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Creative View of God's Labor (day) for us

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  • George Hach
    Peace with You Brother/Sister in Christ In order to achieve true peace in your everyday life, And on this Labor Day, I felt it was important that we as
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2000
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      Peace with You Brother/Sister in Christ
      In order to achieve true peace in your everyday life, And on this
      Labor Day, I felt it was important that we as Christians consider how
      our labors will impact God's plan for us. So I am going to share
      with you a portion of a article I found in the "Intercristo Career
      Getting Creative
      Would you like to meet some Christians who dared to integrate their
      lifework around mission? The following stories are of actual men and
      women in a wide range of work settings who successfully integrated
      the three dimensions of work in unusual and creative ways.
      In all fairness, we couldn't expect you to integrate expression,
      provision, and mission in your own career until you saw how others
      did it successfully. So we want you to look at the stories of some
      Christians who invested their faith, hopes, and dreams in a real God
      who helped them integrate the three dimensions of their work into
      rewarding careers. As you read, feel free to identify with the person
      (s) in whose work you most clearly see yourself.
      Judy: Fashioned to Help
      Judy is a fashion designer who's gifts in fashion design were
      expressed in work that provided for her needs. But it was her sense
      of mission that really tied her lifework together. When Judy's
      church sponsored some Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, she
      volunteered to help immediately. Before long she realized that what
      these refugees needed most of all were jobs. Judy also noticed right
      away that her newfound friends were hard-working and very skillful
      artistically. Judy helped the refugees start a small business. She
      donated her expertise in design. The church bought some equipment,
      and the local mall provided some low-cost space for a tiny retail
      outlet. Within a year and a half, Judy was working full-time in the
      growing business that provided for her needs and the needs of eight
      refugee families.
      Al: Faith at Work
      Al was the owner of a small electronics manufacturing firm that
      employed 75 men and women. As demand for his products grew, so did
      the stress level of assembly line workers. Al became concerned when
      he saw tempers getting shorter and production time growing longer.
      He knew there was a handful of Christians who might be open to a
      creative solution, so Al went ahead with his idea.
      He hired a chaplain from a local university ministry team to come to
      the plant one day a week. This "new employee" hit it off well with
      the workers. Before long, brief, informal discussions turned into
      deep, meaningful talks.
      Today the chaplain leads a weekly Bible study with the plant's
      workers. Among the regular attendees are Al himself and two
      employees who became Christians through the work of the chaplain's
      ministry. Al was happy to stabilize his production level, but even
      more excited to see some of his employees find a new spiritual
      dimension in their lives and in their work.
      Kathy & Keith: Hospitality Plus
      Kathy was a legal assistant at a major big-city shipping company.
      Her husband, Keith, was a high school science teacher. Both of their
      jobs demanded lots of over-time. After a couple of years, the two
      realized they had put too much energy into fulfilling their
      respective job responsibilities, and too little time into forming
      lasting relationships with their co-workers.
      Kathy and Keith decided to invite the couples and singles they worked
      with over to their home for a series of dinner parties. It opened
      up a world of new experiences for the couple. They learned how to
      cook new dishes. They discovered how to make their home a center of
      hospitality. Most of all, Kathy and Keith learned some of the
      personal needs of the men and women with whom they worked.
      Kathy and Keith saw their dinner parties become the springboard for
      some new and growing relationships. Their work became more rewarding
      since they knew their co-workers better. Today, they are praying in
      new ways that God will heal the hurt and brokenness of those who've
      shared their personal struggles.
      Ken & Carrie: New Mission
      When Ken was twelve years old, he attended a world missions
      conference at his local church. After that, his life was never the
      same. First, he learned about people all around the world who had
      never even heard the name of Jesus. Second, he read that Jesus'
      final instructions on earth were that Christians should go and tell
      the world about the Lord. Third, he saw his first eighteen-foot
      snakeskin, and the spear that killed it.
      Over the years, Ken's perception of world mission matured, but his
      commitment never changed. Four years of college majoring in Bible
      and anthropology, pluss two college summers of short-term missions
      assignments confirmed what he knew all along: He was uniquely gifted
      and motivated to sensitively share his faith cross-culturally.
      Marriage to an attractive missionary's daughter was contingent on her
      commitment to go to a country and people group for whom Ken had
      developed a particular burden.
      Now, after two more years of specialized training, and three years of
      language study, Ken and Carrie are missionaries working among a
      people group that never heard the gospel until now.
      Bill: Port of Call
      Bill was a naval officer for nine years. His tour of duty took him
      to most of the world's major ports. Naturally, he loved to travel.
      But what excited him even more than seeing a new country was visiting
      with familiar friends in cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. These
      were missionaries whom Bill came to know through his church back in
      the States.
      Bill used his government clearance as a passport to get into foreign
      countries he could otherwise not visit. He arranged to meet the
      missionary in his respective city and use the time to deliver
      greetings and letters from back home. He also offered invaluable
      encouragement and fellowship that Bill's new missionary friends said
      they so desperately desired.
      Bill's ministry has never interfered with his naval
      responsibilities. What it's done, besides offering a practical
      source of one-on-one support, is sstrengthen the relationship between
      the missionaries and their home churches. Plus, it's encouraged Bill
      to share hiis ministry idea with other Christian military personnel
      who've since used this creative approach to start their own means of
      Just ordinary people,
      God uses ordinary people
      He choosespeople
      Just like me and You
      Who are willing
      To do as He commands
      God uses People
      That will give him all
      No matter how small your all
      May seem to you
      Because little becomes much
      As you place it
      In the Master's Hand.
      (Danniebelle Hall)
      Juan: Family Family Goals
      Juan's work as a newspaper reporter often kept him at the office
      untill 7:00 p.m. When his son's soccer team needed a coach, Juan
      decided to talk to his boss to see if he could arrange a new
      schedule. The editor obliged. Now Juan covers a city beat that
      allows him to leave the paper at 3:00 p.m. This gives him time to
      lead the team practices.
      Juan and his team posted a winning record. But another victory that
      didn't show up on the score-board was the relationships that Juan and
      his wife were able to develop with several of the parents. After the
      season was over, two couples regularly came over to Juan and Rosa's
      home. One non-Christian couple took a particular liking to Juan and
      his wife, and now they regularly attend church with them.
      Karen: Market Sharing
      Karen was a successful stock broker in Chicago where sher earned a
      six-figure salary. However, she chose to live on $30,000 a year.
      With the commissions she avassed from dealing on the commodities
      market, Karen was able to donate five times the amount she made to a
      number of international and local ministries. These included one of
      the city's most needy foster homes, an evangelistic outreach in
      India, and a feeding project for the starving in Somalia. Karen also
      set aside some of her earnings to travel and personally visit these
      ministries in order to gain a better understanding of how she could
      Today, back home in Chicago, she has begun a fellowship of Christian
      brokers who've committed to pray for, and minister, to their fellow
      workers. She also volunteers two nights a week in the foster home
      she supports financially
      As you've just seen, mission opportunities can happen right in your
      own place of work. They can also grow out of opportunities created
      by Christians who are willing to make major changes in their
      careers. Here are some examples of men and women who did just that:
      Jerry: Engineered to Serve
      Petroleum. It had produced a lifetime of financial success and
      professsional reward for Jerry, a respected chemical engineer. For
      years the main avenue he had for sharing his faith was a men's Bible
      study at church. When he saw his own brother become a Christian,
      something changed inside Jerry.
      He began to see the need for evangelistic outreach. When he leearned
      that petroleum engineers were needed in Saudi Arabia, Jerry and his
      wife saw an opportunity to combine work and ministry. He took a new
      job at a processing plant on the persian Golf. This became
      his "tentmaking" job. Today, while there are a few opportunities for
      him to verbalize his faith, Jerry lives the Christian life and trusts
      God to show him neew chances to be an effective witness.
      Jerry and his wife risked career, financial security, and their
      future to move overseas. What they've gained, however, is a ministry
      in a new seetting that still allows Jerry to grow in his profession.
      Robert: Song of Joy
      As a popular radio disc jockey, Robert was the man many people in his
      home town woke up to every morning. Robert's career was growing. He
      had hopes to become station manager and even part owner of his
      station's network family. But Robert decided that he wanted to do
      more with his life than spin top-40 records from 6:00 a.m. to noon.
      He decided to give up his popular morning shift and work for a much
      smaller Christian station. The pay was only a fraction of what he
      was previously making. But Robert found a new satisfaction by
      creating innovative programs that had a Christian focus. Robert grew
      with the station. Today, he's able to reach a whole new audience of
      people with whom he shares his faith. And some of the programs he's
      introduced at his new place of work have set standards of broadcast
      excellence that managers at some of the secular stations have
      noticed and admired.
      Sheri: Gift-Giving
      Sheri owned a successful gift shop in her home town. After a shaky
      start-up period she saw business grow, especially with elderly
      buyers. The seniors who camed in stopped and talked. They shared
      their concerns, their stories of lonelinesss. Sheri listened to them
      all. She began to visit the nearby community center where these men
      and women ate their meals.
      Sheri was a businesswoman, but at heart she was also a gifted
      organizer. After weeks of volunteering her few spare hours at the
      center, Sheri decided to sell her shop. With the earnings, she was
      able to work full-time at the senior community center as the new
      activities coordinator. She accepted only a fraction of the salary
      her friends wanted to pay her. The seniors had never experienced the
      fun of crafts, music, and outdoor recreation, until today as Sheri is
      puting her gifts of planning and enthusiasm to work.
      Ryan: Neew Fields of Growth
      For as far as he could remember, Ryan's only field of exploration had
      been outer space. That's because as an aerospace engineer, he had
      worked on many manned missions designing huge rocket boosters. One
      Sunday, he volunteered to help on a refugee farm project through his
      church. The agricultural habits and back-breaking labor made Ryan
      see right away that he had definitely gone to work in a "foreign
      field." But the project was successful. It gave the congregation a
      source for fresh vegetables and gave the refugees a needed source of
      income. The project also gave Ryan an unusual sense of
      As Ryan's involvement with the refugees grew, the church asked Ryan
      if he would go on salary, full time, to organize other refugee
      projects. Ryan agreed. He left his job inn the aerospace field and
      went on to work in his new field. He now administrates job
      development programs for over 300 refugees through his local church.
      At times he misses his former work, and the financial and lifestyle
      adjustments have been significant. But, by getting a new ministry
      off the ground, Ryan has utilized a whole new set of talents. And
      it has given him a whole new sense of purpose that he never had
      Trudy:Creative Direction
      Big sales and prestigious awards were what Trudy had to show for here
      seven years as an art director at a prestigious advertising agency.
      She had also received enough gray hairs from the pressure of the job
      for her to know that it was time to take a break. She and her
      husband decided to have a baby.
      Today, Trudy loves being a mother. She has arranged her schedule so
      that she can still spend 20 hours a week offering her creative
      services to Christian organizations. She has the freedom to set her
      own schedule and work at her own pace. Pluss, Trudy has the
      satisfaction of seeing her work promote organizations and causes into
      which she can put both her talent and her heart.
      None of the people you've read about here found it easy to integrate
      all three Biblical dimensions of work around the central focus of
      mission. Smong other things, these Christia ns risked career
      stability, financial security, and the possibility of being rejected
      by friends-all because they knew that God wanted them to transform
      their respective work, and their lives, for His purposes. These
      people were willinng to follow God's leading. They listened. They
      prayed. They struggled. They obeyed. Ultimately, they acted on the
      mission and career opportunities that God pute before them. And
      making this step, in His name, has made all the difference in their
      If this is impacted you, you may wish to find help in acting on this
      at Intercristo or at:
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