Nothing Like a Millionaire: For What Are You Known?

By M.R. Conrad. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

William Borden was famous.1 His parents were millionaires. They were prominent members of the Moody Church in Chicago. The newspapers of the early 1900s reported on young Borden’s activities. Every door of opportunity swung open for this privileged youth.

However, those who knew him at Yale and then at Princeton saw a very different picture. Borden worked hard and served others. He shared the gospel with the poor. One classmate wrote, “No one would have known from Borden’s life and talk that he was a millionaire … but no one could have helped knowing that he was a Christian and alive for missions.”2 That passion defined him more than the life into which he had been born.

The easy route was open, but Borden chose the hard path. In 1913 at age twenty-five, Borden sailed for Egypt. After a few months of training, he planned to head to western China to take the gospel to the Muslims. Though Borden unexpectedly died of meningitis in Cairo, he is now remembered as a missionary hero, known not for what he possessed but for what he gave up to serve Christ.3

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Spiritual Dryness: Is the Volume Up Too High?

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

You feel like you’ve done your duty, but something is missing. The intimacy you once experienced with God has fled. You feel spiritually dry. What’s wrong with your spiritual life?

“Why are these people so slow?” I fumed as I weaved my way between shoppers at Walmart. I had just returned to the U.S. from urban Asia where the throttle of the pace of life is always wide open. Go! Go! Go! My to-do list burned a hole in my pocket. There was no time to waste. No time to sit still. No time to be quiet.

Have you been there? Your internal clock is ticking as you read the Word of God. All the responsibilities of the day intrude on your thoughts. When God’s allotted time is done, you check the devotions box and move to the next item on the checklist. You feel like you’ve done your duty, but something is missing. The intimacy you once experienced with God has fled. You feel spiritually dry. What’s wrong with your spiritual life?

Noise, Hurry, & Crowds

Long before Jim Elliot left the Pacific Northwest to serve as a missionary in Ecuador, he confronted spiritual dryness in his walk with God.1 He diagnosed his problem as a lack of quietness in his life. In a letter to his mother from his college dormitory, twenty-one-year-old, Elliot wrote:

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How Simone Biles Helps Us Understand Eric Liddell

By Jordan Standridge, reposted from The Cripplegate.

How many takes have you seen about Simone Biles and her decision to drop out of several events at the Olympics?

Everyone seems to have an opinion.

There are people that are angry at her. There are people that are thankful for her. There are people calling for more discussions about mental health. There are people blaming the horrid sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of Nassar. It seems like everyone is talking about it.

I happen to be re-reading Hamilton’s brilliant biography on Eric Liddell called For the Glory right now. And though Eric Liddell has always been a favorite missionary of mine, and his biographies have brought me often to tears, I never truly grasped the vitriol his country leveled at him after pulling out of the Olympics, as much as this week, after watching the response to the Biles situation.

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The End of Time

There’s a little book in our church book store called “Time and the End of Time.” The cover and the title have attracted my interest, and several times I’ve picked it up to take a look at it. It was written by John Fox in 1676—not to be confused by the John Foxe of Foxe’s The Book of Martyrs.

Fox’s book is divided into Two Sections or Discourses: the first discusses the reasons why Christians ought to redeem their time; the second brings to focus the truth of our “latter end.” For the moment, you can read “Time and the End of Time” online here.

I should point that I haven’t read this book. This isn’t a book review. However, one thing which caught my eye was Paul Washer’s endorsement:

It [the book] is a theological treatise teaching us to live for the glory of God as wise stewards who have been given both time and resources to administer. The author writes pastorally as one who truly cares for our souls. Not only does he provide practical advice, but he also pleads with us to live for eternity and to walk circumspectly as those who will have to give an account on that final day. There is an urgency in his words that will wake us from slumber and impel us to ‘lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and run with patience the race that is set before us. (Paul Washer; emphases mine)

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Lessons from the Summer Quiet

Though Phoenix can get too hot, my family and I enjoy the summer months for several reasons. My wife Toni takes June and July off of piano teaching to spend some extra time with her husband (me) and our sons. During those two months I take the bulk of my vacation time so we can have some special times together. All of us are “crazy busy” during the majority of the school year. My sons are also involved in school, church, sports, music, etc. So when the end of school comes around, they are as needy of a break as Toni and I are.

Often on our trips, I get to preach at a sister church, and the rest of the family play instruments or sing. Then we try to enjoy some sights and fun times as a family. Because we live in the desert, we love the beach—especially when the temperature is around 60 and the ocean is cold. We’re the weird family picking up sea shells, making sand castles and sticking our feet in the Pacific when nobody—and I mean nobody—is on the sand.

Though traveling together can sometimes be stressful, these family times are a break and a blessing to me personally. I love these times. I’m trying to hold onto the memories. Before long the boys will be off making their own way. Second to my salvation and my wife, my sons will always be the most special gift God has granted to me. Before our marriage, my heart’s desire was three sons. Amazingly, God gave us three sons.

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Life is More Than Laundry

One Saturday not too long ago, my husband was having a particularly trying morning. His conclusion was that the only sensible thing to do was pack everyone in the car and go fishing…have a picnic too.

I was not so sensible that morning. Had you been in the kitchen while I was attempting to wrangle a picnic lunch without any heads-up, you would have heard (out of ear-shot of the kids, of course):

“Doesn’t he realize I have three lessons to finalize today for church tomorrow?”…”How can I get a lunch together for the whole family? It would have been helpful to be able to plan for this!”…”And what about the laundry??? I’m up to my eyeballs in it!”…”The baby is due for her nap in about 30 minutes, too!”

I had had the day perfectly planned in my mind. I knew exactly how each of the little colored containers of leftovers in the fridge would be employed that day. I was going to work on my lessons while Katie napped. My laundry would be happily humming away while all of this was transpiring…blissful multi-tasking. I would get so much accomplished!

Now, to my mind, I would get nothing accomplished except watching poor little crickets meet their demise as fish fodder. I would get to chase Kate around and keep her from drowning herself. I would have the privilege of cooking lunch on the grill while the mosquitoes feasted upon me.

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