God is more present at your work than you know (and I think he wants you to know that!). Over the past 10 years I have preached dozens of sermons on people's jobs. These sermons formed the basis of my latest book, Every Job a Parable; What Walmart Greeters, Nurses and Astronauts tell us about God (Navpress/Tyndale/Hodder and Stoughton). Could it be that your job is a parable that God is speaking? What would it mean to experience God at work more? Perhaps some of these sermon videos can help you better engage God's vocational presence.
Engaging God at Work (via gratitude)
This message looks at how gratitude can open you up to God's on the job presence.
Experiencing God through the Design, Engineering, and Construction of Calgary's New Central Library
Exegeting the Text (while sitting in it)
Calgary’s New Central Library is the work of many hearts, hands, and minds. Without civic leaders, architects, engineers, and trades, this beautiful building would not exist. Without God’s gift of work most of what fills our city would not exist. Through work Calgary flourishes. This lecture will explore how God can be known and experienced through the work of those who built this library, and through the work that you do.
Engaging the Mind of God through Calgary's New Central Library
Calgary’s New Central Library is a repository of knowledge. Every book, website or database is the product of years, decades or centuries of thoughtful human work. In a Christian worldview all knowledge is sourced in the mind of God. Science, art, sport, business, history, education and politics are God’s idea. This lecture will unpack God’s truth as its found on a library’s shelves so that you can better experience God through the work you do.
God's (auto) Restoring Heart
How custom automotive restorers image a world renewing God.
In this message I unpack the parables of Jesse and Curtis; two custom automotive restoration specialists. What they do will give you new eyes for seeing the potential in broken down things.
The God of all Human Resources
What HR managers teach us about a world managing God.
In this message I talk about God's human resourcing heart through the work of Jae and Rod (two HR executives). An HR manager is made in the image of a God who sees the big corporate picture and your potential within it.
God's News (through a journalist)
What journalists teach us about a truth telling God.
Journalists image God when they speak truth to power, tell stories eloquently and probe deeply into the nature of reality. Imagine experiencing God through the stories they tell (or you tell!).
God's World Arranging Heart in a Florist
Jesus is the arranger of all things! He’s the way (things are), the wisdom (in behind of all things), and the shaper and holder (of everything). He’s the one who sets things in place (lives, roses and baby’s breath). He knows the seasons and occasions of life, what’s needed when and what color, life experience, floral shape, size or texture fit best.
Made in the Image of a (working) God
This message explores our vocational image bearing natures, and unpacks how we can know God via the very mechanics of how we work.
God at work in an Electrician
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “ON,” and the darkness he called “OFF.” Genesis 1 (slightly paraphrased).
God's Making New Truth in a Stylist
"I love helping people see and feel their beauty and their worth. Not just because they have the "right" haircut or color, but simply that they are worth another individual pouring energy and time into them, making them feel radiant." A quote from a stylist who is made in the image of God who loves the same thing!
Geophysics and the Ground of all Being
"I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with you on this sermon, it's really made a difference in the way I look at my work. I have a feeling that it will really hit me tomorrow morning when I log in to my computer at the office...geophysics, for me, has been made new again!" Email from Marc Chen, Geophysicist
God's Saving Heart in a Firefighter
"Firefighters give all they have (to the point of risking their lives) to try and save us at our weakest moment. Surely they image God’s saving heart in doing this!" A quote from the message.
God at work through an Accountant
Accountants are made in the image of a God who cares about the bottom line, wants things to be in balance, and always knows where things stand. In this sermon accountants from across the continent help us understand God's truth telling, shalom seeking heart more. Their attention to detail points us to God's attention to detail, to God's world auditing heart.
God's Face in a Walmart Greeter
Like Walmart greeters, God hospitably greets us and wants to help us to find what we need. In this message you'll meet Shirley (a Calgary Walmart greeter). When I first met her, we kept getting interrupted by customers greeting her as they walked by. Everyone knew her name (even as she knew their name).
Cultivating God's Presence Through a Farmer
The bible is filled with God's truth as it's found in the parable of a farmer. "You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness." Psalm 65:9–11
The Parable of a Teacher
How teachers image God's pedagogical heart
What would it be like to experience Christ as you teach; to know him through the parable that is your job and through the subject you're teaching? "When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.” Matthew 7:28-29, MSG
God's Hospitable Heart in a Server
Servers are made in the image of a God who brings us good things from his kitchen. "Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.” Jesus in Luke 22:27, MSG
Finding God Through Unemployment
What can unemployment teach us about knowing God more?
Seeing God Through an Optometrist
Does the God who made the eye not see?
Finding God in a Professor
What do university professors teach us about the teaching heart of God?
God's Resurrecting Heart (through an ER Doctor) - part one
A few Easters back, I was wondering what it was like for God to resurrect somebody. This led to the preaching of two sermons on emergency room physicians - who surely know this better than most. This message was preached on Good Friday.
God's Resurrecting Heart (through an ER Doctor) - part two
A few Easters back, I was wondering what it was like for God to resurrect somebody. This led to the preaching of two sermons on emergency room physicians - who surely know this better than most. This message was preached on Easter Sunday.
The Parable of Rachel Notley
Can a Canadian Provincial Premier teach us about the nature of a world leading God?
God's Protecting Heart in a Police Officer
Police officers are made in the image of a God who protects, who runs toward danger, who makes space so that life can safely flourish.
God's Just Heart in a Judge
In this sermon I interview (and listen for the heart of God in) three Calgary judges. What can those who dispense justice teach us about the God who dispenses all justice?
God the Sanitation Worker (part one)
Sanitation workers are made in the image of a God who takes out the trash to make room for the new.
God the Sanitation Worker (part two)
Sanitation workers are made in the image of a God who takes out the trash to make room for the new.
Hearing God through an Audiologist
Does the God who made the ear not hear? Surely he cares deeply about our ability to hear.
God's Healing Presence in a Nurse
What does the whole personed care of a nurse teach us about God's healing heart?
Forensic Psychology & the Holy Spirit
"Does a person whose job it is to search for pathology, work in a role similar to the Holy Spirit who convicts of brokenness, sin, and impurity? In turn, the pathologist is intimately reminded and convicted by the Holy Spirit of what is unholy and the need for healing, remediation, reconciliation, and resurrection. Unlike jobs filled with the beauty of creation, the pathologist is reminded daily of the futility of our attempts to be whole without God, never able to forget that we, and the otherwise beautiful creation around us, is fallen, and remains so without the hope of resurrection." A forensic psychologist.
Seeing What God Sees (via the eyes of an astronaut)
Enaging reality from a new perspective
"Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available…a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose." British Astronomer Fred Hoyle, 1948
God's Goodness in a Landlord
Landlords are made in the image of a God who houses us. In this sermon, I look for God's home providing heart in Sam Kolias (Canada's biggest residential landlord).
Finding God throught STARS (air ambulance)
A few of the ways an air ambulance service images God;
"In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud..." Psalm 81:7, TNIV
"Like a huge eagle hovering in the sky, God-of-the-Angel-Armies protects Jerusalem. I'll protect and rescue it. Yes, I'll hover and deliver." Isaiah 31:5 MSG
"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD." Jeremiah 1:8
The Gospel According to (Calgary Mayor) Naheed Nenshi
Moments before stepping onto the stage to preach this sermon, Mayor Nenshi sent me this tweet; "Good luck today. Hope it goes well. I am a bit overwhelmed by your topic, but interested to see how you develop it." This sermon video made the rounds in the mayor's office I'm told. "Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Jeremiah 29:7, TNIV
God's Goodness in Investment Banking
When I met with the Investment banker who helped me with this sermon, I was taken aback by how wrong I was about what I thought motivated him. For him, his work was all about serving others.
"Consider what international banks have done through global capital markets to help China and India develop. It is phenomenal: Hundreds of millions of people have been taken out of dollar-a-day poverty. To me that is a social good and in part is the result of financial markets." Lord Brian Griffiths, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs
Engineers and God (keeping things going)
Engineers are made in the image of a universe engineering God; the God who came up with the idea of calculus. Their minds are made after the mind of God. This sermon looks as how 'engineers who maintain things' reveal a world maintaining God.
God's Truth in Engineering
When I asked one engineer what he loved about his work he said, "The experience of a thought becoming reality... that you can think of something and then it actually physically becomes something practical and purposeful." Engineers are made in the image of a God who made everything out of nothing. Everything that is was a thought in the mind of God before it ever came to be!
God's Hands on Truth in Carpentry
According to theologian Neal Plantinga, "Jesus built the kingdom as a carpenter before he built it as a rabbi". Doing this, he honored the trade. Jesus knew what it was like to look at a complex construction challenge, figure it out in his head, and then transfer what he knew to his hands. He knew what is was like to know things via touch. In this message we look at how a carpenter images God.
God at work in Mechanics
In this sermon a couple of mechanics teach us about the saving heart of God. When they bring mechanical salvation to a car they point to the God who will one day make all things new.
Photography - a new lens on God (part one)
What does a photographer’s eye teach us about seeing God more? Can a greater understanding of the nature of the camera’s lens help un-shutter and focus our vision?
“Seeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect and your emotions. It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being. It means looking beyond the label of things and discovering the remarkable world around you.” Canadian Photographer Freeman Patterson, Page 7, Photography and the Art of Seeing
Photography - a new lens on God (part two)
How do you see yourself? Others? And what kind of image fills God’s mind when he thinks of you?
“You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
Hagar in Genesis 16:13, NIV