16 November 2018

Archives for November 2017

Are You Melancholy or Merry This Christmas?

Click on each picture above to relive Charlie Brown’s Christmas story.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of great joy; as the songs say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And, “City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, meeting smile after smile.” And finally, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” I remember a high school teacher who asked me if I’d gotten the Christmas “spirit” yet. I hadn’t, and I wondered what was wrong with me. Maybe you haven’t gotten the Christmas spirit this year, and you’re wondering if there is something wrong with you.

Melancholy or Merry?

Many of us experience a profound sense of loss during this season of joy. We may find it harder to be cheerful when we don’t have a job. In addition to being unemployed, many of us are more worried about making the mortgage payment than buying Christmas presents. On top of this, maybe we’ve lost our health, or we’re coping with the poor health of a loved one; things seem overwhelming. Some marriages are at the breaking point; families teeter above the great chasm of divorce. Other marriages have failed. Some of us have relatives deployed overseas. Some will cope with our first Christmas after the death of a child, spouse, parent, sibling or close friend.

Some of us feel hurt, fear and frustration as the days drone on and on without a faint shadow of a job anywhere in sight. All these sensations are often more poignant at Christmas when everyone else seems so happy.

Sometimes the seasons of the year aren’t synched up with the seasons of our life. If you’re melancholy this Christmas, that’s okay! Hang in there! I have good news: you’re going to get a job – it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” More good news: at JobSeekers, we love you and want to walk with you on your journey. Even more good news: God loves you in the midst of your melancholy mood.

If you’re melancholy instead of merry this Christmas, here’s what I recommend:

1. Be your authentic self.

Don’t pretend you’re happy when you’re not. I know someone who took his own life on Christmas Eve; he was the “happiest” person you’d want to meet, or so we thought. Be your authentic self. Bottled up negative feelings are like a cancer inside your body; they will do their best to kill you. Be joyful with most people, but with a few, take your mask off. Tell God and three trusted advisors how you are really feeling.

Healing power is on the way.

2. Never, never, never give up.

Don’t give up; how are you going to find a job if you give up? Many job seekers talk about the emotional roller coaster of job search. On the roller coaster, at least, good days offset some of the bad days. Others, however, talk about the downward spiral. This is more troubling because life gets darker and darker; hope less and less. Fight back! Hope is to the soul what air is to the body; have hope in spite of your circumstances.

Renewed hope is on the way.

3. Think RED For the Holidays.

Rest, exercise and diet form the three-legged stool of good physical and mental health. Articles on conquering the blues consistently list these three items as keys to success. Instead of backsliding during the holiday season, take steps today to make incremental improvements in your rest, exercise and diet patterns. Next week, take another step. I’ve shed 10 pounds in the past four years by making incremental improvements in my rest and sleep, exercise and activity, and diet and nutrition. My goal was never to lose weight; my goal is to live healthier.

Better health is on the way.

4. Volunteer.

Psychologist Joan Borysenko, PhD, says, “Deliver presents for Santa or help at a homeless shelter. This is really the top thing that people can do to turn their holiday blues around. Altruism and volunteerism make you feel better about yourself; they also get you out of your rut, your home and your isolation. This is a time of year where the spirit of helping and compassion is right there. If you can tap into it by helping others, that’s great!”

Fulfillment is on the way.

5. Have faith in God.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see.” You may not see a new job on the horizon or an end to your financial struggles. You may not see an end to other difficulties you are facing. God is at work in your life, even when you can’t see the fruits of his work. Don’t lose faith!

A new job, brighter days and happier times are on the way.

6. Rejoice anyway.

God doesn’t promise our lives will be easy, but he does promise to always be with us. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) And in the last verse of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus promises, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Rejoice in Immanuel – God with us.

Joy is on the way.

7. Remember the best news of all.

If you’re melancholy instead of merry, know this: Christ was born to be with you, especially during the most difficult days of your life. When everything else you hold dear is gone, you still have the love of God. God’s gift to you is his son Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Christ is on the way.

The Light of the World Shines on Us

Healing power, renewed hope, better health, more fulfillment, brighter days, happier times, greater joy, and new jobs are on the way. Best of all, Christ is on the way. Ask God to have mercy on you. Lay your burdens at the foot of the cross; the cross where he died for you. Lift your eyes to him. Ask him to come into your heart so you can feel the warmth of his presence. Place your hope in him – your strength and redeemer. Ask for his blessings so you may bless others. Thank him for loving you, and for reminding you of his love by sending the Light of the World in the form of an infant son.

See you Friday at JobSeekers, where we rejoice in Immanuel – God with us.

BTW, this is the 52nd anniversary of Charlie Brown’s Christmas special.

Copyright © 2004-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved

No Meeting This Week


Horn of Plenty

Happy Thanksgiving! Our next meeting is on Friday 1 December. “Closing the Interview: How to Finish the Interview Strong and Win the Job of Your Dreams.”

In the meantime, be sure to read these two blogs:

God Provides to Those Who Are Faithful. Amen!

This is Hiring Season

BTW, congratulations to nine people who’ve already landed job since hiring season began last week.

– – – – –

JobSeekers meets (almost) every Friday morning at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City from 7:30 to 10:00 am. First Baptist Church is located at 208 Willow Bend Road.

Click here for meeting day, time and location.

See you on Friday!

– Dave O’Farrell
Executive Recruiter, Outplacement Consultant
O’Farrell Career Management

“Atlanta’s most effective career services firm.”

# # #

 

God Provides to Those Who Are Faithful. Amen!

I hope all of you will take some time this week to give thanks for the many blessings our Lord has given you. Even during the cold and dreary periods of our lives, we still have more blessings than we realize or feel. I acknowledge that finding warmth and sunshine in the midst of a job search and other challenges is more difficult for some of us than for others; and more difficult during particular times in our lives than in others.

God’s Providence – A Thanksgiving Message

On Sunday 11 November 2002 – during a cold and dreary period of my life – I spent the day sightseeing around Los Angeles. I was in the middle of a two-week training assignment in Rancho Cucamonga. In the morning I went to Mission San Juan Capistrano. You may have heard of this place because it’s where the swallows come around March 19 each year.

Mission San Juan Capistrano is named for St. John of Capistrano, Italy, who was a theologian in the 14th century. It was established 241 years ago, on 1 November 1776. It was the seventh mission founded by Father Junipero Serra. The Mission has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use – a chapel built in 1782, and now known as “Serra’s Chapel.”

The peace of God was in that beautiful place. I took my Bible and did my daily reading for the Bible study class I was taking at church. The story I read was in 1 Kings 17; the story of the widow in Zarephath, who was down to her very last meal. The scene took place near the end of a three-year drought in Israel and Judah. God sent Elijah to her town, and in a separate message, God commanded her to supply Elijah with food, which she obediently did. Why would someone give away his or her very last meal? Here’s the story:

The Widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7-16)

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it – and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'”

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

God Provides to Those Who Are Faithful. Amen!

Who among us has faith as powerful as the faith of the widow? She gave Elijah some food before she fed her son and herself. Even when it seemed she had nothing left to give, she gave. Her faith was rewarded. It was just the message I needed to hear that day, because it was during a time in my life where my tank was empty. I wrote this in the margin of my Bible: “11 Nov 02 at San Juan Capistrano: God provides to those who are faithful. Amen!”

I know some of you feel that you are down to your very last meal. I’m amazed at how some of you have hung in there in the face of many, many disappointments. My message to you is this: be strong in the Lord, have faith in God, lay your cares at Jesus’ feet, and you will experience God’s peace, power, presence and protection.

Have faith that your jar of flour will not be used up and your jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on your land.

See you on Friday 1 December at JobSeekers, where we live in the abundance of God’s grace!

Copyright © 2004-2017 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved