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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Renewing your Passion

I’m popping in now between power outages and downed internet service, something I’ve finally decided is going to be the norm from here out. (Okay, I’m a bit slow at times LOL).

The past few months have been busy for us between family, ministry and writing, and, like most of you, finding that balance is tough. Most years, when New Years rolls around, I’m excited for new beginnings. For a chance to set new goals after reevaluating the past year. This year was different. I didn’t have the excitement of a starting over and I wasn’t sure why.

Until now.

I realized this past week that I was losing my passion. The reason behind why I do what I do. Why do I live in a country full of crime, far from friends and family, surrounded by a half a dozen language I don’t understand? Why do I spend hours every day writing books that will pay me little in the end for my time and effort? Why do I continue to work with my kids to train them to be what God would have them be?

I’m sure you ask yourself similar questions from time to time. Questions like why do I work 40 hours a week with never a word of appreciation? Why do I ferry my kids around from one activity to the next without hearing thanks? Why do I volunteer to teach Sunday school, coach little league, or even. . .pray? And does God even hear my prayers?

Last year I read through the Old Testament, ending up, of course, with the prophets. This year, I decided that Revelation was the next logical place to read and with it, I picked up Randy Alcorn’s book HEAVEN. This is the third time I’ve read his book and let me tell you, along with God answering my prayers, I have seen my passion renewed full force the past week. It’s as if He reminded me that yes, IT IS WORTH IT!

I want to write stories that convey what God has done for us by sending His only Son as a ransom. I want to minister to the people around me who don’t know God. I want to train up my children in the Lord so when they are old they won’t depart from it.

And there’s more. God reminded me that my ultimate goal is heaven. Eternity with Him!

A problem often comes up here, though. Heaven is a reality, as is hell, but how can we long for a Heaven when we don’t understand it? How can we look forward to reigning with Christ for eternity if we never think about it?

II Thessalonians 5 talks about when Jesus comes back and then Paul tells us to encourage each other with these words. We need to be encouraging each other that life here is temporary. We’re involved in a spiritual battle, but ultimately, Christ will win. Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

If that doesn’t motivate your passion to persevere, then I don’t know what will!

Randy Alcorn’s Heaven is a phenomenal book that will help rekindle your excitement to not just go to church on Sunday, but to faithfully walk-the-walk. This is only our temporary home and getting excited about spending eternity with Christ (and I’m not talking about floating on clouds and singing forever!) will renew a passion inside you!

Here’s what Alcorn’s website says about the book:

“We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has the answers. In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it—a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ's presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.”

Check out his website here: http://www.epm.org

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book. I promise you it’s worth every penny you spend on it. And in visiting his website I was also thrilled to note that he has a children’s version as well, something I will definitely be adding to my library.

On a completely different note, I’d planned to post some photos of Mariah’s eighth birthday as well as Gabriel’s last track meet, but Scott left for language school with the camera and I forgot to download the pictures. Mariah had a great time with six other girls, a tea party, jewelry making, and lots of goodies.

Gabriel has two track meets this week after doing well last Saturday. He came in second in the 100 meter, but unfortunately tripped at the first hurdle during the 70 m sprint and was unable to make up his time. Thankfully he will have another change this week to try again, as he has the potential to bring home a metal in that race. We also heard he qualified for the South African summer games in the backstroke for swimming, but we’re still waiting on the details for that. If it’s something that requires traveling, we won’t be attending since he’s only nine and has lots of time left for competing when he gets older.

Blessings!

Lisa

3 comments:

  1. Hello Lisa!! I am also South African. I found you through the CWO blog ring. There are not many South African women on the blogring so I was very excited when I found you!!

    I shall be back for sure!

    Blessings!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, girl--this is exactly what the Lord's showing me, too--passion. I've lost my passion and am regaining it now.

    This book sounds wonderful. I'll have to pick it up soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How encouraging, Lisa, I will check into this book.

    "Another country heard from--" I just heard a YWAM missionary say that the number of "XNS" in IRAQ has increased from 30,000 to 250,000 that they know of! And that where Christianity goes, so go freedom and democracy.

    We are doing good things in Iraq, enabling these to take place. But we don't hear *that* in the MSP--Mainstream Press. Yet, it surely increased my passion.

    God bless you and your family, girl, and keep on using you in South Africa!

    Hugs and blessings!

    ReplyDelete