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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

To Get The Ball Rolling, Click Here

I have been careful to not use this blog as a self-promoting infomercial. But today, I'm throwing all caution to the wind, and posting some shameless plugs for events I'm involved in over the next 60 days. Join me, if you can! J

Iron Sharpens Iron Men's Conference, on Saturday, October 8, in Auburn, Washington. I will be doing a session, titled: "Truck Driving Is The Work Of The Lord." Bring a friend! Click here.

Truth Chasers Unlimited is an event for middle-schoolers and parents, designed to bring extraordinary meaning to ordinary tasks such as mowing the lawn, washing dishes, and doing homework! This event takes place 9:00am - 12:30pm, on Saturday, October 15, in Covington, Washington. Please pre-register. Click here.

"Kitchen and Courthouse: 3 Keys to Bring Meaning to Life and Work," is a national webinar hosted by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, on Tuesday, October 18. This live, 90-minute event is FREE. I'll be presenting this webinar 3:00pm - 4:30pm Eastern Time (12:00pm Pacific, 9:00am Hawaii). It is appropriate for middle-school through high school students, as well as adults. Please pre-register. Space is limited to the first 1,000. Click here.


N.W. Region Association of Christian Schools International Convention, Tacoma, Washington, October 21-22. I'll be teaching the Making the Connections workshop, a 6-hour training course for Christian school teachers on the integration of biblical worldview and academics, offered for credit through Seattle Pacific University.

Southern California Association of Christian Schools International Convention, Anaheim, California, Sunday, November 20, 1:00pm - 7:00pm. I will be presenting the Think Again! workshop. This 6-hour course is also being offered for credit through Seattle Pacific University. For information, click here.

If you are looking for a speaker for your next event [retreat, banquet, weekend conference, etc.], I'd love to serve you for 30 minutes or 3 days! To get the ball rolling, click
here.

By working together, we can help others bring meaning to life by connecting everything they do with the "bigger picture" of a biblical worldview. Since founding Worldview Matters eleven years ago, I have had the privilege of speaking to over 17,000 people, mostly in groups of 50 or less. These engagements have taken me to schools, churches, or business settings across the United States, as well as to Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

I'd love to come to your town next!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

It Happens Tomorrow Morning

Events that strengthen our ability to integrate Christian truths with daily work are proliferating. While it is good to have help in strengthening one's marriage, increasing parenting skills, practicing evangelism, and being wise in handling personal finances, it is also a blessing to have assistance in connecting the biblical worldview with our work.

One such event is a nationwide webcast with Chuck Colson, called, Doing the Right Thing: An Exploration of Ethics. It happens tomorrow morning, September 24, 8:30am - 12:30pm. In addition to Chuck Colson, other speakers include Del Tackett, known for his work with the popular Truth Project, John Stonestreet, of Summit Ministries, and Robert George, of Princeton University.

For details, including locations of participating churches and schools, click here.

Then on Saturday, October 8, Faith and Work Life, a not-for-profit organization that is committed to helping men and women connect their faith life and their work life, will present the 4th Annual Faith At Work International Conference. This free event will be held on the campus of Concordia University, in Irvine, California. Distinguished speakers include David Kim, CEO of Baja Fresh and Sweet Factory, Bob Doll, Vice Chairman of Fundamental Equities, Court Durkalski, CEO of Truline Industries, Wendy Flint, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales, Boston Reed, and more! For details and registration, click here.

Another special event of note is the Work As Worship Conference, to be held on November 3, in Dallas, Texas. This event is for CEO's, young entrepreneurs and business leaders who are passionate about combining business with ministry. Speakers include Bill Peel, Director of the LeTourneau University Center for Faith and Work, and David Greene, CEO of Hobby Lobby, among others. For details and registration, click here.   

For those on the East Coast, consider attending the first Gospel & Culture Conference, hosted by the Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City, on November 4-5. This event is the fruit of Redeemer's eight year investment in faith and work ministry (one of the few churches in the nation  that has such a program).

The focus of Redeemer's Gospel & Culture Conference is on seeing how God is at work in the world, and how His work informs the way we understand our own work. For details and registration, click here.


For those of you who live in Western Washington, note the webcast locations shown on the RH panel above. All gatherings at these locations are free. (Left-click on the image to enlarge it.)

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Paul Says The Opposite

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2)

How does this fit with God's First Commission to govern over the earth? (Gen. 1:26-28) Setting my mind on things above? Not on things on the earth? If I'm building houses, running a bank, or selling life insurance, I have to think about things on the earth, don't I?

But if we take a close look at the context of Col. 3:2, reading verses 1-14, we see that when Paul speaks of the "things on the earth," he is not referring to our jobs, our lawnmowers, or our checkbooks:

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, pasion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idoloatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth....Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love..." [NKJV]

The "things above," upon which we are to set our minds, are "tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering...etc."

The "things on the earth," upon which we are not to set our minds, are "fornication, uncleaness, passion, evil desire, convetousness...etc."

Paul then goes on to pen some of the most significant words in the New Testament pertaining to work on this planet: "Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men." (verse 3:23, NLV)

Rather than suggesting that we not focus our mind on our earthly work, Paul says the opposite. We are to apply our whole heart to whatever work we do, as working for Christ Himself!

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Fallen Creatures In A Fallen World

"Do not love the world, or the things of the world." (I John 2:15)

How does this fit with God's command to "subdue the earth?" (Gen. 1:28) Is it wrong to love our work as helicopter pilots, car mechanics, homemakers or CEOs?

Consider four meanings for the Greek word "kosmos" in the New Testament, translated "world" into English:

1. Populated regions. As in Romans 1:8, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world [kosmos]."

2. The human race in general. As in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world [kosmos] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." We have a big problem if we take the word "world" in I John 2:15 to mean "the human race."

3. The created realm. As in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world [kosmos] His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

4. A system of thought and behavior that is contrary to the will and ways of God. As in Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world [kosmos], and not according to Christ."

If we read I John 2:15 in the context of verses 16-17, we see John is actually exhorting the reader to love not the "world system." He is talking about not loving thought or behavior that is contrary to the will and ways of God.

In verse 16-17 John amplifies this meaning of "the world" as "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." It is this "world" that we are to not love.

If our work feeds lust and pride, then this is a problem. We need to change our attitude, not necessarily our job. However, in some cases, we may need change our job, too! It depends on what the job is. Work centered around ungodly pride, power or greed is a problem.

We are to be in the world [populated regions, created realm], but not of the world [that system of thought and behavior contrary to Christ].

This is the challenge of everyday work for fallen creatures in a fallen world.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

A Rainbow Of Jobs

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Why should we celebrate work? Because work is an opportunity to fulfill the role God had in mind for humans when He made us in the beginning: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…and let them rule…over all the earth.” [Gen. 1:26-28]

This remarkable responsibility (I call it, the “First Commission”), covers a lot of ground. Literally! It necessitates a rainbow of jobs: earth-moving, bridge-building, skyscraper-making, ship-building, dam-constructing, fish-managing, potato-planting, truck-driving, log-cutting, house-building, bed-making, wall-painting, car-fixing, grocery-shopping, money-managing,  coffee-grinding, cake-baking, music-making, dish-washing, lawn-mowing, hair-cutting. You get the picture.

Our great challenge is to do these things in sync with the Lord of our labor. Our Employer. It’s His stuff we are managing, grinding, mowing and molding. It’s His Commission we are living out. It’s His world we are stewardingfallen and broken though it be.

God did not abandon this planet when Adam sinned, nor did He give the world over to Satan’s ownership or authority when Adam and Eve fell from grace in the garden. The earth and all it contains remains God’s own possession [Ps. 24:1], and He continues to hold it together by the word of His power [Heb. 1:3], sustaining it through time and space [Col. 1:16-17].

Satan’s offer to give Jesus "the Kingdoms of the world” [Luke 4:5-8] has led many to think that this world was Satan’s to give away. Nothing could be further from the truth! Satan’s choice of words on that occasion was masterful. Masterfully misleading, that is! I’ll explain why I say this in coming weeks.

But before I do, I have a question for you: How can a celebration of labor fit with Paul's admonition to "love not the world, nor the things in the world?"

How can a follower of Christ really celebrate work, if that workbe it car-fixing, cake-baking or coffee-grindingis so closely associated with this present world, which we are not supposed to love?

Hummm....What gives here?

What gives is an enormous amount of confusion over the term "world." On the one hand, we have Paul exhorting us to "love not the world," and on the other we have John telling us, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."

Our confusion lies in the fact that the term "world" [kosmos, in Greek] has four different meanings in the New Testament!

Hang on. This is important. 



This is a photo of our son, Nathanael, doing the work of the Lord
by engaging in the First Commission of Genesis 1:26-28
through radio-tracking tagged trout on a research project for the
State of Washington. When I say Nathanael is doing the
work of the Lord, I am totally serious. This is what God had in mind
when He created humans. This is what God still has in mind
for humans. Nathanael is fully cognizant of this role,
and loves his work. He does it in a way that honors God,
and he does it "as unto the Lord." Today, he serves Christ
as a biologist for a major power company in the Pacific Northwest,
working on the interface between power needs and fish needs.

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