Thursday, April 27, 2017

Look Who's Blooming

My mom and dad grew up in southwest Virginia in the towns of Wytheville and Big Stone Gap.   The major industry in this area is/was coal mining and while neither of them was directly employed by the coal industry, they had many friends and family that were.   Coal mining jobs have continued to fall away as industry and government continue to look for cleaner sources of energy.  That has left the area with a high rate of joblessness.  I saw this inspiring article about Michael Bloomberg's philanthropic organization which gave $3m to organizations that will help with job training in the area.  Bloomberg Philanthropies has donated $5b (yes, with a b) to other causes in these areas:  public health, arts and culture, the environment, education and government innovation.  I don't know much about Mike Bloomberg, but I sure like what I discovered this morning.  It is inspiring to see someone using their success to help others.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Word

John 1:1 states:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God."  I have read the verse many times and had assumed that the Word referred to The Bible.  I have often heard the bible referred to as God's word in church.  It only took me a few mouse clicks to see my misunderstanding.  The original Greek word for "Word" is "Logos".  Logos had multiple meanings at the time John was written.  To the Jews, Logos was sometimes used as another name for God.  To the Greeks, Logos meant the power that puts sense into the world and keeps it in order. John thoughtfully used a word with multiple meanings to introduce Jesus as the Son of God to any that would read it.  The Word is Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.  He was with God and He was God.  I am grateful to David Guzik for his thoughtful help with this and to my pastor for introducing me to Mr. Guzik.  For more in depth study, you can meet him here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Who Am I Working For?

Last night, in our Connect Group meeting, there was good conversation about the things that distract us from our yearning to know God more.  Social media, television, recreation were some of the top offenders.  These are all true for me, but I feel like my work is probably my biggest distractor.  It gets the majority of my attention during the day.  Paul offers me encouragement in his letter to the Colossians.  "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward."  Work as if you are working for the Lord.  I fall short of that every day, but knowing that I can work hard for my clients, as if I were working for the Lord, gives me something to strive for.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fanning The Flame

Timothy was a third generation follower of Christ and the pastor of the church in Ephesus.  In Paul's second letter to his close friend, he encourages him in his faith.  "Fan into flame the gift of God...For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."  With much of the world-view of Christians looking like spineless people ready to be walked over, I love that Paul reminds Timothy (and all of us) that with a little work, we can fan the glowing embers into a roaring fire that will provide light and warmth to those around us.