Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What are You Worth?

A couple days ago a woman told me that she lost $25,000 due to the one-day record drop in the American stock market. I was imagining what it would be like just to have $25,000 to lose. For various reasons we Americans live in uncertain financial times. There is plenty of blame to go around in these turbulent times.

While reflecting on the current economic crisis and how we all are being influenced by it (psychologically, theologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.), I asked myself some questions: "What would I do if I lost everything? As many others have experienced already, what would I do if I lost my job? What if I had no savings, no investments, no money? How would I provide for my six-member-family?"

As John Henry Jowett wrote, "The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money."

This prompted me to ask myself: "What am I worth? Financially, if I lost everything, what would I be worth?"

What are you worth? If you lost everything, what would you be worth?

These questions probe beyond the surface of our lives and expose the deep-rooted conceptions that we have about ourselves and conceptions others have about us in relation to our sense of personal value or worth in correlation to how much money or "stuff" we own. Does your worth depend upon how much money you have? Must one have money in order to have personal dignity and worth? Sadly way too many people judge their own worth and the worth of other people based upon what their net worth is.

Scripture guides us here: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)

On the one hand, it is possible to be rich with worldly possessions yet be bankrupt spiritually. On the other hand, it is possible to have little or no earthly possessions yet be filthy rich spiritually.

It is far better to be poor with Christ than to be rich without Christ (see Proverbs 28:6). I had rather be a garbage man with Christ than a multi-billionaire without Christ (see Psalm 84:10). My personal convictions are expressed in the famous hymn:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

Than to be the king of a vast domain,
Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

So, what is my answer to my poignant questions: "What am I worth? If I lost everything, what would I be worth?" By God's amazing grace, limitless love, and enduring mercy, I am extravagantly rich--and always will be--not because of what I have done but purely because of Jesus and what He has done on my behalf. My sense of value or worth is tied to Jesus Christ and His relationship to me--and nothing else.

Thankfully, God does not value us based upon what we have or don't have. God does not love us based upon what job we perform, whether we own or rent a house, whether we own several vehicles or none, whether we have fat banking accounts or none, whether we are formally educated or not, whether we are married or single, male or female, older or younger, or for any other reason one can fathom, except Jesus Christ. In fact, God loves us and Christ left heaven and came to earth, died on the cross, was buried, rose from the dead on the third day, and ascended to heaven for us because we are sinners and need Him as our Savior and Lord. He loves us for His glory and for our good.

So, what are your answers to the personal questions: "What am I worth? If I lost everything, what would I be worth?"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Babies Don't Keep"

Mother, of Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

-- Author Unknown

"A Mother's work is never done." True indeed. All the loving Mothers that I have ever known have at some point grappled with walking the fine line between balancing household responsibilities and spending quality time with her children. I am not advocating irresponsibility and a filthy house, but I have never heard an older Mother or GrandMother say that she wished she would have spent more time cleaning her house whenever her children were younger. On the other hand, one-hundred percent of the time I hear the Mother say that she wished she would have spent more time with her children whenever they were younger. Unfortunately, too many Mothers learn this foundational lesson later in life, if they ever learn it at all.

This poem is for my wife and all Mothers who are enjoying the time you do have with your sweet babies and wish you had even more time with them. Remember, as you have heard a thousand-and-one times, "Enjoy 'em while they're young because they grow up fast."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sovereign Ruler

Sov’reign Ruler of the skies
Ever gracious, ever wise;
All my times are in thy hand,
All events at thy command.

His decree who form’d the earth
Fix’d my first and second birth;
Parents, native place, and time,
All appointed were by him.

He that form’d me in the womb,
He shall guide me to the tomb;
All my times shall ever be
Order’d by his wise decree.

Times of sickness; times of health;
Times of penury and wealth;
Times of trial and grief;
Times of triumph and relief;

Times the tempter’s power to prove;
Times to taste the Saviour’s love
All must come, and last, and end,
As shall please my heavenly Friend.

Plagues and deaths around me fly;
Till he bids, I cannot die;
Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit.

--John Ryland (1753-1825)

Prayer for the Home

Lord, this humble house we’d keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy love and let Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.

—Edgar A. Guest

Monday, September 15, 2008

Watch Your Table Manners

One day at lunch time my four young children sounded like a gaggle of geese: "I want . . . !" "I want . . . !" "I want . . . !" "I want . . . !" Squawk. Of course, I am certain this happens only in my household and not in yours.

Therefore I wrote a little poem to help them learn (hopefully) what I have told them countless times about proper etiquette and table manners, etc.

"I want . . . !"
Doesn't get;
"May I please . . . ?"
Your needs are met.

May God imbed in the hearts of all my children this appealing principle.

How have you taught or are trying to teach your children good manners?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Moriah Faith Kerstetter

Seven years ago, August 7, 2001, God chose to bless our family with you Moriah Faith. Daddy and Mommy love you sweet girl and we always will. As you grow, may you live as one who has been "chosen by the LORD (YHWH or Jehovah)" by "faith" so that others "may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for granting us the pleasure and responsibility of raising Moriah to love You and to worship You forever. May she always choose to walk in Your way and teach others about your grace through faith. We once again place her into Your loving care and ask You to use her in whatever way pleases You. Amen.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Hannah Grace Kerstetter

Four years ago, August 1, 2004,God "graced" our family with you Hannah Grace. Daddy and Mommy love you "baby" girl and we always will. As you grow up, may the Lord Jesus use you to minister a double portion of grace into the lives of all those you will meet.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for loaning Hannah Grace Kerstetter to us. We are humbled and blessed with the sacred responsibility and awesome privilege of raising her to trust and obey You. May she glorify You and enjoy You forever. Please help us be good stewards of the great gift You have lavished upon us. We re-present Hannah to You and ask You again to use her for Your glory. Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Coram Deo

For those of you who may not know, "coram Deo" (see blog subtitle) is a Latin phrase which means "before (the face of) God."

1 Corinthians 10:31: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (NKJV)

Monday, June 30, 2008

In the Beginning Glenn Created A Blog

This is my first post on my first ever blog! I know that I have much to learn about this hyper-fast growing genre of technology but I look forward to it.

As I embark upon this technological journey, I re-offer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, all that I am or ever aspire to be.

"Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips [and my fingers on the keyboard]" (Psalm 141:3)

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart [and my blog-posts]
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14)

Heavenly Father, may you use my feeble writings, as a blessing and encouragement to my family (spiritual and biological) and friends, as a faithful testimony to those who do not know You as King of kings and Lord of lords, and as a creative outlet for me to proclaim Your name to the nations. Indeed, may You use my writings in the way that will bring most honor and glory to You, for You alone are worthy of all worship and praise both now and forever. Amen.