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It’s your turn to pass it on

It’s your turn to pass it on

 It’s late November. The Spirit of Christmas is already in the air for Merlyn. She’s lost in dreaming of her Christmas. Where to go shopping? How many days of leave to apply? How to convince her boss about leaves?  What special dishes to make?  How to decorate her house and impress her guests? She suddenly wakes up from dreaming and realises that it’s already late for her to rush for the choir practice at her church.

Merlyn practising along with the church choir for the most expected Christmas service at her church. This year they have decided to celebrate in an extremely magnificent way.Pass On 2

Choir sings:

Good tidings, good tidings,

The music shall not cease;

He came to guide our wayward feet

Into the paths of peace.

"To us a Child is born!"

b2ap3 icon Pass On 3As they were singing, Merlyn breaks down and starts to weep. She is unable to give an answer to her friends in the choir who tried to console her and understand the reason for her tears. After the practice, with a heavy heart but a made-up smile she returns home. She had a reluctant dinner and shut herself inside her room.

The words from that song ‘He came to guide our wayward feet into the paths of peace’, were constantly ringing in her ears. This song took her 2 years back. She was reminded of that extraordinary day which rewrote her life. The day when her colleague Sheba with whom she worked for several years, whom she thought never cared or accepted her, suddenly approached her.

Merlyn: It was such an unusual day which drove me in to a great surprise along with a bit of suspicion. Sheba came to me with a big smile. She gave me a beautiful bunch of chocolates and a card with the words “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”.Later, she invited me to her house for Christmas lunch. Her words, for a moment, puzzled me. I couldn’t understand why she was doing all this to me. However, I had no other plans for Christmas. I was wondering how I would spend my holidays as I was aimless; hence I decided to go to her house.

Her house was packed with joy-filled relatives, friends and her family. I was greeted with so much love and enthusiasm. They made me feel that I was very important to them. Soon I felt their belongingness and warmth. I’ve seen people enjoying and making merry. But there seemed to be something more, that this group had. Is this the ‘great joy’ that was mentioned in the card? I thought for a moment.

We enjoyed the food, carols, laughter, fun, games and what not. It was time for us to say good bye. It was very hard for me to say those words. I turned to Sheba to say ‘Bye’ but I broke into tears. I sobbed and sobbed like a little child. I was reminded of my childhood days, my family conditions, and my wretched life. I couldn’t forgive my parents nor did I have anyPass On 4 inclination towards God. I grew up in a family where there were constant chaos, fights, and arguments between my parents. They were just after money, money and money. We never felt loved or cared. I waited for a chance to leave my house. After my studies I moved here in search of job and to get rid of my family chaos. I got a good job. But things didn’t end there. I was depressed all the time, felt lonely and unloved. I tried to indulge myself into many things to keep myself occupied and happy. Movies after movies, Friends after friends, Relationships one after the other, nothing could make me happy. It again and again hurt me. When Sheba called me for lunch I felt extremely happy but I had a fear of being hurted again. But when I came there I felt something different. They all seemed to be very peaceful and truly happy.

After hearing my story, Sheba shared about the great message of Christmas with me. She explained how much Jesus who is the very reason for Christmas loved me and came to this earth just for me. She invited me to have a relationship with this wonderful person called ‘Jesus’; and prayed for me. My heart longed to know Him and I desperately wanted this person to call me His own. I too called out to Him ‘JESUS’……. The peace came flooding into my heart like an ocean. I could feel Him hug me and say ‘Don’t be afraid My Child, It’s Me’. My joy knew no bounds. I leaped like a kid. I felt clean. I felt loved and accepted. It was a BIG DAY in my life.

Pass On 62 years later, now as Merlyn recalled this incident that changed her life and added meaning to it, she was filled with tears. Tears of joy and gratitude rolled from her eyes. She knelt down in her room and thanked God for Jesus-the greatest gift she received on the day of Christmas. She also rang up her friend Sheba to thank her for introducing to such a blessed life with Christ. Sheba was glad to hear from Merlyn. They spoke for a while and before hanging the call, Sheba said ‘Merlyn, now IT’S YOUR TURN TO PASS IT ON”.

Merlyn started to ponder on the words of Sheba, “PASS IT ON”. She felt so embarrassed and sad. This time it was not thinking of her wretched life but of her negligence in holding back the good news of Jesus with her.

Merlyn: (Down at her knees) Lord, you loved me so much, you healed my hurts, united my broken family, gave me joy, blessed me with good friends. I don’t feel lonely now. I feel accepted. I have an assurance of eternal life. But…but…I feel so ashamed of the fact that I haven’t shared the blessedness of this life with anyone. How selfish and unfaithful I am. Where would I’ve been if Sheba wouldn’t have loved me? Where would I’ve been If you wouldn’t have accepted me?b2ap3 small Pass On 7

Nevertheless Lord, many times I tried sharing about you with my colleagues and friends. But I had a fear of being neglected again. I was frightened if I would lose my friends. What if they get irritated and turn away from me? What if they make fun of me? What if my boss throws me out of my company for talking religion? These were my fears.

But now O Lord, I realise my mistake. I understand my responsibility. I will take this Christmas as a start-up for my mission to tell about your love to my co-workers and friends. I will tell them that their Saviour was born to save them. I will no longer be silent. I will not hold back this precious gift. Help me overcome my unbelief and fears. I WILL PASS IT ON.

I will tell my world that Jesus lives--

I will tell my world that He died for them.

I will tell them that He loves them.

Next day, as usual Merlyn is getting ready for work. But there is a great joy in her heart, which is indescribable. She hasn’t felt this joy for quite a long time. She is able to feel the same peace which she received on the day she got saved. She is all the more excited to go to office. She has a target to achieve and a great task in her hands. In the office, she gets to meet one of her friend, Sharon who is a believer. Merlyn couldn’t stop sharing her joy with Sharon. Merlyn’s experience and her words ignited Sharon’s passion to do something for the Lord this Christmas. She said “Merlyn, I will surely PASS ON this joy that I received from God to others”.

After the office, Merlyn went to her church for the choir practice. She was greeted by her friends who were very curious to know how she was doing, because she went home crying the previous day. Merlyn went on and on, explaining what happened to her 2 years ago, what happened to her yesterday and the commitment that she made last night with the Lord. There was complete silence for a while. She could see that many in the choir were moved by what she said, many were convicted, they realised how self-centred their Christmas celebrations were.

Slowly their eyes were lit up, with much excitement, they all said, “We will PASS ON this message of Christmas to everyone around us”. They called off their choir practice for that day and sat together to plan, to make this Christmas the most meaningful and purposeful one like never before in their lives.

John (a choir member): Hey friends, as most of us are working for different companies and organisations, why don’t we focus on reaching out to our colleagues and people at our work place during this Christmas?

Rita: John, you are right. I believe, it’s the best place to start with, as we spend most of our time in our offices. Every Christmas, my colleagues just wait for me to bring Christmas cake for them. It simply means that they are ready to receive something from me in the name of Christmas.

Merlyn: Yes guys, I just thought of separating my outreach into two parts. First, I’m going to make ideas to start or build relationship with colleagues whom I haven’t spoken with or spent much time. Second, I’m going to reach out to those colleagues whom I know very well. There is a girl in my office who doesn’t mingle with anyone much. She is sometimesb2ap3 small Pass On 8 weird in her reactions. People don’t respect or consider her. Who knows, she may have some miserable story like mine. I’m planning to take her out for a lunch next weekend and then go shopping with her and gift her a Christmas dress. I think by doing this I can spend some time with her and know her better. God, I want to be her Friend and share your love with her. Please help me.

John: Good thought Merlyn. I know it’s a challenging one. But you can do it. Guys, how about going for carol singing to our friend’s house. Why don’t we plan to visit our colleagues’ house that we know very well? Let’s give a surprise visit to their place.

Shiny: Hey, but what if they don’t like it. What if they get irritated?

John: Come on Shiny. Don’t be so scared. We need to take bold step. Let’s give a try. May be each of us can choose two colleagues’ house. So we will have 12 houses on our list. Even if two reject us, we will have the joy of sharing the message of Christmas with the rest ten houses. Also friends, don’t forget we need to give them some meaningful gifts.Pass On 9

Sandeep: Yeah, now I remember one of my team mates. Once I heard him passing such comments ‘Life is hell after marriage’. He has some relationship issues with his wife. It’s been long since they have spoken to each other. Why don’t I go to his house with my wife and invite them home for Christmas dinner? I will ask my wife to make her best dishes, we can spend some time with his family and watch ‘Fireproof’movie together.

Rita: Wow Sandeep! That’s a good idea. The movie ‘Fireproof’ very well suits their state and it will also give an answer to their problem. The Gospel is beautifully presented in it.I want to do something more. I’m also thinking of asking forgiveness to the people in office whom I have intentionally or unintentionally hurt. I think through this I can show them the forgiveness of our Lord.

Merlyn: Hey Shiny, aren’t you good at creative writing and handicrafts? Why don’t you pen down some inspiring and thought provoking writings about Christ & Christmas. You can make personalised cards, put your writings on them and give it to your friends. I think they would be happy to receive one from you. You can even decorate your desk and your cubicle with some creative things telling the story of Christmas.

Shiny: Thanks Merlyn. I think I can do that. I’m a bit nervous yet I believe the Lord will give me courage.

Reena: My Company has lot of restrictions. No religious talks. Religious activities are not entertained at all. But I have a very good rapport with my team members. I have helped them when they were in need. They all know that I am a good Christian by seeing my life. But I haven’t openly shared Christ with them. I want to take this Christmas as an opportunity to tell about Jesus. I want to invite the entire team home but I stay in a hostel so can’t invite them there. What do I do?

Rita: Reena, nothing to worry dear. My house is open for you. You are most welcome to bring your colleagues home for lunch. My mom will be very much happy to host them. I will also invite few of my friends. We can together plan for good games and fun filled activites.We can share our life testimonies and how God changed our lives. My mom will also join us in testifying about how God healed her from heart problems. I’m going to decorate my house colourfully and meaningfully. I’m going to put good writings on my walls. We can also plan for an interesting treasure hunt game. This game must leave them with a hunt for truth, true joy and peace.

Merlyn: Why don’t we think of giving some sweets and gifts and share about Jesus’ birth to the Watchmen, Sweepers, housekeeping boys, gardeners and cooks in our office? Guys, we should not miss them out. They too need Jesus. Even our managers and bosses need this Good News.

John: Wow! I’m so excited. Lots of things in store for us. We are going to get busy for our Lord. The heaven must be rejoicing already.

Rita: Hey guys, why don’t we give a theme for our Christmas? I guess the best theme would be “PASS IT ON, NEVER HOLD BACK”. Lets us take active and intentional efforts to pass on the message of Christmas.Pass On 10

Sandeep: Good theme Rita. You always turn up with awesome thoughts. Friends, with all the plans and ideas we have, let’s not forget to pray. We need lots of prayers. Let’s   commit all our plans to the Lord and ask the Spirit of the Lord to anchor it. Ultimately salvation belongs to the Lord. It’s our duty to sow the seeds of faith in our colleagues’ hearts, but God will make it grow at the right time. Let’s not limit ourselves to these thoughts. Let’s be open for the Lord to have His way.

Merlyn: You’re right on the point Sandeep. It’s not by Might or Power but all things are possible by the Spirit of God who lives in us. Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. Never doubt the power of the Gospel. Let not anything stop us from moving forward for Him. We must be ready to take any kind of reproach for His name sake. We are missionaries at our workplaces; placed there to rescue the perishing at any cost.

John: Fine guys; let’s meet tomorrow for the practice. Don’t forget to PASS IT ON. Bye all.

Pass On 11Dear readers, what are your plans for this Christmas? Don’t lose yourself in the world of vanity. Let lost people matter most to us during this festive season. While writing this I remember a song which we used to sing during our school days. Although it didn’t make much sense to me during those days, I now see a deeper meaning in it. May this challenge you to light up the lives of people around you at your workplace. Sing along.

 

It only takes a spark, to get a fire going.

And soon all those around, can warm up to its glowing.

That's how it is with God's love, once you've experienced it,

You spread His love to everyone, and you want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend

This happiness that I've found

You can depend on him

It matters not where you’re bound.

I'll shout it from the mountain tops

I want my world to know

The Lord of Love has come to me

I WANT TO PASS IT ON.

Now IT’S YOUR TURN!

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It Takes Two to Tango!

It Takes Two to Tango!

In Times Ascent dated 28th March 2013, Priya C Nair writes about a new leadership model called ‘Shared Leadership’ where leadership roles are shared between two individuals. Various corporates leaders have expressed their positive views about it, as they welcome this trend in India. “Organisations realise that without having shared leadership, inclusive growth is not possible”, Says Sanjay Singh, vice president, corporate planning & Strategy, Hero Motors Ltd. “Shared leadership has helped us in expansion of dealerships, led to success in rural markets and enhanced manufacturing excellence and productivity “ adds Siddiqui, operating officer administration ,Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

What does bible say about this? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says,
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

When an earthly kingdom realises the secret and success in shared leadership, how much more should we, the representatives/ leaders/ ambassadors of heavenly kingdom realise the power in joining hands together with one another in winning souls for Christ at our workplace.
Jesus said "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”- Matt 18:19
How can we do this?

  • Find atleast one person along with whom you can pray regularly for your company and the salvation of your colleagues.

  • Plan together the ways through which you can reach out to your co-worker with the love of Christ.

  • Share the struggles that you face, with each other and pray over it.

  • Encourage another believer (be it at your workplace or working elsewhere) to be a witness for Christ at his/her work spot. Share your vision and burden for the lost with them.

  • Make sincere efforts to find other Christian believers in your company so that you can do an effective work there.

  • If you are alone, don’t be discouraged. Keep doing your part. The Lord will bring like-minded people to you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.

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Why Do You Look Sad Today?

Why Do You Look Sad Today?

It is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken” says C.S Lewis. Life has its ups and down. We too, at times experience a sense of being emotionally low. But Praise God we do not linger in the same state because our Saviour is alive and He lives in us. People void of this hope go lower, lower and lower and reach a state of helplessness, a state of feeling depressed. Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide.

b2ap3 icon Depression

Off late have you seen anyone depressed or looking sad at your workplace?

  • Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Annually depression affects at least 10 million people, often during their most productive years―between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • At any one time, 1 employee in 20 is experiencing depression.

When Joseph was in the prison, one morning he found that his colleagues who are now his prison mates were sitting with a long face. They looked dejected and hopeless. Joseph walked straight up to them and asked ‘Why do you look sad today’?. This looks like an absurd question. Obviously no one living in a prison would be happy and bright. But Joseph could sense something more than just being sad. He knew that they were greatly troubled. They said “we both had dreams but THERE IS NO ONE to interpret them”. They were in desperate need for a person who would understand their dreams and interpret. Little did they know, that the one they were looking for was right in front of them, in the same cell where they were in.Without delaying much ,Joseph said “Do not the interpretations belong to God? , Tell me your dreams”. He was able to give meaning to their dreams with the help of God whom he served.(Ref Genesis -40)

Have you come across people in office with a bad mood, sad face and lifeless words? Many times we wait for people to come to us with their problems. We might have even prayed ‘Lord let that person come to me and then I will share your love to them’. But today shall we walk up to someone and ask few kind words ‘How are you doing? Why do you look sad today? What’s bothering you? Can I help you? They may be in the same cabin where you are working, in the same department, in the same building or just sitting next to you.They may be thinking ‘THERE IS NO ONE’ to hear my problems. At times they may be hiding their problems from the world. But the Spirit of God who lives within us will help us to discern their state.

Discern their Desperate state. Dare to walk up to the Depressed. Declare the word about the Deliverer.

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Abide in His presence & Assess your Influence@ work

Abide in His presence & Assess your Influence@ work

All the Sales figures were dropping .It was a dark time for the CEO of a reputed company. His company was undergoing a great loss. His competitors were getting stronger day by day and they were triumphing over the downfall of his company. He was stressed on all sides. He is unable to bear the shame and on other hand the rising pressure from the employees in his company, as the livelihood of his employees and their families was at risk.

 

 

Finally he called the entire company for a meeting in which he addressed the problems that their company was facing and honestly accepted the fact that he was unable to handle such a situation. He asked if any of his employees could give him suggestions or ideas to recover from this loss and to restore their company. Everyone was looking at each other’s face. No one had the confidence to take up this challenge. There fell a complete silence in the meeting room.


In the corner of the room there was a man from the cafeteria, serving tea to the people in the meeting room. He too was a silent observer of all the discussions happening. All of sudden this frail little man ran to the CEO and whispered something to him.CEO was confused yet looked happy and he called off the meeting. Everyone went back to work.

After few days the people where again called from a meeting. But this time it was for a different reason. The CEO proudly stood up and joyfully shared that their company recovered from the great loss and it is now the #1.He acknowledged and congratulated the brave little man who was the reason behind the success of their company. His counsel and wise direction enabled the CEO to lift up the company.

 

 

Few days later CEO once again called this man for help. This time it was not for official help but a personal one.CEO was under a major depression and was struggling a lot to come out of it.The little man who was a Christian prayed for his CEO and the Almighty God delivered him. In few years’ time this man was promoted to be the CEO of that company where he worked as a mere waiter.


By now you may be curious who this CEO and the little man are? What is it, which was so special in that little man? How could he do such a great task? The CEO is none but Mr.Saul the King of Israel and the little man serving tea is Mr.David the Shepherd boy in Israel. We are well aware of the story of David and Saul.

How could David do this?

·         Although he was shepherding the sheep, he had a closer walk with God who was His shepherd. Ps-23

·         He was an earnest seeker of God and His presence. Hence he carried the presence of God where ever he went and influence the people in His workplace. “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.Ps-63:1”

·         His relationship with God gave him the confidence that the Lord was with him at all times. “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Ps-16:8

·       David continues to abide in God even after being promoted by God as King of Israel. He was not too busy to spend time with him.” I will abide in your tabernacle forever: I will trust in the shelter of your wings” Ps-61:4&7

Your Personal relationship with God will enable you to be influential at your work spot.

 

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