life is too short to hate your job

In July 2016 I clocked up 13 years in my job. I celebrated by spending the weekend with 9 young adults who are not only a sensational group of committed ministry leaders but also some of the finest individuals I know.

On Sunday, they stood on the stage at church and shared something of their passion for discipling youth and desire to grow in God. All of them have come up through our church’s youth ministry and are now wholly invested in the emerging generations.

They are a snapshot of why I love my job so much. They represent the fruit of the thirteen years I’ve been in this role. They (& others like them) benefit from and contribute to a culture that has been God-breathed – a way of doing ministry and community that I have given my whole self to. They are a gift to the Church that will keep on giving long after I’ve gone (either from the church or ‘gone gone’).

It’s hard to imagine a better way to have spent the last thirteen years. I certainly don’t regret having done so!!

We spend about a third of our waking life at work. That has to cause us to consider what we’re doing with such a significant portion of our lives.

Our work needs to be an endeavour worthy of such an investment. Either because our job role serves a vision or mission that positively impacts people and communities and sees other people empowered to do the same. OR because working there releases funds or time that allow us to fulfil a similar purpose. And if it’s neither of those – it should at least be fun!

Life is far too short to hate your job.

Life is too short to waste a third of it in meaningless employment or employment that inhibits you’re ability to engage your discretionary time more meaningfully.

Sure there are times when we’ve just got to take the job we can to pay the bills and feed the family. There are times when we take the job we can while looking for the job we want. But we need to prioritise work that matters or that resources us to engage in other things that matter.

3 reasons you should try audio reading

I don’t want to overstate this but audio reading changed my life! 

It first started when I discovered that, with the tap of a button, a charming little man would read the Bible to me via the YouVersion Bible app on my phone! Brilliant! He reads while I brush my teeth. I can interact with him – repeating phrases out loud to gain meaning for this external-processing brain of mine. He even knows how to say all those tricky Hebrew names (some of them make me giggle and I mock him as he says them). 

Then I got onto Audio books. As a long time subscriber to numerous podcasts I’ve been an in-car listener for a while but with the help of the Audible app I was able to get to those books that I’d been meaning to read one day. 

Here are 3 reasons I think audio reading is a tool worth considering, if you haven’t already. 

You can redeem your time 

Audio reading can transform your daily exercise, getting ready for work or bed, commuting time (or any other activity that doesn’t require you to speak or listen) into productive ‘reading’ time. I listen to my daily Bible readings while putting a load of washing on or walking to the shops for milk. 

I have ‘read’ 3 books in the last month. Something I would never find the time to do (outside of a holiday) but the audio reading has turned otherwise non-reading times into reading times. (I also read at 1.25 or 1.5x normal speed – because I like the thrill of it!)

It’s called working smarter not harder. 

It is super portable 

Given the ability to host audio reading on your smart phones it means it’s with you everywhere. In an unexpected delay, wait time or slice of quiet when you might have wished you’d been more prepared with something to do – voila! There it is, ready and waiting!

Thank you technology, you’re lovely. So handy. 

Great leaders are readers 

John Maxwell says it, “Leaders are readers“. People growing in their capacity to lead themselves and others are those who draw from wisdom and research, from the expert and experienced to broaden their own knowledge and understanding. 

If you’re like me, you might find it hard to prioritise work time to read. Or to find joy or engagement in the silent practice of reading (I’m a well-documented raging extrovert – silent reading was my least favourite time at school even though literature and language were my strength subjects) – particularly for learning (I find novel reading can draw me in a little more effectively than non-fiction). 

Audio books might just save your mind from inevitable decline by gaining the learning and developmental stretch that all good leaders ought to be pursuing. 

What about you? What has your experience been with audio reading? Do you find it a help or hinderance to your reading disciplines?

how prayer saved my year 12 exams

A few (cough) years ago I was finishing my year 12. Back in those days, exams were a significant portion of the overall results (50% in some subjects!) and so the exam week was very much considered “make or break” in terms of final outcomes. 

My PE exam was on a Wednesday. On the Tuesday night I studied until late with plans for a long sleep-in to be rested and ready for my afternoon exam. 

Except at about 8:30am I woke suddenly and just felt “off”. I was sick in my stomach and unable to shake the feeling that something was wrong. I went to Mum and tried to explain what I was feeling and had a sudden sense of the connection between what I was experiencing and my exam. 

I decided to ring a friend who was due to take the same exam. I got through to her mum who confirmed what I was starting to suspect – the exam was in the morning! My friend was already there!!!

The exam started at 9am. We lived more than 20 minutes drive away from the exam location. I was in my pyjamas! Reading time finished at 9:30am and after that point I would be unable to enter the room. 

I threw on some clothes. Mum grabbed me a banana for breakfast. We drove in – under that terrible tension of knowing that without breaking the law or putting ourselves at risk (Mum would do neither!) we were going to be cutting it so so fine. 

I think I got out of the car while it was still moving and ran flat out to the door of the venue. I burst in and the whole room was watching the door. They all knew the time constraint and were panicking on my behalf. 

I sat in my seat at 9:27am. 

The following Sunday I was at church and sharing the story in response to questions about how my exams had gone. An older couple questioned – what time was that? What day?

When I told them, they exchanged stunned looks with one another and then shared the fact that on Wednesday morning they had been praying together as they did most mornings. At one point the lady had interrupted her husband saying “I think we need to pray for Kim!” It didn’t make much sense to them but they prayed anyway. 

I asked them what time that was. 


She remembered the time because when my name came to mind she had looked at the clock to see if it prompted any recollection of what I might be doing at that time or an association to lead them in their prayers. 

This story is a powerful testimony to me. It reminds me of God’s faithfulness. It reminds me of His nearness. It reminds me of the power of prayer. 

And I know that it was equally powerful for the couple. It confirmed that they had heard God’s prompt correctly. It encouraged them to know God might use them in His plans for someone else. 

Oh, and I passed the exam and subject too! πŸ˜ƒ

Do you have a story of an experience like this? Have you had a powerful encounter with prompts to pray or God’s miraculous provision through prayer? Please share!

The True Cost of Jealousy #2

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

It continues with quite a list … including a time to be born and a time to die, a time to scatter and a time to gather, a time to search and a time to give up. And then concludes in verse 11 by saying β€œHe has made everything beautiful in His time.”

There is a time for everything. God has ordered the changes in the physical world and He also orders them in OUR world. There is a time for sleeping in and a time for sleepless nights. There is a time for travelling and a time for staying around home. There is a time to spend and a time to save (or scrape by). There are times of deep grief and times of great rejoicing. There are seasons of relative ease and times of seemingly perpetual struggle. Continue reading