By Dave Carroll
Community Bible Church of Lincoln 

Change & Choices

Mountaintop Musings


My last “Musing” was titled “A New Beginning” and in it I shared some thoughts on being in community, and also on a new chapter in life as pastor of the Community Bible Church of Lincoln. I am very excited about that! But then again we are all excited about new things, new relationships, and the newness that springtime brings to our lives. But with new things there is change, and we often do not like change.

Change causes us some feeling of discomfort doesn’t it? But to grow and adapt in life, one must learn how to change. We are not designed to stay the same. A baby grows in to a toddler, then a young child, a pre-teen, a teenager and then young adult. Some day that young adult looks in to the mirror and wonders, “Where did all those lines and grey hairs come from?” Ha. Yes some change occurs whether we like it or not!

To successfully deal with change we must have a picture, or goal that reflects the desired change. Put another way, we must have a desired condition we want to achieve. For example, if a person wants to retire at say age 65, and they want to have two million dollars saved up for retirement then if they are age 20 they must invest $400 per month and mange their funds to achieve a rate of return of eight percent to achieve that goal. If they only put in half that amount per year, then they will still have a good retirement nest egg, but it will be half of their initial goal.

Young people have to learn that every latte, new I-phone or car they purchase may negatively impact their goals for saving. Or as the old saying goes, “Choices have consequences.” Do I get up and go to work, or do I lie in bed because I “deserve” to get more sleep? You can get your sleep, but do that enough and you may not have to worry about getting up to go to work, right?

Maybe you want to make some changes in a relationship that you are in. It could be a spouse, or child, or grandchild, a friend, co-worker or neighbor. You must ask yourself, and the other person, what do we want our relationship to be like? A deep friendship requires an investment of time, and resources. I do not mean finances, but the resources of genuine friendship; time, assistance, patience, truth, honesty, love, and you can add a bunch more things to this list. One change that I think impacts how we mange relationships is the “smart phone”. I find it satisfying in a morbid kind of way that researchers are discovering the excessive use of those has a real, measurable and negative impact on people’s sleep patterns, ability to focus and process conversations, brain development and many other adverse developmental and relational skills. The tool of t echnology the world system says we must have may prove do be our undoing (computer hacking, scamming, etc.).

I guess the point of this rambling is, how are you going to take charge of the life situations you find yourself in? How well are you prepared to successfully move through life and achieve the goals and dreams you have or may have had? Many people are paying for “life-coaches” these days. I find that a bit amusing, but also a sad refection of the breakdown of a coherent, biblical family and societal model. It used to be fathers and mothers, grand parents, aunts, uncles, older siblings, cousins, neighbors, and friends of the family provided the guidance, input and when necessary correction to help us learn how to live. This involved, but was not limited to, goal setting, being responsible and being accountable.

But the changes in our culture over the past several generations have seen us go from a family-based, biblical-based model (though not perfect by any means) to something quite different. We have allowed ourselves to become enslaved to the dogma of government control that is stripping us of our constitutional rights, or even worse our God-given rights. We need government, it is an institution established by God (Romans chapter 13), but we don’t need it to replace our parental responsibilities or to meddle in our churches. I think most reading this will agree that our families and towns need some change and what better guide to look to is there than the Holy Bible?

That is my humble opinion friends. Any real and meaningful change must aim at the goals God has shared with us in His word if it is to have any temporal and also eternal value.

(Dave & Lisa Carroll are area missionaries with InFaith. You can contact Dave at 406.459.8935 or [email protected])


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