Monday, March 26, 2012

Compartmentalizing Faith

I think I have something of substance to say today so it’s probably going get lengthy.  But please hang in there with me; I think it’s important.  I recently went to a conference that put some things into perspective for me and I want to share it with you.  I don’t know how to start so I’m just going to jump on in.

Have you ever thought about what it means to be a well-rounded Christian?  I’ve been thinking about it a little lately.  To me it means not leaving Jesus to Sundays and the occasional Wednesday for Bible study.  It means expressing my faith in all aspects of my life.  As Christians we are supposed to surround ourselves with other Christians for support and biblical community.  That is something I’m seriously searching for these days but that’s a post for another time.  In addition to surrounding ourselves with believers we should also be surrounding ourselves with nonbelievers.  Where else is our light going to shine the brightest?  God wants us to love all people like He loves them. 

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  Be this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So to be a well-rounded Christian my faith needs to be present wherever I am present, not just on Sundays.  It’s true that as Americans we spend the majority of our time in the workplace.  So naturally our faith should be there too.  This can be kind of tricky.  You may ask how can I be a Christian in the workplace without others feeling like you’re attacking them?  Well that’s easy don’t attack and don’t push.   Just give your job 110%, care for your coworkers and stay positive.  Build your identity upon Christ.  They’ll see you’re a Christian.

God created us to do work and he created us to do it well.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God calls us to our jobs along the lines of our gifts.  If you aren’t happy with your career, or don’t feel like you’re currently working where God wants you to, maybe start to consider your gifts.  Because we are human we think God’s thoughts after Him so it may take you few tries to land where you’ll be happiest.  However, no matter if you’re happy with your job or not, give your job 110%.  Work hard because that’s what we were created to do. 

Personal Tangent:
I overall love what I am doing in audiology.  I love interacting with the patients and helping them with their hearing concerns.  However, some days are more difficult than others.  I don’t always feel like I love my job when an older adult is extra grumpy or a child is too fidgety to get results.  One day I was helping program a child’s cochlear implant and it was the most stressful experience.  He wouldn’t sit still and kept disconnecting himself from the computer.  On top of that he was repeatedly throwing balls at my head instead of in the bucket when he heard a beep.  Let’s just say we were not able to obtain any useful test results that day.  I left feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.  Even though I left feeling this way it did not prevent me from working as hard as I could to get my job done.  Just because I had a bad experience with this child doesn’t mean I have bad experiences with every child.  I mean nothing is more rewarding than seeing the proud look on a brand new parent’s face when you tell them their newborn child passed their hearing screening.  Their child only a few hours old passed their first test, what a blessing!

I look at the kid with the cochlear implant as God’s challenge to me for that day :)  Kids may not be my favorite to work with in the audiology setting but that’s okay because it doesn’t keep me from loving them and wanting to play and care for them in other settings.

So far we have work hard.  Your work matters but what you do is not who you are.  Be careful to not identify yourself with your work.  If you base your identity on self worth and how successful you are at your job what happens when the economy crashes and you get laid off?  You lose your identity.  Not good.  Build your identity on rock not sand.  Build it on Christ.  My value is found in Christ.  He loved me before I ever knew him.  Be the unique person God meant for you to be and show it in the workplace.

In addition to working hard, care for your coworkers.  Get to know them, ask them how their day/week is going, ask if there is anything you could do for them (within your reach).  In the office, maybe you could stay after a meeting to help clean up. In a clinical setting, maybe take a few extra minutes to re-explain someone’s hearing loss to them so they really understand.  If you’re a stay at home mom or dad maybe at a play date, if you notice another parent looks exceptionally tired, offer to take the kids for a few hours to provide some much needed “me” time for that other parent.  These small acts of kindness are Christ like.   We do good works as a result of a relationship with God.  I don’t think you always have to tell someone you are a Christian for them to know that you are a Christian. 

You don’t have to go into work “preaching” to share God with others.  It’ll come out naturally in conversation.  I don’t invite everyone I talk to to church with me, but I can tell you the people I work with and go to school with all know that I go to church and they are welcome.

I’m working hard not to compartmentalize my walk with God.  I want to be well-rounded in my faith. And I'll end on this

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Australia 2012

Hey Everyone!  It's been a while.  Many of you know I recently returned from an amazing spring break in Australia.  It was a true blessing to have the opportunity to make the trip.  I had such a great time.  I was able to do so much in such a short period of time.  Thanks to our great hosts, Collins and Charlie, I think we accomplished everything on our list, which is hard to believe.  We went to Manly Beach, walked across the Harbour Bridge, touched the Opera House, pet a koala, explored Darling Harbour, relaxed on Bondi Beach and even had the time to appreciate the little things Sydney had to offer such as the parks.  I was even a slight adventurous eater.  I tasted a Crocodile burger and had lamb at a local Indian restaurant.  This was definitely out of the norm for me.  Sometimes it's nice to be out of your comfort zone.

While I was there I also had the opportunity to attend a service at the Hillsong Church in Sydney.  There were so many people there from all over.  The worship was very lively and a lot of fun.  It was so great to see so many people pumped up for God :)  I could never thank Him enough for the experiences I had in Sydney.  God is more than amazing.

Here is photo book I made of the trip.  I tried to put it in some kind of chronological order to try and tell a story.  I think it's safe to say we made some great memories on this trip that I'll never forget.  The best memories are the ones that last a lifetime.

Here is to lifetime memories:

Turn your favorite photos into a photo book at