A lamp........

Friday, December 8, 2017

Dear Friends: 

As I lay in bed (in my hotel this week and my own bedroom next week I hope!) and think about all the things I must do when my feet hit the floor along with all the demands on me, there are many, many days I would prefer to stay in bed.  There’s something about being on my back, laying down flat, that causes me my mind to wander and wonder about all the things I should not be worrying about it the first place!  

But each time when I get out of the bed and off my back, I see things differently and become energized. There’s a connection between getting on my feet and out of bed that changes my way of thinking about life and what I must get done. I was not meant to lay down flat.

Solomon talked a lot about the man that lays in his cot and turns “as a hinge” in the bed and allows poverty to overtake him.  I don’t believe that God calls us to be paupers for the sake of the Kingdom of God—though, in fact, we are all spiritual paupers and many paupers are incredible witnesses for Jesus Christ!  I was brought up to believe that working diligently, rising early, eschewing excuses for missing work or school and taking care of my body (i.e. not getting sick) would lead to an abundant—-if not quite successful—-life. 

To this very day I am very uncomfortable with adults that get up late, do less than their very best when they do a task, or are constantly “sick”.  I must be careful, I know, because some people have congenital issues or are have diseases that sap their strength, etc.  But I also know how easy it must be to slide down that slope of just “getting by” and doing only what is essential in order to live.

It’s said in the USA that the biggest problem with the average worker is that they don’t do what they are told to do, or only do what they are told to do. I hope that I am raising four young men in my home, and equipping 100+ staff each summer to think differently.  And without sounding “fundamentalist”, let me attest that no book I have ever read (and I have read quite a few) explains how to live a productive, praiseworthy, satisfied and “successful” life better than the Bible. And no book in the Bible  covers everything so succinctly as the book of Proverbs. The wisest man to ever live—-endowed by God with that wisdom—wrote that book, and as I re-read each year I have to nod and tell myself, “Yes, he’s right—-I can now see that this is spot on once again.”

I don’t like to preach much in these blogs. But I am amazed at the number of my friends—-Protestant and Catholic—that have never read the Bible.  God’s word is a lamp and a light. Yes, at times it goes counter to the common culture, but it has stood the test of time—4000 years. 

If you are not one that reads scripture, I would challenge you to try it. But read it at the beginning of the day—-not at night to put you to sleep. Pray that His Holy Spirit might illuminate the Word in a purposeful way in your life and see if you don’t walk out your door more prepared for an abundant day.  In ten minutes you could find the answer to what’s troubling your soul.


Dean Barley


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