Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Life Well Lived

We are about to return back to Denver, after 3 weeks on the road. We have spent the majority of our time in California. We have seen many of our old friends and family -- from San Diego to San Francisco. During our trip, I (Cathy) have been reading a book entitled Breathless, by Gary R. Collins. As we are getting ready to move to Germany and enter full-time ministry, we have been discussing the idea of living a balanced life. Both of us have a tendency to get overextended and we need to learn to juggle our priorities better.

As I have been reading Breathless, I have been reflecting on what it means to live a life well lived. Isn't that what we all want -- to get to the end of our life and realized that it was well lived? The author challenges his readers to learn to turn our time-starved days into a life well lived. Well, what does that mean? So, I've been thinking about that on our trip. As a Christ follower, I have been thinking about reflecting on Jesus' life and how He modeled a balanced life. Jesus took time to relax, pray, spend time with friends, work, etc. How come I can't seem to live this life? What does this look like?

Last week, we visited a dear friend - Harle Damon. Harle is a retired army officer, who after retirement became a successful businessman and in his early thirties became a Christian. Harle values education, discipleship, the study of God's word, being a faithful husband and a good father. When Lou became a Christian, Harle reached out to him to disciple Lou in his faith. Harle is now 87 and his health is starting to fail. His life verse has become II Corinthians 4:16-17 - which he quoted to us at our visit - "Do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

We went to encourage Harle, Harle encouraged us. He reminded us that even though his outward man is starting to fail, he is being renewed because of his faith in Christ. He is still writing, reading, reflecting, studying and loving his wife. His energy fails him, but his heart and his mind are strong. Harle is not perfect, he has made mistakes -- but he has grown and is living a life well lived.

As I continue to meditate on this idea of living a life well lived, I'll finish the book and mediate on the ideas that Mr. Collins presents: developing my character, serving others, living a focused life, nurturing my inner world, sharpening my mind, managing life and leaving a legacy. I will also think about our friend Harle, who has modeled this to us so well.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Can you truly be obedient?

As the economy has continued to struggle, we have been amazed at God's faithfulness in His provision. As most of you know, we joined Cadence last June. Cadence is a Military Ministry and we are going to be operating a hospitality house in Germany this summer. In September, Cathy finished her job, we began raising support as our full time job. Within 30 days, the economy began to tank.

We were very nervous to see how our support raising would go. We are embarking on an amazing opportunity, an area of ministry that we feel God has preparing us for over the past 10 years and now we are asking people to pray about supporting us financially during a time when the economy is falling apart.

Yet, God is faithful. We have begun to reflect on our faithfulness to Him. If Lou would be graduating this May, instead of last year, would we be going to the mission field, knowing what we know now? We'd like to think we'd be obedient to God's call -- but honestly, isn't it easier when times are easier. Would we have wimped out on serving God knowing that Cathy had a good paying job and Lou was offered a high paying job after graduating from Denver Seminary. Last June, it was much easier to think about answering the call when the economy was more stable; would we make the same decision if Lou would be graduating this Spring? We'd like to think so -- but honestly, we aren't sure.

We are thankful that God didn't give us that option. God know us and we think He knew that we needed to learn more about His character. This has been quite a faith building time for us. Some people have called us "courageous", but we don't think that's a fair characterization. Courageous people will follow God no matter what; courageous people will be obedient despite the outside circumstances; we're not sure we would have make the same decision this June -- knowing what we know now. Do you think you can be obedient, no more what...think about honest.