As corporate chaplains, we learned many years ago that the
Lord fills our days with “Divine Appointments.” I define a divine
appointment like this: It’s when our humanity intersects with God’s
divinity at the exact perfect moment. Some people might call this
event a coincidence, but we do not believe in coincidences around
our company, we have learned that many times, God sets the table
for more than we’re aware of, or planned on. Below is a prime
example of one of those divine appointments that fill our days.
Enjoy the divine appointment below, and feel free to share one back
with us in your comments. [The following was written by a Metro
Denver Hospice physician] I was driving home from a meeting one
evening, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., when my car started to
choke and sputter before it died. I barely managed to coast
into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic
and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It
wouldn’t even turn over. Before I could make the call for the
tow truck, I saw a woman walking out of the quick mart. She
appeared to slip on some ice and fell to the ground next to the gas
pump. I got out to see if she was alright. When I got
there it looked more like she was overcome by sobs. She was a
young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her
eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up. It was
a nickel. At that moment everything came into focus for me:
the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with
three kids in the back, one in a car seat, and the gas pump reading
$4.95. I asked her if she was okay and if she needed
help. She kept crying and said, “I don’t want my kids to see
me crying.” so we stood on the other side of the pump from the
car. She said she was driving to California and that
things were very hard for her at the time. I asked, “And you
were praying?” That made her back away from me a little, but
I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, “He heard you and
He sent me.” I took out my credit card and swiped it through
the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her tank, walked
next door to McDonalds and bought two sacks of food, some gift
certificates for more and a big cup of coffee. She gave the
food to the kids who attacked it like a pack of wolves and we stood
by the car eating and talking a little. She told me her name.
She lived in Kansas City where her boyfriend had left her two
months before. Since then she had not been able to make ends
meet. She had finally called her parents in California for
help. They had encouraged her to move out there and try to
get on her feet. So she packed up and took off for
California. I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick
prayer with her. As I was walking away, she asked, “So are
you like and angel or something?” This definitely made me cry
and I replied, “Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really
busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.” It was so
incredible to be a part of someone else’s miracle. And of
course, when I got in my car it started right up! I’ll put it
in the shop tomorrow but I’m pretty sure they won’t find anything
wrong with it. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain
thee.” Psalm 55:22
Most people, when they realize that God has a purpose(s) for their life, want to do all they can to accomplish His purpose(s). It is very common for individuals to sit and wait for God to reveal his purpose for their lives; and before you know it a year, a decade or a lifetime slips by, and they’ve done nothing toward accomplishing their purpose. You see, it’s always easier to sit and be available, than to aggressively listen to the still small voice of God, and go out and do what he’s just communicated to you.
For many years I believed that the purpose of God was some position or destination to arrive at, and in recent years I’ve shifted my position on the purpose of God in my life. Today, as I have walked with God over forty years, I’ve discovered that he desires obedience more than sacrifice. Obedience to his voice who is always speaking, always directing, always correcting and always yearning to show me more of himself.
As I stated earlier, it is easier to sit and wait on the purpose of God to come later, verses obeying the voice of God right NOW. God’s will and purpose for my life, is to be so close to God every minute of everyday that we can hear his smallest whisper, and feel his breath as he whispers in our ear. His purpose is to have a deep, intimate, vibrant moment-by-moment relationship with us. He is a living God, and he yearns to walk with us in the cool of the day, and just like your best friend who knows everything about you, and you them, that is what our Lord Jesus desires with us.
The voice of God you learn to listen to, converse with and relate to, has so many little tasks for us to accomplish every day! The more we listen and obey and faithfully fulfill those tasks, the more he offers to us, and our responsibilities in his kingdom grows. You see, he loves relating with his children and blessing them. He meets all our needs, and he gives us our heart’s desire, if we’ll simply delight in him.
Our nation, our heritage, our dreams and our lives,
Have been placed at risk by deception and lies.
Congress and Senate have a passionate vision,
That includes special interest and improving positions.
Much time and effort for funds being raised,
So getting reelected is filling their days.
No vision for us or the red white and blue.
Consumes any leader, so what do we do?
We search far and wide and look for a candidate,
With national vision and passion and mandate.
A man or a woman willing to do what it takes,
To change status quo and raise high the stakes.
Every American who loves this great nation,
Must get out and vote and help change direction.
This nation so blessed doesn’t belong to the few,
It’s our great nation for me and for you!
We stand at a crossroads again in our lives,
An election of great magnitude awaiting our eyes.
The choices are different as the day and the night,
Don’t sit and complain if you’re unwilling to fight.
Go door to door and encourage the vote,
For the candidate of your choice, get out of the boat.
Make a difference today with the work of your hands,
Our future is now for the sake of our land.
Citizens of honor placing their hands to the work,
Can make all the difference in spoiling the pork.
We all have a voice if we unite arm and arm,
In reminding the boys we’re sounding the alarm.
The waste has to stop and accountability rise,
We expect our leaders to work and be wise,
With every bill that flows through their doors,
We’re going to be watching; holding their feet to the floor.
United we stand and divided we fall,
It’s time for our Congress to answer the call.
Govern for action and stop all the games,
Enact the solutions and stop laying the blame.
Your people are weary and tired of the frozen,
Get American moving or we’ll find new chosen,
Representatives who are willing and able,
To address all the issues and get votes on the table.
The hour is short and the need never greater,
We’re anxiously watching for more than debaters.
Action is needed from one and from all,
Who has the courage to stand up and stand tall?
Our nation a jewel and priceless the worth,
We tire of the interests spreading their girth.
Dividing attention and neglecting the simple,
We’re ready for action…Thus saith the people!
“Why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow?”Sound familiar? Are you a procrastinator?Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt.It carries a high potential for painful consequences.
Why do you procrastinate?What causes any of us to put off things that need to be done?First, thinking that you absolutely have to do something is a major reason for procrastination.Feeling like you have to do something can automatically make you defensive and resentful.You need to realize that you never have to do something.Of course, the consequences might be pretty severe, but the decision to do something is ultimately yours.
Second, thinking of a task as something huge that you have to get completed can ensure that you put it off.Rather than focusing on finishing a task, change your focus to doing it, step by step, until it is completed.If you say to yourself, “I’ve got to do my taxes today,” or “I must complete this report,” you are very likely to feel overwhelmed and end up putting off the task.Start one small piece of the task instead of thinking that you must finish the whole thing.Focus on what you know you can get done right now.If you do this enough, you will eventually complete the whole task!
Other ways to battle the challenge of procrastination include:
Finally, do not take pride in your procrastination by joking about it all the time.It is a significant problem that needs to be dealt with in a positive way.Ask for help if you need it!
“Attentiveness is showing the worth of a person or task by giving your undivided concentration.” (www.characterfirst.com)
When was the last time you sat down, looked your friend, spouse, or child in the eye and really paid attention to what they had to say?If you are like most people that doesn’t sound too difficult…until you try to do it.Most of us believe we are too busy to give that sort of attention on a regular basis.We want to talk “on the move,” while we are doing other things.We call it multi-tasking and we excuse our failure to really be attentive by saying, as well as believing, that we are so busy that a constructive use of our time is not really focusing on any one thing or person.We convince ourselves that we are better time managers when we are communicating on the move, at a shallow depth, and without any kind of real commitment.I think all that is a cop-out.Being truly attentive is something most of us just don’t want to do.We think it requires too much and may end up costing us more than we want to give.By not paying attention we can keep our distance and move along without any real commitment.Being attentive scares us to death!Yet, it is exactly what our relationships need!“Attentiveness is showing the worth (value) of a person or task by giving your undivided concentration (attention).” Who can you give your undivided attention today, and by doing so, show them how important they are to you and how much you value your relationship with them?
1.) TRUST: We totally trust each other with everything in our relationship. There are no secrets we have hidden from one another.
2.) COMMUNICATION: My wife and I communicated with each other all of the time as we were dating. The mystery of who we were had to be discovered by each of us…we’re still discovering and still communicating.
3.) FINANCIAL UNITY: We have never had separate bank accounts. Every penny earned, was “ours” and all of the goals and dreams for the finances were ours. It was never mine or yours, but always ours.
4.) INTIMACY: Having the purity of an old fashioned relationship, where neither one had ever been with another person. Having no one to compare the other person with, has allowed us total security in our love for each other.
5.) PURITY: Maintaining the purity of our relationship with each other. There is never a second chance at having and maintaining a pure marriage, and guarding it at all cost.
6.) ACCOUNTABILITY: Making ourselves accountable for two crucial areas of our marriage…Time and Money.
7.) PRAYING TOGETHER: Praying together regardless, has been a source of strength and encouragement for us both. It is really hard to pray together and end the day still angry with each other.
8.) STAY-BILITY: This is more than what most think as stability…we are staying together period. Divorce is never an option, and never mentioned from our lips.
9.) TENDERNESS: We value and respect each other, and constantly lift each other up in our speech. She is my bride and I am her groom! We treat each other with tenderness and respect just as we did in the beginning.
10.) GIVING TO EACH OTHER: We decided to give our lives to each other when we got married. Finding creative ways to continue giving and sharing our lives is a hallmark of 31 years of giving to each other.
My son and daughter are doing very well in school. Both are socially fitting in, adjusting to life in a very healthy way. My husband is rising up the ladder at work, providing well, and I have a great job with lots of recognition and appreciation for a job well done. Life is rocking along as we both turned the corner on thirty, and we’re about where we thought we would be at this point. It couldn’t be going much better, as we’re living the American dream. It was just another day in the life, when the phone rang, and all the blood in my head drained out, as the doctor wanted to visit with me about my annual checkup. He had never called me before, after this very routine wellness exam. He stated that he had some concerns with some lumps in my breasts, and wanted to biopsy them just to be on the safe side, and eliminate his concern.
You guessed it, a few days later I was informed I had advanced stages of breast cancer. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was barely thirty-one, and found myself in the midst of one very dark nightmare. The fear was crippling as I considered not seeing my children grow up, missing the big dates like graduation, prom, college, weddings and grandchildren. I was witnessing my life flash before my eyes, and I was horrified at what I was witnessing. Oh but wait, it gets even darker. My husband was being everything I hoped he would be, not perfect, but he was there for me as the chemotherapy began. My hair started falling out and I became so weak and frail that I couldn’t hardly get out of bed. The phone rang and I wasn’t prepared for what was coming next. My precious husband was involved in a horrific automobile accident, and they were not sure he was going to survive. Once again, I went numb all over, hardly believing what my ears were hearing. Somehow I knew, that life as I knew it would never be the same.
I was barely able to work, and it would be weeks and weeks before my husband would work again, if he even survived the accident. Income dried up, bills piled up, fear raised up and I was lost, as I didn’t know what to do or where to go for help! I was slipping away, and couldn’t find a handle to hold on to…did I mention FEAR!! Suddenly it hit me, I had a chaplain at the company I had gotten to know as he made his weekly rounds at our office. He was compassionate, a good listener and someone I could finally unload my fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams on. His strength and faith held me up when no one else could. There were some things I just didn’t feel comfortable discussing with my pastor, yet my company chaplain, whom I connected with so easily, began this long journey with me and my family.
His words of hope always seemed to be right on the mark. The resources and options he provided were perfectly timed, and exactly what my family needed. He convinced our company to establish a benevolence fund at work. The employees could contribute $5 to $10 per pay period, and the company would match or even double match what was contributed by all of the employees. Portions of this fund would then be made available to any team member in crisis! This fund bought me a wig when my hair fell out, paid our house and car payments, fed my family and above all else, gave us HOPE, that we wouldn’t be alone during this journey. Over the next few months our health slowly began to improve, until we were both back at work and life returned somewhat back to normal.
There would be new challenges down the road in my marriage and life, but I will never ever forget the season in my life, when my company cared enough to provide a benefit I had never heard of, and thought I would never use, to save our lives. It’s been almost twenty years since that challenging time of my life, and my career has taken me to other companies, but on a few occasions, when I needed someone to lean on, I called my old chaplain to help me again. He always was there for me even though my new company wasn’t one of his clients. He simply said, once you’re part of his Corporate Care family, you’re always a part of the family! I am eternally grateful for my chaplain, my friend.
I can remember when I realized for the first time that I could count on the Bible. I was on into my adult years, raised in the church, had a minister for a dad, and frankly, had quite a bit of Bible knowledge. But the realization that God’s Word was true and reliable was something new to me. It changed my life forever!
In our world today many things compete for influence in our lives. The culture we live in promotes a “me mentality” where all of life evolves around the individual. We learn to trust anything that tickles our ears and tells us what we want to hear. We end up counting on only those things that benefit us at the moment. Yet what our lives need more than anything is the reliable Word of God.
The Bible is sufficient in our lives. In contrast to the theories of men, God’s Word is absolutely comprehensive. The Bible does not change. Unlike the opinions and wisdom of man, God’s Word is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.
Most importantly, the Bible is true. It is true all of the time. Proverbs 30:5-6 says, “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection. Do not add to His words or He may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.”
How do you start your day? Do you struggle to get out of bed, get cleaned up and dressed? You skip “the most important meal of the day” and somehow find your way to work after stopping at the convenience store for coffee? All of us should take time every morning to get the best start on the day we possibly can. God should play a significant role in starting your day!
Will Austin is a friend of mine and he recently shared a part of his daily start-up. He reviews every morning his “Live For Him” list. “Reading through this list is the very first thing I do each morning. It allows me to recalibrate with what really matters,” he said. He graciously gave me permission to share his LFH list with you.
Will said, “It is amazing how simple and to what perspective things seem to fall when I start my day this way.” This Live For Him list can get you started every morning in the right way. Maybe you and God need to come up with your own list. The point is: Start things the right way everyday by including God in your plans!
What does it mean to be content? In a world where we are driven to want more and more; to never be satisfied with what we have, it is a difficult concept to ever embrace. After all, whatever car, boat, or house we have, we always seem to want something different, bigger, and better.
Webster defines contentment as “happy enough with what one has or is. Not desiring something more different. The absence of the need to strain and pull to get ahead. Indifference to position, status, or possession.” The Amplified Version of the Bible defines contentment as “satisfied to the point that one is neither disturbed or disquieted. The product of gratitude.”
Few things affect our lives like a grateful spirit. We typically have so much more than we actually need that we are blinded by our abundance. We take our health, freedom, prosperity, and possessions for granted. And, we are ungrateful. In a time and place where, in our culture, we have more of everything than the rest of the world, we fail to express a spirit of gratitude to those around us who help us and to God who provides it.
More than likely you are blessed beyond your basic needs. You probably want more of what you have and definitely more of what you do not have, but fail to recognize that you have so much that money cannot buy. You have the love and appreciation of others. You have a family. You have food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. You have a job. Yet you still remain ungrateful!!
John D. Rockefeller, an American industrialist who, in 1870, founded Standard Oil was once asked how much money it would take for him to be really satisfied. He answered, “Just a little bit more.” What is it that will truly bring you contentment?
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” Philippians 4:11-13