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Long Term Impact

1406793_87192852 SmallI was lucky to  spend the day with some of the boys from the Youth Ranch touring Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).   What an amazing organization made up of people who purposely choose to do hard things.  Before the tour I knew a little about the story of the tragedy when Nate Saint and four other men in their prime were martyred on “Palm Beach” by the Auca tribesmen.  I don’t have time or space to tell the whole story and recommend that you watch the movie based on their story called, End of the Spear.

Here are the cliff notes.  The men chose to reach a tribe known for their violence against outsiders.  They had some initial success but were later murdered due to lies and fear.  Their death inspired thousands to accept the call and dangers of mission service.

The rest of the story hasn’t been completely written because the power of love, forgiveness and restoration continue.  Rather than becoming bitter, family of some of the men continued their work by continuing ministry to the tribe.  Rachel Saint, sister of Nate Saint and Betty Elliot, wife of James Elliot as well as others demonstrated love and the power of forgiveness that lead to the village coming to christ.  Steve Saint was baptized by the man who killed his father and they have witnessed around the world about the power of God to transform lives, enable forgiveness and create bonds of love.

As I toured the MAF US headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, I was overwhelmed by the power of conviction paired with action.

Why am I sharing this story?  First, I find that I personally benefit from writing about powerful experiences and reminders.  I’ve already written about my conviction that it is scriptural to think about stories like this that are inspiring, beautiful and pure and noble (Helping Your Kids with Nightmares:  Planting Good Thoughts).  It helps me and I hope you benefit from it.  Second, it reminds me the generational impact that can be made by those who act on their convictions.

I’m thankful that not all convictions take us to the point of martyrdom.  Yet many of us are waiting for big opportunities in order to be heroic.  It’s easy to minimize the “small” acts of conviction as not as important or pivotal.  However, the power of little decisions lead to those big decisions that can bring huge changes.

Let me share two quotes that I’ve heard recently that have guided me to the importance of starting small and acting on my convictions.

[callout]“I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” — John D. Rockefeller Sr.[/callout]

[callout]“I know that may not sound like much, but we as human beings have an amazing ability to overestimate what we can do in the next year, yet radically underestimate what we can do with the next 15 minutes.” Robert D. Smith – Author of 20,000 days.[/callout]

So many times I focus all my attention on end results without giving enough attention to the little steps that get me there.  As parents, on the of the biggest gifts we can give our kids is the ability to value cause and effect.  Most teen’s brains aren’t wired for long term thinking and instead the emotion of the moment tends to win.  Here are some ideas on helping teach your kids to see the end in mind?

  1. Don’t be afraid to share your goals.  Don’t assume they know what and why you are doing things.
  2. Tell stories of little things that make a big impact.
  3. Model the value of little steps of conviction.  Let them see how daily self-discipline and habits can lead to long term change.

Question: What are you doing to help your kids value of conviction paired with action?