Visions of Greatness I 1.5
Why can't families live Godly lifestyles? Why can't God be the centerpiece and focus of our lives? Most people believe that living a Christian lifestyle will be miserable with no friends or fun relationships. They can't be further from the truth. Christians actually live happier, have more true friends, and deeper relationships than non-Christians. Christians are better equipped to handle the challenges of life and they have healthier outlooks and a hope for the future that non-Christians don't understand. How can I make these 'claims'? Because studies have shown them to be true. For example, one study by the Christian Medical Fellowship, as reported by www.christianpost.com, said the following, ““The report notes that the mental health benefits for believers include: “well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction.”” and the report went on to say, “CMF emphasizes that health benefits depend on how devoted Christians are in their faith.” The bottom line: the stronger our faith in God, the better the health and lifestyle benefits. Further, studies show that Christians make better citizens in society. In general, Christians make better decisions in their lives at home, at work, and in society.
Every person wants to be great and what follows is a vision of a great lifestyle that would be pleasing in God's eyes and could've been the reality in my life. Amazingly, this Vision of Greatness is attainable for each and every one of us, we only have to seek it and act on it.
I remember dad and mom praying together often. In fact, when dad wanted to buy our farm and move us out of the city, I could tell there was conflict about it between him and my mom. I do remember them praying about it together and then with us kids, too. They even consulted with church elders about the decision. Although, my mom was skeptical about the move, she agreed that it was God's will for us and it would be a good environment for us kids to grow up in. She worked hard on our farm to support my dad's efforts. As a family, we had five good years living on our farm and several times a week we would gather together after all our chores were done and we would study the Bible and pray together. Our dad struggled to provide enough finances for the family and he continually fought the 'need' to be a work-a-holic. Counseling with our pastor helped him keep his life in balance and, as a result, he was there for us more often than not. Our dad's presence was more important to us than having a lot of nice things. My older brothers, Bill and Richard, were involved in the church youth groups and scouts. We also hosted a bi-weekly Bible study in our home for our neighbors in the country and I got to play with my good friends from the area farms. Those were special times to me and I looked forward to each one.
(this chapter is continued in the book, please get a copy)