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before leaving home


In "40 Things Every Child Must Know Before Leaving Home" Ann Voskamp writes to her 16-year-old son as he prepares to leave for a mission trip in Indonesia.  Very moving.  

Here's an excerpt:  

The Bible’s true, son. Every infallible, sword-sharp, breathing word of it. Don’t let anyone ever rationalize one beautiful iota of it away. Love it because it’s your Life.

Be the kind of person who apologizes first because that’s the only way happiness can last.

And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed.

It’s true, son: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One man with God can change a culture. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.

Only when you offer yourself as bread, broken and given, to a hungry world, will you ever be satisfied.

The only life worth living is the one lost.

And believe that you are His beloved – it’s only when you trust He loves you that you really begin to live. Really, count a thousand blessings more, never stop. Why wouldn’t you want joy? Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted… in the small moments missed.

Do it often: grab a lifeline by stepping offline. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens.

This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone – if you’re in Him, you are already approved.

Be okay with not being liked: life’s about altars not applause. And be okay with not being seen or heard. It’ll let you hear and see better.







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