How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

How Getting Fired Can Become Priceless

Trees from AshesI’ve only been fired once. It happened in one of the worst possible ways. The email arrived on a Sunday night: “You are being taken off the schedule immediately.” There was no warning. No “opportunity for improvement.” No due process. Even looking back from the vantage point of years I can see no warning signs leading up to that traumatic evening. Nobody had the guts to approach me and explain what was going on.

I had it easier than most people who get fired. That position was not the only “job” I had at the time. I was working in three different settings, and was able to quickly increase my hours in the other two positions. Financially I experienced only a minor hiccup, but the internal impact on my psyche wasn’t nearly as minor.

Through that experience I discovered that being fired is good for you. Oh sure, it hurts. But it’s an experience that can spawn a great deal of wisdom, clarity, and maturity if one allows it to.

Here are several things being fired helped me understand, and that you can learn if you have a similar experience:

  1. Life isn’t fair. It’s not worth the emotional angst to try to make it fair. Some people are just jerks.
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The Ministry of Presence: Being There

The Ministry of Presence: Being There

Ministry of PresenceSometimes you can tell somebody what they need to know. That feels good. Sometimes you can fix things for them. That often feels even better. Sometimes you can even help them grow strong enough to fix it themselves. That feels best of all.

But sometimes there’s no fixing it. Nothing you do, or they do, will make things any better. In those times the best you can offer is you. It’s being there – the ministry of presence.

As a physician I’ve developed a style of relating to patients that helps them feel comfortable and reassured. But I didn’t fully appreciate how powerful that kind of relationship can be until I experienced it from the other side. Some time ago my husband was in the hospital, and we were both understandably anxious. Several new doctors quickly became involved in his care. But everything changed the moment his regular doctor walked into the room. My husband was getting the same treatment, but the presence of Dr. Pohl made us feel comparatively confident and safe about everything that was going on.

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5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

Bible and Coffee in the MorningYour mind gets distracted. Life gets busy. Your thoughts become occupied with figuring out what to do next or solving a problem. Your heart becomes filled with frustration or anxiety or fear or bitterness or pressure. The urgency of life seems to overtake your decision to spend time with God.

Perhaps somewhere there’s someone who’s super spiritual and for whom spending long periods of time with God happens without effort. For me and most of the rest of us, finding ways to spend time with God only happens by being intentional.

As with any human relationship, our relationship with God has many dimensions. Different seasons of life and our unique personalities color how we experience our relationship with God at various times. But there are some common threads we can take advantage of at any time to improve how we spend time with God.

God built us to be part of a community of believers, and I hope you’re involved with others in growing your Christian faith. Worshiping together with others is a powerful way to connect with God. But here I want to focus on 5 ways you can spend time with God individually even when you’re busy.

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What’s In Your Hand: Using Your God-given Talents

What’s In Your Hand: Using Your God-given Talents

Perhaps you’ve said “I want God to use me!” I know many believers who feel that way. Perhaps your daily life now seems quite monotonous and unimportant, and you wish that light-bulb moment would happen when you know you’re making a significant and lasting difference for His kingdom. You see others in the spotlight who God seems to be using in a big way, and you try hard to not allow envy to grow in your heart. Will you ever be able to use your God-given talents to their full potential?

Whenever a lasting desire shows up in the human heart I believe it’s evidence of the way in which God made us. Those desires often become distorted or are directed in unhealthy directions, but the desire is from God. Your desire to make a difference is proof that God made you for a reason, both for this life and for eternity. You and I will never feel completely satisfied until we fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

But we’re not born with everything we need to fill the role for which God made us. The seeds are there, but in order to fill a role that’s big enough to qualify as God-sized, you and I need to grow up in all kinds of ways. And the way to get there is to begin using what’s in our hands right now.

In the Bible, Moses had spent forty years being educated in Pharaoh’s court, and another forty years on the back-side of the desert herding sheep. When God appeared to Him in the burning bush Moses felt ignored, beaten down, old, and anything but ready for some significant role in God’s plan.

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The 3 Stages of God’s Purpose for You

The 3 Stages of God’s Purpose for You

You’re a husband, a mom, a banker, a teacher, a nurse, a truck driver, a construction worker, a radio operator, an entertainer, a cook, a retailer, a computer programmer, or a real estate agent. Your home or work life seems fine as far as it goes, but sometimes a voice in the back of your head wonders, “Is this all there is?” Part of you believes that God can use you where you are right now, but another part of you wonders whether there’s something much bigger in God’s purpose for you.

Having a purpose in life is something most people desire, but may not know how to experience. It makes a difference in your health also. Research in recent years has demonstrated that those with a high sense of purpose in life tend to engage in healthier lifestyle behaviors, develop chronic illnesses less frequently, and experience better mental health. One exciting study showed that seniors with a greater sense of purpose were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the following years than those without such a sense of purpose.

Yesterday I listened to an inspiring interview with Bob Goff, author of Love Does and founder of Restore International.

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