Virtues on Display…

Most of us have heard at one time or another people talk about the three Christian virtues… Faith, Hope and Love. We have put them in cards and on pictures; we hear about them in sermons, at weddings, and in drama plays. These three virtues have inspired our imagination and aroused our emotions. When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the people in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 1:2-8), he used these three words/virtues, like action statements. They were more than abstract terms.  Instead he used them to characterized the life of those to whom he was writing. He described their lives as people who had a faith that worked, a love that labored, and a hope that persevered (v.3). This was not some Sunday ritual or a private meditation they performed. These three virtues radiated through their lives as they were experiencing hardships and sufferings (v.6). Their faith produced deeds that could be observed and were genuine. Their love was more than mere sweet sounding words… but actions that gave value to others. And their hope was not wishful thinking, but an enduring and consistent assurance that kept them moving ahead. But you may be wondering if this seems humanly impossible. It is! God does not want to show the world what humans can do for Him, but what He can do through people who trust and receive Him. PMC  Consider:  “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Thessalonians 1:3).

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.  

 

Cultural Influence

Culture is made up of a group of people who have conformed to a set of beliefs and practices that form their identity. Cultures are derived in different settings, whether nations, political systems, religions, or special interest groups. Whenever there is a change in beliefs and practices in any particular culture, it will change the culture. The workplace also is a culture because it is where people connect through common beliefs and practices within the company and develop relationships as people work together. Christians are said to be citizens of a heavenly culture, God’s kingdom, with a new set of beliefs and practices (Ephesians 2:19). They are called to be ambassadors sent into their earthly cultures, to represent their King and bring His influence into them. So, would you say that the culture around you is influencing your beliefs and practices, or is your heavenly citizenship bringing an influence to your earthly culture?  PMC  Think about it – “We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us…be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.  

 

 

Feeling Out of Place?

Do you sometimes feel like a foreigner where you live and where you work? As the people of God, we are said to be God’s possession (1 Peter 2:8). We reside in places like work and neighborhoods, and yet feel sometimes like aliens and strangers there. We may feel scattered like sojourners, but actually we are positioned by the hand of God (1 Peter 1:1-2).
The following quote is from an anonymous Christian who wrote it in 2nd Century AD: “Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind by either country, speech, or customs…They reside in their respective countries, but only as aliens. They take part in everything as citizens, and put up with everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their home, and every home a foreign land…They find themselves in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They spend their days on earth, but hold citizenship in heaven.”  PMC

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.

Learn more on the home page of this web site about online opportunities and resources designed to help and encourage Christians in today’s airline/aviation workplace.

The True Gospel

What’s happened to the “get rich quick” and “instant success” seminars and celebrities…where are they? It seems their message has been silenced or does not resonate during a global pan economic failure. Why? Their message of financial freedom and success sounds promising when everything is running great… but in times like these their promises and techniques do not hold up or provide answers for support.

Throughout the Bible there are warnings of false messages that seemingly come from God, when actually they are counterfeits (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; 1John 4:1-3). They are heralded in many ways, but often as ones promising health, prosperity and achievement. The success of the ones proclaiming these messages often comes from the sales of their propaganda and by asking people for generous support. In contrast, the “real” message, the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, is free, genuine, and hopeful. It is genuine because it explains the actual state of humans… facing the helpless condition of sin and living in a broken and dying world (Romans 8:20-23). It is hopeful in that it provides the only cure that can free individuals from their lost condition. No other ideology, philosophy, or religion offers this or can do this. If anybody tries to alter or add to this Gospel message, it becomes a gospel of another kind (Galatians 1:6-9). The Gospel liberates us from a self-serving life and brings us into a relationship with the living God (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Contentment and joy no longer come from successful circumstances… but from experiencing God’s purposes and provisions through the good and difficult situations of life. PMC   Jesus said… “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world(John 16:33).

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.  
On Wednesday, October 14, you will have opportunity online to learn more about
“HOW TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY AND THE GOSPEL” 
Facilitated by Bjoern Strotmann, FCAP Coordinator in Germany.

 

God Supplies What Is Needed!

We have witnessed how drastic measures to combat a virus have crippled both big and small businesses and shaken the global economy. The results have been devastating and the recovery, we are told, will take a long time. How will all this change people’s view of work? Certainly people tend to build their identity around their work, which in many ways is being stripped from them! The verses written about work in the New Testament were addressed to people who worked in a very oppressive and unbalanced work culture. One of the distinguishing marks of Christianity in those days was how it viewed work. Christians, who did their work with respect, diligence, and integrity, offered a stark contrast to the culture’s view of work. The example Christians displayed in their work paved the way for the Gospel to infiltrate the culture. It was not dependent on whether or not the work culture made it easy for them… their work ethic was simply based on their belief that God gives dignity and honor to work. This made an impact and influenced the world around them. Please know that whether you are employed, unemployed, furloughed, or retired, we as Christians are always employed by the Lord, and we can rest assured by His promise to always provide for our needs. Working for any reason less than “as for the Lord” will render us ineffective as a witness to the work culture.

I will conclude with the following summary statement taken from Session 1 of our FCAP “On the Job…God’s Way” Seminar: “People with a God-sized view of work understand that performing the details of their job with diligence and integrity is of greatest important to God, while also believing that the ultimate purpose and results are bigger than that of the company and their own personal goals….”  PMC   Remember: “… do your work (whatever it is) heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men…. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24); “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.  

 

 

You Cannot Do It Alone…

We often have seen our work as something that provides us with a sense of purpose and stability. Then something happens to disrupt all of that and life becomes uncertain and we feel insecure. Through our responses to this we begin to see more of what is inside of us, our inner thoughts and emotional patterns. We can become more vulnerable, and quickly give in to temptation. Before we realize it…we are trapped and are dragged downward by either fear, anger, jealousy, or hatred. We feel helpless, with no ability to deliver ourselves from the circumstance. The Apostle Paul was thinking of people who also had become trapped through life’s circumstances when he wrote “if a person is caught in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatian 6:1-2). The original word for caught portrays a person who is suddenly caught by circumstance … like that of a fisherman, when throwing out his big fishing net, suddenly realizes his foot was caught in the net. He knows that without help it could drag him down into the deep. The word restore can depict a skilled person who comes and gently puts back in place a dislocated joint and mend a broken bone.

What each of us must realize here is that any one of us can fall as we go through a difficult situation, and without the help of another person we could become trapped and spiral downward. God created the Body of Christ, the church, to connect His people together for mutual support and encouragement (Ephesian 4:15-16). The church is not simply a meeting we attend, it is an engaging support network, and essential for our spiritual health and growth. God has also provided spiritual people who are skilled and mature and who can give us counsel in areas needing more specific attention (Proverb 20:5). How are you doing through these difficult times… are you connected to a support network with people? FCAP provides various support groups as well as assistance in personal and financial counseling.  Don’t try to do this alone… God has provided through His people. PMC

This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.  

Learn more about the personal and financial COUNSELING ASSISTANCE available through FCAP.