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September 8, 1999






Doctor gives students
prescription for better life
___By Dan Martin
___Texas Baptist Communications
___DALLAS--A Baptist doctor gave college students a simple prescription to avoid pain in their spiritual lives: "Live beneath your means."
___Stephen Lacey, a Dallas gastroenterologist, spoke to participants in Focus '99, a back-to-school gathering attended by 3,200 students in Dallas Aug. 27-29. The annual event is studentlogosponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
___"There is nothing more lethal to your spiritual life than your things owning you," Lacey said. "How are you going to learn to live for Christ if you are living (to pay) for your car?"
___Lacey said he regularly sees Christians passing up missions and ministry opportunities because their debt structure makes such service impossible.
___"The world is telling you to get big houses and new cars and credit cards. But I am encouraging you to live beneath your means. Don't buy things until you can afford them. You must structure your debts so that your things don't own you."
___Lacey, a member of Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Coppell, told the students how they can be empowered Christians in any vocation.
___He encouraged students to pick a career which energizes them and urged them to have "a passion for excellence which will allow you to make a difference in the world."
___"If you pick a career because you will make lots of money, you are making a terrible mistake," he said.
___He cited Colossians 3:23 as a guide to vocation: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
___"Don't cut corners and take the easy way out, doing the least you can," he urged. "Work hard at what you do."
___Lacey said he knows a number of people who "hate their work with a passion. The reason they hate it with a passion is that they never loved it with a passion in the first place. Christians who don't really care show it, and their witness is zero."
___Another part of a successful vocation and life, he said, is to memorize Scripture and have a daily walk with God.
___He explained that he knows many church members who are mature vice presidents in their companies and have achieved success in secular fields but are "spiritual 2-year-olds who have not matured in the things of God."
___In the matters of daily walk and memorization of Scripture, Lacey told the students: "If you are going to be Christ's disciples, you have to invest yourself in Christ. It is going to cost you."

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