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My wife and I were in a wedding recently.  Jenn was asked by a friend on wisdom what to do with her current situation. This friend of ours was in a great company with substantial compensation, working in a beautiful city abroad.

But she felt unfulfilled, unsure and dissatisfied. Jenn was asked what our friend should do.  My wife who has great wisdom gave an insight that I thought was worth sharing.

Invest your life in something that will yield eternal dividends.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   (Matthew 6:19,20)

Does that mean she should get into ministry? Was Jenn suggesting that our friend get into church work? Did she imply quitting and become a missionary? Absolutely not.

Investing our life in something that yields eternal dividends entails finding what God is doing and contributing to accomplishing that goal in your own little way.

To some, it may be earning beyond what they need monthly so that they can help ministries that reach people who haven’t heard of Christ. For others, it may be using your talents to advance the kingdom of God through arts, media, athletics, music, and others. For certain people, it may be staying where they’re at and finding God’s purpose for the platform they have at the moment.

But the most important thing is to find out what God is doing and then fling your life into it.

I love what Steve Murrell said,

“It doesn’t matter how we will be remembered.  What matters is if we did what God told us to do.” 

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord for putting me where I am today. Show me if this is where I need to be or if there’s a better place You’d be able to use me to share Your love to the people I encounter. May I understand the purpose of my season and discern when my time is up so I can move on to Your next assignment for me. The most important thing is that I am in the center of Your will, doing what You’ve called me to do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

If we don’t invest in the next generation, someone else will.

CBS News reported a few years ago that advertising budget that was poured into marketing to the next generation grew as the years went by.

In 1983, it was a mere $100 million.
By the time 2007 hit, it ballooned to a whopping $17 billion.

Advertisers and companies seemed to think it was worth their money because research tell us (www.globalissues.org) that teens spend about $160 billion for their gadgets, clothing, food, games among many other things. Those who are in their “tweens” (8-12 year olds), spend about $30 billion. Those who are under 12, influence their parents to spend about $670 billion per year.

If Nike, Xbox, and Mcdonalds see this, why can’t we?

We obviously don’t have the billions they have, but we have a gospel that is powerful to make a difference not just for a game or two, or for a year or two, not even for a decade but for all of eternity.

Hannah prayed to have a son and God granted her request in 1 Samuel 1.

What can we learn from her story?

1. Pray for the next generation.

Hannah prayed to the Lord for Samuel.

We need to pray for the next generation. With all the bombardments from all sides, growing up in this environment these days can be challenging.
We need to pray that they will hear meet God early in life and desire to live for Him the rest of their lives.

2. Prepare the next generation.

Hannah waited until Samuel was weaned.

Time will come that we will have to release the next generation to fight their own battles.
We cannot always be there and we should not even try.
Not letting them fight their battles will end up emasculating them.

Our goal is to see them become less dependent on us and more dependent on God.

3. Mentor the next generation.

Hannah found someone who can mentor Samuel with her – Eli.

We need to see the value of multiple anchors.
It’s nice to dream that our kids will always hear what we say.
But input from others in invaluable.

I’m thankful for David, Rich, Joey and Joe who have mentored my son Nathan all through these years.
I’m grateful for Rica, Dar, Carla who have taken time to impart faith and life into the life of my daughter Janina.

Raising the next generation is so much better when we have partners who can help us.

Oh another thing, it is also great to bring our children into an environment where they can encounter God, hear the gospel of Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior.

Our kids ministry at Victory Fort recently had their Camp Equip for the pre teens and it was absolutely powerful.
Watch the video below.

 

Because it was semestral break, we took the kids out of town.  With us were the Sy’s (Dennis, Thammie and kids), Marge, Teri and Bruce.

As a family, we often take the opportunity to take off when we can because schedules have been crazy these days.  Even our kids are now ‘busy’ – from baseball to musical theater, TFT to piano lessons.

During one of our conversations over breakfast, Thammie asked me a question, “What are your core values as a family?”

I really didn’t have a nice, carved out answer.  I guess all these years Jenn and I have operated on instincts and never really wrote down our ‘core values’.  I know many have written books these type of stuff like Patrick Lencioni who wrote a book entitled “Three Big Questions For A Frantic Family”.  I know that James Dobson have written a few books on these too.

While driving home, I thought about that question again and I began listing down guiding principles we worked with through the years as a family.

1. Love God.

If we can teach our kids to do this, then I feel we’re on the right direction.  We desire to help them develop a relationship with God.  We feel that that is the most important task we have as parents – to connect them with God.  We won’t be there for them all the time, but if they have a relationship with their Heavenly Father, then we know that they’ll be just fine.

2. Love family.

Respect. Compassion. Love for family.  I guess that’s why we invest (not spend) on family vacations though we have an old, ugly, clunky Crosswind.  Memories have been a priority for us.  We may not have a lot to leave them in terms of inheritance, but memories through times together is definitely on the top of our list.

Seeing my kids love each other and look out for each other is definitely another important one for us.

3. Love others.

Service. Empathy. We want to teach our family not to just think about themselves, which we already are are very good at.  Life is really not about us.  It’s about God and the people He loves.

4. Love learning.

With the influx of information today, the accumulation of it is no longer the key to success.  Everything is now ‘googlable’.

However, processing and filtering of information is now the name of the game.  Critical thinking has never been as critical.  If we are successful in inputing love for learning, then I feel they will accomplish what God has designed them to be and do.