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

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Updates at this blog

My apologies to all my regular readers and those who have left comments and waiting for responses.  My life has changed dramatically over the past almost two years and for a long time I haven’t really felt like writing. That is changing and the writing is coming back as new things begin to inspire me.

I don’t want to labour why I haven’t been here. We had a loss in the family which really rocked us to the core and while life hasn’t returned to the normalcy we knew, it has taken on a new kind of ‘normal’ and we have begun to move forward again. I hope to start writing here again regularly and would also welcome guest contributors on this topic.

I had a speaking engagement coming up. I was to be the keynote speaker and was being paid well for it and the audience would be larger than most audiences I’d spoken before.  It was an honour to be asked and I was excited about it.

But the day that dawned found me not in a good state. I wasn’t feeling very well in the morning and as the day progressed I found myself to be teary and anxious.  Clients were ringing and demanding my time and I just didn’t feel like I was in control.  I was getting easily upset and watched the clock anxiously.

I had my stuff packed – books, order forms, magazines, one of my awards in a frame to show, my presentation had been written several days before.  I had everything ready, it’s just that I didn’t feel ready.

I sought prayer from a couple of women’s groups I belong to and my husband prayed for me in the morning before he left for work.  He rang me about a half hour before I was due to leave.

The trip was almost 100kms and I allowed 2 hours to get there – I had thought it should take about 1 3/4 hours.  It should have, but didn’t. The traffic was bad, the wind very strong and I got lost in a town that I don’t know very well. I had instructions and had looked it up in the Melways but somehow I was looking for a street on my right instead of on my left and before I knew it I was heading back out of that town so did a u-turn and was heading back in the direction I’d come. Where had I gone wrong?

I sms’d my husband to say I was lost and then rang the Telco company to get connected to the venue and the receptionist there talked me in over the phone. How embarrassing! By this time I was crying and in a real state.  Hubby rang me just as I was finding the venue and wished me all the best.  As I walked up the steep hilly road from the nearest parking spot I could find I hoped that my makeup hadn’t streaked and that things would get better from hereon.

I couldn’t even unpack my display of books properly for sales or anything – only a few things on the space they’d left for me on the table and then I was rushed to my seat so they could start the proceedings.  All I could do was sit in my seat and think I hadn’t even been able to grab my prepared notes or anything and God, what am I going to do?

Well, I calmed down and was on after the main meal, nearly an hour and half later.  I had a brief opportunity to grab my notes but didn’t get to read them  I did get to listen to the other speakers (it was an awards night) and I found a common theme amongst all of those who spoke briefly and even the women at my table.  I prayed briefly, got up and opened my mouth to speak and before I knew it I was being signalled there were only 10 mins to go, 5, then 2 and I finished. Where did that time go? I was able to refer to those others who had been up before me, engaged the audience in answering questions and shared information I’d learnt from the woman sitting next to me less than an hour before.  It seems the whole night was the perfect match for what I knew I needed to talk about.  I spoke about dreams and visions, and passions and how your passion is really your vision for life.  I quoted from Proverbs 31:10 at the end of it. I had people laughing in the audience, people looking thoughtful, nodding their heads in agreement when I spoke of the value of women being in the home and how our children benefit from that.  At one stage you could have heard a pin drop – it was awesome being up there in front of over 100 people and not a person was moving or talking – all were listening.  What an amazing experience that was.

Afterward a young teenage girl in school uniform came to ask me if I am a Christian and she was excited as she thought I was. We had a lovely conversation about her plans, dreams and vision.  Others were inspired to come tell me they’re going to pursue their dreams – one woman in her 40s who had always wanted to tap dance. I told her to go for it!  Another spoke of how she’d always wanted to write.

God was there and it went well, and it had to be from Him because I was in a mess leading up to the event. Isn’t He good?  Just goes to show you have to let Him take the lead and when He does, no matter how well prepared you are, or how badly things seem to be going, it will turn out in the way He had planned. You have to let Him take the lead.

Are you too busy?

For God that is.  Today’s reading in my perpetual calendar relates to Numbers 1:1 where God came to speak to Moses and issue instructions.

The calendar writer suggests that if we’re too busy to do the things we know that God wants us to do then we are busier than He intended for us to be.  We need to consider what should we be doing in order to honour God with our use of time.

I haven’t written here for awhile and you may, or may not, be aware that’s because my husband and I lost a daughter late last year.  I’ve slowly been picking up the regular activities in my life again but it hasn’t always been easy and I often find myself wasting time doing nothing.  That isn’t normal for me – I’m one who always likes to keep busy.  And I often find myself feeling guilty for not being as busy as I used to be or as busy as I think I should be.

Conversations with two of the Pastors from my church during my time of grieving have indicated that I should be taking time out for myself and that I shouldn’t be pushing too hard. That I’m allowed this time of reflection, sorrow, thinking, staring into space and not being as productive as ‘normal’.

Perhaps I need to establish a new ‘normal’.  Not long before we lost our daughter I had determined to spend more time with all of our daughters, whenever their time permitted. Since her death I’ve also been spending more time out in the open instead of my office, using a new digital SLR camera my husband gave me for Christmas.  I have begun to appreciate (all over again) the beauty of the nature of God outside and capturing that in photo images.  And part of that time has included having this daughter or that daughter come along with me on my photo shoots in the parks and wildlife areas, some of which have now been touched by the awful bushfires we’ve been having in Victoria, Australia.

You might like to see some of my photos by clicking on the image below.

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A recent discussion with my husband made me realise just how much people who work behind the scenes are not recognised or even ‘seen’.  And there are times when they do need to be acknowledged, especially at times they are hurting.

We’d been having a discussion with our Pastor and his wife about a family matter and they were asking about things they knew I’d been doing (my new book being one of those things) but they didn’t have a point of reference for asking my husband about things he does.  They did ask about his job but because it’s very ‘techy’ it tends to go over most people’s heads.

I’m very proud of my husband and although I don’t understand all the technical aspects of all he does I do appreciate and understand that there is a lot that people all over our country use online and via phone which my husband plays a part in making sure works properly.

At church once again my husband is someone who works behind the scenes. He operates a TV camera on roster or works the CCU (Camera Control Unit) which is completely outside of the auditorium and not visible to anyone in the church. There he monitors the camera activity on 4 screens and has a big panel board of switches and controls, ensuring that the services are being recorded to DVD with correct lighting, sound and other aspects of recording.

What he does is important to the end result of being able to produce a DVD and down loadable video from the church website so that those who could not attend the services for whatever reason can still watch the services from their computers at home or work.

Whilst it’s important we don’t blow up the importance of who we are and what we do, the reality is there are always going to be people in the front line who are visible to the public and get a large portion of acknowledgement for what they do.  We need to remember though, those who work behind the ‘front line’ and frequently ‘behind the scenes’ and are not visible but all the same still very important, so that the whole picture of what takes place is seen and appreciated.

In Corinthians 12:12-31 we are told about how we’re all part of one body made up of many parts. And that no one part is more important than the other. Think about how our eyes and ears and mouth are more visible to others and that many pay attention to how we look or use those visible portions of our bodies. But what about our mind, our hearts, and those internal organs that are not visible but just as important and possibly even more so, in order for us to operate?  Often people are assessed on ‘face value’ at first meeting and it’s often not till a relationship has been developed over a period of time that the lesser seen aspects of someone (their heart, their mind, etc) become something more visible to the unseen eye.

At our church they have a monthly event called ‘unsung heroes’ where they do applaud those who work behind the scenes in the church and make sure those who are usually invisible to the congregation at large are recognised for the part they play in helping our church to run smoothly.

Have you considered who are ‘behind the scenes’ and are ‘unsung heroes’ at your church, or your workplace or even perhaps amongst your friends and family?  These people don’t seek the limelight but deserve to be recognised, and particularly if it’s at a time when something has happened in their lives and they need extra special care.  Why not think about that today and pay someone some special attention just because of who they are?

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?

 

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