by The High Calling Video 5,819 views
Greg Buell doesn't have all the answers, but for now he's learning to live with mystery. When he was born, the doctors told his parents that he'd never walk, or be able to do anything on his own. Now, he lives an independent life, solving each new problem as it comes.
He hasn't found an easy answer as to why he has to struggle with the challenges he was born with, but maybe faith is not always about easy answers. Greg lives every day face to face with a mystery he can't understand—but, whether we realize it or not, don't we all?
Greg: The phrase I heard around my family a lot was "just be normal." "Just be normal, suck it up, go to school, have a good day." [Background music begins] I was born without arms, and my parents didn't know that I was going to be born without arms until I popped out. Originally, doctors told my parents that I would never walk, never eat on my own, or never live on my own, that I would be requiring 24 hours of care throughout the rest of my life. So a pretty bleak prognosis from the doctors when I was born. [Driving up to give card to attendant] "Hey man, how's it going?" Attendant: "Not too bad. Thank you sir!" Greg: "Thank you!"
Greg: [Music continues] I was probably in my mid-twenties when a friend asked me and said, "Do you recognize that you're different, that there's something about you that you can't escape and that you are inherently different and no matter what you try to do to minimize it there's something that stands out?" So I think what it took later in life is that second phase of that there's a certain level of difference that you can't mask and that you need to own that and be comfortable with who you are in that in order to really develop and mature as a person.
[Greg talking to co-workers in the office] We have bio on the client on the creative concepts. They do a fund raiser every spring in May that's a major donor fund raiser. They're basically saying we get a ton of great resource from that fundraiser about people who get up and share about how their lives have been changed dramatically. They're just saying, "Why couldn't we just feature one of those stories and make it really emotional?"
Greg: [Music continues] For some reason I always think of creation as a conveyer belt. Was God just not paying attention when I went by on the conveyer belt and wasn't able to correct things? Was he present and literally made me this way with a disability. I think those are the conversations that keep coming up is to keep asking God why . . . I just don't get it. So I think one of the key passages for me is John 9, with the man born blind. There's a guy born blind, and the Pharisees ask Jesus and try to trick him into getting caught into a conundrum. "Who sinned . . . did his parents or did he sin that he would be born blind?" Jesus says, "It's neither his parents nor he who sinned, it's for my glory." Are you kidding me? Like, I was created this way for a little bit more glory? I can stare at the mountains and get a ton of glory from God's creation. Do you really need in me, this tiny little human, to offer You a tiny bit more glory that pales in comparison to everything else. I don't like that answer. I don't like the fact that I have to deal with everything on a day to day basis in a totally different way that makes me stand out and look different and struggle with things. I don't like that answer as to why I was made this way.
[Greg at Church Service] At some level, in order not to live and not be stuck in not being able to get out of bed in the morning, I've got to allow for some mystery and say, "I just don't get it right now, but I'm going to choose to trust and choose to move on and choose to live out what I've been given."
[Walking down the sidewalk and sitting in a coffee shop] Because it there's one hope that I have it's that I haven't been created this way or made this way or He hasn't affected my body in some way to make me be born this way for no reason. I'm hopeful that there's a reason for this, and I have maybe yet to discover all of those details . . . but at least I can live my life out in a way that is hopefully helping other people learn.
by The High Calling Video 4,009 views
Rudy Gonzalez honors God with his work in the Frio Canyon, maintaining roads, leading construction teams, and raising his family in small town America. Learn more at http://www.thehighcalling.org/video or click "Show more" to see the transcript.
[Meditative background music]
RUDY VOICEOVER: God wants me to keep taking care of His place, the ground that he made me walk on. Don't you think? I mean I do. I grew up in Leakey, about four miles right outside the city limits. It's a small town; the population is about 389. There's about 200 and maybe 225 kids who go to our school. It's like a small family that lives in different houses.
RUDY: "There he is."
RUDY VOICEOVER: We're not a ghost town yet. The Frio River still a little bit of water. I just love living here; I would never move. I would never move to a bigger city. I work at the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp. My job title is Construction Coordinator/Project Coordinator. Some days I'm working on roads; other days I'm working with contractors. I never get bored, because I don't just sit behind a desk and push a pencil. When I do go and talk to contractors, I check with them and find out how they're doing on their work, whether it's an electrician or a landscaper...
RUDY: Not much, how are you?
CONSTRUCTION WORKER: Oh, not much.
RUDY VOICEOVER: ...about how well the project is going or what they need.
RUDY: Hey Tom, how are you?
RUDY: Are you doing okay?
[RUDY speaks to another worker in Spanish.]
RUDY VOICEOVER: Yeah, I work there at the camp; it's a good thing for me. Having pride in what I do. When I do something that I'm told to do, I enjoy doing it. If you do something that you're working on, for instance this animal . . . If I was to be mad, angry, because I had to do it, it would probably come out not looking right.
RUDY VOICEOVER: So doing things with pride, a good attitude, so when the job is done you can look back and pat yourself on the back and say, "Man, I did a good job."
[Light, playful background music]
No day is the same; it's the best office that I've had for the last 26 years. It's 2,000 acres. Every day is a different challenge.
[On the radio]: "Did you get a bunch of black stuff out?"
RUDY VOICEOVER: It think it's mostly about God; doing it for him. Keeping the place manicured so whenever He looks down and says, "Wow, man, that's a nice place down there. I wonder who takes care of it." You know what I mean? I guess that's why he put me here, you know. I mean I think that the reason He made me was he knew that, I guess, I was going to be working up there, and he thought, "Well, he's going to do a good job of having the place look nice and not run down to the ground." You know what I mean?
by The High Calling Video 3,295 views
Click "Show more" to see discussion questions and transcript.
Kimberly Renner honors God with her design intensive construction company. When other companies might be inclined to tear down an old house, the Renner Project chooses to restore it.
This short film is part of Lesson One for the 2012 Labor Day Sunday curriculum produced by http://thehighcalling.org and http://centerforfaithandwork.com available at http://labordaysunday.org.
* How many hours do you work each week? Do you believe your time at work has more purpose than the paycheck you take home?
* Does your relationship with God change the way you work? How?
* Kimberly says that work is our output to the world, and it should be a reflection of God to others. How does your work reflect God to others?
[Meditative background music]
KIMBERLY'S HUSBAND: Get up! Eggs are ready.
KIMBERLY: Do you have any tests today?
KIMBERLY'S SON: Latin.
KIMBERLY VOICEOVER: We're given twenty-four hours a day. We sleep one-third of it. We spend part of the time with family and friends, and the rest of the time is at work. We spend more time at work than we do doing any other single thing. I just can't believe that God doesn't have a higher purpose for us.
I own a design intensive construction company, and most of our work focuses on older residential buildings, mostly from the 1920s, in our neighborhood. There are properties that have been completely neglected for many, many years. We love this neighborhood, and where there's the potential to restore a house, rather than tear it down, we're going to pursue that. When I go to work each day, I just pray that God will help me to do my very best. The closer in relationship I am with God, the better able I am to be my best at work.
KIMBERLY: Do you have your tape? Tell me how deep it is again, this wall. Ooh, that's tight. Did this wall get shorter?
KIMBERLY VOICEOVER: As the person in charge of the site, I want to exemplify high quality relationships, and I want to do excellent work. When I meet a new sub-contractor at work, I want to be in an authentic relationship with that person.
KIMBERLY: Hey Enoch, how are you?
ENOCH: Good! How are you?
KIMBERLY: I'm well. You okay?
KIMBERLY VOICEOVER: I don't see my very best friends as often as I see the people with whom I work on the job site, so I take those relationships very seriously.
SUB-CONTRACTOR: Is this window the way you wanted it?
KIMBERLY: It looks great! Thank you so much for doing that.
KIMBERLY VOICEOVER: There's a responsibility towards excellence, because I wouldn't be comfortable putting myself out there as a Christian and doing shoddy work.
KIMBERLY: You know, I was originally really hoping to get glass up here. How hard would that be?
CONSTRUCTION WORKER: Well, I can get those out for sure.
KIMBERLY VOICEOVER: I've heard so many times from people who've said that they really could not stand their contractor by the time their construction project was completed. I certainly don't want to be that contractor. I want my work to be a reflection of my faith in God.
We often get the message that in order to do godly work we need to be pastors or evangelists or Sunday School teachers. I don't feel gifted to be a pastor, but I do feel strongly gifted to build homes, and I want to use that work to honor God. It's satisfying to have taken a property that was an eye sore and a problem within its community and to restore it. I built great relationships with my team, and we did excellent work. We as people, as God's creations, are a reflection of him. If our output to the world is our work, then we want it to continue that reflection. I believe this process is a high calling.
Musician Beaver Nelson serves God through secular rock music in small venues--and he's not afraid to risk everything.5
by The High Calling Video 4,080 views
Beaver Nelson works at many things: husband, father, house painter, high school soccer coach, faithful churchman, and rock singer/songwriter. Just his being creates a tension within us good Christian folks. He doesn't look like the rest of us. Paradox is packaged in personal expression with simple answers tossed aside in a quest for understanding. Beaver challenges us—how do we answer the big questions of life?
TRANSCRIPTION: [Beaver Voiceover] There are a million tiny risks. I'm sitting down; I'm laying down markers. This is dangerous to me. [Rockin' music with Beaver singing] There's a long conversation that's been going on for thousands of years, discussing what is the nature of man, what is the nature of God. What is the relationship? And I'm just trying to put my two cents in on the conversation. [Music continued] The framing of worlds using melody and words to frame how you view the world. I think that's one of the reasons I still feel compelled to do this and make things. It helps me to say how I view the world. [Rhythmic song with Beaver and his band] The whole thing requires so much effort. To just make a thing like another thing is just not appealing. [Another one of Beaver's songs] I decided, I don't know, some night . . . at some point a decision was made or I realized I had already made that decision to right a very different record. So we remixed the record to take me, all my parts, off of the record. And then we made a film, an albumly film. [People talking in the background before the concert]. Then, I will set up a screen and a projector and my laptop and my guitars, and then I will be able to press play and perform my records start to finish and that's how I'm going to be touring. I gotta be ready; once I press play I can't stop. [Beaver introduces the concert and begins singing "When I was a Boy."] [Clapping] I had to make a record that no one else could say, "Yeah, I could have done that." I had to make a record that no one else would have made. There are a million tiny risks. I've sitting down, I'm laying down markers. This is dangerous to me; it's tricky. I'm not certain. [Piano music ending]