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BCXR28

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About BCXR28

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  1. Nehemiah experienced both external and internal opposition while rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. He had a secret to navigating this opposition and reducing the disruption to the “flow” of work. He viewed it as creative tension and not emotional tension. Emotional tension leaves you working from an inner place of anxiety, discouragement, hopelessness, and worry. Going deeper into Nehemiah 4-5, we can see how the workers Nehemiah was surrounded by regularly experienced emotional tension that affected their productivity and efficiency at work. Anxiety does not support creativity or clear thinking. Instead, it causes people to pour their energy into fighting against the tension. Creative tension, on the other hand, doesn’t feel any particular way. Rather it is a force that comes into play at the moment we realize and acknowledge that there is a gap between the vision of our company or team and our current reality. Nehemiah saw evidence of the gap between the vision of his people working together to rebuild a wall and the current reality of opposition. The failures he saw surrounding him were simply opportunities for learning. They exposed inaccurate pictures of current reality, strategies that weren’t working as expected. Ultimately these failures helped clarify his vision and mission. His motivation wasn’t rooted in fighting against “what is” but being drawn deeper into what he wanted to create. If we work from a place of emotional tension, we are driven to resolve the tension. And we generally do so by shrinking our vision and lowering our goals, which ends up disrupting the entire system. If we work from a place of creative tension, we are driven by a strong inner vision of what should be and one day will be. And the feelings that result support a sense of personal purpose and genuine caring, not fear or anxiety. What sort of tension drives you? Your team? Prayer Jesus, I know you sympathize with the tension I’m feeling. You too struggled with the cup that you had to drink from the night before you were to be crucified. You carried that tension to the cross and created freedom and new life. I know you can do the same with the tension I’m carrying. I surrender my tension to you. Give me emotional rest and stir the same creativity in me. I ask this in your Holy name. Amen.
  2. The biggest temptation when facing the failure of others at work is to create an “us vs. them” relationship with others and play the blame game. Marketing blames manufacturing. Operations blames R&D. Sales blames finance. The team blames the manager. The manager blames the team. Nehemiah teaches us in chapter one that there is no blame. This might be a hard pill to swallow, but let’s look at how Nehemiah responds in this situation. When Nehemiah heard about the shame and trouble his people in Jerusalem were experiencing, he mourned for days, praying to God about the failures of his people. He didn’t blame. He didn’t create an “us vs. them” relationship between the “good” exiled Jews of Babylon and the “bad” returned-exiled Jews of Jerusalem. He prayed. And listen to the content of his prayer: “… I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.” Nehemiah never broke relationship with his people. There was no “us” and “them” -- only “we.” He even realized that, collectively, they were all producing results nobody wanted. He knew that he, his failed team, and his failed organization were all citizens of one single ecosystem. His output would inevitably shape their input just as their input shaped his output. Therefore, he knew that the cure for the failure lay in pulling together, rather than fracturing into “friends” and “enemies.” What about you? When faced with others’ failure or your company’s failure, do you play the blame game? Or do you realize that you are all connected in one single system -- that there is an input-output “dance” going on between you, the people around you, and the company? Prayer Father, I confess that I often blame and criticize people more than I bless and show compassion. Forgive me for creating division between me and them in my heart. I know the gospel tears down dividing walls and draws “us” and “them” together to form a “we.” Guide my day to unite and not divide. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
  3. We all experience failure at work. People fail us. The organizations to which we belong — and maybe even lead — fail. Failure is not reserved for the weak, incompetent, or unfortunate. It’s not something you can somehow avoid by cleverness or righteousness. It will happen, and to you. The story of Nehemiah illustrates this vividly. Nehemiah was a high-powered, highly effective leader who did everything right. He secured funding from an outside investor to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. He completed this project in record time -- just 52 days. He re-established the Jewish faith practices in Jerusalem, then returned to his job as the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. But when he returned to Jerusalem a couple of years later, he found that the work he had done to restore obedience to God had spoiled. The people he assigned to leadership, the citizens, and the Temple organization all failed him. Nehemiah teaches us that failure is not an option. It is inevitable. Jesus offers us hope in the midst of failure. He told his disciples, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). On the cross, Jesus faced the ultimate failure. He was rejected politically by Rome, religiously by the Pharisees, ethnically by the Jews, and relationally by his disciples (Mark 15:34). Yet three days later, he launched a whole new business initiative called “the renewal of all things” and a new company called the church to lead the initiative (Revelation 21:5). As Christians in the workplace, God has called us to take an active part in His mission through our work. This means that we can give all our failures to God. When we do, He can make life out of it. We can give God our broken, disfigured, and rejected team or organization and, like the body of Jesus hanging on the cross, God can make life out of it. Prayer Father, You took the worst thing that has happened in human history -- the crucifixion of God -- and turned it into the best thing to happen to the world -- renewal of all things. So, I give you my failure and trust that you will make life out of it. I pray this in the name of Jesus who took on my spiritual failures and gave me his spiritual successes by grace through faith, Amen.
  4. Each of us is in a different phase of our career. Some of us are in the first third: starting out. Others are in the second third: mid-life. And some are in the final third: retirement. Most of us look forward to our retirement as a time of relaxation, leisure and pleasure. But this view of the last third of our life isn’t exactly biblical. While we may stop working for a paycheck, God intends for us to bear fruit as long as we are able. Paul wrote some of the most influential work of his career during the last third of his life. Included in this is the letter to the Philippians. Paul never stopped pursuing his God-appointed mission. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul’s goal was to encourage the Philippian believers who were a minority facing persecution. He acknowledged their ongoing commitment to God in their work. He encouraged them to stay strong. He also influenced them through his own example as he remained hopeful and continued to rejoice, even under distressing circumstances. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. … but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Although Paul would have preferred to be with Christ, he was passionate about serving the Philippians so they could increase in their faith and influence for Christ. No matter what season of life we’re in, we can continue to work for God by doing what He calls us to do. We are given freedom, not for our own comfort and leisure, but rather so we are free to serve others. Whatever your stage in life, think about how you can work to serve others with your experience, wisdom, and encouragement. Prayer Heavenly Father, as long as I have breath, I have the ability to serve others. Help me to take my focus off of myself and see the opportunities you put in my path to encourage others. Show me, Lord, where I can use my gifts and experiences to serve others for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  5. You’ve probably heard the phrase “membership has its privileges.” It’s common to strive for a promotion because of the privileges that come with it – first class tickets, a company car, access to a large expense account. Granted, these privileges make a leader’s long, hard work hours a bit more enjoyable. But when we seek those privileges for our own indulgence, it can lead us down a very slippery slope. As a Pharisee, and one who was highly respected, Paul had privileges extended to him. He could have traveled on Jerusalem’s dime, and protected himself from hardship and persecution. But he put those privileges aside for the sake of sharing the Gospel. As a result, Paul was poor, persecuted and thrown in prison. Yet Jesus appeared to Paul in prison. Jesus encouraged Paul and let him know he would testify about Christ in Rome, the seat of influence in the ancient world. Paul went from using his privileges for his own comfort to leveraging them so he could reach more people for Christ. Moving up the corporate ladder provides us with greater influence, more resources, access to other leaders and opportunities to influence change. You can use those privileges for yourself, or you can leverage them to serve others. Paul used his privilege as a Roman citizen, not for himself, but to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. He put his own interests aside, and even put his life on the line, to serve. Are you using your privileges to serve your own interests? Or do you seek opportunities to use them to serve others? How can you use the privileges you have been given to help someone at work and influence others for Christ? Prayer Heavenly Father, thank you for the success and favor you have given me. Help me never forget that it all comes from you. Lord help me to see opportunities to use what privileges and resources I have, not to serve myself, but to serve others. I pray that I am able to help others succeed in their work and succeed in seeing You. Help me to be an encouragement to someone else today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  6. Wow salamat kapatid for sharing. Salamat sa effort mo. God bless you
  7. Work can be hard because of the stress that comes from the demands of other people. Others seem to put unfair burdens on us, whether those burdens are unrealistic expectations, crazy deadlines, long hours, or last-minute problems that need to be fixed. Work would be joyful, we think, if we never needed to work with others! At the same time, we may try to delegate out our least favorite tasks, and wonder why the people around us seem burdened. Coworkers in the early Christian Church went through a similar struggle to determine which burdens they should share and which were unfair. The Judaizers were a segment of early Christians who were not about to cut anyone slack, least of all the Gentiles. They expected Gentiles who came to faith in Christ to be circumcised, just as they were. They even stated it as a condition of salvation. But Paul understood that God did not want to place any such burden on the Gentiles. In fact, God gave the Gentiles the Holy Spirit as a result of their faith, not due to any outward sign or ritual. Paul appealed to the Jewish leaders to remove this unfair burden from the Gentile converts. In the end, the Jews came to a new understanding of fairness – there was no requirement that everyone had to be the same to work for God. Bringing our faith into our work requires looking critically at the burdens we take on and the burdens we put on others. Rather than comparing our workload with someone else’s, we can acknowledge their unique contributions to the team and how we can support them. We can bear the burdens of other people and still have a fair workplace environment. The key is to start by seeking God’s perspective on His definition of fair. Are there burdens you are unnecessarily putting on others? Ask God how you can serve others at work with trust that your needs will also be met. Prayer Father, thank you that you have lifted the burden of sin through Jesus. Help us to remember the freedom you have so graciously given, and recognize opportunities to share that freedom with others. Show us where we can help ease the burdens of coworkers and be Christ for them at work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  8. What do you do when you don’t know what to do? You have all the data, you’ve done all the research, but your mind is blank on what objective to pursue, what strategy to employ, and what is best for your company. Daniel faced a similar situation. The king was troubled by a dream and wanted it interpreted by his wise counsel. But there was a catch. He wanted them to tell him his dream first and then interpret it. None could do it and the king became angry. Undoubtedly, he must have felt that his wise counsel wasn’t all that wise. He sentenced all the wise people to be executed. Daniel heard about this and requested an audience with the king. The night before the meeting, Daniel gathered his Jewish friends with him and said, “Let’s pray for God’s mercy. That He would help me know things I shouldn’t know by telling me the dream and giving me the interpretation.” Later that night, Daniel’s prayer was answered. The mystery was revealed to him in a vision. Through the power of prayer, Daniel supernaturally knew something that no one could naturally figure out. Peter experienced a similar supernatural revelation when he confessed that Jesus was God’s son. Jesus’ response was, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). For you to tap into God’s supernatural wisdom in the midst of confusion and complexity, you must pray. As you walk into a meeting, pray silently, “God, my mind, heart, and will are open to receive your wisdom in this meeting.” Then listen … to the data, to others’ opinions, to potential solutions. Listen for the voice of God. Or take four minutes at night and in the morning to write to God about the problems you’re facing. These short moments of prayer can help you discern the voice of God amidst the noise of daily work. Prayer Father, my mind, heart, and will are open to You today. Speak to me. Help me to discern Your voice, even in the midst of the pressures of the day. I want to be guided by Your wisdom in my work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  9. What do you do when your boss asks you to do something that steps over the boundaries of your faith? For Daniel, dietary restrictions were a marker of his relationships with God. This faith marker was both private and public. Daniel founded his private identity on the commandments that God gave the Jewish people. At the same time, eating or abstaining was a public act. Eating from the king’s table might be seen as a rejection of Daniel’s God and homeland. Furthermore, it could be seen as an embrace of Babylon and its ideals, which Daniel wanted to keep at arm’s length even as he worked for the prosperity of his new city. Daniel set a boundary around this faith marker while at the same time working with his supervisor to prove the merits of a theological strategy. Daniel suggested his supervisor test whether a faith-based diet yielded better results. This satisfied both Daniel’s boundary and the demands of his organization (to keep the exiles healthy and strong). After ten days, Daniel’s supervisor witnessed the improved results that came from applying God’s wisdom to Babylon’s leadership training program. He then applied the wisdom of God to the entire organization. Holding strong to a constant marker of faith helps believers avoid the slow creep of assimilation. What’s more, God’s ways work best. God designed the world to function a certain way. When we act in accordance with God’s laws, we not only grow closer to Him, we also optimize our potential for good decisions. Next time you are faced with a decision that challenges your faith, search Scripture to see what God would have you do, and set a firm boundary that you can apply consistently to your work. God’s power may indeed transform your organization. Prayer Father, Your ways are not our ways, nor are Your thoughts our thoughts. Help me to seek Your thoughts and ways today in my work. Give me the confidence and conviction that Your ways are better than mine or my company’s. Lastly, give me the courage to apply Your ways to my work so that Your power is put on display for all to see. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
  10. Ber Months na kapatid baka meron napo kayo bago pagames. Salamat sa lahat ng effort! God bless po
  11. Daniel was enlisted in the king’s training program. He knew he wasn’t in Jerusalem anymore. He could no longer expect that his faith would align with his new organization’s culture and values. He couldn’t expect to be comfortable, secure, or in control. He had to change his mindset. Studying the astrology and magic of the Babylonians must have been odious to Daniel. And yet he embraced the education, knowing that it would make him useful to his new organization. He needed to adopt a new mindset—an exilic mindset. He could expect discomfort, insecurity and risk, and trust God to protect his faith. As an exile, his new motto was, “Expect trials. Bless in response.” Christians in the modern workplace have much in common with Daniel. In fact, Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that he was sending us out as exiles into our places of work. We should expect trials because of our faith, and prepare to bless in response. Jesus doesn’t send us out empty-handed. He said that we would receive power to be his witnesses when the Spirit comes into us. But we can’t get that power without going into exile. Daniel’s story teaches a surprising truth: God’s power comes through trials. So as you go to work tomorrow, think like an exile. Expect trials. But nevertheless, respond by serving and blessing others. You’ll find new power to make your work and your company succeed. Prayer Father, You gave Your Son resurrection power when he faced the greatest trial ever: the crucifixion. You promise that same power will come to me as I face my trials with Your power and presence. As I start my day, prepare my mind and heart for the trials that will inevitably come my way. Give me the courage to face them like Jesus, knowing that resurrection power awaits me at the end. Thank You for what You are going to do today in me through my trials. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
  12. The book of Isaiah describes God’s servant as “eager to do what is right.” The Hebrew reads, more literally, “He will . . . be quick [to do] righteousness.” When we remember that righteousness means right relationships, we recognize that Jesus calls us to prioritize addressing broken or strained relationships. It’s not easy, and often we’d rather put off the hard work and vulnerability of seeking to mend our relationships. For example, when our urge is to ignore or hide conflict with others at work, we must instead acknowledge the conflict and talk with the people involved (not gossip with others). When we would rather keep it to ourselves, we should ask wise people for help in getting started (in humility, not in hopes of gaining an upper hand). When we would rather build a case against our rival, we should instead build a case for them, or at least acknowledge whatever their good points are. If we have done wrong, we should admit it and ask for forgiveness. When we have been wronged, we should forgive. And when we think we don’t have the energy to engage the other person, but would rather just write off the relationship, we must let God’s power and patience substitute for our own. In this we seek to imitate our Lord, who “emptied himself” of personal agendas and so received the power of God to live out God’s will in the world. If we do these things, then our conflict can be resolved in terms of what the true issues are, rather than our projections, fears and resentments. Usually this leads to a restored working relationship and mutual respect, if not friendship. Even in the unusual cases where no reconciliation is possible, we can expect a surprising “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” It is a sign that even a broken relationship is not beyond the hope of God’s goodness. Prayer Gracious Lord, it’s hard sometimes to initiate reconciliation. I don’t like conflict; I often would rather avoid and deny than be quick to do what’s right. Forgive me when I delay doing the right thing. Help me be eager to do what is right and quick to obey. Amen.
  13. Christians need to listen well, both to people and to God. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). You listen, not as a technique to influence others, but as a way to let God’s word “rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness” (James 1:21). Listening well to others removes our anger and arrogance. When others speak words that we do not welcome—words of disagreement, criticism or dismissal—it is easy to respond in anger, especially in high-pressure situations. But doing so usually makes our position worse and discredits our witness as Christ’s servants. When approaching a co-worker about conflict, you must set aside your self-justification long enough to listen to what the other person has to say. This is very difficult! But it works. Your goal at first is not to come to agreement, but just to understand the other person’s point of view. Say something like, “I realize that this is coming between us, so I want to start by listening to how you see things.” Then listen without interrupting. Repeat back what the other person said without modifications or corrections. “I think you said…. Is that right?” You may have to try several times until you get it so the other person can respond, “Yes that is what I said.” Success! Now ask the other person to listen to your perspective and repeat it back to you, just as you did for him or her. Repeat until the other person actually repeats what you said, without asking the person to agree with it. Now you both understand the other person’s point of view. You may still disagree. Yet most of the time, the feeling of being heard and respected is so wonderful that both of you have a new energy and sense of working together. Now you can begin to find a solution to the conflict that you can both live with. Prayer Dear God, It is difficult to listen and not defend my own position. Help me approach conflict with meekness, humility and a heart that is willing to truly understand another’s perspective. Amen.
  14. How do we restore broken relationships? In Matthew 18, Jesus gives us a template for dealing with someone who has wronged us. He does not say, “Get even!” or “Strike back!” or “Prove that you were right.” Instead, he lays out a process that begins with seeking one-on-one to be reconciled. Even in the healthiest workplaces, conflicts arise. When they do, the only effective resolution is for those in conflict to engage each other directly, not to complain to others. Rather than play out a conflict in front of an audience, meet with the person privately. In the age of electronic communication, Jesus’ approach to “go” directly to the other person is more important than ever. All it takes is a name or two in the “cc:” line or one press of the “reply all” button to turn an ordinary disagreement into an office feud. Even if two people could keep an email chain to themselves, the possibilities for misunderstanding are multiplied when an impersonal medium such as e-mail is used. Therefore, unless doing so would put you in danger, it is probably best to take Jesus’ advice literally, “Go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.” If you’ve been hurt, take the first step toward reconciliation, even though it may make you feel awkward or vulnerable. Likewise, if we believe we’ve hurt someone, Matthew 5:23 makes it clear that we should go and get right with him or her. Either way, it takes humility to be the first to say, “Hey, there’s something that’s been weighing on me. Can we talk?” Sometimes conflicts aren’t resolved one-on-one. In that case Matthew 15:16 tells us to seek help from others with the appropriate skills and authority. This does not mean complaining to other people, but finding the right person(s) to help us resolve differences with the person we’re in conflict with. Prayer Jesus, your command to go and be reconciled is difficult. I ask for you to both strengthen me with your might and soften my heart to hear from your Spirit. Amen.
  15. The book of Ephesians reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In other words, we live in a fallen world, and there are factors beyond our control that contribute to the difficulties we face at work. We shouldn’t expect even the best workplace to be perfect. But we should expect the Spirit of God to be with us all the time. In response to workplace struggles, Ephesians tells us to put on truth, righteousness, peace and faith. We are to remind ourselves of our salvation and gird ourselves with the word of God. We are to “pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests.” This means that we can always trust God to take care of us, so that we don’t need to be tempted to engage in unethical behavior, slander and anger. The powers of evil may indeed threaten, oppress or even cause us harm at work. But we don’t need to resort to dirty deeds to defend ourselves. Truth, right relationships, honest conflict resolution and faithfulness are the best ways for us, whether we are in good situations or bad. These are things we should request the Holy Spirit to give us. This approach may not deliver overnight results. However, over time, we may find that we have more patience, fortitude, hope and love than we thought possible. And we know that Christ is victorious over every power of darkness and evil in the end. Prayer Dear Lord, I need your help when I experience darkness and evil at work. Help me to put on the armor of righteousness, peace, truth, faith, your Word and the joy of your salvation. Help me rely on your Spirit daily. I pray for the people who make my work difficult. Please bless them. I confess my own reluctance to love, and I admit that sometimes I’m the one who is difficult to work with. I pray for the ability to submit to you, knowing that you care for me. Amen.
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