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OPTIONS Gerry Baughman September 11, 2001 – It would be a day to remember and record in the history books for future generations to read about and to learn from. I was with a work team on a Vermont church roof when it all happened. Do you remember where you were that morning when the planes hit the Twin Towers? September 12 and the days following responded to the tragic and shocking events of September 11. The stock market was in freefall. Companies were forced into bankruptcy, and investors were forced to re-evaluate their options. The world was at war both physically and spiritually. Terrorism filled the news and continues to this day, but most of the world went back to normal, for a while anyway. Whenever a crisis-situation happens in our lives, most people will stop, if only for a moment, to consider their options. For some, there are no open-ended options; while for others, the options seem to be unlimited. During the Great Depression, many men and women committed suicide because they lost it all. They had no options, and as far as they were concerned, there was no hope for tomorrow or, for that matter, the future. Having no options may be the greatest blessing in your life. Do you remember the young farmer named Elisha? When the mantle of God’s call was placed on his shoulders, he asked to return to his family to bid them farewell. The actions he took were a testimony to the fact that he was destroying the option of returning to his former life of farming. He killed his oxen, broke up the plow to be used as firewood, boiled the oxen, and invited his entire family to a feast. It was then that he told his family of his call to service by God through the prophet Elijah. When he left his family, he never looked back. That was not an option! History tells us of great men who had the promise of enormous wealth and position, but they opted to opt out of their options and to give their lives to the Lord for service instead. Consider men like David Livingston, Borden of Yale, Count Zinzendorf, Jim Elliot, Dr. Paul Carlson, and Dr. Viggo Olsen, author of Daktar. Have we forgotten the disciples or the heroes of Hebrews 11? Take time to read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It will excite your soul and challenge your life! Consider this: options can 1.) Hinder our vision; 2.) Harden our hearts; 3.) Head us in the wrong direction. Isn’t it amazing that when God tells us to “Go ye into all the world” that He allows us to seek His will as to where He wants us to go? At the same time, however, He has given us the freedom to use our gifts, personality, cultural backgrounds and experiences to carry out His will with a heart of enthusiasm and joy that exceeds any of our greatest expectations! As a youth pastor years ago, I constantly encouraged my young people to consider giving Him first place with no options. I am continually amazed that, after over fifty years of ministry (most with BIMI), despite many bumps, heartaches, disappointments, discouragements and tragedies down the ministry path, the Lord has never disappointed me, let me down, nor forsaken me. I choose to have no option but to serve Him. The Apostle Paul said it very pointedly in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Consider your options. For the believer, there is only one. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Talk to the great optician and keep your vision clear. How is your spiritual “I” exam? Committed to Finding Where You Fit In Mission, CAMP BIMI * SMART Dr. Gerry Baughman Founder and Director Diane Baughman CAMP BIMI Office 2 CAMP BIMI ENCOURAGER Jeremy Benbrooks Editor Ken Catoe Design Jonathan Bergen Design CONTACT bimi.org/campbimi CAMPBIMI@comcast.net 423.322.3790 ABOUT The ENCOURAGER is a magazine written by and for CAMP BIMI alumni since 1993 to encourage anyone with a love and interest in missions.