Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am, but

Many people know that one of my favorite websites is "StuffChristiansLike.Net" It's a satire site run by an employee of Dave Ramsey to laugh at the things we do as Christians. Browse around and you will find things that will make you laugh like a score card as to how Metrosexual is Your Worship Leader. A few days ago, the author asked for readers help with his upsoming book.
"Whenever I travel and meet people or connect online with folks, our conversation inevitably drifts toward a simple question, “What do you do?” The most common answer I hear, from people of all ages, is simple: “I’m a __________, but I want to be a ___________.” That’s what my next book is about and I need your help.
If this sounds like something you’ve ever thought about before, if you’ve ever felt like your job wasn’t using your to your full potential or that you weren’t doing what God designed you to do, I’d like to talk with you. I’d love to hear your story

I decided to share my story. Here it is.

I am an accountant, but my heart is with the youth of my church. I don’t want to become a youth minister. Honestly, I think my skills and talents are more closely aligned with accounting. My talents aren’t getting a group of teenagers to follow me. I don’t have the charisma for them to do so. I usually end up sounding like I’m barking at them. I enjoy though the small moments when I can feel like I’ve connected with a teen and helped them learn and grow. More often, they teach me something than I teach them.
I’m currently looking for a job; therefore I’ve been reading books like “The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting the Job You Want.” I don’t think the author is a Christian. However, he said that people should never say, “I’m a plumber” or “I’m an accountant” rather we should say, “I’m Lauri, and I work as an accountant.” The idea struck me as truth that we limit ourselves to what we do 40 hours a week rather than the other 128. People often ask me if I’m a teacher. No way. I enjoy playing with teens and sending them home to their parents not beating Algebra into their minds. I often think it’s because, and I don’t know where the disconnect occurs but, we expect Christians to not work in the for profit world. Why is that? Wasn’t Joseph a carpenter, Moses a shepherd, Paul a tent maker? Yet they helped fulfill God’s world. Why do we feel the need to apologize for doing the same thing?

What's your story?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thought of the Day

"The prospect of a long day at the beach makes me panic. There is no harder work I can think of than taking myself off to somewhere pleasant, where I am forced to stay for hours and 'have fun'." - Phillip Lopate

To Do Today: Learn how to relax and enjoy life.

I found out when I moved to Internal Audit that the head of the department sent out a thought of the day everyday. I was posting them sometimes as status updates. It seemed very popular so I thought I'd post some I have saved and those I get weekly from Franklin Covey along with my thoughts.
I find that the opposite is true for me. I can almost always find things to do that are pleasant. I wonder if this is a part of the cultural of "busyness" that we have. It's a waste of time to relax or rather not to be doing something productive. If we aren't we assume that we are being lazy. Why do we think that? God commanded us to keep the Sabbath or to take time to rejuvenate.
I'm actually not sure it wouldn't help solve our problems. What if we only worked 40-45 hours a week? Would places have to hire more people? Would unemployment go down? Think about it. Why do we have to do everything? Do we truly think the world will quit revolving if we don't do everything?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gift Exchange

Gift : 1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. 2. the act of giving. 3. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time

Give: 1. To present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow: to give a birthday present to someone. 2. To relinquish or sacrifice: to give one's life for a cause. 3. v. to make a gift or gifts; contribute: to give to the United Way.

White Elephant Gift Exchange: An exchange of items found around the house of little to no value that have outlived their usefulness. The goal is to be humorous rather than to give a gift of value or that benefit the receiver.
Which one of these things is not like the other? I’ve always been taught that it’s better to give than to receive and while giving the focus should be on the one you are giving the gift not you. As a Christian, I learned that one should give to God in secret. By extension this means to me, we shouldn’t be trying to make ourselves the center of attention when giving a gift. It has always seemed to me that the goal of a white elephant gift exchange ends up being to make the giver the center of attention. Isn’t that incredibly selfish? I read this online a few days ago:
“One of the biggest lessons I learned is that for many people, gift giving is a chore. YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT, SCROOGE.
- If you are shopping for a wedding present, it means someone you care for is starting an exciting new chapter in life. You should be filled with joy and enthusiasm. If you can't muster at least a good grace about it, why are you even buying a gift?.
- If you are shopping for Christmas/holiday presents, you presumably have both some money AND friends and/or family. Lucky, lucky you! What a gift to be able to share with others. Attitude is everything.”

All of this is very, very true. Why then do we turn it into something centered on ourselves? Please consider this before you participate in your next gift exchange.