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Christian Men at Work Podcast

Aug 31, 2020


  • Al Mohler’s 8/27 Briefing episode on Boredom vs Depression, psychologist talking about the fact that it's being said that there's a big problem of depression resulting from the Covid-19 situation, and that perhaps what's going on is more boredom than depression.  In the article they discussed the difference between boredom and depression and that boredom is a lack of excitement or pleasure vs exptectations whereas depression is a medical condiition (I'm paraphrasing).  I heard this podcast after meditating two other devotions relating to this topic.  I want to read both of them to you and then share my thoughts on how all three of these great pieces relate to our work. First light-7/29/20-The Go spel of Jimmy Buffet-"Where there is no ox a stall is clean, but if you ever accomplish anything it is because you had an ox." Proverbs 14:4-As much as I love the Parrot head nation I am convinced that their theology is misguided! Buffet built a rabid following around not just his music, but around a philosophy of life that basically says that the purpose of life is all about comfort. The mindset that I was created to live a life of ease has permeated our nation's soul. Anything that gets in the way of my pleasure is seen as the enemy of my happiness. Hard work, sacrifice, delayed gratification, enduring the tough times are all seen as plagues to avoid rather than the paths to true long-term satisfaction and purpose. The Bible nails it in one of my favorite verses in Proverbs 14. In the "ox" verse we find the universal truth that success and shoveling always go hand in hand. Obviously, you can only accomplish if you own an ox to plow with. But, owning an ox also means shoveling the stuff that all oxen leave laying around. Simple parable describing what the WW2 generation built a great nation on. I must be willing to endure the hard stuff to get the good stuff.  If I want great kids, I must be willing to pay the price. Anybody that has raised teens knows you had better keep your shovel handy! This current fascination with a life of all ease while I waste away in Margaritaville makes for great music, but it builds a pretty pathetic life and nation. "There ain't no free lunch" is a time worn saying from days gone by that needs to be dusted off again! God created our souls to thrive on accomplishment and achievement. There are few things more gratifying than success after great sacrifice. "A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul" is another great Proverb to heed. So, rather than living to see how relaxed we can be while trying to avoid stepping on another pop top, let’s roll up our sleeves, set great big God sized goals and get to shoveling toward the finish line! Surely there has to be more to life than having nothing but an empty glass to show for my time here! 
    • From Wire email devotional called “Whats this margin thing?”
    Men are drawn toward extremes. We’re wired to want to explore the edges of things. Going to extremes can be good, of course. In most situations, though, it’s a hazardous practice. Prevailing culture tells us, “work longer hours;” “sleep less;” “spend more money and stretch to a better lifestyle.” Such messages are harmful and aren’t from God. He didn’t design us to live (for sustained periods, at least) with extreme calendars, extreme finances, extreme approaches to work or physical health, or extreme pastimes/interests. God designed us to have margin.
      • Margin is the amount of time, money, whatever, we hold back—in order to maintain productivity, stability, integrity. “Calendar margin” means reserving time for rest, for solitude, for other people. “Financial margin” means living within our means, even changing our lifestyles, if necessary. “Work margin” means focusing on what we’re made to do, and excluding the things we aren’t.
      • Margin is a gift. While we can convince ourselves that there are valuable things in extremes (more status, more comfort), there are things much more valuable in margin: relationships, restoration, joy, peace. These are vital inputs to healthy, productive lives, and things we must have in sufficient quantities if we’re going to overflow love and provide protection to others. We care for others by caring of ourselves. That’s true masculinity—not some put-on, fear-driven, self-centered counterfeit.
My thoughts- Our work is truly a gift from God, and He knew exactly what He was doing when he gave us work right after He created the world, in the garden of Eden.  Boredom is not a part of God's plan any more than depression is and I believe work is a big part of God's plan for us to avoid these two states of mind while we are acting as stewards, tending to and caring for His Creation, and along the way doing some mini-creating of our own with our creativity and living a life of purpose and joy working with our hands and our minds and serving others.  If you doubt this, just look at the 4th commandment in Exodus 20:8-11.  It's worth noting none of the other commandments have as many verses devoted to them so it says something to me about the importance of this commandment.  8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."  Note that there are actually 2 commandments within this commandment, one is to work for 6 days, the other is to rest on the 7th, by doing so we follow God's example in creation.  Personally I’ve been purposing to be obedient to the 4th commandment by trying to give God my best through my work 6 days a week, and to truly set apart the 7th day to make it Holy, meaning not just ceasing work but by dedicating it to Him in my activities throughout that day.  My wife and I have attempting to honor the 7th day namely Saturday as Saabath as well as honoring the Lords Feasts and following Gods calendar rather than the Pagan traditions that are part of the church today and have begun attending a messianic congregation. I realize that most, maybe all of you listening, aren't going to agree with that.   I don’t bring this up to judge others but I did want to be transparent with you about aspectys of my faith journey and I didn’t want to mention the Saabath without brining that up.  Back to the 3 pieces I shared earlier.  We already talked about boredom not being pat of God's plan.  Margaritaville, or living a life focused on our own personal pleasure, is also not part of God's plan.  You can see that in the Parable of the Prodigal Son as well as many verses in the book of Proverbs.  I suspect that most of you listening don't have a problem with the Margaritaville lifestyle but may share my struggle of going to the opposite extreme which is to work too hard, to work without healthy boundaries, and to do so at the expense of other people and responsibilities God wants us to priortize in our lives.  I think the Wire devotional does a good job of describing the right place to be in this regard.  We've addresseed this issue of Margin many times on this podcast, often in the context of finding a work-life balance. I still believe the best way to have this margin is to keep God at the center of every part of our life rather than attempting to rank or prioritize differnt part of our life, by doing so the Holy Spirit will show us whether we're putting the right amount of time and energy into different activities.


Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s, Lewis became a leader in the fight to end segregation in the American South. He was a Freedom Rider, he spoke at the now famous 1963 March on Washington, and he courageously led the “Bloody Sunday” march in Alabama. But more than anything, it was Lewis’ faith in a loving God that motivated him to work for racial reconciliation.
In confronting the evils of systemic racism, he once wrote, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” And though his courage and determination to end injustice led to his arrest 45 times, he was also known for his mercy as he publicly forgave and even became friends with a former KKK member who had beaten Lewis nearly to death in 1961. As former president Bill Clinton said at his funeral, “When he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. He thought the open hand was better than the clenched fist.” And we needn’t agree with everything Lewis stood for to appreciate his lasting legacy.
Herman Cain was an American business executive, writer, and Tea Party activist. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Cain grew up in Georgia and graduated from Morehouse College with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He then earned a master's degree in computer science at Purdue University, while also working full-time for the U.S. Department of the Navy. In 1977, he joined the Pillsbury Company where he later became vice president. During the 1980s, Cain's success as a business executive at Burger King prompted Pillsbury to appoint him as chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, in which capacity he served from 1986 to 1996.
Cain served as an associate minister at the Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, which he joined at the age of 10 and from what I've read John Lewis was a Christian.  These prominent Christian African-Americans had very different ideas about a number of issues and I think we can and should, regardless our political persuasion, honor both of them for being an example of men living out their faith through their work.
Neh 2:1b-2a "I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”-lesson for us all to be happy and joyful at our work.  Nehemiah was the King's cupbearer, and if he generally had a sour attitude while at work, the King would not haven taken notice that day when he seemed sad.
"The Classic Christian Rock podcast by WildMan & Steve encompasses all a Christian Music fan would want in a podcast. They interview Christian Rock artists twice a month- those from the past and the musicians who are rocking for Christ today. On the same podcast is a weekly radio show called Metal Talk where you will here great talk about politics, current events and faith- all while listening to great Metal music. Subscribe to their podcast today where ever you get your podcasts, find out more at"”
Be brief - state the main point you want to get across right wait and then briefly elaborate, say what's needed and no more, if your email is more than what someone can easily read in 2 minutes or less, it's too long, let it marinate (sleep on it) then chisel off what’s not needed.  When a plant is pruned by getting rid of unnecessary parts the plant flourishes.  I heard recently that an axioum for being conservative politically is if it’s not necessary to change it’s necessary to not change.  I would draw from that quote and say that when it comes to drafting an email, if it’s not necessary to say it’s necessary to NOT say, Proverbs 17:28 NKJV says "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." I believe that applies just as well to the use of email.  I have to be transparent hear and say that I'm the absolute last person to speak with authority on today's tip, this is definitely a case of do what I say and not what I do.  I have struggled my whole career with being too long winded when it comes to the use of e-mail, always afraid to leave something out.  I have come to the conclusion that is a cop-out for not doing the hard work being concise and honoring the time of the receiver.  The effort it takes to be concise is illustrated well by a quote I've heard attributed to Abraham Lincoln which is "“If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.”"