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Life ... or a paycheck?

A lot of people would ask the question; “So tell me when I’m going to die.” What I learned was, that the more important question is; “When are we going to start living?”


When people find out what actuary’s do, they figure out that we study the probability of things occurring. In my case, I was in life insurance, so it was a probability of living and dying. A lot of people would ask the question, “So tell me when I’m going to die.” What I learned was, that the more important question is, “When are we going to start living?” Jesus said, “I’ve come to give life and to give it abundantly,” and at that point the emptiness was so great that I said, “You know what? If this is your idea God of an abundant life, I am not impressed.” Not knowing what else to do, I said, “Well, God you are who you say are. I am what you say I am. Apart from your provision in Christ, I have no hope, and I cry out for that.” My life fundamentally changed that night. It has been an unbelievable adventure since then.

I was leaving the actuary profession to go on staff with a ministry that functions in the market place to share Christ and disciple other men. The short story was, you’ll take a forty percent cut in pay and you’ll get it, if you raise it. There’s no guarantee that somebody is sitting there writing the paycheck like what you’ve experienced all of these years. He asked, “Is that okay?” Anne and I laughed, and we both nodded our heads yes, and on the inside we’re thinking, “Are you kidding me?” We decided that we would go with God as opposed to trust our own wisdom, so we crossed the bridge.

It was a scary time and we had no clue, but you know, on October 15th when I got the last paycheck at Mutual Security Life, all that support was in. How’d that happen? It wasn’t my wisdom and my charm and what have you. It was God. A few years later, our oldest son needed braces. That’s a sizable hit for a typical family. We didn’t know where that was going to come from. They said, “We know John needs braces. Here’s two thousand dollars. Take care of his braces. I hadn’t said a word. I hadn’t asked. I hadn’t whatever. Boom, here it is. Over the years, we have not received every paycheck. There have been times when the support was not sufficient to provide the paycheck, but I stand here after thirty years, and I tell you, every bill has been paid. Every need has been met, and we have done a lot of things that we would never have imagined. We have been places and so forth that we would never have imagined because of just letting God write that script.

Bernie R - Life ... or a paycheck?

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Bernie attends Fellowship Bible Church in Dalton, GA.

He spent his first 16 years of ministry on staff with Christian Businessmen's Connection. His last 16 years he has worked with the ministry he founded, Men's Ministry Network.


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