Close to Dad

5 09 2012

I smiled as I heard the story. A child’s simple actions are often the gateway into deeper faith.

Our friends were visiting a different congregation. Dad is a preacher, and he had been invited to come and share a lesson about Jesus with the Christians there. His little son eyed the auditorium full of people, and asked his mom if he could go up to the front and sit with his dad. Mom gave him permission, and he hurried up to the pew where his dad waited to extend an invitation to become more like Jesus.

The little boy snuggled in next to his dad. The bigness of the crowd was tamed by the big arms of his father. When dad stood up to talk about Jesus, the little boy knew exactly where he needed to be. He got up and stood next to dad. He wasn’t content to watch from a distance. He planted himself by his father’s side. I wish I could have seen it. The picture of a son standing next to a father is the best invitation into the heart of God.

I love this little boy’s actions. He didn’t let the crowd intimidate him or keep him away from his father’s side. In order to face the moment, he knew where he needed to stand – close to dad. Any other place wouldn’t do. He didn’t try to handle it on his own. He didn’t make excuses, worry about what others would think, or shy away from expressing his need. He refused to settle for anything less than the presence of his father. And in his actions, he challenges me to move in closer myself.

My Jesus Resolution today is to stand close to my Father. Too often, I think that I should be “big enough” to handle it by myself. I let the world tell me that distance equals maturity, independence is a good goal, or that there is some benefit in holding back. Sometimes I let the crowd convince me to wait and watch from afar. Today God opens His arms and reminds me that there is always room for me by His side. It is time to get up and move closer.

Labor Day

3 09 2012

Today is Labor Day. It is a day in America where we honor the workforce in our country by taking a day off and not going to work.

Our jobs provide us with a unique privilege. They are the places that offer us the chance to use our skills and talents to benefit others, while providing for our families. The way that we walk through our workdays matters. Here are ten ways to open the door for Jesus to impact where you work.

1. Set your mind on things above as you head into the office. Turn off the radio and let His voice and His words jumpstart your thoughts and direction as you start your day.

2. Look at your shoes for a minute as you step into your workplace. Let 1 John 2:6 determine the way you walk through your day.

3. Smile. Joy is always a choice.

4. Let integrity shine through every action and choice you make today.

5. Pray for each person you encounter today.

6. Listen. Really listen.

7. Watch for God moments in your day. He is in your office. Keep your eyes open.

8. Worship before you worry.

9. Be willing to go the second mile.

10. Work to please God first.

My Jesus Resolution today is to make Colossians 3:23 come alive in my workplace. Sometimes people are difficult, deadlines are pressing, situations are sticky, and stress is the only thing that is in full supply. Each day I have an opportunity to walk with God into my workplace. His wisdom can guide my steps. His character can shape my choices. His power can infuse my actions. His grace can transform my perspective. Choosing to look like Jesus at work means God gets to shine through everything I do.