Living the legacy We are all in a story. A great creative process of writing history and being swept up in history at the same time.

God is the author of the BIG story, the story of His great love and redemption. And we’re all a part of that big story. But we each have our own stories to write, and I believe that God invites us to joyfully and playfully join Him in the creative process of writing our parts.

Sometimes our thinking binds us to a deterministic view of the world, like we are mere pawns in a chess game. But I believe we are active agents in the story.

In his book, Holy Play – The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Your Diving Purpose, Baptist preacher and author Kirk Byron Jones says,

“What if, more than anything else, God wants you to experience the joy of searching out and choosing your purpose in life among a vast assortment of opportunities? What if there isn’t a detailed plan for your life but an open outline and an invitation from God to you to creatively and deliberately fill in the spaces? What if God’s ultimate dream for your life is that you live and play your best dreams?”

Fifty-seven years ago God spoke to a man. Amid the droning engines of an airplane, God asked that man, “What are you going to do?”

The faces of Korean children, the feather weight of their small bodies in his arms, and the gentleness of their voices filled Everett Swanson’s mind.

On that plane an idea was born. A simple vision for a faithful, godly response to God’s question became a seed for an unimaginable movement of God’s people. Compassion.


You can also view this Living the Legacy video on YouTube.

Fifty-seven years later God continues to speak to His people, calling us to serve the global movement for children in poverty. A global movement we call Compassion.

What are we going to do?

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  1. Feb 24, 2009
    at 9:29 am

    I’m so thankful to have found my ministry in life as a Child Advocate for Compassion International — nothing has been more fulfilling, effective and life-changing than this!

  2. Feb 24, 2009
    at 3:36 pm

    That’s a different way of thinking about purpose, but i LOVE it! Hmm. So what am i going to do?

  3. Feb 25, 2009
    at 2:20 am

    Good story!

  4. Feb 25, 2009
    at 7:01 am

    As I read the Bible I see that God’s plan is an intricate tapestry, the fullness of which we will not entirely comprehend until we go to be with him, and the desires of our hearts; our dreams if you will, must be inspired and ordained by God otherwise we are just wasting thread.

    I do not believe Pastor Swanson had set out for Korea one day apart from our Lord’s guiding hand, despite the fact that all he had initially was a small glimpse of a much larger picture. What might seem haphazard to us (Swanson goes to Korea/Swanson has his coat stolen/Swanson founds Compassion) was detailed and orchestrated by God before the foundations of the world were laid. The idea was not birthed on a plane, Swanson only discovered it there.

    While it is absolutely true we willingly subject ourselves to a process of searching and choosing, make no mistake about it, God has planned every detail. Incredibly, God uses the discovery process as a way to refine and sanctify us. We are as stones being prepared in a quarry for the temple, the likes of which we will not fully see until we pass from this life. Each stone is hammered and chiseled and has a specific position in God’s masterpiece. The fact that we dream of and strive to be that special block on the first floor with the southern exposure will not make it so.

    Our dreams; the desires of our hearts have already been fashioned for us by our Creator and for His good pleasure. It is our spiritual mission to learn it and to have our will align with His will. The Bible tells us how, so when we get to Heaven in agreement we will say, “For true and righteous are His judgments!”

    Again, I do not believe for a minute that the Compassion ministry was birthed solely by man plagued by the reality of poverty. No, I believe with all my heart that God had ordained the Compassion ministry long before Pastor Swanson was born. It is only because he (Swanson) was walking faithfully and obediently, that God revealed it to him.
    The truth be told if Pastor Swanson did not answer the call that day, God would have found someone else to launch this His ministry.

    If we are uncertain of God’s will for our lives, perhaps we are looking to far down the road. God’s will is such an easy thing to determine when the Christian asks of God, “What do you want me to do right this very second?”

    Forgive me for a moment as I put myself in Pastor Swanson’s shoes. If, before stepping on that plane for Korea, God revealed the portion of His tapestry that illustrated the Compassion ministry in all its splendor and then said to me, “THIS is what I want you to do,” I would have freaked and likely walked away. We know from history that is not what occurred.

    “Go and speak with the soldiers,” God said to him and he obeyed. My Bible is chockfull of stories of people who were given the next step (like Pastor Swanson) after they were obedient to the first. What does God want you to do now; this very second? Go and do that first. In so doing God will place in our hearts desires far beyond those we could have ever imagined.

  5. Feb 26, 2009
    at 4:59 pm

    wow…there should be a limit on how long a response can be.

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