GROW God Reveals Our Way

Episode 003 - Faith Fueled Career Success: Navigating Workplace Challenges with God

October 31, 2023 Angelic Gibson Season 1 Episode 3
GROW God Reveals Our Way
Episode 003 - Faith Fueled Career Success: Navigating Workplace Challenges with God
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever felt overwhelmed at work and wondered if there's a spiritual solution to your problems? Trust us, you're not alone. Join me, Angelic Gibson, as I steer you through a fulfilling discourse about integrating faith into your work-life. Experience how I moved from a traditional 'command and control' leadership style to a more spiritually grounded approach. Hear fascinating stories about how empathy, scripture learning, and an appreciation for diversity transformed my work ethic and enhanced team dynamics.

Tune in to hear how we can honor God in our workspace and in our relationships. We'll talk about the challenges encountered in changing unhealthy habits, using prayer as a tool to foster love for our colleagues, and how to handle resistance when introducing faith at work. I'll share some of my personal experiences and strategies that helped me gracefully handle these situations.

We'll also touch upon some practical ways to blend spirituality and professionalism. We'll discuss how you can better understand your teammates, invite them to bible studies, and use scripture to pray over your team. We'll wrap up the episode by discussing the importance of seeking God's guidance in our work and the significant role of gratitude. Embark on this enriching journey with us to deepen your relationship with God and transform your work-life experiences. You don't want to miss this!

Speaker 1:

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of Grow where God reveals our way. I'm Anjali Gibson, your host, and I can't wait to explore the vast riches of God's Word with you. So don't forget to subscribe and stay tuned for upcoming episodes packed with biblical teachings, inspirational stories and a fresh perspective on the world around us. Now let's get started on this beautiful journey. May God bless you abundantly. Hello everyone, welcome back to Grow, where God reveals our way. I'm so thrilled that you've joined us. Today. We are going to click in to another spiritual marker, one that I talked about in episode one, which is my career. So what does it mean to have a spiritual marker connected to what we would call my career? It really has to do with bringing God to work, and that may sound strange to you. We say that God should sit in a box and not come out until our quiet time, bible studies or maybe church on Sunday, but really, god calls us to live an integrated lifestyle. So if God is truly living in our hearts and he is leading our life, then we can expect that God would show up with us at work. And just for a little bit of context, god is always at work around us always at work around us. And so the question is are we inviting Him into the work that we do? And I love the spiritual truth where Paul talks about in Colossians that work is a form of obedience, it's a form of worship unto the Lord. And that's what I really think about when I'm bringing God to work with me is that I am honoring Him through the form of treating work as a form of worship, that I'm doing the work for Him. And then what does God say? That he will bless the works of our hands. So if we are not bringing God into the workplace, that means chances are we could be missing out on a blessing from the Lord, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to be missing out on blessings from the Lord. So we are going to click into this. So I'm going to give you a little bit of overview just to kind of start us off with my career.

Speaker 1:

Where did I start and where am I at today? And I started back in the mid-90s, if you can believe it, yes, I am that old. I started in technology as a software engineer and I got to work with all various forms of technology, from Fujitsu Kobal, if you know what that is to Windows NT, to the first versions of Visual Basic and the Oracle database. That wasn't really up and running all that often. I had to go through quite a bit of iterations to have that thing become stable. But let me not digress. I have been in and around lots of different flavors of technology, spanning almost three decades now of my career.

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But I love the fact that I started as a software engineer because it really helped me understand the technicalities of how do you build great software. So if I understand that when I had the first opportunity to start to lean in and lead teams, then I could really inspire and understand the pains and the trials and tribulations, if you will, that my teams would face while they were building great technology. So it really helped me increase my empathy for what my teammates across my career have gone through and are going through today. I've had the privilege of leading a team of one with five people, and I have led teams of over 500. And so I've had a diverse set of teams across my career leading at different variations of scale. As far as number of teammates are concerned that I'm directly leading, and also geographical location I have teammates all over the world, so I get the opportunity to interface with several different cultural backgrounds, perspectives, just where people are coming from. It's helped me learn and connect with cultures that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to learn about and connect to and really just bring my faith into those relationships at work too. So it's been just a very fruitful career today and I continue to love technology and will be in it hopefully for a few more decades to come.

Speaker 1:

But I will say that when I first started off as a technology leader, I was not a good leader. I grew up with children should be seen and not heard. Environment whether it would be at the larger family gatherings or if my mom just wanted her peace and quiet, we were to be seen but not heard. And then also very much command and control. Don't ask questions, just do what I say, and if you challenge you could be faced with negative consequences. There would be discipline on the other side of it. So I took that command and control parental style that I was raised inside of and I brought that into the marketplace because I really didn't have any other modeling to go after until I realized that something had to change. Why did I realize this? Because I had a friendship, a teammate that worked for me, who was a dear friend, and because my behavior was command and control do what I say and I don't want to hear from you it really started to break down the trust in the relationship. This person actually started to disappear to mine. I ended up being on my team and I wore away that relationship based on my dictatorial leadership style, and I was just stunned that the erosion of this relationship took place. I really didn't understand it and at the time I had a deep faith then. Obviously it's grown over the years, but I would still say I had a deep faith. It was real, it was authentic.

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I was studying the Bible, I was going to church, but what wasn't resonating is the discipleship that I was getting while I was studying and learning scripture. I wasn't always consistently applying it to work. I would apply it to how I was parenting my children. I would apply it to friendships, you know, in my community or the relationships that I had at church. But when it came to loving your neighbor at work, I really didn't know how to do that. I didn't know how to have healthy boundaries in line. How do you love across, you know, boss type employee relationships. So I had to learn a lot, but the loss of that friendship due to my poor leadership style really just woke me up. It opened my eyes to I needed to learn how to lead and I needed to learn what God said about leading. And so that's what I did.

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I went on this journey and I've been on this journey for a couple of decades now, because I started in leadership right around probably your 2000. I started just really exploring like what did I have to change about myself at the workplace to for people to see my faith in action, even if I wasn't talking about my faith? And that's what I mean. How do you bring God to work? It's by your actions. People can speak louder than words. Your, your actions are the outflow from really what's inside of you, and so if your actions are not marrying up with what the word says, then there's no way that people will be able to see the God in you, and I had to learn that. And so what are some of the things that I had to stop doing?

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And some people out there who are listening, who work with me today, might find this comical, because I am known at work today for one who does not swear. And, matter of fact, when people swear around me at work, it's often followed by an apology to me, even if there's like 15 people in the room, and so I'm definitely known for that today. But it wasn't that way. A couple, you know, years, you know a couple of decades ago I was a sailor with the best of them. And what do I mean by sailor?

Speaker 1:

It's often said that you put a bunch of people out on the sailboat in the Navy and you're going to find some foul language. Well, you would have found foul language coming out of my mouth, not proud of it, but it's true, and I would say one of my most cringy words that I hear today makes me just go inward is the F word, and that word actually frequented my mouth quite a bit. So, by the grace of God, to his glory, he really, I would say, convicted me to stop swearing. And people may find that funny, but at the end of the day, god says in Ephesians 4.29, we can check myself later. I believe it says that let everything you say being an encouragement to those who hear it. And you know, foul language can actually put up a barrier from hearing just the goodness and the truth of the Lord because it's not pure of heart. So I was definitely convicted and I made that language change to honor God and people recognized it and it started to create an opportunity for people to say why are you no longer swearing? And that led to conversations of faith and so God naturally just started showing up without me having to be premeditated about how do I bring him to work with me.

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The next thing. So, for those who know me, again, this might make you take a pause and take a seat, but I used to love me some Marlboro lights. Oh yeah, I could smoke with the best of them. I loved the nicotine and it was. It was a way to help me stay thin and it also was a stress relief for me. And I again God started convicting me and I knew that my temple was His and that he lived inside of me and that I really started to. I needed to honor my body, to honor the Lord, and I also had little children. I was a model for them and it was. It wasn't good, it just was not a healthy healthy excuse me lifestyle choice, and so that was the next thing I did is I quit the Marlboro lights. I'm proud to say that I have not picked up one since 2007. Took me a while to to knock the habit, and I did, and I'm super proud of that because that was probably one of the hardest habits that I've had to kick to the curb and again, by the grace of God, I've been able to do that.

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The next thing I did was more about my approach to relationships at work, and this was, instead of making it all about business, it would be more about what was I learning in the morning during my devotional time. So I'm pretty pretty, very much a morning person when it comes to when I choose to spend my time with the Lord, and I've been doing it consistently now for years. But there's always a lesson that God teaches me every morning, and what I've learned is it's a rainbow word, and that means it's an on time for now word that I'm not only supposed to apply to my life, but chances are, god is going to have someone directly in front of me who's going to need that word, and so I started to pay attention to what people were going through or you know challenges, or you know periods of joy and I could connect it and relate it directly back to what I was learning that morning and it was wild. I started to connect the dots to literally what God was telling me in the morning through my quiet time, to what was being lived out not only in my life but in the lives of the people around me, and so it really created this cool atmosphere for me again to naturally sew into people the word of God, because God was giving me real time word for the people that were directly in front of me. And it is just, it's incredible when you start to see those seeds that you're planting and then, over time, the seeds sprout, they're watered, the harvest starts to come and I've seen many, many people who have not had faith, who I've worked with, find their faith and I can see, just through how God works, that he used me as one of his people to plant those seeds and it's really cool. So just being aware, you know changing, you know, not just my morning time is not just for me being fed, but it's for me to feed others, my family, my coworkers and then just anybody God is putting in front of me. He also really started to gear up my heart, not just to pray for the people that I loved most who were connected to me, my family but really start to see my teammates from a spiritual lens where I could say that you know these folks very well could be the people that God is calling into his family and I need to love them as God loves them. That's why God says love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. And so to do that, well, how do you start to grow a heart of love for the people that you're working with?

Speaker 1:

Well, for me, it was prayer, the power of prayer. I literally, for every teammate that I have and that I work closely with, I have a prayer wall and I have their name on it. I have a declared scripture and I pray over these people. I do it today for the teammates that I work with. I pray over them all the time. I could be sitting in a meeting and I could quietly just be praying as the meeting is going on, just because I know that God is always at work around us and I'm always inviting him into my meetings, my conversations with people. I let him do the leading, with the Holy Spirit to the leading.

Speaker 1:

But I had to start that many years ago, that practice of starting to see people how God sees them. And that starts with prayer. When you start to pray over God's people and God does what God does, he opens the door for us to share our faith if we're willing and ready. He says, to shod your feet with the gospel of peace, and so when you are ready, he will open a door that no man can shut. And next thing you know, you're in the workplace and you're sharing your testimony of faith with someone else who needed to hear it, because next thing you know, they're starting to gain faith. And that's how it works. That's God's economy. He works in and through his people. So we need to be ready to, you know, be obedient to the work that he's calling us to, and that means God has to come to work with us.

Speaker 1:

The other thing that is really cool that I have seen throughout my career is the fact that people generally, when they, when I'm in relationship with them, when I get to know them, they start to trust me because they know that my heart is for their best interest. It doesn't mean that I always get it right, it doesn't mean that I always know what the best interest is, but they trust enough to let me in, and then that just further opens up doors. Sometimes it's the question comes will you mentor me spiritually? Will you host a Bible study? Can I join the Bible study? Can you teach me the Bible? And I have just had the privilege of seeing many people come to faith and grow in their faith. Many people have a faith, they claim Jesus, but they don't really know what it means to follow him, and they don't really know what the first step looks like, and so God will create an opportunity for that first step to be taken, and that I have the privilege of you know leading it, leading that first step, which is really cool.

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The other thing that I just love is when God opens the door for me to invite someone to come to church with me. So if someone has a faith, they're curious, or they're starting to come to faith, or I don't know if God just presses it on my heart that no, this is the time I want you to invite them, and I do, and I have invited people of all faith backgrounds to church. It could be an atheist, it could be an agnostic, it could be a Muslim, it could be a Hindu, it could be any faith outside of the Christian faith. It doesn't matter. If God puts someone on my heart to invite them to my church which is a Christian, you know, based faith I'm going to invite them in and from there I have just let God do the rest, because it's all his work to do anyway.

Speaker 1:

So what I want to do now is just take a moment and I want to share with you some scriptures that you can use to anchor yourself in, to give you confidence, to start to be intentional. If you haven't, to bring God with you to work, let him live in and through you. And if you're already doing that awesome, I encourage you to keep on, because God has such an inheritance for you in His kingdom. So the first one collage in 323 through 24. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. He is so faithful. I didn't even realize that word inheritance from the Lord was in that verse and I just prophesied over whoever's listening that if you are bringing him to work with you, you have an inheritance that will be your reward. Praise the Lord.

Speaker 1:

The next one is Deuteronomy 2812. The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. This is incredible. When we follow the ways of the Lord and we work for Him, there is nothing he can't do. He opens the storehouses of heaven. That is so encouraging to me. It's encouraging to me that, in an economy that we are looking at day in and day out, where it's unstable, the macro environment is unknown, the stock market is all over the place what we can rest on is, if we are working for the Lord, he is going to protect us, he's going to provide for us and he's opening the doors of heaven. That's encouraging.

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Next one John 1335. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another, if we're praying over people, if we're seeing people how God sees them, they will know that we are the disciples of Christ because we love one another. I have two more scriptures for you. Second Thessalonians, 3.7 through 8. For you, yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. So this is saying that we are not to have a free pass in this world. That God blesses when we work, and work is worship unto Him. And lastly, matthew 1032.

Speaker 1:

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Think about all the people that you work with day in and day out. It could be your teammates, it could be vendors that you're interfacing with. It could be customers. It doesn't matter who you're interfacing with. If we're not giving testimony of our faith and witnessing to who Jesus is, we're missing a great opportunity and I would never want to get into heaven and just have the Lord, and I'm sure it's going to happen. There's people that I didn't bring the word of the Lord to the testimony of Jesus to when I needed to, for fear or whatever the reason may be. Maybe I just wasn't aware and present to what he was doing in a moment. It was a missed opportunity and I just thank him that his grace and mercy covers all those missed opportunities, so that he will know that my faith. He will say to me good, well done, good and faithful servant, that you acknowledge me before others, so therefore I will acknowledge you before my Father in heaven. It's absolutely incredible.

Speaker 1:

So some of the questions that I get frequently when I talk about or encourage people to bring their faith to work is have I ever met resistance Meaning, have I ever gotten trouble? And I love this question like am I going to go to the principal's office, like in high school? And I actually had to do that quite often because I was a very strong personality. But to the workplace, the principal's office, I would liken it to HR, human Resources, and I apologize to my dear colleague right now who leads talent at our organization. If you're listening, you know I love you and I think the world of your organization. But I'm going to liken it to that being called, called into the principal's office. And the answer is absolutely I have.

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And one of the my teammates it was someone who actually worked for me. She made a complaint on me that I was really being forceful and it made her uncomfortable that I was always talking about my faith and she wanted me to stop. She did. She wanted me to refrain from ever mentioning anything about my faith at work. And so I received this feedback and at first I was.

Speaker 1:

I didn't know how to really process it because I really didn't see myself as forcing my faith on other people, which I never would want to do. That, you know, you can't make someone believe in God. I mean, that's God's job, not mine. But what I do try to be intentional on is to be authentic, and so if there's a conversation taking place and it prompts me to think of something in my faith, then I'm going to share, because that's just who I am, but it's never intended to be aggressive or overreaching or to impose my faith on someone else. And so what I did is I heard the feedback and then I really spent some time in prayer and I felt the best thing was to actually have a real authentic conversation with my employee.

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And so I took the person to lunch and I just said hey, listen, this is a safe space. I never want to make you feel uncomfortable, but I just want to have. I just want to click in deeper, like what is really going on? What's making you uncomfortable? What are some examples? I don't want to, you know, unnaturally force faith on you. So just help me understand your perspective, so, one, I can respect you and I can meet you where you're at. And then, two, you can, you know, maybe listen to my perspective, where I'm coming from, and we can, you know, find balance together, because I certainly don't want to just turn off who I am and anyway, that approach and believe it was God led, just opened this door to this incredible conversation and trust was just ignited between the two of us. And it was beautiful. And, you know, not everything turns out this way, but this person came to know the Lord and I got to witness her faith journey, going from someone who was pretty opposed to the Christian faith to fully embracing it and walking it out today and actually leading her family in the faith. And it's beautiful and just one of my dearest friends today. And so the resistance yes, I've met it. I'm sure there will.

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I have many other stories, of course, as well, but that one is just special to my heart because the person on the other side, you know it, just God used it to blossom an incredible relationship that I'm truly thankful for. I've also done the other thing where I thought someone was a Christian and I was just really bold in my faith and I was always excited and sharing and Didn't even realize that the person you know was a baby, baby Christian. And the faith that I just exuded actually spurred them on, and now they are a beacon in the church, they are a pillar of faith, and had I known that they were not where I thought they were from a spiritual maturity perspective, I probably wouldn't have shared as much. So that is a lesson where God will keep you naive to get his work done, and I'm thankful for that because had I known again, my flesh would have gotten the way. And Then the other thing have I ever received, you know, support from my teammates when it comes to maybe? I'm in a really hard spot and I need love and support from my teammates and the answer is yes and amen. My family has gone through several things, most notably when it comes to teammates leaning in hard. Is I mentioned During episode one that I have a son, who was, who has seen many miracles, and I'm talking Miracles that you would see in the New Testament, and I'll talk about those in future episodes.

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But point is, as he was born with a congenital heart disease. He's had north of eight Open-heart surgeries throughout his life. He has met God multiple times and I have been on multiple teams at various seasons in our life when those teams what my son would go through you know a point where he's on full-life support we don't know what's gonna happen to him and teams would rally behind us Just in love and support and honoring where we're at, and they got to see the result of God, the miraculous happen. It's been absolutely incredible. So, again, god is just. He blesses both ways. You know, I'm a blessing at times to those who need to hear the testimony of faith and then I am blessed by those who return in love. So those are just a few examples of you know what does it actually look like to be in the workplace and have God with you?

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I'm gonna pivot and just talk about what you can do today if you are feeling, you know, drawn to bring God to work with you and it just some of this is gonna sound so basic, and why? Because it is. It's literally back to the basics is what God talks about Honestly, and the Ten Commandments right Know your teammates. Take time to get to know people. Love people. You can't love someone if you don't know them, and so you got to know them. Do you know how many kids they have? Do you know their children's birthdays? Do you know what their favorite colors are, their favorite hobbies, their vacations, their joys, their dreams, their aspirations, their sorrows? Do you know them? And it takes time to To get to know people.

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I will say this, though the more you know people, the more trust will be exhibited in the higher performance you will have on your team. You will be raising up high performing teams. It's just a result. When we lead the way the Lord tells us to lead, the fruit and performance bears itself. Naturally, there's always going to be time where your teammates need you, needs arise. We are in a fallen world. There's tragedy all around us. So can we step up and meet the basic needs of our teammates when they need us? Can we give them a handwritten card? Can we give them a meal? Give them gift cards for gas if they need gas? What? What resources do they need, and how do we make meet those basic needs as a team?

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Invite someone to a Bible study. If you feel like God is opening a door, invite them to a Bible study, and if there's not one happening that you can invite them into start your own. Start your own Bible study. Maybe this is the time we're got a saying it's time to get up right. Go from what do we say, get off of the, the milk of faith, and let's step into the meat and potatoes of faith. So maybe you should start a Bible study and invite some of your teammates into it.

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Pray like I said before, pray by name, with scripture over each teammate. And you may be thinking to yourself there's so many scriptures, what scripture should I pray over my team? Ask God. God will tell you and you can. You can sense, you know what is someone walking through, where are they at in their life and if you're not, you know here in the clarion call from the Lord of what scripture it is. Use your friend Google. Google is always good If a teammate is struggling with X. Google good scripture for X and just start declaring that scripture over them every day. Invite someone to church with you. It's always great. We am my church here in Charlotte, north Carolina. I go to Freedom House and we always Say sit with me. So we have sit with me cards and vitamin. I'm gonna save a seat for you and I want you to sit with me and share your faith.

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Just why do you believe? You know it's not. You know people don't want to be beaten over the head With you. Know, believe, believe, believe if they don't really even understand the heart behind it. And so share. Why do you believe? What have you walked through that has gotten you to a place for why you believe? And if you don't know why you believe, well, maybe this is the very next step in your relationship with God for you to explore with him. Why do you believe and you got to be anchored in that. It's so very important Share what your relationship with God looks like.

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Do you do a daily devotion? Is it in the morning, like me, is it, or is it at night? Do you celebrate with God when something goes well? If so, what does that look like? What does celebration look like or mean to you? Do you cry out to God when something is going wrong? Does it bring comfort? Why? Just these simple things that we can share with people about our relationship with God Really helps to spur people on and bring them into relationship with the Lord and Stand firm in your truth. Let it be wrapped in love all around you. I mean, people Don't want to know what you're against, they want to know what you're for, and sometimes we Miss the opportunity to love someone well because we're trying to be right in a conversation About what we're against and we can't even help people move forward toward what we're for. And I think if we really look at what Jesus did he spent more time teaching people about what he was for and helping people get out of their sin and move towards relationship with God then, um, you know really brow beating them with what they were against. And so those are just a couple things that you can do to take what you've heard today and move it into action.

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God revealing your way at work. I hope you enjoyed it. I told you in the episode 2 that there's gonna be an incredible Guest coming on this show and that's happening. That's gonna be the very next episode. I had the privilege of interviewing Casey Crawford, who is the founder CEO of movement mortgage, and this man is Just the epitome of how do you love Love well at work, and I'm not gonna give you give it all away, because obviously we had a really good conversation about it, but he is a CEO who knows how to love his team and he knows how to love well, and he loves the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul, and it was just a beautiful, delightful Conversation that we had together. It was an hour long, so I am gonna break it into two parts. So the next episode will have two parts to it, but you're really gonna enjoy that one as well. So come back To tune in to those episodes when they're posted.

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Friendly reminder you can always follow us on social media at God reveals our way on Facebook and Instagram and God reveals our WY on Twitter. Also, I'm gonna be posting a Q&A post on Instagram and it's really what do you want to hear on this podcast? What's something you're interested in or struggling with that you would like to hear more on, and I am going to weave those Desires into the show. And if there's a special guest that you would also like me to interview, I'll be giving you an opportunity to share that on Instagram as well, and we will be praying those guests in as God sees fit. So I can't wait for you to tune in next time. So with that, I'm gonna close this out in prayer.

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Heavenly Father, we just thank you that you are the God that blesses the works of our hands and that where there seems to be no way, you always are faithful to make a way.

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So, lord, thank you for making a way for each and every one of us who are Tuned into this podcast to bring you Into our work. We know that you're always working around us. So what we're really asking, father, is that you quicken our heart, open our eyes, open our ears to, to where you are at work, so we can join you. Let us not miss the opportunity to share love brightly. Lord, we love you. We do it all for your glory. In the name of Jesus, we pray Amen. Thank you for joining us on this episode of grow, where God reveals our way. We hope you found inspiration, wisdom and encouragement as we continue on this faith-filled journey together. We invite you to subscribe to grow so you never miss an episode. Stay tuned for more biblical teachings, heartfelt testimonies and insights that will nourish your spirit and deepen your relationship with God. We appreciate your support and participation in this podcast. Until next time, may you grow and faith, love and knowledge of his divine plan. May God bless you abundantly.

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Transforming Life, Faith, and Work Relationships
Sharing Faith, Overcoming Resistance at Work
Bringing God to Work
Finding God's Guidance, Growing in Faith