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Thursday, August 29, 2013

What is the purpose of your life?

   Our Reason For Being        
-by William MacDonald

In planning your career, you should remember this: the real goal of your life is to glorify God and to represent His interests on earth. Everything else is incidental.

Christians have bigger business than to give their best to the unworthy world. We are born to soar with eagle's wings, not to crawl in muck. 

The believer has one great occupation - to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The only possible justification for a 'job' or a 'profession' is to meet daily needs and to be able to give everything above that to the work of the Lord.

The big problem today is how to keep 'apostleship' and 'tent-making' in proper balance. The 'tent-making industry' wants an ever increasing share of your time and your strength and your skill. The big moguls don't have any vision when it comes to 'apostleship.' All they're interested in is more and bigger and finer tents. And they'll try to sap your very life in the process, if you'll let them. The big problem is to know when to say, 'Thus far shall thy proud waves come and no farther.' What you really have to decide is whether to give the best years of your life producing fire-resistant tents or fire-resistant souls

We must get this straight. Our calling in life is not glass-blowing or basket-weaving or fence-making. Neither is it law or medicine or business. Our calling in life is to witness for Christ. The other is a means of making ends meet.

While the Bible does not tell us what we should do to earn our daily bread, it does lay down some principles to guide us in planning our future.

First of all, there is the principle of redemption. We have been bought by Christ - body, soul and spirit. We are His - to do with as He pleases. It is downright dishonesty for us to take what doesn't belong to us and use it for selfish ambitions.

Then, there is the fact of an eternal Hell for those who die outside of Christ. If we really believe this, it will exert 
a profound influence on how we spend our lives. We have the answer. What are we going to do about it?

Thirdly, there is the glorious vision that men and women around us have the tremendous potential of being conformed to the image of Christ. This demands that the main thrust of our lives be concerned with sharing our Saviour with the world. 

Again, there is the plain command of Christ. He said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature..." We have not begun to think properly about the issues of life until we have faced this command squarely and honestly.

There is also the principle of indispensability. Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." In other words, don't spend the best part of your life doing what an unsaved person could do just as well. Anyone can bury a corpse, but it takes a true believer to preach the life-giving message.

Finally, there is the principle of lasting value. All our plans and purposes should be subjected to this time test: What will really count one hundred years from today? Will it be important then that you rose to become President of Amalgamated Futility Company? Will it really matter that you developed atomic-powered tiddly-winks? 

The race is on. Many voices are cheering for you. Your relatives hope you'll make a name for yourself in the world. Your friends want you to become prosperous and comfortable.

I don't. I hope you'll burn out for Christ. I hope you'll lay up treasures in Heaven. I hope you'll go in for eternal values. 

And just in case no one else ever says it to you, I'd like to suggest the work of the Lord as a respectable and desirable way to spend your life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Leisure and home life

    Abbotskerswell, Devon, England.  


What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like stars at night.
No time to turn at Beauty; glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

                                                -W.H Davies 

I read this poem in a wonderful book called "For the Family's Sake" by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. It is about the value of home in everyone's life. I will share a few excerpts from the book below. 

    My little sister Lydia and I  

     Sarah, Lydia, Anna and I in Abilene, KS. We went there recently for a family reunion.

    In my mum's homeland, the lovely village of Abbotskerswell, in Devon, England. 

It is hard to write about home without either sounding pessimistic or too rosily romantic. There are always elements of both! "Good-enough homes" can be and are built by perfectly ordinary, everyday people. It is not a project for the exceptional. Home is the base for all of us- with our actual strengths and weaknesses. 
     The stability and sense of community a home gives is necessary not only for a child's well-being but also for persons of any age. Home is the comfortable base where we all belong. Because of its healing and nurturing quality, we can be creative without getting confused by unconnected changes leading to fragmentation. In fact, a sense of belonging and a home that is real actually enables the constructive change of personal growth and creative projects. 

(page 54. chapter 4. "For the Family's Sake." By Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)

      On my dad's side of the family, a bedroom in the farmhouse in Abilene, KS. It has been in the family for 5 generations! I am part of the 6th generation to have stayed there. 

Homes absorb immense amounts of time and energy. This effort is satisfying if one has a balanced schedule and can cover the essentials without too much stress. Essentials include the extras to the everyday round that is part of human life- the celebrations, reunions, disappointments, depressions, sicknesses, disasters.  Homes work best when someone is the contented keeper of the home life. Homemaker is a good description. It really is worth giving full attention to this vital fact.

(page 66. chapter 4. "For the Family's Sake." By Susan Schaeffer Macaulay)