Good-Bye Billy Gillespie

 

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)

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Right up front, I’ll tell you that I’m not one of those true blue fans. The only time I watch basketball or any sport for that matter is when my son is visiting and has control of the remote. I only enjoy watching University of Kentucky Basketball if they are winning.  This season there hasn’t been much for me to watch. I realize there are a lot of real fans out there who are down on Coach Gillespie and probably with good cause. I’ve heard many of the negative remarks about him and I’ve read a few on facebook and other online media.

All of this talk about basketball and contracts and forcasting of who the next coach will or will not be, seems – let me think of the right word – ah yes, trivial. I know there is a lot of money involved and all kinds of serious things to consider, but there is so much going on in our world  and in even our country, that to people in flooded North Dakota and tornado ravished Mississippi, Kentucky people must seem rather narrow minded.

I’m not trying to put Kentucky people down because I am a proud Kentuckian, but I will say that many Kentucky Basketball fans are somewhat opinionated and verbal. My son is one of those who have strong opinions related to this subject. Today, he called a radio station and particpated in a discussion regarding Billy Gillespie and the Kentucky baskeball program.

Like some of the people in my office (and family) have said about me, “You just don’t get it.”  They would be right because I just don’t get it.

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Is It Wrong To Share Christ In The Workplace?

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)

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Do you believe there is ever a time when we should not witness?  What do you think about witnessing in the workplace, is it ethical?  As Christians, should we consider the employer before taking their time to witness?  When is it ok to share Christ at work?

Some might say regardless of where we work, Christians should give employer’s a fair day’s work. We should not cheat by taking away from their time to witness. While I would agree, we need to be honest in all our dealings, including in the workplace, I believe it is erroneous to think Christians should not share at work.

It is the calling of a Christian to represent Christ to people, even those in the workplace. We need only to look at Matthew 28:19-20 – the commission to all Christians to be witnesses. In addition, God has placed us where we are with definite gifts and the potential to proclaim His truth in our world, which includes our workplace.

As Christians, we should be aware of company rules and guidelines. Even then, I believe opportunities abound and we can share in other ways. Sometimes, it just takes awareness on our part and taking advantage of opportunities to share when they arise.

Jesus, Our Example

It is the workplace where Jesus spent most of his time and ministry. His first four disciples were working when he called them. They were not expecting to meet Jesus. Their mind was on their jobs, fishing and mending nets. Then there are the vineyard workers, tax collectors, centurions, carpenters, scribes, and more; all busy at work when they met Jesus.

Jesus was fully human, experiencing what we experience in our lives and work. He knows our feelings, our insecurities and our hardships. Yet, He continued witnessing, even when others were against Him.

There is so much darkness in the world. We are to be the light that eliminates the darkness from our workplace.

How then are we to be that light?  We first recognize that Jesus the Light, gives us the strength and that He is always with us, even when we face the darkness. Where can a Christian go that His presence is not there?  Psalms 139 reminds us that there isn’t anywhere we can go that He isn’t there.

1st Peter 4:14 (NKJV) says If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the Spirit of glory rests upon you… We must realize that not everyone will be open to our sharing. We must show respect to these people, even when we are reproached by them. The only thing you can do is to live your life as an example. Allow the Holy Spirit to work. Pray daily for them and you will be blessed.

Tips for Sharing

  • Get to know the people with whom you work. It is easier to witness if you know their background, beliefs and personalities.
  • Look for common interest. If one likes basketball, talk to them about your favorite team.
  • Show them you are interested in their life by listening. Ask questions. You can’t expect them to listen to you if you aren’t interested in what they have to say.
  • Attend events and functions with them. This shows you are involved in other things outside the church.
  • Your actions, attitude and behavior in the workplace can influence others. Be sure to think before acting or reacting. Others are watching.
  • Integrate your faith into your work. Bow your head, asking the blessing over your food before eating. Read your Bible during breaks. Let Co-workers know you are praying for them when difficulties arise in their lives.
  • Invite people to church. Don’t harass them but if the opportunity arises during conversations, don’t be afraid to invite them to attend a worship service. Volunteer to pick them up on your way.
  • Handle difficulties in a Christ like manner. Perfection is not expected nor required. Even Christians face difficult times. The manner in which you respond to the complexities of your world, speaks more than any words you have to say.
  • Your work is important to God. When you have a bad day, turn to Christ for solace and encouragement.
  • Share your story. Your experiences might be just what a co-worker needs to hear.

 For Christians, sharing Christ should come as natural as breathing. Some of us go a lifetime without witnessing to those lost around us. It is shameful for us not to try reach them for Christ.

THE HAPPINESS FACTOR

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)

 

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When searching for happiness, we often equate happiness with the amount of our paycheck. Professor Daniel Kahneman, University of Princeton said regarding a study completed at the university, “Standard of living has increased dramatically and happiness has increased not at all.” This isn’t surprising information to Christians. Even Paul had issues with this very subject.

We can find wisdom in Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)

Paul continued his teaching and we find another jewel in verse 19 of the same chapter, which says,

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

A short version of those verses can be, Christ will give us strength to do what we need to do and He will provide for us by meeting our needs.

Discontentment is the theme of many people’s lives. We should learn to be happy right where we are in our lives. That means even in these days of unemployment, pay cuts and higher taxes.

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” Herman Cain.

How then do we find happiness in our lives? The following are a few tips you can follow toward becoming a happier you”

  • It’s all in the attitude. Develop a more positive tone in your life by pushing negative thoughts out the window. Smile.
  • Don’t panic. Easy for me to say, but not practice. The sign in the front of our church this week says Faith is the ability to not panic. We need to work on our ability to not panic and learn to have faith that God will give us strength to do all things. Even strength for those problems that seem as if there isn’t a solution.
  • Don’t compare yourself and your life to others. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, even when it appears to be.
  • Be thankful for what you do have in your life. Take time to stop and think about what is important in your life. Write your blessings down. When you are feeling blue, look at the list and be thankful. Also remember the things that matter the most in our lives are not things at all, it’s family.
  • Forgive yourself and forgive others. Harboring resentment and holding on to past hurt causes pain and sorrow – let it go.
  • Accept yourself and who you are.
  • Stop wasting time day dreaming about winning a lottery, or becoming rich. For most of us, that will never happen. Learn what contentment means and then practice it. Live the life that you have to the fullest.
  • Make each day count for something.
  • Avoid being greedy, jealous, and trying to please everyone. We need money to live our lives, but we don’t need to be obsessed with obtaining it or jealous of those who do obtain it. Remember also, there is no way you will ever be able to please everyone. Trying to will only bring you frustration.

 Here’s one more thing that I’ll leave with you to consider, It’s one of my favorite quotes by Charles Kingsley. “Make it a rule, and pray to God to help you keep it. Never lie down at night without being able to say, ‘I have made at least one person a little happier or at least a little wiser this day'”

 Helping others and giving of ourselves is a great way to take the focus off of me and placing it onto the needs of others.

For more helpful articles on happiness, check out http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2008/03/19/findinghappiness-20-ways-to-achieve-happiness

Let me know your thoughts on obtaining happiness.