FOUR WISE WORDS ABOUT JOBS

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Sharon Durant, contributor for today’s blog

Job-hunting. How do you feel about job hunting? Excited to try something new? A bit embarrassed about trying to ‘sell yourself’? Worried about being turned down?

Job hunting. So much pressure.

If you choose wisely you could land a job that thrills you every morning. This job could make you feel fulfilled, financially stable, intellectually challenged and revolutionise your daily life. But. If you choose the wrong job, you’ll be miserable every day, feel trapped, worried, stressed, anxious, belittled…

Hang on a minute. My JOB could make me feel fulfilled, stable, and all those things? Isn’t that kind of thing supposed to be found in Christ?

This job thing is on my mind a lot at the moment. I’m applying for my first job in teaching. I’m taking on a massive workload. I will still have to balance my other responsibilities as wife and mother. I will still need to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.

Here’s four wise words from the Bible that are keeping me grounded whenever I panic about whether I will choose the right job or not:

  1. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15)
    Work is good. God does not want me to be idle. God gave me a brain, arms legs, Eccl-5-19-leavescompassion, energy and wit enough to be of use in His world. God gave Adam a job and the Bible affirms later that it is a gift of God to be happy in your work (Ecclesiastes 5:19).
  2. “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

Work is not everything. Ecclesiastes reminds me that ‘the perfect job’ may contribute to my happiness and wellbeing but it is not the source of satisfaction and fulfilment. My joy relies on God and the sure knowledge of his saving love for me. A job which I enjoy is a gift from Him, not a replacement for my relationship with God.

  1. apple-on-open-book-teacherWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for  human masters” (Colossians 3:23)

Work at it with all your heart, whatever it is. Whether I am stuck in a dead-end job, at home looking after children, retired and offering my time to God, or working in the profession I love, I work as though Christ himself is my boss. He sees all my noble sacrifices for my job. All those times I’ve stayed late and worked hard and no one noticed. He also sees all my Facebook distractions. All those times I’ve said I was too busy and I blatantly wasn’t. Jesus is the one I am living to please more than my husband, my children or my boss. What Jesus gives me to do I will work at with all my heart, even if it is not my dream job.

  1. “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven…”

Matthew 6:8

Pray. I’ll keep hunting, keep applying and keep working to the best of my ability. I trust God to provide the right job at the right time, with the right hours to suit my work-life balance. He knows what I need, even before I ask him. I’m still going to keep asking him, though. He’s my heavenly Father, and he loves me. That won’t change, whichever job I apply for.

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ESTABLISHING A PATTERN OF WISDOM IN OUR CHOICES

Picture1Hi girlfriends,

TONIGHT, MONDAY, 25 January, 7:30pm, is our 3rd in the series of WAY OF WISDOM – CHOICES WITH A GOSPEL MINDSET. 

I look forward to seeing you there as we catch up and feast on God’s word together. It promises to be full of laughter, insight, cake, and friendship. And hopefully, through God’s amazing grace, after our time together, we will  love Christ and each other even more; that we will be encouraged and inspired to live as wise women who will be ‘clothed with strength and dignity, and can laugh at the days to come!’

And yes, bring a friend. AND, please come even if you were not able to do your study!

See you tonight!

Picture1Kathy

WISDOM WILL BEGIN TO RISE

Picture1Establishing a pattern of wisdom with our choices is the topic we are studying for Monday, 25 January at 7:30pm. Last week on the blog I wrote about what can go wrong in our attempt to establish a pattern of wisdom, and instead find ourselves wallowing in rubbish circumstances, having made foolish choices and feeling defeated. I asked, “why and how does this happen?” Thank you to those who responded on the blog and FB. We will consider this further on study night.

Sisters, we will fail. We fall. But we can encourage one another with the reminder that it isn’t the end of the story!  Christ is the victor in and through us! Even though we will make mistakes and stumble and fall at times, the Lord will pick us up. The Lord will carry us on. romansHe is our Romans 8:28 God and He can be trusted!

But you may say, “Kathy, that sounds all biblical and good; a bit like Sunday school talk. Knowing is one thing, but seeing it manifested in my life is another!” Girlfriends, I totally relate and struggle with this myself in one area or another from time to time.  There is that “already but not yet fully redeemed” tension again!

It is true, if we do not know how to apply the Word to our experience, we lack wisdom. This is especially true in trials. (James reminds us of that because he encourages us to ask for wisdom in James 1).   As committed followers of Christ, we are free to make choices so long as they don’t violate God’s revealed (moral) will. You shouldn’t be concerned that your choices will somehow derail God’s sovereign will for your life, because He routinely works through your choices to accomplish what He purposes.

316437612388beced1ff95ca2023a3bcHaving said that, what happens when one isn’t fully submitted to the Lord; whose heart is divided? In other words, she isn’t sure she wants to do what God has asked her to do?  Young Augustine displayed this in his divided, delayed prayer: “Lord, make me pure, but not yet.”  James says that those who are “on the fence” in this way, “should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.” He is like “a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind…” He is “unstable in all he does”—erratic, fearful, clueless. Those with chronically divided hearts won’t be able to make biblical decisions, as sin blinds our ability to understand and apply God’s Word to our lives.

Yet God loves us with a relentless, passionate affection that can deliver us; can grow us into wise, godly women. But only if we yield ourselves to Him—minute. by. minute. hour. by. hour. day. by. day. year. by. year. It may hurt a little, and it may take awhile.  But as we are transformed, wisdom will begin to rise in us and pour itself out to others.

88988f2a9ac5722ed07514512325bf40So here’s a question to ponder: How can we encourage one another in this “yielding” journey with our Lord? 

I look forward to reading your thoughts on this. I hope to include this in our study next week.

Have a blessed week as you establish the way of wisdom in your choices!

Kathy xo

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ESTABLISHING A PATTERN OF WISDOM

Kathy LarkmanAs I have been preparing this month’s bible study (25 January, 7:30 pm), ESTABLISHING A PATTERN OF WISDOM IN OUR CHOICES, I am reminded  in 2 Peter 1:3, 4, that our Lord gives us everything we need for life and godliness. We can find comfort and trust in this promise as we consider the way of wisdom in our choices. Whew! Thank you Lord!

sermon-1-abrahamic-covenant-01-16-638We hope and pray that the GRACE PLACE contributions to date have been encouraging, comforting, and challenging to you as we journey together in our every day, ordinary, messy lives.

As I ponder personally what it means to establish a pattern of wisdom, I realize God has given me many resources if I CHOOSE to draw on them; the treasure of God’s Word, my life group, and my church family. These are just some of my lifelines in acquiring and establishing a pattern of wisdom. They help me with everyday challenges lest my heart becomes hardened.  They help me to choose wisely when it matters most.  It is a step by step, day by day journey. However, when I am not settled in a pattern of Godly wisdom gathering, foolish waves roll in and mess with my head.  My heart begins to harden. It thwarts my desire to be the wise woman God has called me to be. Result? A drop in confidence, waves-crash_2110412imotivation, and productivity, closely followed by compromise and justification of my thoughts and actions on many different levels. Discouragement sets in and even disillusionment.  AND, as the tide crashes in, I am getting dangerously close to the rocks in the trajectory of my choices. Because the choices I make today are my circumstances tomorrow. In the end? Foolish choices.Rubbish circumstances.Feeling alienated from God wondering what went wrong.

Can you relate? If so, what are your thoughts as to how and why this happens?  

We must cling to the firm foundation of the Gospel. That is why we are considering what it is to have and how to establish a pattern of wisdom in our choices. Quoting Lysa Terkeurst, “Wisdom makes choices that will still be good tomorrow.”

living wisely in a foolish worldNow, I would like to hear from you! Respond on the blog to the question in bold above. I hope to share some of your thoughts at the bible study.   (Please remember to keep it relatively short so that we can read from everyone!)

I hope to pose another question next week. So, stay tuned!

May the Lord bless you and cause you to make wise choices this week!

Kathy xoPicture1

 

 

 

GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR PROBLEMS!

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Pam Mitchell, Contributor for today’s blog

Ephesians 2:14-19 JESUS IS OUR PEACE

GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR PROBLEMS. I ask myself, “Just how much do I really appreciate this truth?” The other week I had a slight panic attack thinking that something awful might have happened to Stuart, my husband, as I could not get hold of him on his mobile for a few hours.  As this was totally out of character for Stuart, I found myself getting anxious. I quickly had to come to Jesus and repent and ask 15204e4abc302a8b432c8a480488410dHim for peace. Even after that there kept coming the niggling negative thoughts!

There are all sorts of trials and stresses that assail us in our daily walk- family upsets and difficulties, health issues, financial problems, unemployment and many more. And then there are inner, sometimes secret turmoils of mental or emotional difficulties that many face. These can cause feelings of low self esteem, depression, feeling unloved etc.

674ece34710b5b33f2c86a4871225bf6Ephesians teaches us the answer to all of life’s problems if we can only take it to ourselves and act upon it. JESUS is our peace. How we struggle at times in our own strength, which is very weak, and fail to take God’s word to heart and choose to believe. The enemy of our souls uses all sorts of things to distract us from the truth and the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus.

We can take possession of these truths when trials come upon us and choose to live in His victory. Or, we can choose to go down the path of defeat and have a good ‘pity party’, denying the power we have in Him. Which one will it be?images (8)

We have choices daily to either trust in God’s Word or believe the lies of the enemy.

49a8a12b82bc857dbfa6e2be4b0a3fd1Some years ago I had a wall plaque given to me by a visiting minister to our church who we were hosting at the time. I have even loaned it to people who have been struggling as a reminder of who they can trust when they are in trouble. This plaque says, “Don’t look to the bigness of your need, look to the BIGNESS of your GOD. Your circumstances are hindrances to seeing His abilities. If you keep your eyes on your circumstances, the devil will use them to defeat you and accuse the Word of God, the written and Living Word. Your victory is in keeping your eyes on the bigness of your God and His ability. He has promised to take you step by step, not all at once. Each step will be a miracle!”

biggodLet us encourage one another today to take one step at a time and CHOOSE to trust in God!

 

 

 

 

2016!

top-meaning-christian-happy-new-year-greetings-message-1Happy New Year Girlfriends!

I hope you have had a blessed holiday season! I look forward to catching up with ya’ll in the coming days and weeks.

I was reading a New Year’s prayer recently by author Lysa Terkeurst, and it really resonated with my heart. I would like to share it with you. She wrote this back in 2009:

lysa-sidebar” Unsettle me.

These are the two words rattling about in my brain today. I almost wish it was a more glamorous prayer. Surely more eloquent words could be found for what I’m feeling led to pursue during this new year.

But these are the words- this is the prayer for my 2009.

The funny thing is I’ve spent my whole existence trying to find a place to settle down. People to settle down with. And a spirit about me worthy of all this settled down-ness.

All of this is good. A contented heart, thankful for its blessings is a good way to settle.

But there are areas of my life that have also settled that mock my desires to be godly woman. Compromises if you will. 

Attitudes that I’ve wrapped in the lie, “Well, that’s just how I am. And if that’s all the bad that’s in me, I’m doing pretty good.”

I dare you, dear soul of mine, to notice the stark evidence of a spirit that is tainted and a heart that must be placed under the microscope of God’s word.

Yes, indeed, unsettle me Lord.

Unearth that remnant of unforgiveness.

Shake loose that justification for compromise.

Reveal that broken shard of pride.

Expose that tendency to distrust.

Unsettle me in the best kind of way. For when I allow your touch to reach the deepest parts of me- dark and dingy and hidden away too long- suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances through my soul.

I can delight in forgiveness and love more deeply.

I can discover my gentle responses and find softer ways for my words to land.

I can recognize the beauty of humility and crave the intimacy with God it unleashes.

I can rest assured though harsh winds blow, I will be held.

Goodbye to my remnants, my justification, shards, and tendencies. This is not who I am- nor who I was created to be.

Goodbye to shallow love, sharp words, self focus, and suspicious fears. I am an unsettled woman who no longer wishes to take part in your distractions or distructions.

Welcome deeper love, softer words, unleashed intimacy, and the certainty I am held.

Welcome my unsettled heart.

Welcome 2009.” 

Does this resonate with your heart as well? May we pray this prayer together for 2016! SO BRING ON 2016!!!

Kathy LarkmanLove, Kathy L