"I look around me, Lord, and everywhere I see aimless wanderers on a course toward eternal destruction. Help me to be more faithful, even today, to point them toward the right destination. Amen."Subscribe to the Daily Tozer "Insight for Leaders"
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I was called into the main conference room at work...where I find seated at the table, my good old friend/old boss/site VP (who hired me ten years ago), my current boss who I've also worked with for ten years and the HR director. I've been around long enough to know what's up. Business hasn't been that great...I've seen this happen to other folks time and again.
I sat down and heard my boss proceed to give the "Business has been tough, you know that, we've had to make some very, very hard decisions about positions to eliminate...and we've decided to eliminate yours."
It was surreal. If you know me...or if you've read much here, you know that my heart has not been in this IT thing for a while...2 or 3 years. I want to serve God...100%
I sat back and sighed...asked my old boss/VP if he had anything to add. Can't remember exactly what he said...but it was standard, business is tough, tough decisions stuff, we've really appreciated your work, etc.
So I told them..."Spiritually, God has really refocused my life, especially in the last few years. He's shown me that if it won't matter in 100 years...it doesn't matter. Sure a paycheck is nice...but God will provide. And I really have my life set towards eternal things now. The only thing that will really hurt me is if I don't hear from you two as friends in the future. This is transitional...this is only a job."
I thought my boss was going to pass out...she wears her heart on her sleeve and I know it was really tough as a friend to go through that. We all shook hands...I walked out with some paperwork and went to my car. The HR Director is going to meet me there Saturday morning so I can collect all my "junk" from the office.
I got to the car...realized there were a couple of things I would need this evening, so I went back to the front desk and asked them to call her back up front. The handed me the phone...she grabbed my stuff and brought it to me.
Again...I thought she was going to break down on the spot as she said "Keith...you were so much more gracious about what just happened than any of us deserve. I'm humbled." I gave her a hug and told her...don't sweat it.
She is Jewish. And interestingly enough...God provided a wild opportunity to share the Gospel with her in her office of all places a few weeks ago. I pray that a seed has been planted and watered by the grace only GOD provided me to extend them during that "lay off" talk.
As I was leaving the parking lot, there was another lady walking out. I stopped by to say goodbye to her. She says "hey...I can't talk right now, I just got laid off"
I said..."Me too."
She says "YOU!?"
She was just at the point of tears...I said "Hey...it's only a job. If it won't matter in 100 years...it really doesn't matter." She said "Yes...but I'm a single mom with two kids." I said "Hey...I've got four kids...and it will be OK." She shook her head "yes"...squeezed my arm and turned to walk to her car.
Interestingly...she's a Catholic...that I've also shared the Gospel with, and someone I'll be in touch with some more I'm sure.
I went to my wife's work. I told her what happened. So...she's on the same page. Basicly..."God...thank you, really...thank you...what's up next?" We went to an empty office and got on our knees thanking him...weeping through some prayers...asking for him to guide us.
Got home...eventually went to bed...
I was having a hard time sleeping...so I got up to journal this...and the Daily Tozer email was in my inbox. It usually doesn't come until the morning. So I read it.
And...wonder of wonders. Just another GodIncidence...well, you have to read it yourself:
The Longing After Eternity
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts.... --Ecclesiastes 3:11
We take it for granted and we are not surprised at all about the eternal nature of God but the greater wonder is that God has seen fit to put His own everlastingness within the hearts of men and women....
I believe that this is the truth about our troubles and our problems: We are disturbed because God has put everlastingness in our hearts. He has put a longing for immortality in our beings. He has put something within men and women that demands God and heaven--and yet we are too blind and sinful to find Him or even to look for Him!...
Men and women need to be told plainly, and again and again, why they are disturbed and why they are upset. They need to be told why they are lost and that if they will not repent they will certainly perish. Doctors and counselors will tell troubled men and women that their problems are psychological, but it is something deeper within the human being that troubles and upsets--it is the longing after eternity! Christ the Eternal Son, pp. 52-54
"Lord, we long for eternity, but there is so much commotion, activity, and noise in our world that that longing is too often drowned out. Help me to break through that madness with the message of Christ today. Amen."
That speaks so well on so many levels to all that happened today...and all that has lead up to it. My focus is on eternity...and on reaching the lost and giving them a fighting chance at eternity with God.
I've been on an interesting journey for the last three years.
I have a burden in my heart to break from my flesh...to give it all over and serve God 100%, to quit going 1/2 way (if I've even been going that far)...at least that's what I've been going through. Been praying...asking God where he wants me to serve him. Telling him I'm tired of working for a faceless juggernaut that only wants to make more money.
I've been at this job as a professional IT Geek for ten years with this company...I get called to the main conference room this afternoon...they laid me off.
Nice, cozy, comfy job and a nice fat paycheck to zero in 5 seconds flat.
The cool part is how God lead me to respond...I'll post more later on that.
I feel a sense of relief, almost like a black cloud has been blown away.
Is this where the mental ascent gives way to a genuine burden of the heart? I'm pretty sure that I really want to serve God 100%...to go "all the way"...to trust Him all the way.
So this new adventure begins.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. --Psalm 126:5-6
The testimony of the true follower of Christ might well be something like this: The world's pleasures and the world's treasures henceforth have no appeal for me. I reckon myself crucified to the world and the world crucified to me. But the multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope. If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellow men. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam's sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam's tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God's heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.
And thus and thus will I do as God enables me. Amen.
"Lord Jesus, give me that broken heart, give me that bond of compassion, as I interact with unsaved people in my ministry today. Amen."