Rick Warren

If you are Christian, and have cancer, this brief interview with Rick Warren may bring you comfort. His wife is fighting cancer.

It came to me in the form of a "pass it along" email. I posted it last June – Peg (Brooklyn1) asked me to post it again. I think it is well worth doing - particularly since it is a weekend, and many of us can use an uplifting message as the hurry of the week has passed.


You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, 'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California .

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

“People ask me: What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.

And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain. But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself, and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more, and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD..

If you do not pass it on, nothing will happen. But it will just be nice to pass it on to a friend....just like I have done.
God's Blessings "

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18 replies. Join the discussion

Just want to say I love the message so very much.
Thank you Al and Peg for this wonderful truth.
Love ,

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Dearest Al,
Thank you so much for posting this again. I remember Holly sent this post you wrote to me after my husband Marten passed last June, and it gave me great comfort...I know so many here are facing difficult times now, and I hope it gives as much solace and guidance to them as it did me.

God bless you for all you do for all here!

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Thank you so much!

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Thank you very much.

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That is one my favorite books....It brings me such Peace and comfort...

God Bless,

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Thanks for posting Al; it puts everything into perspective...♥ Viktory

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Thanks dear Al and Peg for posting this beautiful interview. He certainly puts things into perspective, doesn't he?

I loved what he decided to do with all the wealth he so suddenly accumulated.


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Beautiful! So very encouraging and true. Thank you for posting this. harttohart

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Dear Al
Thanks for posting this inspirational piece. I had not read it before.

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Hi Al,

I didn't realize Kay had been diagnosed with cancer. I started watching Rick Warren online in November of 2010 in preparation for the "Decade of Destiny" vision that is going on now at Saddleback Church. I'm so glad that I got connected with Rick's messages in November, because my beautiful father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer on December 11, 2010. It was one of the darkest weeks of my life so far as I struggled with lack of faith that God was in control. Although I'm a christian, the diagnosis really shook my belief system.

Since my dad's diagnosis, we've certainly been on the cancer emotional roller coaster. However, instead of being full of fear and despair of the fact that I may lose my father and he may lose this temporary life, somehow God is giving me a great peace that surpasses all understanding. Instead of feeling hopeless, my faith and trust in God's plan is growing in leaps and bounds as I focus on what is eternal and His plan for redemption. I feel Him saying "Trust me, I'm in control, and I have a plan". The suffering endured by patients with cancer doesn't go unnoticed by God. It's all part of His bigger plan which is the redemption of mankind. That gives me great hope in what is to come.

Here are some other resources I've been using to keep me focused on what is eternal.

Saddleback "Decade of Destiny" messages

Saddleback "Daily Hope" Devotionals

"50 Days of Heaven: Reflections That Bring Eternity to Light" Devotional book by Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn's Eternal Perspectives Website:

Album: And if Our God Is For Us by Chris Tomlin:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_5_20?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-ke ywords=chris+tomlin+our+god&sprefix=chris+tomlin+our+god

I'm so thankful there are other believers on here. I couldn't imagine people suffering without understanding the greater story.

Have a blessed day!

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Thanks for adding so much extra dimension to this post. It will help all of us.


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Thank You, I live in so cal not far from there. Have been there during the elections, remember when he interviewed the candidates? lol wow!!
Thanks for the links

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al - i'm jewish and I get it too....amen!

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Thank you so much for posting this!

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Dearest Karen,
Amen to you! You are so adorable!
I think this is a universal message, for we are all God's children from the beginning of time - no labels in heaven...

I liked the part about the railroad tracks, with good and bad running concurrently in our lives. I still think Marten's cancer was one mountain of a train ride, but this post helped calm me when Holly sent it to me. I hope it calms you too...

This is my mantra:
Happy moments, Praise God.
Difficult moments, Seek God.
Quiet moments, Worship God.
Painful moments, Trust God.
Every moment, Thank God..

I am crossing my fingers for your scan, Karen. And saying prayers all is perfect for you...Many hugs!

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In my opinion, this post is meant for all who are trying to know, love and serve God.

We are all God's children, and what is important, is that each of us tries to please Him in the way that He has called us to serve Him.

I made an error in the way I opened the first sentence - I humbly apologize. It was an unintentional oversight.


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Thank you Al and Peg,

Recently joined FB (fought it for years) and many of the posts are about happy hours, how beautiful pictures turned out, "new toys" and making money. I posted excerpts from what you posted here as a gentle reminder of why we are all here-- to serve God's purpose.

So today you have reminded me what is important and once again have touched my heart. I hope I can move that forward to others...

I continue to pray for all of you.

dada's girl

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That is awesome. I learned so much from Rick Warrens Purpose Driven Life. He is an amazing Godly man. Thank you for posting this. I just read it to my husband and he really related. For anyone who is interested, The purpose Driven Church is really good as well. Not to mention Lee Strobels A Case for Christ.

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