A Real Success Story

I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” —William Carey

To walk out of His will is to walk into nowhere.” —C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

Only one life, ’till soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” —C.T. Studd

Success can be had. What lasts forever is what matters.

Have a meaning-full day.

—j

Have a Reckless Year

Where will you go in 2017?

“I have learned…to let God be the mystery that He is and, with eyes wide open, to pursue Him, not with the precision of a crossword puzzle fanatic but with the reckless passion of a pilot flying into the Bermuda Triangle. Following Christ is a wild adventure full of risk, frustration, excitement, and setbacks. It is not an evening stroll in a planned community along a well-manicured path.” —Larry Crabb

Aslan is not a tame lion, but He’s a wonderful traveling companion.

Happy trails.

—j

The Unelected

Democracy makes people rulers, ideologies are their battlefields and votes are their swords—until a real King happens along…

“As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city—that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as we are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy. Thus the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, living in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours. Their games, like our television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism. Paul exhorted them to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in God’s work,” to concern themselves with the things that are unseen. “For the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal.” It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ.” —Malcolm Muggeridge

The King is coming.

—j

The One-Word Telegram

The following account may or may not be historical. Either way, it’s true.

It was Christmas Eve, 1910. General William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army was an invalid and near the end of his life—it was impossible for him to attend the Army’s annual convention. 

Someone near the General suggested that Booth send a telegram to be read at the opening of the convention to the many Salvation Army soldiers in attendance as an encouragement for their many hours of labor serving others throughout the holidays and the cold winter months. Booth agreed.

Funds were limited and telegrams charged by the word, so to ensure as much money as possible would still go to help the needy, General Booth decided to send a one word message. He searched his mind and reviewed his years of ministry, seeking the one word that would summarize his life, the mission of the Army and encourage the soldiers to continue on.

When the thousands of delegates met, the moderator announced that Booth could not be present due to his failing health. Gloom and pessimism swept across the convention floor until the moderator announced that Booth had sent a telegram to be read at the start of the first session. He opened the message and read just one word:

“Others!”
Signed, General Booth.

Last Words of an Old Preacher

On June 7, 1891 the “prince of preachers”, C.H. Spurgeon ascended into the pulpit for the last time. These are the closing words of that sermon…

“Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ, either self or the Saviour. You will find sin, self, Satan and the world to be hard masters; but If you wear the livery [uniform] of Christ, you will find him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls. He is the most magnanimous of captains. There never was his like among the choicest of princes. He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold he always takes the bleak side of the hill. The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on his shoulders. If he bids us carry a burden, he carries it also. If there is anything that is gracious, generous, kind and tender, yea lavish and superabundant in love, you always find it in him… His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once! God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus even this day! Amen.”

Great words, great life.
Hear, love, serve, revel.

—j

The Chief End of Man

A college professor once told a pompous student, “Young man, I suggest you plunge your finger into a bowl of water and remove it—the hole that remains will show you how significant you really are.” Our world is driven by the fleeting and superficial—people, ideas and things that pave the way to human insignificance, but it was never meant to be that way. Francis Schaeffer put it like this…

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”* It would be scripturally false to leave out the second phrase, “and to enjoy Him forever.” The men who formulated this showed great wisdom and insight is saying, “and to enjoy Him forever.” Nevertheless, the first phrase is the first phrase: “The chief end of man is to glorify God.” And in Christianity we have a non-determined God who did not need to create because there was love and communication within the Trinity, and yet having been created, we as men can glorify God. If we fail to emphasize that we can glorify God, we raise the question of whether men are significant at all. We begin to lose our humanity as soon as we begin to lose the emphasis that what we do makes a difference. We can glorify God, and both the Old and New Testament say that we can even make God sad. That is tremendous.”

Yes, it is.
Have a significant day.

—j

*Quoted from The Westminster Shorter Catechism