November 2013

November 7, 2013

Ask, Answer, Act

Here is the first sermon in the "Words We Live By" series, by Joseph Barkley. It's an effort to get the church to actually read the bible and know what it means.

Just after I became a Christian, I was given a little booklet on how to get started strong in your Christian walk. It read that, every time you read the bible, you should ask for the Holy Spirit to show you things through what you're reading. I have to say that this concept and those prayers have helped a lot over the years. The Spirit of God is crucial to understanding the bible, and to neglect this Gift is like trying to dig to China with your bare hands. I'm not saying that everything suddenly makes sense because you prayed, but it makes a lot more sense than if you were trying to read it without God's help.

The sermon is based off of these scriptures:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

James 1:22-24 - "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

  • "All scripture is God-breathed..."
    • The ideas of the bible are God's intellectual property
      • God never lies
  • "...useful for rebuking, ..."
    • It's easy to take out what we don't like
    • ALL of it is useful and you can't edit stuff out
    • Not one word is wasted
  • All, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped to do good in this world.
  • 3 ways we can access what God is saying through the bible
    • Ask
      • Ask God to help you learn whatever He has to teach you
      • Ask questions about what you read
    • Answer
      •  Our culture is very comfortable with open-ended questions, but less comfortable with answers, because there is fear of embarrassment or being wrong
    • Act
      • This is where the challenge is the greatest
        • It requires change and discomfort and being different
      • "Don't merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says."

November 1, 2013

Fulfillment at Work

I found this website in a work email, and here is the first talk I listened to, by Simon Sinek about fulfillment in the workplace (a topic I struggle with regularly).

I usually post stuff from churches or Christian organizations, and I'm not sure if this guy is a Christian or not, but I love the principles he sets out. Basically, Simon is spreading the message that selfless giving is the way to transform your work life. Check it out and see what you think:

(the talk is actually only about 25 minutes long, the rest is Q&A, where he still says really good stuff)

  •  If we knew that our companies would go to great lengths for us, maybe we would do the same for our companies
  • Fulfillment comes from doing something for someone else
    • Requires time and energy
    • Doing good for others inspires others to do good for others
  • Vulnerability and risk: the people you help might not reciprocate
  • You have to have self-confidence before you can help others
    • When we feel confident, we naturally help others
    • Other people (managers, teachers) are responsible for infusing confidence in us by letting us fail, and then helping us get up
  • In the military, soldiers are given medals for sacrificing themselves so others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who sacrifice others so they may gain.
  • Little things we do inspire others to do good things for even more
    • Time and energy, not money
  • Don't just do something for someone else to get something else back
    • Just ask for what you want up front -- builds trust
    • You can't build a relationship with someone if you want something from that person
  • Selfish behavior creates more selfishness around you
    • Giving creates more giving around you
  • The entitlement of generation-Y is because they don't feel like they've accomplished anything
    • Part of this is because we hand out medals just for trying -- there is no struggle
  • With a clear destination, obstacles are easier to overcome
    • Without a destination, obstacles either stop us or send us in a different direction
    • (he gives a good illustration of this)