Selfish Ambition

When you play a board game most people want to win. I mean why play the game if your not trying to win. There is often a strategy, you may even try to hinder another player from succeeding in order to get ahead. It is a battle to see who will come out on top. Although this is considered normal and appropriate behavior when playing a board game, the Bible clearly instructs against such behaviors

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4

We live in a world that often facilitates and encourages selfish ambition. Often it is those who show the greatest ambition that become the most successful and wealthy. But success for us Christian’s is not coming out on top. It’s not winning. Success as a Christian is to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Success for us Christian’s means our character, behavior and thinking is that of Christ.

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Faith is Belief That Leads To Action

I have been doing a little bit of studying. It’s been 3 years since I worked as a physician. It’s been 3 years of rehabbing of sorts. Every attempt until now to study has been rather unsuccessful. But I am thankful that this attempt at studying has been more fruitful. Sometimes things improve so gradually that you do not realize the progress you have made. I am thankful for the Lords help and provision each day. I have to admit I have wrestled with mixed feeling about returning to studying. We will see how things go and may the Lord lead each day. That His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name Amen.

In my little bit of a break and letting my mind wonder I have pondered what I think of Faith in Jesus. Obviously it is faith that Jesus death on the cross covers my sins. But it is also more. Faith in Jesus does not necessarily mean you do something incredible or miraculous. Faith is walking by Gods commands and ways rather than going with the flow of the world around you. It’s choosing to be obedient to God even when this means you are not accepted, liked, rewarded, acknowledged or maybe even suffer loss in terms of worldly comforts and security. Faith in Christ should lead us to pure and holy lives. That’s when Christ will work miracles through us for his kingdom sake.

So I challenge you in the midst of your task to ponder the topic of how you define faith in Christ Jesus. For faith is belief but lead to action.

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:43-45 NIV

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Oh My Little Buddy Bear

You know you have officially become the crazy dog lady when you start calling your little 7 lb dog your mini man. My little teddy bear Coco has officially become my little mini man. He is actually the first male dog I have ever owned and he is by far the most protective. He is like my little pocket guard dog.

Over a year ago I went to an outdoor ladies worship night. I had taken my 2 dog to an outdoor worship event before and they did fine. But for whatever reason this night did not sit well with either of the two dogs. They were both agitated and making a ruckus. I’m sure the other the ladies at the event were not so happy with me. Or maybe there hauling was there way of worshiping Jesus as well. Who knows. Anyway at the end of the event they handed out communion. Coco sat in my lap like he always does. The lady came up to hand me communion. Coco waited for the lady to get all the way up close to me before he took a bite at her nose. Had she not fallen back on her buttocks and the communion cup went into the air he probably would have successful taken her nose off. My little mini man had never done that before. I quickly apologized to the lady and said no Coco. But inside my heart I was chuckling and just delighted. Why I am not so sure. Maybe it felt good to have someone protect me.

I think most women have a desire to be protected. It is ingrained into us. When going through a significant life event, hardship or grief we can struggle with fear. The desire for protection becomes stronger. Although there a variety of things in this life we can look to for protection, just like I looked to my little Coco as my guardian the only protection for our souls is the blood of Jesus. We were taking communion that night to be reminded of Jesus body broken for us and his blood spilled for us. I was reminded that the blood of Jesus is the only real protection I need. Yet I was also thankful for God giving me a little pocket guard dog to make me feel more physically secure.

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On This Day We Celebrate the Birth Of Our Savior

The world was waiting for a Messiah, the savior that was prophesied. Few were looking for a child in a manger. How often do we wait for something not even really understanding what we are waiting for. We wait for those Christmas presents under the tree not even knowing what is really inside them. Or we wait for the wrong thing not recognizing the true gift.

I am reminded of many years ago. I was sick, not doing well and scheduled to start inpatient treatment in just a couple of days. I went to church Christmas event with plans to have diner with an elderly man. He was older than my own father and homeless. Yet we had sat together at church for months, exchanging greetings, conversations and the occasional gift. In some ways I knew him better than many people within my family unit. In other ways he was a stranger. An awkward homeless man. But I was reminded that he was my brother in Christ and like me he had no one to celebrate the holiday. Moreover he had no food to eat.

So we had Christmas diner together at a restaurant. I paid for the meal and he provided me a loving, friendly, word of encouragement as I went home to pack for a anticipated long hospital stay. I believe this was the last I ever saw of the man whom I had sat with at church for many months. There were reasons for how he ended in the situation he was in. But Jesus had transformed his life and he was dedicated to ministering to the homeless in Galveston. He was an absolute delight. Him sharing a meal with me was Christmas enough.

The Lord provide me a usual Christmas gift and it came in a package that I had not expected. Plus it shocked the majority of the church congregation and seemed to make the pastor a bit uncomfortable. God does not wish us to be irresponsible and do things that are risky but sometime obedience looks different than we expect.

Has Jesus Washed Your Feet?

This past week I was caring for an elderly women. I offered to give her a pedicure to not only wash her feet but lift her spirits. I washed her feet and painted her toe nails. We had a good old time. While chatting and painting her toes I was reminded of the passage of scripture where Jesus washed his disciples feet.

“The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” John 13:2-17

I read the elderly lady this passage of scripture. She looked at me and said “I have washed my children’s feet but I cannot go out on the street corners to wash others feet anymore.” She was correct. She has washed her children’s feet just as Jesus commanded his followers to do. And now her children have the opportunity to wash peoples feet on street corners. And as for me I had the privilege to wash her feet and be reminded of how Jesus has washed mine. We have peace in Christ our Lord. Amen.

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