boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

Archive for the tag “Job Loss”

2018 Year in Review

Nehemiah 2:18b, 20 – They laughed at us and despised us, and said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing?’… So I answered them and said to them, ‘The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore, we His servants will arise and build.

2018 was an uncomfortable year for my family and I. We had a lot of struggles come up that many families have had to face, but we hadn’t…until 2018.

Both my wife and I had job problems throughout the year. For her, the company she worked for shuttered her department and she was laid off. This led to us losing insurance and having to scramble to figure it out. Fortunately, my boss stepped up and set up a plan for us. But then, unfortunately, he neglected to pay the premiums and our insurance was cancelled a couple months later. Then, add to that, the fact that my job went through a financial downturn and paychecks were coming late, and, even those that were coming, we only partials.

This led to a lot of inconsistency in both health and finances this year.

But God….

Staying uncomfortable, when kept in front of God, leads to spiritual awakening. That spiritual awakening can lead to all sorts of blessings from God whether they be spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental.

In this case, it was all the above!

Both my wife and I changed jobs this year. My wife changed jobs because she had no other choice. After being laid off, she needed to find something new. This led to her finding a new job in the same industry but in a capacity that is a better fit for her skills. She still works from home. Every day that she works she truly enjoys what she is doing.

God knew.

He knew that she was unhappy at her last company and provided her, after going through the storm of being laid off, the mercy and grace of a new job that satisfies her emotionally, physically, and mentally.

As for me, I have been seeking to follow my call into vocational ministry. That opportunity came late this year. I started interviewing with a local Baptist church (fcbc.church) around the middle of the year, and by early December, I was able to start as their Director of Ministries. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that FCBC chose me. Even more exciting is that God granted my call!

As 2019 opens, Mimi and I are in a better place professionally and emotionally. Financially we won’t be making as much as we could have been had I stayed in the corporate world, but God….

God provides.

Even through the job craziness the past couple months, we have noticed something.

Our bank account has continued to grow.

Even though I am making less and Mimi isn’t making any more than she was before, we are actually banking more money away, and our expenses haven’t really reduced. If anything, because of 3 cars breaking down in the same week, our expenses in the final month of the year increased!

Simply put, but God…

God knows!

I am always amazed that He knows what we need and provides. I never want to be so rich that I forget about God, but I never want to be so poor that I dishonor Him either.

2 Timothy 4:17 – But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me

As for this blog, I only posted 31 articles this year, my lowest number ever.

But God…

This blog had its highest readership this year in its 7-year history!

I averaged 78 views per week with over 4,000 visitors this year!!!

It was viewed in 77 different countries, which is just shy of 40% of the world has had access to this blog! The top 3 countries are the United States (over 70% of the views came from the USA) followed by both China and the United Kingdom. I am really excited to see that the number 2 location for reading this blog was in China!!!

1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 – But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

I pray that this blog is an encouragement to the Christians in China! Please stay strong, know that your sacrifice for the faith is seen by God. Your faith and your sacrifice will bring about a harvest for the kingdom. The disciples you are raising up will lead to change in generations to come. The struggles you face right now will see an amazing return in the faith of others.

Of all the stats I have ever read about this blog, seeing that it is being read in China significantly a both humbling and remarkable. I pray that God gives me the words to say that will encourage those who are risking everything for the faith.

As for the top posts that were read this year, I always facepalm when I read that my post “Spiritual Farting” is the top read post. This is now 5 years in a row that this has been the number one post.

If I can, please stop reading about spiritual farting lol. Almost 15% of my viewers for the year read that one blog post!

One key learning I have from reading which posts are the most popular is that series seem to be more popular than single posts. The series about Jesus’ disciples provided the most popular posts of those put up this year.

So, what does 2019 look like?

I have no clue. Considering most of my posts are triggered by something that happens in my life at that moment, I don’t know what I will be posting about. The rest of my life is fairly organized, so I like to give this blog to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

One thing I do know, as I move into the next year, boyradd.wordpress.com will continue to post and, God willing, grow.

Psalm 125:1-2 – Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, from this time forth and forever.

Thanks for all your support through 2018.

Job Loss

Last week the first time jobless claims in America was 218,000. That is the number of people filing for unemployment benefits. While that is only a small portion of the 325.7 million people in America, that is still an incredibly huge number!

Add to that number my wife and many others with which she used to work. That’s right, she was laid off. She is an amazing worker and has a awesome work ethic. I’ve never seen someone so focused on her job than my wife. But companies don’t base their decisions on loyalty anymore, they base them on dollars only.

Over my career I have been laid off twice, fired twice, and have laid off or fired countless people. Currently as a recruiter and human resources professional, I help people find new opportunities after life throws a curve ball at them.

Getting laid off or fired is truly a negative thing.

But there is good news for Christians during this life situation.

God promises us that He will help us financially. Even when we don’t know where our money will come from, we know God will provide.

Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus told the people in His day, many of whom were unemployed as well, to not worry.

That’s comforting, but, Fred, how does the application of that work? I mean, the bills are beginning to pile up and the creditors are calling me and Jesus is simply telling me not to worry?

Well it starts with prayer.

Now, prayer doesn’t guarantee you will get exactly what you want. Even if you do receive what you desire, it will most likely not be in the timeframe that you expect it. But Christians are called to a life of prayer.

Even when the prayers don’t keep us from losing our job, we are still called to pray. It obviously didn’t work. Why keep praying?

Yep, I don’t have a very good HUMAN reason for that.

The very first time we are told to live by faith happens in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was questioning why God didn’t protect His chosen people. It seems God was being unjust. God didn’t give us a crystal clear answer, but what He did say was “the righteous live by faith.”

Habakkuk 2:4 – See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness

We are to trust God no matter what, even when God seems to be acting against us.

Bottom line is that prayer brings about increased activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Over time, God DOES respond to the cries of His people and redeems them from the problems by bringing them into His good purpose.

So what else should we do while we wait for God?

Tighten your belt. We have grown very accustomed to luxury. When one is out of work it is time to refocus on the necessity and leave the luxury behind. Spending money makes us feel good. When we buy that $5 latte at Starbucks or the grass-fed, organic meats we feel good about ourselves. We can easily justify these as necessities while in reality they are luxuries.

Over the years our standards of what is normal or a necessity has changed. Not too long ago, a 1300 square foot house was elegant (I say this as I sit in my 2600 square foot home). Do we really need the latest electronic gadgets or designer clothing or the newest car? The list can go on.

We are so used to expecting this in our lives that we can no longer afford our lives.

It makes it difficult to cut back because we believe everything in our life is necessary. It is during this time to differentiate between needs and wants.

If you find that you really cannot pay for something, it is time to contact your lenders. There is all kind of debate in the church as to whether Christians should take out loans, and I am not going to cover that here. But if you cannot pay for what you own it is best to contact the lenders before they start contacting you.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Jesus tells us that if we want God to give us our desires then we need to seek first the kingdom. In this case, we need to be looking for God’s “influence” in our lives (kingdom) as we strive to do what is right (his righteousness). Contacting those you cannot pay is the right thing to do. Not only will the creditors work with you, but God will honor it.

One you have done that, don’t give up!

1 Kings 17:12-14 – “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

In this story, Elijah asks a woman for a meal during a devastating famine. But the woman did what Elijah asked and she didn’t run out of food. God used her giving to bring about His provision. Our giving doesn’t “earn” us anything, but it teaches us to trust God and put that trust at the forefront of our lives.

Now that you know you aren’t giving up, it is time to get out there. Start sending out resumes in faith.

Make your job to find a job. I have said that over and over to people I represent. If you are out of work, you need to spend your “free” time finding a job. Do not just sit back and wait. Don’t run away in fear.

Remember something: God is a creator! Even if there is no job out there that exists at this moment for you GOD CAN CREATE IT!

Mark 9:23 – “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

During this time you need to be willing to work at jobs that pay less than you were paid before and jobs that you may seem overqualified for or even demeaning to you.

Stay in motion.

Over my many years leading teams and lately counseling people on their careers I have found that God moves more quickly in the lives of those who keep moving forward than in those who feel victimized and paralyzed in their circumstance.

If you need to, ask for help.

I hate asking for help. But sometimes it is necessary. Maybe you reach out to a family member or a friend or the government. You might think it seems irresponsible to ask for help, but there come times in all of our lives that we simply need help. Asking for loans from someone close to you might need to happen and, if you are a person of integrity, then you will be greeted with empathy and kindness.

Finally, remember that this is only temporary. If you simply hang in there and keep in motion you will see that this will pass with minimal negative effect. And it might even help refine you into the person God needs you to become.

Hebrews 6:11-12 – We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Just remember this will all pass. God is going to make sure of it.

In the meantime, if anyone knows of any great, preferably remote, opportunities, send me a message and I will tell my wife. She’s currently looking for a new career choice.

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