Tag Archive for: work

Step by Step

The dictionary says that to walk means to move along on foot or advance by steps.
In life, people take many kinds of walks.
As we walk, we advance ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘.
The greatest of lifeโ€™s rewards coming from walking along the right paths.
Jesus Christ recommended the strait and narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).
We are encouraged to become like Him, โ€œto walk, even as he walkedโ€ (1 John 2:6).
Becoming like Jesus Christ will not happen in an instant, it happens gradually, ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘.
He will guide us in our walk, at the right speed, in the right direction.
As we walk, we learn to control our thoughts and behaviour.
It takes time, maybe even an entire lifetime and beyond.
It requires daily work and daily effort.
Small steps in the right direction can sometimes turn out to be the biggest steps in our life.
All it takes, is one small step.
Becoming like Him is a slow, steady, and sure process.
The Apostle Paul taught, โ€œFor we walk by faith, not by sightโ€ (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Having faith in Jesus Christ will help us move forward, even if we’re unsure of the next step.
Step by step, inspiration will come.
Step 1, say to yourself, โ€œI can follow Him.โ€
Step 2, speak to a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is a process you can start today, one step at a time.
Answers are only one step away.

Work in Progress

Are you satisfied with where you are now?
Preparing for the day ahead, it struck me that Iโ€™m a work in progress.
Later this morning, Iโ€™ll be working with missionaries to help each one of them to become a better missionaryโ€ฆ I guess, a few, like me who are also, a work in progress.
Deep down I think we may all see ourselves as a work in progress, whether we admit it to ourselves or not.
Isn’t each of us a work in progress in the hands of God?
Progress means moving forward even when we encounter difficulty along the way.
Iโ€™m allowing myself to be a work in progress.
And you can, too.
How are you a work in progress?

His hand to the Plough

Around 1 year ago, whilst preparing for Zone Conferences, an image came to mind that Iโ€™d seen many years ago.
My good friends Gary & Jo Griffiths had used it when they presided over the Scotland Ireland Mission.
I scoured the internet to try and find a copy of the image and reached out to Gary too. But alas, I was unsuccessful.
A few days later, one of our missionaries Atticus Snow, mentioned to me about a blank canvas he had, and asked if he could paint anything for me. A serendipitous moment, if ever there was one.
I then shared with him the image I had in mind.
Time passed by
And for a while I forgot about the image and the painting.
More time passed.
Earlier this year, I asked if heโ€™d made any progress with his โ€œdrawingโ€. Heโ€™d been busy and had only made a little bit of progress.
Even more time passed and the time for him to return home was approaching.
Again, I asked about his โ€œdrawingโ€.
He told me progress was being made.
A few days ago, I asked โ€œDid you finish the horses?โ€
He replied, โ€œNo itโ€™s not finished.โ€
I was a little disappointed.
Returning home after a busy morning on Thursday, Monic said that there was something in the office for me.


And there it was. Heโ€™d surprise me!
The most exquisite painting of the image I had described 12 months previously.
I must admit that I shed a tear or two.
Later that day, at our departures meeting we asked everyone gathered to share their own impressions of the painting, and what it meant to them in regard to missionary work.
Many poignant thoughts were shared, things of our souls, touching all of our hearts.
Consider, Luke 9:62.
Atticus told us about the research he did for the painting and a few finer particulars.
If you look closely, those details will emerge.
It is a labour of love.
One meaning, I see symbolically, is two strong missionaries, straining to fulfil their purpose, as the Lord directs them in their work, guiding the blade true and straight, with His eyes future focussed, fixed upon the furrow to be cut.
Let you heart ponder for a while.
What do you see?

Faith precedes the Miracle

๐๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ 
Over the course of the last 2 years, we have made many friends in Belgium and the Netherlands.
One of my new dear friends, is Melina. With her husband Michiel, they run a farm where they grow sugarbeets, wheat, Belgian endives and onions.
I love reading their posts on Facebook and Instagram.
In my personal study this morning, I got to thinking about planting and harvesting.
There is if you will, in planting and harvesting a design, a method, a sequence, a system, an order, a pattern.
Itโ€™s a simple one.
๐–๐ž ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ญ, ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’† ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ.
Mingled with lots and lots of hard work in between.
And so, it is with ๐Ÿ๐š๐ข๐ญ๐ก.

Faith precedes the Miracle

In his book Faith Precedes the Miracle, Spencer W. Kimball taught; โ€œIn faith we plant the seed, and soon we see the miracles of the blossoming. Men have often misunderstood and have reversed the process. They would have the harvest ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’† the planting, the reward ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’† the service, the miracle ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’† the faith. Even the most demanding labour unions would hardly ask the wages before the labour. But many of us would have the vigour without observing the health laws, prosperity through the opened windows of heaven without the payment of our tithes. We would have the close communion with our Father without fasting and praying; we would have the rain in due season and peace in the land without observing the Sabbath and keeping the other commandments of the Lord. We would pluck the rose before planting the roots; we would harvest the grain before sowing and cultivating.โ€
Melina and Michiel are amongst some of the hardest working people I know.
They understand that faith is a principle of action and power.
Although faith is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from one tiny seed into a marvellous harvest.
Remember the order, through exercising our faith, first we plant, we work hard, ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’ comes the harvest.
What harvests have you seen as you have exercised your faith and gone to work?


โ€œ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ญ?โ€ asked the missionaryโ€ฆ
We agreed upon a definition that diligence was someone who was steady, consistent, earnest, had zeal and energetic effort.
We also agreed that diligence implies that we really care about whatever it is we are doing.
To be diligent takes some effort.
I considered the opposites for a moment, negligent, lazy, careless, idle.
The scriptures are filled with references to diligence or being diligent.
One of my favourites is found in Moroni 9:6, when Mormon counselled his son Moroni saying: โ€œLet us labour diligentlyโ€ฆ. For we have a labour to performโ€ฆโ€
I thought for a moment about the labours I have to perform, and am I diligent in performing them?
What labours do you have to perform?
As a father, as a mother, as a brother, as a sister, as a son, or as a daughter?
As an employer, as an employee, as a volunteer, as a missionary?
At home, in the workplace, in the community or in the mission field?
โ€œHe who labours diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labour.โ€ โ€“ Mark Water.
Diligence is a prized possession that I hope we all want to have in our lives.
How does a lazy person transition to being diligent?
In my experience, there is usually some kind of a wake-up call, a painful experience perhaps, that opened their eyes to the trouble their lazy ways have reaped.
I hope that you havenโ€™t had too many wake up calls in life and choose to be diligent!
Are you diligent?


When Joe Wilson finished college and joined his father in a small family-owned business, Mr. Wilson was overjoyed.
“It will be good to have some aggressive young management around the place,” he said.
“Your first duty as my new partner is to replace that sign out front with one of those father-and-son signs…. you know the kind.”
“Yes, I know just want we need,” Joe said.
Later he invited his father out to inspect the new sign.
Mr Wilson was speechless for a moment….then he said…
“Now that’s what I call real aggressive young management.”
The sign read: Joe C. Wilson & Father.

Your true potential

๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐ž๐๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž?
I believe that happy people are involved in something they believe is much bigger than themselves.
Indeed, I have found that those who are happiest oftentimes lose themselves in a meaningful job or worthwhile cause.
Furthermore, those who find satisfaction in many organisations often describe their daily work as a โ€œ๐’„๐’‚๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆโ€ rather than a job or even a career.
Individuals who make this connection with a calling see their work as contributing to the greater good, to something larger than they are.
Those feelings are prevalent in our current service opportunity here in the Belgium Netherlands Mission.
It is an honour and a privilege to work with so many young missionaries from all around the world.
Like each of our missionaries, I have a strong desire to serve and help others.
In essence, simply, to do good.
It drives my behaviour and aligns my beliefs and thinking.
What about you?
Being involved in a cause can give our lives greater meaning, purpose and direction in lots of different way โ€“ it keeps us actively involved in something we feel is worthwhile, that is making a difference to a greater good.
It helps us by looking beyond ourselves and our own self interest.
โ€œFocusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because itโ€™s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential.โ€ Barack Obama
๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฉ๐จ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ?

Too much to do?

Are you pushing yourself too hard?
Personally, Iโ€™m the kind of person that likes being busy, at least most of the time.
If you are not careful enough though, the side effects of the daily routines can include – physical aches and pains, difficulty sleeping, missing meals, abandoning exercise, headaches, stomach problems, forgetting things, feeling overwhelmed, feeling guilty, isolating yourself, irritability, anxiety and even depression can all kick in.
Have you noticed any new aches and pains recently?
Maybe you should listen to your body more often?
Yes, we all need to kick into a higher gear occasionally to get things done, but we need to put things into perspective, by taking care of ourselves and our relationships.
The way to succeed is not to work long hours, but to work hard in each hour.
And take short breaks – regularly!
Remember โ€“ life is short!
It is important to take time every day for yourself and to slow down, to enjoy the beauty you can find all around.
Open your eyes and see.
Perhaps it is time for you to re-connect with your core purpose and watch how your behaviours will shift along the way.
What can you do to slow down today?

Marathons and Missions – the same, but different

๐Œ๐š๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐š ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐š๐ฉ๐ก๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž: itโ€™s long, thereโ€™s often discomfort, it requires perseverance, your mindset makes all the difference and the rewards for endurance are simply wonderful!
Mission life requires a lot of self-discipline as you constantly work towards future goals.
I am learning that a huge part of taking part in any marathon, just like mission life, is all about looking after your wellbeing – physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally โ€“ all of which effect your ability to succeed in the mission.
I have also learned that the best marathon runners have a structured daily plan and routine. Sticking to the structure provides a roadmap through the months of service and allows for more balance to focus on whatโ€™s truly important and matters most of all.
I have learned too that pushing too hard can impact your immune system and leave you a little weakened and shaken. Maintaining a balance is critical.
In marathons, and in life, sometimes you make great progress, and sometimes your progress is slowed to a crawl, setbacks are inevitable.
Running a marathon takes a long time, and yet time in the mission field flyโ€™s by incredibly fast.
Participating in a marathon is exhausting โ€“ enough said!
One of my biggest lessons thus far – Small steps work more effectively over the long run.
7 months ago, I wrote a short article that mission life is a marathon, not a sprint. Now I know that for a fact, but I love every minute of it! ๐Ÿ™‚


“That’s amazing! We have never received that amount ever in one summer before.” said the cashier.
It was the summer of 1985.
I had just completed my mission for the church, and a good friend got me a job working for the local council for the summer, before continuing my education in the autumn.
The job? It was the best ever! I was a children’s bicycle attendant in the local park (the Glen, in Dunfermline.) I worked outside the whole time and had the best tan ever!
Parents and grandparents brought their children along to the park where they were able to hire a range of different bikes which were used on a complete road system that had its own traffic lights! It was popular with generations of children from the 1950’s.
Every day, lots of visitors would arrive, they’d pay me the fees for the hire of the bikes in cash and I’d issue them a ticket in return. It was a simple numbered system and if you weren’t completely honest, it was a simple system to abuse.
At the end of each day, I’d complete a little report that tallied up the number of tickets issued, count up the cash and walk up the High Street to the local council office and deposit the money.
Usually, it was the same cashier every day and over time we got to be a little chatty with one another. At the end of the season, that is when she made the memorable statement above.

What does it mean to be honest?

In my mind it is simple. It means that we do not lie, steal, or break the laws of the land and we do not deceive in any way.
What was the honest thing to do that summer in Dunfermline? It was simply to hand in every penny that I collected. And I did.
As children from an early age in our home, we had been taught to be honest. Said the writer of Proverbs โ€œTrain up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from itโ€ (Prov. 22:6).
The result of the honesty?

I was asked back again the next summer season.

How can you be completely honest?