What’s Your ‘Use-By’ Date
. . . and other reasons not to do something
worthwhile and fruitful when you reach a certain ‘lofty’ age:
Are you ‘Best-Before’ age 65?
Is your Expiration Date clearly stamped somewhere on your body?
What is your Shelf-Life? (That’s the day you get taken down and thrown in the ‘Redundant’ category, no longer considered useful.)
It seems as though most believers tend to think of their life’s occupation as either secular or sacred. To God, there is no distinction; all ‘work’ should be a calling from God. Whatever your life-work is, it is—or should be—your ministry, be it mother, father, plumber, politician or any of a myriad of other careers. Unless of course you’re a hermit living on a mountaintop! Our principle lifetime calling is to be a light to those with whom we rub shoulders.
For so many of us, a job can simply be drudgery; something we fell into or were trained for, something to put bread on the table, something to be tolerated until we can retire (so as to take it easy and finally ‘enjoy’ life).
Is retirement a requirement?
No! No! No! “ . . . your strength will equal your days.” [Deut 33:25 NIV] That is, as long as you keep exercising your spirit, mind and body.
The only mention of retirement in God’s Word is directed towards the Levite priests who labored and did the heavy lifting in the Tabernacle.
“The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.” [Numbers 8:23-26]
That’s it. At age 50, the Levites were available to impart their wisdom and experience and to the younger ones. These were the Israelite’s ‘men of the cloth’—those who today we say are ‘called to the ministry.’ Today, we are all called to the ministry.
Work is useful, constructive activity intended to provide for the needs of self and others, and to build discipline and character into one’s life, resulting in total well-being. In today’s world it extends beyond age 50.
“ . . . your strength will equal your days.“ [Deut 33:25]
“As is the man, so is his strength.” [Judges 8:21]
A poem I read recently . . .
“Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing, “Oh, how beautiful!” and sitting in the shade.”
The Bible isn’t quite so lyrical when addressing this subject:
“A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on.” [Prov 16:26]
“Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry.” [Prov 19:15]
“If you don’t work you don’t eat,” [2 Thess 3:10 PJ Version]
In Indonesia, the mandatory age of retirement for government employees and most positions in the private sector is 55.
To my way of thinking, around the age of 55 is the time when men and women are entering their times of greatest productivity, by drawing on their wisdom and life experience and passing it on in humility—warts and all—to the following generations.
But the following generations must want that input.
This ‘n That
“At Oklahoma Wesleyan University . . .
*We teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered.
*We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge.
*We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict.
*We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin.”
Dr. Everett Piper, President of OKWU
“Religion is what you do because of what you believe . . .
It’s the expression in conduct of a belief in a Divine Being
It’s a way of life expressing love for, and trust in God and others.”
Source Unknown: scribbled in the margin of my Bible, many moons ago.
Quoted by Corrie ten Boom . . .
“Look around and be distressed.
Look within and be depressed.
Look at Jesus and be at rest.”
Where is YWAM Now?
Listen to a podcast interview with Loren Cunningham.
Iain Muir, much-loved leader for many years in Africa and more recently, a senior leader in YWAM, was received by his heavenly Father on July 14, 2017: in Northern Ireland.
Take God out of anything and it dies.
Discover God in anything and it comes alive!
Ben & Fran Gilmore were Kona classmates of ours back in 1976. We lived as neighbors for three months in olive-drab army tents on the slopes of Mount Hualalai. Every morning, at the crack of dawn, Ben would open his tent flap and bellow out a resounding wake-up call, “Glorioski!” Steeped in American history and its Christian foundations, Ben writes a short monthly blog, and this one bears reading no matter where in the world you live: click here
Nuggets of Gold
Lately I have been thinking about some of the notable quotes I’ve heard and read over the years. They all come from the Holy Spirit so we’ll give Him credit if I can’t attach a name to the person who received revelation from Him. Sometimes people quote me on something and I can’t even remember saying it!
I want to start with Jesus. His quotes are truth and life changing—if we believe and follow them. Here are a few from the gospels.
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [Matt 4:4]
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. [Matt 6:1]
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also . . . You cannot serve God and money.“ [Matt 6:21,24]
“ . . . I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? [Matt 6:25-27]
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Matt 11:28]
I could go on and on quoting what Jesus said. I encourage you to go through the gospels and write down the quotes that mean much to you.
Jesus said, either be hot or cold but don’t be lukewarm. I wonder if it’s because lukewarmness is where germs grow. In a lukewarm heart there could be germs of unbelief, pride, criticism, grumbling and complaining.
God’s Word is the sole source of our faith and the absolute rule of our conduct.
I have a journal in which I keep nuggets of truth. Here are some:
‘Unity doesn’t happen by our lives, but by our death.’
‘A symphony is not to lay down your gift but to use it in obedience to the conductor.’
‘Measurement of our authority is our integrity.’
‘Angels walking with us, doesn’t mean God is; but if God is, the angels will.’
‘Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.
Discernment is not just knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. Charles Spurgeon
Religion says, “God will love us if we change. The Gospel says, God’s love changes us.”
The strength of true faith is not found in our faith in Him but is His faith in us—to put our faith in Him.
Affirmation is spiritual warfare.
I read once that President Reagan had a plaque on his desk . . .
“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
God does not want us to only come into His presence; He wants us to LIVE in His presence.
Family is not a project, it’s a heart issue. Jesus said, “These are my mother, brothers and sisters . . . those who do My Father’s will and put His word into practice.” [Matt 12:50 paraphrased]
I could go on and on sharing nuggets of truth but I’ll write one more by Jim Elliot, the missionary martyr to whom I am related:
“God always gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him.”
If you have some good quotes that you have been applying to your own life, I would love to see them. You never know, I may do another “Corner” with just quotes!
My dear husband Peter, who is eTouch’s editor, has given me a Corner for 23 years; my mother before she ‘went home’ said that I should have more than a corner; so my Corner has just grown bigger and bigger. LOL!
[Ed’s note: “Hmmm.”]
Oct 18-21: Singapore, with Dr Bruce Thompson
Click here to email for more information
“Are You Out of Your Mind?”
Oh really? That’s rather rude of me, don’t you think?
By now—if you’ve been reading eTouch for a while—you’ll know that I sometimes tend to approach issues in a less than orthodox manner.
Let me rephrase the headline in a way that might be more acceptable:
“Do you live your life out of your mind—or out of your spirit?”
I hasten to say that for most of my life I have been ‘out of my mind.’ Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with my mind, which is somewhat average in intelligence (at least I think it is!) . . . but God who is infinitely wise, has bestowed extraordinarily brilliant minds and intellects on some people. Which can have its downside.
For the most part, these genii (or geniuses if you prefer), seem to know everything about everything. We envy them at exam time—it appears as though they don’t need to study—all knowledge seems to flow to them naturally. In higher education, too often unbelieving professors push rational theories that totally ignore God’s role in creation, and in our lives today. Many Christian young people, with both average and brilliant minds, fall into this trap. And God—if there is a God—often becomes irrelevant and silent.
But there’s a problem here. God, who is a personal Being, speaks to us in many different ways, usually directly to our spirit; yet so often, we try to figure things out with our minds. We tend to bypass the spirit and question God when abnormal things like miracles, happen:
*“To be healed, take seven dips in the polluted River Jordan.” Give me a break! [See 2 Kings 5:12]
*A floating axe-head? Come on! [2 Kings 6:4-7]
*”Here’s mud in your eye!” Yeah, sure. [John 9:6-7]
*”No luck fishing? Throw your nets on the other side of the boat.” Huh? We’ve been skunked all night. [John 21:3-6]
*”Trust Me and leave the security of your home and country, your job, your church, your family and friends; take your four young children and head off to the mostly unknown of YWAM, even though almost everyone thinks you’re crazy and there is no mention of how you’ll be supported. Just have faith.” [Us, 42 years ago.]
The brilliant mind might say, “Not one of those examples is rational! You’re insulting my intelligence! God speaking today? Hocus-pocus!”
In God’s realm, all these miracles—and many more—are totally rational. God rules a spiritual Kingdom. And it takes our spirit to tune in to the Spirit of God—and to respond to Him in obedience.
Trust and obey!
Till next time,
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