Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 30

Reminiscing about the Early Years in the Workplace: A Reflection

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Authors , Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality , Uncategorized

 

“The office is a community, and like other communities, it functions best when people are polite and kind to one another.  This means being polite to people at every level of the office hierarchy, not just those who are higher up.”
– Complete Book of Etiquette, Amy Vanderbilt, 1952.

As you know, I am passionate about the workplace and our collective, and individual, growth & development over the years through our experiences at work – good and bad. As I approach the end of a 27-year career with the federal government, I often look back at how such experiences have shaped and prepared me for the multiple leadership positions in which  I have been blessed to serve. Below is the introduction to my second book in the Give God the Glory! series (2003). I still practice what I wrote almost 10 years ago:

And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4).”

The formative years represent a period for growth, development and maturity.  God is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and these three beginning phases in the workplace are progressional – that is, they build one upon the other.  Growth, development, and maturity are a time for new beginnings as it relates to life experiences, development of character, skills, knowledge, and abilities, and becoming a mature, responsible worker.  Responsibility breeds accountability and visibility and “to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).”

As it relates to the workplace, growth is the phase when we learn to adapt to the environment where God has placed us.  The workplace can be compared to a community that functions at its best when people chose to work well together and are genuinely kind to one another.  In reality, very few offices function at their best due to the sinful nature of man.  God’s commandment to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us (Matthew 7:12) is rarely, if ever, actualized.  What is desperately needed in the workplace is for God’s chosen one’s to be the light that will remind your co-workers about the enthusiasm that had when they were first gainfully employed.  Remind them of the dreams that they was had but have lost along the way.

The development of one’s skills, abilities, and knowledge is self-initiated as we strive for excellence in our chosen career field.  Hard work, practice at what we do, a desire to become the best in our chosen profession, accepting risky assignments, willingness to travel, and moving out of our comfort zone are positive steps to strengthen self and demonstrate a passion to go beyond the call of duty.  Be light to others as you develop your skills for a fruitful future in your chosen career field.  Exemplify excellence in character, integrity, reliability and workmanship throughout your entire workday.  Be the spark that encourages your co-workers to develop their skills and motivate them to follow their dreams.

Maturity is the end result of the growth and development phases.  The mature worker accepts responsibly for actions taken and career progression.  In the beginning of God’s recorded Word, it is written, “And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4).”  Light created organization where there once was chaos and it dispelled darkness where it was once void (Genesis 1:2).  This happened in the beginning before God planted seed that brought forth vegetation (Genesis 1:11).  The seeds that we plant into our respective careers will produce fruit in our lives, and equally important, in the lives of others.  Let your light so shine and your maturity illuminate in the workplace!  Cause others to have a desire to achieve results that are visible as a result of your mature approach to office situations and circumstances.

www.writingforthelord.com

May 22

Stay Connected to God

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Authors , Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality , Uncategorized

 

 

CONNECT TO GOD

Your Mind

I am, just as you are, a unique, never-to-be-repeated event in this universe. Therefore, I have, just as you have, a unique, never-to-be-repeated role in this world – George Sheehan

‘Mind’ is used 95 times in The Holy Bible. In the original Greek – nous – it means the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, and those of feeling, judging and determining. The mind is the divine center of choice. Choices are long lasting and life changing. It is also where our thoughts reside. Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, our habits shape our character, and our character will determine our future.

Source: Success Guide, by Shane Idleman, issue 101, January 2001.

In the November 6, 2000 issue of U.S. News and World Report, entitled ‘How to Master the New Workplace, Career Guide 2001,’ the opening statement under the subtitle on page 56 is self-explanatory: The new workplace is risky, rugged, and rewarding. And guess what? You’re in charge! The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, emphasizes that point. Our environment at work is risky, rugged, and rewarding, and we are in charge. Paul writes:
“…be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”

We are to resist being poured into the mold of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. ‘Be not conformed’ is only used again in 1 Peter 1:14. With our minds, we can understand God’s word, if we choose to. Understanding God’s Word requires readiness and an act of our will (attitude). There are two words in the original Greek language that best describe using our minds to understand:

Ginōskō – to allow oneself to learn, and
Manthanō – to understand learning.

Used together, they have a tri-fold meaning:

• to allow oneself to increase in knowledge,
• to learn by use and practice, and
• to allow understanding by an act of one’s will.

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple (Psalm 119:130).”

Your Body

The principle of isometrics is that you can build muscle by pushing firmly against an unyielding object. You can build character the same way. – Phyllis Haxton

This principle is true for the human body as well. ‘Body’ is referenced 173 times in The Holy Bible. In the original Greek – sōma – means the body as a whole, the instrument of life whether of man living (Matthew 6:22) or dead (Matthew 27:52). ‘Vessel’, has various meanings in the context of the English language. Specifically, as it relates to the human body, it is defined as a person regarded as a holder or receiver of a particular trait or quality. In the original Greek, skeuos, for the service of God (Acts 9:15), a chosen vessel (2 Timothy 2:21), an earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7), the human frame (2 Corinthians 4:7 and 1 Thessalonians 4:4), and the subjects of divine mercy and wrath (Romans 9:22-23). It is used 193 times in The Holy Bible in both its singular and plural forms. We are vessels, used by God to carry out His will in the earth and on our respective jobs. For reasons He never explains, He chooses to work through ordinary people like us. He placed us in situations that ultimately unlock our compassion and creativity. He connects us with people who can open doors that we are not equipped or knowledgeable about how to open. He makes us a solution for wherever we go. Forming a vessel is a lifelong process. If the potter does not continually wet the clay, it becomes too hard to be worked. Therefore, allow God to ‘mold’ you into the vessel that He desires so that He can use you mightily!
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it (Jeremiah 18:4).”

We were bought with a price. Our “bodies” do not belong to us. The Scriptures says, “The EARTH is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalm 24:1).” Since we belong to Him, we are to use our bodies for His service. This is why the Lord repeatedly teaches us to flee from sexual sins. Sin requires us to use the body in a manner that is unfitting for kingdom use.

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).”

The price paid was the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). This has profound significance for the believer (1 Timothy 4:10 and 1 Peter 2:9) who has been called out of dark into His marvelous light.

Source: Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace, 2003.

www.writingforthelord.com

May 16

Words – Do They Heal or Hurt?

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Authors , Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality , Uncategorized

As a follower of this weekly post, I have focused on workplace relationships and how God is glorified on our jobs through our Godly behavior. After reading today’s “Our Daily Bread,” I am led to share a very short, yet important, thought:

A well-chosed word can speak volumes.

If the opportunity becomes available, read “Our Daily Bread” today. It will reinforce what this post has been communicating for the past several weeks.

www.writingforthelord.com

 

May 08

Serve Him from the Heart

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Authors , Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality , Uncategorized

 

 

 

For the past several weeks, our focus has been on the workplace (our jobs) and the application of Biblical, as well as practical, principles on how to glorify God during our typical workday.

My motive is simple: To educate my readers in a manner that will encourage, motivate, and inspire us to apply God’s Word in all aspects of life. Below is an excerpt from the preface of my 2nd book in the Give God the Glory! series that is subtitled, Called to be Light in the Workplace (2003).

I love God because He first loved me. I am eternally grateful for the marvelous things that He has done for my wife and I on our respective jobs over the past nineteen years. Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace is the second book in this series about God’s goodness to His children in different stages of our lives. Through these pages, I intend to demonstrate, by the Word of God, that within the three stages of our work life – the beginning (intern or trainee), journeyman (mid-level manager), and mentor (leader and senior executive) – that God calls us to be light in the workplace at every step along the way. I will educate each reader to recognize the dangers that Satan puts in the way of God’s children and how our response to these dangers separates us from those who choose to walk in darkness. Our light must shine and always illuminate on our jobs to give others hope as well as the desire, and courage, to uphold ethical, Godly, and disciplined behavior during the forty to sixty hours that we traditionally work each week. To this end, we are commissioned and called by God, through Jesus Christ, to be distinctively different and to excel at what we do. Our jobs are a resource, but God is our source. As long as we stay connected to Him, we have assurance through His Word concerning the guarantee of peace and tranquility to achieve our dreams – “…but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” When God calls us to do something, He also equips us to handle the job and the challenges that we will face (Romans 11:29).”

It has been said many times over and over and over again, but bears repeating – We have more in common than we have differences. We all rely upon our intellect, body strength, athleticism, charisma, and work ethic to earn a living. Simply put, we must work for the money that we earn in order to sustain ourselves during our lifetime. In the first chapter of Genesis, verse 26, God’s first commandment to Adam was to dress and keep the Garden of Eden. Translation – Work! The creator designed His creation to work and that is the primary means by which we earn money to pay for the necessities of life – shelter, clothes, food, transportation, health care, and education. Work is a necessity of life, and God’s Word says “if you don’t work, you don’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).”

Our jobs bring interesting and sometimes extremely frustrating challenges into our lives. How we choose to respond to the never-ending challenges at work is the key to what separates those who enjoy promotions and those who do not. Needless to say, the workplace is a very competitive environment. Most of our colleagues, bosses, subordinates, and peers are continually seeking more money, more attractive benefits, and better overall opportunities at work, often within the organization or company where they are currently working. You stand in their way. This competitive spirit, manifested outwardly, is satanic and promotes self-centered and selfish behavior as seen through people at different stages in their life or career. Satan is an accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10), is wicked (Matthew 13:9), is a deceiver (Revelation 20:10), is our adversary (1 Peter 5:8), and is the ruler of this world (Ephesians 6:12). He is real! Subconsciously unaware of their conduct, most people tend to think more of themselves than they do about others without realizing what the effect of their behavior has on people within their sphere of influence.

I officially entered the workforce in the summer of 1984 following a year of disappointing unemployment. Since that time, I have survived a myriad of changes that have taken place within the federal government as well as corporate America. The majority of these changes have been unannounced, frequent, continual, self-serving, unproductive, detrimental to the workforce, and devastating to individuals and families alike. Countless numbers of people have not been able to cope while others are left bitter and have chosen to underachieve. Thus, many have failed to fulfill their God-ordained purpose during their lifetime.

In the Book of Matthew, chapter five, six, and seven, Jesus’ first public sermon during His public ministry focuses on teaching us how to live within the kingdom of God. Jesus clearly demonstrates that there is a distinction between how to earn a living (how we make money to survive) and how to live (persistent application of Godly principles to everyday life). In these passages of scripture, Jesus teaches His disciples, and a multitude that have gathered at a mountain on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, about attitude, and how to be light and salt. History reveals that this mountain is probably one of the hills northwest of Capernaum, for shortly after this ‘Sermon on the Mount’, we find Jesus and His disciples entering that city. These character traits are explained in detail by a masterful teacher who used “parables” as the object lesson(s) for the purpose of extracting a spiritual meaning from the natural examples He used. I have always found it interesting and insightful that Jesus would focus on these three key character traits at the outset of His first message during His three and one-half years of public ministry. This was His trial discourse. What follows are God-centered and ethical principles on to how to live a successful life on earth during our entire lifetime, including in the workplace.

Now, let’s Give God the Glory!…

www.writingforthelord.com

May 01

Giving God the Glory at work? Yes, you can!

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Authors , Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality , Uncategorized

How do we give God glory at work?

ALLOW GOD TO USE YOU

There is no past too troubled and no person that God cannot redeem. He took a murderer name Moses and made him a prophet. He took a liar and cheat named Jacob and made him a prince named Israel and blessed his seed. He took a prostitute named Rahab, called her blessed and changed her profession. He took a Christian hater named Saul and made him a great apostle – Paul.

Skilled workers are always in demand and admired.

“Seeth thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men
(Proverbs 22:29).” Every step counts. You are headed in the right direction when you walk with God. It is important to stay spiritually fit by walking with God, which The Holy Bible describes as an intimate, growing relationship with the Lord. Enoch walked with God three hundred years (Genesis 5:22). Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9). Both men are mentioned in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11, where they are commended for their faith. Enoch, in verse 5, was translated that he should not see death. Noah, in verse 7, moved with fear and built an ark to the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. The work Jesus accomplished for us, the Spirit now accomplishes for us. The spirit searches all things. God always communicates with our spirit.

“But as it is written, EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM. But God hath revealed then unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).”

www.writingforthelord.com