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Labor Day thoughts: Work

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Finances, Special days | Comments Off on Labor Day thoughts: Work

Some Scriptures about work:

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor.  Proverbs 12:24

In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on Proverbs 16:26

He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.  Proverbs 28:19

There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.  Ecclesiastes 2:24

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you… 1 Thessalonians 4:11

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  2 Thessalonians 3:10   [NOTE: For those who are out of work, your job search or the time you put into starting a business is your work. If not enough income is coming in, however, you may need to take a job below your qualifications for a season.]

A word to employers:

Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. James 5:4  [NOTE: You may not run a business, but you likely hire people to work for you. Does someone mow your lawn? Do you have someone come in periodically to clean house? Have you ever hired friends or acquaintances to do repair work around your home? Then you are an employer and those people are your laborers. Don’t seek to withhold blessings—a fair wage—for the work they do for you. If you don’t pay them fairly, their wages will cry out to God against you. That’s serious stuff.]

For those of you with the day off, enjoy! If you have to go to work today, praise God for the opportunity to make a living. And if you’re looking for work, may God shine light on your path and direct all your ways.


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Father’s Day Thoughts

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in Special days | Comments Off on Father’s Day Thoughts

My dad: WW2 vet, married to one woman, breadwinner, shrewd thinker, uncomfortable about faith, better with small kids than pre-teens or teens, giver, uncomfortable in crowds, adventurous.

My dad was a flawed man. He battled insecurity, anger, and alcoholism. Yet as I thought about him this Father’s Day, I smiled and thanked God for him. He exemplified the American dream. He came from a dustbowl, Depression-era home in Oklahoma and survived a broken home at age 10. He knew the stigma of living in a single-mother home when very few other kids did. He started smoking about the same time his dad left his mom, and gave up smoking in his late fifties in support of my mom who had to quit smoking or die.

And despite his broken beginnings, he served in the South Pacific as a pilot in WW2 between stints at Oklahoma University, and when he finally finished college, he went to night school while working days at his dream job—an engineer at a corporate firm—to earn his Masters. He provided for his wife and two kids, and later his third—me—and made sure we had everything we needed.

Although he battled his demons, he sought to live in integrity. As outraged as he could make me (and he did seem to look for buttons to push), I am thankful for the man God gave me as my dad. Just recognizing that he was not only flawed but also longed to do what was right most of the time helps me to honor him in my memory despite those flaws.

He passed away in 2008, and I am thankful for his positive input in my life and for the lessons I’ve learned from the more unpleasant times. I’ve chosen to forgive him completely and to love him as the gift of God that he was able to be. Although he shunned my offer of leading him to Christ, he heard the truth. I can rest in the love of my Heavenly Father and trust that God has it all covered. And perhaps…maybe…my dad heard the message one last time, and recognizing his eternal need, quietly opened his heart to Christ.

I am writing this for all of you who did not have a “perfect” dad. I know that wounds can still fester on the inside of many—even Christians—due to the thoughtlessness, negligence, and sometimes abuse of their fathers. If this describes you, I challenge you to find the positive—whatever it may be—in the relationship you’ve had with your dad, and thank God for it. I found that great healing started in my life and love for my dad  increased as I thanked God for the good that he was able to instill in my life.

You don’t need to pretend that everything was—or is—hunky-dory to look for the good. But as you seek out those good things (I bet you’ll find something) and thank God for what you discover, a washing and a healing in your heart will begin, and a new compassion—the love of Christ—will rise up in your heart for that one flawed man called Dad.

God bless you,


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