Tag Archives: Work

Purpose (Ephesians 6:7)

Purpose (Ephesians 6:7)

Am I worn by the people
Who cannot see who I am
Do they see I am different
Or are we counted all the same
Maybe I am just the servant
There to serve their need
And those I count as colleagues
Leave me struggling when I am in need
But I know I am different
So I will work with all I have got
For You call me to serve them all
Just as though I serve You my Lord
Maybe I am not content with my surroundings
Still I will be deliberate with my purpose
To show them that I am different
So through me they will see You

Ephesians 6:7

Ephesians 6:7

Walking On Lego

It was my first day back at work in over 11 days, I must say it took some getting up this morning when the alarm went off, my body just didn’t want to get up and my mind seemed to be in agreement.

As I walked to work this morning, I was surprised how good I felt, there was only a dull ache in my heel, unfortunately that didn’t last as the day wore on.

I’ve had this pain in my left heel for almost seven months now, after a three hour training session last November, the pain went from dull ache and occasional sharp pain to all out sharp pain, the only way I can describe it is like continually walking on a piece of lego.

Those who have kids will probably know what that’s like, that moment when you tread on a piece of lego or any other small sharp toy, you will know that pain the bottom of the foot, it’s an occupational hazard when you have young kids.

After that training session it was like I had that piece of lego in my shoe, every footstep was a sharp pain.  So I had two choices, see the Doctor to see what they recommend or just pay for physio, so I booked a physio session.  I had seen this guy a number of years ago about a torn muscle I had in my back, he sorted it out back then, so I was confident he could get to the bottom of the problem this time around.

I booked in but had to wait a number of weeks to get an appointment, that was a couple of weeks before Christmas, what I found out was that is wasn’t my heel that was injured or the bottom of the foot, it wasn’t the ankle, but it turned out to be a torn calf muscle!

He said it had been done some time ago, but it had failed to heal properly, instead the muscle fibres had knotted, because of this the muscle was tightening and shortening which in turn was stretching the Achilles tendon, causing the pain in the heel.

I can only think that I tore this muscle walking in preparation for coming out of retirement for the National’s back in June.  I’m a kind of all or nothing sort of guy, instead of slowly getting back into training and building up, I just jump in and go for it where I left of, the pain started during that training, so I have carried the injury since then.

I have a certain stretch to do everyday, designed to stretch out this muscle, but this hurts to do and aggravates the heel, but when I went back to physio last week, I was reprimanded for not doing enough.

So far I have had two lots of treatment and am already booked in for another, it doesn’t seem like a quick fix like I had before with the back muscle, this one is way more complicated.

If I’m up on my feet it’s not to bad, if I’m moving around it’s generally okay, just the dull ache that very rarely goes away, but I’ve managed to tune out to that.  If I sit down for just a couple of minutes and then get back up, then the pain returns immediately, it pulls on the heel really hard, so I hobble about for a while.

This morning I thought everything was fine, at work I managed to stretch the calf whilst I was up and about, but that just aggravates the problem for a while as it’s stretching it out and the pain returned for most of the day.

The physio said until this is fully stretched out, so the stretching no longer hurts and the muscle doesn’t hurt when he works it, we cannot move on to strengthening the calf, so the stretches have to stay and I suppose for the time being the pain has to stay, but hopefully it gradually fades away as each day passes.

I really want to get out walking again in the mornings, but until this problem is sorted I can’t do that.  My plan is compete again this year, so I want to get ready with months to go, not weeks this time, so the sooner I can move forward the better, but for the time being, I just keep going with the painful stretching and wait to see what the next physio session is like in two weeks.

So for now, I have to keep walking with that piece of lego in my shoe!!!

INVINCIBLE by HEDLEY
Took a long hard look at my life
Lost my way while I was fighting the time
A big black cloud, stormy sky
Followed me while I was living a lie
So heartless, so selfish, so in darkness
When all your nights are starless
You’re running outta hope

But I found the strength inside to see
Found the better part of me
And I’ll never let it go

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]

When you’re gone for a day on your own
Tear your heart out just to find your way home
I’ve been so high, I’ve sunk so low
I’ve come so far with nothing to show
For it mistaken, I got so good at taking
But now I’m tired of faking
This story’s getting old

So I found the strength inside to see
From the better part of me
And I’ll never let it go

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

I’m not the only one
To crash into the sun and live to fight another day
Like a super nova, that old life is over
I’m here to stay

Now I’m gonna be
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible.
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

Works

Works (Ephesians 6:7)

Who do I serve?
Who is my master?
How do I work?
As each day passes
My hands day by day
What do they create?
Do they build for this world
Or just massage my soul?
In everything I do
Do I do it for Him?
Or my own glory
To ease a wounded soul?
He gave me my life
In His word from that day
So now it’s my time
To put right my works
In each day I face
I’ll work for my Lord
To light up His glory
In the face of this world

Ephesians 6:7

Ephesians 6:7

Ups And Downs Of Working Life

I have to say the last couple of months have seen a real swing in terms of work, at the beginning of last month I was facing an investigation at work, we were caught out in a number of transactions by an individual that turned out to fraudulent, myself and a colleague, although in no way complicit, did not follow correct company protocol that could have minimized the risk of being caught out.

For a week as the investigation went on, we both could have been sacked, although our Manager was on our side and understood we were put on the spot, made a judgement call and got it wrong under pressure, he didn’t think we would get the sack, just a warning, but if he was pressured by his superiors, they could push for dismissal, as it was they pushed only for a written warning and that was what we received, we both breathed a sigh of relief.

My colleague feared the sack far more than I did, when I heard of the investigation, I was nervous about facing the interview about my part in it, but I was really not that bothered if I was to lose my job, I had prayed about it and each time I felt I was being told not to worry, whatever happens there are bigger plans for me anyway and things will be fine in the mean time.

We have been that busy over the last few months that it really is exhausting work some days, we don’t have enough staff and there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I need to do to fulfil my job, to say I have been a bit fed up with it at times is an understatement, I guess in a way I’m not that happy with the job at the moment, it’s just hard work and there doesn’t seem to be that much help for our branch from the company, due to budgets and finance etc, even though we are beating our budgets month after month.

I also find it hard in my job to feel as though I showing my Christian values.  It’s a builder’s merchants, most of our customers speak in a rough and ready fashion, with casual swearing the norm, I guess I used to swear a lot before, but since I became a Christian I try not to, but it’s hard not to when those all around are.  Even when we are busy, I sometimes think my colleagues aren’t really pulling their weight, they don’t go that extra mile, just do the minimum they have to do, I try to just get on with it and do whatever what needs to be done.

So all of this has been playing on my mind.  Until last night, it was our area’s regional roadshow, basically a meeting of all the branches in our area, to discuss how we are doing as a region and how things can be improved.

Part of the meetings there are a few awards handed out and last night I received an award from the company for all of our area, which is seventeen branches with over 180 employees, I received the most positive feedback for customer service from our customers than any other of the employees.

It could have been awkward, as most of the time the awards include a few vouchers and a bottle of something, thankfully my Manager had forewarned his Area Director that this wouldn’t be a good idea, so I just got a few more vouchers instead, which is fine by me.

I do think it a little ironic that the same company that last month could have sacked me, this month is giving me an award!

This morning as I walked to work, I was thinking about what this award really means, then I had this real sense that I was being told that this is how I stand out as a Christian in my work place, you go the bit extra for people and they recognise that and they obviously appreciate it, that’s why you got the award you did.

So even in a place where I find it hard to be the Christian I would like to be, to stand out as different to the others, in a place where I felt I wasn’t doing what I should be doing, it seems I am standing out to my customers and they obviously recognise it.

I came across this version of the song Brother by NeedToBreathe the other day, I thought the original off their last album was good, but this version with Gavin DeGraw is even better and well worth a listen.

BROTHER by NEEDTOBREATHE and GAVIN DEGRAW
Ramblers in the wilderness we can’t find what we need
Get a little restless from the searching 
Get a little worn down in between
Like a bull chasing the matador is the man left to his own schemes
Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Face down in the desert now there’s a cage locked around my heart
I found a way to drop the keys where my failures were 
Now my hands can’t reach that far
I ain’t made for a rivalry I could never take the world alone
I know that in my weakness I am strong, but
It’s your love that brings me home

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

And when you call and need me near
Sayin’ where’d you go?
Brother I’m right here
And on those days when the sky begins to fall
You’re the blood of my blood
We can get through it all

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Replacing Fear With Faith

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster over the last two weeks, some real ups and downs, especially over this last week, but in the end everything turned out fine.

Two weeks ago I was in Swansea, at the request of my friends Paul and Sarah, I was sharing my testimony at the Church they are planting in the city, it was a great day to actually be sharing my story as it was also the day I was celebrating three years of sobriety.

It went really well and I enjoyed every minute of the weekend.  On the way home I was however overcome with emotion.  As I finished my last drink at around 10.30pm 29th March 2012, as soon as that minute passed, I announced that fact to my friends in the car and cheered along with me.  Then a little later I couldn’t hold the emotion in anymore and quietly cried in the back of the car, not tears of pain, but joy and thanks for what had been done for me on that day three years before and for all the great things that God had done in my life in the three years in between.  I’m not sure whether anyone else in the car heard, I’m sure most of them were asleep after the busy weekend we had had helping Paul and Sarah run their fun day on Saturday and Church service on Sunday, but if they did hear, nobody said anything.

Even Monday afternoon I was still feeling all that emotion, I remember walking back from town and once more breaking into tears, thankfully I was nearly home, but by the time I got home I just collapsed onto the settee and continued crying, until I eventually fell asleep.

After taking the week off work and working at home on some drawing for the Architect’s, I went back into work on Saturday morning to be hit with a real bomb shell.

A colleague at work informed me that we were both in trouble over a handful of transactions that had turned out to be fraudulent, even though we had acted in good faith, we had failed to conduct the transactions to company policy, which is design to minimize this type of thing.  Neither of us had anything to hide, but we were to face an inquiry later in the week, which should they take a hard stance, we could both be sacked for our conduct!

My manager wasn’t back in until Tuesday, so I wouldn’t have chance to speak with him until then and find out exactly what I would be facing.  The strange thing was my friend was panicking more than I was, I felt quite calm about the whole situation.  I know I can’t afford to really lose my job, but I didn’t fear losing it either, I had this kind of “what will be, will be” attitude.

Obviously Saturday evening I prayed heavily into this situation for both myself and my colleague.  Come Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, I wasn’t too concerned for the future, I was apprehensive about facing the interview as part of the investigation, but not worried by the consequences, it was a strange feeling to have, but I wasn’t worried.

When Tuesday came, I walked to work and stopped by my Nan’s grave, where I stop most mornings and pray.  Quite often I still have my headphone in as I pray and worship music on in the background, I did that morning and as I prayed about the outcome of the situation, at that very moment the lyrics to the song “Come Away” by Jesus Culture rang out in my ears, louder than I expected….

“I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of Me”

Any fear for the future evaporated at the moment, I felt that no matter what happened on Thursday, whether I still had a job or not, it didn’t really matter, all would be okay, but God has a bigger plan for me anyway, I don’t really know what it is, but I need not worry for the time being, everything is going to be okay.

Later that morning I spoke with my manager, who said not to worry too much, he didn’t think it would come to either of us losing our job, I felt further reassured by that and carried on feeling quite positive despite everything.

The investigation on Thursday went okay, I faced a few questions and was completely honest about what I did and why I had done it, I admitted I knew I had made a mistake and would face the consequences.  Apparently we aren’t the only branch to be caught out this way either, other branches had been taken for a lot more money than we had.

The long and the short of it was the both of us have received a verbal warning for not following procedure, it was accepted that neither of us did anything for our own personal gain or to help anyone defraud the company, we acted on instinct and in good faith, just not to company policy, so we both get a slap on the wrist and it goes on our record for six months and will then be erased.

Throughout all of this though, I still hadn’t really worried about losing my job, I know there was a chance that I could, but I wasn’t actually worried about it, what kept going through my mind was that what happened last time I found myself out of work, was not going to happen again this time.  Last time I lost the ability to deal with life without alcohol, I gave up on life for a while and not until I lost all that was dearest to me, did I look to find a way out of the mess I was making, then and only then did I turn to God for help and He freed me from my addiction and starting the process of putting my life back in order.  This time God already had my back, I knew this time He was with me through it all.

I’m not sure what the future will hold for me, that isn’t clear, but what is clear is that God has a bigger plan for my life, it may not include continuing to work where I am now, there may be a change in the future, but for now, I continue on the path I am on for the time being, until He makes it clear to me what me next move is.

COME AWAY by JESUS CULTURE
Come away with me, Come away with me
It’s never too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late for you

I have a plan for you
I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of me

Open up your heart and let me in

From Pen To Paper

It’s seems like an age since I sat down to write anything of substance, these last three weeks have been so busy.  Over the last three weeks I’ve put in almost 40 hours of CAD work on top of my daily job and teaching karate.  Needless to say it’s not left an awful lot of time for writing, I had so many ideas a few weeks ago, now I can hardly remember what they were, maybe I will come back to them one day.

I have still managed a couple of poems in that time, a couple of which I really connected with, firstly Never?

NEVER?

Is this you or I?

If I never fly
I will never come crashing down

If I never try
I will never fail

If I never love
I will never feel the pain

But consider this…

To never run
Is to never win the race

To never try

Is to never succeed

To never practice 
Is to never perfect

To never fail 

Is to never learn

To never fall
Is to never recover

To never let go

Is to never be free

To never hope
Is to never believe

To never love

Is to never live

I’m not sure quite how I was feeling when I wrote this, I’m not even sure whether I wrote it for myself or to just help others, but I believe every word of it.

And then secondly Release The Fear….

RELEASE THE FEAR

There are things buried
Deep within our stories
With a need for release
No one says it will be easy
To share our deepest
Is to face a fear
To fight a fear

Release the fear
And let it fly
Release it into the light
Where even the darkest shadows
Cannot hide
In the light it finds the truth
And there it becomes no more

The thing about Release The Fear, is the way I actually wrote it.  It wasn’t something that had been floating around my mind for a few days or a couple of lines that suddenly began speaking to me, that I then formed a poem around, these are usually the way in which I write my poems, but this one was completely different and probably received the most comments I’ve had for a poem in while.

It came about on Wednesday evening, as usual Wednesday is our Connect Group evening and I got to talk about my biggest fear when everything in my life collapsed a couple of years ago, the fear of how I would be perceived when people heard what I had become.  I feared being labelled, rather than being helped, I feared being shunned, rather than accepted, alas all those fears were for nothing, as I was more than accepted, my scars and sin, none of that mattered at all, only building the new me.  So I shared all those fears with my group, painful to recall though they can be, sometimes you just have to release them.

So when I came home, I prepared my Verse of the Day post and then sat down to write my journal, just as I normally would.  I wrote about the evening and my feelings, then in the last paragraph at the bottom of the page, I wrote what would become the poem Release The Fear.  Why I wrote this in the way I that I did, I honestly do not know.  I looked at it immediately after I had finished my entry and thought instantly I had to make this into a poem, but I was so tired I left it.  So Thursday evening I typed it out, I changed the words from my to our and there it was, almost verbatim that I had written the night before.

I’ve never written anything that was so fluent, where it wrote itself without any conscious input from myself, it just flowed from the pen to the paper like never before.

I’ve got another busy week ahead, so I’m not sure whether I’ll get chance to write much this week, but we’ll see.

I KNOW IT HURTS by ALTER BRIDGE
And you say this ain’t living
You say you can’t go on
They only take as you’re given
And now your hope is all but gone

Though you lost your way (now is not forever)
But I know your pain

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts
Ohhhh…

And the tide’s only rising
The storm is on it’s way… yeah
But you can’t keep on fighting
So battleworn and so afraid

Though it’s sad and wrong
I hope you will remember
That you must carry on

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

There’s still tomorrow
Hold on
Hold on
There’s still tomorrow
Just wait
Just wait
There’s still tomorrow
Hold on
Hold on

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts
In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

But I’m Glad I Didn’t Hold My Breath

I have a couple of days of day job, I have quite a few days to get in before the end of the year, so I took a few whilst there is nobody else off.

So I started the day at 5am, determined to get out walking again, I actually planned on doing around 8 miles and catching the sunrise at the lake, after getting to the point where I was planning to turn back, I actually forgot to turn around and carried on all the way up the cycle track, eventually completing about 12 miles.  Which actually turned out pretty well, as the sun never broke through the clouds at the lake, although it did turn the sky and the lake blood red, but it did break through by the time I got to the end of cycle track.

It’s not been an altogether lazy day either, I’ve got a survey drawing to do for the Architects, I’ve not measured it and there so many measurements missing, it’s a real tough one to do and the deadline it tomorrow, although I actually feel like finally saying stuff the deadline!

But the end of this month I’ll be owed 12 months of work, I’ve been patient, there are other circumstances which are beyond my control and are not as straight forward as simply not being paid, but I’ve been as fair as I possibly could.  I was promised some of the money a couple of weeks ago and that I would be paid up to date by the end of the month, I didn’t hold my breath.

At the end of last week I was promised a substantial payment today, but once again, no sign of anything and yet again, I’m glad I never held my breath.

I’ll finish the drawing tomorrow, I have said I would and will keep my word, but after that, we’ll see.

But before that I will get out walking once again, another 12 miles should do the trick.

Early Glow

Early Glow

Fire Skies

Fire Skies

Red Over The Water

Red Over The Water

Horizons

Horizons

Breaking The Cloud

Breaking The Cloud

From Behind

From Behind

Illuminating The Power Lines

Illuminating The Power Lines

Higher Power

Higher Power

In Flight

In Flight

WE DANCE by STEFFANY FRIZZELL GRETZINGER & BETHEL MUSIC
You steady me
Slow and sweet, we sway
Take the lead and I will follow
Finally ready now
To close my eyes and just believe
That You won’t lead me
Where You don’t go

When my faith gets tired
And my hope seems lost
You spin me round and round
And remind me of that song
The one You wrote for me
And we dance

And I’ve been told
To pick up my sword
And fight for love
Little did I know
That Love had won for me
Here in Your arms

You still my heart again
And I breathe You in
Like I’ve never breathed ’till now

When my faith gets tired
And my hope seems lost
You spin me round and round
And remind me of that song
The one You wrote for me
And we dance
And I will lock eyes
With the One who’s ransomed me
The One who gave me joy for mourning
And I will lock eyes
With the One who’s chosen me
The One who set my feet to dancing?

We dance
Just You and me
It’s nice to know I’m not alone
I found my home here in Your arms
It’s nice to know I’m not alone?
I found my home here in Your arms
It’s nice to know I’m not alone
I found my home here in Your arms