George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 21 - COMMITMENTS THAT COUNT

 CHAPTER 21

COMMITMENTS THAT COUNT

?And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfect­ness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful!?

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS ARE SO IMPORTANT

These times of trial and sickness have brought my family and me closer together. I sense the need in many families for time to relax and enjoy being with each other.

Preachers? families are especially vulnerable. The evangelist looks directly to the Lord for his guidance and movements. Every time we sense God?s guidance, there have been indications that the Lord was leading us per­sonally. The family was not involved in that exercise. Sometimes there has been a going when there should have been no going. There should have been an abiding.

Don?t forget, the Lord is over all, and He is able to help you. Be care­ful, busy preachers, busy elders, busy youth workers, not to become so engrossed in the work that you let your family and your personal spiritual development suffer. A good ministry to those in your own home will have a helpful ministry to others. The more you build your relationship with the Lord and love Him, the more the peace of God will rule in your heart. Let the word of God dwell in you richly with all wisdom, admon­ish you and encourage you. Let us warn you and point out the dangerous places.

WHOLESOME FELLOWSHIP AND RENEWED COMMITMENT

Sometimes we need a fresh commitment to the Lord and to each other. Christmas Day, 1984, was a difficult day. We were invited out to my cou­sin?s in Vancouver for the annual Christmas dinner. After consideration, Mona and I decided to go. We had something to eat, but then we had to leave early as I was not feeling at all well. At home, Mona and I sat by the fire and read Psalm 107. Then Mona read to me from Streams in the Desert. We talked, reminisced and made plans for the future. What would be done with my books and my notes? Who was to take my funeral? We seemed to be able to plan very naturally. We don?t know what the future holds but it is good to have these things down on paper.

Afterward, we recommitted ourselves to one another and held each other for a long time, expressing our thankfulness and love for each other. We prayed and recommitted ourselves to the Lord for whatever was be­fore us in the days ahead. I thought how precious it was to have a wife like Mona. The warmth and spiritual joy of that time will never be for­gotten. I know she felt the same.

In trials and sickness, if we love God, He can work in us and can make us sweeter again. He can make our fellowship wholesome and our com­mitment renewed. These are never to be forgotten moments. The West­minster clock, my 1984 Christmas gift to Mona, will always be a remembrance to her of the man who loved her.

MEANINGFUL MEMORIES ARE OUR LEGACY

I want to say something else about relationships right here. It is very important that we take time with our families. Mona and I had to learn to take a satisfying break with our children, both for their sakes and ours. Children need to be able to look back to meaningful memories. How many times since I?ve been sick have Ruth, Elizabeth, Lois and David (when he has been able to come from Calgary for a visit) said, ?Remem­ber when we did this, Dad, or remember when we went there??

We all remember fun times. Do things with your children. Go places together. our children always knew we would go to an assembly on Sun­day morning and Sunday night when we were traveling. We didn?t al­ways insist, though, on being at mid-week meetings when we were on a holiday.

Schedule your holiday as you would anything else. If you have a legiti­mate reason to change plans, explain it fully to your family so they can cope with their disappointment.

You will be surprised how meaningful a walk into the woods, a wiener roast or a canoe ride can be. At times we didn?t know whether we had enough money, but our God is not a Scrooge. He supplied all we ever needed. I don?t regret any of the time we spent as a family on holidays. I can say personally what the bond-slave of Exodus 21 said, ?I love my master, I love my wife, I love my children.?

Related scriptures: Colossians 3:12-2 1; Psalm 107; Ephesians 6:4; II Timothy 1:5; Exodus 2 1:5.