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{HeartTouchers.com}   *WORK: SECULAR OR SACRED?* 

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If you enjoy this email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by visiting:

http://www.HeartTouchers.com

Be sure to check out our inspirational list just for teenagers!

http://www.Heart4Teens.com

 
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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book! Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you! An E-book version is also available for just $6.95!

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Booklocker.com

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WORK: SECULAR OR SACRED?

by Rubel Shelly


The most critical phase of your spiritual formation or apprenticeship to Jesus is work. But that idea is counter-cultural to most religious thought.

What I'm about to try to explain is tricky. It's dangerous even, for some could not only misunderstand but twist it. With those disclaimers, it is important enough to take whatever risk is involved and try to communicate the idea.

Centuries ago somebody sold the false notion that the Christian life is to be understood in terms of two arenas -- the sacred and the secular. Sacred places are church buildings. Sacred events are things like worship or baptism or funerals. Sacred people are preachers or church officers.

The balance of life was declared secular. So farms, stores, and schools were secular places. Surgery and manufacturing, accounting and teaching, driving and watching TV -- all are secular. And ordinary people doing the routine and humdrum things of shopping, eating, and reading are secular.

Not on your life! Or, more correctly, not on God's plan for your life. And certainly not on Christs example for your life.

I certainly grant that there is a sense of the sacred and holy in a church setting for worship that is easier to grasp than in a hurly-burly, noisy office. But work is sacred too. It is holy by virtue of divine presence you bring to it as a person filled with God's Spirit and participating in God's creative work.

Typing memos, hiring people, selling widgets, stocking shelves, firing someone who broke company policy again, fielding customer complaints -- these and whatever other things you have to do today are not secular. They're not, that is, unless you misunderstand your role in them. You and I are in the world to continue the work of God. Creating. Improving. Empowering. Doing things that we and others look at and say are "good" or even "very good."

My appeal is not that we should become workaholics. Instead, it is that we see ourselves as God sees us: Extensions of his presence into every nook and cranny of the world. If Paul could exhort slaves to carry out their assigned tasks "with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to human masters" (Ephesians 6:5-8), surely some of us could take a more elevated view of our tasks in the workplace.

Work isn't an unspiritual curse from which you should desire freedom in order to visit retreats, seminars, and workshops on "Being Spiritual." It is your lab for turning lead to gold, humdrum to holy by the Spirit-presence you take to life.

Your spiritual life isn't "on hold" while you work today. It's on display.

Rubel Shelly
whcoc@edge.net

Write Rubel and let him know what you thought of his story!

(c) 2004 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.

Visit his website at: http://www.faithmatters.com


Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children.


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Thought For The Day:

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." --Walter Bagehot


Verse for the Day:

"For with God nothing is ever impossible." --Luke 1:37 AMP


Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Don't pop someone else's bubble."


Parent's Thought For The Day

"I have found the best to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it." --Harry S. Truman


Coach's Thought For The Day

"One of the hardest parts of practice is the criticism a player takes from his coaches. Some players think a coach has it in for them when a flaw in style is pointed out...I know that when things start going wrong, for one, I get the coach to keep his eye on me to see what I am suddenly doing wrong. I can't see it or I wouldn't be doing it in the first place." --Willie Mays


Writer's Thought For The Day;

"I write to let my mind flow onto the page, which is far tidier than trying to keep it all in." --Cara Childers


Deep Thought For The Day:

"Whenever I hear Pavlov's name, it rings a bell."



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Have you been to the HeartTouchers.com website lately?  If you like what you see and would like to have your own professional looking website, visit the link below.  Bizstudio has been a wonderful service for HeartTouchers.com and with 662,500 visitors and over 1,311,877 page views in the past three years, the website has been a tremendous tool in helping us to "Touch Lives, One Email at a Time." Although I had no prior experience building a website, I was able to create and build the HeartTouchers.com site easily utilizing Bizstudio's online editor.  It includes an Online Site Editor, Unlimited Updates, Unlimited Pages, Professional Themes, Pre-Programmed Features, E-mail Accounts, and free Search Engine Submission.  If I could do it with no prior experience you can too! Check it out at this link:

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Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Love,
Trisha
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business
by visiting: http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery

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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?
http://www.greatcom.org/english/four.htm

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Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the HeartTouchers.com bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with!

http://www.HeartTouchers.com/books


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A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions.  An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $6.95 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 for the print book. Plus your EBook will arrive the same day you order it and you can begin reading the stories right away!

EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that is already on your computer. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this link to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter."

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books
Transfer your photographs or old home movies over to DVD all set to music that makes your memories come alive! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.
Chimney Balloon Fireplace Damper

Do you have a drafty or stinky fireplace? A Chimney Balloon fireplace damper can stop the cold draft, bad smell and save you money on your heating bill.

 

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