By Pauline Hylton, Guest Blogger, author of Growing in Christ. . . From the Ground Up
Okay, so Greyhound Bus wasn’t such a great investment for us when we were newlyweds. Lesson learned. And then there was our recent venture into organic farming on an old tobacco farm in North Carolina.
When my husband and I carted our first boxful of vegetables to the local coop to sell, we beamed with delight. Then the manager wrote us our first check for a whopping $5.87. After about an $85,000 investment in equipment and farm supplies, hundreds of man-hours, plus the ten-mile drive to the coop, let’s say we would never make the cover of Fortune 500 Magazine.
And to be honest, I don’t care.
Eventually, all the investments we store up on earth will fade or rust. But there are investments we can make while we are on this earth. I call it God’s Economy.
#1 Invest in God’s Word.
The Bible is the only divine book in the world. It tells us how to live and why we are here. It weaves the great story of redemption and love into a tapestry of His grace. Plus, it’s a pretty good read.
Most mornings I sit with a strong cup of coffee in a worn-out chair reading God’s Word. It is new every morning. I meet the Lord there and He is always welcoming. On days that I am too busy, I am always sorry. Friend, I don’t want you to miss out on the blessings God has for you in His Word.
#2 Invest in Prayer.
Imagine if you could walk to the White House, mosey in and visit the president without an appointment. (Forget the politics at this point.) Yet the Creator of the Universe will meet with you and me whenever we choose. He is a breath away. He spoke the world into being and created man from dust. And He desires to have a relationship with me—with you.
At bedtime when my kids were young I used to end the day with a question; What was your favorite part of this day?
Last year, my adult son asked me the same question. “It was my prayer time with the Lord,” was my response.
Satan will try everything to keep you away from an intimate relationship with God. Don’t let him.
#3 Invest in Solitude.
I live on 66 acres in the middle-of-nowhere, North Carolina. My big porch looks out over an immense pasture. I love sitting there and thinking. I will try to pick up my phone, but often I stop. I’m listening. Thinking. Praying.
Solitude is a precious commodity. It brings me an immense appreciation for creation. C.S. Lewis said to appreciate God, look down. Admire a blade of grass. Pay attention to the feathers of a bird. Watch kittens play.
Don’t be too busy to be still.
#4 Invest in Your Community
There is the community of our families and our church family. Most of us do a good job with our nuclear family. We attend games, celebrate birthdays, and encourage them in their pursuits.
As I look back when I raised my kids, I would do less outside of my home. I would sit on the floor more often with my kids and really listen. It doesn’t cost a thing and has forever dividends.
Look around at your church family. Most are going through some sort of struggle. I used to carry around blank postcards. I’d ask the Lord to show me someone who needed a word of encouragement. Then I’d write the name on the card and send it out.
One day, a lady in my church said, “Pauline, thanks for sending me a card, I appreciate it! Did you mean to write anything on it?”
So the lesson is to definitely write something on the cards. Another lady said she posted the card I had actually written something on above her desk as a reminder that someone cared.
That is a great investment.
#5 Invest in Your World
There are needs all over the world. We cannot meet all of them, but we can meet some. I really think that as believers in America we will be responsible for what we did not do.
We can pray, and write to others and give. The old saying you can’t take it with you is so true.
But we can send some ahead.
Right now I’m praying for a certain group of people that probably no one knows about. Sometimes, during my prayer time, I imagine meeting these dear saints in heaven, and it makes me smile.
Choose your investments wisely and one day you will reap the rewards.
Pauline Hylton lives with her husband Tom and several animals on Peeled Poplar Farm. She wears grown-up clothes and goes to work Monday-Friday in a nearby rural county to be a case manager for disabled adults. On weekends, she puts on her farm-wife clothes and helps her husband in the garden and greenhouse. She also feeds twenty-one sheep, a scattering of chickens, a few dogs, three kittens and a super-kitty named Bree. She loves her Lord, her family, and dark chocolate. (Not necessarily in that order.)
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From Vicki. . .
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