Does Your Job Really Matter?

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You are one of 4,000 residents of Cubicleville USA, and you do the same thing every day. You enter your sensory deprivation chamber, turn on the computing device, and fire up your favorite spreadsheet. For eight hours you crank out numbers that are somehow related to something called “gross market value” and “the bottom line”. Some days are good. Some are so boring that you feel like jabbing a mechanical pencil into your eye.

Or maybe you’re on a construction crew and spend your days among nails, two-by-fours, and framing hammers. Or you’re a mom and the bulk of your day is spent cleaning slop and soggy Cheerios.

Does any of this really matter to God, or are you just piddling away your days until you get to heaven? Does God actually care about spreadsheets, nails, and Cheerios?

Actually, He does. Very much. Go back to the beginning.

Genesis 1:1 – God creates. Light splits the darkness, order emerges from the chaos, and it is good. We serve a energetic, creative, ordering God.

Genesis 1:26 – God makes man in his image. In the image of a creative, ordering God. Humanity is given a mandate: take dominion over the earth, cultivate it, make it a pleasant place to live. We are to imitate our creative, ordering God.

Herein lies the connection to spreadsheets, framing hammers, and soggy diapers. When we work, create, and order, we are imitating our God. God loves to see His creatures imitating him.

You’re not just crunching numbers, you are fulfilling the creation mandate, which pleases God very much. You’re not merely building a house, you’re actually imitating God. And much greater things are at stake then a spilled bowl of Cheerios. The glory of God is at stake.

Tomorrow is not just another day at the office. It’s an opportunity to glorify God by taking dominion over the earth.

So work hard. Take dominion. Glorify God.

+photo by karindalziel

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New Song Rough Sketch

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Sometimes people ask how I go about writing a song.

Do I just “get” whole songs spontaneously in the shower or while driving?  I wish it were that easy.  I usually begin with some kind of idea for the theme and then play numerous variations of melodies, chords, and rhythms and work and rework the lyrics.  Here’s a song in its early stages.  I wrote this – one verse and a chorus – to submit it to Bob Kauflin and Steve Cook for consideration for the upcoming album from Sovereign Grace called “The Gathering.”  I wrote only 1 verse and the chorus to get their opinion if it’s worth continuing to work on.  I’d like to hear your opinions as well.  It’s pretty rough.

If you would like to listen to this song  you can listen to it here.

Here are the lyrics:

SUCH GREAT THINGS

YOU HAVE STILLED THE WINDS
YOU HAVE CALMED THE WATERS
TO OUR TROUBLED HEARTS
YOU HAVE SPOKEN PEACE
YOU HAVE QUENCHED OUR THIRST
SATISFIED OUR HUNGER
YOU HAVE HEALED OUR WOUNDS
AND CURED OUR HEARTS’ DISEASE

SO WE WILL LIFT OUR VOICES AND SING YOU SONGS
WE WILL SHOUT FOR JOY, WE WILL WAKE THE DAWN
WE WILL GIVE YOU THANKS
FOR YOU HAVE DONE SUCH GREAT THINGS
SUCH GREAT THINGS

Mark Altrogge 6.28.11

Christianity Tomorrow – Paul Tripp Donates Mustache To Science

Sometimes when I get bored I like to think about what the Christian headlines of the future will be. What will magazines like Christianity Today be saying in 25 years? Maybe something like this…

PAUL TRIPP DONATES MUSTACHE TO SCIENCE

Philadelphia - The trademark mustache that has changed so many lives is no more. After many years of sporting his trade mark “Tripp-Stache”, Paul Tripp has decided to donate his famed mustache to science.

The mustache will be donated to researchers at Temple University. “We’re really excited to get this mustache for a couple reasons,” said Temple research scientist Michael Vilmer. “First, we want to determine if the mustache really is a mustache. We have reason to believe that it might actually be some sort of independent organism, such as a new species of beaver or ferret. We won’t know for sure until we do DNA testing, but we’re fairly certain that we are dealing with a new species of animal. Second, we’re hoping to clone that bad boy. It’s not every day that a mustache of this density and lushness comes into our lab, and we have high hopes of reproducing it.”

When asked about the possibility of cloning, Tripp said, “You know, there are a lot of guys out there who are really broken up about their inability to grow facial hair. On an almost weekly basis I have guys coming to me and saying, ‘Paul, I need help. My kids don’t respect me because I don’t have a mustache.’ My heart goes out to these guys. If we can clone my mustache and make it available to other guys, it will be a huge step in the right direction.”

When asked if he would regrow the famous mustache, Tripp commented, “You know, I’m not really sure. I can grow a full beard in twenty minutes, so I’m not really worried about it at this time.”

Sources at Temple confirmed that they are also in negotiations over David Crowder’s beard, but that nothing has been agreed to yet.

FYI – This is written in pure fun. Dr. Tripp, if you happen to read this, know two things. First, your books have helped me immensely and we carry lots of them at our church. Second, I hope I can grow a mustache like you someday.

Our Flimsy Faith

Sometimes we think it’s the strength of our faith that gets things from God. This just isn’t the case.

Jesus said we only need faith the size of a mustard seed. Remember the story about the man who’s son was afflicted by a demon? He said “I believe; help my unbelief.” Jesus didn’t say, “Is that the best you got?  Do you think I’m going to heal your son when you have such flimsy faith?  Come back when you really believe.”  No, Jesus said, “I can work with that!”  Jesus responded to his weak faith and healed his son.

Faith is like a power cord that plugs into a wall socket. The cord itself has no power. The cord is thin and flimsy and weak. But when we plug it in it taps into the vast resources of the electric company, which has more than enough power, vast power, far more than we need to run our vacuum sweeper or circular saw.

Our flimsy weak faith connects us to the ultimate power source, Jesus Christ.

It’s not the strength of our faith that matters, but the strength of the One our faith connects to.  Next time you pray for something and you feel weak in faith, keep your eyes on Jesus, not your faith.  Keep your eyes on the One who spoke and it came to be, who sustains the universe by the word of his power.  Keep your eyes on the One who told the wind and the waves to be still and they obeyed.  Remember his vast power and infinite love for you.

He can work with our flimsy faith.

photo by photofarmer