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My Workplace Visit to Garmin

My Workplace Visit to Garmin

Ever wish you had an easy button? You know, a button to hit when life is difficult so everything just works out. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Garmin headquarters located in Olathe, Kansas and guess what I found out! They invented the easy button for landing an airplane! So if you ever find yourself suddenly in charge of flying an airplane (let’s sure hope not, right?) just hit the easy button (the technical name for that is autoland) and it will contact air traffic control, communicate with them, take control of your plane, and land it for you. All you have to do is put your seat in a forward and upright position! 

 

Why Visit Garmin

To be fair, this is not the reason I visited Garmin, but it’s still really cool to talk about. But why visit Garmin? Over 25 people who work for Garmin attend the Olathe Campus of Christ Community, and I wanted to see their workplace and ask how they see God in their work. Our work is one of the most important ways we worship God. Good work, done well, matters. This could be developing technology that saves lives, sweeping floors, or changing diapers. We often forget this beautiful reality and I visited Garmin to remind them that their work is valuable and to expand my own understanding of what God is doing through them. 

 

Brokenness and Redemption

I was able to have lunch with a few of our congregants and I asked them two questions: “Where do you see the brokenness of the world?” andHow does your work seek to bring redemption to that brokenness?”  

 

Where Do You See the Brokenness of This World?

Randine Ailshie works in the Global Supply Chain department and sees the brokenness very clearly. She receives about 20 to 30 emails a day detailing all types of issues: natural disaster, political, war, cyber-terrorism, etc. It’s her job to make sure that regardless of what happened, those suppliers still have the ability to ship out parts so Garmin products can be made. In Randine’s words, “To tie it to the brokenness a little, admittedly it took me a while to learn to separate my personal feelings about people from the ability to get my job done. For instance, I could read an email that states that an earthquake struck Japan and left 500 people dead and 1,000 missing. I have to look past the fact that families are in distress and only focus on if Garmin is affected. That is kind of a hard pill to swallow. How can you ignore that?  People are out there searching for their families and I have the nerve to send an email to make sure that my needs are met? It’s crazy sometimes. The redemption that I find in my job is when I hear that the person I work with in Japan was not close to any damage and his family is all safe.” Randine goes on to say that she has made friendships around the world simply by asking the person she is corresponding with if they are okay. That simple question and act of kindness has gone a long way to bring light into a dark place. 

 

How Do You Seek to Participate in Redemption?

Dan Irish works in the Compliance Engineering department and works to arrange the testing and certification of Garmin products. One of the places he sees the brokenness of this world is that God’s creation is being destroyed, specifically, in the poaching of animals on the endangered species list in South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. In order to combat this brokenness and seek to bring redemption, Dan and his team use Garmin technology to train tracking dogs used to combat poaching. Because of this technology, there has been a 95% reduction in the amount of poaching! Dan marvels that the work he does in Olathe can have such a significant impact on the stewardship of God’s creation around the world. 

 

That the Lost May Be Found

I started this with an easy button, so let me end with an easy button. Did you know Garmin sells devices with an SOS button? They saw the brokenness of the world in the number of people getting lost and not found, and sought to bring redemption by adding an SOS button. Whether you are on a rural country road or on Mount Everest, if you have an inReach device from Garmin, you can push that button and a Garmin team monitoring everything 24/7/365 from Houston will get a text.They will dispatch local search and rescue to save your life. How cool is that? They literally get an internal email list every week sharing how many lives were saved that week.

 

God is at Work

I went to Garmin that day hoping to encourage people and remind them that their work plays a role in bringing redemption to the world, that God cares about the good work they do, and that God uses their work to form and shape them. I’m not sure if I accomplished my mission, but I do know that I left in awe of how God uses people with so many different talents and skill sets to be his hands and feet in the world. God is at work using the ordinary work of men and women to combat the brokenness of this world and usher in redemption. 

Exploring the Profound Impact of Music Therapy with Amy Wilson |  POD 019

Exploring the Profound Impact of Music Therapy with Amy Wilson | POD 019

WATCH

LISTEN

RESOURCES

HOSTS & GUESTS

Amy Wilson – Guest

Paul Brandes – Co-Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

Exploring the Profound Impact of Music Therapy with Guest Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson, a passionate music therapist with a unique career journey, joins us on theFormed.life podcast today. Amy shares her experiences working in the field of music therapy, highlighting the impact of music on individuals in various settings, including hospice care and behavioral health. In this episode, we get a glimpse into the beauty that can unfold as we begin to more fully integrate our faith and work.

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • Music therapy’s profound impact in various settings: Amy Wilson’s work, particularly in the context of hospice care and behavioral health demonstrates how music can bring beauty and connection to individuals facing challenging circumstances and provide moments of joy and reminiscence, even in the face of deep pain and difficulty.
  • The integration of faith and work: Amy’s relationship with Jesus and her work as a music therapist is part of her greater calling to connect with and serve others on a deeper level. Her  journey from a performance degree to music therapy is a testament to the value of integrating faith and work.
  • The importance of personal connection and storytelling: Amy shares specific stories that illustrate the impact of music therapy in real people’s lives, highlighting the significance of building relationships, learning favorite songs, and using music to access long-term memories and foster connection. She reminds us of the power of live music and its ability to create intimate and personal moments that can be key elements in anyone’s healing process.

#musictherapy #careerinspiration #integratingfaithandwork #hospicecare #therapeuticsounds #beautyinthebrokenness #musicandmemory #thehealingpowerofmusic #findingpurpose #joyofconnection

 

GUEST BIO:

Amy Wilson grew up in Oklahoma, with both of her parents working in the medical field. Yet, she found herself drawn to a different form of therapy – music therapy. Amy discovered music therapy by chance and was captivated by its ability to combine music with a therapeutic relationship to achieve learning or health goals. Intrigued by this unique approach, Amy felt a strong calling to pursue a career as a licensed music therapist. With her passion ignited, Amy embarked on a journey to learn and understand the power of music in healing and education. Inspired by her own story and the potential of music therapy, Amy is now dedicated to using music as a tool to bring about positive change and support individuals in various settings.

 

QUOTES:

“Music Therapy: Essentially, it’s applying music in the context of a relationship, And the goal is either some kind of learning objective, like in schools, or it’s a health objective as in a medical setting.”
— Amy Wilson

 

 “I did some volunteer work in hospitals and had a really significant experience, actually through my church and our Sunday school class. I was with a group of girls from 7th grade to 12th grade in our Baptist church at the time, and I don’t remember the context or why, but we started visiting a woman in the hospital who was pretty much alone and essentially dying of cancer. And we visited her on Sundays for months, and I don’t think this would ever happen now. But we got to be a part of Just her journey.”
— Amy Wilson

 

“Because of the way memory is stored in the brain and how we can access some of those long term memories through music, Even in the case of disease or injury,  it’s really amazing What can happen.”
— Amy Wilson

 

RESOURCES:

BLOG – Two Tools To Fight The Darkness – Paul Brandes

BOOK – Music Is Medicine – Deforia Lane

 

 

CHAPTERS:

[00:06:24] God guided me to hospice care, and music therapy.
[00:08:02] Music therapists in the United States: credentials, ethics, education, job opportunities.
[00:12:53] Impact of music therapy on real lives.
[00:13:56] Music therapy for degenerative neurologic disease patient.
[00:17:34] Connection, music, memories, creator – a beautiful gift.
[00:21:38] Evil person says music connects to relationships.
[00:25:57] Various ways to access music; importance of live music.
[00:29:11] End of work liturgy podcast for transition.
[00:30:22] Switching careers, what profession would you choose?

Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career |  POD 018

Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career | POD 018

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RESOURCES

HOSTS & GUESTS

Paige Wiley – Guest

Paul Brandes – Co-Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career

How should faith and work intersect? Today we have a special guest, Paige Wiley, joining us. Paige brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in various settings and ministries and now working within the team at Made To Flourish as the Associate Director of Engagement. In this episode, we explore the importance of understanding one’s vocation and how it connects to our faith, as well as the anxiety and questions that arise when it comes to discerning God’s will in our careers. Paige shares insights from her recent project on bridging the gap between college and the next phase of life as well as the fascinating concept of “skills mapping” for churches and how it can be utilized to foster community and discipleship. Listen now to this thought-provoking conversation about work, calling, and the journey towards finding purpose in our daily lives.

 

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • The importance of integrating faith and work: There is a journey to understanding the connection between faith and work. Work is not just a means of evangelizing or giving money to the church, but a valuable way to live out God’s design and contribute to the restoration of all things.
  • Addressing vocational anxiety: There is increasing anxiety among college students about their future careers and which has increased the need to make a meaningful connection between work and identity. There is a common fallacy of viewing God’s will as a specific target or destination, which can contribute to stress and anxiety. For this reason we need to talk early and often about faith and work to alleviate vocational anxiety.
  • Utilizing skills mapping for church community and discipleship: Skills mapping is a process that helps churches understand the vocational skills and passions of their congregation, and can be used to create support groups and facilitate connections among individuals with similar professions or roles. We want churches to engage with people across different life stages, including young adults and older adults, to foster community and discipleship around the work that we do, paid or unpaid.

#FaithAndWork #CallingAndVocation #BridgingTheGap #SkillMapping #ConnectingCongregations #SundayToMonday #IntegratingFaithAndLife #SupportingProfessionals #ThirdThirdOfLife #ChurchBeyondSunday

 

GUEST BIO:

Paige Wiley grew up in a Christian environment where work and faith were presented as separate entities. This upbringing shaped her curiosity about the intersection of work and calling. While studying communications and media at Kansas State University, Paige was heavily involved in her campus ministry and also worked at a career center, helping students discover their career paths. This experience intensified her interest in understanding why people choose a certain profession and what drives their vocational choices.

 

QUOTES:

“At the end of the day, my belief was that work is part of this necessary evil that we have to do in order to either evangelize to our coworkers or to give our money to the church.”
— Paige Wiley

 

“Within redemption, we get to see how work is a way of loving and serving our neighbor, and this allows us to see glimpses of heaven.”
— Paige Wiley

 

“One of the ways that I like to frame it is: A good shepherd knows his sheep, and the skill mapping survey is really meant to ask folks where they’re at. Instead of asking to put more on their plate, ask, “What’s on your plate? What are you doing? Where are you already on mission, where are you already serving?””
— Paige Wiley

 

RESOURCES:

Made To Flourish

Skill Mapping

Worked Up – Paige Wiley & Luke Bobo

Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work – Tom Nelson

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work – Tim Keller

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will – Kevin DeYound

Whatever You Do: Six Foundations for an Integrated Life – Luke Bobo

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life – Gene Veith

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett and David J. Evans

 

CHAPTERS:

[00:06:10] Faith and work: wrestling and finding fulfillment.
[00:08:10] God at the center, wrestling with work theology.
[00:12:51] College students struggle with identity and anxiety.
[00:15:14] God’s will as a problematic treasure hunt.
[00:17:46] Gathering to discuss faith and work after college.
[00:22:20] Made to Flourish offers a skill mapping process.
[00:26:28] Interviews explore Monday life of congregation members.
[00:29:26] Connecting educators, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, and parents.
[00:32:46] Is God with me in career choices?
[00:34:38] Dream job for Paige Wiley.

Celebrating Work

Celebrating Work

The origin of Labor Day is rooted in the late 19th century pro-labor/pro-worker movement, and “is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.”

Of course, followers of Jesus know that long before America decided to federally codify a celebration of work and workers, God himself initiated and patterned for us both good work well done, and the celebration of it. 

This truth should continue to be emphasized: work is part of God’s “very good” created order. Indeed, a key reason why God created humanity was to participate with God in “working” the garden, harnessing and catalyzing the latent potential within it, making it into even more.

And while every inch of work has been marred by humanity’s rebellion and God’s righteous curse, we must never forget that it was good first. We must never forget that we were created with work in mind.

 

The Sunday to Monday Gap

The tragic truth is that many followers of Jesus do forget this. So many of us fail to connect our Sunday faith to our Monday work. So many of us are suffering from a dreaded “gap,” not seeing how the rich formation of the church “gathered” could have an indelible impact on the work of the church “scattered.”

And even more tragic, too many churches and pastors perpetuate this problem. Many do so unknowingly, but unintended harm is still harm nonetheless.

Christ Community is committed to writing a different story about work, but the staff can’t do it alone. We need each one of you on this vital journey, which is why one of my favorite worship elements on Sunday mornings is the “This Time Tomorrow” interview. 

The name of the interview is built on a simple question: What will you be doing this time tomorrow? In other words, what will occupy your time on Monday morning at about 9:15 AM? Or, stated more directly, tell us a bit about what you do for work!

 

Lynett Wheeler at Work

In a world of diverse occupations, some roles stand out not just for the products they create but for their impact on people’s lives. Lynett Wheeler is a co-owner of Color Design, a decal company specializing in vehicle aesthetics. With her son by her side, Lynett dedicates herself to turning ordinary vehicles into works of art. 

Lynett’s daily routine involves much more than meets the eye. As she sets out to customer locations, armed with vinyl pinstripes, custom graphics, and a mission to breathe new life into vehicles, her expertise extends beyond mere aesthetics. 

“I enjoy the challenge of returning a vehicle’s exterior decals and stripes to before-wreck condition. God has given me the ability and physical strength to make things ‘good’ in my sphere of work.”

The sense of accomplishment derived from restoring a vehicle’s exterior decals to their former glory is a reward in itself. With a genuine passion for her work, Lynett sees God’s hand in her abilities and has found a way to bridge the gap between her faith and her occupation. 

“In the past, I wondered if my work had eternal value. Because of the teaching at church, I have come to see that my work matters to God for many reasons, one of which is because it makes things beautiful. For who is more beautiful than him?” Through her craftsmanship, Lynett showcases God’s restoration, one vehicle at a time.

Yet, her work also exposes her to the brokenness of life. Each damaged vehicle represents not just physical harm but the emotional toll on families. Lynett’s heart connects her to the stories behind the repairs, reminding us that even in a business focused on beauty, there’s a profound recognition of the pain experienced by others. Lynett’s story serves as a reminder that faith isn’t confined to Sundays; it can be woven into every aspect of life. 

Lynett’s journey reminds us that each profession, however distinctive, can serve as a conduit for expressing God’s love and restoration in the world.

Daniel Tiger, the King, and Me

Daniel Tiger, the King, and Me

My 3-year-old son Benjamin’s favorite book series and TV show is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. One of his biggest highlights of this summer was our visit to our family in Pennsylvania where we actually got to meet Daniel Tiger in person at Idlewild Park.  

Fred Rogers, a man who inspired me and so many others, was an ordained Christian minister and, like me, a native of Pittsburgh, PA.  

The Daniel Tiger TV show is a reboot of the classic TV show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and shares many of the same characters. Each story has a theme with a lesson featuring a catchy jingle that culminates in a full length song. We often refer to some of the jingles in our home, which offer valuable life lessons. One of my favorite episodes from this TV show is  “King Daniel for the Day.”


King for a day 

In the story Daniel Tiger asks King Friday what it is like being king. King Friday, knowing experience to be the best teacher, allows Daniel to be king for the day and assigns him two kingly duties: to acquire both a tasty dessert and a loud musical instrument and bring them to the castle. Then King Friday tells him that the most important thing about being a king is to be kind.  

The story goes on and Daniel gets a tasty treat from the bakery, but he sees his friend O the Owl accidentally drop his special dessert onto the ground. Remembering King Friday’s words (in the form of a catchy jingle) “You can choose to be kind,” Daniel offers his own dessert to his friend.  

Then Daniel acquires loud cymbals from the music shop, but on his way back to the castle, he comes upon his friend Miss Elaina, who has just dropped her doll in the mud. Once again, Daniel remembers King Friday’s words and gives the cymbals to his friend, who receives them gladly. 

It’s the moment at the end that really gets me.  

As Daniel is on his way back to the castle, he is discouraged because he doesn’t have any of the things King Friday asked him to bring. He stands before the king at the end of the day and is asked to give an account, and he says, “I don’t have anything. I guess I didn’t do a good job as king.”

King Friday responds, “That’s not what I heard. I heard you found lots of ways to help others and be kind. You have done your job as king very well.” 

Daniel succeeded by heeding the voice of the king, and prioritizing kindness over his particular objectives and deliverables. And as a result, this moment that looked like failure was actually success.  

 

Heeding the Voice of the King

This simple story reminds me that we’re all kings and queens put on this earth to exercise dominion to some degree or another (Genesis 1:26). We have all kinds of concerns each day. But if we just do one thing, everything else falls into place. If we listen to the voice of the King of All Creation, and offer the love and care for others that is appropriate for fellow creations of God, regardless of our projects and timelines.

This story is moving to me because my work is never perfect, and I am often discouraged about my failures, both in my practical details of life and in my work. But, unlike Daniel Tiger, I often fail to prioritize kindness in those moments.  

I long to heed the voice of my King, that at the end of a long day, I might hear from him, that I, too, have done my job of ruling very well.  

So like Daniel Tiger, I want to keep the mindset of the King ever before me.   

Isaiah sums it up beautifully. 

If you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.

Isaiah 58:11 ESV

Isaiah’s hopeful word is that even when it looks like we have failed, if we entrust ourselves to God the true king by expending ourselves in love for others, choosing to be kind, we will not be alone. He will be there. 

Integrating Faith at Work | Mitch Holthus | POD 004

Integrating Faith at Work | Mitch Holthus | POD 004

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Hosts & Guests

Mitch Holthus, Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs

Paul Brandes – Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

We hope to challenge you to think deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in all of life.

 
In this episode of theFormed.life podcast, we talk with the Voice of the Chiefs, our very own Mitch Holthus. Mitch tells us about his work with the Chiefs and what it looks like to integrate faith into all of life, sharing the truth of the gospel, the importance of scripture memorization, and making time for others even when life is hard and even when it gets busy.
 

 
SHOW QUOTES:

“The time that the Lord gives us in this life [is not infinite], and he wants to use us. And he needs us…it’s a very strange strategy, really, that he’s relying on us because…I’ve goofed this up many times down through the years.

“It’s a dream for a lot of people to work in the realm of sports and professional sports. But many times that dream is not what they thought it was going to be, and it can be a very difficult profession to be in… it can get pretty intense. There’s a lot of frank discussions about shattered dreams.” “What God has taught me is to have that heart to be open. And even though you’re [feeling like] oh man, I got ten things to do, and I got a deadline tomorrow… I’ve got to stop, freeze, and just be available. And sometimes that leads to some very powerful situations.”

“I keep a prayer journal and sermon notes…what I keep is 17 years prior…because when I do that I see how God has been faithful in the things that I’ve forgotten about.”