside the Garden where the presence of God walks. Sin too has entered the world. Not just the a of sins that we are all too familiar with, and that we cringe from when we hear a pastor just say the word “sin” in a message or a sentence. But Sin, with a capital “S”. The whole bent of the world, man and nature, had changed from “very good” to something quite different. No longer did the presence of God “keep the peace.”
Fast forward some time and we read:
Job 1 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
There is a new resident roaming. Evil, malice, maelstrom, malevolent, destruction and hate.
Fast forward hundreds of years, we read:
John 10- 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jesus spoke too of this evil. The goal, the plan, the purpose of Satan’s existence.
God, Jesus, the Spirit are good. Evil is bad. So simplistic, but so often we will hear things like:
“God needed your loved one more than you did” (evidently because He took them away from you with no regard to your feelings)
” God needed another angel.” (we don’t become angels)
and the like…….
We live in a war zone, between Heaven and Earth as it were. Much like in Syria where thousands have died that have had nothing to do with the Army or the rebels…innocents, collateral damage, the non-combative; we too suffer as the innocent or collateral damage.
It pays to pray for protection and wisdom in this world. It pays to know the scheming of the enemy, not over-focus on him, but awareness. It pays to walk in His presence, to walk with Him daily, and here He becomes our Shield and rampart! It pays o keep our eyes on Him !
So as discussions occur, children and co-workers ask questions of “How” and “Why” did this happen; seek not to blame God, or give Him credit for the disaster. Remind people God is good, all the time. You have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Recall when the disciples wished to call down fire on a town (Luke 9:53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[a]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them.), Jesus stopped them. It is not His heart to harm and hurt.