Month: January 2019

Millennials Worship Work

This is the devotional for February 1, 2019

Yes, you read this headline correctly. Here are the bullet points I want to call out from LinkedIn’s post titled “Hustle culture worships workaholism

  • Millennials find their own form of worship – work
  • Performative workaholism
  • Apostles of Hustling
  • Rise and Grind

Here’s a screenshot I took of my computer with this story on it. I was concerned that the article might get pulled.

(sorry for the red circle, it helps me find my cursor.)

I never expected to be writing a “news story” like this one. We’ve all read about the Millennials being the boomerang generation, where they leave home and then come back. And I personally worked with HR staff that took training on how to deal with the Millennial culture that doesn’t respect job role hierarchies, but I never foresaw this condition occurring.

First Some Background

We are the progeny of Adam. So, within every living person, there is a need to worship and serve a “higher power.” We all also need to activate the faith that God has placed in everyone (Ro. 12:3), but for faith to be in one’s employment seems to come out of left field.

Millennials, within all socio-economic strata, have begun rejecting or redefining traditions and the religions of their parents and grandparents. This is causing shockwaves around the world. Who would have guessed that women in Saudi Arabia would be able to get a legal driver’s license and to actually drive motorcycles?

Hanan Iskandar, on the motorcycle, and Doaa Bassem, second from left, received training this month to prepare for this Sunday, the first-day women will be legally permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia. CreditTasneem Alsultan for The New York Times

Millennials Worship Work

So, now that we have some background as to the social and religious tectonic shift taking place right before our eyes let me dig a bit deeper so we understand the Biblical aspect.

Normally, I avoid writing about eschatology, the part of Theology (i.e., the study of God) concerned with end-times. However, when we see “worship of work” in the rather banal business version of Facebook that’s a wake-up call to every Christian.

Let me provide you a quote made in a 2004 teaching series on Revelation by Bible.org. The title of this lesson is “Destruction of Commercial Babylon (Rev 18:1-24)”

The Babylon of this chapter undoubtedly includes an actual city that will be rebuilt on the Euphrates and a politico-commercial system that becomes the means and basis of a new worldwide religious system by which the beast will be worshipped (Rev. 13). If you recall, the beast brings about his own worship by his control of commerce or buying and selling.
LinkedIn picture on mobile phone showing article about Millennials worshiping work.

This wasn’t what the Left or Right schemed and planned for.

The governments around the work have been feeding their technology companies with the intent to establish their place in the New World Order. Tax breaks, extended visas, government contracts have all been mechanisms used by Socialists, Liberals, and Conservatives to curry favor. Why?

They see what we haven’t seen. The large tech companies ARE the future of government. The “tiger” can’t be kept in its cage. Governments are surviving on loans (e.g., T-Bills) and central bank brinksmanship while Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Salesforce, and so on are reaping massive amounts of after-tax profits. So much so that a big challenge for these companies is where to park all their cash; Ireland seems to be the most popular.

These tech giants are submitting and getting foundational patents on what will be our future world. They are buying small businesses just to get the team of people that were creative enough to start their small company. And, they are buying “tiny” companies to move the word’s commercial chess board. One example is Intel buying a small start-up for $67M dollars. I’ve worked in companies of this size and the only real value is their IP (i.e. intellectual property).

We are living during a fascinating time! Okay, let’s get back to the new religion of the worship of work. To do that, I want you to look at Facebook, with it’s 2.5 billion subscribers.

Facebook

Inc. business magazine recently published a shocking article on the cult of Facebook, titled, “Here’s Why Facebook’s Former Employees Describe the Company as Cult-Like.” In this article, former employes said that “If you disagree with either leadership or co-workers, you may face unpleasant consequences.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

“The pressure for us to act as though everything is fine and that we love working here is so great that it hurts,” an employee reportedly told [Sheryl] Sandberg [COO] during a town hall meeting at the company. “There shouldn’t be this pressure to pretend to love something when I don’t feel this way.” 

Wrap-Up

Now I’m going to go out on a limb which means I’m a sitting duck! The dispensation of the Gentiles is in the decline, America has lost its leadership position. China, India, and even small countries are taking the lead in biology, AI, nanomechanics, and so forth. A coalescing of new centers of power is taking place and they aren’t part of Western civilization. This is no happenstance; God is shifting the world back towards the Middle East, back to Israel. I believe we are in the twilight of the Gentile dispensation and God is turning His face back to Israel. Israel will hold key technologies and therefore will be at odds with the new world government.

At this point, you’ve probably decided I’m off my meds or taking too many. Discussions about end-times always cause strong disagreements. I have no desire to disturb your nest. But, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t bring my understanding to you. It’s up to you to do with it as you will.


Facebook excerpts By Minda Zetlin Co-author, The Geek Gap @MindaZetlin

Photo of Earth: Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

© 2018, Gary W Moore

A Prudent Person

A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 27:12 NLT)

Over the years, I’ve owned several companies. One thing I learned was that it was generally not prudent to have a business partner. Why? A business partner is like a marriage, only with a higher failure rate. For your calling from God, be cautious who you include in leadership roles.

Here are some random examples of people God called: Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Esther, David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, Paul, Martin Luther, John Calvin, D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham. In each case, God called a person, not a committee. Jesus isn’t in this list because Jesus is born of God not called by God.

Now you should have accountability. So, advisory boards, a board of elders, a missions board, or so forth, are wise to have. We see this addressed in many places in Scripture, just two are:

Proverbs 12:15 (ESV), The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 15:22 (ESV), Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

God has called you. Every Christian is called by God and has a people, a place, and a purpose in the Body of Christ. So, whatever God calls you to, be prudent, be wise, be bold by faith in Jesus, and pray continually.

I was going to open with a Dad joke but decided it wouldn’t be prudent. Photo by Luca Ambrosi on Unsplash

If you’re happy

As I was thinking about writing this devotional, the kid’s song, “If you’re happy and you know it…” came to mind. I began pondering “happy” and that kids love fun songs. And, the “If you’re happy” song gives kids a chance to burn off some of their cornucopia of energy that makes me jealous.

I was thinking “happy” then I asked myself, “Self, do kids get tired of being told what to do?” There are an awful lot of kids songs that tell them what to do, think “Hokey Pokey” on roller skates. But, the songs that tell kids to do something makes most of them happy and they have fun with it. They’re laughing and trying and fumbling but they are having a good time.

https://youtu.be/Ak_ZXwRmbCQ

Am I that way? As a certified grownup and having raised five kids, some more than once, am I happy when I’m told what to do? I try and I fumble and have to work at getting it right, but no, I’m not happy! What’s missing? Well, my peers, who are probably in the same boat, are hiding their struggle as I hide mine. That’s not how you do the Hokey Pokey. We’re not having fun because our pride is stealing our happiness.

So, it’s up to you. Be the spark plug of happiness. Connect with your peers. Share your challenges. Be transparent. You may be just the breath of fresh air someone needs.

As God’s Word says in 2 Corinthians 7:13 (NIV), “By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.” Be that refresher, be happy, also give others the opportunity to be happy. Come on, put your hands together and sing, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!”

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Seed

Mark 4:3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed…”

For this parable from Jesus, we know the seed is the Word of God, and the ground is the person. The ground has the potential to be fruitful, but it’s the seed that determines the kind of fruit. If we receive the Word of God, then God’s fruit will be produced in our lives.

We don’t have the power to determine the kind of fruit, the Word (seed) has that power. So, if we let ungodly seeds get planted in us, then those seeds will produce their fruit in our lives. A seed of fear, a seed of lust, a seed of pride, each seed planted in us with the sole purpose of reproducing and multiplying after its kind.

So, what do we do when we’ve allowed an ungodly seed to be planted in us? We pray, as the Word says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The cleansing is God pulling the weeds, the fruit of the seeds that are not of God, that we allowed and even asked to be planted in us.

He’s the One that can get those weeds and their seeds of sin out of our lives, out of the ground in which they were planted. Of course, some of the ground clings to the roots of those weeds. Sin is not without a loss. We lose something every time we let those weeds grow; the more weeds, the more loss. I’m not speaking metaphorically. Parts of us are lost when those weeds get pulled. Just look at a person that has lived a life of unbridled sin; it’s physically evident.

I wonder the depths of regret I will have when my Lord judges me, and I learn whom God intended me to be but was withheld by my missing parts?

Photo by Marissa Lewis on Unsplash

Just Jesus and His Cross

Our society is more fractured now than it has ever been in my lifetime. You would be hard pressed to pick any social topic, be it ethnicity, gender, economic, political persuasion, the morality of computer games, or anything that comes to your mind, if you say what you think online, in a forum, on facebook, and now even face-to-face, the topic will immediately spark a vicious debate with no possibility of anyone changing their mind. These are not exchanges of ideas but mechanisms for demeaning people. 

Christian, we are all created in the image of God; do not participate in this useless “arm wrestling” that tempts even the best follower of Christ to create homegrown scripture to bolster their position.

Instead, the next time someone tries to draw you into a debate, say what Paul said to the Corinthians, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 (MSG), “You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.” I think we can learn something from Paul’s approach.

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

3 Things God Won’t Do

At whatever time you are reading this, stop for a moment and look around you; if it’s possible, do a 360-degree view. You need to know something. For everything you just saw, there are three things God won’t do.

At whatever time you are reading this, stop for a moment and look around you; if it’s possible, do a 360-degree view. You need to know something. For everything you just saw, there are three things God won’t do.

  1. God won’t think for you. He gave you a brain and He expects you to use it. No doubt you just saw a lot of things that need to be done; by the way, that’s #2. However, before you work you need to think, which for many of us is work.
  2. God expects us to work. Notice I didn’t say “be employed”. My wife works her tail off but is not employed. Still, if anything is going to get done, even Hover Dam or the Golden Gate Bridge, we have to work. There are a few, but very few times God has just “made” something for someone. God’s modus operandi is you do the work.
  3. God expects you to pray.  From Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Mt. 7:7) God expects us to communicate with Him.

These are exactly what Five Williams College students determined to do in 1806, up in WilliamstownMassachusetts. Here’s the timeline of what happened: Mission timeline

  • 1806 – Original Haystack Prayer Meeting by five Williams College students
  •  1808 – Samuel Mills forms the Brethren, dedicated to spreading the message about missionary service
  • 1810 – America’s first foreign mission society, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) is formed
  • 1812 – BCFM sends its first group of five missionaries to India
  • 1819 – ABCFM sends first missionaries to Near East, including Turkey and Palestine;
  • 1830 – ABCFM sends first missionaries to China
  • 1833 – ABCFM sends first missionaries to Africa
  • 1868 – Woman’s Boards of Missions established
  • 1961 – After 150 years, the American Board had sent out nearly 5000 missionaries to 34 different fields.
  • 2006 – the 200th-anniversary celebration of the Haystack event in Williamstown

That’s the kind of thing that happens when you ask, seek, and knock with your heart’s desire is for God to help you think, work, and pray for His will to be done.

Now, do a 360-degree view, again. If God can establish a missionary society from five young guys hiding in a haystack what can He do with you where you’re at?

By John Phelan – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10712350

Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrsp

God has designed us with five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. These are the inputs into our mind and body. If we never use any of these, then nothing bad can get in, but, then, nothing good will be accomplished, either. The conundrum is how to access the world without letting the world come in and harm us.

The fundamental problem is the world is a sensual world, meaning its highest priority is enticing all our senses to exceed God’s intended use.
We have sight to see the glory of God’s creation but the world wants us to go beyond that and see what God never intended us to see. Our smell and taste provide us with the joy of delicious food, but the world pushes us to exceed this, to have a Downton Abbey ten-course meal.

We can see too much, taste too much, touch too much, overloading our senses, leaving us ill, exhausted, and burdened with guilt. The problem is kind of like popping bubble wrap. The purpose of the bubbles is to cushion and protect but there’s a visceral satisfaction in exceeding the structural integrity of each bubble so it ruptures with a satisfying “pop”. It’s okay to pop bubble wrap but we shouldn’t do the same with our senses.

Like that Christian children’s song goes:

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV

Miika Silfverberg (MiikaS) from Vantaa, Finland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Look in a mirror, looking back is a missionary for Jesus.

There are five things every Christian missionary must be ready to do at a moment’s notice:

  1. Preach
  2. Teach
  3. Pray
  4. Sing
  5. Die

I was very involved with foreign missions work; For many years I worked with an independent missionary organization during which time I made a number of mission trips to Eastern Europe and lived in Romania for about six months. But, I’ve never been qualified to call myself a missionary because I can’t do one of those five requirements; I can’t sing. 🙂

One of the things you learn when you spend some time on any mission field is that God gets bigger. Well, of course, He doesn’t actually get bigger, but He draws you closer, so you see more of His greatness. You see Him in all that happens around you, to you, with you, and through you. He’s the same here in America, here right now, but if we don’t approach each day as a day on the mission field for God, then we miss all those things God does for missionaries. 

For example, today, did you crawl (or leap) out of bed and proclaim, “Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Today, I’m a missionary ready to preach, teach, pray, sing, or die for Jesus?” No, me either.

The Apostle Thomas was living a missionary life being taught by Jesus. We find in John 11:16: Then Thomas…said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him [Jesus].” Thomas was ready for #5 on the missionary’s list.

I’m not writing this to judge anyone; well perhaps myself. What I want to point out is that to have God’s presence so big within us that we think we are going to burst we have to change our life’s agenda.

The “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:16-20 commissions all Christians to be missionaries. So, when you look in a mirror, a missionary is looking back at you.

Kodungalloor Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Church

BTW – You know, Thomas gets a bad rap. Yes, he doubted Jesus’ resurrection, but the other disciples also struggled with this. And, Thomas went on to die as a missionary in India. There’s a large church named in his honor, and many of the twenty-eight million Christians in India are the fruit of Thomas’ work, there.

Wikipedia: Ezharappallikal or Seven and a half Churches are the seven churches or Christian communities across the western coast of India founded by Thomas the Apostle in the first century.[1] According to Indian Christian traditions, the Apostle Thomas arrived in Kodungallur (presently in the Indian state of Kerala) in AD 50…

Photo by Carlos Ibáñez on Unsplash and Photo by Sujithvv at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15459701

The Road

man waking down narrow street

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and na\rrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Pardon my poetry but I want to use every tool to shine a spotlight on the truths my Savior taught.

Oh ancient road, you narrow path, how few have trod on thee, Established by our Lord’s own hand, it now stretches forth for me.

Thy entrance is as it has been, from time beyond my knowing, Not hid by briers, nor overgrown, but few ever start their going.

Oh ancient trail, you are so straight, how do the throngs get lost? Is it that, though they begin, they failed to count your cost?

Perhaps it’s that, so few do find, the Truth to lead their way. They languish at thy very gate, even now they stand today.

Paul and Silas, James and John, Thomas, Bartholomew, Began their journey, on thy course, began and finished, too.

Oh ancient road, if you would speak, what stories would you tell? Of battles fought, of saints besieged, by torture and travail.

And now it’s me, before thy gate, held by Christ lest I fall, The journey starts! A cheer resounds! Thy traveled saints do call!

by G. W. Moore

Photo by Raghu Nayyar on Unsplash

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