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Have a life purpose, author tells writers

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Christians who are not walking in God’s purpose for their lives are merely surviving, an author told participants in the fourth annual Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference, Oct. 17-21 at Glorieta, a LifeWay Conference Center, in New Mexico.

Jan Johnson, a speaker and author of 13 books, said, “We have two crosscurrents going on in our culture — too much activity on one hand and too little meaning on the other.”

Among her published volumes is “Living a Purpose-Full Life: What Happens when You Say Yes to God.”

Johnson said those in survivor mode stay busy with “important” things but are not doing what God has called them to do. “From what I’ve observed,” she said, “busyness is next to godliness in the Christian community.”

She lamented the “morning, noon and night busyness” that leaves the Christian asking, “Why am I doing these things and what is all of this for?”

Johnson encouraged the participants to ask themselves three questions: Have I done anything that really makes a difference? Have I listened to God? Have I done what God is calling me to do?”

“Survivor mode,” Johnson said, “leads us to worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship.

“The issue is not what I must say ‘no’ to,” Johnson continued, “but what must I say ‘yes’ to. When you know what to say ‘yes’ to, the calling God has put in you, ‘no’ just works itself out.”

Johnson recounted a four-step process that will help Christians discover God’s calling in their lives:

— Data collection is a process of gathering information that God uses to help Christians discover their calling. It begins in childhood and continues throughout life.

— Incubation is a time of serious reflection when the data collecting process “heats up our thoughts and starts us percolating.”

— Illumination consists of Ah-ha! moments or a series of small breakouts that make our purpose more clear.

— Verification is a time when we put together what we’ve learned and others confirm our calling.

God’s call is never “me-centered,” Johnson said, adding that God’s blessing is not for our benefit, but so we can bless others.

The next Glorieta Writers Conference will be Oct. 16-20, 2001. For more information, call 1- 800-797-4222 or visit www.glorieta.com for information.

    About the Author

  • Jim L. Wilson