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An Email to Consider…

This was sent to me yesterday and I think it’s a valuable lesson for all of us.

This is a thought provoking read about how it is in this world by a very
candid man. This is an absolutely incredible interview
with Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life”. His wife now has
cancer, and he now has “wealth” from the book sales.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said: “People ask
me, “What is the purpose of life?” And I respond: In
a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever,
and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body –
but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going
to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the
dress rehearsal.

God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We
were made by God and for God, and until you figure
that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming
out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than
your comfort. God is more interested in making your life
holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here
on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in
character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest
with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark
time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I
don’t believe that
anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I
believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all
times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad
that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life,
there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you
focus on your problems, you’re going into
self-centeredness, “which is my problem, my issues, my pain.”

But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off
yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands
of people, God was not going to heal Kay or
make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has
strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping
other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually,
sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past
year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me
instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with
before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety
for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety
and influence. He gave me two different passages
that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our
lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through
last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up
foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches,
equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next
generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24
years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was
liberating to be able to
serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am
I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if
I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You
better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more
interested in what I am than what I do.
That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD; Difficult moments, SEEK GOD; Quiet moments,
WORSHIP GOD; Painful moments, TRUST GOD; Every moment, THANK GOD.

Here’s another blog, ripple effect, that I think is worth a read.  It tells of Michael J. Fox’s interview and his view of his battle with Parkinson’s disease.  It’s a great post and an inspirational read.


5 thoughts on “An Email to Consider…”

  1. This is so inspiring. I like the train tracks analogy vs the hills & valleys. A person’s focus & perspective definitely makes a difference in at least their attitude. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. What a blessing to read this post! I am grabbing it & will also send it through email to family & friends. Your gift of encouragement & inspiring people are touching the hearts of the readers of your wonderful blogsite. Keep on SHINING for JESUS!

  3. Oh Sis, Wonderful Share… I just loved this read because their is a specific friend He has compelled me to Share this with… oh, His Timing Is Great!

    Blessings Upon Blessings In Christ Sis

  4. Obviously it was God’s call to prompt me to post this. I’m glad you all were inspired by it. I know I was when I read it. It helps put it all in perspective when someone who’s going through a really dark time can still shout God’s praises.

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