Maintaining Our Focus

When conditions around me at work become difficult and beyond my ability to understand or my ability to change, if I am not careful I can become disoriented by them. Spiritual disorientation is when I allow the difficult circumstances around me to take my focus off of God. When this happens, I will start to trust in my own senses instead of trusting God’s Word and His ability to change either me or the conditions, or both. (PMC)   Consider this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him (His will, His Word, His ways) and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6).   

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

Video from ACN & FCAP

ACN (Airline Christian Network in Australia) and FCAP have joined together in a new initiative.  Chris McDonald, who heads ACN, has made available this video in response to challenges surrounding us.  Please share this video with others as you are so led.

 

 

 

 

God’s Will and My Decisions

It is easy to talk about God’s will when things are peaceful and everything seems to be working normally. But when hardships come, like the many changes over the last four months that have brought stress to our world, our workplace, and our personal lives, then it makes decision making difficult… we can start to question what the will of God is in all of this.

The most familiar prayer known to most people is the Lord’s prayer (Matthews 6:9-13). One of the points Jesus asks us to pray is for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. So, what is God’s will? And does His will entail the details of my life or just the big decisions?  Is it written out somewhere for me to see?  Here is what we do know… and what we don’t know about God’s will!  In no uncertain terms the Bible teaches us that God’s will is supreme over our will (Psalm 33:8-11). There are certain things that He has revealed about His will for us, which He asks us to conform to or obey. However, there are many details about God’s will that are not spelled out regarding the details of our personal life. Often we do not know the way God will direct us personally…we gain a better understanding of that only after we can look back and see His work and the ways He lead us.  Here are a few things God has assured us in His Word about how His will is being done in our lives…

  1. The work God started in the life of each of His children will be completed as He works out His will in directing their life (Philippians 1:6-7).
  2. God will not tempt us with evil (James 1:13-14), but does use the hardships that come from this evil world to purify and complete our faith (James 1:2-3).
  3. In each trial and testing, God’s provision will sustain and provide us with what we need. This comes as good and perfect gifts in each situation (James 1:16-18).

 

This coming Friday morning (July 31, 9:30 EDT) join in a Q&A forum/panel discussion on “God’s Will and My Decisions.”   PMC

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

        

A Changing Work Culture

So much has happened over the last few months to the corporate world. Businesses, both big and small, that once flourished are now suffering. So what are we learning from this, and how will it change us and our respective companies? It’s obvious to all that a company is not fail-safe, and the success that makes people feel safe and secure can change in an instant. The Christian faith tells us that we live in a world that is constantly changing (1 John 2:16-17). Just consider the contrast between what was important six months ago to what is important now. The loss of revenue companies have experienced is having a purging effect, by exposing what has been greedy and wasteful.The employee special interest groups that promoted diversity and were funded by companies will now struggle to survive in these lean times.  Diversity groups are good and work well when preferences are not shown and all are encouraged to work together for the common purposes of the workplace.  But any dividing walls that have been created will probably crumble at this time. The strength needed now to sustain a company comes from a unified workforce, not a divided one (Matthew 12:25). Hopefully companies will start to see more the value of their employees and will show appreciation based on the merits of their work, instead of personal views that have little to do with a dedicated effort of collaboration within the company.

Though the future of work and business ideals will certainly undergo changes, the principles, value, and purpose of work given to us by God remain the same. Now is the time for all of us, both employees and company leaders, to evaluate ourselves. It is in difficult times such as these that we learn our greatest lesson, which make us reflect on our views and actions, and can compel us to make needed changes. But for now remember, “Better a little income with righteousness, than great revenue with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8)

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

Joy Is A Sanctuary!

In a secular dictionary joy is defined, as “great happiness” or “a person or thing that causes happiness” (Source: Cambridge Dictionary).  What does the Bible have to say about joy?  The first reference can be found in Numbers 23:20-22, “Behold, I have received commandment to bless: for He hath blessed, and I cannot alter it.  He seeth none iniquity in Jacob, nor seeth no transgression in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the joyful shout of a King is among them.   God brought them out of Egypt: their strength is as an unicorn.”  The author, commonly thought to be Moses, tells us that there is joy in fellowship with the Lord, who has provided: His blessings, His forgiveness, His presence, rescue and His strength.  From Psalms 70:3-5, But let all those that seek Thee, be joyful and glad in Thee, and let all that love thy salvation, say always, God be praised.”  King David reminds us to seek the Lord God, to enjoy His presence and to give Him glory.Consider a more familiar New Testament passage, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperancy: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).  The apostle Paul contrasts the darkness of men’s deeds (v.21) with the light of a Spirit-filled life producing (among other “fruit”) joy.  When we find our sanctuary with Him, continually praising Him, the result is joy!  JMA  (Scripture from 1599 Geneva Bible)

This thought was written by Jenni Ashmore, FCAP Office and Ministry Manager.  

His Promise to Us Through It All

Many of you are making life-altering decisions in the face of unprecedented worldwide financial upheaval. There is a short window in which to decide on retirement, separation, or remaining at your airline (with an uncertainty of survival). You may be experiencing anxiety, worry, or even desperation, as changes like this were not in the picture as you were writing out those New Years’ resolutions.

None of this has taken our Lord by surprise, however.  He has never said, “Wow, I didn’t expect that to happen,” or, “I wonder how this will turn out.”  On the contrary, He has known the end from the beginning and everything in between. As sovereign God, He exists beyond merely having an awareness of something.  He is fully involved in each aspect of creation, and specifically, our lives.  R.C. Sproul has rightly stated, “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.” So, since no maverick particles are wandering about and no rogue elements are flailing around, there’s no way you are outside of His loving plan and control.

Psalm 139:7-10 has been a FCAP favorite for years, as it speaks of ascending into the heavens. This ascent is familiar within our airline culture as we get a small glimpse of heaven as we cruise along at 38,000 feet. But it also speaks of descending into Sheol, which could likely be referencing death or the shadow of it. Most of all, it reminds Christians that, no matter where you go, the Spirit of God has hold of you, and despite where you may run, He’s leading you through both the joys and difficulties of life.

“7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,  10 Even there Your hand will lead me,  And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

He promised His presence, whether we’re enjoying heavenly things, enduring hellish circumstances, or making difficult decisions. We can confidently stand on the promise in verse 10 as we trust His omnipotent work. He will fulfill His promise, guaranteed! (TCF)

This thought was written by Tim Files.  Tim is an Aircraft Systems Analyst for Delta Air Lines in ATL.  He also serves as Secretary-Treasurer of our FCAP Board of Directors.

A Valued Life

“Devalued” is probably an accurate word to describe how many people feel these days. Companies are making difficult decisions to lay off, furlough, and push for early retirement. This makes people feel they are no longer needed or of value to the company. In addition to this, we are being asked more and more to make choices to what degree people have value in society. What has God to say about this?

Interestingly, following the resurrection of Christ, the first century church faced a society that grossly devalued people for various reasons. They determined a person’s value based on their birth, gender, race, nationality, citizenship, education, status, and work. However, Jesus Christ taught His followers to see value and show respect equally to all people. He was very aware of the bias in the world value system of that day. You were valuable and could impress people with what you possessed or by the amount you had stored up. He once told His followers not to value life based on whether or not you eat the finest and purest of food or wear the finest and most stylish clothes. Jesus concluded by stating that the value of life does not consist of temporary things, but of something far greater (Matthew 6:25-33).

Because people are made in the image of God, they have eternal value… something that only God has given them (Genesis 1:27). Sadly, when human society excludes God from their ideals, they will devalue human life one way or another. But when humans acknowledge their worth because of God, they understand and appreciate that life is a valuable gift from God. PMC  “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” (Luke 12:24)

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