OwnerLand Realty

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Business Name: OwnerLand Realty

Contact Name: Tim Hoeweler

Title: Realtor

Business Address: 5540 Far Hills Ave. Suite 201,
Dayton, OH 45429

Website: http://ownerlandrealty.com/dayton-office/

Business Phone: (937) 212-0944

Business Description:

Tim Hoeweler of OwnerLand Realty specializes in residential real estate, and has been a realtor since 2003. He is a member of both the Dayton Area Board of Realtors and Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.  

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?

I have always liked working on my home.  I began following real estate markets in Dayton.   I started working to own a second home to rent and thought I would enjoy getting more involved.   I like working with people and helping them with their real estate needs was the next step.  I wasn’t wrong.   I earned my real estate license in 2003.

How did you come to faith in Christ?

I grew up in the church.  I remember some significant events that made me want to know God more.  Not much happened though until high school.   There was a group of kids that all hung out together in my neighborhood.  I started to like one of the girls.  She and another girl in the neighborhood were going to a weekend event with Young Life and invited me to go.  I didn’t see her much there but I met Jesus in a new way.  I learned I could talk with Him and be with Him.  I learned for the first time what sin really was and knew I needed a Savior.  That’s when I responded to His love with a relational commitment.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?

We can’t give what we don’t have.  Jesus and His abundant life is the only real thing we have to give.  Colossians 1:27 says it is Jesus Christ who is the hope of glory in our lives.  Christ in us is the mystery of the gospel.  I want my words to be words of life to people, life that only Jesus can give.  To be in that space I need to just be with Jesus.  John 10 says to abide in Him, to rest in Him.  So, learning to work out of rest versus working to rest is a big difference.  Jesus says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I want to be so rested in Him I can’t help but overflow His life. 

I would say also out of this abundance three values have developed.  One is humility is underrated.  If we have a God who can die for my sins and yours, I can work to love and serve people.  Second is to inspect what I expect and expect great things.  We can have all the tools in the world but if our expectations are not very high we will not accomplish much.  Learning to set your own expectations that most of the time exceed that of the clients speaks of the excellence our God has for us, His attention to detail in our lives shows all the more His love.  The third value is to finish well remembering your why’s.  We all have a “Why?” in life.  As a Christian, it is the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.  We have a “Why” for taking a job and we have a “Why” when we are on the job.  I want to serve the people God has put in my path with excellence and finish well.  

What ministry/cause do you champion and why?

The Gathering of the Miami Valley’s mission is to connect men to men and men to God.  Did you know that when men come to Christ over 90% of the time their family does too?  We are all on a journey and at different points in our relationship with God.  If I can help someone along in that relationship I have served them.  I have found those involved in this ministry have that same heart.  Program wise we have a large breakfast event once or twice a year (this past breakfast Clark Kellogg spoke).  We have lunch series where 50-70 men gather.  We have weekly locker rooms or small groups that meet all over the place at different times and days.   I lead one that meets on Tuesdays at Chick Fil A in front of Costco.  There are ad hoc events too – a group went to Montana this past summer, Columbus Crew games, basketball and basement games, concerts, comedy nights, worship nights or just getting together.  We do life together. 
 Do you have a 2 am friend?

The Joy Thief Known as Busyness

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By Jimmy R. Lewis

Fighting for joy in the midst of a busy schedule is sometimes difficult even for strong, mature Christians. As a young professional in Washington, D.C., I have experienced and struggled with some of the pitfalls surrounding busyness. In a city and society that views busyness as a badge of honor, these struggles are inevitable, but succumbing to them doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re a soccer mom with a full-time job or a day trader on Wall Street, I know that busyness can easily steal your joy, if you aren’t vigilantly fighting for joy in Christ and striving to glorify him in all that you do.

Disclaimer to Busy People

First, allow me to state that being busy and productive are not sins. On the contrary, these things can be sanctifying works for the Christian. Proverbs is full of commands for God’s people to be diligent, hard-working, and not lazy (Prov. 6:910:4 14:2320:1321:5). Likewise, a major theme of Ecclesiastes is to find joy in one’s work (Eccles. 2:10243:225:18-209:9-10). However, busyness can have many negative effects on your spiritual life. Here are four:

Compromising Quality for Quantity

We are called to “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31) and to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). If busyness causes you to compromise the quality of your work, then you’re likely unhealthily busy and something needs to change. Anyone can be involved in and signed up for multiple clubs, jobs, events, internships, and classes, but not everyone can perform well in all of them. If you don’t know your limit and consistently stretch yourself too thin, causing a lack of quality in your work, then God is not being maximally glorified through your schedule or your work. There may be a great quantity of work in your life, but if the quality is compromised then the impact of the work is limited, counterproductive, and potentially self-destructive.

Misprioritization

If God is the center of your life and the source of your joy, then your schedule ought to reflect it. We must take time for ourselves to be led and fed spiritually (Mark 1:35Luke 5:16). Allow nothing to creep into the times in your day and week that are protected for Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship with other believers—to allow this is spiritual sabotage. Time spent with God ought to be a treasure nothing else eclipses. Often times, once the day begins it is difficult to find moments (much less minutes or hours) of solitude, especially for busy people, so scheduling and protecting time early in the morning before the day begins is often our best chance to set the tone for the day and set our minds on Christ.

Non-Holistic Living/Tunnel Vision

I’ve found that people often make themselves busy with things in one area of their lives (e.g. they focus on their intellectual life and spend all of their time reading and doing little else, or they focus on their physical life at the gym and their diet, or even busy themselves with their spiritual life and fill their schedule with nothing but church events and volunteering). The problem with each of these is that we aren’t merely intellectual beings, or physical beings, or even spiritual beings. As C.S. Lewis noted in Mere Christianity, “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than He is of any other slacker.”

Our greatest commandment is to love God with all we have; with our heart (emotions), soul (spirit), mind (intellect), and strength (body and wealth/resources). To neglect any of these capacities which God has given us is half-hearted Christianity and won’t do.

Blind to Our Spiritual Needs

Finally, busyness can also blind us from recognizing what we desperately need spiritually. We can be on spiritual autopilot for days, weeks, even months, or years; just coasting through life, accomplishing things in our professional and personal lives, without focusing on Christ and without hungering and thirsting for him whatsoever. Busyness steals joy from us by distracting us from the most important aspect of our lives—our reliance on Christ. We need Christ in order to have true joy, comfort, satisfaction, and a myriad of other spiritual blessings, but the busier we become, we often feel more self-sufficient and are blinded to our need for Christ.

Good time management is understanding how to orient and structure your time in such a way that enables you to serve God and others well. Time management can be an act of worship toward God, if you allow it to be. Finally, as Christians, everything we do should be for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31); this includes the way we arrange our schedules. Billy Graham once said, “Give me five minutes with a person’s checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is.” I will be so bold as to say the same about a person’s calendar. Time is the greatest gift we can give, because it’s the only thing we’ll never get back. Let us be a people who live in light of this and devote our time to God and to the task of making him known to those around us.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org). The original article appears here

Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance

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Business Name: Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance

Business Address: 1106 W Main St
Troy, OH 45373

Website: http://www.ksdins.com

Business Phone: 937-339-4119

Contact Name: Todd Niswonger, Church Insurance Specialist

Business Description:
Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance is an Independent Insurance Agency serving you with six convenient offices in Troy, Tipp City, Piqua, New Carlisle, Covington, and Greenville, Ohio.  They specialize in Home, Auto, Life, Church and Business Insurance as well as Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplements.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
The opportunity to work with my father-in-law.  I knew that since he had a long and successful career, he would be able to help me be successful.  I worked for him and learned the ropes so to speak.  Now, I am Independent and have the opportunity to help as many people find the proper coverage and take the time to answer as many questions as they have.  Helping people understand their coverage adds value to what I do over the companies that offer products through 1-800.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I had reached an extremely low point in my life and was not able to make anything work in trying to get ahead.  I had gotten to the point where the only option I had was Jesus and at that time, he was the only one still there for me.  I gave my life to Christ in June of 1990 at a Sunday morning service and cannot imagine life without Him.  I know I did not find Him because he was never lost, but I am sure glad he found me.  He is my Lord and Savior and King and best friend who never leaves my side.

How does your faith impact the way you do business? I want to treat everyone as an individual, made in the image of our creator, special and having value.  I want to listen to their needs and take the time to answer their questions.  I want them to experience the difference between having an agent and dialing 1-800.  The Golden Rule has to be goal I shoot for and I want them to feel comfortable referring their friends and family to me.

What cause/ministry do you champion and why? 
I like supporting Mission work.  I know the Great Commission and I am not out there directly making an impact but I know I can help those who are with financial support.  We are getting so close to the Bible being in every language that I feel we will see the Commission fulfilled in my lifetime.   Jesus is coming back and it will be a glorious day.  

Three Tips for Building Trust-Based Work Relationships

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By: Dr. Art Lindsley 

In the many vocational interviews I have done over the years, I have heard numerous stories about difficult bosses and strained relationships at work.

Even in the organizations working for the highest causes, the tone of the corporate culture does not always match the lofty vision of their group.

According to Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal, this disconnect between an organization’s cultural values and the reality of what an employee experiences firsthand can lead to high turnover rates and job dissatisfaction, especially among millennials. She reports,

Some 7% of workers ages 24 to 36 say they dislike their employer’s culture so much that they intend to quit their jobs in the next two years, according to a 2019 survey by Deloitte of 13,416 millennial employees.

Likewise, you might have expected to get more out of work relationships.

You can have great relationships at work, allowing you to work closely with others and even have fun doing so. Part of wisely building work relationships is understanding what it means to develop nuanced and careful trust with people.

Here are three guidelines that can help us to set reliable expectations about relationships at work (and in life).

1. Love Is Never Safe Apart from Character

How can we risk loving our co-workers, friends, spouses, neighbors, and fellow citizens when we are unsure of whether we can fully trust them?

Sometimes, we are called to love without regard for our own safety, as when we obey Christ’s command to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). However, it is wise before entering into a relationship to consider the other person’s character.

We need to exercise godly caution when entering into business partnerships. I have heard many stories about people having been burned by trusting the wrong person.

One friend wanted to help another believer and helped set him up in a small business. Unfortunately, he neglected to do a background check, only later finding out that the person had a criminal record. Because of his partner’s dishonesty, he was saddled with a very large debt.

Building different levels of trust in work relationships should depend on discerning character.

2. Relationships Can Only Rise as High as the Character of Those Involved

Plato argued that you cannot be good friends with a bad person because sooner or later, your friend’s bad character will manifest itself. Your relationship can only rise as high as the lowest level of character between the two of you.

For instance, a friend got a large personal loan from a business associate, and gave his house as collateral. Despite assurances that he would never do so, the man took his house when he couldn’t keep up his payments.

Even though someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean they will be good to their word. But how can you know how much you can trust a business associate?

3. Look at Whomever the Person in Question Has Treated Most Poorly

To discern a person’s character, look at whomever that person has treated most poorly, and you will see the degree to which his or her character can descend.

It is not wise to trust the person beyond that level of their character. Given enough time and opportunity, they will likely do to you what they have done to others.

The book of Proverbs warns us to distinguish between people who pretend to be our friends and those who are the real thing.

Some friends play at friendship but a true friendship sticks closer than one’s nearest kin (Prov. 18:24).

For instance, it would not be wise to trust someone who is habitually a liar or has been violent in other relationships.

Can People (and Their Character) Change?

Does this mean people cannot change?

No. People can change their patterns of behavior (their character).

I have worked with former inmates working at Prison Fellowship and have found a number who have demonstrated exemplary behavior.

However, it would be unwise to trust much beyond the evidence that they are trustworthy. A person can be a true believer and yet have remaining weaknesses, making it difficult for them to move forward at work or in relationships outside of work.

To close on a positive note, one example of a former inmate who demonstrates character, and has had an immense impact, is Chuck Colson.

When he was at the White House, they called him Nixon’s “hatchet man.” He was said to be willing to run over his own grandmother. He went to prison as a result of the Watergate investigations.

Yet he became a believer and was a “burning and shining light” during his life after prison. He wrote many books, started Prison Fellowship, a ministry that still ministers to inmates worldwide, and was a consistent, reliable friend.

I got to know him very early in his faith journey at the Ligonier Valley Study Center with R.C. Sproul. In the many interactions I had with him over the years, he proved to be a generous and gracious friend. Even those who were initially skeptical of his conversion were later persuaded of its genuineness.

I’m sure you can think of further examples. However, we need to be wise and not naïve when we trust someone. Jesus said that we need to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16).

The key is that relationships at work can grow if there is a foundation of well-evaluated trust between people. Entering serious partnerships should be done based on reason to believe that the partner is trustworthy. Trust can be built a little at a time to prevent taking large risks on little trust.

On the other hand, there is no steadfast rule to determining trust. People can prove that they have changed, even after they have made a mistake. Relationships at work can grow if there is a level of trust that matches the issue at hand.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org). The original article appears here

How to Read Your Job Well

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By Steve Lindsey

Whether a book, the news, or someone’s facial expression, we all read things regularly in our daily lives.

But have you ever considered reading your work? This type of reading requires discovering wisdom about what practices and principles best apply to your unique job.

This skill of reading our job can lead to flourishing and prevent impoverishment.

Mis-reading Our Work

When we lack the specific insights over the structures, skills, and processes most appropriate for our type of work, we often swim upstream and impede progress.

We all have examples of this from our lives:

  • We over systematize our business and get bogged down in bloated and inefficient bureaucracy, driving overhead way out-of-line and threatening profitability;
  • We under systematize and lack the structure and organization to manage the complexities of daily work and provide clear direction on how to get essential things done.

Learning the principles of what works best in a given work environment is reading our work well.

Reading Creation

Daniel Doriani, in his recent book Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation, provides some excellent explanations and examples of this concept. As Christians, we learn in church that God provides two ways to understand ourselves and the world: special and general revelation.

We are given special revelation (the Bible) to teach us about God’s unfolding plan, purpose, and redemption in the world and general revelation (the created world) to learn the nature of what he has made and how we can shape and use it to fulfill God’s purposes.

We intuitively know there is a treeness to trees, a wetness to water, and flightness to birds of the air simply from observation.

God has similarly made human work with built-in natures. There is a schoolishness about an institution of learning, a scientific method for doing research, a need for composition while creating a painting, and proper stakeholder considerations in conducting business.

How does God teach us these built-in principles and align our fields of work for his good purposes? Unlike reading the Bible, learning to read the nature of our work requires experimentation, observation, and discovery.

Whether it’s learning to farm through soil preparation and care, proper seeding and irrigation, and timing the cycle of planting and harvest, farmers must apply their accumulated learning and ongoing improvements to farm well.

Reading Our Job Well

Maybe you’re wondering: is this something we do independent of God so we can get on with the more important tasks of church activities and serving our neighbor?

Farming, some might say, is just farming after all, and there is no Christian farming to learn.

The sad miss in this statement is that even though it is true, as Doriani points out, that “there is no Christian potato, and there is no Christian light bulb,” we love our neighbor best and worship God the most when we partner with him to discover and creatively leverage the resources and principles of our work to further his ongoing plan and work in the world.

Doriani rightly directs us to the words of Isaiah 28:23-29.

Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech. Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground? When he has leveled its surface, does he not scatter dill, sow cumin, and put in wheat in rows and barley in its proper place, and emmer as the border? For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him. Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, as Doriani points out, “…God instructs farmers so they know how to raise good crops in their time and place.”

It is God who is instructing us when we discover how to do our job in the way that both works well and honors him.

This is the reading of creation or more specifically reading our job that we desire. Sin and the lack of a written manual for each area of labor make this a much more difficult pursuit than reading scripture alone. Yet, scripture guides us in the purpose and direction for our labors.

Doriani continues, “…each sphere of life has its expertise. Each needs to keep others from intruding, yet each needs to learn from the others, since every aspect of life is connected.” This view allows us to connect the presence and desire of God to every type of work as we strive for a job well done.

Thoughtful Christians reflect on God’s heart and learn to enjoy exploring his design for their sphere of work. They iterate on improvements and learn to ask better questions as they seek to best apply their efforts at work.

Do the Same Principles Work Everywhere?

It’s important to note that applying principles that work well in one area indiscriminately to other areas can cause disastrous results.

For example, are we selfishly seeking to run our schools like a business rather than having the student’s best interest the top priority? Do we sit back and expect the government to be the primary agent in loving the poor instead of taking up the mantel as a church for our local community’s needs? Do we design buildings to maximize leasable work areas rather than promote an ideal mix of functional and beautiful workspace suited to the nature of users?

As Doriani illustrates well, “For Michelangelo, The Pieta is sacred because of the subject matter. But Vermeer’s milkmaid is sacred because he respects her and her labor, and he adorns her with light and color.”

Let’s adorn our work today with the respect, light, and color the nature of our work deserves, knowing God is partnering with and instructing us each step of the way.

Editor’s note: This article was republished with permission from the Center for Faith and Work Los Angeles. See the original article here.

Coldwell Banker West Shell

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Contact Name: Jack Schrand, Real Estate Agent

Business Name: Coldwell Banker West Shell

Business Address: 6700 Ruwes Oak Drive Cincinnati, OH 45248

Website: http://www.jackschrand.cbintouch.com

Business Phone: 513-258-6006

Business Description:
I’ve been helping homeowners in  Southwest Ohio including Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties for over forty years. I use my experience and my understanding of the market to serve my clients and honor my Lord while I assist them with their real estate needs. I get very good results and happy clients while protecting my buyers and sellers in their own search for real estate success. 

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I’ve been selling real estate since my early 20’s.  I enjoy helping clients and associates, and it’s something I’m pretty good at. I was in real estate management for much of my career; and I enjoyed training and helping others succeed in the business. I’m also very active in the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. I have served on many different leadership committees and I still serve in that capacity today.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
Before we were married, my wife, Gail was a wonderful witness of Christ to me. As a result, during a summer business trip to Colorado Springs and as a result of her example, I sat under the mentor ship of a Godly man who took me under his wing and gently and systematically shared scripture with me and introduced me to Jesus. I made Christ my Lord and I’ve been growing ever since. I can honestly say that Christ is at the center of everything I’m about.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
I consciously and purposely seek God’s counsel in whatever I do. I also assist other business people and professionals in our mutual desire to honor God in how we conduct our business. I am a Gideon (have been since I was 26 years old), a facilitator at MC2 (Marketplace Christians Making Connections) and BCC (Business Cross Connections) and I’m an active member of my local church.  I’ve been very active in church ever since I accepted Christ as my savior. I’ve led small groups in my home and attended others in various locations and homes. I’m currently involved with a small group of brothers early Wednesday mornings at Chick-fil-A shortly after they open. I’m also involved with two other men’s groups during the week. I’ve had the privilege of serving on the board of trustees with City Gospel Mission for 32 years until a few years ago.   I enjoy being involved with At Work On Purpose marketplace ministry and its 2nd Monday Collaboratory. I guess I just enjoy being around God and His people. The one person I most enjoy being around is my wife, Gail. We both put God 1st and everything else behind each other. We also enjoy our son, Jon and his wife, Lizzy and our granddaughter, Claire Joy. They live in North Carolina. We’re blessed!

ARCpoint Labs

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Contact Name: Scott McGarvey, President/Owner

Business Name: ARCpoint Labs

Business Address: 8174 Mall Road Florence, KY 41042

Website: http://www.arcpointlabs.com/florenceky

Business Phone: 859-444-6700

Business Description:
ARCpoint Labs is a trusted provider of Testing Solutions for Your Family, Your Workplace, Your Life. We offer DNA Paternity testing, Blood testing, and Drug/Alcohol screening for individuals and a variety of services for your business. Workplace services include Drug/Alcohol testing, Department of Transportation (DOT) program management, DOT Physicals, Background Checks, On-site and Mobile service, After Hours Emergency service, Flu shots, Titers, TB Testing and more!

ARCpoint Labs employs a talented and customer focused group of Nurse Practitioners/Certified Medical Examiners, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, and Phlebotomists to serve your needs. All individuals are trained in Federal guidelines for workplace drug and alcohol testing and we uphold the highest standards as set by the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA). We take great pride in the work we do!

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
There were really two things that led me to start this franchise location in 2012. First, I have a background in Operations, Training, and Human Resources and wanted to stay connected to my many friends in HR. Second, I previously worked for a supervisor that had an alcohol addiction that ultimately led to his death. Both of these have continued to shape my work life.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was raised in the church and maintained involvement through my high school years with an active Youth Group. It was really through these younger years that I realized the importance of Christ in my life and committed myself. As I moved on to college, I still maintained a church connection, but it was admittedly a tough time to stay involved with the many changes in my life at that age. Since those years, I have continued my focus on God and have tried to prioritize this relationship. I am now happily married with two kids who are being raised in the church.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
I am a huge believer that Christians have a responsibility to care for each other. I also believe that the work we do can change peoples lives. While we don’t treat substance abuse, we deal with individuals that are often in very difficult life situations due to its presence in their lives. That is why, even though I have a business that is compliance based, we still look at everyone as an individual and treat them with respect.

God Watches the Way You Work

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By John Lennox

A Weighty Decision

It is our heavenly Father who provides food for birds and clothing for flowers. We, who are more valuable to him, are therefore to trust him for the necessities of life.

Anxiety and fear are real. Many years ago I was in Hungary and met a man whose demeanor impressed me greatly, a humble man of great grace and warmth. I was eager to hear his story. In the communist era he had been a village-school mathematics teacher, but he was also active in the local churches in the area, much in demand as a teacher of scripture. One day he was summoned to the police station and questioned about his employment.

“You are a math teacher,” they said, “but you are also a Bible teacher, is not that so?”

“Yes, indeed,” he said, “I do that in my spare time.”

“And you get paid for it?” they asked.

“Not at all,” he said, “it is my contribution completely freely given.”

“We do not believe you,” they replied. “You must therefore choose. Either you continue as a school teacher or as a Bible teacher but not both, and you must give us your decision very soon.”

He went home that night to his family with a heavy heart. He had a large family, and it was not easy to feed them all, yet he decided to discuss the matter with them. He called them together and said, “I never want you children to be able to say that they were not consulted by their father in big decisions affecting family life.” So he outlined to them the choice he faced. What should he do?

The youngest boy in the family said, “Dad, I cannot imagine you without a Bible in your hands.”

The decision was made and he had to leave the school. Finding work was difficult, and in the end he had to content himself with the backbreaking work of lifting and carrying heavy slates in a quarry. The slates had sharp edges, and his wife told me that many an evening she had to dress his hands with bandages so that the blood from his many abrasions would not drip onto the Bible he was using in the pulpit.

One day he was called into the manager’s office. “I hear that you once taught mathematics?”

“That’s right.”

“Well,” said the foreman, “I am underqualified for my job, and under new regulations we all need basic qualifications in mathematics. How would you like to teach me, instead of working in the quarry?” He jumped at it and discovered to his joy that his pay was more than he had received as a teacher in the school.

It was a magnificent example of what it means really to serve the Lord in daily work, and I was not surprised to discover that his influence was felt throughout the entire country.

Motivation

This story illustrates that there is more to be considered in Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. He speaks of motivation, contrasting two attitudes: “The Gentiles [pagans] seek. . . . [You] seek . . .” This strikes us as strange at first. Surely we are all to seek food and clothing by working, as God has ordained. That is true, of course, which means that it is not the point Jesus is making. Jesus is adding two further dimensions, the spiritual and the moral, to the quest for food and clothing, which is normally undertaken through our work. It is perhaps easiest understood when we think of it in the context of our motivation for doing that work.

One common motivation is simply to work in order to get money to live. On the other hand, Jesus says that the believer should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” in the process of gaining the wherewithal to live. The things necessary for living will be added as well, and here is the point—they are no longer the main motive for doing the work. For the believer, the main motive is to experience God’s kingdom, that is, his rule in our everyday lives. In practical terms that will mean seeking his righteousness. Every job, every kind of work, whether paid or not, whether in a hospital, a factory, or a church, gives rise to moral problems, issues of personal and corporate probity.

Think of it this way: There are two aspects to work for a believer, not just one. First, the goal of work (as just mentioned): seeking God’s rule; and then the by-products of work: food, clothing, housing, etc. The sad tragedy is that many people confuse the goal of work with the by-product of work. For them the main goal of work is food, clothing, housing, and all the rest of an inexhaustible list of private possessions, up to private aircraft, yachts, palaces, and even football clubs. Their prime motivation is to get these things. The danger is that their desire to possess them may overrule moral qualms, and they may give in to the temptation to acquire them by dishonesty, cheating, corruption, theft, and a thousand other different ways of manipulating the system.

Character Development

What such people do not realize is that although they may well have gained goods and property, they have lost the main objective for which work was intended by God in the first place—experiencing his rule and righteousness. God is interested in character far more than possessions. His intention is that our work becomes an integral part of the process of character development.

My Hungarian friend exemplified this memorably. Another vivid example I came across is that of a young man in his twenties who had trained as an electrician. After just a few weeks in his first job doing the electrical wiring in new houses, he was summoned to see his boss, who angrily accused him of laziness in that he had wired fewer houses than his workmates. He replied that he could not work any faster, since the wiring under the floors had to be done especially carefully to fulfill the regulations regarding fire hazards. The boss angrily retorted: “Who sees under the floorboards?” “My Lord does,” answered the young man without hesitation. He was fired on the spot but got a new job soon afterward.

This incident captures exactly what Jesus teaches. The young electrician was seeking God’s rule and righteousness in his daily work. He was not prepared to cut moral corners because he believed God was interested in his character. God was watching the way he worked.

Content adapted from Joseph by John Lennox. This article first appeared on Crossway.org; used with permission.

Bread of Life Counseling, LLC

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Contact Name: Brooke Stuck

Business Name: Bread of Life Counseling. LLC

Business Address: 101 E College Ave
Westerville, Oh 43081

Website: http://breadoflifecounseling.com

Business Phone: 937-303-1798

Business Description:
Bread of Life Counseling provides individual therapy for teens and adults. I provide treatment for people dealing with a range of mental health and emotional issues. My therapy draws from faith and a biblical perspective coupled with evidence based techniques including mindfulness, CBT, and solution focused therapy.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I’ve always been drawn to help people and feel a special compassion for those that deal with mental health issues. It’s important to note that there are more people in this category than you might think and it’s not something that’s always easy to identify in someone.  I enjoy getting to know people and to hear their stories. Its an amazing feeling to be able to help people find healing and validation when dealing with issues that not everyone can understand. I feel blessed that God has called me to such a rewarding career.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I’m lucky to have a wonderful family that have helped to instill faith in me since childhood. There are also many things in my life that have helped me grow in this faith. Many life situations including my own experiences with depression and anxiety have drawn me closer to God and helped me learn to trust him to get me through. There are countless people and circumstances that God has placed in my life as well to help guide me in my walk with him.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
My business is centered around my faith and what I feel God has called me to. I often pray over my clients and also ask God to guide me in my counseling. There are many times when I am able to suggest Bible verses or find stories in the Bible that will help people in their healing. My hope is to not only help clients manage their symptoms but also to grow in their relationship with God.

Roberson Law

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Contact Name: Nancy Roberson, Attorney at Law

Business Name: Roberson Law

Business Address: 1225 East David Road
Kettering, OH 45429

Websitehttp://www.robersonlawdayton.com

Business Phone: 937-643-2000

Business Description:
Roberson Law has over 100 years of combined experience and has been in operation for 35 years. I limit my practice to estate planning, probate. and trust law. In 2002, I was certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in these areas. In my estate planning work, I teach people what they need to know about death and disability planning. I enjoy teaching clients one-on-one, and I welcome speaking opportunities at churches or religious or civic organizations. A large part of my practice involves settling estates after people die. This is where we see how millions of dollars are lost to the kingdom because people fail to plan or plan improperly. However, our estate clients who have done their estate planning with us significantly reduce estate settlement costs by having their affairs in order. I also practice in the areas of elder law and asset protection planning for people who have dementia, are terminally ill, or are facing an extended stay in a nursing home.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I’ve been a Christian and involved in church all my life.   When I was 12 years old, God called me to be a missionary.  Today I am a missionary disguised as a lawyer.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I grew up in the church that was founded by my grandfather.  I always believed in God, but remember making the decision to follow Christ in my nursery school class taught by Miss Eddy.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
On the wall outside of the entrance to my conference room is a drawing of Mother Theresa next to a picture of a young woman and an older woman.  The upper part of the picture shows the young woman helping the older woman, and the bottom part of the picture shows the reflection of the young woman helping Jesus carry his cross. That’s what I try to do every day with my family, friends, employees, and clients. I see my place in this world as one who helps others carry their cross. That cross is what brought me to my Savior and my faith to my practice.

Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning

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Contact Name: Scott Merritt, Owner

Business Name: Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning

Business Address: 848 Freeway Dr. N.

Website: http://www.indoortemp.com

Business Phone: 6148422100

Business Description:
Provider of Residential HVAC. Sales – Service – Installation of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems. Emergency Service Offered 24/7/365. Fire & Ice employs a team of 32 hard-working individuals and has the pleasure of serving over 10,000 wonderful customers. I attribute this success to strong work ethics, honesty and integrity in all that we do. We believe wholeheartedly that “Your Trust is Our Business”.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
God’s will. After ruining my life with poor choices and as a result losing everything – my car, home, girlfriend, job and self-respect – I had nothing! I had nowhere and no one to turn to. I broke down and gave everything to God. I took a long walk the next day and passed by the American School of Technology. A sign advertised, “Classes starting Monday.” I walked in and said I wanted to start. They asked, “What I courses are you interested in?”  I said, “What do you have?” They said “HVAC”; I said, “Let’s do it”. I stay in it because I feel like it’s where I’m supposed to be, leading and setting standards for an industry loaded with immoral characters.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I grew up with a Baptist preacher Grandfather and a Sunday school teacher mom.  However, my true faith in Christ came from the moment I hit rock bottom, and gave total control of my life to God.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
We do not steal, cheat or screw anyone over when they are looking or when they aren’t looking. We do it right or we don’t do it. Money is great, but not at the expense of cheating a customer or losing my soul.

You Are Called to a Life of Fruitfulness

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By Hugh Whelchel

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

God has always been with us at work. And he wants us to be fruitful there as well as all the other areas of our lives. Yet, we often find it difficult.

During a recent trip to London, I had the incredible opportunity to spend time with Mark Greene and some of the staff of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). John Stott founded LICC in the mid-1980s, and over the years they have worked diligently to “engage closely with Christians on the frontline to develop the wisdom and practices that can help us all live fruitfully for Christ in a complex and rapidly changing world.” LICC views Christians in their everyday work (not just missionaries overseas) as serving on the “frontlines” of God’s mission in this world.

The following quote from John Stott serves as a cornerstone for LICC’s work, “Contemporary Christians are called to the difficult and even painful task of ‘double listening.’ That is, we are to listen carefully both to the ancient Word and to the modern world, in order to relate the one to the other.”

One of the tools they have developed through this way of thinking about the way we interact with the world is a framework Mark calls his “6 M’s for fruitfulness.” It’s a simple framework for helping Christians see where they are fruitful in their everyday lives and how to think through ways to be more fruitful:

  1. Modeling Godly Character – On our frontlines, godly character is both modeled and displayed. This character includes love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
  2. Making Good Work – There is dignity and value in the everyday tasks we do, and everything we do, we do for Christ.
  3. Ministering Grace & Love – God has shown us grace and love, how might we minister to those around us? How do we go the extra mile for others?
  4. Molding Culture – How can we influence the culture on our frontlines so people will flourish more? How do we find ways to make a change for the better?
  5. Mouthpiece for Truth & Justice – Becoming champions of right living and fair dealing in our everyday lives by combating lies and working for justice.
  6. Messenger of the Gospel – Growing in confidence in talking about Jesus with people on our frontlines.

The “6 M’s” is an excellent tool, but let’s take a step back and ask why fruitfulness matters at all. What do we find in scripture about this idea?

Fruitfulness in the Old and New Testaments

The picture of bearing fruit is an archetype image in both the Old and New Testament. We read in Psalm 1,

Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

In one of his most profound statements about true discipleship, Jesus tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches, and the only way we will ever bear the fruit that matters is to be in him.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples (John 15:5-8).

Even the Apostle Paul picked up on this theme in his letter to the Colossians:

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-10).

As we look across the entire scope of scripture from the opening chapters on creation to the closing vision of the new heaven and new earth, we see this idea of fruitfulness woven throughout God’s word. It symbolizes God’s plan for the restoration of his entire creation through his son Jesus Christ. As we are obedient to God’s word in our own lives, we bear the fruit of righteousness which comes from the Spirit working within each of us as believers. As Antony Billington, another member of LICC’s staff writes:

Fruitfulness, then, is bound up with the larger biblical drama of creation and redemption, God’s relationship with his people and his plan for the nations. And it’s our privilege as disciples of Christ to take our place in his grand scheme, working out the implications of the gospel on our frontlines, our lives reflecting the scope of his reign, our relationships displaying the arrival of the kingdom and anticipating its future completion, all the while bearing fruit to the glory of God.

As it says on LICC’s website, the opportunities to bear such fruit are endless: “With Christ, there is no ordinary. With Christ, every encounter, every task, every situation brims with divine possibility.”

This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org).

Bella Realty Group

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Contact Name: Kari Northern, Owner

Business Name: Bella Realty Group

Business Address: 6 W. Franklin St. Bellbrook, OH 45305

Website: http://bellarealtors.com

Business Phone: 937-572-2759

Business Description:
We help people like you buy and sell their home or properties! We do our best to keep you informed and make this business transaction as smooth as possible along the way!

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
As a mother and daughter team, we decided to get our real estate license years ago while flipping houses as a family. We love helping people find homes and seeing their faces light up when they have found “the one!” It is exciting getting to look inside houses and see the various types in the area!

How did you come to faith in Christ?
We both came to faith in Christ as young girls who grew up in church!

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Our faith allows us to not only help our clients but also pray for them along the way. We have a prayer list for our clients and pray that God will be there with them and us each step to provide for them!

Hess Tree Stump and Landscaping

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Contact Name: Jeremiah Hess, Owner

Business Name: Hess Tree Stump and Landscaping

Business Address: 5133 Monterey Maple Grove Rd Batavia Ohio

Website: https://www.thumbtack.com/oh/batavia/tree-trimming/hess-tree-stump-landscaping/service/221190980836582471?from_native_webview=true

Business Phone: 937-701-2912

Business Description:
Hess Tree Stump and Landscaping is a professional tree and landscaping company with customer service at its core. 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed.   Serving the entire Southwest Ohio area with Tree Trimming, Tree Removal, Mulching, Shrub Trimming, Gutter Cleaning, and Residential & Commercial Landscaping & Hardscapes. 24 Hour Service — Bonded & Insured.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Till the ground all your days.  Out of all the things I could do outdoors, trees are my favorite.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
Realized I was a sinner and I was going to Hell without Jesus.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Honesty and fairness… ’cause that’s how our Lord wants us to be. I consider how the world does business, and it’s not how Jesus would have us be.  

Childress & Cunningham Architects

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Contact Name:Allan Childress, Principal

Business Name: Childress & Cunningham Architects 

Business Address: 2355 Park Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45206

Website: http://www.cc-architects.com

Business Phone: 513-281-3500

Business Description:
Since its inception in 1986, Childress & Cunningham Architects continues to be an architecture and construction management firm providing value-added designs for organizations, businesses and home owners across the greater Cincinnati area.  We provide individualized attention to our clients, encouraging their involvement throughout the process to ensure that what they envision becomes reality.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
I developed a desire to be an architect before leaving elementary school.  It was just something discovered in my soul, that seemed to be there almost from the beginning. I designed my high school curriculum with architecture school as my goal.

I believe that the built environment not only reflects our philosophy of life, but often has a larger impact on the emotional and relational aspects of our lives than we realize. Therefore, each building we design is an opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in the community which the building serves.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
My journey started when my grandmother suggested my brothers and I go to church. During elementary school, we asked our parents, and they allowed us to begin attending a neighborhood church. Though I had a desire to please God and live out some of the scriptures I was taught, I’m not sure I understood the nature of salvation until a friend invited me to attend his church when I started university. I responded to an invitation, and entered into a relationship with Christ which has continued to this day.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Faith affects everything about my life and relationships. My life is in the continual process of being refined through consideration of the scriptures, self-examination, prayer, and interaction with believers and non-believers, while seeking to be an ambassador of Christ in this age. I strive to achieve the highest quality in my work, which can be appreciated not only by the average person, but also recognized by those within our industry.

AdvicePeriod

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Business Address: 9145 Governors Way, Suite B Cincinnati, Ohio 45249

Contact Name: Josh Styrcula

Website: https://www.adviceperiod.com/client/

Business Phone: 513-504-1803

Business Description:
Think of us as advisors with a loftier goal.
Our thinking is unique — put clients first and deliver institutional-quality advice to high net worth families. Every banker, broker and advisor claims to offer the same level of service, leaving clients wondering where to turn. In all this sameness, AdvicePeriod offers a new direction. Our thinking has led us to start-up a wealth management practice that focuses on providing clients actionable advice with tangible impact.
Our efforts as complex planners and qualified fiduciaries deliver a better view of the big picture, and enable you to keep more of your wealth to provide for future generations. Working with top industry professionals, including your existing trusted advisors, we ensure follow-through on decisions that impact your wealth.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Growing up I always had a passion for business and finance. My faith instilled in me a desire to help others. So when I entered college I realized we, as a society, have a huge lack of financial literacy. My passion for finances and the desire to help families led me down the path to personal financial planning. I saw a way I could combine education with financial services to really help families navigate some of the most difficult decisions in their lives. 

I have now been in the industry for almost 15 years and I have seen a lot of different ways to provide financial services. I think the industry as a whole drastically needs to change. Most people don’t know or understand what fees they are being charged and what services are actually being provided for those fees. The industry is riddled with commission salespeople just selling their broker’s newest hot product and not providing unbiased financial advice. It’s unfortunate that we do not have better differentiators between investment salespeople and advice providing financial planners. That is why I am a fee-only planner. We need to do a better job looking out for clients and educating the public to make informed decisions on who they will entrust with their money and financial future.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was blessed to grow up in a home where my parents took me to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesdays. But just as important as that, they lived out the bible every day. I learned just as much from Sunday morning class as I did from watching my parents growing up.  It was through that upbringing and my own individual study that brought me to know Christ and his message of saving grace.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
My faith greatly impacts my business in almost everything I do. It starts with having a strong faith and understanding that God will provide and take care of my family. That takes so much pressure off of me as a business owner. Then it extends to every interaction I have with my clients. I want them to see God’s light and his amazing message through me with my actions and words. It helps me look at Financial Planning a little differently, too. It isn’t simply about money and rates of return. While those things are obviously important to meeting your goals I try to get my clients to look past that and go deeper into their purpose. Once we can identify the true purpose and connect that emotionally to their goals the chances of success increase dramatically. It is my faith that first pushed me to look beyond the superficial and dive deeper with my clients.

Covenant Financial Advisors

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Business Address: 785 Dover Rd. NE PO Box 765 Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681

Website: http://www.getcovenant.com

Business Phone: 3308527800

•Business Description:
Covenant Financial Advisors (CFA) is a faith based independent financial advisory firm.  We help people organize the individual pieces of their financial life into a clear picture.  Special consideration is given to integrating our client’s faith values into many of the recommendations that we make.

•What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
We love helping bring organization and confidence to our client’s financial lives.  When people first come to us, they often have many different investment accounts, insurance policies, and various other financial instruments that have been acquired at various times of their life- often in a reactive way and without coordination with other areas of their financial life.  We help our clients see how the decisions they make in one area of their financial life can and often does impact other areas of their financial life and strive to help them view their financial life in a more coordinated way so that these instruments are working together efficiently.  When people first come to us, they often have a lot of “stuff”.  Rarely do they have a “plan”.  We guide our clients through the process of developing a clear, coordinated plan for themselves and their loved ones.

•How did you come to faith in Christ?
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home where I was introduced to Christ at the age of 12.

•How does your faith impact the way you do business?
My faith impacts my work because I realize that finances present an opportunity to both meet our temporal needs as well as an opportunity to have an eternal impact.  I have always seen my profession as a calling.  I have been a financial advisor for more than 30 years.  I began when I was 16 in a support capacity in a financial services office, obtained my license at age 18, and it is literally all that I have ever done on a full-time basis.  It has been said that if you find something that you love to do, you will never have to work a day in your life.  I was blessed to find my calling at a very young age, and I love what I do in developing relationships with and serving our clients along with my wonderful support team.

Your Neighbor Physical Therapy

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Contact Name: Jack Pan, Owner

Business Address: 70 Rhoads Center Dr. Suite A, Centerville OH 45458

Website: http://www.YourNeighborPT.com

Business Phone: 937-419-3431

Business Description:
Your Neighbor Physical Therapy is a physical therapy clinic that specializes in spine care and other musculoskeletal impairments. We provide one-on-one care and utilize advanced hands-on manipulation to provide pain relief to our clients. You will work only with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and will not spend your time laying on a hot pack or doing exercises you could do at home. This is what sets us apart from larger, hospital-based clinics. Since we do not accept insurance, your sessions will never be dictated by insurance rules and regulations. Typical clients are people who have failed multiple interventions in the past or people who have minimal or no insurance benefits. With our healthcare system getting more complicated each year, a cash-based clinic like Your Neighbor Physical Therapy has become the alternative for such clients who wish to pay out-of-pocket at an affordable rate. For more information, please visit our website at www.YourNeighborPT.com.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Passion in sports while in high school and college has driven my desire for medical care. I originally contemplated going to medical school to become a physician in sports medicine until I learned about the field of physical therapy. It is a job full of movement and action, which allows me to stay active while working. I love the fact that I can spend a longer amount of time with my patients and this creates opportunities to connect with them on a personal level. Most importantly, I can help my patients gain mobility, and provide them with pain relief without surgeries, steroid injections,  or pain medications. Realizing the healing power of a hands-on approach early on in my career, I decided to pursue post-graduate training through the University of St. Augustine which offers a highly reputable program in manual therapy in the field of physical therapy. When I see the positive outcome through my interventions, I know that all of the commitment and devotion was worth it. While my participation in sports has faded, my passion in physical therapy continues to grow every day.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
When I came to the United States at the age of 14, my parents started to go to church with the intention of meeting new people, even though they were not believers. While I didn’t remember much of the gospel from that time, the church members’ love and care towards us left a deep impression. Knowing that I struggle in English and schoolwork, a woman named Wendy would come and tutor my sister and I for free on a regular basis. I remember she was a very nice lady who loved Jesus. After I graduated from college, one of my close friends gave his life to Christ as he was going through a hard time. I witnessed firsthand how his life was turned from despair to hope, and how he changed as a person. Hearing his personal testimony, I knew that kind of hope and joy is something I wished to have. Coincidentally, I started to go through a challenging time of my own shortly after. In college, all the classes I had taken were to prepare me to go to medical school. It was not until after graduation that I realized that I didn’t have much passion for becoming a physician. With my biology degree, I wanted to find a full-time job but it was almost impossible in the year of 2008 when the economy crashed. I remember doing different odd jobs to make a little money here and there. My social support system also crumbled as my close friends all moved out of the city. I felt lonely, trapped, and had no way out of it. The good news is that Jesus is gracious and compassionate, and he is the way and the life. I recalled how nice church people were when I was in high school, and decided to go to a local church for support.  

I have always been more of a left-brained individual who likes to reason, and it was no exception when I was trying to learn about God. I remember raising questions about the existence of God and the creation of mankind. Fortunately, the church I attended had like-minded believers who were able to give me answers with undeniable evidence. When I was unable to refute anymore, I accepted Jesus as my personal savior at the age of 24. Since then, whether I feel like I am on the mountain top or the valley, Jesus is always right by my side, drawing me closer to Him every day. Looking back, accepting Jesus was the best decision I have made in my life.

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
I believe in providing the best quality of care to my clients. In the book of Luke, the good Samaritan goes above and beyond to take care of a stranger to the best of his capability. This story has inspired me to name my business as “Your Neighbor”. Knowing that one day I would be a clinic owner, I have been preparing myself ever since I was a physical therapy student, taking relevant coursework and seminars. While I was working in the hospital full-time early on in my career, I have traveled to different cities for advanced manual therapy courses at my own expense. Here at Your Neighbor Physical Therapy, patients will only receive one-on-one care from a physical therapist with doctoral training, and will not be handed off to an assistant for their care. Treatments will be individualized instead of following a protocol. Your care will revolve around your goals, not insurance reimbursement. This is and will always be the case for patients who walk through the door.

Why Does God Have Me in This Lowly Job?

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By Dr. Art Lindsley

“Climbing the corporate ladder” is a phrase frequently used in a negative way to describe someone who is selfishly advancing their career at the expense of others. Millennials, however, view rapid upward mobility as something to be desired and praised. According to Entrepreneur magazine, one of the most significant issues for this generation and, likely those following it, is forward progression in their careers.

Career mobility is not a bad thing to want. The question is, why do you want it? And, what do you do if it’s not happening right away and you feel stuck in some “lowly” position?

This is where we need to reorient our thinking around work as a calling from God. What might the Lord be doing in and through you during this time of waiting? Also, do you believe the work you’re doing now is less valuable than the work you will do in the future? Let’s look at two key biblical passages on this point.

1. We often need to take a lower position and wait for God to use us in greater ways.

In Luke 14, Jesus tells a parable when he notices guests are picking places of honor at a meal:

When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, “Give your place to this person,” and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher.” Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Lk. 14:8-11).

Note that it is better to take the lower place and wait for the appropriate time to be moved to the higher place. It is hard, especially for gifted young people, to start in a lower position in a job. We are often impatient to use our gifts more fully. If we are faithful in little tasks, we will prove worthy of greater responsibility.

Francis Schaeffer once said that in the lower place you have more peace and quiet and opportunity to spend time with the Lord. If you reach the highest position, you are weighed down with many cares, concerns, as well as a very demanding schedule that leaves you little time to rest and reflect on what you are doing. Schaeffer said it is better to stay in the lower place until the Lord sees you are prepared for the demands of the higher place. He will then “extrude” you to that higher responsibility (just as toothpaste is extruded out of a tube). You don’t have to be passive when opportunity comes, but it is important to realize the importance of being prepared.

2. God created people for every position in the Body, and every position on the corporate flowchart.

1 Corinthians 12 is an important reminder for those who feel they are a lesser part of the body:

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body (1 Cor. 12:14-20).

I have found some interesting cases among the hundreds of vocational profiles I have done. Relatively few people are made to be CEOs. Some are best as the second in command. Some are made to be inventors. Others love managing the details of an organization.

I interviewed one man whose greatest desire was to be janitor of the local school and make those floors shine. Another interviewee wanted to help the boss succeed and loved being a support person. Some love to be up front, to star, and others want to be out of the spotlight.

It is critical to know what you are made for, and not to desire, envy, or covet another’s position. Few are created to be Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, or Ravi Zacharias—but you can still find your place and delight in it.

Why Calling Matters

Seeing our work as a calling helps to reorient our thinking about its value. God calls people to a variety of different things and at different levels of responsibility. No job is more valuable than the other. Our identity is not in our job title but in the One who called us to the work in the first place. When we put too much stock in how far we’ve climbed, we tend to climb on top of others, not with them or for them.

In 1985, Robert Bellah wrote a classic book called Habits of the Heart. Bellah and his team interviewed many people throughout America about why they were committed to friends, spouses, community, and political life. They found that people had great difficulty articulating reasons for their commitment other than their own selfish interests. The language of commitment to others was lacking.

Bellah maintained that our nation desperately needed to recover the idea of calling. We are called out of our autonomous, self-centered existence in order to love God and others. To paraphrase President Kennedy, we need to ask “not what another can do for you, but what you can do for another.”

We live before an audience of One and are called by him to give our lives for others.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org). The original article appears here. It is an adapted excerpt from Art Lindsley’s new booklet, Be Transformed: Essential Principles for Personal and Public LifeIFWE is a Christian research organization committed to advancing biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society. Visit https://tifwe.org/subscribe to subscribe to the free IFWE blog.

HJ Benken Florist, Home & Garden Center

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Contact Name: Kathy Benken, Owner

Business Address: 6000 Plainfield Rd Cincinnati, OH 45213

Website: http://www.benkens.com

Business Phone: 513-891-1040

Business Description: A family business since 1939, H.J. Benken is celebrating their 80th year in business in 2019. With one location at 6000 Plainfield Rd in Silverton, the 37-acre business is the largest florist, greenhouse and garden center in Cincinnati.

What first inspired you to get into your line of work? And what motivates you to do the work you do still today?
Michael grew up in the business, tagging behind his Grandpa Harry, digging in the soil bins and playing hide and seek in the greenhouses. My father was an avid gardener and my childhood was spent at his side
as he tended his Peace roses and vegetable plantings.
We were a natural fit for the hard work that lay ahead.

How did you come to faith in Christ?
Michael and I were both searching for meaning in our life and for a Church to feed the need we were beginning to experience when he was invited to go to Nigeria with a small group from Grace Chapel. It was there that he saw the power of prayer in action and the belief that God would answer those prayers. And boy, did He answer!

How does your faith impact the way you do business?
Working with family on a daily basis can be challenging, and we (my husband Mike and I) are trying by our words and actions to leave a legacy founded in love and mutual respect.  We both have tried since coming to Christ to share our faith with our employees and in our interactions with customers, as well. 
We support and give back to our local community, schools and churches and special causes.