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claire dp 1When I was 16 I lived in Blenheim and would get awesome summer jobs at fruit farms over the holidays.  One year I worked for The Jones Strawberry Farm picking strawberries, a delicious but back breaking job.  I then worked for an Apricot farmer, as a picker first of all, but then in the pack house because as we quickly discovered being near the ground is an excellent quality for a strawberry picker, not so great for an apricot picker.   My day revolved around sorting the fruit, packing the fruit, stacking the packs of fruit.  Sort, stack, pack.  I was the only one in the pack house and so spent long hot days sorting, stacking, packing.

On Tuesday a friend of mine shared a hilarious take on the myers briggs personality types on facebook – The post begins with “They say that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Each one is inspired, enraged and absolutely tortured by something slightly different. Here’s the destiny that would psychologically destroy each Myers-Briggs Personality type.”

Im and ENFP and this is what it said about me.  Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.

Sort. Pack. Stack.  By myself.  Sort. Pack. Stack.   For 2 long months.  Thankfully not the rest of my life.   The first few days of the job were great.  Good time to pray and think, I’m by myself, I can contemplate the great mysteries of the universe and dream and plan my future.  After about a week of sort, pack and stack, by myself, a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks, I found myself going slightly cookcoo, because how many of you know, especially if you are an ENFP there is only so much deep and meaningful productive positive thinking you can do by yourself.. through another person in the mix and boom, you’re happy, but conversating with yourself, just isn’t the same. and contemplating what is the meaning of life.  The big questions.  What was I here for.  What is God’s plan for my life.  How will I get there.  Who am I, really.

Whether you’re in a job you hate or a job you love, whether you’re at school or uni, whatever stage of life you’re at these are important questions.  What does real living look like?  Because there is a difference between being alive and living, really living.

We can go through life, even successfully, ticking the boxes that define achievement for us, getting the great job, marrying the great person, having the great kids and the great cat and the great house, travelling to the great places etc etc but even that can miss the mark of what living really is.

 

Paul summed it up in 4 simple words in Philippians 1:21

To live is Christ.

This is one those rare times when Paul is brief.  Usually he has sentence with too many commas and plenty of detail and flesh.  But this one is 4 words.  To live is Christ.

 

In 2 Cor 5:15 he says  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him.

This is the standard he is living by.  This is how he defines his life.  This is the mission statement that wraps parameters and boundaries around not only the big picture but also day to day.  Paul is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to being pointed to Christ. To live is Christ.

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*** tweets from Cross Conference with Matt Chandler preaching

 

 

"When God saves you, he doesn’t do it because you gave him permission. He did it because he’s God."

"There isn’t a violent soul on the planet that God might not save and transform for himself."

God could’ve just destroyed Saul who was ravaging the Way, but It pleased the Father to reveal the Son to Paul. By grace alone!

"It brings God pleasure to reveal Himself to us and save us."

"It brought the heart of God pleasure to save Saul of Tarsus."

The conversion of Paul from persecutor to apostle gives us confidence for those even violently opposed to Christ.

Saul of Tarsus wasn’t seeking Jesus or doubting his own doubts; Jesus didn’t care. He kicked him off his horse!

 

“Everyday we are being discipled about what life is about. Paul declares with conviction: TO LIVE IS CHRIST!”

"The god of our generation is comfort. Suffering is only looked on as something to be solved."

"Paul says ‘To live is Christ’ because he knows that all other paths are bankrupt."

To live is Christ means that Jesus is supreme over every thing in life including the best things in life.

"Too often we live according to our version of Christ than to truly live for Him."

"We agree with ‘To live is Christ,’ but so many areas of our lives aren’t even about Him."

You can’t say "to live is Christ" until you hold Him as more valuable than anything in this world. All else is rubbish

"To take up your cross is to consider it better to die than to live for something other than Jesus."

“To live is Christ means I have seen the surpassing knowledge of knowing Christ above all other things.”

"If Christ is our treasure than our lives should be marked by Him."

"The motivation [to go to hard places] must be, ‘Christ is my treasure.’"

 

"Every missionary I know is extraordinarily ordinary. Everything they do, they do by the grace of God."

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