This is where I'm at right now...
I keep notebooks. Many of the pages are filled with random jottings...stream-of-consciousness...that sort of stuff. But occasionally, as I re-read them, I stumble upon something out of the ordinary, and possibly even special. (Lots of times it happens to be quotes from other people's work, but there you go.)
Here's an entry from September '04. At the time, I was struck by a quote from a study we were doing at church about elders, and their need to live simple, "pruned" lives. The fact is that this idea applies to all believers, not just elders, and much could be written about why this is difficult for those living in an affluent society.
For me, though, I think the quote returns to my thoughts so often because although I know it, I haven't yet learned it.
In his excellent book Biblical Eldership, Alexander Strauch makes this statement: "The real problem, then, lies not in men's limited time and energy but in false ideas about work, Christian living, life's priorities, and -especially- Christian ministry."
He continues further along with this quote from R. Paul Stephens: "And for tentmakers to survive three full-time jobs (work, family, ministry), they must adopt a sacrificial lifestyle. Tentmakers must live a pruned life and literally find leisure and rest in the rhythm of serving Christ (Matt 11:28). They must be willing to forego a measure of career acheivement and private leisure for the privilege of gaining the prize (Phil 3:14). Many would like to be tentmakers if they could be wealthy and live a leisurely and cultured lifestyle. But the truth is that significant ministry in the church and the community can only come by sacrifice."
Quoted from pages 28-29 of Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch