Posts filed under ‘Vocation’
While the editor for PLNU’s alumni magazine was away on maternity leave, I got to manage the production of our fall issue. One of the perks of being in charge is that you sometimes get to push your own agenda. And, well, my agenda is helping people make a meaningful connection between faith and work. I encouraged the executive director of our Fermanian Business and Economic Institute, Randy Ataide, to pull together some of his thoughts on entrepreneurship, faith and culture. He had been writing along these lines in the academic arena with lots of big words and complicated concepts. He was kind enough to write an original piece for our magazine that is very personal and puts some complicated concepts into easy-to-understand terms. Check out the article.
In the article, he shares his personal reflections on the opportunities for connection between the church and the entrepreneur, as well as the mischaracterization and misunderstanding that he has personally experienced. His article explores some exciting connections that entrepreneurs can help the church make in the world, including the ability to critique the dominant culture, serve the poor and do justice, and reach the lost.
I hope you enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed getting it printed for 40,000 alumni to read!
I have a dear friend I see once a year. Every time we get together, she talks excitedly about how she and her husband believe God is “calling” them. Year after year, however, I discover that they haven’t taken any action because they aren’t clear on “exactly” what they should do in the area where they feel their call. Years have gone by now, and they are right where they started.
Advice around the idea of calling often sounds like this: “Discover you!” While this seems simple, its lack of clarity paralyzes some people. They are afraid of taking a wrong step because they have to do everything perfectly. Seriously, it can be downright stressful to believe that we are on this earth for a specific purpose.
If you can identify with my friend, the following two operating principles might help. Read more over at The High Calling of Our Daily Work.
I have not kept my new year’s resolution to blog weekly. I’m trying! But I am keeping another resolution to do more public speaking (for which preparing has pulled me away briefly from writing). So instead of a blog post tonight, I wanted to share a recent talk I did at an inaugural faith and work event at Emmanuel Faith Community Church.
This talk gets at the heart of my faith and work connection obsession. We need a few zealots, right? Enjoy!
Also, here is the powerpoint if you want to follow along. Powerpoint presentation
I’d love your feedback on other ideas you would want to hear about as I start to do more talks.
In the world of giving career advice, we tell people to follow their dreams – to create a vision, set goals around it, and just do it. We ask people about their passion, their interests, their deep down desires. Two of my favorite questions to ask are, “What keeps you up late talking?” and “Where do you head first in a bookstore?” Then there is the always popular, “If you could do anything regardless of money, what would it be?”
Read the rest over at highcallingblogs.com.
I sucked my thumb until third grade. And no, not just in private like some lucky kids. I was shy as a little girl. And I’ve been relatively shy ever since. But get me up in front of a crowd talking about something that excites me, and you would never imagine that there is a shy little girl inside.
Even as a kid, I would get up in church to read the Christmas story or lead the liturgy, and the little old people would come up to me afterwards and tell me how much they appreciated how nice and clear I had spoken (I’m sure it helps that I inherited grandpa’s loud voice). Even today, anytime I have to do an announcement or give a presentation, people almost always come up and tell me something that makes me think I’m a pretty darn good speaker. This blog post is actually inspired by the encouragement I received after a talk I gave last Sunday to an Entrepreneuring for Christ Sunday school class at Skyline Church. It’s so affirming that our strengths can often be seen early on in life and that God brings people into our lives to help name them.
Unexpected gifts are so cool. God knit us together so creatively in the womb (Psalm 139). When there is an anomaly in how the world would expect us to turn out, I think it’s an extra special reminder that we are God’s creation and that the gifts are from Him alone. I love that my friends who know me well point out how odd it is that a crowd avoider like me loves to be in front of a crowd.
The gifts are from God, and so are the desires to use these gifts for a purpose.
My own life is evidence that the core of who we are and who we are meant to be will keep tugging at us even though we may take a strange path to get to where we are going. Every time I do one of those exercises that asks what I would be if money were no object, I inevitably land on motivational speaker. Years ago, I even went as far as to do an informational interview with a successful motivational speaker; I lost momentum when she told me I really need to write a book. And I lose momentum every time I think about how much energy it would take this introvert to actually be a speaker. And then there’s the fact that I don’t see a logical path to actually becoming a legitimate speaker.
But deep down I feel a sense of responsibility to be the person God created me to be. I want to be faithful with the gifts He has bestowed. God gives us the desires of our hearts – desires to serve the world with the best of who we are. We know from the parable of the talents that we are to do the most with what we have been given.
How on Earth I will end up living out my love for public speaking is a bit of a mystery. It will be interesting to see how God directs my path. I’m sure it will be an adventure. I know that God wants to use me for His glory, and so I will put my faith in His grace and power - and I will do my part to put myself out there and follow my heart.
Oliver Wendall Holmes is often quoted as saying, “The biggest tragedy in America is not the great waste of natural resources, though this is tragic. The greatest tragedy is the waste of human resources. The average person goes to his grave with the music still in him.”
What dream do you have in your heart that just will not go away? What music still needs to be shared with the world?
Side note: I hope no one reading this post ever sees me speak and thinks, “Really, she thinks she’s a good speaker.”
Side note number 2: Since I suspect a handful of parents will find this post googling strategies to get their kids to stop sucking their thumbs, I’ll tell you my secret. It was Mrs. Neeley, my third grade teacher, who made a deal with me that if I would stop sucking my thumb, she would stop biting her nails. I think she finally succumbed to acrylic.
Our Faith and Work Ministry recently interviewed Keith Watanabe, a Deputy District Attorney with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. He works in a specialized unit that prosecutes domestic violence and child abuse crimes. I hope you find his insights into issues of faith as incredible as I did!
How do you integrate your faith with your work?
What helps me is that I have a correct biblical understanding of the things that I see so I can properly process and understand it in light of what God has told us about the world. For example, I see the effects of sin. I see the state of human misery in which this world finds itself. This world is imperfect – it is a fallen and broken world in which people commit crimes. People hurt each other and they do so for their own pleasure, self-interest, and greed. They hurt and exploit children for their own desires. Click link below to read more…