February is a short month, and Ed has been a little short of time due to some foreseen circumstances. Your humble servant may be suffering from PWOS (Post Winter Olympics Syndrome.) So you may find to be a little briefer than usual. But powerful things come in small packages, right? Ready for a bang?
Give & Take
Life—your life and my life—is about giving and taking. If we could weigh this sort of thing on a special scale, where do you and I stand? Plus or minus?
Giver or taker?
As babies, we are 100% takers. We need to be loved, hugged, kissed, clothed, nursed, comforted, burped, changed, sheltered, and loved some more. Then we start giving.
First a smile, then a giggle. Then a reaching out of the arms to those who are trusted. Tiny steps from being a taker, toward un-self-ness and giving.
Then for toddlers comes the hard lesson of sharing; of recognizing the needs of others and that there are times when others should come first. This, of course, is learned by observation in the family, far more than by words and rules.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Adolescence, the teens and young adulthood follow, culminating perhaps, in marriage. And this is where things get hot. (You think learning to share your toys was tough? That was child’s play. With marriage, you’re moving into the Big Leagues.)
Paul Billheimer, in his book, Don’t Waste Your Sorrows, wrote, “Most people suppose the real purpose of marriage is pleasure, but it’s not. The real purpose is to teach us love, to take us out of our own self.”
To be givers more than takers. To die to oneself. To become a true giver.
Oh! Oh! Oh! I wish I knew then, what I know now. Starry-eyed and truly (though immaturely) in love, I unsuspectingly stepped into the crucible that is marriage. It is truly a hot place. A crucible is for melting and melding, for testing and proving. Most of us—me included—who stick with it, even we spend a lot of time trying to avoid the heat. Some jump right out as the temperature rises.
(Dear Reader, if you are considering marriage, it’s mostly wonderful, so don’t be alarmed and tempted to give up on it. Just know that it’s about dying. Dying to SELF. And self-dying will give you a Pain-in-the-Pride.)
Give and take.
Of course, when we came to faith in Jesus, we started off as 100% takers; Jesus gave his all, so that we might take all—the life package that he offers. But that gift is not just for you or me. It is to give away too.
Our target in all of life should be more give than take. So, what do we have in our hands to give away?
- Love and trust: “But that makes me vulnerable,” you might say. Correct! Go to the top of the class.
- Time: giving by listening, rather than taking by talking. (Make sense?) We can accomplish a lot more with a hearing ear than with a fast tongue.
- Affirmation & Gratitude toward others: these two cancel out the diet of lies that Satan constantly feeds us.
- The Good News for all: I often wish I was a Danny Lehmann. Danny is a raving evangelist, who loves people so much, he even hates to pass lost souls on the street without in some way giving them the Good News.
- Resources: it’s never about the thing or the amount you give; it’s always about obedience and heart motive. What is the Giver asking you to give? (Assuming you trust Him, would He ask you to do something that would harm you?) Be generous with yourself and with what you have.
OK, it’s time to step on those scales, the ones we mentioned earlier.
Do you weigh more as a giver or as a taker?
And the Blessings of being a Giver more than a Taker, be with you!
A Gem from Henri Nouwen
Living the Moment to the Fullest
Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict.
Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something.
Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are.
When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else.
Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.
Two New Books by YWAMers
To order, click on either book, check Amazon, or other fine booksellers
“What On Earth Are You Here For?”
Loving & Prophesying
Jesus said the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” [Matt 22:37-39]
I love what Paul, the great apostle said, ” . . . we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children . . . We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who called you into His Kingdom and glory.” [1 Thess 2:7-8 & 11-12]
God’s kingdom is not a matter of talk but of power. [1 Cor 4:20] The power of His love is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. He is love and truth. [Rom 14:17; 5:5]
Follow the way of love. Everyone who prophesies, speaks to men and women (sons and daughters), for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. [1 Cor 14:3] I want to encourage you to daily ask the Holy Spirit for a word from our Father for someone, that it may encourage, strengthen and comfort them.
Don’t we love it when people ask God for a word from Him—for us? It’s like fresh bread! [Matt 6:11] But we also must ask Him for words for others. [Matt 4:4] These words are from the Spirit of God who is the Spirit of truth and love. [John 14:17,26; 15:26; 16:13-15] The truth sets us free.
The enemy is out to rob, kill and destroy, but Jesus has come to give us life more abundantly. Satan is a liar. He is the father of lies, and my dear friend, he uses people to spread those lies. [John 8:44; 10:10]
But God uses people to bring truth. Let’s be people God can use as messengers of his love, by listening to Him and speaking truth into each others lives. Remember, affirmation is spiritual warfare.
Love and Blessings,
Summertime Camps in Europe
July 06-12: Sweden, YWAM Restenäs, with Mariette Louw
July 20-26: Romania, Prod near Sighisoara, with Donna Jordan
July 21-26: Norway, YWAM Skjærgårdsheimen, with Al & Carolyn Akimoff
Aug 03-09: France, YWAM Champagne, speaker Edwin Fillies
Aug 17-23: Switzerland, YWAM Châtel, speaker Dan Baumann
Aug 24-30: Italian Alps, near Turin, with Donna Jordan
Registration for all the 2014 European Camps now open at www.intouchcamps.net
And Finally . . .
A Word You Won’t Find In The Bible
There is no word for retirement in the Hebrew language. Retirement is a concoction of modern times. Retiring is about going to bed at night . . . and a few other things. But it is not about doing nothing, not about pleasing yourself and ignoring what God might have for you in your ‘wisdom’ years.
Till next time,
The Small Print
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