All posts tagged: Work

London, England Credit: Xynn Tii/Flickr/Creative Commons

Careers for Christians: Making a Difference

Yesterday I taught a class. One man in the class was well groomed and polite; obviously a company manager. On a break, he told me his business was slow, so he was looking for a job, just a job. He was tired of losing money with his business, so he closed it down and put all his employees out of work. I train truck drivers. That man is at a very low point in his career, and I hope he climbs out and finds more success and satisfaction. If you are wondering, I am not longer a career climber. I am semi-retired and I work as a contractor helping other people with their work, and I really enjoy what I do. In the last few weeks, I learned how to find a satisfying career, and I know this will work for everyone, including you. Lesson 1) I visited my father because about a week ago I think God spoke to me. I am a Christian, and I expect this. The sensation reminded me that my …

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Careers for Christians: Good Without God

Everyone needs to eat, and make the payments to the bank, and that is a problem. In modern times we have careers with long-term plans. In Bible times they had slaves, and kings, and warriors. So how do we live today? What is a career for a Christian? The Bible tells us to work, and to work hard, and this is a curse we can’t escape from: “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.” (Genesis 3:19). I don’t see an exciting career in those words. If you follow the news, some fabulous careers are coming apart and collapsing these days. 2017 is the great year of the scandal, and in the news, that usually means sex crimes by powerful people. We can easily miss the other allegations of dirty politics, espionage, terrorism, and financial fraud; and I’m sure I missed something. We live in an information age when there are no safe secrets, and the wave of scandals is …

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Careers for Christians: Where do we start?

People everywhere are trying to find satisfying careers; we want to be fulfilled in the job we do to earn our paycheck. Sometimes, just getting a paycheck is the challenge. We are getting close to the new year when most of us think about these things. So, if God cares, does he care about this part of our lives? I may be on my third career now, or my fourth, depending on how you count some jobs. When I was a boy I delivered newspapers and when I was fourteen, I worked as the shop boy in the Yarn Barn. Knitting was a big thing and one of the ball winding machines had a broken tension hook, so I was the tension hook. I tugged on the yarn with my fingers as it raced through the machine, and I still have all my fingers. No one likes their first job, and I have moved on since then. I am sure the Bible has career advice for Christians, and really, the good book is good for …

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Help, I can’t get promoted!

For part of my career I worked in a large university. I also trained to be a Christian minister but jobs were just not available in churches, so I taught in a university. I was promoted to be the coordinator of the department, like a vice-principal in a school for adults. This promotion was a surprise to me, and I was supposed to be interim; our Director was going to quit and someone had to hold things together until the new Director arrived. When he finally came, he needed people like me, so he extended my tenure as coordinator. That’s when my friends started hating me and senior managers started looking at me as a liability instead of an asset. They needed to save money and I was a cost, and my friends wanted my job. On the success side, I schemed and politicked my way into a large window office, in a place where most of us worked in cubicles, with no outside light. I am ashamed to tell you that now. God never …

Harvest time is hard work Credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Kill a Church – Part 3

The U.S.A. just had an election and the whole world is talking about it. I live in Canada, so I don’t want to add to the discussion; Americans know how to manage their own country. Before we forget though, Donald Trump surprised the world by winning, and Hillary Clinton shocked her loyal followers by losing. Before the vote, he labored to convince the doubters to vote for him, and she convinced her friends to love her more. We had the same pattern where I live in 1992; Nancy Betkowski was an educated, sophisticated woman who was going to be our provincial leader. Her rival was Ralph Klein, a journalist who drank too much. At the leadership convention Nancy went to bed knowing she had the majority vote the next day. Ralph stayed up all night working the crowd and trying to convince his enemies to vote for him. Nancy appeared for her coronation the next morning, and we were all stunned when Ralph won the vote. He missed some sleep and worked very hard, and …

Do everything to the glory of God. Photo: Welder/Sorenslim/Flickr/Creative Commons

Secular or Sacred?

If I were to ask average believers what percent of their day would fall under the heading of secular activities vs. sacred, would the answer be 50/50, or 60/40, or even 80/20? If you were a full time pastor, we might expect your sacred time would be higher that if you were, say, a welder. Christian musicians sometimes comment that on Sundays they play sacred music, but on Friday and Saturday they play secular. Although we all understand what they mean, I believe that this division is arbitrary and non-biblical. This topic was brought to my attention while I was reading a book called Know The Truth by Bruce Milne. The author was discussing the modern friction between the natural and the supernatural. I was surprised to learn that the Hebrew vocabulary and thinking from the Old Testament has no equivalent for our word “nature” or “natural”. God is responsible for all; the “natural” world was created by the spiritual. The Old Testament followers saw rain from clouds and water from a rock as both …

So You Hate Your Job: Fix the Problem

[by Sandy McIntosh]  Are you stressed by your employment? Most of us are. Security and a good paycheck are hard to find these days. Some of the safest jobs are now unstable. I have worked in places that were solid for a lifetime, and now they are gone, and I have seen people suffer in their employment. I remember a single mother, struggling with divorce and raising two small children, but she had a job with IBM; as safe as a bank. When IBM cut back in her city, she lost that rock-solid job, and the results were painful to watch. So if you have a problem with your work:

So You Hate your Job, Chapter 4: Dream On

[by Sandy McIntosh] Is your job bugging you? Are you unfulfilled and frustrated with your career? Do you want to turn it all around? Here’s a start; Don’t be a lazy dreamer. I have been guilty of lazy dreaming, and I know there is always a price to pay. Probably you are guilty with me. When I was younger I looked into education that would give me a vocation, a career for the long term. At a big university I visited a professor to talk about possibilities, and during the conversation he looked at me and said “Would you like to join our doctoral program?” I heard him and felt a stab of fear, so I quickly said no. Now, looking back, I should have ignored the fear and asked questions. A doctorate might have been a good thing. Sometimes I think about that road not taken and I wonder. I had a dream for something better, but it was feeble and lazy, and it couldn’t connect with real opportunities. The professor gave me a …

So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Three: Lose the attitude

[by Sandy McIntosh] In your job, or career, or business, are you proud of your success? Are you stressed about not getting what you deserve? Is recognition too slow sometimes? I once worked in a prestigious place where winners had window offices, and losers had cubicles. When I learned that a former Director’s office was vacant, I did my best lobbying and I got it, with my Director’s old desk. He was upgrading too. So I had a large window office with a big wooden desk; and no I did not have emotional problems with that. It felt good. Soon after, Stan came by my new office. He seemed impressed and asked “How did you get an office like this? You’re doing pretty good for a …” Stan didn’t finish his sentence, and I never learned my rank in the local religion.

So You Hate Your Job, Chapter Two: Free the Slaves

[by Sandy McIntosh] Are you afraid of losing your job? Are you unhappy with work but you see no way out? Would unemployment be the end of life as you know it? You may have a career disease called “lack of agility.” This sickness is not always terminal, but it is chronic and debilitating. And the freedom that God gives to Christians does not include this depressing dysfunction. These are the symptoms: you are not happy where you are, but you can’t move. And there is no place in your life for dreams and visions of greater things. And you fear losing your job. There are different treatments for this disease, including bank therapy. In my experience, most Christians and most churches need a dose of personal financial medication. I have been there.

So You Hate Your Job, Chapter One: Just Quit

[by Sandy McIntosh] Christian, there are two ways to quit your job. Choose one. Jesus told about persecution “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.” (Matthew 10:23) I believe when a workplace becomes dysfunctional and stressful, you need to move. God doesn’t call most of us to live in a toxic mess. And if you can’t quit, just quit. With financial and family commitments, maybe we can’t just move on and maybe the situation is not totally toxic. The Bible, in Ephesians chapter six gives instructions to slaves, who could not move: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” (Ephesians 6:7). Quit that boss, in your heart, and start working for God. The boss will probably thank you. We have more freedom than we know.