Remembering Dad…

A bit more than 4 years ago, just three months before my wedding, one of the dearest people in my life disappeared.

He left behind him a wife, six children, and the church he pastored in a little village in the north-west of France. In the eyes of the world, he may not have been the most successful man. He was neither rich, nor very influential and did not have a great career.

How do you measure a man?

What determines the value of a man’s life? The challenge in the question is that by looking into the answer, I am providing a measuring tape against which my own live will be laid. Therefore I can be tempted to value a man by the things that I have been successful at. Anything else would be to admit that I have failed at making my own life count.

So how do you measure a man? The Bible provides some clear defining lines as to what is meaningful here on earth.

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor 13:13

Love is the answer

What is love? My definition is pretty simple: it is living for others. Why then do I consider Dad to be one of my greatest examples? A man that leaves a good career in England to go to France as a missionary is not living for himself. A man that starts a church in a village of 3500 people is not living for himself. A man that raises up 6 children is not living for himself.

I have many good memories of my father, such our the weekly family times, his wisdom, his ability to challenge me…One day he called me into his office, read revelations 3:16 (So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.), and then confronted my lifestyle. Funnily enough, I really treasure that moment.

But most of all, I admire his capacity to focus on the eternal. He knew that life would be short, and lived for God and others. That is why I am certain that he had few regrets when dying, even though he was far from perfect. While I was certainly saddened by his death, I want to echo my mother’s attitude at the memorial service. She started dancing and singing for joy while people looked awkwardly at her. “Has it snapped for Mrs Hockley?” Actually, with her thoughts turned to heaven, she was the clearest minded of us all.

Photos from the 17th of May 2010

Quote: Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past – Poem by C.T Studd

[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”100″ overlay_alpha=”50″ gutter_size=”3″ medium_width=”0″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ z_index=”0″][vc_column_text]“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
C.T Studd

Dig Deeper on this post: Books

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image media=”3386″ media_width_percent=”100″ media_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0875082025%2Fref%3Das_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26amp%3Bamp%3Bcamp%3D1789%26amp%3Bamp%3Bcreative%3D9325%26amp%3Bamp%3BcreativeASIN%3D0875082025%26amp%3Bamp%3BlinkCode%3Das2%26amp%3Bamp%3Btag%3Dononli-20||target:%20_blank”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

C. T. Studd: Cricketer & Pioneer

The definitive biography on the life of C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC International, and author of the poem.[/vc_column_text][vc_button link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0875082025%2Fref%3Das_li_tl%3Fie%3DUTF8%26camp%3D1789%26creative%3D9325%26creativeASIN%3D0875082025%26linkCode%3Das2%26tag%3Dononli-20%26linkId%3D6THNRAUBGFCYZQLL||target:%20_blank”]View on Amazon[/vc_button][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

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The tragedy of Norway’s Russ…

[highlighted_p boxed=”false” center=”false”]Sex, drugs, drunken debauchery and dares are all part of the “fun” for Norway’s final year high school students called the russ.[/highlighted_p]

1st of May marks the beginning of the festivities, and from then until 17th they can be seen wearing their characteristic red overalls and caps and with a bottle of beer in the hand. What was meant to be an amusing rite of passage has become a destructive tragedy…

Typical Russ Clothes
Typical Russ Clothes

The dares

Each year a competition goes on among the students as to who can get the most knots on their cap. A knot rewards a certain accomplishment during the russ period. These range from the most inoffensive…like:

  • Spending a night in a tree
  • Eating a big Mac in two bites
  • Spending a school day crawling on hands and knees

To the most stupid and immoral such as:

  • Drinking a bottle of wine in 20 minutes
  • having sex with at least 17 partners
  • Picking up a tender teen
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished...
Different knots according to what dares have been accomplished…

Expensive buses

In addition to the uniforms, caps, and dares, one of the most important parts of the russ celebrations are the “russebil” – cars or buses the russ decorate and equip with immense stereo systems. Inside, the buses are often fitted with TVs and entertainment equipment, couches, refrigerators. These buses can be a large financial burden; contributions of up to 22 500€ (200 000 Kr) per member have occurred. The average is between 1500€ and 4500€. Including sponsors, the cost of a bus can reach over 230 000€!! (2,000,000 Norwegian kroner).

Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Inside one of the most expensive buses!
Another one of the buses
Another one of the buses

JesusRuss

Luckily, the Christians do not shy out. Young Christians in their final year can join christian alternatives to russ: JesusRuss and KristenRuss. These set up tents at the russ events where they take care of sick and injured drunks, give out buns, being salt and light for those that realise that the partying is not as satisfying and liberating as expected…

One of the Jesusruss tents
One of the Jesusruss tents