Our Identity in Christ (Lesson 1)

As I was going over my Sunday School lesson I was about to teach a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I have not posted many of my lessons on this blog. I think it is time I did.

This eight-week series on our identity in Christ that I am teaching now is one I had taught in the summer of 2011. Since I had been spending a lot of time the last few months on writing my book on the theology of work that I am self-publishing, I decided to teach something that would not require a lot of preparation.  I am glad I chose to do this series.  It is extremely relevant to every Christian.   It is a message that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ need to hear.  My intent is to post two lessons a week, so that I will have posted all lessons prior to Christmas.

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I started the class with showing a video of a Christian song from two years ago, Who You Say I Am, by Among the Thirsty.  Hearing these opening lyrics often causes me to weep with joy:

My sin says I’m unworthy, my shame that I’m alone

My heart tells me I’m broken, and I can’t be made whole

But ever since the day I ran into Your grace

You call me righteous; you call me yours

No longer guilty; not anymore

And I am rewritten; I’m spoken for

A new creation, now I stand, cause of who You say I am

Problem: I often hear the word, “sinners”, applied to Christians, as in, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”.  I cringe every time I hear it.  Not that I don’t acknowledge or recognize that I sin; I do.  Daily.  Not that I don’t accept the Apostle Paul’s assessment that he was the “chief of sinners” (1 Tim 1:15).  I just think that the Bible refers to believers in Jesus Christ using different words: the righteous, forgiven, saints, redeemed, new creatures, chosen ones, sons/daughters of God, etc.  Believers do sin, but to refer to us as “mere sinners” misses the profound changes (spiritual, emotional, mental) that occur from the moment of salvation, when a sinner repents and becomes born again, moving from darkness to light.  If believers could focus on who they really are in Christ, more than focusing on just their old sin nature (the flesh), making the big mistake of assuming that is all we can be, then we would sin less and less, as we get our eyes off ourselves and on fixed on Christ (Heb. 12:2).

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to discover, understand, and apply biblical principles on our identity as believers. What did we naturally used to do and think as non-believers and what do we supernaturally (by His grace, in the power of the Holy Spirit) do and think now that we are born again? What changes did God make in us when we chose to follow Jesus?  Are some irreversible? What new abilities and spiritual resources do we all have to overcome the powerful influences of our own flesh, the world, and the devil?  Are we merely human, or are we much more than that?

Here are a couple of powerful quotes from a book I bought many years ago:

“God tells us we are alive in a way we have never been alive before, possessing a birthright we never possessed before. . . Could it be that a major reason for the indifference, the epidemic occurrences of moral shipwreck in our evangelical churches, and the shattering of Christian homes is because we have seen ourselves as nothing more than “Christian” forgiven sinners – failing to be what we should be, because we cannot stop being what we think we are?” (David Needham, Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are?, Portland, OR: Multnomah Publishers, David Needham, 9.)

“Perhaps this ‘new personhood’ idea seems far away from the daily reality of your life. That still doesn’t change the basic fact.  If you have received the Savior, you simply are not the same person you were before.” (Needham, Birthright, 63).

We read Ephesians 1:1-18.  I asked the class to list all the words and phrases that Paul uses in this passage to describe who believers are or what they have in Christ.

The big question is this: Do you believe that as a follower of Jesus Christ you are different, not just “in God’s eyes”, but REALLY different from you were before you became born again?

I closed with another music video You are More, by Tenth Avenue North.

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Brother Lawrence – The Kitchen Worker who Practiced Immanuel Labor

As I am now putting the finishing touches of the third draft of my manuscript on the theology of work, I was impressed to go back and page through one of my key references – Brother Lawrence’s powerful classic, The Practice of the Presence of God.

In this short post, I want to consolidate the ten quotes I used from this book.  They are foundational to what I believe about God’s presence at work.

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In chapter 5, where I define the term Immanuel labor, I introduce this man of God:

I absolutely must mention Brother Lawrence, and the classic book of conversations and letters written about him and by him in 1691, The Practice of the Presence of God.

He is described as having “a heart that had learned the most essential ingredient of the Christian life: how to remain in the presence of God daily.”  In one recorded conversation, he had stated quite simply “All we have to do is to recognize God as being intimately present within us.  Then we may speak directly to Him every time we need to ask for help, to know His will in moments of uncertainty, and to do whatever He wants us to do in a way that pleases Him.”

After he had walked with God for over forty years, it was said that he “had become so accustomed to God’s divine presence that he relies on it for help on all sorts of occasions.  His soul has been filled with a constant inner joy that is sometimes so overwhelming.”  A friend stated, “by dwelling in the presence of God he has established such a sweet communion with the Lord that His spirit abides, without much effort, in the restful peace of God.  In this rest, he is filled with a faith that equips him to handle anything that comes to him.”  What a guy!

Later in this same chapter, I discuss the idea of losing and regaining our sense of God’s presence.  Contemplate this beautiful statement written by his friend:

It was said of Brother Lawrence, “When he sinned, he confessed it to God with these words: ‘I can do nothing better without You.  Please keep me from falling and correct the mistakes I make.’  After that he did not feel guilty about the sin.”

At the end of this chapter, I  share one more quote:

Let me close with an astute observation from a friend: “The good brother found God everywhere, as much while he was repairing shoes as while he was praying with the community.  He was in no hurry to go on retreats, because he found the same God to love and adore in his ordinary work as in the depth of the desert.”  Wow!

In chapter 11, where I teach some basic biblical principles on how we should work, I return to Brother Lawrence to highlight several more quotes from his book:

His sense of God’s presence affected his work.  His attitude was, “Never tire of doing even the smallest things for Him, because He isn’t impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done.”

He was assigned to work in the kitchen.  Though he did not like it at first, “he developed quite a facility for doing it over the fifteen years he was there.  He attributed this to his doing everything for the love of God, asking as often as possible for grace to do his work.”  His friend wrote, “Although he was assigned the humblest duties there, he never complained.  The grace of Jesus Christ sustained him in everything that was unpleasant or tiresome.”  Brother Lawrence exemplified Paul’s command: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:23-24).

This quote clearly shows my idea of Immanuel labor in this man of faith:

“At the beginning of my duties I would say to the Lord with confidence, ‘My God, since You are with me, and since, by Your will, I must occupy myself with external things, please grant me the grace to remain with You, in Your presence.  Work with me, so that my work might be the very best.  Receive as an offering of love both my work and all my affections.’ . . . And at the end of my work, I used to examine it carefully.  If I found good in it, I thanked God.  If I noticed faults, I asked His forgiveness without being discouraged, and then went on with my work, still dwelling in Him.”

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I trust that these words that were written over three hundred years ago will inspire you as much as they have me.  My desire is that many Christians will learn to practice the presence of God at work, and experience the same joy that Brother Lawrence had.  I strongly encourage you to read this book if you have not done so.

Working on Editing my Manuscript for Publication

It has been more than a couple of months since I posted an article about my book writing journey.  A lot has happened since.  I want to bring everyone up to speed.

From the end of July to the end of August, I was frantically trying to make my self-imposed deadline of being finished with the first draft of my manuscript by Labor Day (pun intended).

I read through every post on my Immanuel Labor Facebook page to copy a few of my original reflections that I had not captured. I finished combing through the transcript of my two-hour seminar presentation that my youngest son typed up and found some additional content.  I did a little bit of digging into a few commentaries to add to the discussion of a few key Scriptures.  I paged through the last half-dozen books out of the thirty I had read, found appropriate quotes I wanted to use, and then inserted them throughout.  I scanned my unpublished autobiographical story I wrote for my wife and family, The Spark is Still There, and selected a few relevant stories about job searches to use.

After all that, there were a couple of important things I needed to tackle.  The first was inserting footnotes wherever I had used a quote.  I ended up with 300 of those.  I also had to track down page numbers for the over 300 scripture references I used for my index at the end of the book.  What remained was to re-read the whole thing and make some semi-final edits.

Since I was close to finishing up, I had started to do a little research on publishers.  I had done a bit several months’ back, but I did not get very far.  I had been so focused on writing, I had not spent much time thinking about the next step.  On one of my lunch hours I began to learn about the process of contacting a literary agent, since most publishers would not take unsolicited manuscripts.  I had begun to compile a list of several agents that looked promising.

At some point, I also began to look into self-publishing.  In the course of my on-line research, West Bow Press came up as a valid option.  I was familiar with this publisher as one of the books I read this past year was published by them.  I clicked on a link to get more information.

During the last week of August, I had initial email contact with someone from West Bow.  After I took a few days to check out their packages, talk with a representative, discuss it with my wife, pray, and think about it, I decided to go with them on the 31st.  Thus, my real concerns about it taking several months to find an agent and a publisher to try to get the book on the street were ended.

I had every intention of taking the next four days, Labor Day weekend, to finish writing and editing my first draft.  However, plans sometimes change.

We got a call from our daughter at about 5:15 Friday morning.  She had gone into labor two weeks early.  (On Labor Day weekend!  A punmeister’s dream!  I had been making jokes about mothers giving birth on Labor Day for years.  I will be talking about this for quite some time.)

So, we headed north to meet our newest grandchild, and more importantly, take care of his big brother for a couple of days while mom, dad, and the new one were in the hospital.  Needless to say, I did not get a whole lot of writing done over the weekend, just a little bit here and there.

We got home late Tuesday night, and I finished up my manuscript on Wednesday. (I needed the extra day off which was already approved.)  My check-in coordinator at West Bow Press contacted me the same day.  She sent me a welcome packet and a several page document I had to fill out.  I had to let them know what size the book should be (6” x 9”) and provide some detailed information such as “about the author”.  I sent it back with the first draft of my manuscript plus two attached illustrations on the 9th of September.

Two business days later, I got an email from her stating that my content evaluation had begun.  It was supposed to take three to four weeks, but it was completed in only one week and two days.  I had to make some minor modifications to the manuscript where I used interior illustrations.  I also had to make a few adjustments to the song lyrics I quoted, keeping them to fewer than eight lines.

The next step was the editorial assessment. This phase also moved along more quickly than expected.  It should have taken three to four weeks, but it took only one.  The book will need some professional editorial work, which they do provide at an additional cost.  Fortunately, it was rated at the lowest level of need (and cheapest cost), so I feel pretty good about the content and quality of writing.

What is left for me to do?  I am in the process of adding questions for small group discussion or individual reflection at the end of each chapter.  I only have two more chapters to go.  Unfortunately, this has thrown off my page count, so I will have to go back and correct all the page numbers in my scripture index.  I also have to put my footnotes into the proper Chicago Manual of Style format.

It occurred to me last week that this book has the potential to impact more people than the hundreds of people I have taught, coached, and mentored in five years of vocational youth ministry in Colorado and Oregon and thirty years of teaching, encouraging, and small group facilitating ministries in various chapels and churches around the world.

I solicit your prayers that I finish well and that this book gets published in His time.

Work in the Eschatological Reality

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I wrote on the Eternal Value of Work in a previous article about a year and a half ago.  Since this is such a complex topic and I had only scratched the surface, I thought it would be prudent to develop these ideas a bit further.

Focus on the New Creation

In light of eschatology, the doctrine of last things, I have thought about what work might look like in the New Jerusalem, based on Rev. 21.  Here, John describes the New Jerusalem, a beautiful city that comes down out of heaven to earth where “the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it . . . The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it” (vv. 24, 26).

Just imagine what our work could be like in the New Creation without the pain, frustration, stress, difficulty, unpredictability, sweat, and interpersonal conflict with sinners set in a challenging environment that we currently experience in all of our labor due to the Fall.

In plain terms, we need to see the huge impact of the eschatological reversal of the curse, where sinless humanity and its relationship to work are restored to pre-Fall conditions.

I do not know whether or not there will be work for us to do, but it seems to be implied.  If there is, it will not seem like work, as the quality of workers and the workplace will be fully restored.  There will be no corrupt leaders, workaholism, unemployment, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, greed, exploitation of workers, etc., that I described in a previous article.  We will no longer experience the power or the presence of sin.  Work relationships will not be characterized by conflict, but by peace, fellowship, and unity.  The hopeless message of vanity of Ecclesiastes will vanish.  There will be no meaninglessness in life and work “under the sun” because we will all be “under the Son”.

More importantly, the types of workers and the jobs they hold will also be transformed.

What kind of work will we do?

This is only my biblically informed speculation, but it appears to me that there will be two categories of jobs that we will not find anywhere in the eternal kingdom.

There will be a small number of obvious jobs that will no longer exist because evil is no more (e.g., pimps, hit men, counterfeiters, porn film directors, and drug dealers).

However, there will be a much larger number of jobs that will no longer exist because they are no longer needed since fallen humanity and the Earth has been restored.  These types of jobs and career fields have no place in the New Jerusalem: morticians, law enforcement, light bulb manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, wheelchair manufacturers, psychologists, and many more.

Stevens, in Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture, adds, “Our final destiny is not a workless utopia but a renewed world in which we will work with infinite creativity and fulfillment.”   Nelson concurs: “Your work in the new creation will be even better than it was in the old creation.  God has a great future in store for his image-bearing workers.”

Stevens shares this insight: “In the new heaven and new earth, will we stop exercising dominion?  Stop caring for creation?  Stop serving our neighbor? . . . In light of all these considerations, work must be part of our consummated humanity in the life to come.”   I cannot argue with that.

Stevens concludes, “Work in the new heaven and new earth will be all that good work was intended to be.  Perhaps what we will be doing is what we have done in this life but without the sweat and frustration experienced here. . . . Since there will be no curse on work, the workplace, or the worker, labor will be personally and completely satisfying, far more than was obtainable in this life.”

Although there are a lot of unanswered questions as to what the nature of our work might look like for all eternity, these insights should still give us a tremendous amount of hope.  They should cause us all to reflect on Paul’s words of encouragement in context of his teaching on the bodily resurrection of believers: “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).

Let’s Talk about Compensation

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In the spring of 2006, I was preparing to retire from the Army.  For two years, I had been planning to go back to teaching.  I was taking graduate school classes to help me get my Missouri State Teaching Certificate, since the one I got from Colorado in 1980 was long expired.

I had applied for a middle-school math teacher position at a school a mile from my house. I got an interview and was offered the job.  However, the starting salary was less than half what I had been making as a Master Sergeant with 20 years active duty.  With my Army retirement check and the teacher’s salary combined, I was going to be taking home about $400 less each month than what I had been receiving.  We could not afford a cut that big.  Since I knew God was going to meet my family’s needs, I knew this job was not the answer to my prayers.  I had to turn it down.  Thankfully, I got another job offer three months later, which did meet our needs.

Tom Nelson in Work Matters provides some succinct observations on how money fits in to how God shapes us for work. He mentions the unpredictability of the global economy that affects employment, such as job change or elimination due to emerging technologies, which may require job training.  He states, “We often find that God uses our economic circumstances to guide us vocationally. . . economic realities are a part of God’s providential arrangement for our lives and the times in which we live. . . We do not need to see these as vocational detours, but rather what God has for us to do in this particular stage of our life journeys.”   These are encouraging words.

This brings to mind my own situation in 1985, where I sensed that God was closing the door on ministry and leading me into the military.  Money definitely entered into the decision-making process, as the Army provided medical benefits, promotions, a good paycheck, and job security.

Let’s think about some of the tough choices you may have to make regarding your salary and the total compensation package that comes with the job you have or will be offered.

How much salary do you truly need?  What do you do if you are not paid as much as you are worth?  When a baby unexpectedly comes along, can you afford to live off just one income?  Which one should it be, mom’s or dad’s?  When a promotion opportunity is offered, do you take it, even if it means longer hours or a transfer far from your family of origin?  Should you go back to school to learn a new skill or finish that college degree that you put off to raise your family?

What does Scripture say about these things? Let’s look at what Jesus and Paul taught.

Jesus preached in Matt. 6:19-21 that we should store up treasures in heaven, not just on earth.  He warned us to be on guard against greed; life is more than possessions (Luke 12:15).  In Luke 12:48, Jesus proclaimed that to those who have been given much, much is required.  In some of His strongest language, Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13).  Jesus said to not work for temporal things only; the most important work is to believe in God’s Son (John 6:26-29).  Jesus taught there is more to work and life than just making money.

Paul also had some things to say to the churches regarding money, and then lived by example.  He knew that he could have been supported financially by the churches, as he taught that full-time pastor-teachers are worthy of their wages, just like everyone else (1 Tim. 5:17-18; Luke 10:7).  In 1 Cor. 9:7-14, Paul applies the same OT principle from Deut. 25:4 to all who serve Christ full-time.  However, he was reluctant to take these gifts as his sole means of support; he did not want to hinder the spread of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:12).  Paul’s reward was to be able to preach the gospel free of charge in order to win as many as possible (1 Cor. 9:18).

Paul and Barnabas sacrificially worked to support themselves to avoid being a burden to those whom they preached (1 Cor. 9:6).  Paul worked hard day and night in his secular tent-making job (Acts 18:3) so that he could be financially independent (1 Thes. 2:9).  (See also 1 Cor. 4:12.)  Paul chose to follow his calling and was basically willing to work two full-time jobs to see that his financial needs were met, living by faith in total dependence on the Lord.  Finally, Paul had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself, in rich times as well as lean (Phil. 4:11-12).  He knew that God would always meet his needs (Phil. 4:19).

To summarize, although a decent salary is necessary, it should not be the most important factor when deciding on a job offer or when choosing between multiple offers. We are not to be greedy in any way.  We cannot take it all with us after we die.  Money cannot be our primary motivation.  We are to do whatever it takes to be financially independent.  When times are tough, we need to trust in the Lord to supply our needs in His time, and lead where He wants us to go.

Let me close with a cool story about how God provided for my family’s needs at a critical time.

Shortly after we found out my wife was pregnant in the summer of 1985, I was on a weekend Senior High beach retreat.  I had some time to take a stroll by myself along the beautiful Oregon coast.  I was thinking about our finances; we did not have any health insurance.  How was I going to pay all the medical expenses for my wife and the baby?

Up ahead, I saw something large and white on the shoreline.  When I got there, I found a huge, flat pile of nearly perfect sand dollars.  I took this unusual event to be a clear, personal message from my faithful Father.  I knew that He would provide all the dollars we would need for this baby.  Immediately, I felt His peace that passed all understanding (see Phil. 4:7.)

The Lord did indeed provide for the three of us in an amazing way.  Within a couple of weeks, I had found another job, teaching math and science in the mornings at a Christian Junior/Senior High School.  Somehow, I was able to fit it into my already busy school and ministry schedule.  I taught there for the entire school year, and the salary I received just covered the medical expenses for our daughter’s birth.  What a blessing!

God has always been faithful to meet the needs of His children. He has been faithful to us.  He still is faithful to us.  He will be to you also.  Trust Him.  Watch and see!

 

The Secular View of Work

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In previous articles over the past two years, I have laid a fairly firm foundation of what a broad biblical theology of work looks like from Genesis to Revelation.  I want to address some common misconceptions about work that are in contradiction to the views we have discussed.  I am hoping that my readers will be able to see more clearly just how much these unbiblical views miss the mark completely.

The movie, City Slickers, is one of my family’s favorite movies. In one scene early in the movie, Billy Crystal’s character Mitch has just gotten back from a disastrous Career Day presentation at his son’s elementary school, where he had to talk about his job.

He is not proud of what he does for a living.  He sells advertising for a radio station.  Going through a mid-life crisis, he realizes that he has lost the drive he had when he was starting out.  He laments the fact that he has little to show for what he does all day.  At least an upholsterer can point to his work and say, “This is what I did.”  To sum up Mitch’s view, he frustratingly exclaims, “I sell air!”

This perfectly illustrates a purely secular view of work, when you take God out of the picture.  It is the view that work has no lasting value in and of itself, and where the purpose of work to just to feed the family and pay the bills.  Unfortunately, some Christians also have this view.

Sherman and Hendricks in Your Work Matters to God present several ideas or broad themes that are representative of the secular view of work. This is a view that says that “God is irrelevant at work” (p. 25).  It exalts work or says it is meaningless.  Either it is all about you, or it’s all about nothing.

Here is a summary of the secular view:

  • The purpose of work is to fulfill yourself, find success; be the master of your own fate.
  • Success in life means success at work (careerism is idolatry; life out of balance).
  • You’ve got to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
  • I just go to work to earn a living (your job has no ultimate meaning or purpose).

This view says God is irrelevant at work.  Well, God is irrelevant all the time, if you have a secular view, right?  It either exalts work, or says it’s meaningless.  So, if it exalts work, the purpose of work is to further yourself, find success, and be the master of your own fate, the captain of your ship.  Success in life means success in work.  When they put career on a pedestal they are worshipping it.  It is idolatry.  They’re trying to find meaning in life through their work.

And that same attitude says you gotta do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter how many marriages you have to burn through, no matter how many friends you have to cheat, no matter how much you have to steal, kill, destroy, whatever – you are going to do whatever it takes.  Or, like Billy Crystal, you just work to earn a living; it has no meaning, value, or purpose at all.  “I sell air!”

This view is evident all around us.  It is shallow, worldly, contrary to God’s Word, and is not what we should believe or practice.  God is very much relevant at work!

Here is another facet of the secular view of work.  It is all about competition and achievement.  He who dies with the most toys wins.  It is about money, success, prestige.  Everywhere you look you can see symbols of success in various fields: Grammy and Academy awards, military rank, and the coveted Super Bowl championship ring, among other things.

Corbett and Fikkert, in When Helping Hurts, indicate, “When work is done to glorify oneself or merely to achieve more wealth, it becomes worship of false gods. How we work and for whom we work really matters” (p. 75).  Jesus’ teaching in Mark 8:34-36 certainly applies here.  He asks, “What good is it for a man to gain the world, yet lose his soul?”

In contrast to this empty view of work that only leads to meaninglessness, frustration, and despair, the Bible gives us a much more hopeful and helpful perspective.

To discover what I am talking about, please check out previous articles I have written and posted here about the intrinsic and instrumental value of work.

 

Still Considering New Directions

A little over a year ago, I was seriously considering changing jobs.  I was made aware of a ministry position at a Christian university, and it looked like a great fit.  I applied for it, but was not interviewed.  However, I was grateful for the things I learned in the process.  You can read about it here.

The first week of May, I had a couple of days off because the highway between home and Fort “Lost in the Woods” (Leonard Wood) was closed due to flooding.  I put the time to good use and worked diligently on the book I am writing.  When I returned to work Wednesday I had 170 unread emails.  Thursday afternoon, I felt compelled to stay late to try to get it down from 20-ish to single-digits.  And there it was.  I almost missed it.  A weekly alert listing government jobs in Colorado.  One was at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.  The closing date was the very next day.

This one was at Fort Carson, Colorado, in lovely Colorado Springs, less than an hour from my wife’s family, which is why I set up my weekly job alert in the first place.  It is the same pay grade I hold now.  It would be quite a bit different from what I am doing now, but I am confident I could do it well.  I would still be serving the Army.  My background and skill set makes me a pretty good fit.  Most importantly, they would pay to relocate us.

You have to understand, I really do love the job I have now.  (See article.)  After nine years of doing the same thing, I am definitely in my comfort zone.  It is challenging and stressful, but it is a good fit for me.  I am uniquely qualified for this job.  I have said many times that I could stay there until I retire at age 67 or 68, which is in about nine more years.  I have no desire to move up, get promoted, or get transferred elsewhere on post.  There is no better job on post for me.

And yet, the needs of my wife, who has been married to me for over 36 years, outweigh my need to remain in my comfort zone.  For some time, she has expressed her unfulfilled longing to move closer to her family of origin.  I promised I would keep an eye out for jobs in Colorado and in the Kansas City area and in Wisconsin as well.  I had been made aware of a couple of other job openings in Colorado off and on over the last few years, but none were as good a fit as this one.  This is a deliberate act of “mutual submission” in the context of marriage, as is clearly taught by the Apostle Paul in Eph. 5:12.  I love my job, but I love my wife more.  Plain and simple.

It is noteworthy that the timing on this job is different than it was this time last year.  Then, our youngest son was living in his old college town three hours from here, but last June he moved to L.A.  His brother, who lives four hours the other direction, is changing jobs this summer and may have to relocate at some point also.  So, there is really nothing tying us down here, other than my job.

So, on Thursday night after work, Linda and I discussed this faith-building job opportunity.  We made a hasty pro and con list, just to see if I should go ahead and apply for the job in the morning.  There were seven items in the plus column and four in the minus.  The deciding factor was if I did not apply now, there might not be another job like this in a while.  If I do apply, and it is offered, I do not have to take it, but it seemed prudent to step out once again in faith and let the Lord lead.

Friday morning, I went in a little earlier than usual to beat the traffic, and took back the half-hour that I had given up the previous afternoon.  I updated my resume, answered a bunch of questions about my relevant experiences, and hit the submit button.  I got a confirmation email that it was received.

We prayed and waited for a couple of weeks.  We prayed that God would give wisdom to those making the decisions and to us to know whether or not to take the job if it was offered.

One late afternoon I got an email stating that I was found eligible for the position, but “not among the best qualified candidates.”  I have to admit that we were both a little disappointed, but totally rested in God’s timing.  My wife said, “God knows what He’s doing.”