Dear First Pres,

   Do you know who Socorro Pelayo is? Socorro is a bus driver for Fresno Area Express who was noted in a Fresno Bee article for her help in protecting a young woman who was under attack. The Lord put her in the right situation at the right time while she wisely kept the young woman's attacker from getting on the bus. She quickly called the Fresno Police and the attacker was apprehended. I join the victim's mom in saying about Socorro, "I thank God for her."

   But I'm not only grateful for the way Socorro responded in the moment of need. I'm grateful for the way that she approaches her work in our city. According to the Fresno Bee article, Socorro prays in the car on the way to work. "Then, as her bus starts to rumble to life, just before her route starts at 5:45 a.m., she walks down the aisle and prays over each seat. "I touch every seat and say, 'God cover all these people and help them. Bless them' ... I tell God, 'You drive this bus. I'm not driving this bus'" (Mays, 2/13/2018). Later in the article, she confesses her love for the city of Fresno, the people who get on the bus, and her work. She says, "I love being a bus driver. I'm a bus driver at heart."

   I love that. I love the way that Socorro Pelayo approaches her work as a bus driver. It's inspiring. I don't know the ins and outs of her faith, but think about how different our city would be if every person had this same passion about their work. Can you imagine how that would change (or would have changed) your workplace? It might seem unattainable, yet, I believe, it's exactly what the Lord desires. God is using Socorro Pelayo's work to give Him glory. She is providing a much needed public service of getting people up and down Palm Avenue; she is a blessing (and protecting) her customers with her warm smile (shown beautifully in the article), attentive spirit, and preemptive prayers. And she is dedicating it daily to the Lord. It's the perfect example of treating our work as worship unto the Lord.

   Next Friday we're hosting a simulcast conference called "Work as Worship." Yes, I know, you might have to take a vacation day or a personal day or development day to attend, but I think it'll be worth it. At FPC we believe the Gospel impacts every part of our lives, including (maybe especially) our work. In the same way that God is using Socorro Pelayo, God can use your work (whatever it might be) for His glory as well. So, I hope you'll consider joining us for this day of learning about approaching our work as worship.

   The conference starts Friday morning, February 23, at 7:30am and ends at 2:30pm. Please register online here. 

   Please join me in praying that the Lord uses it to help more people experience work as worship like Socorro does for the advancement of His Kingdom.


P.S. I wrote this letter on Wednesday as news was unfolding in Parkland, Florida about the horrible and evil massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Like all of you, I am appalled at what happened there. Please join me in praying for the families and friends who are grieving in shock, today, the loss of their loved ones. And, please join me in praying  that God gives us wisdom to address the surface level issues and the deeper (below the surface) issues that this kind of attack makes apparent in our country.