Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Time For Everything

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the writer says there is a time for everything.  How true and how difficult it is for so many to get a proper grasp of this truth.

Gordon MacDonald says that the central principle of all personal organization of time is simple: time must be budgeted! Most learned (or should have) this about money a long time ago. When we discovered that we rarely had enough money to do all the things we wanted to do with it, we found it prudent to sit down and think through our financial priorities.

When money is limited, one budgets. And when time is in limited supply, the same principle holds. The disorganized person must have a budgeting perspective. And that means determining the difference between the fixed -- what one must do -- and the discretionary -- what one would like to do.

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way that we have to say no to things I really wanted to do in order to say yes to the very best things. Approval from people many times has too great an influence on us. We want people to really like us so we find it hard to say no. When a person learns to say no to some good things, he runs the risk of making enemies and gaining critics; and who needs more of those?

But if we are to command our time, we will have to bite the bullet and say a firm but courteous no to opportunities that are good but not the best. That demands, as it did in the ministry of our Lord, a sense of our mission. What are we called to do? What do we do best with our time? What are the necessities without which we cannot get along? You know, like our relationships: with God, with our spouses, and with our children. Everything else has to be considered negotiable: discretionary, not necessary.

I love reading good things that are so helpful to make my life more effective for God's Kingdom work. Thanks Gordon MacDonald for your help in this area.

So Up North Wisdom suggests you consider some questions:  What activities require more time than they are worth? What relationships could use a bigger time investment?  Are you spending some time each day talking to the God who loves you and desires to do good things in your life? How could you use time with your family better? So after evaluating your schedule, reorganize it so that it accurately reflects your priorities.

And always remember that with God's help and your cooperation -- The Best Is Yet To Come!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This from a card that Jeanne received:

"There's a better way to think of retirement -- call it your refirement! Look deep inside yourself for those sparks that have been smoldering all these years, waiting for you to lay the necessary aside and take a deep breath.  As the oxygen rushes in, those sparks are sure to burst into flame once again. You are more than a job, more than an occupation. You are God's amazing and unique creation. You have faithfully carried out your first calling. Now it's time to joyfully embrace the second and third and fourth.....Congratulations on your refirement?"

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant."   Matthew 25:21 NKJ

I love that! We have used that word, "refirement" ever since. As my friend Mike Grall often told me, "you can't buy back time."  I have reflected often about time since the Sept 7 transition service where Living Hope Church commissioned Mike LeClaire to be the new Senior Pastor. The Word has a lot to say about time and I want to share some of those with you in blogs to come.

One thing for sure friends, everybody has a ministry that God has called them to. Up North Wisdom says it doesn't make any difference whether you are a teacher, mill worker, house wife, office worker, business man, pastor, etc. Wherever life takes you each day, that is your ministry -- that is your mission field.  Your neighborhood, your family, your place of occupation or your church - everyone is called to serve, to minister in those places. Am I redeeming the time?  Are you? As my beautiful wife, Jeanne, has often said:  Each day is a gift from God and we need to see it as such.

And of course remember and never forget:  The Best Is Yet To Come!  I hope you still believe that.