Discussing ministry in the workplace – “Whatever your passion is, that’s your vision”

Archives for June, 2008

Tell Your Story

Ps Rob had a great message last night (as he always does). He told us about the demon-possessed man in Mark 5. You know the story? The one where a herd of pigs ran down a steep embankment and drowned after the demons left that man?

I’d never really given that story a great deal of thought before, other than it was a story of healing and release, but Ps Rob showed us how, in verses 18-20 he begs Jesus to go with him, and instead Jesus tells him to stay, go home and tell his family what the Lord has done for him.

The man takes it further than that and tells the whole of his region in Decapolis. He begins to tell his story and evangelise. A couple of chapters later Jesus returns to that area and performs a healing and also feeds the crowd of 4,000+. Without that man telling his story to the people in that region, Jesus wouldn’t have been readily accepted sometime later for more miracles to take place. When the first miracle happened (the removal of the demons) the people begged Jesus to go away, but when he came back (after that man had evangelised) the people wanted to hear more from Jesus and brought a man for healing. It was probably a few weeks or months later but what a difference!

Now I see those verses in an entirely different light. Ps Rob told us how important it is for us to tell our stories, because there will always be others that can relate.

So, I’m here to tell you my story of how I came to know Christ as my personal Saviour.

I grew up in the church. My parents aren’t Christians but they were going for awhile while I and my siblings were young. Once we were old enough to go on our own, mum and dad stopped going. I have no idea if something happened to stop them, or whether they saw it as an opportunity for time alone for a couple of hours a week, but the result was that my sisters, brother and I grew up in the church without our parents present. Once in our late teens, early 20s we all left for a period of time but I returned after a couple of years, and then my brother too. One of my sisters has since begun going to church again. I pray that God touches their lives in a way that they know what they have and that they are able to reach out to others too, to tell their stories.

And so I’ve always known who God is and who Jesus is, but it wasn’t till August 1972 that I made a personal commitment.

Standing in the assembly hall in high school, I was 14 years of age and surrounded by several hundred high school girls. We had been standing for the school anthem and then the visiting choral group followed with a song called “He is My Everything”.

It was in the days of Engelbert Humperdinck’s highlight years and the tune was his very well known song of an almost similar title. I had known of Jesus all of my life, having grown up in church and Sunday School but the song somehow brought it all very close to me – in fact inside my heart. As I listened to the words I had a sudden growing realisation that Jesus was very real and my attempt at prayers and conversation with Him in the past would no longer be a mechanisation, but was instantly made real and personal.

The other girls in the hall faded from view and suddenly I was in a room that had become white and bright and the only people in it were Jesus and me. A part of me knew that the rest of the assembly were still there, I could hear them coughing or sniffling in the background, and the choir was still singing, but somehow their sound was now angelic and something was happening inside of me.

Tears streamed down my cheeks unchecked as the knowledge of a real Jesus took hold within me. I pulled out a hanky to start blowing my nose and wipe my tears as I saw Jesus smile and nod at me and then fade away again as the current ‘real’ images began to reappear. I looked around and saw the occasional girl wiping tears away from her cheeks and I wondered if they saw the same vision I had. A personal encounter with my Jesus that has stayed with me now for well over thirty years.

A love for singing took hold and over the years I have sung in duets, trios, groups and choirs. It seems that whenever I am singing for Him I am singing my best. I feel it go through my entire body and when the harmonies are right a shiver moves through me and I break out in goose bumps. I can’t explain; it just does and I know the sound mix is right. I have written many songs about our Lord, and the very first was probably only a few short weeks after I accepted him as my Lord and Saviour back there in 1972.

The visiting choral group that came to my high school in those days will probably never know just how many people they brought to the Lord through their wonderful gift but I am eternally grateful for their music and their introduction to a personal Jesus. Just as I will never know how many people I’ve touched with my story or the things I’ve been doing since, but every now and then I get a hint of what has transpired when I get a note, an email, a phone call or something else from someone whose life has been touched. One day, in the future, when I’m called to be with my Lord, I know I will see lots of faces of people I’ve met through my life, but in whom I didn’t know a seed had been planted. What a wonderful day of celebration that will be!

I’d like to encourage you to tell your story and link back here in the comments.  Let’s build a whole community of people telling their story for all to see.  Your story might not be for everyone, but as Ps Rob told us last night, there will always be someone who relates to your story, so why not share it?

My husband and I spent the long weekend away from home, enjoying some of what nature has to offer in our beautiful Victorian countryside. We spent a day at Mt Buffalo and in reality, we probably needed a good week there. So many tracks to wander along, so many sights to really take time to stop and enjoy. Our visit was fleeting but pleasant on a beautiful sunny but cold winter’s day.

I took this picture because it reminded me of someone I know online who recently felt like he was at the end of his tether. So much so he almost took his life but friends stepped in at the crucial moment. I like to believe that’s because God wasn’t ready for this man to leave this world yet.

Often there are times when we feel like we’re stuck between a rock and hard place, with nowhere to go and life being squeezed out of us. But when I saw this fern growing between two large rocks on Mt Buffalo I felt God saying to me that there is life, even between the rock and the hard place.

This fern found something to grab hold of and grow upon, just as we must grab onto our own personal rock and foundation, our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him there is always hope and people can always survive and flourish, even if it appears to many they are in an impossible place in their lives. If you are reading this right now and feel that you are in this place of nowhere else to go, then know there is something you need to do.

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. He wants you to be still and listen to Him, reach out to Him and really listen. That deep, dark place you are in right now is only temporary, it is not permanent. Know that tomorrow, God’s tomorrow, will be a very different place for you and there is still hope, there is still life. Be still and know that He is God.

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Our Pastor has been doing a wonderful series on ‘church without walls’. That is, ministry in the community, workplace, at home, anywhere outside the walls of our church.

He took us through a few challenging items this morning and I’ll share on each one in separate posts. Today I want to concentrate on Working With Honesty, and in particular, with our own energy.

He told us how, in the Australian economy, about $10billion a year is spent in dealing with problems caused by lack of sleep. That’s an astronomical amount of money. We were encouraged to think carefully about how much sleep and rest we get when we are not working. This relates to both employees, employers and the self-employed.

If we are not well rested and arrive at work having been up all the previous night at a party, or dinner, or something else, then it’s reasonable to expect we’re not going to be able to give of our best during the business hours. Our energy is spent and just not available.

When we arrive at our job or our business, our boss, colleagues and clients should receive the best possible service and performance from us. But frequently they don’t. We’re being paid under false pretenses and the company we provide a service to is getting inferior performance. Not to mention the problems that arise health wise from extended periods of lack of sleep and resulting accidents on the job or on the road. Just look at what happens with the truckies for example, if they’re doped up (pardon the pun) on drugs to stay awake so they can get their deliveries made.

So, are you getting enough sleep and rest at night and on the weekends so you can turn up to work on Monday fully rejevenated? Or are you letting your workplace down? Worth thinking about. If you’re ‘stealing’ the energy that should be available for your job you’re not only letting the workplace down, you’re also letting God down.

 

About Author

John 5:17
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

My name is Kathie and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I grew up always knowing that God was with me and formally accepted Christ as my Saviour when I was 14 years old. I have had many experiences where God has been involved at my places of work and amongst my work colleagues.

A few years ago I heard the founder of Australian Christian TV speak - I don't remember a lot of his talk but I do remember one particular phrase that has stuck with me ever since. He said "Whatever your passion is, that's your vision" . It struck a chord with me and I realised that the very things that made me passionate are the same things that I do daily in my business, and through those things I know I touch many lives. I believe I am where our Lord wants me to be.

 

I've recently been reading Faith & Work: Do They Mix? by Os Hillman. Excellent book and it was whilst reading it, I got the idea for this blog - and was pleasantly surprised that this domain was waiting for me to purchase. I will be sharing what I've been learning through reading and research in the hope that it will also provide answers to your searches and prayers. Would love to hear from you. Bless you, KMT