How to Bring Joy and Peace Into Your Workplace
Thursday, March 03, 2011 11:50:00 PM
by Christine Brooks Martin
|Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper
Issue: March 4, 2011
Section: Family, Page C-3
Interview with author Christine Brooks Martin by Janet Alston Jackson
How to Bring Joy and Peace into Your Workplace
By: Janet Alston Jackson
Sentinel Contributing Writer
The media's responsibility is to report news events and issues accurately and fairly. However, today's pressure to fill the 24/7 news cycle with stories, and the competition for the shrinking advertising dollar, has led some media outlets to sacrifice values with sensationalism and fear mongering to get viewer's and reader's attention.
Unfortunately, many ethical workers in the media, have been painted with the same broad brush, and are overlooked or simply not known to the public. Some are hard working Christians, and spiritual people with high values like Christine Martin, Production Manager for the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.
Martin a devout Christian, takes her job seriously and believes among her duties is to bring God into every facet of her work, and to serve readers, her co-workers, writers, and superiors as well. Martin's new book, "Pray What God Says," reflects her spiritual mission at the Sentinel.
"Pray" is a valuable resource to help believers gain a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, and gives readers a guide to develop an unbroken communion and fellowship with God.
When meeting the small, ever-smiling Martin in person, or speaking on the phone, her peaceful energy is infectiously calming. She radiates an angelic, gentleness that contradicts the strong, forceful images of media types. What comes to mind is how does she survive in the fast-paced, competitive media? The answer is prayer.
Martin says she stays in prayer as she performs her demanding responsibilities including supervising the layout of the paper, and dealing with the public for the calendar section. She brings that same level of attentiveness to her church, the Anointed Connection International Ministry, where she is also a media production assistant and graphic artist.
So what exactly does Martin do to keep herself in prayer while focusing on her duties for the Sentinel, the largest subscriber paid African American owned newspaper on the West Coast? With a readership of over 150,000 it is the only paid-circulation African American newspaper in Southern California.
Martin says she incorporates Biblical scriptures in her work, the basic lesson she writes about in "Pray What God Says." In this exclusive interview with Martin, she shares her process, which she says anyone can use.
Sentinel: You have such a peaceful, loving energy that draws people to you. Most people want that in their lives today living in such a busy world. What is your secret?
Martin: I put myself in a space where I want to be. We have choices. We can choose to engage ourselves in the madness and confusion that might be around us, or we can choose peace. One of the things I really like is to have an atmosphere of peace.
When I meditate, I actually meditate while I am working. I meditate on the scriptures, and what the scriptures say I can have, which are guaranteed to me. If I trust and believe, I know if I apply that to my situation at the time, and in that space, I can have it.
All kinds of things can go on around me, but I won't be affected by them, unless I choose to engage in those things. So when I am in that space, and when people come into my office, they wind up sitting and getting quiet, because there is an impartation that comes with every environment, whether it is static, or peaceful.
If you walk into a room where people are arguing and fussing and complaining, and if you stay in that room long enough, you will find yourself doing that same thing. It's about having an energy that emits from you. That peace.
Sentinel: How do you deal with specific challenges in your daily work, where some days are tougher than others?
Martin: I say a variety of scriptures when I'm faced with challenges. Sometimes one doesn't seem to be enough. It's like if you take a bite of food if you are slightly hungry, and you are fine for a while. But, if you are really hungry you may have to eat a little bit more to get satisfied. So sometimes, it takes more than one or two scriptures to meditate on to put yourself in that space that you need to be in.
Sentinel: Any advice for those who say they pray and pray, but they don't feel anything or receive the blessings they ask for?
Martin: There is an aspect of the scriptures that tells us to trust God, and even if you don't see or experience a sensual response, if you have a trust that whatever you said to God was heard, there will be a response. Even silence is a response. Sometimes when we are asking questions in prayer, we are expecting a yes or no. And, sometimes, neither one of those answers are the answer. So that to me means to just be still. I think the word trust, is where someone has to go. When they trust God, they are trusting that he will answer them.
Sentinel: In your book you use an acrostic for the word Trust. Please elaborate.
T- Turn to God and tarry in His presence. Make a decision to want to hear from Him. Wait for whatever time you think you need to.
R- Rest in and rely in His finished work. There will be a response. If that response is contrary to what you expected, but it causes your situation to change for the better, then He has to have done something to change your circumstance for the good.
U- Understanding His ways, are not our ways. Sometimes we want some things to happen, and we already have in our mind, a pattern of what it's going to be; what should happen; how it's going to happen; and who is going to make it happen. But, that's our way. Sometimes the situation is resolved God's way. And when you look back on all of it, and what has been done, you think 'If I waited on someone else to do it, it wouldn't have been this good, and it would have taken longer.'
S- Surrender to Him--Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
T-Take Him at His word--And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper. 2 Chronicles 20:20
Sentinel: How did you come to trust? I know you have had miraculous healings with tumors disappearing, and a heart condition healing. Was there something else as well?
Martin: Most of my life, I was like most people, just going about their life. I did have that consciousness that there was God who could see and know everything, But I didn't have a relationship with Him.
My friend, introduced me to that aspect of relationship with God. I had gone through years of abandonment and disappointments as far as relationships go, and so she was always telling me, "If you would just love God, he will love you back. "
I thought, 'How can something I can't see love me better than a people who didn't love me?' I couldn't fathom something else loving me, and the love surpassing anything that a human could do." And so I just started tagging along with her when she went to church and I went to conferences of well-known speakers.
I guess I was being seeded basically. I didn't reject anything that I heard, I just took it all in, but I wouldn't give any opinion about it. I think those exposures helped me to make that final decision, when that question was asked. "Do you want to get saved?"
So I thought about the choices I was making and the choices that were presented to me. And the choices that were presented to me outweighed the choices that I was making. It seemed I was making the right choices, but in the end, they wouldn't be the right choices at all, and I would end up repeating situations and circumstances over and over again.
And so, I would always think, if I did it the way the scriptures told me to do it, maybe my results would be different.
Martin says in addition to praying on the job, it's important to go into your natural closet, a Spiritual Closet to get close to God. "The closet is any place that you can get alone and spend time with God. Meditate on the scriptures, or wait to hear what HE has to say to you," says Martin. " It's that place where you can spill your guts and cast all your cares away, or anything that is bothering you. It can be the weeping place, it can be the laughing place, or if you just want to be quiet. It's in the closet."
In this fast-paced technology age where newspapers are rapidly closing, and some say are a dying breed, the Los Angeles is Sentinel is not only surviving, but thriving with the new acquisition of the L.A Watts Times. The success of any organization is the employees, and with people like Christine Martin working their job spiritually, there is no mystery behind the Sentinel's success. One of her favorite scriptures to use while working is Colossians 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men."
Meet Christine at the book signing for "Pray What God Says" : Saturday, March 5, 2011, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Windsor Hills Christian Bookstore, 4438 W. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043. For more information you may contact the store at 323-290-3070. Visit Christine's website at www.praywhatgodsays.weebly.com to order the eBook or print versions. Listen to the podcast of the full interview at: http://www.sportingtherightattitude.com/SportingtheRightAttitude.com/Christine_Martin.html