November 2014 – Lessons from Life

November 29th, 2014

Like all “Brisbaneites” I am so hot and bothered at the moment and don’t feel like writing this “blog” as they call it. However there’s no excuse for laziness. I prefer to write an ‘article’ but that’s not what they call it these days, so let’s get on with it!

The month of November in Brisbane has been so hot and humid, yet it is still officially Australia’s Spring time. What will summer be like?

Anyhow as I attempt to write this “blog” that old worldly song of Eric Idle keeps playing in my head. It must be spiritual…? lol. No Iv’e never seen the Monty Python film or the stage show….too worldly for me! However the sentiment expressed seems to apply today.

Growing old is an interesting time of life. It is over 10 years since Betty & I hung up our proverbial ‘ministry boots’ and joined the ‘Grey Brigade’.

No we haven’t joined the nomads of our ilk, as we have done enough travelling in our life time. However I wouldn’t mind a short cruise when we down size….haha!

It is interesting how when I was young, old age was looked upon as……well, sort of regrettable!

I have found it to be quite the opposite and vocally tell my children & grandchildren….”Growing Old is Wonderful because I can do what I want”!

Just as in the MLC television add, that captured my attention recently and yes this is what I like doing now….…………..

The other day I attended a regional meeting of Church Pastors and leaders and could identify with their zeal and aspirations. Oh to have that energy again, I thought!

When I attended our Queensland State (Assemblies of God) ACC ministers conference, I was moved with compassion as I looked on the next generation of church leaders who I knew would be seeking with all their heart, mind, body & soul to be “successful”.

I understood their aspirations & desires for the kingdom, yet I wanted to put my arms around them and tell them “The Ministry” is not the only thing in life.

Living a balanced family life with christian values is far more important than being a ministry “celebrity”!

One of the lessons I learned in life was how to cope with the praise of people. The adulation of the crowd can get to a pastor and make him think he is better than the rest, resulting in an inflated ego that leads to bad decisions.

Because I loved people I wanted their attention and good will. When they opposed me I often felt crushed inwardly.

Perhaps that made me a “good pastor” because I cared about people and empathised with their feelings! But there has to be balance and thats the operative word. 

Human beings have an inbuilt tendency to think more highly of themselves than they ought. As a result they can live in a fanciful world and act accordingly.

Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”……. and “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

We can all become vulnerable to self deception. I call it “spin”!

The lessons of life somehow come into clearer focus once the pressures off; when you are older.

That is why, it is a wise leader who consults with those who have gone before. 

To younger ministers I say – “find a mentor who is outside the loop, but has been through the process of life successfully”.

How many of you remember singing this little song in Sunday School?

You in your small corner, and I in mine”……    Yes that’s it!

If I could, I would say to all those young pastors at conference, “bloom where you are planted, work hard, love God, love people, don’t envy someone else’s ministry, enjoy the journey and remember there is much more to life than “the ministry”.

The other day I was browsing the internet and came across a couple of old people Andy Anderson & Regina Brett who wrote down their take on the journey of life. It’s worth a read.

I have added my name to this edited version to suit my purpose. 

20 LESSON FROM LIFE

by Andy Anderson (age 99)

  1. Always maintain a good sense of humour.
  2. Never be too good to start at the bottom.
  3. Exercise every single day, even when you don’t feel like it.
  4. Don’t spend more money than you make.
  5. Having a bad job is better than having no job at all.
  6. Eat around the mould; don’t go wasting food.
  7. Look after yourself because apart from your mother no one else will.
  8. Don’t ever be afraid to be your true self.
  9. You must be able to forgive, even if it’s difficult to do.
  10. Save your money now and spend it later.
  11. Love is not always easy; sometimes you have to work at it.
  12. If you’re faced with a problem, don’t delay trying to figure it out. But if there’s no way to figure it out, you have to forget about it.
  13. Make sure you’re doing what you love; don’t be afraid to follow those dreams you have for yourself.
  14. Education is important, but not necessary. Life can be an education in itself.
  15. Explore your world and stay curious.
  16. Try not to take yourself so seriously.
  17. Have common sense. Think about the most reasonable answer to every situation and feel it has to have a spiritual outcome.
  18. Life is a gift that you must unwrap. It’s up to you to determine if what’s inside will lead you to happiness or dismay. You have the power to make that decision for yourself.
  19. My full name is Frederick Christian Lever Evans, and my initials always remind me to ask myself, “Why be just anybody?”
  20. Your family is the most precious thing you will ever have in life.

 45 LESSONS FROM LIFE

by Regina Brett (age 90)

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

***************

In conclusion,

allow me to bless you and remember this,

“It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich,

And He adds no sorrow to it.

Proverbs 10:22



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